Desperate Housewives

Season 5 Episode 8

City on Fire

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Nov 16, 2008 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
341 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Susan's daughter Julie (former series regular Andrea Bowen) comes to visit, and brings along her 40-year-old boyfriend (guest star Steven Weber). A reporter named Sandra Birch (guest star Rachael Harris) goes out of her way to make Bree look like a sham, whereas Gabrielle and Carlos learn they have been included in maniacal Mrs. Hildebrand's (guest star Frances Conroy) will, as the sole heirs of her entire fortune. In the meantime, Mrs. McCluskey and Roberta (guest star Lily Tomlin) decide to go and see Dr. Heller (guest star Stephen Spinella), unaware that he is already in Fairview and looking for Dave Williams. The men of Wisteria Lane prepare to play at the annual "Battle of the Bands" concert at The White Horse Club, and a fire breaks out and puts lives on the line. Some will fall as a hero will rise...moreless

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  • The Men Of The Lane Are Nervous On The Night Of "Battle Of The Bands". During Their Concert, A Fire Breaks Out And Puts Lives On The Line.

    The best episode so far of this season. "City On Fire" had everything: drama, top-notch suspense and shoking moments. I liked the way the episode opened at the club. It was a cool scene. Without doubt my favorite part of this episode was the fire at the club. That scene was intense. That aside, Bree's storyline was also very good. My interest never wavered and it was entertaining. I laughed at the scene where Julie gets home with her new boyfriend as Susan's reaction was so funny! Porter's and Lynette' storyline was very good. It was the second most interesting storyline in this episode. It was nice to see Lynette defend Anne. Charlie Carver (Porter) was excellent here. The BEST THING in this episode was how the storylines unfolded and came together in the end. The scenes at the club were very well done. When this episode first began, I had lots of questions. For example why is the emergency exit door locked? But as the episode unfolded, all my questions were answered. Overall, a very good episode filled with many memorable moments. Excellent.moreless
  • oh dear

    this was such an awful episode of desperate housewives i ahte the whole dave storyline it is so annoying and so painfuly obvious that he is after mike because it was his family in the car crash, couldent the writers of come up with something better then that, the whole lynette think with her son is pretty rubbsih as it the storyline that susans daughter would marry a 40 year old

    i hate the whole katherine and mike think it is so stupid and i really hate the whole gaby and crazy old wommen storyline, come on writers sort this mess outmoreless
  • the best episode this season!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I absolutely l o v v v v v v v v v v e e e e e e e e e e e d d d d d d d d d d this episode. An absolute classic! Yes it's probably been done before but it's never been as good as this!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!! Did I mention I l o o o o o o o o o o o o o v v v v v v v v v v e e e e e e e e e e d d d d d d d d d d IT!moreless
  • And so to Desperate Housewives' annual 'big sweeps episode', the one that 'threatens to change the lives of the characters forever' and promises to be full of action, drama, and, hopefully, mindless gay sex featuring Shawn Pyfrom and Jesse Metcalffe.moreless

    And so to Desperate Housewives' annual 'big sweeps episode', the one that 'threatens to change the lives of the central characters forever' (just as it did in all the past seasons, but, um, well, actually didn't all that much) and promises to be a season highlight, full of action, drama, revelations and, hopefully, mindless gay sex featuring Shawn Pyfrom and Jesse Metcalffe... *ahem* In the past two seasons, the hype machine went into overdrive for 'Bang!' and 'Something's Coming', respectively and, well, justifiably so. Those remain two of the best forty five minutes of television that the creators of this show have ever put to film. 'City on Fire' tries to be the equivalent - really, it does - but, let's be honest, it just can't quite match them. A middleweight in heavyweight territory, would be an appropriate metaphor. There's some clever manipulation of plot structure, interesting character developments and a brief "oh my God, they're actually going to kill Mike" moment to enjoy but, sadly, the gravitas of the fire just doesn't compare to that of, say, a tornado; and the drama of the situation is nowhere near as intense as the claustrophobic psych-fest of the supermarket robbery in 'Bang!' Of course, it is perhaps a bit unfair to judge 'City of Fire' in this fashion; it is a well written episode with a host of excellent scenes and, at the very least, a cameo from Tokyo Police Club to enjoy. It could just have done with a little bit more... oomph. And if Mike is Dave's target, I swear to God...moreless
  • A fire breaks out....

