Desperate Housewives

Season 6 Episode 11

If ...

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jan 03, 2010 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
319 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

In the aftermath of the plane crash, the residents of Wisteria Lane reflect on what their lives might have been had they made different choices: Susan contemplates a life with Karl had he not walked out on her, and Bree considers life without Orson. Lynette thinks about a future with her unborn twins, whereas Gabrielle imagines her daughter Celia aspiring to become a superstar actress, and Angie ponders the consequences should her secrets be revealed.moreless

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  • Thank God for Felicity Huffman.

    The first 45 minutes were very weak, but thank God for Felicity Huffman. She carried this epiosde. Her acting was INCREDIBLE and completely heart-breaking. That scene in the kitchen, when she's watching her son try to make a sandwich, completely brillant, hello Emmy nomination?]

    As for the rest of the show, rather mediocre. Gabby's 'what if' was the weakest; dreaming about her daughter being an actress.

    Susan's wasn't a whole lot better, and her fat suit looked so fake. Bree's wasn't all together too bad, as it was quite sweet to think that Orson still loved her after all those years.

    But hello, where was Katherine? Mike?

    Oh, but the end scene between Gabby and Lynette is worth mentioning, VERY sweet. But as i said, the last 11 mintues definately made the episode.

    Felicity Huffman has always been the reason I watch Desperate Housewives, and after watching 'If' you should know why. She was impeccable. Beautiful, yet heartbreaking.moreless
  • morrally wrong

    this season of desperate housewives has been on quite a losing streak that wasnt even broken by the plane crash episode which was horribly over the top also. this follow up episode of the plane crash made me roll my eyes so many times. this is one of those episodes that most series have which are total garbage cuz it doesnt have any actual storyline to the future of the season, this is a what if episode where it shows you other stories that will only be in this episode and then back to the normal, so you could say its a special kind of filler episode. it also has one of the most lame attempts of humor in tv, putting fat suits on the actors to get a cheap laugh which they do to susan. the one point where this episode felt almost evil is when drea damatteo's character starts praying to god to murder mona, then mona does die which is emplied by the writers that god murdered a woman just because she was gonna put a flaw in a possible terrorists plan. so apparently the moral is dont try to stop killers or god will kill you-.- i did like the part where they actually built storyline which they should have done the entire episode, when lynnettes baby died but one was left to live. all in all this is the worst of the 6th season and lets just hope the writers get back on the ball, and already i am looking at the ratings coming in on this episode and it is already at a 7.2, so im hoping that means ppl r going to agree with me. (no i did not steal this review from tkpanda, i am him)moreless
  • Powerful, funny, emotional episode that reminded me why I am a fan of this show.

    It seems like the show is doing more and more flashback episodes, but if they are done as well as tonight's installment, then I have no problem with it.

    This episode was funny, but not in the usual way D House is. Sure, there were some cheap laughs with Susan gaining 40 pounds, but there was also the general awkwardness that has alluded this show for some time. It wasn't about one particular line that stood out for me tonight, it was just a well-told, character-based hour of TV. Subtle things like 65 year old Tom Scavo at the graduation, and Gaby ruining her daughter's life forcing her to use food stamps, only to not be able to redeem them for wrinkle cream, made this episode an unexpected treat.

    But it wasn't just about the laughs, as you know you're getting that every week with this show. It was also about some great storytelling and what ifs. What if Lynette's child needs extra care and attention? What if Karl had survived and Bree had married him?

    While I enjoyed all the what ifs, I think I liked the one with Lynette the best. It featured a great, Emmy-worthy acting performance by Felicity Huffman as a mother of a teenage boy with a physical disability that was about as gut-wrenching as anything this show has ever done. I was almost surprised that the scene took place on the same episode as one that had Gaby lie to her child about her hamster getting killed.

    Great episode tonight. Great start to 2010.moreless
  • Certain errors that appear to be big,but aren't,keep this episode from gettin'a perfect score.

    After "State Of Alert" episodes,the show usually has a slow-paced filler episode where the characters and the audience reflex.This is the same,except that it's level of drama is so big that it shows that,even if the show can't be as good as in season 1,it's an improvement.

    After KARL died,I thought it was gon'na be an episode to remember him,like with EDIE.It wasn't,but SUSAN and BREE's sequences were good,and so was ANGIE's.

    Then came GABRIELLE's,the worst.It was as funny and sad as the other ones,but the idea of CELIA becomin'an actress to please her,and CARLOS leavin',came out of nowhere.The writer(s) reallized each housewives(but KATHERINE)needed a sequence,and since it should've involve CELIA('cuz she was a victim),we had this.

    It was similar to LYNETTE.The new idea of her unborn child dyin',and then becomin'handicapped,it was all to rushed.It came out of nowhere,and left in a second.Luckily,that one was the more dramatic.

    Overall,a good episode.They're close to pass from great to once again excellent.moreless
  • The producers of popular, long-running television shows often like to pose the question, 'what if…?'

    The producers of popular, long-running television shows often like to pose the question, 'what if…?' What if the central protagonist didn't marry the love of his life in a fairytale wedding? What if one of the crazy twins was gay What if Jonny decided to p**s off to the Bahamas instead of completing his Law degree and spent a decade living off nothing but weed? The concept gives writers room to breathe, a chance to free themselves of the self-imposed restrictions placed on them by the narrative decisions made throughout the show's history. It's liberating, as well as bloody fun… usually mostly for the actors. Desperate Housewives is the latest primetime smash to try the gimmick on for size and, to be honest, the results are something of a mixed bag.

