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Desperate Housewives

Season 3 Episode 12

Not While I'm Around

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jan 14, 2007 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
340 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Bree isn't happy to see that Alma (guest star Valerie Mahaffey) has moved to Wisteria Lane. Susan overhears Julie and Austin talking about sex, and becomes concerned. Lynette wants to see the restaurant, but Tom won't allow it. Meanwhile, Gabrielle learns the identity of her secret admirer.moreless

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  • Do You Feel Safe Written by Kevin Murphy And Kevin Etten Directed by David Grossman

    Given that this show loves to add the odd cautionary tale, it seems this week on Wisteria Lane our main them is all about feeling safe and sound because after all, you may not who would be out to get you.

    Just ask Mike, who this week due to his sketchy memory on Monique has become a target for his inmates to test out their pulverising skills. Mike’s a clever enough man to prepare some homemade weapons so when he gets attacked five minutes into the episode; he has something to defend himself with.

    Well in theory anyway as he mostly gets the living daylights beaten out of him and normally it might take a lot to take on Mike but even he isn’t enough to take all his inmates in one go. Lucky for him, Paul Young is kind enough to offer his services in Mike’s defence and general welfare then.

    Of course this is Paul Young and while Mike may not remember him, Paul isn’t afflicted with amnesia and more or less the same grudge he had with Mike in the last two seasons, so it’s a bit of a non shocker when a prison guard informs Mike that new best friend Paul is not to be trusted as he was giving wads of cash to Mike’s assailants.

    To be honest I’m not really sure what Paul is trying to achieve with Mike or if prison life is so boring that head tripping Mike is a means of amusement so unless there’s a significant reason as to why the writers have brought him back when we really didn’t Mark Moses on the show, then I don’t really know if or why I should care about this plot more than I have to.

    That kind of reasoning can also be applied for the return of Mike and Paul’s wayward son Zach, who is the second case of “why is he back again?” in this episode. However with Zach the writers have given us a reason for his return, just not a very thrilling one by any stretch of the imagination.

    If you were worried that Gabby’s mystery stalker/admirer plot was going to be dragged out longer than necessary, then the reveal is forwarded well enough to inform that Zach is the new guy who’s desperate enough to get to know the materialistic housewife all the better. This naturally enough serves as a major disappointment for Gabby who was expecting someone dramatically less gawky and deranged but gives Carlos something to smug at while everyone else’s reaction is probably WTF? Well I don’t know about you but it’s certainly anyway.

    Zach’s identity is revealed after an incident involving an expensive dress gets Gabby to force Carlos to return back to their house and a delivery man is coerced into revealing that Gabby’s stalker/admirer is someone from her past. Gabby’s disappointment when in a posh restaurant and her new man is revealed to be Zach is pretty funny even though he makes a point of being pleased with the fact that she’s wearing the very dress that he’s bought her.

    A lot less crazed than the last time we’ve seen him, Zach’s return is odd but it needs to be pointed out that no amount of cash takes away the fact that he’s just a gawky kid pursuing a woman who is more than out of his league.

    Actually if I’m being honest, his attraction to Gabrielle couldn’t be anymore forced if the writers didn’t try hard enough and why on earth would he bother keeping tabs on her since leaving Fairview is contrived. I can’t believe I even have to write about a storyline I have zero interest in involving two whose attraction to each other I can’t fathom either.

    Although Gabby protests that nothing will happen between her and Zach, you just know that she **** and that soon enough the silly woman will succumb to him because essentially money is what turns Gabby on and Zach is the only person paying enough attention to her that has the kind of cash to please. At least Carlos’ one liners in regards to Gabby’s cradle snatching antics will keep me amused.

    Talking of expense, when is Tom Scavo going to realise that he’s crap at hiding secrets from Lynette, no matter how hard he tries? Chances are Kayla will be popping out kids of her own before Tom dawns on that realisation. Seriously though, how long has he been living with Lynette to realise that she’s not the kind to let sleeping dogs’ lies and so forth?

    He drew suspicion on himself this week when after receiving praise for his progress in the restaurant, he then was stupid enough to let Lynette see the actual place and short of boarding up all the windows and doors, it would take a lot to keep Lynette away.

    So Lynette does what every suspicious person does and waited until the coast was clear and decided to snoop around the place and while she’s impressed with the place she once labelled a “burner downer”, it’s her brief but effective talk with Andrew that provide a spark.

