Wiksteria Lane

"School of Hard Knocks" is the 161st episode of Desperate Housewives.


After disobeying the rules of student drop-offs at the front of Juanita's school, Gabrielle makes it her mission to get even with a parent volunteer who banishes her to a faraway parking lot. Meanwhile, Bree discovers that her daughter Danielle's new business may not be as wholesome as she first though, and Lynette begins to suspect that Tom may be dating. Susan tries to ease her guilt by taking an art class with no-nonsense instructor Andre Zeller.


Previously on Desperate Housewives[]

Lynette and Tom struggled with their separation. Mike heard a confession that could change his life with Susan forever. Bree showed Gaby the note, and decided she needed to end her relationship with Detective Vance.
Mary Alice Young


It's often said that children learn their most important lessons outside the classroom.

Several cars are seen driving slowly in the Green Zone, the children's drop-off zone in front of Oakridge Elementary School.

They learn to find peaceful ways to resolve conflict...

A young boy is seen being mistreated by a bully, until he gives him some money, and the bully goes away.

To make smart choices about nutrition...

Another young man takes out a bag of chips from his lunch pack, and throws the rest of the food in the trash.

To master the art of conversation.

Several kids are seen lined up and texting on their phones, without exchanging a word to one another.

But for Gabrielle Solis, the art of morning drop-off was something she'd never learn.

Gabrielle and her daughter Juanita are seen sitting in their car, in the Green Zone. Gabrielle is impatient, especially when she realizes she's behind the wheelchair kid. She tells her daughter to get out, and Juanita reminds her that she's not allowed to until they get into the Green Zone and a volunteer opens the door, something they failed to wait for the last time around. Gaby reminds her that at least the last time she managed to get to her hot stone massage in time. Juanita leaves, and Dana, the PTA president, notices this and whistles at Gabrielle to hold it.


Gabrielle tries to take the placard back from Dana.

Gaby is frustrated, and Dana tells her that apparently she didn't learn her lesson the last two times she broke the rules. With this third strike, she's out. With this said, Dana takes Gabrielle's Green Zone placard from her car, and walks away. Gaby comes after her, telling her she needs it, and Dana explains to her that from now on her drop-off privileges have been revoked and she'll be parking in the B lot and walking Juanita to class. Cindy and a blonde woman show up, asking Dana if there are any problems, and Dana further humiliates Gabrielle by telling her she can keep the placard if only she can take it back from her. Dana, being taller than Gaby, holds the placard high above her, and even though Gaby tells her she won't give her that satisfaction... however, she immediately contradicts herself by trying to take back the placard several times, to no avail. An angered Gabrielle tells Dana that just because she's PTA president she doesn't get to make the laws, and Dana replies that she's got news for her: here at Oakridge, she IS the law. Dana walks off, handing Cindy the placard and getting hand sanitizer spritzed on her by the blonde. Gaby is frustrated.

Yes, some of our most important lessons are learnt outside the classroom. And when it came to school politics, Gabrielle's education was just begininning.
Mary Alice Young

Act I[]

When it came to her separation, Lynette Scavo was determined to do everything by the book.

Lynette Scavo is seen reading a book titled Kids First: The Big Book of Separation.

She made sure her visitation days were evenly divided...

Lynette applies post-its to a calendar that displays the month of October, and which is already covered by several pink and light-blue post-its with notes in them.

She kept perfect records of her household expenses...

She is then seen storing some bills into a designated case.

She found healthy ways to relieve her stress.

She is seen using a meat hammer on a large chunk of meat with seeming passion.

Yes, Lynette was confident her by-the-book approach was the right one. Sadly, not everyone was on the same page.
Mary Alice Young

Lynette reads the book Kids First: The Big Book of Separation.

Renee is seen drinking a glass of wine and checking her friend as she sorts through all the books she purchased on separation. She comments that at least her friend's divorce was good for the publishing industry, and Lynette tells her they're not using the d-word, as she and her husband are merely going through a separation. Tom then shows up to pick up Penny, and Renee notices that he's working out, as well as wearing a new teeth whitener. After they leave, she announces to Lynette that Tom is "banging" someone, which would explain how he's all of a sudden concerned with his appearance, and Lynette dismisses this idea at first, but shortly afterwards grows suspicious nonetheless.