    In this episode of Desperate Housewives, the following happens. Julie returns home with her new boyfriend, who is a lot older than Julie. Lynette learns that Porter has gotten his much older girlfriend pregnant and that they are planning on running away together. Lynette goes round to see her and confronts her. She confirms that it's all true and then her Husband walks in, having heard every word of the conversation. Lynette is told to leave by the Husband when she does, she feels guilty knowing that he hits her and goes back inside to find him beating her. Lynette hits him and he stops and walks off. When Porter goes to the hospital and sees what has happened to his girlfriend, Anne, he races back out and Lynette chases after him. Susan soon learns that Julie's new boyfriend has been married 3 times before and is wants to propose to Julie. When Julie says that they have only been dating for 3 months, but she says no. And Susan learns that she doesn't want to get married ever. Dave's doctor turns up and we learn that Fairview w the one place he was never to move too. We also learn that after the Battles of the band gig he has to confess to who he really is and what his real name is. We then see Dave talking his doctor into a back room and strangling him. He then pours liquids all over the body in order to destroy it. We then see Dave starting a fire. Anne's husband turns up and hits Porter. Soon fire appears and the club has to be evacuated, except the exits are locked. As everyone begins to make their exits, though windows and such we see Porter turning up with a gun.moreless
Frances Conroy

Frances Conroy

Virginia Hildebrand

Guest Star

Gail O'Grady

Gail O'Grady

Anne Schilling

Guest Star

Rachael Harris

Rachael Harris

Sandra Birch

Guest Star

Kathryn Joosten

Kathryn Joosten

Karen McCluskey

Recurring Role

Gale Harold

Gale Harold

Jackson Braddock

Recurring Role

Kevin Rahm

Kevin Rahm

Lee McDermott

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Susan tells Lloyd she has been divorced twice, but technically it's three times: twice from Karl and once from Mike.

    • Supposed Goof: In the previous episode, it was said that an original song was needed for Battle of the Bands. However, Mike sang "Mustang Sally" at the concert.

      Response: Dave also said in the previous episode they needed to work on their covers before he said anything about a new song. They were probably planning to play an original song after their cover of "Mustang Sally", but the club was set on fire.

  • QUOTES (23)

    • Dr. Heller: I hope you realize... I'm only doing this because I want to help you. I genuinely care about you, Dave.
      Dave: I know you do, Dr. Heller. And I like you. Actually, I like you a lot.

    • Dr. Heller: (referring to Mike Delfino) He's in your band!
      Dave: Oh! I know. It sounds crazy, but we've worked through everything. It's cool.
      Dr. Heller: No. This is too dangerous. I need to speak to him right now.
      Dave: Doc, you just have to trust me on this one. OK?
      Dr. Heller: Now, Dave. I speak to him right now. Or I call the police.
      Dave: OK. You win. Come on.

    • Dave: I'm really, really sorry about all this, Doc.
      Dr. Heller: You changed your name and didn't tell me. You're living in Fairview, the one place you swore you wouldn't go.
      Dave: I didn't change my name just to be deceptive. I just wanted a fresh start.
      Dr. Heller: Fairview is not a fresh start for you.
      Dave: My wife, Edie. She's from here. And she really wanted to move back and I said "Okay".
      Dr. Heller: Did you tell her your history? Did you tell her why it's not healthy or safe for you to be here?
      Dave: She knows everything. And I'm in a really good place right now. But...can we talk about this after the show? These guys...they're my friends. And they're depending on me.
      Dr. Heller: The moment you're finished playing, we can talk.

    • Porter: (to Lynette) You are responsible for this! Whatever happens is your fault!

    • Porter: (to Warren Schilling) You're dead! I don't care what it takes! You're dead!

    • Gabrielle: Hey, since I'm saving your life and all, you wanna think about maybe keeping us in your will?
      Virginia: No.
      Gabrielle: Eh... It was worth a shot.

    • Susan: I believe in marriage.
      Julie: Why? First there was dad who left you for his secretary, and then Mike...he was the love of your life and it still went to hell. I mean honestly, just tell me what the upside is?
      Susan: Oh Julie, you're way too young to be this cynical.
      Julie: I'm not cynical, I'm realistic. I'm just trying to protect myself.
      Susan: Well, putting a wall around your heart doesn't protect you. It just keeps people out. I learned that the hard way. Now with Jackson...I remembered that I like feeling hopeful. I like believing in happier after. I really wish that you felt that way too.

    • Bree: (Talking to the reporter) I don't think I'm great. I have fallen down more times than I can count, just so many other housewives out there. We're all just barely holding on and we all think that we're alone. So maybe you're right, maybe it isn't a cook book; it's a lifeline for e to those other women because I want them to know there's always a chance to get something right. Even if it's just a casserole.

    • (Susan is looking at Julie, who is flirting with his boyfriend)
      Susan: That has got to stop. I'm gonna do something.
      Jackson: Why? Julie is a grown woman.
      Susan: Uh-Uh. She's a grown woman with stars in her eyes, who's in love with a three times looser.
      Jackson: If she wants to accept his proposal, that's her business. But in the meantime you're not gonna ruin the surprise.
      Susan: Aren't I?
      Jackson: No.
      Susan: Aren't I?
      Jackson: No!

