Wiksteria Lane

"Next" is the 24th episode of Desperate Housewives, as well as its second season premiere.


After Rex's sudden passing, Bree informs her friends of his death, and sets everything up for a decent funeral. However, the arrival of her emotionally devastated mother-in-law, Phyllis, changes her plans. In the meantime, Lynette prepares herself for her first job interview in many years, whereas Carlos is back in prison, and demanding Gabrielle to show him the results of a paternity test. Both Susan and Mike live through Zach's little hostage situation, and Julie finds Mike lying to the police about what happened, leading Susan to learn something she'd quickly wish she hadn't. The new neighbors, the Applewhites, are welcomed to Wisteria Lane.


Previously on Desperate Housewives[]

Sometimes the truth about our loved ones can lead you into harm's way.
Mary Alice Young
  • Betty and Matthew are seen moving in at night. ("Goodbye for Now") Edie greets them the very next morning. ("One Wonderful Day")
  • Gabrielle asks Carlos whoever said he was the father of her forthcoming child. ("Goodbye for Now") In court, John announces himself as the lover, and Carlos freaks out. ("One Wonderful Day")
  • Tom announces at the pizza place to his wife that he quit, and then, at home, he tells her he's going to be a stay-at-home and she's going back to work. ("One Wonderful Day")
  • George is seen invading the Van de Kamp home and altering Rex's medication. Rex tells Bree at night that he thinks he's having a heart attack. ("Goodbye for Now") Bree tells Rex in his hospital room that he is gonna come out of his operation just fine, but is then told by Dr. Lee Craig over the phone that her husband has passed away. ("One Wonderful Day")
  • Susan notices Zach in Mike's house with a gun. He tells her that Mr. Delfino took his father away to kill him, so now he's gonna kill Mr. Delfino. Mike enters his house at night. ("One Wonderful Day")


It was an accepted fact among the residents of Wisteria Lane that Ida Greenberg liked her liquor. People had seen her drunk at sewing bees, the Department of Motor Vehicles and the First Methodist Church. Ida had tried to quit drinking many times, but she couldn't. Then one night, in a moment of despair, she challenged God to quench her never-ending thirst. Luckily for Ida, God was listening.
Susan with gun

Susan aims at Zach.

Ida Greenberg drinks a bottle of liquor during the night, as Mike Delfino drives home in his van. He parks it just outside of his garage and enters the house. There, he sees Zach Young yielding a gun, his girlfriend Susan sitting at the table, looking worried, and Bongo, the dog, growling nervously. Zach points the gun at Mike, but Susan throws herself at the young man, and they both fall to the ground, leading Susan to bite and wound her lower lip. Mike manages to wrestle Zach away from his girlfriend, and Susan grabs the gun. However, Bongo bites her in the leg and causes her to fall to the couch. When she does so, she accidentally fires the gun, and the bullet goes through the window and breaks Ida's bottle. After Mike had gone to Susan's rescue, Zach managed to get himself free and left the place. He runs off in the street, as Ida looks at her shattered bottle, and then up to the sky.

It was at that moment it occured to Ida, God may work in mysterious ways, but he isn't particularly subtle.
Mary Alice Young

Act I[]

It had been a year since my death, and a lot had changed on Wisteria Lane. Children had learned new games, new neighbors had moved in, old houses had been rebuilt, and fresh tragedies had occured. In one house, a widow was getting ready to tell her friends of her husband's passing. But until the time was right, she would wait. And life, as it tends to do, would go on.
Mary Alice Young

Bree Van de Kamp is seen sitting down, dressed in all black, tapping the phone with her fingers and watching the wall clock ticking away. It's five minutes to 9.


Julie overhears Mike and Officer Romslo talking.

Susan is seen in her hospital room, lying in bed with gauze in her mouth to absorb the blood, as Julie looks after her. Mike walks in with officer Pete Romslo, who's there to take Susan's statement. She starts telling him of how she got to Mike's place to feed the dog, and Zach was waiting there with a gun to kill him. Mike tells the officer Susan was the one who fired the gun, and she explains that only happened because she was trying to take it away from the kid. Susan starts bleeding fiercely from the lip and Julie asks the police officer whether they can continue that at a later time because her mother's a bit of a mess right now. Romslo says it's okay, and wishes Susan well, as Mike walks him outside to fill him in on more details. Julie tells her mother she will go and get her some more ice, and when she walks out of the room she sees Mike talking to the officer and saying that what happened was more of a domestic squabble, and that Susan blew everything out of proportion. He asks the officer whether he was required to press charges, and Romslo says it's not, but it's still something he should consider given that there was a handgun involved. Julie is surprised by Mike's attitude. The wall clock tells us it's four minutes to 9.

