"Flashback" is the 148th episode of Desperate Housewives.
Lynette fights back when her mother tries to force the Scavos to pose for a family portrait with her obnoxious new husband, Frank. Meanwhile, Susan is presented with a kidney donation from an unlikely source, Gabrielle refuses to confront her past while undergoing therapy to discover what's causing her underlying obsession with her doll, Bree continues to keep the existence of Keith's son a secret from him, and Mike reaches out to biological son Zach to see if he was involved in adopted father Paul's shooting.
The episode opens with the revelation that Zach has started taking hard drugs and gambling. Paul goes to see him at his house but discovers that the mansion has gone into foreclosure. He goes to see Mikeand asks if he knows where Zach is. Mike is reluctant to help because of his hatred for Paul, and claims that the last he heard, Zach was in Idaho. However, Mike does know where Zach is and rings him, but Zach does not pick up.
Later, Mike remembers a recent visit to Zach. Zach explains that he has lost most of his money but claims that it is good to down Mike admits that he is having money problems too and reveals that he has rented out his house to Paul. Zach is furious and upset to learn that Paul is out of prison and asks Mike to leave. Back in the present, Mike goes to see Zach but is shocked to discover him with a knife and seeming very edgy. Zach admits that he shot Paul, explaining that he ruined Zach's life but was allowed to start again. He admits that he doesn't know why he stashed the gun at Bree's and Mike tells him that you do things without thinking when you are high. He says Zach needs to go to rehab but Zach says Paul will come and take him to prison and tells Mike it is too late to pretend to be his father. He yells at Mike to get out of his house. Mike drives to see Paul and admits that he knows where Zach is, adding that he is in a bad state. Paul asks why he should care after Zach tried to kill him, but Mike points out that Zach is their son. He adds that Zach needs their help. Paul and Mike go to see Zach, who is surprised to see them at his door.
Susan goes to the hospital and is disappointed to learn she could be waiting for a kidney for three to four years. As she leaves, she bumps into someone she went to school with - Monroe Carter. He reveals that he friended her on Facebook 12 times but she didn't respond and asks how she is. Susan tearfully reveals that she needs a kidney transplant and leaves, crying. Later, Susan rushes to the hospital after being paged that a kidney is waiting for her. Her doctor explains that someone offered to donate a kidney specifically to her, and says the man is waiting in his office. It turns out that Monroe has decided to donate his kidney to Susan. Susan is surprised but thrilled that she is getting a kidney and Monroe asks for a hug, which she happily gives him.
Later, Susan invites Monroe over and hands him a present. Monroe admits that he has a present for Susan, handing over an album of high-school photographs. Susan soon realises that they are all of her and include a photograph of her wearing a swimming costume which was taken through a fence. Monroe has also included one of Susan's old English papers which she threw away and hands over her old retainer. Susan becomes uncomfortable but Monroe hugs her and says that now they will be bonded forever. Renee and Lee come over to celebrate Susan getting a new kidney but discover the album Monroe made, which also includes a lock of hair. They insist that he is a stalker and Renee points out that Susan will never be able to get rid of him if she takes his kidney as they will be connected forever. Later, Susan is disconcerted when she sees Monroe and discovers that he is considering renting an apartment in her building. She admits that it feels a bit "stalky" and invites him in, showing him a picture of Mike and MJ. She explains that she is grateful he is giving her a kidney but adds that once the operation is over that is it. She acknowledges that he wants to be more than friends but explains that she is married. She explains that she would be honoured to take his kidney but it would have to be no strings attached. Monroe admits that he can't do it and apologises before leaving.
Gabrielle goes to therapy but refuses to discuss her childhood, instead describing tales from her modelling days. She explains that she is shallow and can't go deeper, but the therapist asks her to talk about her childhood. Later, Gaby arrives home and tells Carlos that she loves therapy. She says she has arranged sessions three times a week and Carlos reluctantly agrees to take on her other commitments while she is at the therapist's.
