Yes, I'm 9-ing this episode, but I feel they gave me good reason to; Epiphany is Desperate Housewives' best season 6 offering. Yes, I feel the flashback centric DH episodes are becoming a tired narrative device. It's just this side of 'done to death', but even so, at the very least the episodes are more interesting than usual Housewives material these days. Most viewers have enjoyed these entries, but I find them hit-or-miss. The story about the neighborhood handyman is already a classic, but others have been forgettable or down right annoying. I was lukewarm to the reveal of who'd been murdering the girls on Wysteria Lane last week. That loser kid? Who cares? Well, put me in the camp of classic for "Epiphany" which completely fleshed out the character of Eddie, our resident serial killer. It was a much needed and much appreciated backstory.
Mary Alice returned to the screen in part 1 of our story. (Welcome back, gorgeous!) Her scenes established the groundwork for everything to come. Long story short: Pops walked out on toddler Eddie and mom, who is one of those co-dependent, need-a-man-in-my-life types. She passive aggressively blames the boy, and becomes a drunken shadow of a woman. Not an ideal person to grow up around.
Flash-forward a few years, and the kid buddies up with Gabrielle, the first of the housewives to try to do right by the boy, but inadvertently push him further down his dark destiny. She's just moved onto the lane and her loneliness paired with Eddie's own (mom's slutting it up with some new boyfriend) makes for an odd friendship. It's kind of weird watching this part of the story, a lonely beautiful woman and a lonely, somewhat creepy kid- but somehow it just barely works. I bought that Gaby would kind of use the boy for chores around the house (as she'd soon use maids and her own kids), and one could argue this even develops Gaby's interest in younger men down the line (the infamous gardener affair is mentioned later in the ep). Young Eddie noted Gaby's good looks, and seemed to really enjoy the attention he got from her. He was crushed not to be able to keep her to himself, and now seemed to resent Gabrielle, and possibly the type of woman she represents: The one that's out of your league.
Next, we're closer to the age Eddie is now. A young shy teen with a crush. He paints for Bree, but she soon finds out the girl he's nervous about perusing is her own daughter Danielle. I was actually really impressed with the way Bree handled this, because so often we see parents freak out when someone wants to date their kid. Poor Eddie was laughed at by his own mother when Bree brought up the issue, and its easy to feel for this guy. As often as we see the "don't date my kid!" cliche, we've also been given countless backstories for killers to try to make them more sympathetic or human. I think DH is one of the few that succeeds completely with this story- Bree I think showed a lot of empathy for Ed, like most of us all would, but unfortunately to no avail. For anyone who's been in Eddie's shoes, his frustration is understandable, and so he comes to resent Bree's compassion- another type of woman: the one who pity's you.
It's around here that Eddie makes his first kill (not including birds with BB guns). The poor chap was resulted to buying a hooker, and taking Bree's suggestion to heart (or completely misinterpreting it) he gives the harlot a bouquet of flowers. She laughs, and it triggers something most foul in the youth. Cue stiff in the alley, but not the kind you think!
Susan is next, and she sees artistic potential in Eddie. There is a lot to read into the sensitive artist/tortured killer motif, including issues of voyeurism, and the deadly sins like Lust, Pride and Envy. But I won't get into all of that (partially because I'm tired, but also because I don't think Housewives is that deep). It's not so much a cliche because at this point, we (or at least I) genuinely wanted Eddie to be happy. Destructively, Ed once again got too attached to someone who just doesn't see him the same way. His shock at seeing Susan out of nowhere jump back into getting married felt very realistic. I also appreciated that the show was able to poke fun at itself, with how ridiculous her re-marriage story sounded, lol. But Basically Susan plays another 'type' than can drive an introverted kid crazy: the girl who's oblivious. The story that I think got a little short-changed was Lynette's (who I'd been waiting for). They played charades and grumpy mom came in to ruin the fun. Lynette was the only of the housewives to really stand up to Eddie's mom, but to conclude that Eddie needs to move in with her and the Scavos? With all the kids they can barely handle as it is? And their financial woes? Tom going along with it? I don't buy this at all. Eddie's mom found out about the murders and in a really good scene, payed with her life. This was satisfying in an odd way, but still disturbing. Tension (Real tension on this show! OMG it's been ages!) mounts when Lynette shows up at the door, but she assumed mum was dead drunk. Ha! The theme of Epiphany wants to show how one kind of monster can create another, and while the mom does good work, I have to give it up to young Josh Zuckerman who played Eddie's anguish pitch-perfectly, throughout the episode. I'm amazed how quickly he went from lame character to one of the most intriguing on the show.