"Children and Art" is the 55th episode of Desperate Housewives.
Austin and Julie have begun a relationship. Susan is concerned and gets Karl’s help to set limits for Austin and Julie but Karl is much more concerned with Susan’s relationship with Ian, and decides not to help. Austin and Julie both end up on the back of Austin’s motorcycle much to Susan’s dismay. Later, Susan is staring out the window when Julie asks her mother why, after sixteen years of good judgment on Julie's part, she can't trust her now with Austin. Susan tells her that relationships have nothing to do with good judgment and that anyone can still get hurt. After Susan leaves, Julie lifts the curtain where Susan had been standing to see that she had been staring wistfully at Edie and Mike kissing passionately.
Kayla is temporarily staying with Nora’s mother. Parker is very protective of Lynette because of her being shot in the arm at the store, and he won’t let her go to the supermarket. Lynette attempts to show him that she is okay when she is away from him by getting Art to pretend he’s a superhero. Lynette brings a cake to Art’s house who’s not home. The door is open so she leaves it on the table. Parker sees Art’s model train set and follows it into the basement. Art’s basement is full of arcade games, Lynette is impressed until she sees the back wall is plastered with numerous photographs of young boys without shirts (although earlier in the episode it was revealed that Art does coach swimming).
Bree asks Orson what his mother’s address is so she can put her on her Christmas card list. Orson tells Bree that she lives in a nursing home in Lakeview, a town 30 minutes away. He says that she’s suffering from dementia and that he doesn’t want to see her in that state. Bree travels to Lakeview to visit Gloria (Orson’s mother) and discovers that she is perfectly fine. She brings her back to her home for dinner. Gloria tells Orson she wants to go back home but Orson tells her that he’s sold her house, her car and all of her things. Orson calls for an ambulette to take Gloria back to the home but she steals it and crashes it into a fire hydrant. Bree offers to let Gloria stay in their house for a few weeks. Gloria tells Orson that if he doesn’t agree with Bree and let her stay, she’ll tell Bree his secret.
Carlos and Gabrielle are divorced. An 11-year-old girl, Anne Marie, tries to sell magazine subscriptions and sees a picture of Gabrielle on Vogue. She asks Gabrielle why she abandoned the profession. Gabrielle wonders why too, and then goes back into modeling. She is surprised to learn that she will be dressed up as the mom of a sexy teenage girl, Tanya. Her agent tells her that she had to pull strings to get Gaby the job. Gaby, looking upset, does the shoot and then quits.
Mike is discharged from the hospital. Edie cleans his house and discovers Karen McCluskey has been stealing his lawn mower. Mike is still the suspect of Monique’s murder. Detective Ridley gets a warrant to search his house. He is looking for Mike’s toolbox, which he can’t find. Later, Mrs. McCluskey gives the toolbox back to Mike and tells him to clean his wrench. Karen was hiding it as a thank you for Mike saving her life.
- Although credited, Ricardo Antonio Chavira does not appear in this episode.
- This is the only season 3 appearance that Karl Mayer (Richard Burgi) makes.
- This is Alberta Fromme's (Betty Murphy) last appearance in the show.
- The episode title, Children and Art is taken from a song from the Stephen Sondheim musical, Sunday in the Park with George."