    Not only is it great to have these two share a scene together but it also takes Andrew very little to slip the fact that Tom hasn’t got a liquor licence for the business which will more or less kill his venture before it even has a chance of taking of and as a hardened businesswoman Lynette is quick to point out that too.

    The things I love about Lynette is her determination to get what she wants and it’s even better when her ulterior motives aren’t entirely selfish so her method of getting enough signatures from the neighbours even going to the extent of letting some randy old guy named Harry see her rack doesn’t necessarily bother me.

    It slightly bothered Tom who was quick enough to figure out that Lynette saved his bacon and once again he mused about feeling inadequate until Lynette used the promise of sex to allay his fears after denying him sex earlier on in the episode to punish him. See how sex can be used for punishment and relieving of fears?

    Well Julie and Austin as now that they’re doing it like bunnies, Julie is so determined to not become a teen mom or catch and STD that her and Austin badger a reluctant Edie in buying them birth control pills while keeping Mother Hen Susan in the dark about Julie’s new found sex life.

    Unfortunately due to Gabrielle being the old cynic she is and a crafty detective, Susan quickly discovers about Julie and Austin going all the way and uses this as a great moment to take the moral high ground with Edie and like her, I think Susan is overreacting to a certain degree. After all, Julie is sleeping with one person, not half of her class and has even taken responsibility.

    However Julie getting deflowered gets put on the back burner when Susan and Edie discover that Austin is also screwing around with Danielle and Susan is left with the crappy task of telling Julie that her boyfriend is a cheating creep which surprisingly Julie actually believes. At least Susan does one motherly thing by consoling Julie after dishing out the unpleasant news.

    Elsewhere Alma’s presence in Wisteria Lane is making the Hodge clan very jumpy as while Edie seems to be the only one Alma has talked to in the neighbourhood, Bree and Orson are more than a bit too anxious to get rid of her even to the extent that when Orson jokes about killing her, Bree laughs about the idea.

    However budging Alma is easier said than done and Bree’s attempts of using the fact that Alma’s home may be haunted does more to goad Edie than it does Alma, who ironically jokes about how people don’t come back from the dead, something which Alma’s presence kind of contradicts.

    Orson doesn’t fare much better himself as his more tactile method only demonstrates that not only has Alma been in Fairview in a short space of time but already she’s adept at using blackmail and threatens to call the police if Orson kills her hope of them getting back together again and even Orson can beat her at that.

    However one finale visit from Bree reveals that Alma might not be so innocent herself when in her floorboards a picture of Monique and Orson and a bag of teeth which I will assume also belong to Monique are found, which means once again, Orson looks good in my book so Alma can threaten all she likes because I still think Orson may be an innocent in all this.

    Also in “Not While I’m Around”

    Housewife of the week: The weeks it was all our main ladies united in the common bond of securing themselves and their homes. There was Susan with a baseball, Bree with a gun, Lynette with an alarm, Gabrielle with some pepper spray and Edie with a measly chain on her door.

    Gabrielle: “Hi, you’re staying at my place tonight”

    Carlos: “What did you have in mind?”

    So we learned once again that Gabrielle hated her singleness yet we saw her with another man before she was freaked with the mystery dress.

    Tom: “So we’re not having sex tonight?”

    Lynette: “You banned me from your opening”.

    It turns out that Alma has moved into the Applewhites and also knows about Mike’s hit and run from Gloria. How the hell would Gloria know that?

    Susan: “A condom alone will not protect you”

    Julie: “Yeah I totally agree”.

    Edie (to Bree): “There’ll be groans from your house if you don’t knock if off”.

    No Opening Credits this week which meant the episode was a little bit longer but honestly it’s an annoying thing with ABC.

    Julie (re Susan): “She started screaming ‘sex kills’”

    Edie: “And she puts this on my lap”.

    Gabrielle (to Susan): “First rule of ransacking, know where everything goes back”.

    How cool was it that Gabby deduced where Julie would hide her birth control pills, although she loses marks in thinking that Sophie Bremmer might have been a strict mother.

    Lynette: “Shouldn’t you be working?”

    Andrew: “Shouldn’t you not be here?”

    Lynette: “Touché”.

    Gabrielle: “I’m waiting for someone”

    Zach: “I know, so the dress fits? Cool!”

    I wonder besides Andrew who else is on Tom’s employment list. Carlos looks like he use the both the cash and distraction at this point.

    Waiter: “How old are you?”

    Zach (giving him money): “Oh say, a 100”.

    Zach: “Please, can you please just take me seriously?”

    Gabrielle: “I can’t”.

