Ok, full blown review down below. Overall, this was a pretty good episode on my account. I don't see why it had to be a disaster episode. Disasters haven't been that great since "Something's Coming", and season 6 was actually the first one to feature a disaster as the winter finale (season 4 too, but that was a whole different situation). Seasons 3 and 5 all had their disasters before the finale, and this episode provided more finale-y material than, say, 1.10, 2.10, 5.10 and maybe even 3.10. And it was a pretty fine episode, I enjoyed it. I've seen it twice already and will watch it again after writing this review. I think I'd place this episode 3rd on my list of favorites this season (after the premiere and 8.07, which was the most interesting one all throughout).
BREE: I'm really loving Bree's story this season. It ties in with so many things from her past, stuff we've come to know and love about that character. Her need to control everything and make sure things don't fall apart, her affinity with guns and protection of her loved ones, her drinking problems, her unstable relationships with unstable men, and how everyone she cares about continually walks away from her... I remember thinking during season 2 that Bree was indeed the most desperate of all the housewives, and I still think that way. Sure, Susan's always getting into trouble and dealing with the psychos, and Lynette's had five kids, cancer, a strangler, colored-crazy Nora and a whiny husband to deal with, but Bree has been through the most heart-wrenching stuff over the course of the series. And this is the best storyline she's gotten probably since her affair with Karl. And definitely the best story of hers out of the second volume of the series, post-time jump. And the best story out of all the housewives this season. I have enjoyed so much seeing her trying to tie everything together but being unable to do so, and watching everything unravel before her eyes. This suicidal thing may seem a bit sudden, out of the blue, but when you think about it, is it really? Between 6.10 and 8.03, she has lost exactly four romantic interests. Her children never stop by or call, and when they do, there's always trouble involved. She's been feeling spiritually disconnected (as evidenced in 7.16 and 8.05), so she's lost touch with one of the things that helped keep her going: her faith. She lost her successful business, and has been carrying around the burdens of Andrew running over Mama and covering up Alejandro's death. And now she's fallen off the wagon, her friends want nothing to do with her, and Chuck has a vendetta. It's not that surprising that that strong woman is contemplating calling it quits. It actually makes perfect sense. Beth's suicide probably even triggered that thought in her. But maybe I'm reading too much into this, I don't know...
Chuck was annoying in this episode, but the good kind of annoying. He was always interesting to watch, he became this character we love to hate, and I'm slightly disappointed that his vendetta has reached such an abrupt and rather lame ending. There was more they could've done with that character, I think. Not to mention that it's weird to kill off a main character in episode 9 in a season, and unprecedented in this show. "Hey, let's hire Jonathan Cake as a main castmember and whack him in the fall." Ok, whatever works for you, Mr. Cherry and Mr. Daily.
My favorite part of the episode (and one I've watched more than twice already) is, of course, the talk with Mary Alice. I really wish it hadn't been ruined by spoilers and by Brenda Strong. I get that she was excited about it, but she should had kept that for herself. And I hope people won't resort much to the TWoP forum from now on, because it seems like they know way too much over on those threads. I'm worried that all the big surprises of the season will eventually be ruined because of that. Anyway, the conversation was short, but interesting and downright creepy. Seriously, when Mary Alice said "I'm not unhappy"... I got chills. I don't really know why, but I did. It still gets to me, and I know my mom will be creeped out when she sees it, so I can't wait to watch the episode with her. The cliffhanger falls flat, to some extent, on the count that we know Bree won't be killing herself, considering she'll soon be skinny-dipping with some random dude. But I'm still interested in seeing how she goes about waving that thought, and I hope Renee plays a part in that, it certainly seemed like they were setting that up.
SUSAN: Susan's story kind of sucked ass, which it seems to have been doing a lot of lately. I am so through with this art storyline. But the thing is, I was through with it before it even began, and I still had to suck it up for six straight episodes. Andre was perhaps the douchiest character the series has ever featured, and not likable in any way, and Teri's comedic timing couldn't help with a story that, well, lacked comedy and reeked of filler. It was interesting that her art ultimately tied in with the mystery (? I miss the seasons 1-4-esque mysteries...), but, all in all, this has been lackluster all throughout. Also, Mike still kind of bores me. Every line he utters is pretty much a cliché. But, like I said before, I did like that he didn't care to be supportive for Susan's lame "let's run off to New York and live life while I (ME, ME, ME, ALL ABOUT ME, ME, ME) still can". He knows she was being stupid, so he didn't put up with it like he usually does. Good for you, Mike. I hope Teri gets a better storyline soon enough, she deserves it, and Susan is very likely my favorite character of the series, so I hate it when she gets crappy material.
BTW, Teri Hatcher's boobs were GINORMOUS in this episode. I mean, she's always had huge ba-donka-donkin' tetas, but they just really popped out in this episode. She's turning into Jennifer Love Hugetits. Not that I'm complaining. And she looked well-fed, too. She was rounder in this episode, and she looked very pretty. I don't know why people sometimes diss her looks. If every woman looked like Teri at that age, the world would be a sexier place.