    • Susan: I'm sorry, I can't help it. I don't want my daughter to be someone's fourth wife.
      Julie: Wife? Were you gonna ask me to marry you?
      Lloyd: (With a sarcastic tone) Oh, are we not clear on that by now?
      Julie: You can't be serious. We've only been dating three months.
      Lloyd: Yes, I know, but I've such a good feeling about us.
      Susan: What? Better feelings than you had about wives one, two and three?

    • Dave: (arriving at The White Horse) Here we are boys. Are you psyched or what?
      Carlos: I think I'm gonna puke again.

    • Susan: So.. you've been married three times?
      Lloyd: Didn't Julie tell you that?
      Susan: I don't believe so. Although I may have blacked out after she told me you were forty.

    • Lloyd: So Susan, I'm sensing that you're a little freaked out about my age.
      Susan: You know, when your twenty-four year old daughter calls you and tells you she's bringing a boyfriend from college you sort of expect it to be...a boy!

    • Preston: Mom, you got a minute?
      Lynette: I do. Why do I have the sense you are gonna take it away from me?
      Preston: Porter got Anne Schilling pregnant. (Lynette looks shocked) Mom? Are you okay?
      Lynette: (with a very low voice) Oh yeah, I'm great. Is that it?
      Preston: No, there's more. They are planning to run away.
      Lynette: Okay. Well your minute's up.

    • Carlos: (To Gabrielle, about Virginia) We're the sole heirs of her entire fortune. And her blood pressure is 220 over 90.

    • Mary Alice: There was a fire last night in Fairview. If you open up your morning paper you can read about those who survived and those who were injured, those who barely escape toward their lives and those who didn't. You can also read about a man who risked his life to rescue his neighbour. What you won't read about are the reasons for this bravery, and that's because no-one ever doubts a hero.

    • Mary Alice: Once a year the owner of "The white horse" bar would host a competition known as "The battle of the bands" and young musicians would come with their drums and guitars and dreams of stardom. This year those young musicians were joined by a group of a middle aged men, who came with their stiff joints and high cholesterol and dreams of being young again, if only for one night.

    • Dave: (To Mike, unconscious on a stretcher) Hang in there, I'm not done with you yet.

    • Bree: The reporter is almost here. I am so nervous.
      Katherine: Why? You've done lots of interviews.
      Bree: That was all local. This is the New York Dispatch. If this goes well my cookbook could be in the front page of their week-end style section. (she pauses and looks at Katherine)
      Katherine, what did you do to your hair? I've never seen it so thick and lustrous.
      Katherine: I'm only planning on saying nice things about you.
      Bree: Good, I can check that off my list.
      (Andrew walks in)
      Andrew: When is the reporter coming?
      Bree: In any minute. Oh my gosh, you look sharp today.
      Andrew: Don't worry, I won't tell her I'm gay.
      Bree: Check and check.

    • (Susan is looking out the window and observing Julie with her "boyfriend"...)
      Susan: Why is the cab driver handing Julie's boyfriend money?
      (the cab driver head back to his car)
      Susan: Why is Julie's boyfriend getting back in the car?
      (the "other" guy kisses Julie)
      Susan: And why is the middle-aged cab driver kissing Julie?
      Jackson: I think what's going on... (she interrupts him)
      Susan: I know what's going on. Let me enjoy my denial.

    • Andrew: Mum, do you know anything about this reporter?
      Bree: Only that her name is Sandra Birch, we just spoke and she seemed very nice.
      Andrew: She isn't. I went online and pulled a bunch of her articles and a lot of them are complete hatchet jobs.
      (Andrew hands Bree a print-out with examples)
      Bree (reading the print-out): A deeper look suggests something darker, something more ominous. A woman whose perky surface conceals a deep, almost demonic thirst for power.
      Katherine: Ooh, I doubt Betty White saw that coming.

    • Gabrielle: (to Virginia) You know something? I like money, I like it a lot. And a couple of years ago you could have bought me with that big fortune of yours, but I'm a mom now and I make the decisions for my kids. And that is something that can't be bought.

    • Virgina: I have news I wanted to share. You don't seem happy to see me.
      Gabrielle: Well maybe that's because the last time we spoke you called me a greedy b*tch and I called you a scary old hag.
      Virgina: Well, we're a fine pair of hot heads. But what family doesn't have its squabbles?
      Gabrielle: Family? Lady you had Carlos fired.
      Virgina: That was a terrible misunderstanding.
      Carlos: And, she straightened it out and I got my job back. Isn't that nice?
      Gabrielle: Delightful. (to Virginia) Now leave before there's a terrible misunderstanding between my foot and your ass.

  • NOTES (2)