Bree is startled by Gabrielle while she checks her mail.

We see the mailbox for house no. 4354 on Wisteria Lane, and Bree standing right behind it, building up the courage to look inside. She does so, sorts through the mail, cautiously, and Gabrielle sneaks up behind her and tells her that doesn't look too suspicious, prompting Bree to be startled. She apologizes to her friend, saying she's been jumpy lately because of the letter they received. Gaby reminds her that it has been three weeks, so maybe they are out of the woods, so if someone was trying to blackmail them, they're not very good at it. Bree wonders what happened to them, if they just disappeared, and Gaby says "If we're lucky." She adds that now that now that Chuck is gone and that Susan is acting normal again, they may be in the clear. A car drives up from behind them and Gabrielle notices it's Danielle and Benjamin, leading her to ask what's the occasion. Bree announces to her that Danielle's husband left her, and Gaby goes away because she doesn't want to witness anything sad.


Bree tries to comfort her daughter.

Bree and Danielle enter the house, leaving the front door open behind them. Bree tells her daughter she's sorry about what happened, but adds that it isn't something she didn't see coming. Danielle replies that such attitude didn't take long, and Bree responds that neither did the marriage. They go into the living room and Bree asks her how she's holding up. Danielle says that the fact that her husband left her sucks, but her own mother should know how it feels, considering she just got dumped by her cop boyfriend. Bree answers that in fact she was the one doing the dumping, and that Chuck actually wanted to marry her. As Benjy comes in with all the luggage, Bree tells her daughter this week (or weeks) is about her, and that they are gonna make a plan to put her life back together. Danielle says this all just happened, so she asks for a few days to veg out. Bree tells her she can do that, and adds that she promised on her wedding day that she'd be there when Leo left her. Danielle is annoyd by this, and tells her mother maybe they'll just crash on Andrew's floor. Bree tells her that that's so uncomfortable, and Danielle replies that it's not as bad as staying there and getting picked apart by her. Bree promises she won't criticize her, and adds that if she stays on Andrew's floor she'll need a tetanus shot. Danielle gives her a look, and Bree reminds her that she promised she wouldn't criticize her, but she never said anything about her brother.


Mike shows his wife that he still loves her.

Susan is seen sitting in her kitchen, reading a program for the Eagle State College of the Arts, when Mike comes in. She puts down the program and reminds him that she knows she told him the night before to take his time to assimilate what she and Carlos told him, but while he's taking the time he needs, she asks of him to tell her he loves her, if he still does. Mike puts his arms around her from behind and tells her that nothing could make him stop loving her. She becomes emotional and tells him that it was so hard to keep that secret from him, the hardest thing she's ever done. He sits in front of her and tells her that at least now he understands why she's been so distant, and adds that he's relieved she wasn't having an affair. She tells him that know that he knows, she just wants everything to go back to normal. They kiss, and he tells her that he hopes she realizes it might not be that easy, and she should take it from a guy who's done things like this before, they don't just disappear. Susan tells him she knows that, but she believes that if she can just focus on other stuff and move on with her life it should be okay. He says "Great", and she tells him the first step will be a painting class she's taking at the local college, which is being taught by Andre Zeller. She realizes that this name means nothing to her husband, so she explains that it'd be like taking a football class from Peyton Manning. He understands this comparison, and she tells him she thinks it'll just the thing to get her mind out of what happened, but first she needs to make up her portfolio, as Mr. Zeller has to approve all of his students... not that she's worried. And she then swears to him that from now on there will be no more secrets between them. He smiles at her, but when she leaves he just looks worried and nods his head sideways.


Gabrielle convinces the other frustrated moms to rally against Dana.

