‘Desperate Housewives‘ season premieres always lay out the season-long arcs: the annual villain, the new romances, the scandals. A couple years ago, the show jumped forward four years. This season’s key storylines revisit the show’s earlier, most successful, seasons.
Paul Young, (Mark Moses) Mary Alice’s husband, returned to Wisteria Lane in the season finale. Last night’s episode revealed that when Felicia Tillman was picked up for speeding, her whole fake death scheme unraveled and Paul, who was in prison for killing her, was freed. That doesn’t make a lot of sense. Wouldn’t she have had fake ID? It’s not like the police do a DNA test or even fingerprints for routine traffic stops. But it’s hardly this show’s most improbable plot point.
Paul’s miffed that everyone abandoned him when he was arrested. He does have a point given that Carlos, Orson and Mike have all spent time in prison. Wisteria Lane should be designated a halfway house. Felicia tells her cellmate that he will be dead in six months because she has friends on Wisteria Lane. Paul plots to buy his old house, which is part of his mysterious plan. This would be a great story if the show had better continuity. Paul and Felicia have not been mentioned in years. Does anyone remember Felicia’s quest to avenger her sister’s death? Still, this is a much better villain that we have had for the past two seasons.
In another blast from the past, Bree (Marcia Cross) tells Gabi (Eva Longoria Parker) that Andrew ran over Carlos’s mother back in season one. Gabi wishes that she had never known and ultimately decides not to tell Carlos because the news will only upset him. In last season’s finale, the audience learned that the hospital switched a couple of babies years ago. It turns out that Juanita is not Gabi and Carlos’s biological child. Carlos, who has shaved his facial hair and looks like a completely different person, learns the truth and decides not to tell Gabi because he knows it would hurt her. How much do you want to bet that their biological child is a glamorous mini-Gabi?
Lynette’s (Felocity Huffman) college friend Renee, played by Vanessa Williams, comes to visit. Renee is the glamorous wife of a professional baseball player. They have an uncomfortably combative relationship, with Renee taking potshots about Lynette’s appearance and lifestyle and Lynette giving as good as she gets. Her remarks about Lynette settling for being a suburban housewife when she used to be ambitious and fearless hit home. This would more interesting if it had not been Lynette’s arc every single season of the show. Renee confides to Lynette that her husband Doug is leaving her for a younger woman. It looks like she may attempt to have an affair with Tom to bolster her self-esteem.
Susan, Mike and MJ move into their new, perfectly nice apartment. MJ asks if they’re poor because. The set decorator should have made things look a lot different if these two are in dire straits. Susan bonds with her landlady who attempts to recruit her for a webcam site featuring women in lingerie doing housework. It’s hard to believe that something so g-rated by internet standards could be profitable. Susan’s moneymaking plan is to sell ugly jewelry. Shouldn’t Susan the artist have better taste? Mike considers taking a job on an oil rig in Alaska to solve their financial problems. So Susan, who was scandalized about inheriting a strip club last season, goes to work for the sexy maids website.
Orson finally moves out of Bree’s house. She hires Brian Austin Green to repaint her living room. He seems primed for some rich MILF action. It’s official: B.A.G. has finally shed the stigma of David Silver.
This is a better debut than last season’s but bringing back Paul serves as a reminder of how far the show has fallen from the glory days of season one.