At Gabrielle Solis' home, she is seen getting out of her shower, fully wet, and is startled by a path of flower petals leading all the way to her bedroom. There, John Rowland, wearing nothing but his boxer shorts, is seen enjoying a glass of Mimosa and waiting for her. She asks him what he's doing there, and he asks her whether she wants a drink as well. She scolds him for the stunt he performed at the court the day before, that got Carlos sent to jail for a possible 8 years, but he tells her that once she calms down she'll see that it'll be just the two of them, which will be awesome.She sighs and turns to the left, noticing a duffel bag on the floor.


Gabrielle decidedly wants to kick John out of her house.

"You brought luggage?", she asks, angrily. Next up, Gabby is seen coming down the stairs with his bag, and John tries to get her to listen to him, because her husband is gone and now they won't have to sneak around anymore, so they can have a real relationship, which will be best for the three of them. Gabrielle asks how exactly that would benefit Carlos, and he says he was talking about his baby. She says he doesn't know whether it's his baby, and neither does she, nor does it matter, because she doesn't want to know. She opens the door and throws his luggage into the front porch. He asks her whether she doesn't love him anymore, and Gabby replies that up until the point where he told her husband they were having an affair, she was quite fond of him, but ever since, she's not a fan. She throws him outside whilst saying this, shuts the door and rushes upstairs. Gabby's clock indicates that it's one minute to 9.


Lynette sends Parker away because of his finger-painting.

At her house, Lynette comes downstairs, dressed in a formal look, and notices her children are finger painting. She asks Tom why he would let them do that before breakfast, and he says that it's his call now that he has to clean everything up. She asserts that he's right. He tells her he thought the meeting wasn't until one p.m., but Lynette claims she's got a lot of things to do before that, including borrowing a decent scarf from Bree and buying a lipstick she doesn't hate. Parker runs to her, yielding a painting he made, wanting to show it to his mommy, but Lynette turns him away, saying that she loves him and she loves his finger-painting, but if he touches her she will have to cut his messy hands off. Parker goes away, and Tom kisses him on the head to make up for what just happened. He says to his wife "Alittle nervous?", to which she replies "Who, me? I've been out of work for seven years. I'm a woman of a certain age in a business that values youth above all else, why should I be nervous?" Tom reassures his wife that she's gonna nail her job interview because she's experience and brilliant. He heads towards her to hold her in his arms, but she won't oblige because he looks rather icky, so they just kiss from a distance, and then she rushes upstairs to get her cell phone. It's still one minute to 9.

Back at Bree's place, she keeps tapping the house phone and staring blankly. The clock announces it's 9 a.m., and she picks up the phone and speed-dials Lynette. She tells her friend she hopes it's not too early to be calling. From the other side, we can tell Lynette asked to borrow the scarf, and Bree says of course she can borrow it, and she'll iron it for her. She then finally reveals that Rex died.

Shortly afterwards, Lynette, Susan and Gabrielle are all reunited in Gabby's front porch, and Susan, sitting in a gazebo chair, whilst pressing a bag of ice to the side of her mouth, asks what happened, considering she thought they were gonna operate on Rex. As Gabby pours the coffee, Lynette tells them that apparently Rex's heart just gave out. Susan asks when they can see Bree, and Lynette tells them that their friend said she would call, but now she's got too many things to do, like planning the funeral and such. Gabby notices Bree from across the street, standing still in front of her garbage can with a package of soy milk in her hands. She says "She doesn't look that busy to me", and both Susan and Lynette stare at her. Immediately afterwards, they go to meet their friend. Lynette asks Bree what she is doing out there, to which she replies that she's waiting for Rex's mother to show up.


Phyllis arrives on the lane.

Gabrielle tells her they're so sorry, and Bree promptly asks them whether any of them drinks soy milk, because she bought it the previous Friday and she'd hate to have to throw it away, because Rex was the only one who drank it. The women all deny drinking soy milk, and Bree throws the carton away, deeming it a waste. Susan tells her she can let it out, but Bree asserts that she can't fall apart that moment. She asks why, and Bree hears a car approaching and tells them they're about to find out. They turn to see a taxi driving into the lane and a blonde woman poking her head out of the window screaming out Bree's name. She taps the side of the car, indicating to the driver that he needs to pull over there because that's the house and then she gets out. Phyllis appears to be limping and is hysterical, telling Bree that this all seems like a nightmare and that her life is over. She holds Bree as the women stare at the woman


Bree putting up with her mother-in-law once again.

making a scene.

Act II[]

Lynette at interview

Lynette at her interview with Nina Fletcher.

