Desperate Housewives

Season 5 Episode 15

In a World Where the Kings Are Employers

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Feb 15, 2009 on ABC
out of 10
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238 votes

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Episode Summary


Susan starts a new job in order to give son MJ the best, but when Mike leaves their son in Katherine's care, anger and jealousy pervade. As the Scavo restaurant continues to take a hit in the current economy, Lynette tells Tom they have to sell. Carlos receives a generous bonus when Gabrielle discovers his boss' dirty little secret. Orson confronts Bree when he learns she's given Andrew a raise. Meanwhile, Dave comes closer to performing his vengeance scheme.


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  • Another great episode for all the housewives.

    This was simply another great episode of Desperate Housewives, the quality of the show still remains unbelievably high. I loved the scenes with Scavo's when Tom sacks the staff and forces all his kids to work there to try to keep the restaurant going. IOn the end he finally had to see what Lynette was saying made sense and give in to the inevitable. Susan's scenes were also very good with MJ turning out to be a real star. She was desperate for him not to like Katherine better than her! Gaby's storyline with using Carlos's boss's secret to get him his bonus was ok as was Bree's with Orson finding out Andrew is paid double what he gets. Roll on next episode!moreless
  • Throwing In The Towel Written by Lori Kirkland-Baker Directed by David Grossman

    Lynette (to Tom): "So now we have pretend customers. Gee, what are we gonna do with all the pretend money we make?"

    Some people would normally quit while they're ahead or at least abandon ship when it's beginning to sink. In a way you have to admire Tom for wanting to stick it out with the pizzeria. In another way you just want to smack him across the head.

    On the plus side this is the second episode in a row that gives Doug Savant something good to do. Unfortunately though you are still reminded that Tom can be arguably too stupid for his own good at times.

    Earlier in the season, Tom was set to sell the pizzeria so he could pursue some dumb dream about travelling the country in an RV. This was also part of the reason why we had to endure Blue Oyster as well. Tom's mid-life crisis could probably be described more aptly as a regressed adolescence.

    This week he did his best to combat declining customers in Scavos with a stupid bout of improv from the staff. Clearly none of his staff are that convincing as actors because it failed to bring in further custom. However something like this wouldn't deter Tom.

    His next move was then to fire his staff, which reeked of stupidity. Lynette had hoped that doing such a thing would be a hint that Tom was going to cut his losses and sell the pizzeria. Nope, instead he decided that child labour was the order of the day by having his kids work at Scavos.

    Now having Porter and Preston work there is fine – they're old enough to do so but Parker and Penny most definitely are too young to be working there. Worse still, Tom expected them to work there without pay, which makes him an even crappier TV boss than Ian Beale from EastEnders.

    Usually Lynette can be relied on to get Tom to see sense but even she was powerless to stop this stupid plan from going into action. Also like most of Tom's hair brained schemes, it blew up in his face. Never mix family with business.

    Not only was Penny out of her depth (even if she was relegated to making salads) but Porter threw a massive hissy fit which resulted in Tom getting rough with him. Personally, Porter's excuse for not wanting to serve some stupid bully was dumb but consistent with the character.

    Tom losing it however didn't do him much in the way of favours. Sure, he frightened the crap out of the Porter but he also scared the other kids and Lynette as well as any unfortunate customer who might have overheard the altercation between the two of them.

    That being said, I can't sympathise with Porter either. His screwing around with a married woman put his parents in more trouble than usual but his outburst did prove to be the last straw for Tom.

    Given that a large percentage of restaurants fail within their first year, Tom should be lucky that his place managed to go for seven years. This episode marked the end of an era for the Scavos with their business but if it means that we're gonna get Lynette away from her family, then Tom's business collapsing could be a God send.

    Less of a God send but proving an earlier point is Orson. It's amazing that I've gone from thinking that him and Bree working together could be a disaster to thinking it might work. Now I've gone back to my original thinking – Orson needs to get out Bree's business and fast.

    If he can't handle the fact that Andrew is earning more money than him, then that doesn't say a lot about Orson, does it? Orson failed to acknowledge the fact that Andrew more than earned his cash and while spending 400 bucks on a pen is stupid, it's Andrew's money. Orson should be mature enough to realise that.

