The interconnectedness on Wisteria Lane (and a certain supermarket nearby) may have just reached its wonderfully lethal peak this week in what will surely go down as one of the most memorable DH episodes ever. Never before since the series’ opening, enigmatic suicide has Cherry so masterfully mixed suburban emptiness with the darkly comic. In fact, Mary Alice’s suicide had a crucial presence in this epic episode, haunting, and ultimately redeeming Lynette’s troubled psyche. What could have gone down as a Fox-ish someone-is-dying-tonight ploy for viewers at a critical time in the season (November sweeps), became a poignant exercise in pretty much shaking up and waking up every character on the show (disregarding a nowhere-to-be-seen Mike). And, of course, as promised, not everyone survived the night (RIP Nora and well, maybe not in peace, but Carolyn too).
Immediately disrupting our sense of time, Cherry showed us Carolyn as she found out from Bree (who found out from Orson after he suspiciously told the “real” story about Alma’s bruises, that Bree naturally bought) and then as she went to confront Harvey at the supermarket before we actually saw how the random assemblage of Wisteria residents came to be. Julie had to pick up some toothpaste at the store, as Susan was getting ready to leave for Paris with Ian. Austin, hiding a $10 bottle of whiskey in Julie’s bag, managed to get them both caught shoplifting, subsequently bringing Edie and Susan to the store to deal with the issue. Lynette, after urging Tom to fight for full custody of Kayla following Nora’s manipulative, alleged decision to move the two to Tijuana, made a routine trip to the supermarket. Nora spied her rival’s car in the soon-to-be police-surrounded parking lot and unluckily walked through the freshly cleaned automatic doors into her demise.
So there you have it, Cherry’s brilliant exploitation of some twisted domestic fates that led up to the most unlikely hostage situation ever. And the interconnectedness doesn’t even stop here. Carlos and his lawyer continued the divorce proceedings with some recorded proof of Gaby’s fiscally driven attempt to seduce Carlos into postponing the divorce, leaving Gaby with next to nothing. Just as Carolyn let out the gunshot-heard-round-the-aisle, Gaby smashed some pretty expensive kitchenware and Carlos, in return, with the conveniently handy sledgehammer in the house, wrecked the walls of her house. The crazed couple, informed by the omniscient Miss McClusky, headed over to Bree’s (where there was a spur-of-the-moment emergency bash with scrumptious food) to watch the hostage coverage on TV. Gaby, who scarily related to Carolyn’s madness, realized that she and Carlos needed to put a stop to their over-the-top feuding (and, thankfully, just in time, when all their quarreling was starting to get annoying).
Inside the actual supermarket hostage scene, Carolyn, after shooting the first guy who tried to leave, forced all of the star-crossed shoppers to the back of the store, where she argued with a barricaded Harvey. Lynette unintentionally sealed Nora’s fate by telling Carolyn about Nora’s sexual past with Tom. Nora (literally shot through the heart) told a reeling Lynette (kudos to Felicity Huffman for a sympathetically wrought Emmy-worthy performance) to take care of Kayla. Lynette went on one of her heroic rampages at a very wrong time, making herself a prime target of Carolyn’s uncontrollable wrath. She only got shot in the arm, thanks to the gallant new neighbor (who just moved into Mary Alice’s house) and the mother of one of Carolyn’s Sunday school students, who killed Carolyn.
Lynette’s recurring dream (though there was never any mention of it before in the series) of her last conversation with Mary Alice proved to be an appropriate episode unifier: Lynette’s ultimate inability to save Mary Alice represents the inherent fallibility in all of Wisteria’s residents (yeah, a bit clichéd, but still totally effective). Looks like Julie and Austin finally have a legitimate reason to get together, Bree learned a little lesson about revenge, and there’s going to be some serious emotional baggage in the Scavo-plus-Kayla residence. Sometimes true change can only be brought about through the death of a whore. No, but really, Nora, you will be missed.
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