"If..." is the 122nd episode of Desperate Housewives.
In the aftermath of the plane crash, the residents of Wisteria Lane reflect on what their lives might have been had they made different choices: Susan contemplates a life with Karl had he not walked out on her, and Bree considers life without Orson. Lynette thinks about a future with her unborn twins, whereas Gabrielle imagines her daughter Celia aspiring to become a superstar actress, and Angie ponders the consequences should her secrets be revealed.
In the aftermath of the plane crash, the residents of Wisteria Lane reflect on what their lives might have been had they made different choices.
Upon hearing the news of Karl's death, Susan contemplates the possibility of a life with her late ex-husband had they remained together. Instead of allowing Karl walk out on their marriage, Susan envisions herself stopping Karl and requesting the two of them to reach a compromise, ultimately remaining together for the sake of their daughter, Julie. Susan begins the reparation of their marriage by prompting Karl to list all of the women that he had slept with during their marriage. Not realizing that Karl's list of lovers was longer than she had initially hoped, Susan expresses her discomfort at her own idea and argues that "sometimes, secrets between a couple can be a good thing". Unfortunately, due to her much inhibited personality and lack of initiative to confront Karl about his infidelities, Susan becomes overweight. After a horrendous failed attempt at seducing Mike - who dropped by to fix her sink - to get back at Karl, Susan resolves to shed her unsightly pounds in order to become attractive for her husband once again. Some time after Susan is nearing the last few stages of regaining her former body back, Karl unfortunately decides to walk out on their marriage officially. A sympathetic Karl tenderly informs a heartbroken Susan that she could "do better". Back in reality while being comforted by Mrs. McCluskey, Susan expresses both grief of her ex-husband's passing, but also gratitude towards him for allowing her to achieve the life that she has now.
When Lynette begins to feel sharp pains in her stomach, both her and Tom are stunned at the possibility that something unfortunate could have happened to their unborn children during the Scavo matriarch's successful attempt at saving Celia Solis from an early death. While under examination from a Fairview doctor, Tom and Lynette are informed that there is strange abnormality occurring from one of their unborn twins as indicated from her ultrasound. The doctor diagnoses that because of the damage that has been done to the mother during her pre-natal stages, chances are that the endangered child will most likely grow up with some sort of disability; which kind however is left uncertain until surgeons are able to properly investigate the fetal anomaly. During her transport to the operating room, Lynette imagines a future with a physically disabled son. In this vision, she is seen to be constantly overwhelmed by the demanding pressures of raising a disabled child with whom her and Tom have christened as "Patrick Scavo." She nearly suffers a breakdown when she struggles with administering physical therapy exercises on a constantly crying baby Patrick but is eventually calmed down by her husband with a few encouraging words. When Patrick is 13 years old, Lynette's patience begins to run thin under the pressure of raising Patrick once again when the boy asks for his mother to make him a sandwich. The two then argue to each other with regards to the amount of work that each one has to accomplish in order to get through the day: Lynette with the housework and Patrick's mandatory use of a forearm crutch for mobility. Lynette then ignores her son in pure guilt as he attempts to make his own sandwich for the very first time. He successfully accomplishes the task as the two of them silently thank each other with light smirks. Patrick is last seen in his 20s during his graduation ceremony from Law School as valedictorian, presenting a speech to all participants about how much his mother had helped him overcome his disability and become the man that he was destined to be. Back in reality, Lynette wakes up to her husband at her side to which he tenderly informs her that the surgeons were unable to save "Patrick". However, Tom reassures his wife that the other surviving twin is still alive and growing strongly.
Along with Orson and Karl, Bree was one of the many Wisteria Lane residents that were injured from the plane crash. It is mentioned that when Bree had learned the truth about Karl's death, she had to be sedated by hospital staff in order to calm her frantic cries of despair. It is only in her dreams where she imagines herself married to Karl and divorced from Orson. The couple experiences happiness and elation during the beginning stages of their newly married lives, but later on Karl's infidelity issues are brought to the surface when Bree catches her husband in the act with her yoga instructor in their own bed. Bree subsequently ends the marriage. Some time later, Bree is summoned to Orson's apartment at the request of his landlord with the intention of her claiming ownership of his possessions due to his sudden passing from a heart attack. Bree finds herself shocked at not only the news of Orson's death but also from discovering that she had been listed as his emergency contact ever since their divorce without her knowledge. Bree's grief grows even deeper upon the sight of all of the old pictures that Orson had kept of the two of them during their marriage. Orson's landlord reveals that she (Bree) was all that he ever talked about and that Orson had no other visitors since he moved in, grimly implying that his death had been the result of a broken heart. Back in reality, Bree regains consciousness and is informed by her doctor that Orson had survived the plane crash but he has suffered a spinal injury and is now left paralyzed.
