Wiksteria Lane

"You Take for Granted" is the 173rd episode of Desperate Housewives.


Susan convinces Mike to go to the police when she discovers that Ben's loan shark is out to get him, which could have dire results. Meanwhile, Gabrielle is justifiably concerned when Carlos exhibits some strange behavior on his first day back to work, and Tom's girlfriend, Jane, drops a bombshell on Lynette during Penny's birthday party. In the meantime, Mrs. McCluskey, who is suffering from terminal cancer, asks Bree to help put an end to her life.


Previously on Desperate Housewives[]

Tom and Lynette drifted further apart, and Jane took advantage. Roy helped Karen face her cancer. The loan shark threatened Renee, but Mike stepped in. Bree discovered the truth about Orson and cut off all contact with him, but Orson had the last word.
Mary Alice Young


In our neighborhood, there are people we see everyday.

An overview shot of Wisteria Lane is seen, with several people shown, going about their lives.

And everyday we take them for granted.

Juanita is seen strapping on her safety helmet as she is about to go on a bike ride with her brand new cat, Rufus.

As we go about our lives, we may be busy with a mundane task and miss one another completely.

Juanita and Rufus ride by Mike Delfino, who is fixing up his wife's car. They don't seem to pay much attention to each other. Then, Mike waves at someone across the street.

Or we might give a polite wave, only to return to what we're doing.

That someone is Bree, who waves back, smiling, but quickly returns to her duties, as she is tending to her flower patches.

One minute we're spendind time with a loved one...

Tom drives by Bree's house, with Jane in his car. They're talking and smiling.

And the next we're wrapped up in our work.
816 01
"(...) One of these people will be dead."

Jane gets out of the parked car, checking her cell phone. She then smiles at someone.

Or preoccupied with our own problems.

That someone is Karen McCluskey, who's getting out of her house and waves quickly (and rather dismissively) at Jane. She then checks her mailbox.

What a shame these neighbors take each other for granted. Because in just a few days, one of these people will be dead.

Act I[]

Gabrielle is in her kitchen, pouring coffee for Susan and Lynette, while they chat.

That afternoon, old friends got together to share coffee and gossip. And to discover...

Bree shows up at the entrance to the kitchen and asks, "Is there a cup for me?".

That they were still old friends after all.
Mary Alice Young

The girls are surprised to see her and instantly head towards her. The four ladies all share in on a lovely group hug.

Shortly afterwards, the women are all sat around Gabrielle's reunion table, and we hear her asking Bree, "So Orson was behind everything? Chuck, the letters...?". Apparently, Bree has just told them everything she found out about her ex-husband's wrongdoings. She confirms this. Susan asks if she knows why he did it, to which Bree replies that the only way he thought he could have her all to himself was to tear her away from the three of them. Lynette says, "Well, guess what, he failed." "That's right. Beause we are still here for you.", adds Susan. "And no psycho on wheels is gonna change that.", completes Gabrielle. "And I'll tell you something else, he better not show his face around here ever again." This said, the girls notice that Bree looks extremely upset. Lynette asks her what's wrong, and Bree explains that the last time she spoke to Orson he insinuated that he was going to commit suicide.

816 02
The girls are relieved to be in the clear... but are they?

The girls are alarmed, and Bree goes on saying that she should have done something, she should have made him tell her where he was, so she could come to him. Gabrielle asks why; he would probably just torture her more. Bree tells them she knows what he's become, but there was a time when she loved that man very much. Lynette tells her he's not that man anymore. Bree is still upset, and the women don't quite know how to console her. Then, Gabrielle breaks the ice, by stating that they are finally in the clear. Susan adds that Gaby's right, as the letters were the last question mark left. Gabrielle says that maybe now they can get back to normal. "Yes. Our nightmare is finally over.", Susan says, smiling, as she reaches out her hands. The women all hold hands around the table.

However, as they wallow in relief, a familiar envelope makes its way to Detective Gillette's secretary at the Fairview Police Department...

816 03
Bree witnesses Roy's anger.

After the reunion with the girls, Bree's heading back home when she notices her neighbor Roy Bender kicking some trash cans with discontentment. She rushes to him and his wife, Mrs. McCluskey, and asks if everything is alright. "Doctors! They should learn how to talk to people!", Roy says, clearly angry. Bree tells them she's not following, and Karen explains that they just got back from her appointment, and it appears as though the cancer's spreading faster than anyone thought. Bree is sympathetic. Karen reveals the doctor gave her the old "put your affairs in order" speech, to which Roy adds that it wasn't in a nice manner. He complains that these are people those doctors are talking to, not just some names on a chart. Karen tries quietly to calm him down, but he adds that "They can all go to hell!" before he furiously rushes into the house. Bree tells Karen she's so sorry, and the elderly woman explains that her husband is just pissed at the world. She then plans to crouch down to put the lids back on the trash cans, but Bree does it herself. She then asks how Karen is doing, saying that she can't even imagine what she's going through. After a short moment of silence, Karen tells her neighbor that she's really gonna miss the Christmas festival. Bree takes Karen's hand in hers, and tells her, "Karen, if there's anything I can do for you... I mean it. Anything." Karen thanks her, before heading back into the house. Bree is saddened.

816 04
Tom commends his wife for the party planning.