At the Parcher & Murphy building, we see Stu Durber entering the office of Nina Fletcher and dropping a plate with a wrapped good in it. Nina is interviewing Lynette and checking out her résumé. She points out that there appears to be a seven-year gap in her résumé, and asks whether Lynette took some time off. She says she wishes it had been some time off, but that she was a stay-at-home mother instead. Nina asks whether her child's a boy or a girl, and Lynette responds that it's a girl... and three boys. Nina is surprised by the fact that she has four kids, and Lynette promptly tells her that they wouldn't get in the way of her job because her husband is staying at home with the kids now. Nina tells Lynette she knew she couldn't both jobs justice, which is why she chose not to have a family. She says she didn't wanna be one of those women sluffing things off on co-works because she had a pediatrician appointment or a dance recital; she gets really neurotic about putting people out. Lynette says that won't be an issue, because she can leave home at home. Nina asks her if it's not gonna break her heart to leave those sad little faces behind, and Lynette asks her if she's kidding, because an office full of grown-ups talking about grown-up stuff is paradise, with no screaming, no vomiting and no boogers under the table. She says they'll have to drag her out of there kicking and screaming, weekends, holidays, whenever. Nina picks up her plate and tells Lynette that Ed wants to make the final decision, so she'll bring her back for a follow-up the next day, at 3 p.m. Lynette tells her that sounds great and thanks her, and Nina coldly tells her to be there on time and to show her something.

At Bree's home, the family is unpacking Phyllis' luggage, which includes several of Rex's belongings, and Danielle notices a teddy bear. She can't believe her father owned one, and Phyllis reassures her he did, the bear's name was "Doolittle" and her father never went anywhere without it.


Rex's tie, from his prep school days.

Bree brings Phyllis some tea, and her mother-in-law gets an orange tie with green stripes out from a bag of hers, and tells her daughter-in-law it's the tie Rex graduated with when he finished prep school. Phyllis says she thinks Rex should wear it for the funeral, and this catches Bree off-guard. She points out that the tie is orange, and that Rex is being buried in a blue suit. Phyllis says that maybe he could be buried in a different suit, to which Bree replies "I don't think so, but thank you though". Andrew tries to break the ice by asking his grandmother if she kept his dad's old comic books, and Phyllis says she kept everything, including the dirty magazine he used to hide under his mattress from her. Phyllis shows the "Penthouse" magazine to her grandson and tells him Rex thought she didn't know about it, but she did. Andrew notices his father was into large breasts, to which Phyllis responds that he was indeed, which is why she was so surprised when he married Bree. Bree just smiles at her.

Gabby is seen visiting Carlos in prison, and asks him if he's just not gonna talk to her. She then says "Fine. I don't need to talk." Carlos remains quiet. She says "Ok, yes, I had a little affair. It wasn't the best thing to do and I'm not proud of it. But it's not the worst thing that could have happened, nobody died!" She then tells him not to be a martyr because it takes two. She then tells him he used to go on business trips everytime and thus he cheated too, only his mistress was his work. This gets Carlos to stand up and turn his back on her, to which she caves in and admits that was a stretch. She tells him she wants to start over, after all, they're gonna have a baby, which is what he always wanted. He still turns his back on her, so she shouts out "Carlos, wait! I said I was sorry and I love you! What more do you want?". He says "I want a paternity test". Then he leaves, and she gets worried.

Betty Applewhite is seen dusting her front porch with a broom while her son Matthew cleans the windows. Bree and her daughter Danielle approach them; the former is carrying with her a basket of baked goods. Bree introduces herself and her child. Betty says hello, and Matthew introduces himself, with Betty asserting that he's her son. Bree tells them she would've been there sooner to introduce herself, but unfortunately there's been a recent passing in her family. Danielle says it was her father. Betty says she's very sorry, and Matthew promptly tells Danielle he lost his father too so he knows what she must be feeling. She thanks him for being sympathetic.


"...In the future, you leave the cleverness to me."

Bree announces that her visit has an ulterior motive, as the organist at her church is on vacation and Edie Britt mentioned Betty used to be a concert pianist. Betty interrupts her by saying she would be honored to play for her, and suggests that she stop by her house later with some sheet music and they can play some selections. Bree thanks her and claims that a huge weight has just been lifted off her shoulders, and then hands her the basket of cookies. Betty takes her hand and tells her "Bree, we widows have to stick together". Bree says "Bye" and she and Danielle leave. Matthew proceeds to keep cleaning the windows, and Betty approaches him from behind and asks him if he doesn't find that pretending his father's dead is a bit morbid. Matthew says he just though it could help to their cover story, to win the neighbors over. Betty embraces him and says "Oh, sweetie. I know you meant well. But in the future, you leave the cleverness to me." She heads inside and takes her basket with her.

Act III[]

Susan hammers down a sign in her frontyard which reads "This Home Protected By: DORSET SECURITY". Julie approaches her mother from behind, and asks her since when are they protected by Dorset Security. Susan says they're not, it's just a deterrent in case Zach gets back. She told Mike she wasn't able to sleep the night before, and so he got her that sign to make her feel safer. Susan goes on about how supportive Mike is and how he is currently on a ride-along with the police trying to find Zach, as he's determined to see that kid behind bars. When Susan tries to tell her daughter to spread the word about their supposed security system, Julie interrupts her, saying she's got to tell her something, which she does: "Yesteday, I overheard Mike telling that cop that he didn't wanna press charges against Zach. He made the whole thing sound like it was your fault." Susan asks her "My fault?", and Julie nods affirmatively.

