"Farewell Letter" is the 149th episode of Desperate Housewives.
Lynette and Tom feel that it's time for twins Porter and Preston to move out on their own and learn how to become responsible adults... but the boys end up moving out to a pad that's a little too close to home. Meanwhile, as part of Gabrielle's therapy, she and Carlos pay a visit to her hometown to confront her past and discover that she has left a lasting impression on the town. Keith asks Bree to move to Florida with him to be closer to his son, whereas Susan uses her kidney ailment to garner special treatment in public places, and, after sending son Zach to rehab, Paul makes a decision about his life with Beth.
Lynette Scavo had lost a lot of sleep over the years. There had been 3 AM feedings... temperatures of 102... and late night pillow fights. But Lynette had never complained, because a mother is always on call.
Lynette is sleeping peacefully, but is woken up by one of her twins, who asks her if they have eggs, where do they keep them, and how does one make an omelet. Lynette comes downstairs, telling him it's easier if she just makes the omelets herself for the twins to eat, but is startled to see they've brought girls over, whom they met at a party. She calls the twins to the side, to tell them they can't do that, they can't bring girls home whenever they please, and finds out they've been doing that for moths.
Yes, Lynette Scavo had lost a lot of sleep over the years, and she was getting tired of it.
|Mary Alice Young|
The following morning, the twins come downstairs and are greeted by their parents, who don't look very happy. Tom hands them the classified ads, and Lynette warns them they have seven days to move out of the house. They are not happy to hear this, and Porter says they had promised him he could stay in the Scavo household until he graduated from college, but it seems as though they've changed their minds. The twins say they like it there, and Lynette replies that they are too spoiled in their own home, and thus they need to grow up and learn to be independent, and that's gonna start with them getting their own place. Porter asks how they're gonna pay for it, and Tom hints that they should get jobs. After they've left, Tom asks his wife if she think they're ready, and Lynette says she doesn't, but the twins are drifting through life and they need to push them in the right direction. Later, the twins set up the car and prepare to leave, with their parents showing their pride in them in the meantime. Lynette asks when they will be able to see the twins' new place, and is told to wait a few days so that they can set everything up. Lynette then takes a picture of them on her camera, and says she will treasure that memory forever. After they drive away, Lynette tells Tom she realizes this is a good move for them, but she misses them already. Tom embraces her, but is surprised to see the twins park by Mrs. McCluskey's house across the street. They get out of the car, and Karen comes out of her house, shouting to her husband that their new tenants have arrived. Tom and Lynette become less than happy to witness this, and the latter immediately deletes the picture she took from her camara. Lynette and Tom discuss the twins' current situation. Tom says what they did isn't exactly "leaving the nest", but Lynette is confident that a tough old lady like Karen McCluskey can whip their boys hard. However, soon afterwards, Karen calls her over the phone asking her how one prepares a Denver omelet, because the twins said the ones their mom makes are better than the ones Karen makes. Lynette says she'll be right over. In their household, the boys' girlfriends from the other night are there, sharing vapid stories. Karen says Lynette's there to share some recipes with her, and then she tells the boys she'll leave their clean clothes by the foot of their beds. Lynette is concerned that she's actually doing all that for them, but Karen says she doesn't mind it, having the boys over is a real treat for her and Roy. Lynette says the whole point of them moving out was for them to grow up, but it seems as though they just moved from her boob to Karen's. She calls her to a sidebar, saying they need to learn to be responsible, and Karen explains to her they've been the perfect tenants so far. Lynette uses the example of them bringing two girls overnight as an excuse to justify her complaints, but Karen indicates that the girls are great at helping Roy getting his juices flowing, which she then uses to her advantage. Lynette is creeped out by this. Later, Lynette visits the twins and brings them a big keg of beer to congratulate them for actually stepping out on their own. The twins say they can't drink so much beer by themselves, so Lynette suggests that they throw a big party for all their friends to come, so they can show them their new digs. Lynette is startled when Karen brings the boys to her house by their ears, after the party they've thrown got her house trashed with toilet paper on the outside. So she's returning them. Lynette keeps them from slacking off yet again, saying they'll be cleaning up McCluskey's home and checking the rental ads again. The twins aren't budging, though, and Lynette says she feels sorry for them, because they are too helpless. Porter and Preston then tell her she is responsible for that, because she was always too overprotective of them, and condescending. Everytime they tried to do something, Lynette always said it was easier and better if she did it herself. Lynette realizes they have a point, after all, she wanted them to stay kids for too long. She wanted them to have a childhood because she never did, having a crazy mother and needing to take care of her two younger sisters. Lynette will be more supportive from then on, and starts by teaching them how to make omelets.