Inside Lynette's house, she is in the kitchen decorating the gift bags for Penny's upcoming birthday party. The kitchen is entirely decorated with several balloons. The doorbell rings, and she tells the person to come in. It's Tom, who brings with him a gift for Penny and a bottle of champagne. The rest of the house is filled with things for the party, including a large banner reading "Happy Birthday" spread over the couch. Tom tells her the place looks great, and compliments her for "going all out". Lynette tells him that after Porter's baby announcement, she has a new policy for all her kids: "If you can resist procreating, I will throw you a bitchin' party." Tom chuckles, and puts down the gift bag and the bottle. Lynette notices the champagne, and Tom tells her it's for her, since he feels like she should celebrate too, considering she went through 23 hours of labour with Penny. "That is so thoughtful", she says, before adding, "Uncharacteristically thoughtful. And now that I think about it, you could've brought Penny's birthday present to the party. So, um... what's goin' on?". Tom is reluctant to say it straight to her, but he ultimately reveals that he wants to bring Jane to Penny's party. Lynette is immediately unhappy about this. Tom says he realizes it's a little awkward, something Lynette agrees with, particularly since they're still married and it's a family event. Tom tells her Jane is a part of his life now, and he really wants to start including her in some of these things. Lynette asks why, and before he can explain, Penny shows up, excited to see him, and she then notices the gift bag. She asks if she can open it, smiling, and Tom tells her he knows this trick: if he lets her open it, she's gonna guilt him into buying another gift in time for the party. Penny jokes that that's totally what she's going to do, and then grabs the gift bag and runs off. "And I am totally gonna fall for it", says Tom, before he goes after her. Lynette calls him back, so they can finish their conversation, and Tom tells her they'll do it another time, suggesting in the meantime that she enjoy her champagne. Lynette appears to be curious.

816 05
Sad, rehearsed faces. And Rufus.

That night, over at the Solis place, the entire family is in the living room, with Gabrielle sitting on the couch, legs covered by a blanket, reading a magazine, and Carlos, Celia and Juanita playing with Rufus the kitty. Gabrielle isn't happy about the cat, claiming that she's allergic to it, and Carlos reminds her that she's allergic to everything she doesn't like, including the vacuum cleaner. She tells him that's medically verified. Carlos tells his girls to show mommy how sad they'd be if she made them give back Rufus. Carlos grabs the kitten and the three of them all put on pouty faces. Gaby claims to be unable to say 'no' to such sad and obviously rehearsed faces. Juanita asks her father if he wants to see him do a trick, and she then throws a ball of yard into the lobby and tells the kitten to fetch. It rushes out of the living room but then doesn't return, even when Juanita calls out for them. She jokes that he kind of does whatever he wants, and then she and her sister get up to get him. Carlos jokes that the cat will then fit in well around there. Gabrielle tells him she's not the one who brought 'kitty litter' into their lives. Carlos tells her the cat makes them happy, and it makes him happy. He then adds that if there is one thing he realized in rehab, is that there is nothing more important to him than taking care of them. Gaby says "I love you for that" and they kiss. She then puts down her magazine and hands him a gift: a tie. Gaby tells him it's for his first day back to work after rehab. Carlos doesn't seem too excited. He tells her he's been having so much fun with her and the girls he'd forgotten he had to go back to work the following day. He then thanks her (after she reminds him that she spent a lot of his money on the gift), and she then gets up to get the girls into bed, as Carlos appears less than enthusiastic about his return to work.

816 06

In his bedroom, Mike is looking out the window via binoculars, when Susan comes in, wearing a sexy nightgown, and teasing him. She thanks him for fixing her car that day: "I like a man who's good with his hands, it's very sexy." He is distracted for a few seconds, but then turns his attention back to the window. She doesn't seem to notice this, as she makes her way to the bed, playfully trying to seduce him. "Although, I think my engine is still running a little hot. 'Vroom...'". They both chuckle, and Mike asks her what she's doing. "The question is 'who am I doing'; the answer is 'you'". She gestures at him to come to bed, but Mike tells her he's really beat. He closes the window, and she approaches him, and starts caressing him, until she notices a bulge in his pocket area. Thinking it's 'something else', she jokes, saying, "Is that a gun in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?". She strokes it, until she shockingly realizes it is indeed a gun. He takes it out as she questions him about the gun. He tells her not to freak out, and then tells her to sit down, as he's got something to tell her.

Across the street, Bree is watering her flowers, when Karen shows up behind her and asks if she meant what she said earlier that day. Bree is surprised, and turns around. Karen points out that a lot of people say the same thing Bree did, but they don't mean it. Bree confirms that she meant it, and Karen asks for certainty, considering she and Bree never really liked each other. "We haven't?", asks a surprised Bree. "No.", says Karen, bluntly. Bree insists that she definitely meant what she said, so whatever Karen may need, she can consider it done. Karen says, "Good, I want you to help kill me." The shock makes Bree drop her metal watering can. She then suggests that they talk about this inside, and thus they head into the house.

816 07
Mrs. McCluskey asks Bree to euthanize her.

Not long afterwards, Karen is sitting in the couch, and Bree sits beside her, saying that she can't seriously be considering this. Karen tells her that cancer is a bully, and when it's as bad as hers it laughs at one's attempts to fight it. She then explains that the only way to win this fight is by deciding herself when and how she 'goes'. "So... will you help me?". A reluctant Bree asks what Roy thinks, and she tells her Roy was the first one she went to, but he couldn't do it. "Too much of a marshmallow.", she adds, before saying, "I need someone cold and heartless." Bree is surprised by this remark, and asks, "And that's me?". Karen jokes that a dying woman is sitting in front of her and she hasn't even offered her a cup of coffee yet, which proves her point. All an emotional Bree can do is smile at her neighbor while she says she doesn't think she can do that. Karen sighs, and tells Bree she doesn't want to die alone. She adds that the chemo is 'kicking her ass', and she doesn't want to waste away in some hospital bed. "Please help me go the way I want to.", she begs of her neighbor. Bree says "Alright. I'll help you." This said, she puts her hand over Mrs. McCluskey's.