Gabrielle is seen entering a floor at the Sacred Heart Hospital, the Prenatal & Neonatal Care ward. She tells the receptionist, a goth girl reading a book, who's got a nose piercing and dyed hair, among other peculiar characteristics. Gabby tells the woman she needs a paternity test, and the receptionist tells her they can schedule her for one, but Gabrielle stops her on her tracks, saying she doesn't need to take the test, she is just trying to reassure her husband of what she knows is true in her heart. She suggests to the woman that she could be slipped someone else's test results, and she'll make up her own, as she got Photoshop for Christmas. The woman gets back to reading her book, with a smirk of disdain on her face, and Gabrielle begs her to help her out, as she seems like a fun-loving girl who's probably been in a couple hairy situations of her own. The receptionist tells her that although she chooses to express herself, that doesn't mean she condones adultery.


Gabrielle sits down next to a haggard woman.

Gabby gives up... though not entirely. She quickly spots a haggard woman checking out her test results. She sits down next to the woman and asks her whether she's checking out paternity test results, and she nods affirmatively. Gabby claims that she's in the same situation, however she soon learns the woman's is actually quite different: she just learnt that the clinic screwed up and gave her an egg that belonged to some lesbian, which was supposed to have been implanted on her lover, and now her husband's freaking out because he thinks they're baby's gonna be gay. Gabby asserts that they're in slightly different situations, but she then suggests to the women that they have a cup of coffee and talk about it. The woman says that'd be nice, and is told that girls need to stick together, and that they shouldn't let a stupid piece of paper ruin their lives. As she says this, Gabby takes the paper off of the woman's grasp, and she says "Yeah!" They get up and Gabrielle folds the paper and takes it with her.

At Bree's home, she, Phyllis and Reverend Sikes are discussing Rex's funeral. The reverend says that although he's known Rex for years, when it comes to writing a eulogy he always likes as much input from the family as possible. Bree asks him what kind of input that would be, and Phyllis responds in the reverend's place, saying he means anecdotes, little stories. She then goes on to say that the night before she was up all night long trying to remember funny things and moments that spoke so much about her son as a person. The reverend asks her how many pages she's got there, and Phyllis responds "15". As she is about to hand them to Reverend Sikes, Bree swoops in and takes them from her hand, promptly skimming them. As she does so, Phyllis tells the reverend that he's hardly going to have to write anything at all, as some of those anecdotes are just priceless. Bree addresses her, saying those things all happened to him before he went to college. She asks her if she doesn't think it would be nice if the reverend devoted part of the eulogy to his life after he was married, and Phyllis responds that the reverend will obviously mention that part of his life. However, Bree says that's the part the reverend will focus on, and hands the reverend three random anecdotes from Rex's childhood, saying that's more than enough. The reverend asserts that that seems fair, but Phyllis makes things ugly for all involved when she says that she'll oblige, but she just thought that if they were to focus on a time in Rex's life, they might as well focus on the happiest time. Bree angrily puts down her tea cup on the coffee table. Reverend Sikes notices the tension and tries to steer the conversation in a new direction by mentioning that he could get them a deal on white roses, as opposed to the traditional lilies. Bree tells him that if he doesn't call Phyllis on that incredibly insensitive comment of hers, she's going to lose it.


Bree announces that Phyllis is no longer invited to the funeral.

The reverend says Phyllis probably didn't mean it the way it sounded, but the woman says she knew exactly what she was saying. Bree says the happiest time in Rex's life wasn't his childhood, as he loved being a husband and he loved being a father. Phyllis says that the latter may be accurate, but the former isn't, as their marriage was a disaster. Bree asks her mother-in-law if there is anything she'd like to say, and she says it: Bree made the last years of Rex's life miserable, and now that he's dead he'll never get another chance at happiness again. Bree ponders for a while, and then tell Phyllis she is no longer invited to the funeral, catching both her mother-in-law and the reverend off guard, and testing their belief. Bree tells the reverend she's serious, as she is going to hire security men who will be yielding sticks, and will be instructed to beat her with them should she so much as step foot in that sanctuary. The reverend tells Bree that this is her grief talking, and she responds that if he doesn't back her up she will pull the funeral out of his church: she will go nondenominational so fast it'll make his head spin. She then leaves the room. Phyllis throws her anecdotes away, angrily, and the reverend sips the rest of his tea, awkwardly.

Edie is then seen at the construction site of her house tasting her coffee. She dislikes it and throws it to the trash. She then turns around and spots Susan approaching the house, and tells her she heard about Zach, then asking her how she's doing. Susan says she's fine, and asks if Mike's there. Edie says he's inside, and when Susan tries to walk toward him, Edie steps in front of her and says she must be terrified, after all, he did put Felicia in the hospital. Edie then asks Susan if Zach pistol-whipped her. Susan says no, and Edie tells her she can be honest, then asking if he slapped her around. Susan says no again, and Edie keeps stepping in front of her, telling her no to get the wrong impression, as she is thrilled that Susan's alright, but usually when someone takes someone else hostage they usually rough them up a bit. Susan says it wasn't anything like that, and so off they go... until Edie turns around and asks "Not even a little kicking?".

