‘Desperate Housewives’: A Shocking Death on Wisteria Lane

by | March 12, 2012 at 7:19 AM | Desperate Housewives, Recap

James Denton and Teri Hatcher on Desperate Housewives (ABC)

Desperate Housewives” killed off a beloved character. It would have ranked as one of this television season’s biggest shockers had it not been spoiled in a most unusual fashion: the death scene was mentioned in testimony during the wrongful termination lawsuit that pitted the show’s former star, Nicolette Sheridan, versus its creator, Marc Cherry.

The episode began with Mary Alice (Brenda Strong) voicing over that someone on Wisteria Lane was about to die. The obvious suspect was Karen (Kathryn Joosten), who was diagnosed with terminal cancer in the previous episode. Hoping to avoid pain and suffering, she decided this week that she wanted to end her life, and attempted to enlist Bree (Marcia Cross) to help her. Bree, citing her own suicidal moment, persuaded her to make the most of the time she had left.

Juanita (Madison De La Garza) and Carlos (Ricardo Chavira) also found themselves in a potentially life threatening situation when the child got stuck on the roof and Carlos had to help her to safety. Both made it off the roof unscathed.

So who died? If you managed to avoid spoilers, watch the clip and find out.

As Mary Alice would say: Yes. It was Mike (James Denton) who did not survive the episode. Last week, he beat up a mob-affiliated loan shark who came after Ben (Charles Mesure). This week, the mobster wanted revenge. Susan (Teri Hatcher) was concerned that Mike had started carrying a gun for his own protection. In their beautifully written final scene, he revealed why he was always willing to take risks to help other people. When he was a child, he was unable to protect his mother from his physically abusive father. Once he grew up, he decided to protect everyone. In a moment that screamed tragic foreshadowing at the top of its lungs, he told Susan that he was concerned that because of his stoic nature she did not realize how much he loves her. Seconds later, a mob sniper rolled up in front of the house to commit Wisteria Lane’s first drive-by shooting. In a final selfless act, Mike pushed Susan to safety and was shot in the chest. In his final moments, as his life flashed before his eyes, he remembered his life with Susan. Killing off half of the show’s signature couple weeks before the series finale was a surprising, audacious decision, reminiscent of the show’s earlier, darker seasons.

It seems that the final weeks of DH will be must-see television. Let’s hope that any remaining unexpected twists do not become a matter of public record before the episodes air.