Gabrielle and Juanita are seen in the B lot, looking through the fence. Juanita asks her mother if that building she sees in the distance, far from the, is the school. Gaby is frustrated, and is met by two other mothers, Melissa and Rachel, as she walks out. They notice she's new to the B lot, and ask her what she's in for. Gaby explains to them what happened, and adds that she should be out of the B lot soon enough. The women laugh at her, and explain their situations: Melissa took a cell phone call in the green zone, and has been parking in the B lot for 2 months already, whereas Rachel's son had peanut butter crackers in his lunchbox, which means she's looking at a much bigger punishment. Gaby asks them why she even got the job if she is looked down upon by the parents, and is told that the parents actually voted for her, as it is an elected position. Gaby then tries to get them to come to the next PTA meeting, which will be held the following Thursday, and rally against Dana. After some initial hesitation, the women agree.

Act II[]

Susan's paintings

Susan's cutesy-wutesy paintings.

Andre Zeller flips through Susan's portfolio, which includes drawings she made of farm or wild animals painted in a lovely, child-friendly manner. Andre compliments her work, and she is flattered. She goes on to say that she knows he's wondering why would a professional artist who can draw the way she does would want to take an art class. He tells her (with a rather sarcastic note) that's exactly what he was thinking, and she responds that she loves his work, particularly a series of paintings he did based on Dante's Inferno. She adds that she wishes she could paint like that, and he tells her that she's very kind, and goes on to keep complimenting her drawings and her technique. Susan is convinced that that means she's in, and is therefore very surprised when Andre tells her she isn't. He then tells her she's a fine illustrator, but what she does isn't what he calls "art". Susan tells him her paintings have been in dozens of books, and some of them best-sellers. He tells her that, to him, art means "reaching down your throat, tearing your guts out, and smearing it all over a canvas". Anger and passion are what interest him. He says he's looking for serious students in the medium, whereas Susan is a bored housewife trying to kill time between spin classes and driving her to soccer practice. Susan tells him that's not fair, adding that because she did children's books doesn't mean she can't do anything else. He asks her if she has any works that reflect what he's talking about, and she says that she does, and therefore she'll bring it in tomorrow. As she leaves the studio, she says she won't bring it in that very day because she'll be picking up her son... from prison.

Danielle is seen sitting in the living room, watching TV and eating junk food, and Bree walks in. She asks her daughter what she's going to do with her life, and Danielle responds that she's not ready to think about all that just yet because her marriage just fell apart, and Bree of all people should know how that feels. Bree tells her she does, and she sat on that chair all day long too and eventually turned into a raging alcoholic. This story piques Danielle's interest, as she tells her mother a bottle of wine sounds great right now, but is frustrated to learn Bree can't even take a sip. Bree tells her she has a child to think about, and this reminds Danielle that she started up a game of hide-and-seek with her son that she didn't finish. She opens the door to the closet to find him there, and tells him to go hide again. He does so, and she reveals to her mother that she has been thinking of starting her own business, regarding an exercise equipment she designed. Bree agrees to fund her with $500 and let her work from her test kitchen, and Danielle is very happy. Bree congratulates her for showing some initiative and for setting a good example for her son, and Danielle is reminded that she must, yet again, go looking for Benjamin.

Tom arrives at the Scavo household, ready to talk with his wife about their schedules, and brings with him a can of protein shake, which is supposed to make him "lean and mean", as he tells Lynette. They go over some arrangements, and Lynette announces that she heard back from the marriage counselor, who can squeaze them in on Thursday at 6 o'clock... if Tom's still interested in going to couples' therapy. He says he is, and that he can make that work. He then takes a phone call and is surprised by who it is. He asks if they can talk later, which arouses Lynette's curiosity, but he then tells his wife it's a work thing and asks if they are done there. She says they are, and so he prepares to leave and tells her they'll see each other on Thursday. As he gets up, she leans to the side to get the costumary kiss on the lips, out of force of habit, but immediately turns back to the front when she doesn't get one and realises what she was about to do out of instinct. He leaves.

Act III[]


Dana hosts a PTA meeting.