Susan finally gets to Mike, who's getting out of the house. Susan goes straight to the point, asking Mike about him not wanting to press charges against Zach. Mike says that's true, and she tells him she finds that confusing. Mike tells her that if they make a big deal about this, Zach could go to prison. Susan is apparently fine with that, as he did hold a gun to her face. Mike says he's been to prison, and Zach wouldn't handle it. She asks him who cares, and he apparently does. She says he should care about her, his girlfriend, and not some neighbor he barely even knows. Mike says he knows him well enough to understand that deep down he's not a bad kid. Susan says he wanted to kill him, and Mike just says "but he didn't". Susan then inquires him why he was never curious to ask her why Zach suddenly wanted to kill Mike, and he asks her if the motive matters.


Mike tells his two lady friends that the police found Zach...dead.

Susan tells him Zach said he had kidnapped his father to kill him, and Mike replies that he didn't kill Paul Young. She says she didn't think he did, but he needs to tell her why Zach does. Mike sighs and sits down, telling her about how he found some evidence that suggested that Paul murdered Deirdre Taylor. Sixteen years ago, she had a baby, and Paul and Mary Alice Young kidnapped him and raised them as their own. Deirdre tracked them down to Wisteria Lane and demanded her baby back. Susan asks "So Paul killed her?", to which Mike replies "Actually, it was Mary Alice". Susan is terribly shocked. Edie appears and says that she answered Mike's phone: it's the police. He gets it, and he's surprised. He tells the police over the phone he can be somewhere they agreed upon in 20 minutes. Mike hangs up, gets up and tells them Zach's dead. The two women are both shocked, and he says the police want him to come identify the body. He leaves, and Susan follows.

Act IV[]


"That's not Zach."

A dead body is seen covered by a white sheet at the coroner's office, as Mike, Susan and officer Romslo come in. The latter thanks them for coming down to the station. They didn't know who else to call because Zach's father is missing. Susan and Mike position themselves in front of the dead body, and the officers asks them if they're ready. They both nod affirmatively, and the coroner pulls the sheet off of the dead kid: it's not Zach. Mike walks away, and Susan tells them that's not who they thought it was. Romslo asks her if she's sure, to which Susan replies that Zach held a gun to her face for six hours, so she knows what he looks like. Romslo takes down some notes, as Susan notices that Mike has sat across from them, on a desk, looking worried. She looks as though she's just realized something, and then asks the officer to give them a minute. He acquiesces. She heads towards Mike, leans against the desk, and asks him: "Zach is your son, isn't he?". To which Mike replies "Yep. I'm pretty sure". She asks him how long he's known this, and Mike says Paul Young told him. Deirdre had gotten pregnant before he went to jail, and she had told him she'd had an abortion, but apparently that was a lie. Mike then goes on to say that when he took Paul out to the desert (this part takes Susan by surprise), he was so angry he just wanted to hurt him the way they hurt Deirdre. But when he found out that Paul and Mary Alice had taken care of Deirdre's baby, his baby, that rage just went away, which kept him from doing something really stupid. Susan is shocked, and tells him she's gonna take a cab home. She then leaves.

Bree is seen spritzing the kitchen counter when Andrew and Danielle walk in. Her son tells her his grandma's leaving, and they need to talk to her. Bree tries to explain to her son that her mother-in-law said some pretty nasty things, but Andrew interrupts her by saying that he's sure she was a real bitch, but she's family, so that makes her their bitch. Bree is paused by this. Andrew tells her to let Phyllis say goodbye to his father. Bree continues cleaning the counter and lets them know Phyllis went out of her way to be cruel to her, so she doesn't want her anywhere near the funeral. Danielle is crying, and tells her mom that if she doesn't let her grandma go to the funeral, she will never forgive her. Andrew tells his mother that she knows his father would want her there.


Bree and Phyllis hug it out... sort of.

Bree sighs, and then heads to the entrance, where she meets Phyllis with her luggage. Bree tells her that it is true she and Rex did not have the best marriage, but for eighteen years she tried her very best and for that she was entitled to Phyllis' respect. Phyllis says she is indeed, and of course she respects Bree. The latter then asks her why she would say those mean things, and Phyllis claims that it was much easier for her to be angry at Bree than with her own son. "I mean, what was he thinking, leaving me?", she says, whilst beginning to cry. Bree sighs and says "I do want you to come to the funeral"; Phyllis thanks her and they engage in a quick embrace. She then heads to the stairs and tells Bree that someone should get her luggage. She heads upstairs as Bree turns to all the bags in front of the door.


Tom throws his back at the worst possible time.

