Last May when Desperate Housewives aired its season finale and Katherine Mayfair's secret was finally revealed, it wasn't the fact that the Dylan we thought was the real Dylan wasn't actually her daughter that shocked us. It was the last five minutes of the program which revealed the show was jumping five years into the future. We saw a more mature and hard-looking Bree Hodge, now a high-powered business woman a la Martha Stewart, a disheveled Gabrielle Solis, now a new mother losing her mind a la Lynette from season one, a Lynette Scavo who has visibly gotten rid of her wigs and scarves but might be pulling her hair out soon--dealing with two rebellious teenage boys, and most shocking of all, Susan Mayer kissing a sexy-as-ever Gale Harold (Queer As Folk), not Mike Delfino.
Many have asked, "well how will we know what's happened in those five years?" My answer to that question is, how do we know what happened before the very first episode of Desperate Housewives? We learned what happened through flashbacks, back story, storylines that revealed their past secrets, and the framework of their characters. People don't seem to get that this is really in essence, a reboot of the show--and of the characters. Writer Jeff Greenstein ("In Buddy's Eyes", "Free") said, "You'll see some flashbacks. Occasionally there will be some things you've missed that we'll have to explain. There's going to be some things you've missed that we're not going to explain so quickly. [However,] we're not doing Lost. We're not slaves to flashbacks." Others have asked, "what happened to Mike and Susan? I need to know now!" My response is, why? When Mike first came to Wisteria Lane, we had no idea why he was there. Just as we had no idea why Mary Alice had killed herself. The fun is in finding out the "why". So just be patient and enjoy the ride.
Greenstein says that the writers are wiping the slate clean. That the stories had become so convoluted--jumping ahead five years will allow them to get Desperate Housewives back to a more simple, relatable level. "We found that after four years in, we were looking to portray those predicaments once again. We didn't want to have to wait to show Gabrielle with children, or Bree in a thriving business, so we figured let's just jump ahead and do it. ... Let's see what Lynette is like with two 16-year-olds at home. That was something we didn't want to have to wait until season ten to start exploring."