Desperate Housewives

Season 1 Episode 5

Come in, Stranger

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Oct 31, 2004 on ABC
out of 10
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368 votes

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Episode Summary

A break-in on Wisteria Lane leaves the neighbors feeling vulnerable, especially Susan - who reluctantly accepts a date with a persistent policeman (guest star Steven Eckholdt) after Mike Delfino appears indifferent to her. Mike Delfino might be found out as the burglar as he accidentally left a screwdriver behind. Rex takes the kids away for the weekend as a lonely Bree, who finds herself bonding with Mary Alice's troubled son, Zach. Meanwhile, Lynette and Tom pull out all the stops to get their uncontrollable twins Porter and Preston accepted at a prestigious private school, and the unexpected arrival of Carlos' mother (guest star Lupe Ontiveros) puts a crimp in Gabrielle's covert love life with gardener John. Things get worse when the two go shopping.moreless

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  • When Desperate Housewives has it's brilliant moments...

    Marc Cherry realized Gabby's storyline was getting tiresome so he included Calros' mother. Bree has secrets nobody knows, and so does Zack. Susan gets played and ends up on hooker lane, while Lynette contemplates home schooling.

    The writing for this episode was on point. It was funny, just like every epsiode preceeding this one, and it had character development. An example of this is, we finally understand why Bree is this way. It might have been the shock of losing her mother. Also, Carlos crying makes him seem like less of a jerk.

    The ending was my favorite part of the episode. The christmas decoration break in was quite the shocker, and Susan and Mike get their first kiss!moreless
  • great

    another brilliant desperate housewives that was full of juicy storylines and edge of your seat mystery, i loved bree gettting involved in all the mystery stuff and loved the romantic stuff with susan and mike im really hoping they get it on, the gaby stuff was alos really fun as was the lnette storyoine

  • Yes, Please Invade My Personal Space Written by Alexandra Cunningham Directed by Arlene Sanford

    Mary Alice: "People by their nature are always on the lookout for intruders. Trying to prevent those on the outside getting in".

    Okay while that might not be exactly what she said, it is the general gist and overall sums up the feeling of this latest ep, with the theme of personal invasion being taken to another level.

    On the first side, Gabrielle's fun little double life is further compounded by the arrival of Carlos' fiery mother. Fiercely played, Juanita is a force to be reckoned with as her tries to confirm Carlos'a worst fears about his wife are a joy to watch and not even Gabby is quick enough to slow Hurricane Sollis Sr done, although the shoplifting set up did see her stoop to a new low. Face it, Gabby - you're pretty much up shit creek and the sooner your ass gets busted, the happier i'll feel.

    Juanita's arrival also shows us a slightly more sensitive side to Carlos, though his reactions at the thought of his wife cheating is still one sided, so you don't completely feel for him just yet.

    While we're on unexpected arrivals, I bet prissy academic school Barcliff never expected that they would be enrolling devil duo Porter and Preston Scavo in their student body. Seemingly mistaking them for dosile, obedient little tykes thanks to Lynette's extreme determination - getting Bree to lie for her as well as tiring them out before inspection. Makes you think why doesn't she have them dig holes all the time in order to neutralise them. Just a suggestion.

    The better aspect of this tory however is how the responsibilites of parenthood affect both her and Tom. Duly pointed out, she is the one who has made the sacrifice by being a stay at home mother, although she earned more than her husband. Tom's attitude however disappoints me. While I prefer him slightly to Carlos and Rex, this constant whinging about how his wife should fulfill the traditional matriarchal role is frustrating and he doesn't seem neccesarily keen to listen to his wife's former high flyer days - was he envious of her success? It also doesn't take much of a genius to deduce that Lynette is clamouring for her former life more now than she probably did when her first child was born and I get the feeling when that is played out in the show, there'll be some conflict between her and Tom.

    The personal invasion analogy is also used to slightly utilise Susan's ongoing lust for Mike arc, despite the rather obvious curveballs being thrown in to have both potential lovers at opposite ends for most of "Come In, Stranger". On Susan's front we have her going on a date with a smug police officer which fizzled for me before she began to draw comparisons to him and Karl. The comparisons make me wonder if she really is actually over her ex like she claims to be? There's also a hilarious, but brief exchange between Susan and a prostitute that's well worth watching too.

    On Mike's end, I had to admit I wasn't all too shocked that he was the one who broke into Mrs Fromm's house, although I do wonder what he was looking for. I'm still convinced it's related to Mary Alice, even though that would be too convenient). Oh well at least we can breath a sigh of relief that his recklessness isn't going to get him into jail for the time being. Meanwhile the kiss between him and Susan has me divided. I'm glad they did before Edie got her claws into him but at the same I wonder if the writers should have waited.

    The best arc of this episode concerns Bree and her own connection with the creepy Young clan that's being forged here. Marcia Cross is easily becoming the best actor on this show and here she's exceptional. Eschewing the fillerish scenes with Rex (where we're given mixed signals about how he really feels for the extreme perfectionist), it's the heavy and intense interplay between her and Zach that provides the most electricity.

