After the successful five-year jump in Season 5, Desperate Housewives Season 6 carries on the great momentum with great dialogue, comedy, drama and mystery. Warning, there will be spoilers following in this review.
Susan(Teri Hatcher) and Mike(James Denton) have been drawn back together after their lives were threatened in the Season 5 finale. As this season opens and the deceased Mary Alice(Brenda Strong) continues to watch the comings and goings on the street she once lived from her resting place, Mike and Susan are married again, and everyone is happy for them. Everyone except Katherine(Dana Delany), who feels jilted by Mike and can’t let go of the romantic time they had. As time goes on Katherine starts to crumble emotionally at the loss of Mike which leads to her experiencing a full on breakdown. Katherine is then sectioned and after much therapy, emerges again now over her personal demons, but also finds herself falling for someone unexpected. In Susan’s life, Julie(Andrea Bowen) has returned for a while but this take a terrifying turn when she is strangled by an unseen stranger. The blame points towards the new neighbours the Bolen’s; tough-talking Angie(Drea de Matteo), her suspicious husband Nick(Jeffrey Nordling) and their sullen teenage son Danny(Beau Mirchoff), who took an interest in Julie just before her attack. The Bolen’s are hiding a dark enough secret anyway which arouses suspicions on Wisteria Lane as the family tries to keep it under wraps. Yet Danny is cleared of the attack on Julie, which only sets everyone’s nerves on edge even more as the attacker is still out there. It is also revealed that Julie was having an affair with a married man, much to the shock of Susan who always saw her as responsible and sensible. In other stories we have Lynette(Felicity Huffman) contending with pregnancy and panicking that she won’t be able to take care of twins, when she already has four children to look after anyway. This doubt creeps into her work as she is offered a higher wage by Carlos(Ricardo Antonio Chavira), and she is left in a spin over what to do as she shields her pregnancy from everyone and Tom(Doug Savant) tries to help her make a decision. Ultimately, the secret pills out and causes problems for the friendship between Lynette and Gabrielle(Eva Longoria). Bree(Marcia Cross), whose marriage to Orson(Kyle MacLachlan) is on shaky ground, has begun an affair with her divorce lawyer and Susan’s ex Karl(Richard Burgi) and become a little more wild that her usually prim self. Orson is trying to win Bree back, but so far all his attempts including blackmail, have failed. Yet a tragic incident ends the affair with Karl’s death and Bree contemplating what to do with a paralyzed Orson. Gabrielle and Carlos have taken in Ana(Maiara Walsh), Carlos’s niece who stirs up trouble with her outrageous ways and snotty attitude. This leads to Gabrielle and her coming head on with each other and Ana attempting to worm her way out of trouble by putting on an innocent act. And with the mysterious Bolen’s providing mystery and the aforementioned devastating event that shakes people’s lives(and of which I will talk about in greater detail later in the review), it’s once more an exceptional season of scandal, mystery and enduring entertainment.
Season 6 provides a compelling double mystery that is kept together and made very suspenseful. The main mystery is the Bolen family and their past, as we observe that their on the run from something and have changed names numerous times. The mystery of them is very gripping and keeps you guessing as little by little, parts of their past threaten to expose them. The other mystery, which is equally as good, is of The Fairview Strangler. The reign of terror he brings is very creepy as observed with his attack on Julie and then murder of a waitress. There is something very sad when we view the back story of the attacker that gives a melancholy slant on the reasons for the crimes, but also makes it very uneasy. It all gets very dark and this is what I’ve always loved about Desperate Housewives; the fact that it isn’t afraid to be both light and amusing, while on the other hand having creepy darkness underneath it all.
The drama is of the highest order once more, with an especially moving two episodes that examine the fallout of tragedy. The incident is when a plane crashes onto the street after spinning out of control during the Christmas festivities and devastates those in the way. Karl dies from injuries sustained which makes Bree ask about her choices as Orson is paralyzed from it as well. The following episode is one of the strongest dramatically as the ladies dream about what directions their lives may have taken if they’d made different decisions or what fate is dealing them. Lynette’s arc is the strongest as she goes in for surgery after sustaining injuries rescuing Gabrielle’s daughter that may have hurt one of her unborn children. In her dream, she sees what may have happened if her child was born disabled and it is honestly such a moving part of the story as she teaches him what he can achieve despite his disability. The episode is given a further emotional depth when Lynette wakes up and discovers that one of her twins has died, but one is still alive. If you don’t cry observing her reaction to the news, you don’t have a heart. Credit throughout the seasons must also go to the writers for pushing the fracturing and healing relationships between the women that provide the show with pathos. They may all have conflict with one another, but thankfully their friendships provide beacons of support that can’t be erased. And let us not forget the wit that pervades the show which is as razor-sharp and hysterical as ever. I think it’s safe to say that Season 6 is a definite highlight in the show’s run so far.
