Watching ‘Desperate Housewives’ the past few weeks has felt a lot like riding in a car with faulty brakes. The plots have alternated irregularly between following a snailishly boring pace with unfunny filler and an inappropriate quickness with little substance. The Fairview version of a power outage (yes, both meanings of power are certainly – and painfully meaningfully – in play here) continued this strange pacing pattern of recent weeks. Mrs. McCluskey’s tumble down the basement stairs set up a peculiar series of not-so-suspenseful events that led up to her arrest. Though Cherry is making it clear that there is something about this murder that we don’t know (but that Parker does), the mystery that once, only a week ago, had all the potential to live up to the noir glory of season one, fell, right with Mrs. McCluskey, flat on its face in the dark.

Ian’s newly developed interest in Mike, though predictably short-lived, was, despite its utter infeasibility, mildly amusing. The emasculated Brit insisted that Mike come over for dinner, while Susan paraded around with her usual, occasionally comic dizziness attempting to persuade Mike not to come. Susan’s attempt to set Mike up with her desperate wedding planner provided some classic awkward humor, but, within a mere three minutes, Mike confessed his love for Susan, Ian’s shady betting scheme was revealed and Susan broke off the wedding and rejected Mike. The brakes just stopped working for a little while and they were never really repaired by the end of the episode.

The emasculation fest continued as Tom bitchily rejected Rick’s trendy ideas and Lynette rejected Tom’s stubborn and ungrounded objections to change (and, took the lyrics to that Corinne Bailey Rae song a bit too seriously when Rick told her to wear her hair down more often). The scanty chemistry between Rick and Lynette was more of a snooze fest than anything else, and Parker’s ridiculously contrived discovery of Mr. McCluskey’s body was simply unexciting. Kayla’s miraculous reappearing act was a fun bout of random brattiness (the girl, who, yes, is smarter than most fifth graders, found much pleasure in reading a review of the Scavo pizzeria that praised Rick’s innovative cooking) and it feels like her fabricated naïveté will, thankfully, permeate the budding Rick-Lynette-Tom triangle in upcoming weeks.

Elevator sex between Victor and Gaby made the front page of Fairview’s newspaper and, following the tradition of recent weeks to create vexingly unrealistic situations, nearly ruined the supposedly family-minded mayoral candidate's campaign. Gaby, who casually rejected his proposal just days earlier, accepted Victor’s proposal at a press conference to cover-up the fiasco, but she did seem quite genuine in the public declaration of her feelings. A dejected Carlos watched it all on TV (Is this some writer’s attempt to make Carlos a figure for…us?) as a pleased Edie welcomed the proposal as that needed step to make her relationship with Carlos more than just a frivolous escapade (the scenes that followed them as they slept together in homes for sale were amply hilarious). Carlos and Edie’s relationship may have become more serious, but the same cannot be said for, well, any other storyline that we are meant to take seriously. Unifying theme suggestion for next week: Brakes. Someone can start by fixing them.

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