After a three-season hiatus from the Paul Young (Mark Moses) storyline, Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry has brought back Wisteria Lane’s Original Creepster and thrown us long-time fans a bone... or something to that effect; I suppose it'd be more of a treat if Paul Young was actually a cool guy. Regardless, Paul Young is back, and he’s got a Secret. Of course we have no idea what it is yet, because “Remember Paul?” was just the first episode of the season. And so I’m sure there are plenty of episodes ahead that come very close to revealing the Secret but don’t actually do it. In the meantime, it was pretty fun to see Mark Moses all back up in the ladies’ grills—he’s so good at the character of Paul, and the fact that all the other characters all such a rich history with him makes their "reunion" that much more rewarding. Plus, along with Paul Young comes the even creepier Felicia Tillman (Harriet Sansom Harris), and that means trouble.
We also finally got to meet Renee Perry (Vanessa Williams), Lynette’s (Felicity Huffman) semi-insufferable college roommate. Renee's blunt insults will take some getting used to, but so far, Williams’ portrayal of the character blends in perfectly with the rest of the cast. As much as I loved Drea de Matteo as Angie Bolen last season, she didn’t quite fit in. Granted, she wasn't nearly as disastrous as Betty Applewhite (Alfre Woodard), but de Matteo just didn’t have that whimsical quality that the other housewives inherently possess and that gives the show its slightly campy charm. Nicollette Sheridan had it, Dana Delany had it, and Williams definitely has it. Plus, her take on the “fifth housewife” role is more unique than in past seasons, because Renee’s story isn’t the season’s “big mystery.” Instead of sneaking around and creeping everyone out like Woodard did as Applewhite, de Matteo did as Bolen, and Delany did as Katherine Mayfair, Williams is going to be much freer to just play in this world and establish a rapport with the other actresses. Renee’s already got a rather competitive relationship with Lynette, so it’ll be fun to see how her other ones develop.
Besides the return of Paul Young and the arrival of Renee, the rest of the ‘wives were also set up to have their hands full for the rest of the season—Bree (Marcia Cross) with her brand-new tattooed handyman (Brian Austin Green), Susan (Teri Hatcher) with her ugly jewelry and new profession, and Gaby (Eva Longoria Parker) and the newly clean-shaven Carlos (Ricardo Antonio Chavira) with the horrible secrets they're keeping from each other—so I think I’ll wait a few episodes before I dig into any of those storylines. For now, I’ll leave y’all with the best quotes from the episode:
4. Mike, to Susan: “If you field this one, I’ll tell him where babies come from.”
3. Bree: “How about Gaby? She has strong Latino ears.”
2. Tom, to Lynette: “So was it one rugby guy and then the other, or was it just sort of a scrum?”
1. Renee: “And to show my appreciation, I would like to pay for your first face lift.” Lynette: “That’s so generous! Although now you’ve had nine, so you probably get the next one free.”
What did you think of the season premiere?
Follow TV.com writer Stefanie Lee on Twitter: @StefAtTVDotCom