    Unfortunately he isn't and used trickery to discover how much Andrew was earning. What I loved about this episode is that Bree stood her ground on this one. She defended the fact that Andrew was paid more than Orson and she also had every right to remind Orson on how he got his job.

    Seeing as Orson had no problem using blackmail to work in his wife's business, perhaps he should button it when it comes to his stepson's salary. However with Orson stealing Andrew's ruddy pen at the end of the episode, I have a feeling that things are only going to get worse for him and Bree.

    Speaking of worse, it's alarming that even with a new job; Susan can still get some terrible storylines. Shouldn't we seeing her flourish as a teaching assistant, engaging with her mentor, being a positive influence at her son's private and generally showing viewers that she is capable of standing on her own two feet?

    Yeah, that's the Susan that if I were a staff writer on this show that viewers would see more of. Instead she spent this episode renewing a childish feud with Katherine all because MJ has now decided that his father's new girlfriend isn't Satan after all.

    Susan really does have an annoying double standard. It's okay for MJ to like anyone she's dating but heaven forbid that the kid likes anyone that Mike is seeing also. What bugs me even more is that when Jackson was acting fatherly with MJ earlier in the season, Mike wasn't keen but he was mature not to let it get to him.

    Susan on the other hand can't stand Katherine looking after her son while Mike works around the clock. Twice in this episode Susan got really nasty and personal with Katherine getting along with MJ and the thing about threatening to take Mike back to court was a really low blow. Mike might be boring from time to time but we've seen no evidence that he's a terrible father.

    Susan on the other hand could be accused of being a terrible mother. She might love MJ but her behaviour was more about her own needs rather than her son's. She whines that Mike isn't providing and when he works around the clock, she loses it again.

    The best part of this episode was Katherine putting her in her place. While it might benefit Katherine and her relationship with Mike that MJ gets along with her, there's no reason to suggest that Katherine is just bonding with the child to keep Mike sweet. After all, why on Earth would have against a five year old anyway?

    I have to admit I did get a happy out of seeing Susan squirm. Mike doesn't waste too much time if he's so eager to move in with Katherine. Of course this also further means that Katherine is going to become a target for Dave.

    If that hadn't been clear in earlier episodes, it certainly was here. Why else would Dave be so keen to go on a camping trip with Mike and Katherine? Also notice how he wasn't all that disappointed when Edie elected not to go herself. However I'm surprised she didn't find it suspicious when he told her not to tell Katherine that she was backing out of the trip.

    Given the way that Dave has been behaving, I'm pretty sure it won't be long until Edie does realise that he's up to no good. The thing with Dr Heller's phone however was stupid. Even someone less intelligent than Dave would've at least put the damn thing on silent. What if Edie had actually found the thing?

    Dave won't get many more chances like that. Soon enough someone is going to file a missing person's report on Dr Heller, so if he plans to kill Mike and Katherine, he might want to act a bit faster. However we've also got nine episodes left to go, so Dave is probably going to continue to take his time then.

    As for Gabby and Carlos, being rich again is fun but thanks to recession times, losing out on a bonus isn't so much. Of course when your boss is cheating on his wife, you can always use that bit of information to ensure that you get a bonus, even if it isn't legal.

    Oh come on, Gabby blackmailing Bradley for a bonus for Carlos is hardly the worst thing she's ever done. It's still selfish but it's consistent with Gabby and fortunately her and Carlos don't escape the episode guilt free. Thanks to Maria announcing her pregnancy, both of them have something to feel bad about.

    Out of all the plots this week, it was probably the weakest one that we've had. Bradley and Maria aren't the most exciting of couples but in a weird way, it's nice to see Gabby with another rich woman of sorts. Too bad their friendship will die a quick death when Maria finds out about Bradley screwing around.

    Also in "In A World Where The Kings Are Employers"

    The "Previously On" was a lot more brief than usual but I guess that there wasn't too much from previous episodes that viewers needed to be reminded of.

    MJ (to Katherine): "Thank you."

    Susan: "We already thanked her buddy. We don't want to make her feel uncomfortable."

    Why was Susan working so late anyway? As a teaching assistant, she wouldn't have to be that long in school.

    Alex: "Once you've had a glass of this, you won't remember this evening at all."

    Orson: "We'll see."

