'Desperate Housewives': 'The Art of Making Art' recap
Published Oct 24 2011, 10:55 BST
By Catriona Wightman
So what was happening in Wisteria Lane this week? Well, let's start with the fab Gaby, who's finding out just how hard it is to be president of the PTA. Turns out that turning up late because of a cold hot stone massage (and complimentary seaweed wrap) is not a valid excuse.
Anyway, there's a teacher appreciation night to organise, but the women are annoyed now - and they're not going to play ball (seriously, it's like Mean Girls
or something). They're annoyed Gaby kept them waiting for 45 minutes - they've got busy lives, you know! - and they leave their new president to organise everything by herself.
When Gaby gets home, she finds Carlos terrified to go into the living room where he, you know, killed Alejandro and stuff. But that's not as important as how terrible her day was, so she takes him into the kitchen and offloads onto him. Carlos refuses a drink, saying he's been having a lot lately, but even this doesn't ring alarm bells for Gaby. She's more concerned with thinking that the PTA is jealous of her and bustles off, leaving Carlos staring at a bottle of scotch.
Anyway, Gaby calls the PTA girls to a meeting - she's arranged free hair, beauty and nail treatments for them all. Of course, she manages to make this unbelievably patronising - especially when she announces that she's off to book a hotel in the South of France, but of course they'd know nothing about that. The women agree to help with the appreciation evening - only to whisper behind her back that they'll do no such thing.
Meanwhile, Carlos is hoping to talk to Susan but Mike stops him and basically bans him from chatting to his wife about the killing. Mike worries that though chatting helps Carlos, it doesn't help Susan. He's actually a little harsh about the whole thing. I wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of Mike...
Of course, Gaby is unaware of all this because she's busy with her presidential duties. Unfortunately, when she arrives at school she discovers the women haven't been helping at all. They explain that she's out of touch - she lives in a perfect little fairytale. Gaby decides she doesn't need them anyway and calls Carlos to ask for help (calling the others "beeyatches" loudly. I love Gaby.) Carlos agrees to stop by, but when he hangs up it's clear he's drunk. He's wearing a hoodie
, for goodness sake.
I was expecting Carlos to have a car accident, but he does make it to the school - and promptly falls over and knocks the chairs everywhere. As the women watch on, Gaby is humiliated and begs him to leave. And then the PTA mean girl ringleader decides that actually they should help with the evening and urges Gaby to take care of her husband. See, if you have problems you CAN be their friends! Gaby even ends up pouring alcohol down the sink, which I'm guessing is a wrench for her.
Elsewhere, Tom and Lynette are having couples' counselling, but it's not exactly going too well. For one thing, Lynette still sorts the credit card bills, and can see Tom's fancy dates. Their therapist thinks they're struggling because they haven't set any goals - did they break up for good, or to get back together? She asks if they've had sex with other people, and Tom says: "Not yet". OUCH.
Naturally, this is not good news for Lynette, who thinks he's basically breaking up with her for good. Tom, though, says he wants to make it work - but if someone else could make them happier they should pursue that. Lynette's feeling in a childish mood though and storms out, announcing that she's going to let her new boyfriend do things she wouldn't let Tom do. Miaow.
Later, Renee walks in on Lynette as she's setting up her dating profile, but her introductory video is a nightmare (she links her astrological sign cancer to her beating breast cancer. Seriously.) Renee decides to take her out, explaining that Ben cancelled her date to work on some real estate development for the poor (how inconsiderate of him).
And then Renee swans right out again, pausing only to tell Lynette to lay off the ice cream. What a friend. (Mind you, I'm intrigued by Renee's descriptions of various kinds of porn - "cinnamon cakes" and "poodling" particularly. I probably, like Lynette, don't want to know.)
When the pair go out, Lynette starts fretting about how depressing it is that she managed to find a good guy among the losers, and now she's right back at the beginning again. Unfortunately, Renee agrees with her and decides to give Ben a second chance despite him cancelling their date. She leaves, meaning that Lynette is all alone in the bar.
This means Lynette gets approached by a range of unsuitable men - she babbles about her life to a man who introduces himself by saying: "Hello, I'm Phil and you're beautiful." I mean, really, Lynette. He's not worth the effort. It takes a man with a light-up tie and one of Porter and Preston's childhood friends to talk to her before she finally thinks it's a good idea to leave.
She hands her card to the valet - unfortunately, he's not the valet. As they chat about the hilarious awkward misunderstanding, it becomes clear that the guy - Scott - is actually in Lynette's position and just as nervous about hopping aboard the dating train again. But they get on well, and decide to go back inside the bar to continue chatting.
Well, Scott seems like one smooth mover because he gets Lynette back to his apartment for juice. Then he comes over all shy, but Lynette solves the problem by lunging at him and kissing him. Nice move. It works, but when Scott heads to the bedroom Lynette notices that she's wearing her wedding ring.