    Facts about Harry: He was a former Croupier and clearly has a thing for the ladies. He’s also one of those characters you could see returning at some point.

    Harry (re Lynette’s rack): “Completely worth it”

    Lynette: “Glad you thought so”.

    This was yet another episode to feature virtually every regular character as both Ian and Gloria are recurring ones.

    Tom (to Lynette): “I get it we’re a team, just don’t hit me again”.

    Susan: “We hope to wait for our children to have sex after we’re dead”

    Julie: “And you wonder why I didn’t come to you”.

    Chronology: None was specifically made.

    Easily one of the weaker episodes of the season mainly due to both Paul and Zach’s seemingly pointless returns but while it’s not a brilliant episode, you’d still be hard pressed to really complain that much about it.moreless
  • Great episode with funny moments and good story-development. As always.

    Orson's ex-wife Alma Hodge decides to move to Wisteria Lane and Bree isn't very pleased with that fact. Meanwhile Julie and Austin want Edie to help them get birth control pills because Julie knows very well that Susan wouldn't do that. But there are even more secrets in Wisteria Lane: Tom's pizza place has some problems and he doesn't want his wife to find out, Gabrielle has a secret admirerer and he turns out to be an old aquaintance and Mike's new "friend" in prison may not be as nice as he seems.

    This episode of Desperate Housewives was both funny and dramatic and it featured a lot of secrets (as always). I really liked the Tom/Lynette story line and was somehow pleased that someone finally discovered Austin's secret. My favorite story line was the Gabrielle one and I was really surprised that Zack was her admirer. (I was mildly shocked by his hair by the way)

    This episode was the first one to air after the summer break in Germany so I'm very anxious to see the rest of the season 3 episodes. But if they're as good as this one I'm happy.

    As always a lot was revealed in this episode and I really liked it because it had a lot of funny moments and a lot of story-development.moreless
  • Alma moves in next to Bree.

    Great episode! If I was Bree I would be annoyed to. Gabby is so funny. Going over to sleep at Carlos house and making him sleep on the couch when he thought they would sleep together. Got love them. I can't believe Zach was the guy! How old is he anyway. His hair was long which looked a bit weird. Juile wants to have sex with Austin and then finds out Austin had sex with Danielle. There is a good friendship gone.moreless
  • para mi este a sido uno de los mejores episodios de toda la serie

    muy clasico de las ama de casas.... las torpezas de susan, encantando al publico... especialmente cuando se cayo de las escaleras cuando espiaba a su hija, cuando encontro al novio de la hija con la hija de bree van de kam. linette como siempre metida en los megocios de su esposo y solucionando todo lo que a el consierne. gabriel como cosa rara dandole coqueteandole a cuan hombre pase por su lado y dandole celos a carlos y admirada por los regalos, y bree. qquien como cosa rara esta de maiatica y un poco celosa con su epeso... lo mejor es lo que encontro en la casa de alma.. los dientes de moniquemoreless
  • What's Alma up to?

    Don't get me wrong, I still really like this show. But it's just a little lame how very other week another new neighbour with a dark secret moves in... Anyway, I'm still curious about the whole Alma story.

    I'm glad that Julie finally knows the truth about her precious Austin. He's such a liar... and I hope Julie's gonna make Danielle's life hell, she deserves it.

    Zach Young is Gabrielle's secret admirer!??! Haha...

    What else? I still think that Carlos and Gabrielle will be back together. Oh, and it was great how Lynette saved the day once again. And it was even sweeter how she then told him they were a team and everything. Those two really keep my hopes up for Wisteria Lane ;-)moreless
Richard Herd

Richard Herd

Harry Gaunt

Guest Star

P.J. Byrne

P.J. Byrne


Guest Star

J. Omar Castro

J. Omar Castro


Guest Star

Valerie Mahaffey

Valerie Mahaffey

Alma Hodge

Recurring Role

Mark Moses

Mark Moses

Paul Young

Recurring Role

Cody Kasch

Cody Kasch

Zach Young

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (11)

    • A clip of the ABC daytime soap opera, All My Children, can be seen briefly at the beginning of the episode on the television of the jail where Mike is incarcerated. The particular scene is between Susan Lucci (Erica) and John James (Jeff).

    • When Carlos and Gabrielle are talking on the porch, in the last shot of Gabrielle while watching Carlos walks away, she momentarily looks at the camera.

    • Richard Herd is the second actor that appears on "Desperate Housewives", and that used to play Elaine's boss on "Seinfeld". The first was Ian Abercrombie ("Beautiful Girls").