Act II[]

816 08
Det. Harrison has a meeting with the Delfinos.

The following day, Mike and Susan are waiting inside an office at the local police station. Detective Harrison comes in, apologizes for keeping them waiting and asks what he can do for them. Susan promptly tells him that her husband did something really stupid and now they need police protection. Mike begs her to let him handle this, and Susan intervenes yet again, explaining that what he means by that is staring out the window with a gun in his pants. The detective sits down and asks them to start from the beginning. Mike starts explaining that a friend of his - whose identity he's not giving away - borrowed some money from a loan shark, and things got out of hand, so Mike helped him out. Susan explains that what he means by this is that he beat up a mob guy, which has potentially put his whole family in danger. The detective asks Mike if his friend knows that it's illegal to use the services of a loan shark, to which Mike replies that he does. Harrison then quickly asks Mike if he knows it's illegal to assault someone. Mike immediately tells him that the men broke into his neighbor's house, and he threw a punch at Mike, so he just defended himself. Susan then gets to the point: the loan shark wants to kill her husband, so he has to get arrested. Harrison points out that if Mike had called them after he broke into his neighbor's house, maybe they could have arrested him. Mike doesn't quite know how to respond, and Susan sarcastically points out that she'd already told that to her husband. Harrison then changes the subject to Mike's gun, asking him if he has a permit. An uneased Mike states that he thinks they're wasting the detective's time, so he'll take care of it himself. As he prepares to get up, Susan stops him, because his approach to the situation is what got them there. She turns back to the detective and reveals that they have a 9-year-old son. Harrison gets up and explains that, since they have their address, they'll make sure a patrol car keeps an eye on things, and he tells Mike that, should he see the loan shark, he is to call them. Mike nods affirmatively, and Susan asks if that's it. The detective tells her that's all they can do until something else happens. Susan, rather sarcastically, says "Great. Well, maybe we'll get lucky and something else will happen." The detective leaves the office, and the Delfinos are none too happy.

Carlos in his kitchen, none-too-excitedly admiring his brand new tie. Gabrielle comes in and asks if he'd like some fresh coffee to go, and when he says "Ok", she can tell by his tone that something is wrong. She asks him about it, and he tells that he's been thinking about he's worn a tie everyday for 25 years and he's always hated the way it feels around his neck. Gabrielle points out that she wears lots of uncomfortable things as well, and Carlos states that he's started to feel as though a tie is nothing short of a glorified noose. Gaby asks him if he's nervous about his first day back, and Carlos says he doesn't know, but he thought he'd be more excited than he is. Gaby reminds him that he's the boss, and if he wants excitement he should shake things up. She then says she's gotta get the girls to school, and leaves. Carlos continues checking out the tie, trying to feign interest.

Bree and her friend Renee enter the former's house, bringing with them several shopping bags. Carrying on from an ongoing conversation, Bree tells Renee that she didn't have to fight some woman for a pair of shoes. Renee points out that she shops New York style. The phone rings and Bree picks it up: it's Karen. Bree heads into the kitchen as Renee checks out her new clothes, and Bree then quietly tries telling Karen that it's not a good time, Renee is visiting. Bree then states that she's available the following day, so maybe she can euthanize Karen in the morning. "Great, I will see you then."

816 09
Something shocked Renee. Could be the euthanasia talk.

She hangs up, and Renee scares her when she pops up at the entrance to the kitchen and reveals that she overheard the conversation. Bree reveals that Karen's cancer is spreading, and Renee is emphatic. Bree adds that McCluskey is depressed and wants Bree's help, so that she can die with dignity. Renee is shocked, and asks Bree if she is gonna do that. Bree denies that she is, explaining that her intention is to string Karen along until she realizes this is a bad idea, derived from a mere state of shock. Renee asks her if she thinks that'll work, and Bree simply says that it has to. She then adds that, to keep Karen's mind off of it, she's having people stopping by Karen's, to keep her company, maybe have tea, massage her feet... Bree asks if Renee might be interested in doing such things, and Renee tells her that if she has to touch Karen's feet, she's gonna have to be euthanized herself.

Meanwhile, during Penny's birthday party, she is ecstatic with how great things are going. She finds her mother setting up the gift bags at the front of the house, and thanks her. They hug, and Lynette tells her she just wanted her birthday to be perfect. Then, Jane shows up, and says, "Happy birthday, Penny", and the two hug. Lynette not-so-subtly says that nothing's perfect. She then less than excitedly greets Jane, and tells her that Tom went to pick out the cake, so maybe she'd like to wait in the car or something. Then, a young woman, Cindy, shows up behind Jane, with a camera. Lynette says she didn't realize Jane was bringing a guest, and Jane explains that this is her gift for Penny (Lynette jokes: "A geisha?"), and Jane introduces the girl as her niece, who's a photographer. Cindy greets Lynette in a sing-song fashion. Jane explains that Cindy is gonna take some pictures of the party, and then she's gonna make a little memory book. Penny is excited, and Jane then pulls her closer so they can take the first pic. Lynette isn't happy. The two then put on funny faces and Cindy takes another pic, then exclaiming "Perfect." They laugh.

