"Searching" is the 150th episode of Desperate Housewives.
Susan vows to get the most out of life when she learns that her dialysis isn't working and that, unless she receives a kidney transplant soon, she will die. Bree makes it her mission to find a kidney donor for Susan and, jealous of Lee and Bob's adopted daughter's routine for an upcoming school talent show, Gabrielle pressures Juanita to come up with a number that will outshine everyone. Meanwhile, Lynette puts a plan into action to discourage a clearly non-maternal Renee from adopting a baby, and Beth Young (guest star Emily Bergl) struggles to figure out what to do with her life after Paul kicked her out of the house.
The suburbs are full of parents and each parent has their own style. There's the disciplinarian, the smotherer, and the negotiator. But the one thing they all have in common is they love to judge the parents next door...
The episode opens with Gabrielle going over to Lee's house, where his daughter Jenny is practising the violin. Lee explains that he makes her practise two hours a day, five days a week, but Gabrielle advises him that he can't force children to do anything. Lee says it is his job to make sure Jenny sticks with the violin. He asks Gabrielle what Juanita has pursued on her own. He points out that there is a school talent show coming up and suggests that they see which parenting policy works out best. Gaby agrees, but when she gets home she is disappointed to discover that Juanita is planning to make fart noises with her armpit at the talent show.
...Yes, each parent has their own style. But deep down, they're all afraid they're doing it wrong.
|Mary Alice Young|
There are many things that bring us pleasure; baking for our friends, having a good laugh, donating to charity. But the things that bring us pleasure may not be enough to give our lives meaning, without someone to love.
|Mary Alice Young|
Beth returns to Paul's house, pretending that they didn't have an argument. When Paul confronts her, she points out that he is angry with her mother, not her. She explains that Felicia told her he was a monster who killed her aunt, but then she fell in love with him and realised it was all lies. However, Paul confirms that he did kill Martha and Beth is shocked. She goes to see Felicia, but receives no sympathy as Felicia says she warned Beth. Beth begs Felicia to let her make it up to her and reveals that Paul confessed to Martha's murder. However, Felicia points out that she doesn't have any proof of his confession and says she has no use for Beth now. Beth sobs that she has nowhere to go, but Felicia announces that she will live a lonely life in a grotty apartment with time to think about all the people she disappointed. She leaves, telling her prison guard to take Beth off the visitors list.
Meanwhile, Bree invites over her Reverend and admits that she is struggling as she has lost everything - her business, her children and her boyfriend. Her Reverend explains that she needs to stop looking at what has been taken from her and start looking at what she can give to others. Elsewhere, Susan goes to the hospital with Mike and discovers that her condition is deteriorating. The doctor tells her that they will do everything they can to find her a match, but advises her to live her life and do anything that she has been thinking about now. In the lift, Susan asks Mike if they can celebrate their anniversary with a picnic in the park. She adds that she wants to do it now, even though their anniversary is in July. Later, Susan goes to see some of the housewives and explains the situation. Bree suggests that she should start trying to find a donor herself by asking friends and neighbours, but Susan is reluctant. She explains that she couldn't ask anyone to make that kind of sacrifice. However, Bree doesn't take no for an answer and starts handing out flyers around the neighbourhood. She is disappointed when most people refuse to consider a donation.
Bree throws a brunch but the neighbours soon discover it is a ruse to persuade them to donate a kidney to Susan. Bree has invited a doctor, who dispels some of the myths about organ transplants, and then introduces a nurse, who can test them all to see if they're a match. With the help of Lynette and Gaby, she sets up a line so the neighbours can get tested. Later, the doctor calls and reveals that Bree is a match. However, he also explains that Beth is a match, and reveals that she got tested after seeing one of the flyers. He adds that the hospital can't find Beth and asks if they should keep trying, or if Bree will donate her kidney. Bree goes to see Beth and reveals that she is a match for the kidney. However, she explains that she has decided to donate her kidney to Susan so Beth doesn't need to do anything. She thanks Beth for getting tested and adds that she didn't give her a chance when she moved onto Wisteria Lane. She explains that she now knows that Beth is more than just a woman who married a man Bree hates. Beth announces that she wants to donate her kidney but Bree refuses to let her. She explains that she has been going through a difficult time and to be able to do this for Susan will give her a purpose and means everything to her. Beth smiles blankly as Bree thanks her and leaves.
Gabrielle shows Juanita everything they bought for her after she said she wanted to try things before giving them up. She announces that she wants Juanita to return to tap classes. Juanita complains that it is hard but Gabrielle tells her that life is hard, and adds that she wants her to practise two hours a day, five days a week.