    Where the episode succeeds, on a superficial level at least, is in the crucial qualification of the central idea. The postulations, the 'what if's, are interwoven into the standard plot by using them as re-imaginings of the characters' making. Lynette thinks of what it would be like if she had a disabled child. Bree imagines life if Karl had survived the plane crash. As a consequence, the stories can arguably be as outlandish or as exaggerated as possible as they are the characters' perceptions of themselves. The ridiculous fat suit thrown on Teri Hatcher might seem utterly laughable at first but this is Susan's imagination, her view of the extremities of what could happen to her. As such, its tackiness seems rather fitting and there is a certain smirk-inducing humour to the scenario. Similarly, the rather half-arsed attempt to make Gabrielle look like an old granny (throw a wig on her, give her a few moles) and the OTT nature of her destitution would be nothing short of atrocious in 'real time' narrative but here, as a fantasy of sorts, it becomes perfectly acceptable. The stories themselves aren't that bad either. Thankfully, we don't fawn over Karl for forty five minutes; instead, his death is blunt, to the point and, interestingly, off-screen. Of course, in itself, the removal of the character is screamingly predictable; as Richard Burgi is a guest star and Kyle MacLachlan a series regular, it was quite obvious who was going to get the chop. And in any case, Desperate Housewives wouldn't be Desperate Housewives if quick fixes weren't firing out of every fetid narrative corner, desperate to return everything to the bland, tired old status quo. Let's face it – in this most conservative of stories, Bree was never going to remain with Karl. The perceived demographic, 'happily-ever-after'-philes, just wouldn't allow it. No, better to quickly remind everyone of how bloody lovely Orson is and how deep down, you know Bree's secretly pining for his Madame Butterfly addiction.

    The other deaths are as expected too. The loss of one of Lynette's children became fairly obvious from the moment she started reaching for her stomach in the hospital waiting room, while Mona's removal from future 'guest starring' credits was written in the stars two or three episodes ago, when she first started poking her nose around Angie's story. Speaking of which, we don't exactly get very much new to chew on here; the court room scene is conveniently tactile, featuring a load of dialogue that treads on its tip-toes, speaking in riddles in order to disguise any potential developments. It's starting to become a little frustrating… almost as much as the actresses hired to play Ceila Solis, possibly the most insipid character in the show's history. Honestly, does anyone really give a c**p? It would help if the individual portraying her twenty-odd year old incarnation wasn't as wooden as a Trojan horse, a fact that pretty much consigns Gabrielle's entire story to the scrapheap.

    Thankfully, Marcia Cross manages to be bloody excellent as usual in every scene she's given when trying to emote over a (potentially) dead Orson, and so the ultimate eye-rolling pay-off of Bree's narrative – that Mr. Hodge could be paralysed which, obviously, in Housewives world, means he'll be back on his feet in two months – doesn't allow her story to suffer the same fate. Predictably though, it's Lynette's narrative that proves the most rewarding, featuring another stunning tour de force from Felicity Huffman as a put-upon, struggling mother of a disabled child. The actors playing him certainly aren't half bad either, and there's a decidedly tempered portrayal running throughout the whole thing. The scene in the kitchen is bereft of music and shot at odd angles and with unusual close-ups to convey Lynette's sense of frustration and confusion, but they never veer into dangerous territory that might 'other' the character and demarcate him as somehow less than the show's non-disabled players.

    Generally, this is quite an enjoyable little diversion from the norm. The adoption of a different format refreshes the narrative, giving the housewives a chance to flex their muscles and do something a bit different, and there are some very memorable, complexly written scenes to enjoy too. The episode falls down somewhat in the resolutions of the various 'what if's: Angie's story effectively goes nowhere again (no, that clue about the mysterious guy that she's running from isn't enough), Orson being paralysed is rendered completely unbelievable by Carlos's previous miraculous recovery from blindness, the deaths are the kind that could be foreseen by Mystic Meg and Gabrielle's entire story is well, a bit s**t. Still, 'If…' is a definite improvement on ' Boom Town ' and, sing it to the heavens, there isn't a single ounce of Katherine Mayfair. Huzzah!moreless
Zayne Emory

Zayne Emory

13-Year Old Patrick

Guest Star

Gloria Garayua

Gloria Garayua

Older Celia Solis

Guest Star

Evan Arnold

Evan Arnold

Casting Director

Guest Star

Daniella Baltodano

Daniella Baltodano

Celia Solis

Recurring Role

Richard Burgi

Richard Burgi

Karl Mayer

Recurring Role

Tuc Watkins

Tuc Watkins

Bob Hunter

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Eva Longoria Parker (Gabrielle Solis) doesn't appear until 21 minutes into this episode. This is a first feat for a leading housewife.

  • QUOTES (2)

    • (while picturing her life if she had stayed with Karl)
      Susan: If we are gonna put this behind us, I need to know about everyone that you've seen since we were married.
      Karl: Everyone? I don't think this is a good idea.
      Susan: Karl, I don't want to be wondering, when we go to a party or a restaurant, "did he sleep with her?" (she gestures) "Her?" "Her?"
      Karl: Okay. Well, you found out about Brandy.
      Susan: Yes. It was nice to put the panties with a face.

    • (Bree just caught Karl with a woman - whose face she can't see - in their bed)
      Karl: You're supposed to be catering a wedding.
      Bree: Yes, clearly this is my fault. (the woman raises up) Courtney?
      Courtney: I'm so sorry, Bree.
      Bree: Really, Karl, my yoga instructor?
      Courtney: No charge for next month, okay?
      Bree: Like I'm keeping you! Get the hell out of my house.
      Karl: She... she's going.
      Bree: I'm not talking to her!

  • NOTES (3)