816 10
'Say cheese'.

Later, during the party, everytime that Cindy tries to take a picture of Penny and Jane together, Lynette makes it her goal to photo-bomb the photograph, by always popping up in the background: when they're getting their nails done, when they're dancing, when they're jumping up and down on the trampoline, and when they're eating ice cream. When Lynette photo-bombs this final pic, licking away at a disgusted Jane's ice cream cone, Jane pulls her away for a sidebar, and Penny appears to pick up on the tension.

816 11
One could cut the tension with a knife.

Lynette and Jane enter the house, and the latter is clearly infuriated. Jane asks Lynette what she is doing, to which Lynette replies that she is making sure she's in the memory book, and Jane reminds her that she's merely invading every photo that she and Penny are in. Lynette says, "I'm her mother, maybe you're the invader." "And we're back to this", Jane says, annoyed. Lynette explains that she spent weeks planning this party, making it perfect for Penny, and then Jane swoops in and upstages her. Jane explains that she is just trying to forge a relationship with Penny, and Lynette tells her not to forge anything, as she's not family, she's just a woman Penny's father is... she is stopped on her tracks at this point, and finishes the sentence with "seeing". Jane starts saying that she's not only that, and Lynette asks what that means. Jane resists the urge to tell her by saying that she should probably talk to Tom, but Lynette won't budge, and demands that Jane tell her. Jane then reveals that Tom asked her to move in with him. Lynette is dismayed.

Act III[]

816 12
Tom can't prepare enough for the upcoming talk...

Shortly afterwards, Tom is taking the cake out of the backseat of his car, when Lynette comes up to him, clearly angered. He tells her the cake took longer than he thought, and he then notices she's not content. "This is how I find out you and Jane are going to live together, from her?". Tom isn't happy to hear this, as Jane wasn't supposed to be the one to tell Lynette. Lynette points out that Jane did tell her, in her house, where she and Tom raised their children together. Tom genuinely apologizes, but this doesn't suffise for his wife. He tells her he has to put the cake down, and she asks why he didn't tell her himself. Tom tells her he tried, the other day, but Penny showed up and he didn't want to ruin her birthday. Lynette reminds him that he's only known Jane for three months. Tom explains that he and Jane were talking about the future, and living together was the following step. Lynette then angrily wonders what the step after that would be (alluding to 'having children'), and, much to her surprise, Tom tells her they simply haven't talked about that. Lynette frustratingly points out that that's good, since they're not even divorced yet. Tom then shocks her by saying they should perhaps meet with a lawyer... that week. Lynette is disheartened, and Tom feels bad for all of this. Lynette says that she thought this was a trial separation, meant to make them see how they fared apart, to see if they could be happy... Tom reluctantly tells her that he is happy. Lynette is surprised. Tom then says, "If you're not, I'm really sorry", meaning it. Lynette is heartbroken. Cindy shows up, asking if she can take a picture of 'mom and dad', but Lynette walks away, leaving her saddened husband behind.

816 13
Karen aspires to become roadkill.

Bree is seen getting into her car. When she closes the door, a pair of feet can be seen in the wing mirror's reflection. Someone is lying down on the floor behind the car. Bree is shocked, and she gets out of the car, only to find it's Karen McCluskey. She gasps and asks her neighbor what she is doing, to which McCluskey jokingly replies that she lost a contact. Bree realizes she was hoping to be run over by her, and Karen explains that she had no choice, since Bree said she'd help her but keeps blowing her off. "Now, are you gonna kill me today, or what?". Bree explains that she can't kill her that day because she has Pilates, and Karen tells her it sounds like they're just playing games. Bree crouches down next to her and says she wants to do this, despite her reluctance, but they should shoot for the following day. Karen asks for confirmation, which Bree gives, and then she helps her up. Karen then explains that she's serious about doing this, with or without Bree. She walks off, and Bree sighs.

Gabrielle is in her bathroom, making sure she's looking fabulous, when her cell phone rings and she picks up. It's Marilyn, her husband's secretary, who's whispering. Gaby asks why that is, and she explains that she doesn't want Mr. Solis to know she's calling her. Gaby asks what's wrong, and Marilyn, who finds herself in the midst of a line of blue-collared men, tells her that Carlos has been acting a little strange ever since he came back to work, and she really needs her to come down there. She then hangs up because Carlos is coming. Gabrielle is confused.

816 14
Gabrielle conferes with the CFO and the party girl.

Later, Gabrielle enters the premises of Global Group Venture, makes her way through the line of men, and asks Marilyn what's going on. Marilyn sits quietly as the rambunctious man next to her reveals to Gabrielle that Carlos is giving away all their money. Gaby asks Marilyn who the man is, to which she replies that it's Patrick McDonald, their CFO. Patrick starts explaining to Gaby what all those simple men are doing there: a while back, they took over a steel company, chopped it up, sold it and made a nice profit, and these men are some of the workers who got laid off. Gaby asks what they are doing there, and is told that Carlos has taken it upon himself to make things right, by writing each of them a cheque for $50'000. Gabrielle quietly panicks, and rushes off to take a peek inside Carlos' office, followed by Marilyn and Patrick. He is inside, having a talk with a steel worker and his son. Patrick tells her that if he keeps this up, they'll be bankrupt in a couple of weeks. Marilyn then lowly tells Gabrielle that she is a party girl with a taste for young Brazilian gentlemen, so she really needs this job. Gaby says "I'm on it", and enters the office. Patrick can't help but stare at Marilyn because of what she just said.

