TV Article

Murder on the Disorient Express

Sex, death, and automobiles on ''Desperate Housewives'': Bree goes parking, Susan hooks up, Lynette breaks down, Mrs. Huber goes bye-bye, and the audience goes, ''Huh?''

Teri Hatcher | PLUMBER'S HELPER Susan and Mike finally take the plunge
Image credit: Desperate Housewives: Bob D'Amico
PLUMBER'S HELPER Susan and Mike finally take the plunge

''Desperate Housewives'': Sex, death, and automobiles

Great episode. Okay, so maybe Gabrielle's ''We’re not renegotiating my uterus'' is no match for Bree's ''Rex cries when he ejaculates'' in terms of unexpected outbursts in already awkward group scenes on this show, but let's be honest — nothing would ever top that.

Speaking of things that would never happen, there were plenty of ''huh?'' moments last night. Like when Bree, Susan, and Lynette take it upon themselves to clean up the crime scene after Juanita's car accident. Don't trained professionals usually handle stuff like that? But then I realized that this scene is actually a metaphor: The highest-rated new show, Desperate Housewives is showing that it's ready to take on the current ratings champ, CSI.

In another highly unlikely yet equally hilarious moment, John the gardener offers to go to the hospital chapel with Carlos to pray for Carlos' mother, Juanita. Oh, Gabrielle. You so thought you'd get a little nookie while Carlos slipped away, but then your Abstinence Club teenage hottie decides to cuddle up with Christ instead.

Then there's creepy Mike ''My Dirty Fake Plumber's Arms Look Like Marble Fudge Swirl Ice Cream'' Delfino, who for some reason decides to let Susan into his house alone, despite her propensity for disaster and his secrets. Susan characteristically crashes through Mike's bathroom floor and gets her own ''huh?'' credit by managing to dangle effortlessly for what appears to be hours but never quite muster up the strength to get herself out. Marble Fudge comes back to find Susan, a dead bird, and his hidden cash in an uncompromising position. He's all ''Oh, no, you di-iiiint'' and she's all ''Wait! Your marble fudge arms are so hot. I can explain!'' and he's all ''Yeah, they really are. But get out. Now.''

But the best would-never-happen moment involves Bree and Rex rooting for someone in the ''less than desirable'' part of town to steal their drunk driver son Andrew's new convertible. With her '50s-style scarf and trench coat, Bree plays the film noir femme fatale to the max as she runs stealthily into a dark alley and into the car of a tall, dark and handsome man (who cries when he ejaculates). After Rex asks how Bree's so certain the car theft will work out, she utters this week's Best Bree Line: ''Because. I have faith in the poor.'' (Brightly announcing, ''We're having pancakes for breakfast,'' after outlining the car plan to her incredulous family is a close second.)

''Huh?'' moments aside, the episode revealed a lot more about certain characters. Gabrielle really might have neither a heart nor a conscience. She denies feeling guilty about her affair or Juanita's accident when prompted by the gardener and the priest (I feel like there also should have been a butcher, a baker, and a candlestick maker) and assumes it'll be okay if she just repents later, like, when she's 75. It's getting hard to root for her these days. Then again, at times, Gabrielle's childish attitude doesn't seem too far off the mark. When Father Crowley asks her, ''Don't you want to be a good person?'' she replies, ''I just want to be happy.'' Sounds pretty smart to me.

Poor Lynette's certainly not happy. From (dare I say . . .) desperately yanking out her acupuncture needles to raging through an herb-and-Ritalin-induced dream sequence, Felicity Huffman acts the hell out of this episode. And even though the soccer-mom sobfest (conveniently held on a soccer field) seemed more Lifetime than prime time, I turned on the waterworks as soon as Lynette turned on hers. She's just damn good.

And oh yeah! One of their own . . . is . . . murdered. If you consider the neighbor no one likes to be one of their own, sure. After consulting a private investigator (Shaft!) for most of the show, Paul decides to whack Ms. Huber himself with — get this — his wife's old blender. Burn! I almost didn't even remember the murder because it played in little spurts, combined with footage of the more exciting hookup between Susan and Marble Fudge. Was it just me, or was the theme here Wedding Rings vs. No Wedding Rings? Wedding Ring hands strangling and fighting each other off, No Wedding Ring hands pressed up against a wall in a fit of neighborly passion.

Never mind the poetic justice via blender. After a barely clad Edie called out Ms. Huber on the purple stationery, the older woman was obviously a goner. Duh. Besides, let's be honest: She wouldn't be as effective as Nicolette Sheridan in the men's locker room during Monday Night Football.

What do you think? Was Mrs. Huber's death a cheat? What exactly did she know, and will we ever find out? And can Susan and Mike's rocky ''relationship'' last?

Originally posted Nov 29, 2004
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