Susan is driving to the hospital, sipping coffee, and talking on the phone. It appears as though her insurance only covers part of her dialysis treatment. She can't afford to pay for the rest of it herself, and she needs treatment three times a week. To avoid hitting a chipmunk along the way, she accidentally spills coffee on herself and becomes distracted, not making a full stop at a stop sign and getting pulled over by a police officer, who asks her to show him her license and registration. She apologizes, claiming she got distracted by her phone call and spilling the coffee, and now she is going to be late for her dialysis, which means all the good chairs will be gone once she gets there and she'll have to spend the following six hours sitting next to the bathroom and listening to people flushing the toilet. The cop tells her he doesn't want to delay her, so he lets her go with a warning, wishing her good luck afterwards. Susan thanks him, and gleefully thanks dialysis for getting her off the hook. Later, Susan and MJ are in line at a grocery store, and the latter is impatient because they are gonna take a long while, and he wants to watch his "Tom and Jerry" cartoons. Susan had promised him they would be home in time for him to watch them. She apparently has an idea, and asks her son to go and grab her some foil. In the meantime, she asks the people in front of her to let her go ahead, claiming that otherwise she will be late for her dialysis appointment. The customers oblige, but when MJ comes back, he is delighted to learn they will be home in time for his cartoons after all, and tells it out loud. The customers are negatively surprised by this, and Susan awkwardly explains that Tom is her doctor and Jerry is the nurse, and when she is late they really go at each other. Susan is visiting Renee and trying to get out of a chore over the phone, saying she will be too busy with dialysis, and is successful. It turns out she was just excused from jury duty, over the phone. Renee says "Susan! Using your disease to manipulate and deceive people? I've never felt closer to you." Susan explains that she deserves some spoils, after all, this disease has changed her life, she has to spend six hours hooked up to a machine three times a week. Renee incites her to take her out for lunch at a new fancy restaurant, "Girard's", which doesn't accept reservations and thus keeps their customers waiting for hours for a table to become available. Susan agrees to do so, and Renee says that "bad kidney Susan" is way more fun than "2 kidney Susan". They have a toast with their drinks. At "Girard's", Renee asks the receptionist for a table, but is shot down. However, Susan brings up her dialysis story to touch the woman's emotional side, and the latter agrees to see what she can do for them. However, an African-American couple approaches them, and asks why they are getting special treatment when they've been waiting for 45 minutes. He's got diabetes, and his wife has arthritis, but they're not trying to get ahead of others using that as an excuse. Susan explains to him that dialysis trumps their situations, and unless someone there has Ebola they should get the next table. The man tells her the only special thing about Susan is the fact that she thinks she is more special than everyone else, which she isn't. Susan tells the receptionist Renee used to be married to a Yankee, but the woman doesn't respond to that. They go to the back of the line and Susan says she needs to sit down because she isn't feeling well, and then she drops to the floor. Renee thinks it's all an act and calls her up on it, saying no one is even looking, but then realizes it is for real and asks for someone to call an ambulance.
Gabrielle and Carlos are packing up and preparing to leave for Gaby's hometown, but she isn't too ecstatic about it, claiming it's a horrible place full of bigoted rednecks. Carlos says they both know why she doesn't want to go, and it's not about the town. Gabrielle becomes uncomfortable. It appears as though Dr. Wyner asked her to write a letter to her deceased stepfather, Alejandro, about what he did to her, and afterwards read it at his grave. Carlos says she doesn't have to do that if she doesn't want to, but he really wishes she would. Gaby and Carlos arrive at the former's home town by cab, and she says it can actually be worst than she remembered it. A transeunt approaches them, and recognizes Gabrielle as the supermodel she once was, welcoming her back to her town. The woman asks Gaby what brought her back, but the latter is distracted by the sight of a nun crossing the street, and when the nun sees her, Gaby tells Carlos they should check into the hotel, clearly wanting to get out of there quickly. Carlos says he though they were gonna go to the cemetery first, but she says it's been a long trip and she wants to lie down for a few minutes. They get back into the cab and the nun watches as they go away. Later, Gaby and Carlos head on over to a local café where the former's family used to eat. Inside the shop, they are surprised to see several magazine covers and pictures featuring Gabrielle, from her old glory days. The waitress recognizes her instantly, and lets her know what a big fan she is. A customer asks her to tell her chauffeur (referring to Carlos) to take a picture of them. Carlos obliges. The clientel is very excited, wanting more pictures taken and even autographs signed. Principal Gomez, who runs the school of Las Colinas that Gabrielle attended, asks her to give a speech to the local young girls. Gaby is reluctant, but the principal says he can call the press to be there too. She accepts, even though Carlos tells her they have to leave the following day at 10. Gaby acceps to at the school at noon, and tells her husband their flight can be changed. She then proceeds to ask if anyone else wants their picture taken with her, and the crowd goes wild. In her hotel room, Gaby talks on the phone to the local newspaper, which is doing a cover story on