    Bree, being who she is, obviously feels a lot of compassion for the lad and Zach, whose mother's death is taking it's toll (feuding with Paul probably adding to it)seems to find a sense of solace in each other with their dinner scene giving both characters an opportunity to reveal some rather intense and disturbing info about themselves. It also gives them some common ground regarding how they both deal with losing a parent.

    However, while I feel for Zach, he is beginning to creep me out more than Paul usually does and matters aren't aleviated when he reveals that he played a part in his mother's suicide or breaking into the Van De Kamp's and putting all the Young family Christmas decorations. Plus, off screen he assaulted his dad (hats off to Alexandra Cunningham because I was expecting the opposite to happen). Whatever Zach has done, i'm intrigued to find especially given all the sinister underpinnings on offer in the episode.

    Also in "Come In, Stranger"

    Mama Sollis (to Gabrielle):"Family should always hug, regardless of how they feel about each other".

    First of, kinda steroetyical Latina character, but breathlessly entertaining and are we to believe Juanita killed her husband?

    Susan's list of flashback disasters were obvious, except for being attacked by that bird which was hilarious.

    Various neighbourhood complaints included ...

    Mrs Greenberg (wig lady from Buffy's "Doublemeat Palace") - being spied on in her bathroom

    Bob Fisk - government agencies tapping into the phonelines

    Helen Vale - car being egged by teens. Pretty normal neighbourhood woes.

    Lynette:"Why don't you just put them back in me and cook them til their civilised"

    Tom:"You'd be cool with that?"

    Did Mrs Fromm's ever come back to reclaim her cat? It wasn't referenced and neither was something else important which i'll get to in a bit.

    No Edie or Mrs Huber again. And Julie had bugger all to do as well.

    Where are Lynette's oldest and youngest children?

    Rex:"Oh come on, i'm staying at a motel. I haven't had a decent meal in weeks"

    Bree:"Honey, the marriage counselling may not work out but you need to get used to bad cooking". I take they're still seeing Dr Goldfine then.

    Well this was nice. It's not gonna rank as a classic but there are so many good moments, it's impossible not to like it, if not be impressed with it. The whole different type of strangers metaphors that was used to push some of the arcs was nicely done but the actual lack of dealing with the burglary itself was a disappointment. Sure, they had a neighbourhood watch but that was forgotten by the second half and although, nothing was stolen you do the impression that the authorities on Wisteria Lane aren't that good at their jobs. The only piece of evidence they had, they ignored and how come no one (okay mainly Susan) didn't even try to contact Mrs Fromm. Still though, it was entertaining enough and better than more tv at the moment but still rather unsatisfying IMO.

  • La genialidad de las Desperate Housewives se muestra en este episodio en todo su esplendor.

    Con la llegada de la suegra, Gabrielle se da cuenta cuan fuerte es el adversario. Lynnet empieza a sembrar las semillas para salir de su casa directo al trabajo y dejar a su esposo con las cargas del hogar. Conocemos más sobre la complicada personalidad de Zack y la extraña relación con su padre. Por fín!!!! El primer beso de Susan y el plomero. Un episodio muy bueno que nos devuelve el interes en la trama, mientras nos resuelve ciertos interrogantes, deja abierta la puerta para cosas mucho mas pesadas en la serie. ¿Pero qué pasa con Eddie? En este episodio, aunque le dan créditos no aparece en ningún lado, y siempre hace falta el contrapeso en la relación con Mike.moreless
  • Always on the lookout...

    Lynette plots with Bree to get her twins into the respecitv and very prestige private school. When headmaster announces that he will bring twins for obesrvations Lynette has a plan to make everything perfect.

    Bree is all alone in the house for the first time in 17 years and she prepares dinner for Zach and he says that he knows why Mary Alice killed herself. Susan goes out on a date with a police officer after Mike showed no kind of jealousy. After the break in on Wisteria Lane everyone has been on alert but Susan finds out that she screwdriver never went to the lab and she goes away from the officer wich ultimately leads her to Mike.

    Gabrielle has an unexpected visit from her mother-in-law Juanita, and she came by Carlos' request to find out if Gaby is cheating on her son. Amazing preformance and hilarious scenes.moreless
Mark Brady

Mark Brady


Guest Star

Laura Milby

Laura Milby


Guest Star

Steven Eckholdt

Steven Eckholdt

Officer Rick Thompson

Guest Star

Shane Kinsman

Shane Kinsman

Porter Scavo

Recurring Role

Brent Kinsman

Brent Kinsman

Preston Scavo

Recurring Role

Bob Gunton

Bob Gunton

Noah Taylor

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Goof: When Lynette is going to throw the bag upstairs, you can see clearly that the kids are already going headed that way before Lynette has thrown the bag.