Gabrielle arrives at the PTA meeting on Thursday, late, and explains to Rachel and Melissa, next to whom she sits, in the back, that went to an AA meeting instead without knowing. When Dana asks her what brings her to her first PTA meeting ever, Gaby explains that they're there to rally against her, as it only takes five disgruntled parents to vote to take down the president, per the rule book Dana follows. Dana manages to blackmail Rachel and Melissa back into her side by handing them green zone placards, forcing Gabrielle to lose two of her followers and her plan to go down the crapper. Dana mocks her, telling her apparently they won't be taking that vote after all, and Gaby asks what else she can do now, considering she already parks in the B lot. Dana gives her a smirk and, the following morning, Gabrielle is seen getting out of her parked car in the C lot. A frustrated Juanita tells her "Nice, mom".


Danielle reveals what her business is really about.

Bree enters the test kitchen, wherein Danielle and Benjamin are working on their new business. Bree has brought them lemonade, and ganders at the equipment. Danielle reveals to her that as soon as they put the website, the products started selling like crazy, with Benjamin adding that they've been ordered over 200 of those already. Bree stands corrected then, and asks Danielle how exactly the equipment works. Danielle reveals it's sort of a mix between pilates and stretching, and it's really more for serious athletes. The phone rings, and Danielle tells her mother it might be another customer. She asks her mother to take Benjamin to get some lunch, and she takes the phone call, saying "Hello, Extasy Sex Swing, "we put the swing back in your sex life". Yes, it can sport up to 300 pounds, and we guarantee maximum pleasure for you and your partner."

Lynette is seen covering Penny's eyes, hoping to surprise her with a gift, and she does just when she takes her hands off of her: it's a tablet. Penny is excited, but reminds her mother that her birthday was the month before, and Lynette explains to her that this way they can communicate with one another when she's at her dad's, and thus she can help Penny with her homework. Later, when Penny's at her father's, she is informed by the tablet that her mother wants to video-chat with her. Penny is surprised to be hearing from her this soon, as she just dropped her off, and Lynette responds that she missed her.


Lynette spots something in her virtual tour she'd soon wish she hadn't.

Penny tells her that, since she called, she does need some help with her fractions. However, Lynette is much more interested in seeing what her father's new bachelor pad looks like, so she makes Penny stand up, hold the tablet up in front of her and show her the sights. Lynette starts gazing at all the details and decoration, and demands that her daughter stop when she notices Tom talking to a hot blonde 20-year-old outside, through the window. Lynette asks Penny who that is, and she tells her it's Chloe, who also lives in the building and who is really nice. Lynette asks if Chloe is around a lot, to which Penny replies "sometimes", adding that she teaches a booty burning ballet class, so she's usually mostly at the fitness center. Lynette tells her she's seen enough, and logs off without helping her daughter with her homework.

Act IV[]


Susan shows Andre her new, not so cutesy-wutesy painting.

Susan shows Andre a painting she made of a bare tree against a blue, night-like background, and he tells her this is different. He asks her what this means to her, and she says "Loneliness. Isolation. Not long ago, this tree was lush and green, and... but now, it's, huh, lost its leaves, and winter's ahead, and it's just doing what it can to survive." He can't conceal a smirk, and he says "So let me guess, you're the tree". Susan can see that he's making fun of her again, so she prepares to leave, but he stops her, telling her they're having an artistic dialogue there. He tells her he bets her creative process went something along the lines "How do I prove to Andre Zeller that I'm deep?"; so she dug down and found this sad little tree. He makes fun of her some more, and Susan is offended and frustrated. She tells him he doesn't know anything about her, and he asks what there is to know: she's shallow, and her work is shallow, and God bless, because if he had her life he'd be painting bunnies too.


Susan shows Andre that she's got anger and passion too.

He adds that Susan wants everything to be nice and pretty because she is afraid of the ugly. She snaps at him by grabbing hold of a canvas and putting black and red paint over it, then proceeding to smear it all, telling him in the meantime that if he wants "ugly" and "passion", well, there it is, for him to witness. After she smears everything with her bare hands all over the canvas, she takes a pair of scissors and stabs the canvas, then proceeding to cut through it and rip it apart,as she tells him that she is not just some soccer mom, she has done things she'd never thought she'd do, she has anger and she has pain and she has secrets she wishes she could get rid of but can't. After all this, she cools off, and tells him it's fine, he's made up his mind about her, so screw his class, screw his medium, and screw himself. She leaves, and he is left there, apparently somewhat moved.

