"The Chase" is the 127th episode of Desperate Housewives.
Susan and Mike have been invited over for brunch by Karen McCluskey and Roy, and Susan pushes Roy into proposing to Karen, who accepts. Afterwards, Roy tells Susan he can't stay loyal to one single woman, therefore admitting he needs to be with other gals. He kisses Susan on the lips to prove his point. Mike laughs it over after Susan tells him what happened, and blames his wife for pushing Roy into committing to Karen. Susan decides to have a talk with Karen and tell her what Roy said, but when she comes over, she finds Karen in a desperate state. Her doctor has found spots in her lungs, indicating she might have cancer. Susan is taken aback by this piece of news. When she comes out of the house, she runs into Roy, and tells him it's probably not a good time to get married. However, to her surprise, Roy tells her he is more determined to marry Karen than ever. Since he learnt she might have cancer, he realized he can't live without her.
Lynette and Tom have a disagreement regarding what name to give their forthcoming child, and Penny comes down for her special birthday breakfast, and when she does not get her usual pancakes, she reminds her parents of it. Lynette and Tom are mortified to find out they've forgotten their daughter's birthday, and Lynette tries to cover it up, to no avail. Penny is annoyed by this. Later, at dinner, the Scavos try to make it up to little Penny, but Lynette made the mistake of having "Happy birthday, Polly" written on the cake (Polly being the name Lynette wanted to give her unborn baby). Penny leaves them, incredibly angry and frustrated. The next day, Lynette waits for her daughter to come out of the schoolbus, but she doesn't. A little girl gives her a note from Penny, who has run away. Lynette and Tom go to the police, and there they learn Penny has checked into a hotel with their credit card. At the hotel, Lynette talks to Penny, apologizing, and Penny states she hates the baby. Lynette realizes she is jealous because she won't be the baby anymore, and explains to her how good it will be when the women outnumber the men in the house. Afterwards, mother and daughter decide to spend the night together in the room they've paid for.
Bree tells her son Andrew that their new employee, Tad, is an idiot who ordered 90 more flower arrangements than he should have. She is later visited by Sam Allen, a young man who is determined to work for Bree at all costs. Sam proves he is good with numbers, so he impresses Bree by helping her figure out what to do with the extra floral arrangements. Andrew isn't too keen on Sam joining the company's crew, particularly when Sam suggests they fire Tad. Andrew is reluctant to fire him, and Sam realizes the two of them have had sex. Andrew admits to it, and Bree criticizes his behavior. Andrew throws the Karl Mayer story in her face, and Bree is shamed in front of Sam. Later on, in her office, Bree tries to apologize to Sam for the scene he witnessed, and he tells her he understands successful, driven women like her are bound to have complicated lives. He also manages to tell Bree that having children working for their parents might make them feel like they don't need to measure up. He also suggests that Bree goes to rest for a while, and when she leaves, Sam drinks coffee out of a mug that says "World's Greatest Son".
Celia Solis comes down with the chicken pox, and because Gabrielle has never had that disease before, she mustn't be around her children. She goes to stay with Bob and Lee for a while, and falls in love with their lifestyle. Reminded what it feels like to be single again, Gabrielle enjoys the parties, the daytime naps and the cocktails, so much she lies to Carlos about being sick in order to stay a while longer. Bob and Lee throw her a party, inviting over dozens of homosexual men, and in the meantime Gabrielle receives a call from her daughter Juanita, telling her she scored her first goal in soccer. Gaby tries to find a quieter spot in which to talk to her kid, and she winds up in a nursery room. Bob comes up from behind her, and later explains to her he and Lee have been trying to adopt a child. They had recently come close to adopting a baby, but the birth mother changed her mind. Bob tells her he envies her lifestyle much more than she could possibly envy his. Gaby acknowledges how good she has it at home with her family, and she decides to go back.