Upon seeing his wife, Carlos tells her that he took her advice: she told him to shake things up, so he decided to make work a place he wants it to be. This said, he finishes writing down a cheque and hands it to the steel worker, and then turns his attention to the kid and tells him he can be anything he wants to be, "Nothing is out of reach". The father says, "Whaddaya say, Skip?", to which the kid promptly tells Carlos, "Thanks, mister." Gaby asks him if this is how he shakes things up, by giving away all the company money, but Carlos tells her he was afraid Patrick would put a stop to payment so he just decided to use their own personal account. This said, Gabrielle immediately rips the cheque out of the steel worker's hand, and rushes them out of the office, closing the door behind them. She then tells Carlos to be honest with her, and asks if he's been drinking again. He says he hasn't had a drink in 34 days, to which she loudly replies, "Then why the hell are you acting like a crazy person?".

816 15
Gabrielle is shocked by her husband's outburst.

"You think this is crazy?", he asks, to which she nods affirmatively - he goes on saying, "No. What's crazy is making a fortune off of other people's misery, without thinking for one minute how they're suffering. What's crazy is thinking you can find happiness in, in a paycheck, or behind the wheel of a sports car. What's crazy is thinking that you're doing something important with your life just because you're wearing a tie." Through all of this, Carlos has managed to somewhat scare his wife, and take his tie off and hold it up to her face. Gaby takes the tie from him and he walks away, leaving her dazed and confused.

Act IV[]

Susan bangs on Renee's door, and she opens up. Susan tells her she's trying to find Ben, who's not in his house. She lets herself in and asks if he's there, to which Renee replies that he isn't. She asks what Susan needs Ben for, and is told that she wants to know where the loan shark lives, so she can go to his house. Renee asks what for, and Susan says she hasn't decided yet on whether she'll give him some money or kill him. Renee points out that she's a little worked, and guides to her the kitchen, so she can pour her a glass of wine. Susan says that she has to fix this because she is terrified, she hasn't slep in days.

816 16
Renee calms Susan down.

She then retells that her husband has been walking around the house with a gun. Renee says "Ooh, sorry." Susan asks why she is apologizing, since Mike is the one who started this mess. Renee says, "You mean, when he stuck his neck out for Ben? And protected me? Is that the mess you're talking about?". Renee goes on to say that when one's been burned by men as often as she has, one stops believing in the fairytale idea of the 'guy in the white horse that comes in to save you'. "But, meeting Mike, and seeing how he is as a husband, and a father, and a... friend... Well... He got me believing again." Susan is touched. Renee tells her that Mike is a good man. Susan then asks if she really thinks that, or if she's just trying to calm her down. Renee says she really thinks that. And she really wants to calm her down. "So, if I pour this glass of wine, will you not go and kill anyone?". Susan says "Okay". Renee pours her some wine.

816 17
Bree decides to have a chat with Roy.

Bree knocks on Karen's door, and Roy opens up. He tells her Karen is taking a nap, and Bree informs him that she actually wants to talk to him. Roy lets her in, and they enter the dining room. Bree notices a pie and comments on its wonderful smell, and Roy tells her it's a rhubarb pie that Karen made, despite the fact that he doesn't like rhubarb. Bree courteously asks how he can dislike it, since it's the one pie Karen makes better than she does. Roy then kindly offers to cut her a slice, and she accepts. He pulls up the chair for her, they both sit down, Roy asks what's going on and starts cutting into the pie, as Bree starts telling him they have a real problem on their hands.
A while later, Roy can't believe what Bree has just told him. Part of that disbelief/surprise comes from the fact that Karen went to Bree of all people, since she doesn't even like her ("Yes, we've established that.", says Bree). Roy figured that when he said 'no' that would be the end of it, and Bree starts telling him that Karen seems more determined than ever, but is interrupted by Karen herself, who has woken up from her nap to find, with utter shock, that her 'suicide pie' has been cut into. Bree is surprised. Karen explains that she made that pie to kill herself, it's filled with sleeping pills, tranquilizers, and a bottle of 'liquid something'. Bree is horrified, because she's had two pieces. Karen, rather stoically, tells her she's sorry. She then asks if Bree would like to go to the hospital, to which Bree replies affirmatively. The three of them get out of the house, and Roy asks his wife what she was doing, making that pie. Karen says that if the two of them would 'grow a pair' and help her commit suicide, she wouldn't have had to make the pie. Roy refuses to take the blame for not having wanted to murder his wife, and Bree begs of them to continue their conversation later on, as she really needs to get to the hospital.

Once they're all in the car, and moving rather slowly, Karen is headed towards the end of the cul-de-sac. Bree tells her she's going the wrong way, and Roy points out that she can't make a three-point turn. Karen corrects him, saying she can indeed, but this is just easier. Bree asks them to focus on getting her to the hospital. She is then informed that Karen won't be taking the interstate. Roy announces that his wife can't merge, and Karen promptly corrects him again, saying the interstate is always jammed. Bree then forcefully tells her to stop the car, which she does. An irritated Bree then gets out of the backseat and heads towards the front of the car, forcing McCluskey to get out. Karen tells her there's no need to get nasty, but Bree says there is indeed need, as she was poisoned. She adds that making that pie was a stupid thing to do. Karen tells her she has no idea what she is going through. Bree tells her she does, because three months before she was really close to killing herself, which seemed like a quick fix on a very depressing night back then, but in the morning she realized it was the most selfish thing she could do.