    • Zach says he is two months older than John Rowland. In the next episode, 3-13, Susan says Zach turned 18 a month ago. However, we find out from John's parents that John turned 18 in episode 1-13. So the dates do match, but the years do not, so Zach must've been lying to Gabrielle to make himself look older.

    • Edie got birth control for Julie because Julie is under 18 and needed parental consent.

    • The security guard tells Mike that Paul Young paid off his attackers. So why didn't the security guard do anything?

    • In "Children and Art," Gabrielle corrected a young girl who mispronounced Vogue magazine, indicating that she should know since she was on the cover. However in this episode, she herself mispronounces the French magazine Paris-Match, (saying "Paris" like an American instead of the proper 'Par-ee' pronounciation) though she claims to have been on the cover of it, as well.

    • When Susan walks with Edie to confront her about the birth control pills, the shadows of trees fall to the right and onto the street, but when the camera angle changes at the end, the shadows suddenly cast away from the street.

    • Nitpick: Where did Paul Young get his hands on dollar notes in a prison? And why would someone in a prison accept money as a payment -- you can't really use it to buy anything.

    • Julie says that condoms are only 85% effective. This is partly true, because condoms reduce HIV/AIDS transmission for 85%, and reduce pregnancy for 97%.

    • This is the first episode featuring Zach Young (Cody Kasch) since the season two finale.

  • QUOTES (22)

    • Lynette: (to Andrew) Aren't you supposed to be working?
      Andrew: Aren't you supposed to not be here?
      Lynette: Touché.

    • (Carlos walks into Gabrielle's bedroom, while Gabrielle is in the bathroom.)
      Carlos: Gaby, I need another pillow.
      Gabrielle: All right. Don't take the big one. That's my favorite.
      Carlos: It's only for one night. 'Cause tomorrow I'm gonna be back home sleeping in my own bed.
      Gabrielle: What?! You can't abandon me! There's a madman stalking me. My life is on the line. Do you know how scared I am?
      (Gabrielle gets out of the bathroom wearing the dress her secret admirer gave her.)
      Carlos: You're keeping that?
      Gabrielle: Hey, I'm scared, but not of the dress.

    • Lynette: (Pinches her blouse after seeing Harry starring at her chest) Harry, Harry, what'd I say?
      Harry: I know, I don't mean to be rude. It's just that my showgirl days were a while ago and I can't remember when I last laid eyes on a beautiful woman's (pause) bosom.
      Lynette: Really? Well, what if I were to very briefly refresh your memory? (Firmly places waiver on t€able for him to sign.)
      Cut to next scene where Lynette is buttoning her blouse.
      Harry: Completely worth it! (Hands her signed waiver.)
      Lynette: Glad you thought so.

    • Edie: (to Julie and Austin)The responsible thing is to abstain from sex and focus on your studies. There, I said it out loud just in case anybody asks.

    • Bree: Well, I'm sure that she must have lots of other houses to show you.
      Edie: Nope, Alma took one look at the Applewhite house and "BAM" it was love at first sight.
      Bree: What?
      Alma: We're going to be neighbors!
      Bree: No! (pause) I mean, I mean, no. Alma, you can't buy this house!
      Alma: Why not?
      Bree: Well, are you aware of its history? The previous owner was harboring a murderer.
      Edie: It was her son. And say what you like, she was a great mom.
      Bree: They had a dungeon in the basement! And people say they still hear groans coming from the house at night.
      Edie: (quietly, to Bree's ear) There's going to be groans coming from your house if you don't zip it!

    • Orson: She kissed me goodbye, what was I supposed to do slug her?
      Bree: You went over there to read her the riot act, instead it looked like you were reading her a bedtime story.

    • Edie: Well I'm sorry I've never been good at getting people not to have sex!

    • Lynette: (to Tom) …and tonight I'm gonna slap on some sex perfumes and you're gonna get naked and then we're gonna see who the man is.

    • (Julie and Austin are talking about having sex, Susan walks in and they stop)
      Susan: Hi!
      Austin: Hi.
      (Awkward silence)
      Susan: Bye!
      Austin & Julie: (Smiling) Bye.

    • Susan: (on the phone about the pills) So I'm just curious, where do you get off prescribing that without my consent? What? No I most certainly was not there… What do I look like? I don't have blonde hair.
      Looks from the window and sees blonde Edie.
      Susan: Wait, did my blonde hair have dark roots?