LYNETTE: Ah, Felicity... your sheer brilliance as a performer never ceazes to amaze me. How awesome was that Spanglish talk as a pretend maid? That was so funny! XP "I am here to clean Mr. Tom's casa"... ROFL. She sounded like Consuela from "Family Guy". I kinda disliked Jane in this episode... she annoyed me a bit in the bathroom, her "I'm the crazy one" speech (as previously said) was a bit overdone, but when I watched the episode again it didn't bother me as much, I guess I just didn't pay attention to the start of the talk the first time around, so when she started going on about being sedated I was like WTF?. But, yeah, she was a bit annoying. And so was Chloe, for that matter, but it was nice seeing her again (and that she's been mentioned in 8.06 and 8.08 too, sometimes the writers just forget that some characters have kids - I wonder if they'll remember Chuck has a son, now that he's dead... but they'll probably Evan Mayer him up). Also, Chloe looked really pretty in this episode, au naturel (? is that right). She looked ugly in 8.04 (like, seriously, I always thought that, but pretty in this one. Almost like a whole different person.
At first I didn't get why Lynette wouldn't let Tom go on his trip, only upon further viewing did I understand that it was because he needed to be around in case she went to jail shortfly afterwards. At first, I assumed she needed him to testify for her, like, saying he was with her when Alejandro was buried, at home, or that he didn't leave her because he knew what happened. Does anyone else kind of want to see Jane dragged into this as well? I know I do. Renee too, of course.
GABRIELLE: Didn't care much for the "finding husband, rehab, fake affair" stuff. It was just nice seeing Juanita again, she's been underused this season despite being bumped up in the credits, and I LOVED what Chuck said about the smirk. Loved it. That was a really good twist. How Gabrielle smirked. Probably because she thinks "I beat you, Alejandro". Or maybe she's glad that he'll never be able to hurt his other two daughters again the way he hurt her (? maybe). I don't know, but I loved that she smirked. I didn't notice that during the actual scene the first time around, of course, but when Chuck brought it up... I don't know, I just really loved that moment. Seducing the obviously gay male receptionist was kinda funny (but, again, playing to the gay stereotypes... what's up with that?). I thought that stuff with the Manzanis was pretty funny, but all the actors involved were a bit on the ridiculous, like a sitcom. And the way the administrator just let Gabrielle touch her charts... what the hell? She just... I don't know, sat there, and pointed a finger at her quietly... odd. All of those actors were pretty cheesy, but I still found the scene entertaining, and classic Gaby.
RENEE: Well, I have to admit I'm surprised that they didn't have Renee all over Bree's face because of a misunderstanding. They did something else, which was more downplayed but enjoyable nonetheless. I really liked that scene with her, Ben and Chuck, that was very juicy, and, as opposed to what every other fan seems to think right now, I really liked what they've been doing with Ben, slowly setting up his storyline as the season progresses, starting him off with a minor story, a minor relationship with a supporting housewife, and then dragging him into the main mystery, and exploring what makes him tick every now and again... I'm curious to see where this is headed, whether he ran over Chuck, what he'll be needing from Mike and Bree in the future, and where his relationship with Renee (and Bree, for that matter) is headed. As for Renee herself, well, as usual, girl don't get much to do. Which is probably why Vanessa doesn't even bother promoting her own series via Twitter. Same for Kathryn Joosten. It's always a hoot seeing Karen, but she wasn't even particularly funny in this episode (I did like her last line, though). There wasn't much sass to her as there usually is, like when she said she didn't even like Renee... that just seemed like an unfunny funny line, you know what I mean? Also, where's Roy? Or Mitzi, for that matter? Is Wisteria Lane situated next to the Bermuda Triangle and they got lost in space and time whilst going to the local market? Hello?
MARY ALICE: I'm disapppointed in her voice-overs this season. First of all, and I can't stress this enough: she needs to talk more. Not just in the beginning and ending of each episode, but midway through the episodes too. The last time she did that, I think it was 7.05. It was very, very weird that thing with the women calling the police all the time, it just striked me as very odd. Susan didn't call the police over Bob and Lee's fountain (and by the way, what kid from the lane started a band exactly? The Scavo twins? And would she call the police to the Scavo home, when her best friend lives there?), Gabrielle shouldn't call the police because she has two Devil's spawn at home who probably broke the vase themselves, and Lynette fake-calling the police because of Porter and Preston (how weird was it to see them again, from the back, in a flashback, played by extras?) made it seem, thanks to the narration, like she was actually doing it for real. Again, odd. And even the final voice-over wasn't that big a deal, but I liked that she referred to the women as "my friends". Also, I'm pretty sure I've seen that first post-credits image with the people running and a person walking their dog before. Do they just replay that again and again? I oughta pay attention more when re-watching the previous episodes, cos I'm sure I've seen that already.
It annoyed me that we didn't get to see the credits (I always pay attention to that), and I hope that some version of the episode with the whole credits comes out soon enough. I'm sorry for the review being huge like Teri's boobs, but I haven't made one of these in a while, so I went all out. Looking forward to 8.10.