    • Goof: When Gabrielle receives the message in her mobile phone you can see that it is not a message at all. You can see that the words count is up there and the last word has the "writing stick" flashing. If the message was received, those things should not appear.

    • Lynette tells Tom that they're competing with another family over one slot at the school; but they have two kids, so they would need two slots.

  • QUOTES (11)

    • Mama Solis: (about Gabrielle possibly cheating on Carlos) Do you have any proof?
      Carlos: No, it's just a feeling.
      Mama Solis: I had that feeling about your father and that whore waitress and I was right. Always trust your feelings.

    • Susan: You remember that cop from the neighbourhood watch meeting the other night? He agreed to run a fingerprint check on the screwdriver I found at Mrs Fromme's house.
      Mike: He did? Nothing was taken.
      Susan: Still, somebody broke in, it is a crime. So the weird thing is, the cop asked me out. On a date.
      Mike: Oh?
      Susan: And I sort of said...yes. I was sort of curious what you thought about that.
      (Mike looks confused and uncomfortable to be talking about this)
      Mike: You're asking my permission to go out with him?
      Susan: No, no. I just uh, was wondering your opinion.
      Mike: I don't really have one.
      Susan: (disappointed) Okay. Great. Fine. Thank you.
      Mike: Susan, wait. Wait. I'm sorry. My life its just ah, really complicated right now-
      Susan: You don't have to explain.
      Mike: Susan!
      Susan: It's complicated. I get it.

    • (Gabrielle is on the porch, about to start yoga)
      Carlos: Do you have to do that now? My mother's here.
      Gabrielle: Hey, I'm not gonna stop my life just because she decides to show up unannounced I might add.
      Carlos: She's family. She doesn't need an invitation.
      Gabrielle: Yeah. Well. Whatever. It's rude. (Ignores him and starts her yoga)

    • Mary Alice: Every neighborhood has a woman like Alberta Fromme. And every woman like Mrs. Fromme has a cat. When she traveled Mrs. Fromme would arrange for friends to look after her beloved pet. This time, however, she was forced to ask her neighbor Susan Mayer. Mrs. Fromme liked Susan, but it was common knowledge on Wisteria Lane, where Susan Mayer went, bad luck was sure to follow. Her misfortunes ranged from the commonplace (Susan backs up her car, knocking down the trashcan), to the unusual (Susan leans against a table that has a wedding cake on it. The table collapses and so does she, landing on her front on the cake), to the truly bizarre (Susan puts birdseed in a bird feeder in her front lawn and a bird starts flying around her hair, refusing to leave). As she waved goodbye, she worried that Susan's streak of bad luck would continue. For that matter, so did her cat.

    • Susan: A guy just smiles at me three times and I'm picking out wedding china. I'm a mess.
      Lynette: But to be fair, that's part of your charm.

    • Bree: Rex. The truth is, with the kids gone, I'll be all by myself in this house for the first time in seventeen years.
      Rex: Honey, I know it's hard to hear, but the marriage counseling might not work out. You need to get used to being alone.
      Bree: You're right. That was hard to hear.

    • Bree: (to Zach) I love to try out new recipes before the holidays. That way if the cookbook has it wrong, I can fix it.

    • (About the person who broke into Mrs. Fromme's house)
      Bree: He could've been a sexual predator.
      Rex: And he ended up at Mrs. Fromme's? That's a lose-lose situation.
      Bree: Rex. That's not the point. The point is, I don't feel safe. And I was wondering if you could spend the night.
      Rex: You're in the NRA. You own like, four guns. If someone broke in, I'd expect you to protect me.

    • Lynette: You can tell them how beautifully behaved the twins are.
      Bree: So you want me to lie?
      Lynette: I thought that was understood.

    • Mike: Okay, I know you're mad at me and I'm sorry I didn't stop you from going out with that guy.
      Susan: I'm not mad at you. I mean I'm not just mad at you. I'm mostly mad at myself.
      Mike: Okay.
      Susan: I'm mad because I like you so much without really knowing anything about you.
      Mike: (smiles) Oh. What do you want to know?
      Susan: What's your favourite food?
      Mike: Mexican.
      Susan: What's your favourite sport?
      Mike: Football.
      Susan: Favourite band?
      Mike: Elvis Costello.
      Susan: That's a guy not a band.
      Mike: It's a guy with a band.
      Susan: What do you think of me?
      (Mike ponders for a few seconds and then leans into her kissing Susan slowly and softly)
      Susan: (blissfully) I'm sorry, could you repeat that?

    • Mary Alice Young: People by their very nature are always on the lookout for intruders. Trying to prevent those on the outside from getting in. But there will always be those who force their way into our lives, just as there will be those we invite in...but the most troubling of all, will be the ones who stand on the outside looking in. The ones we never truly get to know.

  • NOTES (4)


    • Episode Title: For a change, this episode title does not come from a Sondheim musical. Come in, Stranger was written and sung by Johnny Cash.