Desperate Housewives ends after an eight season run
“Desperate Housewives” ended its eight year network broadcast run Sunday night with a focus on the circle of life -a wedding, a death, and a birth.
The last episode was divided into two separate hours. The year long plotline over the killing of Gaby Solis’s stepfather Alejandro (“Ugly Betty” co-star Tony Plana) finally was settled during part one. In a surprise twist, the dying Karen McCluskey (Kathryn Joosten) took the rap for Bree Van De Kamp (Marcia Cross) in court. Due to her age and declining health, Karen was not charged with the murder. The actual killer, Carlos Solis (Ricardo Chavira), wanted to confess in court that same morning as Karen. However, unbeknownst to him, Gaby (Eva Longoria) had placed a switchblade knife in her husband Carlos’s jacket the night before. So, security detected the knife, preventing Carlos from entering the courtroom But Karen saved the day, claiming she’s the one who killed Alejandro with a candlestick. This was Karen’s way of thanking Bree and the Wisteria Lane ladies for their help in tending to her in her last days.
Bree’s murder trial and “victory party” following her acquittal dominated the show’s first hour. Part two, the second hour, tied up several story lines. Karen passed away. Julie Mayer (Andrea Bowen) had her baby girl, fathered by Porter Scavo (Charlie Carver). Renee Perry (Vanessa Williams) and Ben Faulkner (Charles Measure) were married, although the wedding itself wasn’t shown on camera. Tom (Doug Savant) and Lynette (Felicity Huffman) Scavo reconciled, and Lynette received a surprise job offer from Katherine Mayfair (Dana Delany). The show finished with narrator Mary Alice Young updating the audience on what happened to the various Wisteria Lane residents in the future. Plus, a new resident, possessing a mysterious box, was seen moving into Susan Mayer’s former home.
Comic relief came in the second hour as Renee was in a limo, traveling to her wedding. She was joined for the ride by Susan,a heavily pregnant Julie, and Gaby . On the drive to the church, inside the vehicle, Julie’s water broke all over Renee’s wedding dress. But instead of the hospital, Gaby directed the limo driver to go to Cumberly’s department store, where Renee could get a replacement gown. Gaby had been working as a personal shopper in the women’s department there in recent episodes. While Renee tried on a six thousand dollar wedding dress, and the limo driver inside the store, too, Susan ended up taking the wheel of the limo. She put the pedal to the medal, tires screeching, and was off to the hospital.. With their ride gone, Gabby and Renee were forced to head quickly to the church on foot. They received extra incentive to do so when Cumberly’s security alarm rang immediately after the duo had left the store. The dress’s anti theft ID tag hadn’t been removed.
A poignant moment during the episode came when Karen requested to Bree that Johnny Mathis’s 1957 hit, “Wonderful! Wonderful!” be played at her funeral, on “45 not CD”. Bree’s attorney Trip Weston (Scott Bakula) ended up finding the vinyl single, after checking “20 record stores”. In this day and age of downloads, I don’t know how he would have found 20 record stores, especially in the fictional Fairview. But, he did, and Karen’s husband Roy (Orson Bean) played the 45, complete with audio crackles and hiss, on an old record player as Karen passed away. Immediately after this finale “Desperate Housewives” episode ended, two-time lung cancer survivor Kathryn Joosten (Karen) did a PSA to raise awareness about the disease.
A nice touch at the end of the broadcast had several characters killed off from the program appear onscreen in small groups as Susan took one last drive around Wisteria Lane. Narrator Mary Alice Young (Brenda Strong) said “As Susan left her driveway, she had a feeling she was being watched”. We then saw the “ghosts” of her late husband Mike Delfino (James Denton), Karen, George the evil pharmacist (Roger Bart) from the show’s second season, George’s poisoned victim Rex Van De Kamp (Steven Culp), Carlos’s mother Juanita (Lupe Ontiveros), Paul Young’s second wife Beth (Emily Bergl), Mary Alice Young, and others. Conspicuous by her absence was Nicollette Sheridan (Edie Britt), involved in a wrongful termination suit against Cherry and Touchstone Television.Also missing was “Mad Men’s John Slattery, who played Gabby’s second husband, politician Victor Lang.
“Desperate Housewives” creator Marc Cherry wrote the script for the finale’s part two. He also appeared in a cameo role, ala Alfred Hitchcock, carrying a box of Susan’s bedroom items to a moving van.
One obvious plot development that didn’t happen in this episode was Julie Mayer having a baby boy, and naming him after her late stepfather, Mike Delfino. Also, Bree’s ex-husband, Orson (Kyle MacLachlan), never received his comeuppance for running over and killing her former boyfriend, Fairview Police Detective Chuck Vance.
While not a classic final episode such as M*A*S*H’s “Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen” or “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”’s “The Last Show”, this “Desperate Housewives” finale was still very entertaining. The residents of Wisteria Lane will be missed.
Individual Desperate Housewives Season Eight Episodes on Amazon Video
Desperate Housewives Season One DVD Box Set
Desperate Housewives Season Three Box Set
- Five classic U.S. TV shows still unavailable on home video
Since the advent of the VCR, classic TV fans have been able to buy home video copies of some of their favorite shows. However, many programs still remain unreleased on DVD and Blu-ray. Marshall Fish discusses five of them.