‘Desperate Housewives’ Finale: Murder Mystery Dinner Party

Desperate Housewives (ABC)

Desperate Housewives (ABC)

Desperate Housewives” ended its seventh season with a two hour finale. Oddly, the Paul Young drama that was this season’s central mystery wrapped up in the first hour. The second set up a cliffhanger of sorts, but the writers seemed to have lost interest in Wisteria Lane’s crime wave. The true highlight was the realistic, heartbreaking implosion of Lynette and Tom’s marriage, which seemed like part of a different show. Maybe this should be the bold new direction for the eighth season of DH.

Susan (Teri Hatcher) is arrested for poisoning Paul Young. Mike (James Denton) reveals that Felicia offered him ten grand to kill Paul months ago. Susan is upset  he didn’t tell her when it happened. People not sharing information with their significant others is a theme of the finale. Mike admits he considered offing Paul to solve their financial problems, but realized he was not a murderer. There is also going to be a lot of that going on in this episode. Mike tells Paul about Felicia’s attempted hit. They go to Felicia’s house only to find she has cleared out. Paul tells the police and the charges against Susan are magically dropped.

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Felicia returns, ties Paul up and orders him to confess to killing her sister. This would have been a better storyline in the third season when viewers remembered the details about Felicia and Martha. Susan sees Felicia and Paul and, showing rare logic for this show calls 911. There are sirens instantly. In another smart move, Susan has turned on MJ’s toy police car. The neighbors must love it when the kid plays with his incredibly loud toy. Paul, freed by Susan, strangles Felicia,but lets go when Susan tells him he is not a murderer. Felicia flees. Paul tells the police he murdered Martha because he wants to be an honest man. As Felicia is speeding out of town, Beth’s ashes get loose and blur her vision. She hits a truck, presumably dying. This convoluted storyline ends with a deux en machina.

Chuck (Jonathan Cake) the cop wants to wait until his divorce is final to have sex with Bree (Marcia Cross). Lee tells Bree that Chuck is gay. In a “Melrose Place” shout out, Bree hilariously points out that Lee claimed Tom was gay. Gay Matt and Crazy Kimberly ruled. Lee clarifies that he saw Chuck at a gay bar. Every viewer with a brain immediately assumes he was working undercover. Bree tricks Chuck into having a drink at Fairview’s Gay Stereotypes Bar, where everybody knows his name and they’re really glad he came. Chuck explains he went undercover to bust a drugdealing ring.

Chuck tells Bree his divorce will be final pending a final meeting with his wife, assuming she is in a good mood.  Bree goes to the boutique that she owns and buys a bunch of ugly clothes to make her happy. His wife predictably figures out who Bree is, and decides to demand Chuck give her the lake house, realizing that he will give up a lot so he can have sex with Bree. How can a cop afford a lake house? Is Chuck on the take? Chuck gives in. He and Bree have amazing sex.

Renee’s (Vanessa Williams) ex-husband remarries. She deals with the news by getting drunk and flirting with a bartender. Here’s hoping Vanessa Williams gets better material next year.

Tom and Lynette go to a B&B for the weekend to attempt to repair their relationship. The attempt to spend all their time with another couple to avoid being alone with each other. The couple grows tired of their bickering. Lynette accuses Tom of not trying. Tom pulls out her original engagement ring, which he has upgraded with a huge diamond. Lynette should be touched, but says she loves the way it was. He points out that she made jokes every time she showed it to somebody. Lynette seems to lack respect for her husband. That, not her need to be in control, strikes me as the real problem. Their storyline is so much better than the rest of the show. It’s like these scenes were lifted from a premium cable drama. Finally, Felicity Huffman has material worthy of her talent. Doug Savant more than holds her own with her.

In the second hour, they return home. Tom decides to move out. Lynette asks him to stay. He does, for a couple days, then leaves without telling her. That really is a lousy thing to do. He realizes it would be wrong to force Lynette to attend Susan’s bizarre welcome back to Wisteria Lane dinner party, that moves from house to house, without him. He seems ready to move back in permanently, but Lynette admits that deep down she was relieved he was gone. They separate. I hope their story continues to be written at this level next season. The newly powerful Tom dating Renee could be fascinating.

Gabi realizes that the creepy man who started following her in the penultimate episode is her presumed dead stepfather, who molested her. Situations like these are the reason restraining orders were invented. Instead, Gabi buys a gun. She tracks him down, points the gun at him and makes him admit that he raped her when she was fifteen. She can’t bring herself to kill him, so she orders him to leave town. Eva Longoria is pretty awesome in this scene. The stepdad returns the night of the dinner party. He tells Gabi she was a slut who deserved to be raped. The show could not club viewers over the head more that this man deserves to die. Speaking of clubbing him over the had, that’s exactly what Carlos (Ricardo Chavira) does when he spies him menacing Gabi through the living room window. This is the identical scenario to Susan and Paul in the first hour. So much for originality. Carlos hits him hard enough to kill him — or at least that’s what he assumes because he can’t find a pulse. The other wives arrive at their house for dessert and see the body. They realize that it will be hard to prove self-defense. So they hide the body in Gabi’s coffin shaped coffee table just before the rest of the block arrives for the party. Next year’s so-called mystery is “Shallow Grave” without the money.

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