Katherine is preparing breakfast, cinnamon brioche French toasts with hot syrup. Robin comes downstairs in a hot lingerie, and starts talking to Katherine in a sexy, seductive voice, that clearly shows she is hitting on Katherine. The latter can't help but to feel drawn to Robin, particularly when she drops syrup all over her nightgown and has to take it off. Katherine makes her notice she has dropped some syrup on her bra, and Robin licks it off her breast. Katherine is dazed by the sight, and comes up to her, caressing her back and unzipping her bra, and moving forward to gently kissing her on the lips... only to wake up immediately afterwards. It was all a dream. Katherine discusses the dream with Dr. Avedon, worried about her possible attraction to Robin. Dr. Avedon tells her she should instead focus on getting better, as she is still fragile from her nervous breakdown, and suggests she ask Robin to move out of her house. Katherine does so, after Robin comes home, happy that she has gotten a new job, and explains to her she has been feeling something for Robin of late, and these feelings are confusing her. Robin understands, and heads to her room to pack her stuff. Katherine looks around, to the big empty house she is in, and comes upstairs. She closes Robin's door behind her, and the two wind up in bed together.
Angie finds a note from Danny saying he went on a camping trip with Eddie. She is very upset to learn this. However, Nick feels it is good for their son to get out of the house a little, and clear his head. Angie doesn't quite agree, but she comes to terms with it. Later, at a supermarket, Angie finds Eddie at the register, and learns from him Danny didn't go on any camping trip. Instead, he went to New York to find Ana. Angie is terrified, worried that Danny might run into Patrick Logan. She is determined to go and get her son back.
- Although credited, Kyle MacLachlan (Orson Hodge), Maiara Walsh (Ana Solis), Joshua Logan Moore (Parker Scavo) and Mason Vale Cotton (MJ Delfino) are absent from this episode. Andrea Bowen (Julie Mayer) and Beau Mirchoff (Danny Bolen) are too absent, and therefore are not credited.
- The title of this episode comes from a song that got cut from the Stephen Sondheim musical, "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum".
- In its original broadcast, this episode was watched by 10.894 million viewers.
In its original American broadcast, "The Chase" was seen by 10.89 million viewers, according to "Nielsen Media Research". Among viewers between ages 18 and 49, it received a 3.6 rating/9 share, which at the time was the lowest rating for an individual episode of Desperate Housewives in series history. This continued a downward trend in the ratings for the show: each of the previous three episodes had been the lowest rated in series history until the airing of the next episode in the subsequent week. "The Chase" dropped in viewership three percent from the previous episode, "Lovely". Like that episode, "The Chase" suffered in the ratings partially due to competition from the NBC broadcast of the [[2010 Winter Olympics, which drew an estimated 21.3 million viewers. Desperate Housewives was also outperformed by the CBS reality series Undercover Boss which, in its fourth episode, drew 15.15 million viewers.
The episode received generally mixed to negative reviews. "Entertainment Weekly" writer Tanner Stransky was highly critical of the episode, describing the Gabrielle story as predictable, the Susan subplot as boring and the overall Bolen story arc as too slow in developing. Stransky also felt the Katherine and Robin pairing was unbelievable, and questioned whether the show's audiences of families and midwesterners would respond well to a lesbian pairing. Gael Fashingbauer Cooper of MSNBC praised Longoria Parker for turning what he said could have been a gloomy story into "a gleeful fantasy". Cooper said the character was fun and funny but ultimately heartfelt and caring. Conversely, Cooper said the subplots involving the other housewives were "all pretty standard, and dreary, stuff".
"Los Angeles Times" writer Gerrick Kennedy said he liked the Robin character's charm and chemistry with Katherine, and said their story arc "has already grown infinitely more interesting than the Angie Bolen mystery". He said the relationship made more sense for Katherine than her previous subplots involving her romance with Mike and her mental breakdown following their break-up. Isabelle Carreau of TV Squad said she was glad the episode was centered around the supporting cast, particularly praising the attention to Bob and Lee, but she said that did not like the direction the Andrew character had taken, and felt the relationship between Katherine and Robin had evolved too fast.
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