She struggles to take it off, but eventually it flings away and lands in the shag carpet. Scott returns and helps her look for it, but by then the moment's gone and he's just got a woman crying on his floor about how scary it would be to walk into his bedroom. He's remarkably lovely about the whole thing and Lynette leaves, tearfully. This was yet more heartbreaking stuff from Felicity Huffman, who's really had a lot of great moments this season.
For a bit of light relief we can turn to Susan, who's still struggling to get Andre Zeller to take her seriously in his art class. She doesn't help by whining about MJ to a fellow student whose father killed herself, mind you. Anyway, when Andre appears he announces that they're going to be working with light and shadow - and introduces a nude male model. Naturally, Susan can't stop herself giggling.Teri Hatcher
was great here, and this scene did raise some genuine smiles - everyone's been in the position when they know they shouldn't laugh but just can't help it. Unfortunately, Andre's not known for his sense of humour. In fact, he announces that real artists have to strip away their inhibitions - and for that, he wants them all to paint nude in the next class. Yikes. Susan's like the girl who gets the class extra homework.
Susan tries to prepare by cooking breakfast in the nude, but even in front of Mike she feels silly and suggests she should just quit the class. But Mike urges her not to as it's been helping her get out of her "dark place". Plus she shouldn't let Andre win. Inspired, Susan agrees to push on and when Lee knocks at the door she thinks it's the perfect opportunity. Unfortunately, when she flings open the door, Lee happens to be there with Bob's elderly mother. Oh dear. I don't know if this was an intentional reference to the season one episode where Susan gets locked out naked, but either way it was fun to remember that.
Susan eventually turns up to the class naked - and, of course, discovers that everyone else has had an email to say the idea had been cancelled. Susan takes this personally, deciding that Andre deliberately didn't send her a message, and complains that she will not be a "punching bag for an egomaniac with a paintbrush".
I do love Andre, who is fabulously deadpan and a great foil for Susan - particularly when he declares that in the vast landscape of his interesting life, Susan is merely a dust speck. But Susan is not so impressed and leaves (trying as best as she can to keep her dignity by covering herself with a canvas).
Andre ends up going to see Susan at home (which provides another opportunity for snide remarks about her home). He insists the missed message was nothing personal (it appears Susan failed to check her campus email, or even know that she had
Anyway, he announces that he'll continue to abuse her and scream at her to make her stop being so scared. In fact, he thinks she's hiding something (mm, what could that be?) and he wants to pull it out - there may be a chance that she can be an artist then. He's not nice
to her - he calls her a "bizarre car crash that somehow fascinates" him - but Susan appears ready to return to class.
Elsewhere, Reverend Sykes goes to see Bree as she hasn't been to church for a few days (mainly he's disappointed with the downturn in snack provision). But Bree hasn't been feeling very spiritual lately or like she's worthy of God's love (because of the whole murder thing), so Sykes suggests that she does some charity work to reconnect. In fact, Ben works with the homeless - why doesn't she get involved?
Bree agrees and goes with Ben - who's moaning about the city council's opposition to his low income housing - to the soup kitchen. But naturally Bree is not so impressed that the kitchen serves up ready made soup from a tin and decides to change things up a little by making a home made batch - beginning with squash bisque.
I have no idea where they get the money for all these posh ingredients, but that's not the big problem - the main one is that her new posh soups are attracting the wrong crowd. Basically, college students and other non-homeless chaps have turned up. Bree asks one to leave but when she discovers that he's writing a good review of her soup, she goes to get him a refill. Oh dear, Bree...
Eventually, Reverend Sykes has had enough and goes to visit Bree at the soup kitchen, explaining that the homeless people don't even feel comfortable there anymore. Bree is shocked - she just wanted to make it special - but Sykes explains that it already was as it was a home for them, and Bree's taken that away.
Bree is devastated and makes an impassioned speech, asking all the middle-class bohemians with fancy laptops and smartphones to leave. Ben's rather impressed by her oratory skills and, instead of being annoyed with her for messing it all up, asks her to help him talk to the city council about the low income housing project.
Bree agrees and delivers a great pitch, even getting applause from the council. Ben is chuffed and decides to take her to the construction site. But uh oh... it's only the woods where they buried Alejandro! I'm guessing that Bree's not as thrilled as Ben about the construction workers breaking ground on Tuesday...
So Desperate Housewives
delivered another fun episode with just enough emotional weight. It still feels like the murder side of things has taken a back seat, but hopefully with the construction development we'll see things kicking up a notch (similarly, Chuck was missing from this instalment, but after seeing that he's been handed the Alejandro case he must be coming into play soon, right?) What did you think?What did you think of the episode? Leave your comments below!