816 18
Bree is annoyed by all the elderly macking going on.

Karen tells her it's not the same, because she wasn't dying, but she is. Bree sympathizes with this, but explains to her that should she end her life, it'll ruin the memory of everything she did before that, it's all anyone will remember. Bree then asks her if she really wants to do that to Roy, and he jumps in, saying he doesn't want her to go before her time. Karen acquiesces, saying she'll stick around for as long as she can. She then proceeds to hug Roy. Bree is moved, but tells them they really should get going... and then the elderly couple engages in a long kiss. Bree is just annoyed. She gets into their car and drives off on her own.

Lynette is seen washing and scrubbing the tableware, when the doorbell rings and she is startled. She tells whoever it is that the door is open, and is surprised to see Jane coming inside. She then jokes about the possible news she's got to sure with her today, like maybe the results of her colonoscopy or her mother dying. Jane puts down her cell phone and keys on the counter and immediately tells her she shouldn't have said what she did, it was wrong and she's truly sorry. Lynette shakes off her brush and turns her attention back to the sink. An uncomfortable Jane notices the cheese puffs she brought to the party on the table, and Lynette tells her nobody liked them. Jane has to chuckle at her blatant meanness, and says, "Well, more for me". Lynette starts talking about how she was married to Tom for 23 years, and then they hit a rough patch and they stumbled, and then he finds her. Jane says that she gets it, and this intervention infuriates Lynette, who lashes out at her, saying loudly that she's doing the talking now. Jane is alarmed. Lynette turns back to her and tells her that Tom having found her has kind of stopped making him trying to find his wife again. And when someone has to tell her that the two of them are moving in together, Jane is the one to do it. Jane points out that she did say she was sorry, but Lynette won't budge, refusing to accept that apology as being sincere. She heads back towards the sink, and Jane says that Lynette can have it her way, and reveals that she only came because Tom asked her to apologize. "I don't care what you think of me.", Jane adds, before eating a cheese puff. Lynette says, "Of course you don't, you only care about 'you'."

816 19
Lynette doesn't notice her rival is slowly dying.

This said, Jane seemingly starts choking on the cheese puff. However, Lynette doesn't notice it, with her back turned to Jane, as she continues talking about how she thinks Jane is sneaky. She believes that Jane did it on purpose, that she couldn't wait to see the look on her face when she told her she and Tom were moving in together. As Jane struggles to breathe, behind her rival's back, Lynette adds that she thinks Jane actually liked it. Jane then bangs on the table with her hand, calling her attention, and Lynette turns to her. Jane tries to get it through to her that she's choking, and Lynette leans back against the sink, watching her. Jane appears to be panicked as she grows weaker, and Lynette appears to not be able to move, as though she's reluctant to help her opponent. Jane is horrified, and then Lynette finally makes a move and performs the Heimlich maneuver on her. After one mere thrust, Jane spits out the cheese puff, recovers her strength and immediately bursts out at Lynette over her reluctance to help. Lynette explains that she panicked, and that she isn't a doctor like Jane is. A disheveled Jane leaves the house, clearly agonized.

Act V[]

816 20
Detectives Gillette and Murphy are intrigued...

Detective Gillette finally opens the envelope sent by Orson Hodge. He skims the contents, and calls his co-worker, Detective Murphy, telling him he should take a look at it.
Shortly afterwards, Murphy is reading the pages, and Gillette comments on the 'crazy stuff' in there. He asks if there is any chance it could be on the level. Murphy reads aloud the name 'Bree Van de Kamp', and tells his partner that he knows her - she's the one who ripped Chuck's heart out. Murphy tells him he has a feeling about this. Gillette asks if he has enough of a feeling to go dig up a construction site, and Murphy confirms this. They get a move on.

816 21
Gabrielle has a talk with her husband.

Gabrielle and Juanita come down the stairs of their house, and the mother asks her child if she has looked for the stray cat under her bed, to which Juanita replies positively, adding that Rufus is lost. Carlos comes home from work, and Gaby tells her she can't be of any help right now, so she should go look in the backyard. When Carlos gets in, Gaby ironically asks if it's just him or if he adopted a bunch of orphans on his way home. He walks past her, without saying a word, and into the living room, where he puts his briefcase down on the table. Gabrielle begs him to talk to her, asking what was going on with him that day. Carlos vents and asks if she remembers Bill, the guy from rehab he was always talking about. Gaby pretends to remember, but Carlos can see right through her. Carlos adds that he was his counselor, and now Gaby can remember, and she doesn't look too interested. She sits down, and Carlos retells a story once told to him by Bill, about his father, who was a pilot in Vietnam. He'd be flying his plane, 3'000 feet up, dropping his bombs, and going back to base. And it wasn't till someone sent him a Life magazine that he saw the result of his missions. The discovery ruined him. Gaby intervenes, incredulous that the man didn't know, considering he'd been dropping said bombs. Carlos tells her it was all about the 'distance'. And he relates to the situation, because all these years he's been 'dropping bombs' from his skyscraper, and he can't keep doing it. "I can't keep destroying lives for some... bottom line." He sits down, and Gaby doesn't quite know what to say.