her, titled "Solis So Lovely". Carlos says she's still got to complete her goal of reading a letter at her stepfather's grave, but she says she doesn't need, she's starting to heal because she's being treated as a celebrity, which is great, because when she was young and living there she always felt like she was nothing. Carlos doesn't believe that that's enough, but she tells him it is for her.At the Catholic school, Gabrielle warns the young girls to stay away from Math and Science, which, according to her, can cause some serious frown lines. Carlos is displeased by this. The principal approaches them and brings with him Sister Marta, the nun Gaby spotted on the street the day before. The nun asks her what brought her back, and Gabrielle answers by saying it was some personal stuff. Sister Marta says she looks as though she's enjoying herself, which doesn't surprise her, as she always loved being the center of attention. The nun walks away, and Carlos asks his wife who she was. Gaby tells him she'll be right back, and follows the nun, telling her they need to talk. The nun agrees to do so, and Gaby asks her if she remembers a conversation they had at that school 20 years before. Apparently, Gabrielle told the nun what was happening with her stepfather, and Sister Marta refused to believe her, blaiming her claims on her imagination, which she must've acquired from reading trashy books and magazines she always sneaked into class. The nun still doesn't believe her. Gaby had come to her with a secret, a big, horrible secret, one she couldn't tell her mother or the rest of her family. She felt like she could trust Sister Marta, being a teacher, and a nun. So she told her, and heard in return that she was a liar and she should be ashamed of it, and she's been ashamed of it ever since. The nun asks her if she returned to blame her for everything, and Gaby answers that she came back because her therapist asked her to read a letter out loud at the grave of the man who abused her. But now she realizes she needs to tell the nun what she feels instead. She did not deserve what happened to her, she was a child, but the nun was a grown-up who did nothing, and she is the one who should be ashamed of herself. Gaby leaves, and Carlos asks her if everything is ok. Gaby says it is, and they can go home now.
Keith is teaching Charlie how to play baseball in Bree's front lawn, and Bree watches them from inside her house. Amber drives up and tells her son they need to go, so that they can pack up and leave for Florida the following day. Keith comes inside, and Bree says she wishes he had more time to spend with Charlie. He tells her he would've had a week more if Bree hadn't kept the truth hidden from him. Bree apologizes for that one more time, and Keith says "That's my son. How could you keep him from me, what were you thinking?" Bree says she isn't proud of herself, but she didn't wanna lose him. Keith tells her to not make it sound romantic because what she did was unbelievably selfish. Bree realizes he's right. He says that in order for their relationship to work, they have to be honest with one another. She says she feels terrible, and asks him to please not be angry, to which he replies he is angry, but mostly at the ongoing situation. He says he's sure the two of them will get past his, and proceeds to hug her. Keith comes home from the airport and Bree asks him if their flight was on time. He says it was. He kept hoping for an 8-hour delay and yet they left for the gate 3 minutes earlier. Keith says that 3 days before he didn't even know Charlie existed and now he can't picture his life without him, to which Bree replies that his son is a wonderful little boy. Keith agrees, and proceeds to say that during his childhood, when his dad was in the army, he'd be gone for 6–7 months in a row, which lead Keith to swear he'd never do anything of the sort to his son. He actually told Charlie "I'll see you before you know it", like his dad used to say to him, which always means "I have no idea when I'll see you". Bree wishes there was anything she could do, but he replies "There's nothing anyone can do, it is what it is". In bed, Keith tells Bree he realizes what she could for him: they could both move together to Florida. She sold her business, her kids are grown, there's nothing keeping her there, and with his job he can work anywhere. Bree says it would be an adventure, definitely, but she can't. He asks her why, and she simply says that Fairview is her home. Keith understands that, but there is no other way for him to be close to Charlie, unless he moves there without her, and he can't do that because long-distance relationships never work and he doesn't want to jeopardize what they have. He wishes her a good night sleep and tells he'll keep thinking of a solution to his problem. Bree is saddened by this. Keith is playing with a baseball whilst thinking about Charlie when Bree interrupts him. He plans on distracting himself with a movie, but Bree tells him he shouldn't be thinking of getting his mind off of his son. She then tells him he needs to move with Florida. He keeps saying long-distance relationships never work, and Bree says he's in one of those right now, with his son. And one of those two relationships won't work out, and it has to his with her. Keith says the problem is he loves her, and she loves him too. Bree says she has been kidding herself ever since they met, thinking their age difference doesn't matter, but it does, because it means she's lived her life quite fully, including the part about raising kids, but he hasn't, not yet, and he's always wanted children. And whereas she's fallen in and out of love with many men in her life, she's never fallen out of love with her children. He may think he'll never love another woman the way he loves her, but she knows he will. Keith says he doesn't see how that's possible, and Bree tells him that's because he's young. Bree tells him he's given her so much, and asks him to please let her give this to him.