Lynette is seen coming into the kitchen/living room area of the house holding baby Penny, and she calls out for her husband. He responds, and she notices him lying down on the floor, looking awful. She asks him what the matter is, and he explains that he threw his back out holding Parker upside down. Lynette puts Penny in her crib and grabs a hold of Tom's legs. She shoves them against his chest, creating a small crunching sound. She asks him if that's better, but apparently it's not. He then asks his wife if she could push her second interview, as he's not gonna be able to take care of Penny in that condition. Lynette tells him not to put her in that situation, as she doesn't have time to make a phone call and she had promised Nina her kids wouldn't interfere with her job. Tom tells her that was a stupid promise, and she repeats the stunt she had performed earlier with his legs, while reminding him of a time when he was in Tucson and she had a 104 fever and still managed to take the kids out trick-or-treating. Tom tells her the stunt isn't helping, and she drops his legs. She tells him that being a "mom" is like being an ER doctor, there are no days off, so he needs to get up. Despite her insistence, he can't get up, although he tries. She notices he's starting to cry. He says he'll be fine, so she can just go. Lynette takes Penny. Tom tells her to give them hell, and she angrily storms out holding the baby.

Act V[]

Lynette enters the Parcher & Murphy offices holding Penny, and worriedly looks around. She notices the receptionist Stu at the front desk, about to eat a sandwich, and heads over to him. Stu notices and greets her, saying she can go ahead and wait inside, as the bosses will be right in. She says "Great" and then tries to tell him something, but she can't remember her name. He cheerfully says "Stu" and she proceeds to say "You look like a bright, uh, responsible young man, I bet you just love kids. Am I right?"; Stu looks at Penny and then back at her mother, slightly terrified.

Lynette waits inside the office, and Nina comes in with Ed and introduces them to one another. Ed tells Lynette to sit, and adds that they're gonna have to make it quick as he's gonna have to leave to take a plane in five minutes, because he's got Celtics tickets on the floor. Lynette giggles as he crumples a piece of paper and hurls it at the trash can, which has a worn basketball net suspended above it. Ed says she's got a great résumé, and tells her of how he snaked the Oslo Candy account from the Donahues (who Lynette worked with) the year before. He throws another ball of paper to the trash can, just over Nina's head. He then asks Lynette if she's done a lot of copy work, and she asserts that she has. She goes on to say that when she moved over to Senn & Simmons she got to do a broader rage of campaigns... and she is paused frequently by her sighting of Stu holding baby Penny higher and higher from the ground level. He then puts the baby down on the desk, lying with no support whatsoever, crying, as he goes to flirt with some attractive female co-worker.


Penny is seen crying on Stu's table.

Lynette can't stop looking at her baby girl and finally leaves, not being able to take it anymore. Ed asks what is going on, to which Nina responds that she has no idea. She gets up and sees Lynette across the hall taking the girl and her bag, and calling Stu an "idiot" repeatedly. She barges into the office, introducing Penny to the two bosses, saying the little girl gives her all her best ideas. Nina says "You brought your baby to the interview?". Lynette declares that it won't be an ongoing thing. Nina says "You bet it won't" and turns to Ed, who says that it's fine. He then asks if there is any way Lynette can get the girl to stop crying.


Lynette changes her daughter's diaper.

She says she won't stop until her diaper's changed, and asks to be given two minutes. Ed gets up and says "Sorry. Plane.", and Lynette stops him by saying "Then watch me multitask", while handing Nina the bag. Lynette sits down where Ed was and starts changing Penny's diaper, addressing her interviewers at the same time. "Here's how I see it: you guys run a really good shop. But if you want your agency to go to the next level, you have to focus on two things. First, you gotta win some awards. Do some PSAs, pro bono stuff, whatever it takes. Because, whether they admit it or not, clients care about what's in your trophy case. Two, your website. It's the first thing a client's gonna look at. And it's hard to navigate, there's no site map. It just wasn't built for people who grew up without computers." She takes Penny on her lap, all done with, and says "There. And third... I don't have a third, yeah. So that's... it". Ed smiles and says "Ok. You're in." Lynette is surprised, and so is Nina. He leaves, saying he's gotta run and that Lynette can take the office across the hall. Lynette is happy and throws the dirty diaper to the trash can, only it misses the hoop, sticking to the wall instead, slowly starting to slide downward. An aghast Nina looks at Lynette, who says she's obviously going to clean that up.

Gabby test

Gabrielle shows Carlos the tampered paternity test.

At the prison's meeting room, Gabrielle shows Carlos the DNA test, telling him the proof is right there: he is the father of her baby. Carlos takes it in his hands, and still looks frustrated. She asks him why he's not smiling, and he says that's not enough: the one thing he demanded was fidelity, but she still went out and screwed around behind his back. She replies that the one thing she didn't want was to have a child, but he still managed to screw around and get her pregnant. Carlos says it's not the same, and Gabrielle states that he's right, because what he did was far worse. He then asks "We're not very nice people, are we?". Carlos says that when they got married, he though they were gonna be so happy. She says she thought so too... and then adds "Look on the bright side, at least we're still rich." He says "Thank God for that".