Later, Juanita returns home from tap class but complains that it is too difficult. Gaby refuses to let her quit and asks Juanita if she is getting better. Juanita admits that she thinks she is. When she leaves, Carlos asks Gaby why she's working Juanita so hard and asks if she is competing with Bob and Lee. Gaby insists that it is good for Juanita's self-esteem but confesses that she wouldn't mind beating Bob and Lee at the same time. At the talent contest, Gaby is shocked when she sees Juanita rehearsing and realises that she isn't very good. However, Juanita is proud of herself and thinks she has done really well. Gaby is nervous about the performance and hides Juanita's tap shoes under the radiator. Juanita is devastated as she worked so hard and won't get to perform. The pair go to watch the show and Jenny gets up to perform the violin. She messes up part of her recital and Gaby smiles. Afterwards, Lee gets up and rushes off and Gaby whispers to Bob that Lee must be embarrassed. However, he points out that Lee is on stage, proudly hugging Jenny and giving her flowers. Bob explains that Jenny always stumbles at that part but powered through and they couldn't be prouder. Gaby is surprised and begins to think, before getting up and shouting at everyone not to leave because Juanita hasn't performed. She rushes to get the tap shoes and Juanita dances. Afterwards, Gaby stands up, smiling proudly and clapping.
Renee goes over to help Lynette clear out Porter and Preston's room. Lynette is emotional and explains that Renee wouldn't understand because she never had children. She suggests that raising kids is the most meaningful thing she has ever done. The next day, Renee arrives at Lynette's house and announces that she wants a baby. She explains that she wants meaning in her life and has already made an appointment at an adoption agency. Lynette has doubts and suggests that Renee isn't good at sacrifices or compromise. She says that Renee should babysit Paige for an evening as a test run and Renee agrees.
Susan and Mike go for their picnic but encounter a number of disasters. Mike leaves the picnic basket on the top of the car so it falls off when they drive away, and when they buy fast food their server forgets to add the fries. Later, Susan suggests that they renew their vows but Mike is continually interrupted by a bird and ends up knocking it out with a stone. Afterwards, the pair start getting naked under some blankets but are interrupted by a Civil War reenactment society, who explain that they have the park until six o'clock. Mike has a row with the group's leader but Susan pulls him away. They go to drive home but the car won't start, and as they walk, Mike trips and hurts himself. When Susan tries to help, Mike - who has been grumpy all day - shouts at her. Eventually he admits that he is upset that she is dying and he can't do anything about it. He explains that it feels like Susan is getting ready to die and is bailing on him. Susan insists that she wants to live and is looking forward to a long life, but plans to enjoy every moment of every day in the meantime. They walk away together.
Our lives are brief. That's why it's important to search for meaning. We find it in our daughter's smile, in the warmth of our friends, or the comfort of our faith. Then there are those who make their lives meaningful by making a great sacrifice.
|Mary Alice Young|
Beth arrives at the emergency room and announces that she wants to donate a kidney to Susan. She hands over the forms, even though the nurse at the desk repeatedly tells her that she is on the wrong floor. Eventually, the nurse agrees to make sure the forms get to the right place just to keep Beth quiet. Beth thanks her, explaining that this is the most important thing she has ever done. As the nurse walks away, Beth pulls a gun out of her bag and shoots herself in the head.
"Searching" was written by Jeff Greenstein and directed by Larry Shaw. The final scene of the episode, where Beth commits suicide, was shot 3 different times - not even Emily Bergl knew what scene was going to be used when the episode finally aired.
This episode managed to pull in 11.31 million viewers, up from two weeks ago (10.58 million) and the show's biggest amount of viewers since January 9 and scored a 3.4 demo rating. Aside from the demo, which was down a little, the ratings are on par with the ratings back in November.
"Searching" also received very positive reviews from TV critics and fans alike, praising Beth's "shocker suicide" and Gabrielle's storyline.
- The title of this episode comes from a song of the same name featured in the Stephen Sondheim musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
- This is the first episode in the season, after appearing in fifteen episodes back-to-back, that Keith doesn't appear in.
- The final sequence of the episode is in homage to the first episode of the series in which Mary Alice killed herself. Being the show's 150th episode, this is a very appropriate move by the series' creators. The final moments of the sequence are shot to match the original visuals that surround Mary Alice's iconic death sequence. Considering the character who dies also happens to be Paul's wife, it is all the more interesting.
- Lynette says it's amazing how many parents have children when they are not prepared. She may be referring to Eddie and his mother's relationship.
Bloopers and continuity errors