Desperate Housewives Review – Series 8, Episode 6

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It’s Halloween on Wysteria Lane and what better time to have the skeletons begin creeping out of the closets? Last week left us with the cliffhanger that Ben’s real estate development, which Bree helped to seal the deal on, was planned to take place over the same plot of land where Gabrielle’s father was buried. Episode 6 picks that up appropriately with 3 of our housewives running in blind panic through said woods at night; cue jittery torch-light, eerie low-lying mist and some steadicam shots and you’ve got yourself a hook.

To bring us up to speed we go back 3 days and Bree is desperate to get Ben’s project relocated, which leads to a series of increasingly ludicrous attempts to quash the development. Endangered frogs shut down your previous site you say? Can’t build on land that is home to a protected species? Time to go frog shopping. She drags Gabrielle’s along for the ride, whose fear of frogs quickly establishes her to be less useful than a than a diamond in a truffle, which is what she looks like in the middle of a swamp. But, honorably, off she trots, knee-high wellies complimenting her fitted designer dress, into the lake to try to catch a few of the slimy fellas to plant on Ben’s newly acquired land. Bree, being as resourceful as ever, comes armed with an insect net and looks kitted out to take on the jungle. The funniest scene of the episode comes when one of their ‘catches’ gets loose in the car whilst Gabby is driving. Needless to say the fool-proof plan soon becomes defunct and Bree’s next brain-child to avoid his body being dug up by excavation is to dig it up themselves. Dragging some stressed out housewives into the woods to dig up a dead body on Halloween, great idea.

Amongst all the murder, mayhem and madness its nice to see the show adding some softer, even-dare I say it pleasant ingredients into the melting pot. Coming in the form of the blossoming romance between the lascivious man-eater Renee and the hunky new Aussie on the lane Ben. Lets face it, they’re hardly going to introduce a strapping single man with a smile to melt hearts onto the lane without shamelessly wafting romance into the air are they?  Trouble is, when somebody seems to good to be true in suburbia-they usually are.

When a hot date comes with the promise of sex on the cards Renee is determined to make their first time special. How? I hear you cry. Well rather than opting for a candlelit bedroom or some soothing aphrodisiac tones she goes for the more…erm…medicinal sex aid from a Chinese herbalist. If you’re thinking what I was- this has GOT to end badly, then you’re not far from wrong, and it wont be the first time you’ll be pondering the potential repercussions of dubious decision-making. Suffice it to say that the local trick or treaters end up having plenty to scream about when she answers the door.

A few doors down Lynette is having a similar bad decision dilemma- pay a crack addicted ex fashionista to create your daughters Halloween costume? What could possibly go wrong. But I digress.

Now, I don’t know a lot about relationships during marital separation but I would assume that bringing your new squeeze round to your wife’s home and expecting friendly chit-chat would be a big no-no. If nothing else it would be common courtesy on Tom’s part, knowing how Lynette feels about him dating and after 20+ years of marriage and 5 children, courtesy would be the least I’d expect from Tom who has, after all always seemed the most upstanding citizen on the lane with the strongest moral backbone.

But nonetheless the two come uncomfortably face to face and not only has Jane designed Polly a super-cool costume for Halloween, she’s offered to make it too; a yearly mother/daughter ritual that Lynette will not have her toes stepped on over, no matter how terrible her sewing skills may be. When her exhaustive attempts to pull off a hand-made cat costume prove futile she pays one of Renee’s ex fashion friends to do it for her. As a last-minute job its a good one, and were it for a 21 year old wannabe stripper at a frat party it would have suited the occasion perfectly- but for a 12 year old trick-or-treat not so much.

As the final season approaches half way point your left with the feeling that things can only GO further downhill for our residents of suburbia and the show has been so well crafted up to this point that you cant help but feel for them. Boy have they had some ups and downs over the years (some less believable than others), and they may not all be respectable role-model material, but you want things to end well for them, you want the illusion that perhaps, in spite of the unfortunate proliferation of high-drama that life on Wysteria Lane could have a ‘happily ever after’ ending. Maybe Renee and Ben will get theirs. Maybe. But with Carlos dwindling further into alcoholism, Lynette and Tom drifting irrevocably apart and even Bree struggling to keep up a rosy exterior I’d put my money on things getting a lot worse before they get any better.

Chelsey Burdon

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