The wonderful cast is once again on the ball with some spot on performances. Marcia Cross delivers another fantastic performance as Bree, who has to grapple with an affair, loss and rekindling her love with Orson. Cross is on great form again, shading Bree with a quiet uncertainty belied by her organised exterior. It’s also good to see Bree let her hair down a bit, especially in her affair as she throws caution to the wind and doesn’t think of the fallout. Teri Hatcher shows her great flair for comedy and drama portraying Susan, who gets some really great lines this season and she delivers them with aplomb. Felicity Huffman excels this season bringing Lynette emotional resonance, underlying sadness and sarcastic humour. I got to say that Huffman is so reliable at bringing Lynette to life with her talent that it is very authentic to watch her. Eva Longoria is suitably sassy and catty as the fabulous Gabrielle, who underneath has a vulnerability and goodness that is glimpsed by her friends. I liked how this season looks at her as a mother and how she wants her children to have everything she didn’t growing up. Sure Gabrielle has been self-centered in the past and sometimes veers into this again, but she has now become a loving mother and all-round nicer woman. Dana Delany is sensational as Katherine. From her breakdown and recovery, to her discovery that she may be attracted to a woman, Delany owns every moment Katherine is on the screen. For a character that is usually a little buttoned up, it was great to see glimmers of sporadic difference as Katherine examines her sexuality and her feelings.
As the main source of mystery, Drea de Matteo is excellent as the feisty and earthy Angie. Cloaked in a tough, brassy demeanor that seems out-of-place in such a suburban place, de Matteo provides us with glimpses into her fear that her past will come back to haunt her if she isn’t careful. Jeffrey Nordling has that ability to inject a slight sense of distrust into characters and it is well shown here as Angie’s husband Nick. Beau Mirchoff may be underused as their son Danny, but he makes the most of what he’s got. Returning for a short but memorable stint as the randy Karl, Richard Burgi is hilarious in his macho way when he begins the affair with Bree. His death in the show is a great send off to a very amusing character, who I wish stuck around a lot longer. Maiara Walsh shines as the bratty, superficial Ana, who can get anything with a bat of her eyelashes. Her scenes with Eva Longoria are comedic highlights as they clash constantly. As the desperate Orson who not only wants to save his marriage but attempt to adjust to life in a wheelchair, Kyle MacLachlan exudes a sense of pathos and pity. Series regulars Doug Savant and Ricardo Antonio Chavira provide much comic relief throughout the show as Tom and Carlos. James Denton is on hand to provide some quiet drama as Mike, who is now married to Susan but hiding some of his money woes. Andrea Bowen appears once again as Julie for a small time, and provides us with fear as she is nearly killed by the strangler but luckily survives the ordeal. Brenda Strong lends her vocal talents to Mary Alice, with her eye for detail and sense of perception adding to the drama and mystery of the season.
- Nice Is Different Than Good – A
- Being Alive – A
- Never Judge a Lady by Her Lover – B+
- The God-Why-Don’t-You-Love-Me Blues – B
- Everybody Ought to Have a Maid – C
- Don’t Walk on the Grass – C+
- Careful the Things You Say – B
- The Coffee Cup – B+
- Would I Think of Suicide? – A
- Boom Crunch – A+
- If – A+
- You Gotta Get a Gimmick – B-
- How About a Friendly Shrink? – B
- The Glamorous Life – B+
- Lovely – A
- The Chase – D+
- Chromolume No. 7 – C-
- My Two Young Men – B+
- We All Deserve to Die – B+
- Epiphany – A
- A Little Night Music – B
- The Ballad of Booth – B
- I Guess This Is Goodbye – A
I’m happy to report that Desperate Housewives Season 6 is another triumph of mystery, dark humour and enviable drama.