Bree allows herself into the test kitchen, and checks out Danielle's products. She tries to put on one of the exercise equipments, but isn't able to do so. Renee shows up, hoping to get a recipe, and when she notices what Bree is trying to do, she congratulates her friend for apparently having gotten back together with Chuck. Bree reveals she hasn't, and Renee then asks her what she's doing with a sex swing. Bree is oblivious to what she means, and when she realizes she's referring to Danielle's equipment, she explains what her daughter had told her, but Renee makes it clear that it's really what she meant: a sex swing. She demonstrates it to Bree, who has never heard of such a thing before.


Renee coaches Bree in the sex swing.

Later, Danielle gets into the kitchen to witness her mother riding on the swing as Renee gives her directions on all the sexual positions they can try. They are startled by Danielle's appearance, and Renee sneaks out, carrying a swing with her and telling Danielle she'll write her a check later, while Bree tries to get out of the swing, whilst furiously shouting at Danielle that she is very disappointed in her for venturing in such an inappropriate business. Danielle is not surprised by her mother's attitude, and lashes out at her, telling her that even though she found something she's good at and that's successful, that's still not good enough for her mother, who just lives to judge her. She then leaves, and Bree is still unable to leave the swing.


Mike warns his wife that what she did is now a part of her forever.

Susan is telling Mike about the incident at Andre's studio, telling him it was bad, and that Andre probably called the looney bin and they're on their way to the Delfino house with a butterfly net. Mike tells her it's okay, and she tells him it's not, as she just ran out of the studio, without even taking her portfolio, and she doesn't know what overcame her. He tells her that he understands she wants what happened in the woods to go away, but it won't: it's a part of her now. Susan insists that she doesn't want that to be the case, and he says he doesn't want that either, just like he doesn't want his dark past to be a part of him, but it is. Susan becomes frustrated and begs him to stop saying that, and he gets up from his seat and tells her he's trying to protect her, proceeding to embrace her from behind, because if she can accept that this is a part of her, then maybe she can figure out a way to live with it. But if she doesn't, that's when it jumps out without warning, which is a bad way to live. She turns to him and asks if things are never gonna be the way they were, to which he replies that things are how they are. Susan seems less than content. He asks her if she's okay, but MJ is heard from upstairs asking Susan to check out his math sheet. She tells him "sure" and leaves, without giving Mike a proper response. He looks worried.

Act V[]

Bree enters the kitchen and announces to Danielle that the UPS man helped her out of the swing, after hearing her cries for help. Bree then tells her she knows she thinks of her mother as a little judgmental, and Bree tells her, in a sarcasting tone, "Yeah, a little bit", after showing her several examples of when Bree looked down upon the way she acted. Bree seems upset, and adds that what she was going to say is that she's right. Danielle asks her why she is admitting that, and Bree tells her she had no right to judge her as she herself is far from perfect.


Bree and Danielle make amends and hug it out.

Danielle tells her she's freaking her out, and asks if something happened. Bree just explains to her that a certain recent event made her realize that she is in no position to be critical of her or of anyone else. She asks her what happened, and Bree tells her that's not important right now, and wonders if her daughter will forgive her. Danielle tells her that's the first time she's ever said, thanks her, and then she does forgive her, and Bree adds, to prove that she's sincere, that she will continue to invest in and support her business in making those "disgusting" swings. Like a silent, invisible and completely untraceable partner who supports her from far away. Bree tells her she loves her, to which she responds that she does too, and then they hug. Bree tells her to pack up her sex factory, and she'll make them some cookies. They smile at each other.

At Andre's studio, he tells his class that they're gonna paint a hundred bad paintings, so they should just get those out of the way to get to the good ones. As he says this, Susan opens the door to the studio and quietly lets herself in to grab her portfolio. He asks her what she's doing, and she tells him she just forgot about it there the day before. He tells her to take a seat, as she's late. She asks him if that means he's letting her join the class, and he says that for now he is, but that crazy woman he saw the day before needs to appear every single day. Susan tells him she's not sure if she likes that woman, as she is afraid of her, to which Andre replies "Good". As he continues his class by telling his students to forget everything they learnt about brush technique, Susan takes a seat in front of a canvas and sighs.