Mike is driving Zach to rehab, and Paul is sitting in the backseat, beside his son. Zach is going cold turkey, and tells them he doesn't need to go to rehab. He and Paul get into arguing, with the former telling his father he's responsible for what happened to him. Paul snaps at him, and Mike tells him to take it easy. Zach says he's fine, and Paul yells that he can't be fine because he shot his own father, so he's got two options now: he either goes to rehab, or to jail. Zach calms down. Beth is preparing dinner when Paul comes home, and asks him how everything went with Zach, and whether he got him checked in. Paul says "It's done". Beth says she's relieved. After the riot, she was so hopeful when he'd told her they should go away for a while, but then afterwards it seemed as though he'd become distant yet again. She doesn't blame him, as she can't imagine what he went through, but now they can put that behind them, and start anew. She puts her arm around and feels something weird in his back. It's her gun, which he borrowed for protection. He then asks her why she felt the need to bring a gun into their home, which isn't very romantic. Beth doesn't answer and becomes emotional, taking the gun and putting it away in a drawer, saying that if it bothers him so, they can get rid of it. She then asks him if he's upset with her, if that's why he's acting the way he is. Paul says he has a lot on his mind, and Beth tells him she understands that, but now that Zach is in rehab, they can get things back to normal between them. Paul hints that things can't really get back to normal once someone you hold so close betrays you. He then leaves her alone. In rehab, Paul visits Zach and demands him to tell his father why he shot him. Zach says he wanted his father to die, because he hated him all his life. Paul says that isn't true. Zach says the hate was always a part of him, and it started getting bigger, and one day he realized that such hate was all he was. Paul says that was the drugs' fault, but Zach explains that it was his father's fault, because that's what he does best, he turns people against him, he's evil. Paul says Zach has no idea what he is, how he feels or what he's been through. He then refers to the day Mary Alice shot herself, but Zach says he can't use that as an excuse for what he is, because he is the reason his mom committed suicide. Paul tells him that isn't true. Zach realizes he really hurt Paul. He then tells him trying to kill him was stupid, because him being alive and knowing the truth is way better. Paul tells him his mother loved him, to which he replies no one could ever love Paul. Later that night, Paul is sitting on his bed, waiting for Beth to get out of the bathroom, as she had just taken a shower. She comes out and notices a big packed bag, and thus asks him if he's going anywhere. She tells her she's the one who'll be going away. He then drags her outside, saying he knows what she is. Beth is surprised by this. She tries to explain. Paul says at least Felicia had the guts to hate him in his face. Beth says she did hate him at first, because her mother had told her to, but that all changed, he changed her, he made her fall in love with him. However, Paul isn't buying any of it, and throws her out anyway. Beth swears to God she loves him, but Paul says she doesn't, because no one could ever love him. He then gives her the gun, and shuts the door on her face.
- Promotional pictures were released depicting a scene in which Keith apparently tries to take a picture or film a video of his son, Charlie, holding a baseball. However, this scene appears to have been deleted from the episode.
- Kevin Rahm (Lee McDermott), Tuc Watkins (Bob Hunter), Joshua Logan Moore (Parker Scavo), Darcy Rose Byrnes (Penny Scavo) and Madison De La Garza (Juanita Solis) are absent from this episode, and are therefore not credited.
- In its original broadcast, this episode was viewed by 10.5 million viewers.
- This episode marks the end of the string of guest appearances in every one of the first 15 episodes of the season by Brian Austin Green (Keith Watson). The longest streak starting with the first episode of a season for guest stars previously belonged to Brent and Shane Kinsman (Preston and Porter Scavo, respectively) in season 1 and Gale Harold (Jackson Braddock) in season 5, with 8 continuous guest appearances each.
- This is the last episode in which Keith Watson and Zach Young are seen.
EW.com recapper Christian Blaulvelt was very positive towards this episode, only criticizing Susan's storyline: "(...)"Farewell Letter" turned out to be a surprisingly funny, poignant episode. Maybe it's because each of our characters—Susan excluded, as always—took time to become their own shrinks and deal with their ongoing issues. The unexamined life isn’t worth living, right? Well, the TV character who leads an unexamined life rarely makes for great TV. In fact, "Farewell Letter" was such a step in the right direction, it may have gone halfway to putting this rocky season back on track." 
Ratings rose 15% to a 3.1 rating and 10.48 million viewers.
Gallery of photographic stills released to promote the episode.