Mike gets out of his house in the morning to fetch the newspaper, and doesn't notice Susan sitting out in the front porch, right next to him, until she starts talking. He is startled as she says it occurred to her that she was really rude at the morgue. When he told her about Zach, she was so busy freaking out that she never actually congratulated him because he now has a child, something he wanted so much. She looks devastated, and he asks her what's wrong. She says that naturally he'll want to start up a relationship with Zach, something that takes a lot of time. But out of all the mixed-up teenagers in the world, Zach is the one she can't be around, and the one she can't have her daughter around. She hugs him and he realizes they won't be moving in together anymore. She breaks off the embrace, crying, stating that she is still very happy for him, because he has a child, which is good for him. He starts to wonder if there is any way they can work it out, but she apologizes and adds that she'll see him around. Susan then rushes away, and they are both heartbroken.

Act VI[]

The local Presbyterian church is packed during Rex's funeral, as Betty Applewhite plays a lovely yet eery


Betty Applewhite at Rex's funeral.

instrumental piece. A crown of flowers reads, as the reverend and Rex's family walk in, "In Loving Memory of Rex Van de Kamp / 1962 - 2005". Susan stares at Mike on the other side of the church, and Julie pats her mother's shoulder to comfort her. Phyllis is seen approaching her son's coffin, and smiles at his deceased body, then walking away. Danielle follows, and almost breaks down when she notices the teddy bear, Doolittle, next to her father. Andrew is up next, and Bree goes after him. She looks very sad, until she notices that her husband is wearing the orange and green tie from his prep school days, which shifts her emotion to irate. She looks at Phyllis, angrily, until the reverend gestures at her to take her seat. Bree does so, and he begins the service. Betty stops playing.


"Give me your tie!"

Reverend Sikes announces that they are there today to celebrate the life of Dr. Rex Van de Kamp. Bree asks her mother-in-law what he is wearing; she left him an hour ago and he was wearing a Ralph Lauren tie. Phyllis claims that's what Rex would've wanted, as he loved that prep school. A while later, the reverend has managed to bring a smile to all of Rex's family, by saying "So, as we mourn the passing Rex Van de Kamp, we give thanks to God. For we do not grieve as those who have no hope, but as those who place their trust in God."... all but Bree, who still looks angry. Betty resumes playing the organ, as Andrew and some funeral attendees get up to go and close the casket to carry it outside. As they start closing it up, Bree pops up and shouts "Wait!". Betty is paused, and Bree orders the men to not close that coffin. The reverend signals them to exit, and Bree turns around and walks down the aisle, scanning the area.

Bree and Rex

Bree attempts to change Rex's tie.

She heads towards Tom and Lynette Scavo, who are sitting down a few pews over, and orders Tom to give her his tie. He asks "What?" and she slowly and decidedly repeats "Give me your tie". Tom looks around, confused, and Lynette turns to him and quickly yet lowly says "Give it to her! Give it to her!". Tom takes off his tie and hands it to Bree. Everyone looks confused as Bree heads on over to the coffin. She removes Rex's tie and then lifts the body up to put Tom's tie around his neck. People can't conceal their shock and awe. Once she's done, Bree exhales, smiles at the body and says "You look... magnificent". She then parades down the aisle, as all heads turn to watch her go (except for Danielle, who looks embarrassed), and she opens the door and storms out.


The camera pans down from the sky to the ladies walking about on Wisteria Lane. Susan explains to them that it looks like Mary Alice killed Zach's birth mother in order to keep her from taking him away. Lynette says "Oh, my God. I mean, I knew Mary Alice had killed herself over something big, but "wow". Can you imagine living with that guilt?". Gabrielle asks them if they don't find it bizarre that Paul and Mary Alice kept that secret for all those years and they had no clue about it. Susan says "No, not really. I mean, what do we actually know about our neighbors? We can tell if they keep their lawns nice or if they take the trash cans in, but when they do those things we stop asking questions cause if people are good neighbors...". Bree completes the sentence by adding "We don't really care what happens behind closed doors." Piano music starts playing.

It had been one year since my suicide...

Susan crosses her arms, and Lynette asks "Makes you wonder, doesn't it?"

...and a lot had a changed on Wisteria Lane. There were new flowers, new houses, and new neighbors, the kind anyone would want living right next door.
Mary Alice Young

"I'll get the tray. You take the gun."

Betty is seen playing the piano at her house, and Matthew comes in holding a tray with food and asks her if that's another hymn. Betty says she knows it's silly, but playing those songs at the funeral got her in the mood again. She adds that the song she's playing is her grandmother's favorite, and then asks him if he remembered the butter. He says "I make up the tray every night", and puts it down on a table nearby. She says of course he does. Betty notices he added a flower, a red rose in a lean vase. Matthew says he thought it'd be nice. Betty stops playing and says, always in a rather peculiar and sing-song way "How did I get so lucky to have a child like you? You really do try to think of others. That flower is a small act of kindness you thought no one would notice, and yet you did it anyway. It says a lot about how you were raised." Matthew looked uncomfortable throughout all this, and then says his mother did her job. Betty sends him an eery smile form across the room as she goes to grab something from a drawer and says "I guess so".


