TV Recap

The Menopause Button

On the season premiere of ''Desperate Housewives,'' new neighbors move in, and the husband has shocking news for Susan; plus, Bree and Lynette hide their conditions

A REAL CHANGE OF LIFE Susan is confronting middle-aged mommyhood
A REAL CHANGE OF LIFE Susan is confronting middle-aged mommyhood

The season premiere of ''Desperate Housewives''

Greetings, TV Watchers. Hard to believe but we're already talking about the fourth season premiere of Desperate Housewives. It seems like only yesterday Alfre Woodard was hiding her mentally challenged son in the basement. Ah, memories! Hopefully this season will be a little more consistent in its quality, although last year definitely had its moments. (Find a way to bring back Dixie Carter!)

So, let's start with the not-so-surprising revelation that Edie did not kill herself. Shocker. Turns out Edie was just trying to manipulate Carlos into staying with her. (Isn't it romantic?) When did Edie become so crazy and obsessive by the way? She used to be funny and sexy, but now she's just a big loon.

Sadly for Carlos, this meant that he couldn't run off with Gabrielle. But the two did begin a nice little affair. Aside from that, Gabby didn't have much to do in this episode. Hopefully, she'll get a little more action in the future.

I don't think there is a less interesting couple on television than Mike and Susan. Susan's quirks were cute in the first season, but now they've just gotten obnoxious. Her story line in this episode was pretty lame, starting with a menopause scare. Which meant there was a lot of Weepy Susan. Ugh. Also, I never want the image of Teri Hatcher in stirrups to be used again. Ultimately, the menopause diagnosis was just a mistake, courtesy of her new neighbor Dr. Mayfair (Nathan Fillion), and Susan is actually pregnant. I think I would have preferred menopause.

Not surprisingly, the best parts of the episode were courtesy of Bree (Marcia Cross, who was sorely missed last season when she had to take a break because of her real-life pregnancy). Bree is currently pretending to be pregnant so that when daughter Danielle gives birth, they can raise the child as Bree's. As she explained her decision to son Andrew, ''This family's reputation is already hanging by a thread. First people thought that your stepfather was a wife killer. Then, your sister takes up with her history teacher. And now we're supposed to parade the little bastard up and down the street. We might as well sit on the porch and play banjos.'' Doesn't that beat watching Susan cry?

Also keeping some secrets was Lynette. Now, is it me, or does no one else buy it that she would try to hide her cancer? First of all, that wig is heinous; all those catty ladies on the block would immediately recognize that something was amiss with that hairdo. Second, these are her best friends! Why not tell them? Doesn't she want to be able to share this with them? I don't know. Lynette has always been so brave and blunt. This feels like a cop-out and just an excuse for drama. Thankfully, the charade didn't last long, and Lynette revealed her bald head to the ladies. Despite the implausibility of the setup, that scene was one of the best of the episode.

Speaking of drama, Wisteria Lane got some new residents. Katherine Mayfair (Dana Delany) actually turns out to be an old WL alum. She and Susan were friends when Katherine lived in the hood 12 years ago. Now for a confession: I have never liked Delany as an actress. I think it's my unresolved anger from sitting through Exit to Eden. But she actually seems perfect for this role and looks to be a choice adversary for Bree. And I'm genuinely intrigued as to what the big mystery is surrounding her family. Why doesn't her daughter remember anyone from Wisteria Lane? And why did Katherine depart so abruptly 12 years ago? Let's just hope that she didn't leave town because of a murderous, mentally challenged son she's hidden in the basement.

What do you think? Are you setting your DVR for the full season or dropping the show? Are you intrigued by the new mystery? And are you looking forward to or dreading the arrival of two Wisteria Lane babies?

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Originally posted Oct 01, 2007