At her youngest daughter's bedside, Gabrielle is overcome with the belief that God had spared Celia's life because of a special undiscovered talent that had yet to be shown. As she watches her daughter peacefully sleep away, Gaby envisions what life would be like if Celia was a born actress. Their very first moment occurs when Gaby drags Celia to the set of a commercial shooting for "Ouch Away" adhesive bandages. While Gaby has partially trained Celia to become happy and cute on cue, the two are met with some slight complications from the commercial director. Since the focal point of the advertisement requires the child in question to cry, Gaby experiences difficulties with Celia as her daughter is unable to willingly evoke the action when instructed. When Celia fails to achieve the director's needs within the first two takes, Gaby begs him for a third attempt, to which he begrudgingly accepts. Prior to the third take, Gaby steps in and fakes a phone call to her daughter and falsely informs her that her father has been injured and that her pet hamster is now dead. When Celia bursts into tears, Gaby smiles in delight at the thought of a promising future for her little star. A young teenage Celia is then seen being sneaked out of the house by Carlos in a desperate attempt to rush his daughter off to Summer Camp. Carlos's plan, however, proves fruitless when Gaby appears and confronts her husband and her daughter, preventing them from leaving. Carlos and Gaby are then caught in a heated argument with regards to Celia's life: Gaby refuses to let Celia's future as an actress be put to a halt for any reason while Carlos desires more than anything for his daughter to have a normal childhood and socialize with children her own age. The argument takes a dark turn when Gaby threatens Carlos to leave if he continues to stand the way of Celia's "future"; a mistake which ends in Carlos walking out on the family. Many years later into the future, an elderly Gaby is seen watching old footage of Celia's very first commercial with "Ouch Away" bandages among the tattered and heavily dilapidated remains of her home on Wisteria Lane. An adult Celia (in around her early to mid-twenties) is seen coming home to her mother with groceries for the first time in a while due to the two of them having to rely on food stamps to get by. Gaby's constant obsession with auditions and casting calls for Celia continue to press on many years later. When Celia expresses her desire to quit acting forever and to just live like a normal adult, Gaby reveals to her daughter that her and her acting gigs are all that she has left to hold on to ever since her separation from Carlos and her estrangement from her eldest daughter, Juanita. At this revelation, Celia caves in and woefully asks her mother when her next audition will be, to which Gaby squeals in excitement. Back in reality, Gaby is asked by Carlos as to what she believes their daughter's "special talent" to be. As Celia opens her eyes and smiles up at her mother, Gaby responds by simply wanting her daughter to be herself. Later on, Gaby visits Lynette in her room to offer her flowers, her apologies and her deepest condolences for the loss of her unborn child. The two women silently reconcile and become friends once again as Gaby firmly holds on to the hand of an emotionally fragile Lynette.
While at the hospital Angie and Nick confront a nurse with regards to their blackmailer, Mona Clark's condition. The couple is left completely shocked at the news that Mona had actually survived the plane crash albeit severely injured and locked in a deep coma. When Nick offers to head back to their home to get a head start on packing, Angie ponders the consequences of her past actions should Mona ever awaken and reveal her secrets to the authorities. In her vision, Angie is placed in a correctional facility where she is being interrogated by a criminal investigator. It is revealed that Angie's real name is Angela DeLuca and that she was indirectly responsible for the murder of a local family man, named Shawn, due to her affiliation with an imposing individual by the name of "Patrick Logan", one of Angie's former lovers. As Angie is put on trial, she cryptically reveals to the court, as well as to the victim's surviving family, that the primary reason for her actions was that she was fighting for cause in which she wanted others to believe in as well. Despite her intention to cause no harm onto others, the untimely death of an innocent man along with her subsequent 18-year-long evasion from the law, have unfortunately left Angie branded as a wanted criminal. As a result, she is sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Back in reality, Angie is informed of Mona's death to which she silently breathes with a sigh of relief - the Bolens' secret is kept safe once again, at least for now.
This episode attracted 15.35 million viewers, and scored a 5.3/13 in the 18-49 demo. A season high and the highest ratings since 2008, since the episode of the season five "A Vision's Just a Vision". The episode also increased in year-to-year ratings, beating last year's first January episode, which attracted 14.43 million and scored a 5.2/12 in the 18-49 demo. However, it received mixed-to-negative reviews from fans and critics of the show.
- Although credited, Kyle McLachlan (Orson Hodge), Dana Delany (Katherine Mayfair), Maiara Walsh (Ana Solis) and Kendall Applegate (Penny Scavo) do not appear in this episode. Orson is shown in older photographs, but appears in no new scenes.
- MJ Delfino and Julie Mayer only appear at the end of the episode with a non speaking role, as do Parker and Porter at the beginning.
- Following the events of the plane crash in the previous episode, this episode marks the deaths of pilot Jeff Bicks, his wife Daphne Bicks, one of Lynette's unborn children, and long time recurring characters Karl Mayer and Mona Clark.
- This is the first episode to air in 2010.
- The Scavos' son being named Patrick goes with the naming trend of Lynette's family, where each kid's name starts with a P. On a side note, each of Lynette's siblings has a name that starts with an L. Strangely, Patrick is also the name of Angie's ex-lover, the man she's been running away from.
- In Susan's alternate life, Mike marries a woman with blond hair, the woman is rumored to be Edie Britt.
- Lynette is the second housewife to suffer a miscarriage, the first being Gabrielle in season 2.
This is the first time, in three seasons, that an episode of Desperate Housewives places #1 in the rank of the most watched series of the week. The last time that happened was in the season 3 episode, The Miracle Song.
Bloopers and continuity errors
- When Karl went out of Susan's house and turned to face her in the doorway, behind his back Karen McCluskey's new house is visible, although it was year 2003 - four years before the tornado.