Out on the front yard, Juanita is anxiously looking for Rufus, calling out to him. She finally hears him meowing, and notices him up on the ledge of the roof. She then rushes back into the house, where her parents are still discussing their current problem. Gaby asks her husband if he is gonna quit his job, and Carlos confirms this, much to her surprise and dismay. Juanita runs up behind them, and up the stairs, and Carlos explains to his wife that he won't quit until he finds a new job, and she asks him what that would be. Carlos reveals that he was thinking about conseling. He explains to her that in one week, Bill does more good than Carlos has done in his entire life, and Gabrielle responds that in one week Carlos makes more money than Bill will make in his entire life. Carlos says that they might have to make some cut-backs, and Gaby sort of panics. She asks what they might be cutting back, requiring specifics, and Carlos tells her they seem to have a lot that they don't really need, including the really big house. Gaby is surprised that he actually considers the chance of them moving, and Carlos suggests some place with a good public school. Gaby is mad that now he's planning to take the kids out of private school, which they love. This said, they hear Juanita crying out for help.

816 22
Juanita finds herself in a perilous situation...

They rush outside, worried, only to find her up on the roof, on one of the ledges. Gabrielle is instantly horrified. Carlos tells Juanita not to move, and he rushes inside. The young girl says that she's scared, and her mother tries to console her, saying that her father's coming to her rescue. Juanita looks down and lets out a scream, and Gaby tells her not to look down. Carlos shows up at the nearest window, and asks his daughter if she thinks she can walk slowly over to him, and Juanita says she can't move, frightened. Carlos then says he's coming out to get her, and Gabrielle shouts at him to be careful.

816 23
Carlos grabs a hold of his little girl.

Carlos tries to squeeze past the window, grabbing on to its frame, and positioning himself out on the ledge. He tells Juanita they are gonna take this nice and slow. He reaches out to her, telling her to keep his eyes on him. Juanita does so as she shimmies across the ledge, crawling towards salvation. Down below, Gabrielle is terrified, yet hopeful. Carlos finally gets a hold of Juanita, but her foot slips and her leg comes down from the leg, which scares her mother, but thankfully she doesn't fall. Not long afterwards, Juanita finally makes it through the window to safety. From up there, Carlos looks down at his wife, who is filled with relief.

Act VI[]

816 24
Gabrielle and Carlos are still not on the same page...

Later that day, Gabrielle comes into her bedroom and announces to her husband that Juanita is finally asleep. Carlos, sat on the bed, asks if their daughter's okay. Gabrielle positions herself next to him, on the bed, under his arm, and says, "Yeah, thanks to you." Carlos says, "God, that was so scary." Gabrielle says this puts thing into perspective, and Carlos agrees. Gabrielle adds that it reminds them that there's nothing more important than taking care of family. Carlos says he could not agree more. Gabrielle takes this to mean that he will give up on all his 'crazy talk' and go back to work, but an annoyed Carlos pushes her away, denying this, much to her shock. He tells her it's the exact opposite of what she thought. This means Carlos is more aware than ever of what really matters: giving back. Gaby says, "Why do you keep calling it that? You're not giving, you're taking, from us, your family!" Carlos says he doesn't know why he thought she'd understand this, considering she's always been selfish. Gabrielle confirms this, and adds that he knew it when they got married, and that was the deal: he'd make the money and she'd spend it. She says she's still holding up her end. Carlos says he is miserable at work, that he can't do it anymore, and Gaby tells him of the times she thought to herself that she couldn't do it anymore, when he was drowning his guilt in 'booze' and when he disappeared into rehab. But she willed herself to hold the family together because someone had to, and now it's his turn. She takes the tie and throws it at him. She then leaves the room, and they're both clearly angry. Carlos tosses the tie into a nearby laundry basket, furiously so.

816 25
Susan and Mike share a lovely talk.

The following day, the sun is shining on Wisteria Lane as Mike Delfino sits out on the front porch. Susan opens the front door behind him, and joins her husband, claiming to have something to tell him. Mike is immediately worried, as he thinks she's still mad. She says, "No. You're a hard guy to stay mad at, Mike Delfino." She adds that she thinks she figured out why - she figured out what it was about him that 'flipped her switch' the very first time she met him. Mike jokes that it's got to be the 'rugged good looks', and Susan says 'no', but adding that they didn't hurt. Mike then asks what it was, and she says: "You don't get scared." Mike tells her that's not true, and Susan says it is, he doesn't get scared, which is what everyone thinks when they meet him, because he always takes care of people. She asks him why he's like that, and Mike explains to her that his father would often beat up his mother when he was little. Susan wraps her hands around his arm for comfort. He goes on to say he'd hear it happening, but there wasn't much he, as a 10-year-old, could do about it. He realizes that, through his whole life, if he ever saw anybody in trouble, he couldn't walk away. Susan keeps caressing him as he says there is something he's scared of. He gets scared that somehow, and because he's not the most expressive guy in the world, maybe he never made it clear to Susan how much he loves her. She smiles and denies this, saying she got that. They kiss passionately, and once they're done she tells him she should start dinner. As she gets up, she notices the broken fence post on their property and tells him she thought he said he was gonna fix it. As she gets into the house, Mike tells her he'll do it the following day. She walks in, and Mike gets up, to follow her. A car is seen approaching their house. Susan comes out to the door again, about to say something else, when they hear someone shouting the name "Delfino!". Mike turns in surprise, to find Donny the loan shark at the window of the car, taking out his gun. Mike pushes Susan away, to safety, and she falls to the floor, as Donny makes his shot.