    • Susan: (tense) Why were you two talking about condoms?
      Julie: Why were you eavesdropping?
      Susan: Don't change the subject. Are you two having sex? Because I thought I raised you to be smarter than that. (more tense): Don't you realize that sex is not fun and games? It's dangerous!! Every time you turn around there's a new disease! Do you want it to burn when you pee?
      Julie: Mom.
      Susan: Sex kills!
      Julie: MOM!!!
      Susan: WHAT?!!
      Julie: I'm not having sex.
      Susan: Really?
      Julie: Really.
      Susan: (Relieved) Oh, thank god.
      (They hug)
      Susan: If you're not having sex, why were you talking about condoms?

    • Gabrielle: (on the phone with her secret admirer) That's very sweet of you but I am not the most beautiful woman in the world...Yes, I may be in the top 10.

    • Mary Alice: Your average housewife worries constantly about the dangerous people she sees on the nightly news, which is why she buys expensive alarm systems, carries pepper spray in her purse and keeps a gun in her drawer, so she can go about her day feeling safe and protected. Your average inmate worries constantly about the dangerous people he comes in contact with everyday, which is why he takes ordinary items and turns into weapons that he always keeps handy so he can go about his day feeling safe and protected. What is the difference between the housewife and the inmate? The inmate knows the feeling won't last long.

    • Mary Alice: (narrating) It's a dangerous world. So we all look for protection, and whether we find it in the arms of our mother, or at the end of a jagged blade, in the kiss of our sweetheart, or at the end of a barrel, we do what we have to to feel safe, because we know that somewhere in the world there are those that will do us harm.

    • Susan: Don't you walk away from me!
      Edie: Do we have to do this now?
      Susan: Yes, we do. You may have gotten your first diaphragm with milk money, but that doesn't give you the right to corrupt my daughter!
      Edie: Look, it's not like I went after Julie and said, "Hey, do you wanna go out for a burger and some birth control?" She came to me.
      Susan: You do not get to decide this for her! What were you thinking?! (She hits Edie with the pills)
      Edie: Aah! I was thinking, if Julie got knocked up, that--that you and I could become family, and I'm sorry, I cannot take that chance.
      Susan: Oh, you know what? It wasn't 'till your rotten nephew came to town that Julie was a perfect kid, and now she's lying and scheming and having casual sex! She's just a boob job away from being you!
      Edie: Look, Mayer, Julie has discovered sex. The genie is out of the bottle. And you better be good with it, or you could lose her forever. Cause like it or not, she loves him. And you know what else? He loves her.
      (They enter Edie's house and see Austin topless making out with a girl on the couch.)
      Edie: Ahem!
      (Austin and the girl look up in shock. The girl is Danielle.)

    • Gabrielle: Honey, let's get real, you are way too young for me.
      Zach: I'm two months older than John Rowland.

    • Alma: People don't come back from the dead.

    • Alma: Wait, now I'm confused! When Orson came over he just said "Welcome to the neighbourhood. Need any help unpacking?"

    • Bree: I try to hold my head up and smile and just bake more pies for the church social. But now your ex is camped out on our doorstep like I'm hosting some kind of morman slumber party. And I do not know how I'm going to bake my way out of this one!
      Orson: Darling, I'm gonna get Alma out of that house. I don't care if I'll have to live up to my reputation and strangle her!
      Bree: (with great relief) Oh, you are a good husband...

    • Tom: So wait, we're not having sex?
      Lynette: Hey, you banned me from your opening!

    • Edie: (About Julie and Austin) She loves him. And like it or not he loves her.
      (Susan and Edie walk in on Austin and Danielle making out on Edie's couch.)

    • Gabrielle: (going through Julie's room with Susan) First rule of ransacking- remember where everything goes. (snaps pictures with camera phone)
      Susan: You're going to make a really good mother someday.

  • NOTES (6)

    • International Episode Titles:
      Czech Republic: Jen přes mou mrtvolu (Only Over My Dead Body)
      Slovakia: Len cez moju mŕtvolu (Only Over My Dead Body)

    • Richard Herd submitted this episode for consideration in the category of "Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series" on his behalf for the 2007 Emmy Awards.

    • Due to time constraints, the opening credits were cut.

    • Mary Alice Young (Brenda Strong) was supposed to be seen in person in this episode, in a flashback shared with Gabrielle (Eva Longoria). This scene was cut but a promotional image of it was released.

    • Although they are credited, Brent Kinsman (Preston Scavo), Shane Kinsman (Porter Scavo) and Zane Huett (Parker Scavo) do not appear in this episode.

    • On its original airing, this episode scored 17.6 million viewers.