Message boards, blogs, and even newspapers — including USA Today and the Chicago Tribune — have been a buzz about how America's favorite guilty pleasure has gone downhill since its critically acclaimed first season. In her Transamerica Oscar press junket, Felicity Huffman has said in response to Housewives' sophomore slump, "We were riding so high that there’s no place else to go but sort of down for a while, and God willing, up again."
And she's absolutely right.
As I've stated before, most shows kind of struggle to find themselves in the first season, as they progress and find out who they are and what they want to say, then become great shows. But Desperate Housewives is one exception: a case where the series has always known exactly what it was straight from the beginning, giving us one of the best first seasons of a show in recent memory. But of course, as Felicity said, once you're so high up, there's almost nowhere else to go but down - at least for a little while.
Most of this season — and by most, I mean everything after the first few episodes — has been pretty lackluster. The Applewhites' story did not deliver the same mystery and hook that the Mary Alice Young suicide did the first season, the at first lovable and relatable Susan became as annoying as Meredith Grey on Grey's Anatomy, the one-liners weren't as funny, and frankly most of the storylines were just plain boring.
But Sunday night's episode marked Desperate Housewives' return to full form. It was funny, it was dramatic, it was mysterious, it was authentic. This show finally got back to everything it was supposed to be, and for once, it was actually better than the following Grey's Anatomy.
Marcia Cross delivered what was an Emmy-worthy performance: the last scene where she came out of the house, hair down, no make-up, worn and tattered and on what we thought was a trip to visit Andrew's college, dropped him off at a gas station with a bag and some money was truly one of the best this show has ever seen. This woman killed that scene like it was a sex offender who lived next door.