This post contains spoilers for Season 5. I made this because I intend to start show recaps soon and partly because a few friends would like to read them having no Desperate Housewives episodes in their current place of residence. Enjoy!
I cried while and after watching this episode titled The Best Thing That Ever Could Have Happened. Seriously. I was hesitant to start it because I discovered I have not watched episode 12 (which makes a difference because I would know why Edie and her creepy husband Dave are doing okay again!). Anyway, this episode featured flashbacks which went as far back as pre-season 1 Wisteria Lane. It meant an alive Rex Van De Kamp and Martha Huber, and an even more alive Mary Alice Young!
So, Eli Scruggs. He’s been Wisteria Lane’s most trusted handyman which made me think of his whereabouts when Mike Delfino became the hottest plumber in the block back in season one. He died of a heart attack while fixing Susan Mayer’s roof. Surely, his “I prefer to go quietly, if you know what I mean” would have been a freaky premonition even if it referred to his retirement.
While playing their weekly poker game, the ladies (with Katherine conveniently absent if only to make each flashback equally convenient) each remembered how Eli became part of their lives. All of it happened while he’s fixing something in each of their homes through the years.
Gaby – First, I’m not sure if Gabrielle’s nickname is spelled this way or with a double B; I prefer a single B though. Anyway, Eli was instrumental in Gaby meeting the then poker ladies (Mary Alice, Bree, Susan and Lynette). Carlos kept on leaving her in the suburbs so Eli thought a few friends would make her happy. She wanted a grand entrance when she hosted a poker game with the housewives so she came out all glammed up and dissed the Wisteria lifestyle. After that, Eli told her the women were talking about her negatively because of her attitude and he asked her to make it up to them because it’s going to be a very lonely life in there if she wouldn’t. So she did and when she confessed that had she simply told them the truth, that she’s actually very lonely, she could have said earlier she can use some friends to ease her loneliness. They accepted her with Bree commenting, “Now that’s what you call an entrance.”
Bree – Looking at her just-published cookbook for a dish to prepare at the funeral, Bree’s flashback went to the time when she wanted a new oven and Rex said it’s too expensive to buy at that point. Bree said that if she needed to get a job to have that oven, she would. So she thought of collating all her recipes and make a cookbook out of it. Rex discouraged her particularly when she began disregarding her domestic duties because of the cookbook project. Rex terribly discouraged her which ended with her throwing the notebook of recipes in the trash. Next scene was right after Rex’s funeral where Eli fixed something at the Van De Kamp’s home. He said he’d been wanting to give something to Bree; turned out it was the notebook she threw in the trash. Eli encouraged her to go for her halted dream someday. He said he tried making Bree’s cajun meatloaf and said it’s probably the best meal he’s ever had. Back to the present, Susan suggested to make her flaky shrimp dish but Bree said, “Thanks but I know exactly what I’m gonna make.” (It’s cajun meatloaf for the slower ones like TMF, who watched the episode the same time I did. Peace.)
Edie – I didn’t believe that she used to be married to a gay guy, who realized he wanted to be with a man after marrying Edie who’s libido’s always through the roof. The ever superficial Edie thought something’s wrong with her physically and it was Eli who assured her that she looked beautiful all the time. I think they slept at one time so she decided to save a sexy black dress which she knows Eli would have loved to see on her. By the way, no, she wasn’t at the poker game, she was with Creepy Dave when she went down memory lane.
Lynette – While discussing Eli’s memorial, Lynette heard Penny call her because she promised she’ll help her with her Math homework. She sent a sad Penny home and told her to start the homework without her. In her Eli-flashback, after giving birth to teenage Matt Damon look-a-likes Preston and Porter, Lynette decided to go back to work. The plan was messed up when she found out she’s pregnant again with who will turn out to be Penny. She could not give up her shot of going back to the coporate world, to the point of accepting a kickass job as she was having labor pains with Penny. A few months later, she was seen juggling groceries and an important phone call when Eli discovered that Lynette left Penny strapped in the car at a temperature of 85 degrees outside! Eli brought her in and Lynette felt really guilty because she has not done that type of negligence before. Smooth and gentle as he is, he managed to hint that Lynette should juggle important stuff that she wants in her life but should not neglect someone as precious as Penny. She hang up on her mobile and held on to her crying daughter. Back to the present, she told Gaby she will head home because she has to help Penny with her homework.
Susan – Finally, I was interested in her storyline 🙂 Basically, Eli was always there when Susan’s breaking down after a marriage/relationship gone wrong, particularly because she always needed to change the locks in her home. Hahaha!!! Hewas there when Karl left, when Mike left, and he was about to fix her roof when she told him, once again, she’s no longer in a relationship because she and Jackson broke up. Anyway, in one of her breakdowns (I think from her divorce with Mike), Eli said that Susan was damn heroic to him because even if relationships turn bad, she never stopped trying because she wants to be happy (I cried on this part!). Back to the present, because of Eli’s annoucement to Wisteria Lane residents that he’s retiring, Susan offered to buy wine to “celebrate”, something that he didn’t see the end of because he died when he went up to the roof. Before she left for the store, Susan said that Eli is the most consistent male relationship in her life. It was very sweet (you know much how much I’m a sucker for friendships), so much so that I only thought, on the side, didn’t Susan say sort of the same thing to her pervy publisher (she’s an illustrator for children’s books which made it more iffy, hehe) back in season two? Anyway, Susan drank the wine alone, and pretended that she’s sharing it with Eli after the poker game wrapped up. Pretty creepy but it’s touching.
During Eli’s memorial, narrator Mary Alice said that there was one life that particularly touched Eli: hers.
Mary Alice – Eli was in new in the suburbs when he approached Mary Alice in hopes of finding something to fix. She didn’t have anything bit she asked for his cards to give out to her friends. When he reached for the cards in his breast pocket, they flew from his hand so Mary Alice helped him get them frm the ground. It was then that Mary Alice saw Eli’s toe almost poking out of his shoe which he just covered with electric tape (I cried for the second time!). Mary Alice said she has a vase that needed to be glued together. Eli initially declined because it was clearly a pity offer but she insisted. Two years later, Eli finished something in her backyard when a distraught Mary Alice gave him the vase he fixed. When asked why, she said she’s been thinking of “the people that once walked into her life and made it better than it was before“. Fans of the show would recognize that this was the same day that Mary Alice killed herself (the thing that if she hadn’t done, the show would not be what it is, hey). Eli saw the commotion that afternoon, couldn’t bring himself to come near the scene because he did not do anything to save her. While in his car, as Mary Alice narrated, “He made a quiet vow to God, from that moment forward, he would do what he could to help people fix their lives. And for the rest of his life, that’s exactly what he did.” This is where I almost bawled, everyone!
I loved this episode so much. Even with the lack of Katherine which was understandable. DH episodes, even season finales, rarely become utter favorites but this one might be my first.