    Edie (to Dave): "Life is brief and mostly sucks. You gotta pick the fun while you're on this side of the dirt."

    Bree had three different dogs. Orson crushed by revealing that her favourite one, Munchie was probably put down.

    Orson (to the accountant, re Bree): "How about her real hair colour? Trust me; it's not what you think."

    Tom: "We'll love working together."

    Porter: "We don't even like living together."

    I thought it was around this episode that Jackson was supposed to resurface, despite Susan dumping him. Are we going to see Gale Harold again on the series?

    Tom: "You said you were behind me one hundred percent."

    Lynette: "Really? That doesn't sound like me."

    Orson (to Bree): "You should know that's why people call you rigid. Because you never let loose."

    Orson used the porn star name to get Bree's password so he could find out about how much Andrew was getting. Orson: "I'm your husband for God sakes."

    Bree: "Yes and we all know how you got the job."

    Maria: "I'm gonna buy a golf club."

    Gabrielle: "A baseball bat would be cheaper. I'll let you finish."

    Isn't it weird that ever since Gabrielle got glammed up again we haven't seen how both Juanita and Celia have reacted to it?

    Gabrielle: "We're the good guys here, Carlos."

    Carlos: "Really? Because it doesn't feel like it."

    Katherine: "I'm being nice to the child of the man I'm dating. That doesn't make me evil."

    Susan: "That makes you devious."

    Chronology: None is specified since the previous episode.

    I have to admit that while I liked some of the themes in this episode, I just found "In A World Where The Kings Are Employers" to be one of the least interesting episodes that this season has tackled so far. I'm sorry but I wasn't all that gripped with this one.moreless
  • bit rubbsih

    this was a pretty rubbish episode unfortuantly

    The lynette storyline wasnt very good this week it was to serious i thought the scene where tom wass shouting at porter was a pretty intense moment

    Susan came off abit unlikable this week i mean katherine was just trying to be helpful and to be honest susan was being horrible to her, i was glad when katherine told susan that mike is moving in with her, i didnt feel sorry for susan at all

    Bree had a average storyline aswell it was abit werid when orson stole the pen

    Gaby had an ok week but nothing special

    the dave thing contuinues to drag itself out painfully so

    Overall i was extremly let down by this episode next week should improvemoreless
  • The cracks begin to show...

    The Wives are under pressure - everything is slowly unravelling and falling apart for everyone.

    First of all its nice to see Dana Delany increase her role in the show. I thought Susan was going to throttle her. Speaking of Susan I felt really bad for her. The fact MJ prefered Kathy over him made her and me feel really sad. MJ is adorable again.

    Gabby and Carlos made me laugh, especially when Gabby discovered Bradley at it with another woman. And the scene where they become Godparents too.

    Bree and Orson are heading for Meltdown. Orson is jealous and Bree can't understand why. Its a shame.

    Lynette and Tom prove they have a strong marriage in the five year jump. Tom admitting he is selling the pizzeria and Lynette passionately kissing him was for me the most emotional scene. Overall another fine episode for our ladies.moreless
  • stirring things up

    Tensions are rising with Dave getting ready to carry out his 'mission', Susan trying to keep MJ from bonding with Katherine, Gabby allowing her love of money and jewelry to paint her into an ethical corner, and Orson getting uncontrollably jealous over Andrew's higher rank and pay in Bree's catering business. Tom has a moment of truth about his restaurant's viability - and it's very hard for him to let go of his dream. The MJ/Katherine/Susan plot was funniest and my favourite (although they all complement each other). Mike left MJ with Katherine a few times and MJ quickly appeared to get really attached to her (especially her cooking). MJ now was disdainful of his once favourite white bread peanut butter sandwich made by Susan. Instead of eating what Susan made, he snuck over to Katherine's to get her to make him a panini. Susan when she found out just couldn't deal with it! Teri Hatcher played the insecure mom very well - I felt bad for Susan because not only is she having to leave her child and go to work for the first time, but her son is showing this sudden attachment to another woman/mother figure. Of course it's too bad she can't just be glad that there is another adult to love MJ and teach him new things.... but she'll get there eventually! This season has been awfully good...moreless
David Starzyk

David Starzyk

Bradley Scott

Guest Star

Ion Overman

Ion Overman

Maria Scott

Guest Star

Leslie Karpman

Leslie Karpman


Guest Star

Todd Grinnell

Todd Grinnell

Dr. Alex Cominis

Recurring Role

Mason Vale Cotton

Mason Vale Cotton

MJ Delfino

Recurring Role

Maria Cominis

Maria Cominis

Mona Clark

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Mistake: MJ tells Susan that Katherine has taught him that when playing blackjack to always double down on a pair of aces. The correct play when dealt two aces is to split, never to double.