We all take the gift of life for granted. If only we could slow things down...
Mike Montage
Mike's love story flashes before his eyes...

Mike's life flashes before his eyes. He recalls the pivotal moments of his romance with Susan, including the moment when they first met, at Mary Alice's wake, when they introduced themselves. ("Pilot") Then, we're shown the iconic moment when Mike finds Susan lying naked in the bushes, after she's locked herself out of the house. ("Pretty Little Picture"). Then, we're shown their first marriage, out in the woods, when Mike tells her he's never seen her look so beautiful, and then they kiss. ("Getting Married Today"). Then, the moment when Adam Mayfair has just announced that they're expecting a child, and the couple is ecstatic. ("Now You Know") Then, we see Susan holding a baby MJ after his birth. ("Mother Said") This followed by a montage of several moments of Mike's life shared with his wife and son (see Flashback sequence).

Once the flashes are done with, Mike is brutally shot in the heart, and thrust into the door's frame. He falls to the floor and dies instantly, as he bleeds out.

Because before you know it...

Susan recomposes herself and stares in shock at her husband, as the car drives away. Susan crawls towards her husband.

816 26
An epic romance comes to an abrupt end on the loveliest of days...
The gift is gone.
Mary Alice Young

Susan puts her hands over Mike, his eyes shut. The horror is reflected in her voice as she tries to call her husband to his sense, to no avail. She positions his head on her lap, as the tears start pouring down her face, and she tries to stop the bleeding. Susan is overcome with panic and grief at the sight of her deceased husband, the love of her life, and the camera pans away from her as she screams out in horror...


This episode was written by executive producer Matt Berry, marking his 10th writing credit with the series, and directed by former executive producer Jeff Greenstein, marking his 3rd directing credit with the series, as well as the last episode he ever worked on in Desperate Housewives. The episode's directing wrapped up on February 3, 2012[1][2] His last day on the job was spent working with actresses Marcia Cross (Bree Van de Kamp) and Vanessa Williams (Renee Perry).[3]

The sequence of flashbacks Mike experiences moments before he meets his unfortunate end was pitched by executive producer Bob Daily and was created by editor Karen Castañeda.[4]

Reportedly, Teri Hatcher disagreed with the killing off of Mike and named it "a bad idea." Hatcher felt compelled to offer an alternative storyline for the show's final episode that would keep Mike alive. "I've got to be honest, I think it was a bad idea," she told Entertainment Weekly, "When I heard about the plan of his death, I pitched a story idea that in the finale he would be in an airport in Bolivia and MJ and I would run into his arms and discover the whole thing had been some undercover witness protection program." Hatcher admitted that she feels creator Marc Cherry had failed to recognize what fans of the series wanted by killing Mike off. "It's sad to me that Susan, who started the series as a single, unloved mother, ends now in the same way. I always thought the audience wanted to see Mike and Susan finally happy and safe but that place did not sustain itself for Marc or ABC, I guess." James Denton, on the other hand, although surprised, agreed with Marc's choice to kill his character.[5]


"You Take for Granted" was watched by 8.39 million viewers and held a 2.6/6 rating between 18 and 49 years of age.[6] The show lost out to what is arguably its main competitor, The Good Wife, which aired on CBS to 9.88 million viewers.


Bloopers and Continuity Errors[]

  • Penny's birthday is commemorated in this episode. However, in episode 8.01, Tom mentions that Penny's birthday had taken place to weekends prior, and in episode 8.04 Penny tells her mother, when she's given a Tablet, that her birthday had occurred one month prior.
  • Carlos says in this episode that he's been sober for 34 days. However, Bree states that she tried to commit suicide three months before this episode's events, which was around the time Carlos was last sent to rehab.
  • Lynette reminds Tom that he's only known Jane for three months. However, Bree states, in this very same episode, that she tried to take her life three months before, and Tom had met and started dating Jane long before that.
  • At 38:45, in the scene where Bree, Roy and Karen are talking by the car, the reflection of a crew member can be seen in the side-view mirror.


Mrs. McCluskey: Did you mean what you said today? About helping me with anything I need? 'Cause a lot of people say that, but they don't mean it.
Bree: No. No, I meant it.
Mrs. McCluskey: You sure? Because let's be honest. You and I never really liked each other.
Bree: We haven't?
Mrs. McCluskey: No.
Bree: Well, I definitely meant what I said. Whatever you need, consider it done.
Mrs. McCluskey: Good. I want you to help kill me.

[Mrs. McCluskey is telling Bree why she went to her to help her die]

Mrs. McCluskey: I need someone cold and heartless.
Bree: And that's me?
Mrs. McCluskey: A dying woman's sitting in front of you, and you haven't even offered a cup of coffee. What does that tell ya?

Gabrielle: You had to get the girls a cat, didn't you? Even though you know I'm allergic.
Carlos: Oh, you say you're allergic to everything you don't like... Cats, raisins, the vacuum cleaner...
Gabrielle: Hey, that's medically verified.

[Bree and Renee come home from the stores.]

Bree: I'm just saying, you didn't have to fight that woman over a pair of boots.
Renee: I saw 'em first.
Bree: On her feet!
Renee: Sorry. I shop New York style. Until someone is either bruised or bleeding, no sale is final.


Gallery of photographic stills released to promote the episode.

External links[]