For years, Tom Scavo was “Desperate Housewives” resident beta male. His attitude changed when he landed a high-powered job and discovered he enjoyed being the boss at home, as well as at work. His strained marriage with his wife Lynette (Felicity Huffman) has brought a welcome dose of realism to the wacky world of Wisteria Lane. In the season finale, Tom and Lynette attempt to settle their issues once and for all.
Doug Savant, who plays Tom, previews the two-hour finale and explains why he misses being Mr. Nice Guy.
Tom and Lynette’s marriage is in trouble. What are they going to do to solve their problems in the finale?
Savant: They decide to take a weekend away from everyone else, get out of their house and go to a bed and breakfast to really examine and work on their marriage and try and find the seeds of the love they have had for nearly 20 years. They do come to some closure with one another on some of these issues. But it is not a tidy closure so this is something this couple is going to be dealing with.
Have you enjoyed playing the new take charge, big boss Tom?
Savant: I love my job, so I’ve enjoyed all the work. But I’ll say this: [Tom and Lynette] are in conflict on the show. You go to work and you’re fighting all day and it’s exhausting, so that part hasn’t been as much fun as when you’re coming in and you’re doing silly scenes that bring you closer together. There’s always a nice, warm feeling at the end of the day. There’s been a lot of stress and strain on this relationship and you have to live that stress and strain on the set for hours on end. Tom’s in a new position and this relationship has evolved to a new place where he’s not going to accept what he used to. He is demanding greater input and respect and the dynamic has changed. There’s a struggle between these two, the roles that are written and unwritten have changed.
Why has Tom put up with Lynette’s often controlling behavior for all these years?
Savant: Because he loves her. He adores her. And she actually adores him. There was a beautifully written scene last season where Tom’s character says to Orson Bean, who plays Mr. McCluskey’s boyfriend, and he says, “How do you let her do those kind of things?” And he says, “Listen. I know Lynette. I know she had a terrible upbringing, a mother who was drunk all the time, and she has to be in control.” It makes her feel the most confident. So he allows her to do that because it’s his job to take care of her and he takes care of her by allowing her that position. I thought it was just a beautifully written scene where we get an insight into Tom. It’s a lot more wise than perhaps we had thought all along. He’s really grounded in his position. He loves this woman. I, Doug, the actor think that it’s a good marriage. In spite of their differences, in spite of all their conflicts, at the end of the day they have a profound love, a deep and abiding respect for one another.
What’s going to happen to the rest of the housewives in the finale?
Savant: The stories all hang on the idea that Susan’s (Teri Hatcher) going to be moving back to Wisteria Lane and a dinner is going to be thrown for her, a progressive dinner party that proceeds from one house to the nest. All the characters are present and things come to a head. Renee (Vanessa Williams) finds out that her ex-husband is getting married and that spins her off in a hysterical direction. There is the dark undertow that runs through “Desperate Housewives.” It’s shadowing Gabi (Eva Longoria) at the moment. Bree (Marcia Cross) is in a funny relationship with yet another man. Those things all coalesce at the dinner party to much hilarity and drama.
Is there going to be a big season-ending cliffhanger? Will it jump forward in time again?
Savant: Not that I’m aware of. The funny thing is, they don’t tell us a lot. I think that the writers were so proud of the season finale that they wrote that they started the work on season 8 in earnest assuming that we were coming back.
What would you like to happen to Tom next season?
Savant: There’s been so much strain and negativity in Tom’s life. I’d like to see Tom happy again. I want to see Lynette turn around and say, “I can’t imagine going through life without you. You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”
Your real life wife Laura Leighton is on “Pretty Little Liars.” Which town is crazier: Fairview or Rosemont?
Savant: Because I have more intimate knowledge of Fairview, I’ll say Fairview, but, boy, Rosemont is dark, just not as silly or nutty.