I’ll be honest. I didn’t have a lot of hope for this week’s episode of Desperate Housewives. Based on the trajectory of the last few weeks and the promo that showed Susan collapsing yet again I had decided that perhaps this season was lost. I am happy to say that I was proven wrong. “Farewell Letter” didn’t blow me away, but it reminded me why I love this show and have watched religiously for seven years.
The emotions ran deep this week. Lynette (Felicity Huffman) struggled with the realization that she hasn’t prepared her kids for adulthood quite as well as she could have. There was a great moment in the kitchen at the end of the hour where the mistakes she made hit her full in the chest and you can read it all over her face. But she take the blow, recovers and continues being the great mom I’ve always thought she was. Bree (Marcia Cross) finally had the courage to let Keith (Brian Austin Green) go once she saw how much he was suffering after his kid moved back to Florida with his mom. Both actors did some amazing work here but Marcia Cross really knocked this scene out of the park, even if she was dressed like Catwoman for the last half of the episode.
Saying a different kind of farewell this week was Gabby (Eva Longoria). On the advice of her therapist she travels back to her hometown to stand over her stepfather’s grave and tell him how she feels about the abuse. She is surprised to find out that she is quite the local celebrity and a role model to everyone there. This lifts her spirits but an encounter with a creepy nun makes her realize that maybe her anger isn’t directed at her stepfather at all. Instead she confronts the woman who called her a liar and made her feel ashamed for being abused, saying goodbye to her guilt. I wasn’t sure what to think of Gabby’s mental break and doll fetish but I’ll admit that this little trip to her hometown really got me engaged with her again. I do think that Eva Longoria played it all a bit cold. I really wanted to see a breakdown from her when she let go of all this. Latin women are notoriously emotional and I didn’t buy that she kept it as together as she did. It was still a great scene.
Guilt is also an issue for Beth Young (Emily Bergl) who still does not know that her husband Paul (Mark Moses) knows she is Felicia Tillman’s daughter. Paul has been busy with his son Zach (Cody Kasch) who is on drugs and tried to kill him. With Mike’s help the two take Zach to rehab, but not before Zach gives Paul an earful, blaming him for his mother’s suicide. Hearing it from his son seems to hit Paul hard and when he gets home he kicks poor whimpering Beth out in the street. He makes sure to return her gun to her too which I suspect will become important later on.
Which brings me to Susan (Teri Hatcher) who said farewell too this week…to her dignity. After managing to get out of a ticket by telling the officer she is on her way to dialysis she decides to see what else she can get by playing the disease card. Renee (Vanessa Williams) is on board with this and the two try to use her ailment to get a good table a hot restaurant. This backfires spectacularly and before Susan can even try to be embarassed she collapses on the floor, no doubt due to kidney failure and I’m sure she will be near death again.
To be fair I don’t hate Susan. I enjoy her clumsy charm and her penchant for getting herself into silly situations. What I hate is what the writers have done to her this year. She has almost become a joke. I shouldn’t be “amused” by this kidney storyline. I should feel concern for her. Instead I’m completely detached and wondering what will ridiculous thing will happen to her next. Something isn’t right! I wouldn’t be at all surprised if while she’s on the operating table and prepped for a kidney transplant a mental patient takes the ER hostage and threatens to blow the place up by placing a bomb in the same cooler than contains Susan’s kidney. And I still think they are wasting Vanessa Williams.
In two weeks the ghost of Mary Alice tells us that another housewife is about to take her own life. Who will it be? Rumors have swirled for a while that one of the main cast is being killed off but I honestly can’t imagine who it might be. No one seems especially suicidal to me right now and I swear if they kill Renee then I’m throwing my television out the window and watching reruns of Knots Landing for the next year.
Tune in to ABC in two weeks to find out what happens.