The Butler Did It
‘Desperate Housewives’ finally revealed who has been stalking the women of Fairview. It’s Eddie (Joshua Zuckerman)! Wait, who? You know. The dorky teenage boy with the long dark hair. He was friends with Danny and had a full half dozen lines in a few episodes. He seemed like a purely comic relief character, who awkwardly flirted with girls, performed a terrible stand up comedy act at an open mic night, and had Susan (Terri Hatcher) drop a car on his chest.
I will admit that I was surprised when, after being rejected by Preston Scavo’s (Max Carver) jilted fiance Irina (Helena Mattsson), Eddie snapped and killed her, burying her body in the woods. He was a peripheral character, and had no discernible motivations, so there was no reason to suspect him. So, well done DH writers for pulling off the suburban equivalent of “The butler did it.” On the other hand, so what? Revealing that a character nobody gives a damn about is a killer has little emotional impact. The victim viewers cared about, Julie (Andrea Bowen), is no longer in town. The barista he killed was just a guest star. The storyline had dropped out of prior episodes so that Eddie may escalate his attacks and hurt one of the main characters, but viewers know he will not succeed at killing any of the housewives. If, say, Tom or Orson were the killer, it would have tremendous repercussions for the major characters.
‘Desperate Housewives’ has a history of minimizing its big events and mysteries by having them focus on minor characters. If the show promises the audience a tornado or plane crash will forever change Wisteria Lane, it should do more than kill someone that appeared in a couple of episodes. Last year’s season-long villain set out to destroy Mike (James Denton) and Susan, resulting in about half an hour of anxiety for them. What was the point? The constant bait and switch may be why the once red hot show is getting its butt kicked by feel-good reality series ‘Undercover Boss.’ In fact, Sunday’s reveal was the series’ lowest rated original episode ever.
According to Mary Alice herself, Brenda Strong, Eddie was always supposed to be the killer, and the whole mystery was carefully crafted. “Once you know what you know, if you go back to episode one of this season, and re-watch everything [leading up to the reveal], you’ll find all the strings and the seeds that were planted. You’ll see them and you’ll go, oh! That was a clue!”
I have examined the evidence to see if she was right. This project would have been easier if ABC has thoughtfully posted all of the relevant clips on-line this morning so everyone could play detective. I guess the network assumed few people would be motivated to check. I had to rely on recaps, which paid little attention to Eddie since he did not seem important. As far as I can determine, Eddie has (so far) appeared in:
Episode #603 (Never Judge A Lady By Her Lover)
This is two episodes after Julie was attacked, so Eddie was not established as a potential suspect at the time of the assault. Eddie is introduced as Danny’s friend from high school. He has a conversation with Angie about the fact that Mary Alice killed herself in Angie’s house. Eddie asks Danny to take a look at the brakes on his car — a seeming set up for a suspicious Susan to trap Danny under his car. Retrospective clues: Eddie seems interested in death and Mary Alice, and may have done something that messed up his car.
Episode #604 (The God Why Don’t You Love Me Blues)
Eddie attends the party Angie pays Porter to throw for Danny. Does he get rejected by a woman? I don’t remember and no recaps mention him,so I’ll assume not. Retrospective clues: None. Though is it suspicious that Eddie is the outcast Danny’s only real friend?
#609 ( Would I Think of Suicide? )
Eddie is revealed to work at the Coffee Cup, with the murdered barista. He tells Ana and Danny that he is glad he was late for work because he could not have handled finding the body.We learn the barista’s killer wore brown shoes and dropped a gum wrapper as he strangled her. She warmly asked him if he forgot something before he attacked her. Retrospective clues: Eddie must have been the person that Emily rejected by phone in the prior episode. He was deliberately late to avoid any involvement with the crime scene.
#612 (You Gotta Get A Gimmick)
Eddie performs stand up comedy at open mic night. Danny persuades Julie to join him for an evening of bad comedy. Eddie and Julie’s only interaction is Julie politely telling him she had no idea there were so many differences between cats and dogs. Julie leaves town. Retrospective Clues: Eddie lacks the social awareness to realize he is not funny. Yeah, that’s a stretch.
#616 (The Chase)
Danny leaves a note that he went camping with Eddie when he actually went to New York with Ana. When Angie confronts Eddie, he admits that Nick is in New York. Retrospective clues: Eddie crumbled in the presence of a strong woman, but any teenage boy would be afraid of Angie.
#619 (We All Deserve To Die)
Eddie kills Irina after she tells him he is not good enough to date her. Left unexplained is why the equally broke Preston Scavo was worth marrying or why Eddie was Preston’s best man instead of his twin brother Porter. I guess Irina had a thing for red heads.
Next week’s ‘Desperate Housewives’ will be a flashback laden episode in the tradition of Beau Bridges the Handyman that is supposed to reveal how all of Eddie’s interactions with the residents of Fairview turned him into a deranged killer. I’m betting on a connection to the Young family and an explanation for the chewing gum at the murder scene. I desperately hope that there will be an actually shocking connection to the core characters that will make this mystery worthwhile.