Renee comes up to Lynette, who's getting out of her house. They're both dressed with sporting equipment. She asks Lynette if she's ready for their walk, to which her friend replies that she was actually thinking they could go to that booty burn ballet class at the fitness center. Renee asks what's going on, and Lynette reveals that she thinks she was right about Tom seeing someone else: an aerobics teacher. Renee realizes what her friend's intentions are, and Lynette asks if this makes her crazy, and whether she should just ask Tom if he's seeing someone. Renee makes it clear he'd just lie to her. They're all set to go then, but Renee has one last doubt: can they handle a booty burn ballet class? Lynette doesn't think it should be too hard.


Renee and Lynette feel exhausted from the booty burn ballet class.

Later, in class, it proves to be too hard indeed, as the two friends are exhausted from all the exercising. Renee asks Lynette if she's the only one about to pass out. A woman who's doing her exercises next to Lynette asks them if it's their first class, and she and Lynette get to talking during the routine. The woman reveals that she's a doctor, and therefore if Lynette has a heart attack, she can help her, which is good news. Lynette then promtply delivers the bad news: she's not a doctor, so if the woman should have one, she can't help her. The woman then jokes that if she winds up dying, they're to put her ass up in the coffin, as she'd hate for all that work to go to waste. Lynette lets out a small laugh, concealed mostly by her exhaustion. Chloe, the instructor, tells them to get on their feet. Renee asks Lynette if they can go now, considering that they've already checked out the competition. Lynette responds that she wants to talk to Chloe. The instructor tells them it's time to work on their quads, and Renee tells her friend that she doesn't know who she hates more at that time, her or the instructor. Chloe tells them to perform 50 lunges. Renee announces that she's the winner.

In the C lot, Gabrielle is talking on the phone, via Bluetooth, while she parks her car to go get Juanita to class. She asks whoever the recipient is to warn her eyebrow waxer that she's going to be approximately 20 minutes late to her appointment, and is told that he can't hold it for her. She panicks because, as she puts it, she's got caterpillars over her eyes. She then says fine, she'll be there in five minutes, and prevents her daughter from getting out of the car, as they're going drop-off.


Gabrielle doesn't notice that she's about to run over Dana.

As she enters the green zone, Rachel and Melissa approach her from outside the vehicle, trying to dissuade her from doing what she's doing, as she can't be in the carpool lane without a placard. Gabrielle tells them she doesn't give a crap: it's time to teach a Dana a lesson - they need to break the back of their oppressor. She drives off, leaving the two women confused, and when Dana spots the Solis car, she is taken by surprise and anger and blows her whistle, then ordering her peeps to mobilize the lane by putting down pylons on it, but Gaby just runs over them and tells Juanita to leave. She does so, and Gaby watches her go, proudly, as she continues to drive, not realizing that Dana is still trying to get her to stop by standing in front of the car and waving her arms around. Gaby finally notices her and stops the car, but it's too late: she can't help but hit Dana with her vehicle, and thus the ubermom falls to the floor. A frustrated Gabrielle realizes she's never going to get her eyebrows waxed.

Act VI[]


Gabrielle visits Dana in the hospital.

Gabrielle visits Dana at the hospital, who has a broken back. She brings her flowers and apologizes for what happened, and Dana, after asking Gaby to hand her some painkillers, explains to her why she called her up to see her: she was told by the school's administrators that, because of what happened, she was no longer able to perform the duties of PTA president, and they asked her to assign a new president, and she has made up her mind - it's Gabrielle. Gaby is surprised, because Dana hates her, and Dana commends her for her perception. She also goes on to explain that she used to be fun and care-free like her, but the job changed her, as it would change Gaby. She lost her friends, her husband and her good mood. Gaby tells her that as tantalizing as her little revenge fantasy sounds, she'll pass, but Dana then makes it clear that if she doesn't step up to the plate, she'll press charges. After all, she has witness who claim Gaby had threatened to break her opponent's back, and she does have a broken back indeed. A desperate Gabrielle takes one of Dana's painkillers as she realizes the consequences of her actions.