However, he is angry when he receives a phone call for Gabrielle and discovers that she is actually at a spa. He goes to find her and tells her that she has to go to therapy. Gaby eventually agrees to make an appointment next week. The pair arrive for Gaby's appointment, but she claims that she feels unwell. Carlos refuses to let her go home but she goes to the toilet and climbs out of the bathroom window. However, Carlos is waiting for her on the fire escape. Gaby eventually admits that she doesn't want to talk to the therapist because she will make her speak about her childhood. Carlos points out that Gabrielle told him about it once and he agreed not to discuss it again, but knows she hasn't been able to leave it behind. He suggests that speaking to the therapist might help her to move on. Gaby asks him to come with her and he agrees. In the session, Gaby tells the therapist that when she lost Grace it tapped into her need to protect children. The therapist asks where that need comes from and Gabrielle admits that no-one protected her. She explains that her stepfather molested her when she was a child.
Lynette goes to visit Stella and Frank and the latter explains that he would like her to bring all the children up so that they can have a family portrait. Lynette is reluctant and Frank ends up bribing her. Eventually Stella makes him leave and begs Lynette to make it work as Frank is in the process of redoing his will. Lynette agrees but says Frank and Stella will have to drive to the Scavo household. At the weekend, Frank and Stella arrive and Lynette is furious when Frank is rude and starts rearranging their furniture. They pose for the photo and Tom goes to check it, but realises that Frank's eyes were closed. He tells Frank, but Frank doesn't respond and the family soon realises that he is dead. Lynette decides to call the police to get a coroner over, but Stella begs her not to, explaining that Frank's new will doesn't come into effect until the next day and she will get nothing if they call in his death now. Lynette is reluctant to keep Frank's dead body in her house but Stella persuades her not to call the coroner yet by pointing out that she will be able to help with the family's finances such as college tuition. The next day, Stella calls the coroner and he removes Frank's body. When she has shut the door, she grins that she is rich and starts offering to buy things such as a new couch and a laptop for the family. However, Lynette tells them to show Frank some respect as he has just died. Later, Stella returns after going shopping and hands Lynette a very expensive necklace. Lynette is worried about how much Stella is spending but she points out that she has lots of money now. She asks them to come over for dinner on Sunday but Lynette admits that it's not a good night for them. However, Stella points out that she is doing a lot for Lynette's family and blackmails her by saying she could ask one of Lynette's sisters instead.
Keith returns home with a pizza as Amber watches him. Inside, he chats to Bree when the phone rings. Bree answers and discovers that it is Amber. Amber asks to come in but Bree tells her she'll meet her outside and tells Keith that she is going to Lynette's. Outside, Amber explains that it will take five days for Bree's cheque to clear and she needs to pay some bills. Bree agrees to give her a cashier's cheque and the pair arrange to meet in a restaurant across from the bank. Amber hands Bree a photo of Charlie, saying that Keith should see his son even if he doesn't want to meet him. At the restaurant, Amber brings Charlie as she has no-one to watch him. Bree hands over the cashier's cheque and Amber rushes off to the bank, asking Bree to watch Charlie while she is gone. Charlie goes to play games, but Bree is shocked when Keith arrives after seeing her car parked outside. Charlie comes over to ask for more money and Keith asks who he is, before handing him some change. They go to play games together and Bree smiles sadly as she watches them. Keith leaves to go back to work before Amber returns. Later, Bree approaches Keith as he is watching sport on television. She hands him the picture of Charlie and he asks why she is giving him a photo of the kid from the restaurant. "He's your son," Bree tells him.
- The character of Frank is killed off in this episode, marking the first death of a character this season. Thus, this is the longest span of episodes the show has ever featured in a season without a character dying.
- Kathryn Joosten (Karen McCluskey), Tuc Watkins (Bob Hunter), Madison De La Garza (Juanita Solis) and Mason Vale Cotton (MJ Delfino) do not appear and are not credited.
- The title of this episode comes from a song of the same name in the Stephen Sondheim musical Passion.
Gallery of photographic stills released to promote the episode.