  • QUOTES (14)

    • Penny: I'm nine. Is that even legal?
      Tom: I think so. But just to be safe, you're now 15. Happy birthday!

    • Mary Alice: (closing voiceover) It begins just after sunrise. After a good night's sleep. People leave their homes, to go to work. They do this, so they can provide a better life for their families. So they can afford nice things. And have a reason to get up in the morning. And when their exhausting work is done, people come back home again. And some begin counting the days till their next vacation.

    • Susan: We can make brownies at home.
      MJ: The box kind? Katherine says those aren't real brownies.
      Katherine: Except when your mommy makes them... with love.
      Susan: Good save.

    • Carlos: Oh, my God. This is illegal. I'm getting a bonus no one else is getting based on blackmail.
      Gabrielle: You're welcome.

    • Maria: I'm going to buy a golf club.
      Gabrielle: A baseball bat would be cheaper.
      Maria: See. I don't know anything about golf clubs, but I know Carlos does. So I was hoping you guys could snoop around and find out what kind of driver Brad wants.
      Gabrielle: Oh. It's a gift!

    • Orson: Huh! Thunder McFadden. What a hoot!
      Bree: What's that?
      Orson: Oh, it's my porn name. A friend sent me an email. You take the name of your childhood pet and the street you grew up on and, voila. That's the name you'd use if you were a porn star. So I'm Thunder McFadden. My buddy here is Snoop Windermere. Hey, who would you be?
      Bree: Orson, I am preparing a buffet for two hundred. I don't have time to explore my hypothetical career in the adult film industry.

    • Tom: You said you were behind me one hundred percent.
      Lynette: Really? That doesn't sound like me.

    • Bank Manager: I cannot give out any information without the password. Which you obviously don't know.
      Orson: Then ask me a different question. How about her date of birth, her social security number?
      Bank Manager: Goodbye, Sir.
      Orson: How about her real hair color? Trust me, it's not what you think it is.

    • Tom: (to all the staff at Scavo's) Take off your aprons and come sit near the window.
      Lynette: What is this?
      Tom: It's called psychology. Come on. Nobody wants to eat in an empty restaurant. Right? So guys, this is what we're going to do. As soon as you see someone go by, you laugh. Act like you're having a great time. It will draw them in.
      Lynette: So now we have pretend customers? Gee, let's think of something to do with all the pretend money we're going to make.

    • Gabrielle: (to Maria and Bradley) Boy. Dinner without the kids. It's nice to eat without having maccaroni thrown at you.

    • Orson: (talking to Alex about Andrew) He's cleaning up a little mess. Someone didn't know you couldn't serve bacon wrapped shrimp at a Bar Mitzvah.
      Bree: I knew. I just thought if they tasted mine, they might change the rules.

    • Susan: Are you feeling better?
      M.J.: Yeah. Katherine made me soup and read me a story and showed me how to play blackjack.
      Katherine: What are you going to remember?
      M.J.: Always double down on a pair of aces.

    • Mary Alice: (voiceover) It begins just after sundown. After a long day at the office, exhausted people start coming home. Some are met by faithful pets. Some are welcomed with dry martinis. Others are greeted with dinner on the table. Then there are those who return from a long day at work, only to discover unpleasant surprises.

    • Mary Alice: (opening voiceover) It's not hard to spot a mother, who works outside the home. Just look for someone who dresses in a hurry, eats her breakfast while rushing to her car, and applies her make up as she drives away. But the surest way to spot a mother who works outside the home? Just look for a child who gets sick at the worst possible moment. Yes. It's not hard to spot a woman who works outside the home. Just look for a woman who leaves her house every morning, feeling incredibly guilty.

  • NOTES (1)


    • Episode Title: The title of this episode comes from a lyric in the song "Liaisons", from the musical A Little Night Music by Stephen Sondheim.