Lynette is seen talking to Chloe, who'd been filling her in on her three careers: as a fitness instructor, an aromatherapist and a lingerie model. Chloe explains to Lynette that lingerie modeling is more of a hobby then a career. Lynette makes a crack about her breasts, which upsets Chloe, and then insists that she was joking, and leaves, telling Chloe it was nice talking to her. Renee asks her how it went, and Lynette explains that obviously she's not thrilled, but it could be worst: Chloe could look like that and have a single thought in her head. She doesn't think that Tom will ever get serious with a woman like that, so she gives the whole thing three months. Tom shows up in front of them, and is surprised to see them there. Renee tells Lynette she'll meet her at the car and leaves, and Lynette reveals to Tom that she knows.


Lynette watches her husband with his new girlfriend.

Tom then fesses up, saying it's only been a few dinner dates, and Lynette doesn't want to hear it. She thinks less of him for dating the underwear model, and Tom reveals to her that he's picking up Jane, Chloe's mother, who is the woman he's been dating. Lynette is surprised to learn that it's the nice doctor she was previously talking to. She asks her husband when was he going to reveal this, and Tom tells her that would happen next Thursday, during counseling. As Lynette prepares to leave, clearly broken-hearted, he asks her if they're still up for that counseling meeting, and Lynette asks him what's the point. She leaves the room, and stands there for a while, as the door slowly closes behind her and conceals the image of her husband talking with his new date.

Yes, we often learn our most important lessons outside the classroom. The painful truth about the state of a relationship...

Lynette leaves the facility.

The ugly cost of challenging authority...

Gabrielle puts on a yellow vest, in front of the mirror.

The sad fact that life's colors aren't always rosy.

Susan is seen painting.

Then there are those who refuse to accept these important lessons. They simply wait for a chance to teach a lesson of their own.
Mary Alice Young

A familiar face is seen in the missing persons' files...

Chuck Vance is seen sitting at his desk, in a darkened office, looking at the ring he bought for Bree. Detective Murphy comes in and asks if he's still moping about that redhead, to which he replies that he doesn't very much like to be lead on and mocked at. So he won't be letting it go anytime soon. Murphy tells him that he's got some missing person files for him to go through, and Chuck tells him to leave on his desk. He does so, and the top file contains a picture of Alejandro.


"School of Hard Knocks" was directed by David Grossman and written by Marco Pennette.


According to Nielsen ratings, "School of Hard Knocks" was watched by 8.27 million viewers and held 2.7 rating/7 share among viewers between 18 and 49 years of age.[1] The episode was outperformed by Sunday Night Football on NBC, which averaged 16.57 million viewers and a 10.1 rating/16 share, The Good Wife on CBS, which was watched by 10.33 million viewers but held a 2.1 rating/7 share and The X Factor on Fox which was watched by 8.84 million viewers and held 3.4 in the 18-49 demographic. This episode was the least watched episode in terms of total viewers in the history of the show and tied a previously set series low in the 18-49 demographic rating. The episode gained an additional 2.1 million viewers and 0.9 rating in the week following the original broadcast due to DVR recordings.[2]


Bloopers and Continuity Errors[]

  • It is mentioned in this episode that Bree went to Danielle's and Leo's wedding. However, the episode "Kids Ain't Like Everybody Else" had previously established that the weekend the Katz family spent at the Hodge house marked the first time Leo met Bree, and in it Bree tells her husband that when Danielle came back to get Benjamin she was married to a lawyer, leading us to believe that their wedding hadn't even been announced to Bree before Danielle's return. Though it is possible Bree spoke to Danielle on her wedding day over the phone, and didn't attend her wedding.
  • When Bree and Danielle have their heartfelt talk in the kitchen, in their final scene together, Bree is seen stroking her daughter's hair, and then resting her hands on Danielle's shoulders. In the following shot, she is still stroking the hair, and in the next shot she's got her hands around her head. In the following shot, she's got her hands on Danielle's shoulders again. Then, Bree and Danielle embrace, and it appears as though Bree's got her hands on her daughter's lower back, but in the following shot they're far higher, next to the neck.


Gallery of photographic stills released to promote the episode.

External links[]