"It really is a lovely gesture."

She then turns and walks over to him, saying "I'll get the tray. You take the gun". She hands him a revolver, and Matthew takes it and gets up. She takes the tray and he slips the gun into the back of his pants. They then head downstairs and Matthew unlocks a rusted metal door, which gives the place a dungeon-y feel. Betty heads inside and puts the tray down on a table in front of her. She then goes to her son Matthew, and looks back at the rose. "It really is a lovely gesture.", she says, and they leave, with Matthew locking up behind his mother. Inside the basement, someone's shackled hand grabs the glass.


This episode was written by story editor Jenna Bans and co-executive producer Kevin Murphy, marking their 3rd and 4th writing credits with the series, respectively, and directed by producer Larry Shaw, marking his 8th directing credit.

This episode was filmed in July 2005. It should be noted that the scene featuring the Applewhite family in which Betty brings a tray of food to a prisoner in their basement was originally filmed for the first season finale, but was cut for time and instead re-shot and added to this episode.


The episode was watched by 28.360 million viewers when it first aired on ABC and ranked as the second most watched show that week. It also received positive reviews from television critics and fans alike.


  • As of this episode, Steven Culp (Rex Van de Kamp) and Jesse Metcalfe (John Rowland) are no longer series regulars. Previous guest stars Alfre Woodard (Betty Applewhite), Doug Savant (Tom Scavo) and Richard Burgi (Karl Mayer) are promoted to "starring" castmembers. In addition to that, a new "also starring" section is added to the credits for regular castmembers, shown along with the guest stars after the opening credits sequence. This section includes new series regulars Shawn Pyfrom (Andrew Van de Kamp), Joy Lauren (Danielle Van de Kamp), Mehcad Brooks (Matthew Applewhite), Brent Kinsman (Preston Scavo), Shane Kinsman (Porter Scavo) and Zane Huett (Parker Scavo). Although they were contracted as regulars for season 2, Roger Bart (George Williams) and Page Kennedy (Caleb Applewhite) are absent from this episode and are therefore not credited.
  • Although credited, Mark Moses (Paul Young) and Richard Burgi (Karl Mayer) are absent from this episode.
  • The scene in which Betty and Matthew Applewhite bring the tray down to the unknown man (Caleb Applewhite) in the basement was originally intended to be included in the first season finale. When Marc Cherry decided it would be best not to introduce the central mystery of season two in the first season finale, the scene was shelved and later edited back into the second season premiere. Which is why Betty and Matthew are wearing the same clothes that they wore in the season finale when Edie talks to them. Also, the scene was originally filmed at night, with Betty closing the blinds, making sure that no one was looking in and giving the gun to Matthew. The scene was re-shot in the daytime to make it look like it happened after Rex's funeral.
  • In this episode, the character of Rex Van de Kamp is portrayed by a wax figure modeled after actor Steven Culp.
  • Shaw shirt

    The sports shirt that reads "Shaw".

    When Lynette is in Ed's office, she is seen looking at a shirt framed on the wall with the name "Shaw" on it; "Shaw" is the last name of the director of this episode.
  • Parcher & Murphy was also referenced in Some of My Best Friends, a short-lived comedy series which was also executive produced by creator Marc Cherry.
  • Despite the title of the show being Desperate Housewives, this episode established that none of the characters are (strictly speaking) housewives at this point. Susan, Edie, and Betty are all divorcees, Bree is a widow and Gabrielle isn't really a true housewife while Carlos is in prison. Lynette will also be working in an office this season, thus nullifying the label of "housewife". Even Karen McCluskey has been established to be a widow. In fact, with the exception of Gabrielle, this pattern will more or less be held for the whole season, making the title a misnomer for season 2.
  • The title of this episode comes from a song of the same name, the closing song, in fact, of the Stephen Sondheim musical, Pacific Overtures.
  • Both Mehcad Brooks and Teri Hatcher would later work together on the CW's Supergirl.

Bloopers and Continuity Errors[]

  • When Lynette throws the dirty diaper, it hits the glass wall and falls next to the trash can, but when the camera turns to Nina, in the background, the diaper is not there.
  • When Bree and Phyllis are talking about the funeral, the door behind the Reverend changes from open to closed between shots.
  • Lynette goes to her second interview and has to take her daughter with her. As she is talking to Stu the receptionist, he's eating a long sandwich. In the initial shots the sandwich is whole, by the final cut away the sandwich has been cut in half lengthways with the second half now on the desk in front of him.
  • Lynette asks Bree to borrow a scarf to wear to her job interview, and Bree accepts. Later, Lynette is at her job interview with no scarf.
  • At the end of the episode, Betty and Matthew are wearing exactly the same clothes they were wearing when Edie greeted them in the first season finale. Betty even mentions being at the funeral that day.