Seven seasons in, ABC’s Desperate Housewives doesn’t need the big finale build up. In fact, despite the fact that the season finale is billed as a two hour special event, unlike in the past, both hours are separate episodes, with their own arcs and stories. In the first, “And Lots of Security…,” the Paul Young (Mark Moses) / Felicia Tillman (Harriet Sansom Harris) feud is resolved once and for all. In the second, “Come On Over for Dinner,” a new intrigue begins after Carlos (Ricardo Chavira) kills Gaby’s (Eva Longoria) sexually abusive stepfather, Alejandro (Tony Plana, Ugly Betty), and Bree (Marcia Cross), Susan (Teri Hatcher), and Lynette (Felicity Huffman) help him cover it up.
After seven seasons and various murders and secrets, it is fitting that Desperate Housewives moves into what will likely be its final season with all of the main women engaged in a cover up together. It is a justified murder, done in the name of protecting an innocent woman from her long-time tormentor. While police should have been called immediately, that would take away from a concept that has been ripe for quite awhile, and thus, it is time for it to happen. This will cement their deep friendship, as well as right things between Carlos and Bree, who have not been on good terms lately. It will be interesting to see if, one by one, all of the other neighbors eventually become complicit, or the secret will stay confined to five individuals. Both possibilities could be good.
There is little doubt none of the five will break, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be an investigation. Plenty of the neighbors have to have seen Alejandro sneaking around, and there will be evidence that leads back to Carlos and Gaby. The question is, is this a good enough mystery to sustain a full season of plot, or will it be one of those stories gone, then quickly forgotten?
It is not likely to be forgotten because of season seven’s themes of the past catching up to people. Paul returns to Wisteria Lane to settle an old score, getting even with the neighbors for their perceived disrespect of him. Felicia follows him to get revenge on Paul killing her sister. Paul tells Susan in the penultimate hour that the past always has a way of coming back, and he ends up confessing to the police for Martha’s murder, an event that happened all the way back in season one. It would be folly, just after such a story, to abandon the new arc now, without finding out what the consequences of the housewives’ deception are.
Hopefully, the lead investigator will be Detective Chuck Vance (Jonathan Cake), the recently introduced love interest for Bree. Poor Bree has gone through a couple of husbands and several lovers, but it would be only too appropriate that a happy ending will be out of reach for her because she covers up a murder from the man she is currently seeing. Chuck’s presence is what leads the ladies to hide the body in the first place, rather than discussing a more rational plan. Will Bree be able to cope with the stress such an omission can put on a serious relationship?
It seems that Tom (Doug Savant) and Lynette are finally over. The series’s only steady couple who have been together since before day one have found their recent arguments unwinnable, and the pair can barely stand to be in the same room together anymore, let alone spend any time alone. It’s a sad, sad end to an era as they separate, and something is profoundly unfair that not one couple on Desperate Housewives manages to go the distance. The only hope is that resolution can be found before divorce is finalized.