Desperate Housewives

Season 1 Episode 23

One Wonderful Day

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM May 22, 2005 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
508 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


In the first season finale, Bree and Rex make amends, but tragedy hits the Van de Kamp family again. In the meantime, Zach learns what happened to his father, and Edie meets the new residents of Wisteria Lane, including new housewife Betty Applewhite (Alfre Woodard). Gabrielle testifies for Carlos, while Tom decides what to do with his life... and his wife's. Susan is held hostage and the reasons to why Mary Alice Young commited suicide are finally revealed.


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  • A good first finale.

    1. I liked the ending but I kind of wished they ended it with Bree crying. Do Mary's voice over, then have Bree get the call and break down crying. I thought that was just very powerful.

    2. Overall I thought it was good, I actually didn't even realise it was a finale so perhaps that's not so good. I liked getting the truth about Mary and Paul and Diedre finally.

    3. I am VERY confused about Zach's age now. It says he was born, at 10 months old he was sold to Mary and Paul, then 3 years later Diedre came to take him away and we got told a while ago she was dead "15 years" that should make Zach about 19 years old. But in season 3 we're told he turns 18.... (which also doesn't work because we know he's 2months older than John - so Zach says - and John turned 18 in season 1). But I can overlook that to Zach lying, but the age of the body and all that time line stuff.. Tad confused.

    I thought Tom was fair enough in his anger but at the same time, you took/went for the VP job in the first place without EVER telling Lynette about the extra travel, and you knew it. So I kind of feel they both did a bad thing and they're equal now. But I think it's good to have Lynette get out to work more.

    Just John WHAT THE EFF. Oh my god his little stunt in the court and him smiling at the aftermath... Urgh I wanted to sock him a few. It's been so long since I've watched this show but god I hope Gaby isn't nice to him next season!

    Overall, good episode I thought.moreless
  • Juicy!

    It was all leading to here. To that one moment that entire perfect picture just comes together. Even though the storyline was already clear, the ending was still quite shocking. The heart-wrenching, toe-curling, bombastic roller coaster of laughs, tragedy, secrets, and sex comes to a definitive end right here, but was a satisfiying end? Read on.

    Tom is dealing with Lynette's mistakes in the most uncoventional ways. Mark is taking Paul out to the desert so he could kill him. Zack holds Susan captive. Rex gets the impression that Bree has been poisoning him. Gabrielle gets exposed, and Edie can't seem to get into anyone's home.

    What I find mostly interesting is how many delevopments occured in just one episode. There's so much to look forward to with season two. Lynette is going back to work. Carlos found about Gabby. Rex died. Mysterious new neighbours who obviously bear a new secret, and ofcource the cliffhanger : Zack Vs. Mike and Susan.

    The picture became clear sooner within the season. Given that this is a re-watch of the season, I've got the details clear down to millimeter. Marcy Alice used to be called Angela. She "buys" baby Dana from Deidre, and names him Zack. Her and her husband Paul flee to Fairview at the unintentional reccomendation of Felecia Tillman. Three years later, Deidre returns wanting to take back her son. Mary Alice and Paul refuse so Diedre attacks and Mary Alice stabs her with a knife. All this then seen by Zack who's treasure chest is then used as a way to stuff Diedre's body. Years later, Martha Huber finds out about Mary Alice taking Dana(Zack) and blackmails her. This leads Mary Alice to commit suicide. Mike is hired to investigate Diedre's death by her dying father.

    Even though it all seemed crystal clear, there was major shock value! First, I always invisioned that it was Paul who'd have murdered Deidre, but it was apparently Mary Alice. Also, Mike's reaction to Diedre having a son raises suspicions that Zack could actually be his son.

    It was a great close to a fantastic season. The show has a set of incredible writers who have delivered an impressive script along with superb acting done by a very beautiful cast. I should also comment on the music score that only adds to the it's charm. This is odd to see, but Desperate Housewives has an atmosphere of it's own the way Harry Potter does. As if it isn't even a part of our world. Very few shows can do that.

    My favorite character of this season has to roll I know she didn't have the most exciting storylines, but she is very much like my own mother and I feel incredibly close to her. She seems like the strongest, and purest of the housewives. Susan is sweet, but a little bit gullable. This makes her very endearing but at times all I want to do is slap her in the face. Gabrielle as shallow as she seems, is very complex, and I'd like to learn more about her past, but her infedelity really puts me off. Bree is unique. She's certainley one of a kind. Her calm and collected personality gives her a cold character that is entertaining to watch, but takes much getting used to. So my favorite is the season is the most natural one of all them, Lynette!

    My favorite episode of the season is the long anticipated season finale that proved that Desperate Housewives can handle a conclusion quite well, and finally my favorite moment of the show so far is when Lynette followed her kids into the pool during the first episode. Just hilarious!

    It was a hoot reviewing the first season, and I cannot wait to start the second!moreless
  • The 1st Season Ends With The Stunning Revelation Behind Mary Alice Young's Suicide And Bree Faces Her Worst Nightmare.

    This episode was fantastic! It's a great example why I have loved this show from the very beginning. It was very well written and acted. Plausible through out and just plain entertaining. The conclusion to the Mary-Alice's storyline was perfect. Just perfect. The opening scene was excellent where everything is explained. The flashbacks with Mary-Alice, Paul and Deidre are very well done and also kinda frightening. I think that the scene at the desert where Mike is ready to kill Paul was very effective to be the final showdown. I liked the scene where Susan is held hostage by Zach. The suspense never let up. This episode of DH definitely hit the bullseye. We end with a cliffhanger.moreless
  • answers......

    well this finale provided what many finales should it resolved the qusetions that have plauged the audiences for years and desperate housewives did it better then most, this finale also provided alot of shocks like rex dieing( didnt see that coming ) and john telling carlous about the affair, overall a great finale that left me dieing for more cannont wait for season 2
  • Todo lo que siempre quisimos saber durante toda la temporada se revela en este episodio, pero nos dejan con más y desconcertantes dudas.

    En este episodio muchos secretos salen a la luz, la historia de Dana, Angela y Deirdre. La infidelidad de Gabrielle. Lo inestable y peligroso que es Zack Young. Lo malo que puede llegar a ser Mike, pero a su vez lo compasivo de su personalidad. Edie simplemente es Edie. En este episodio también nos damos cuenta de que la fachada de Bree se cae y cuando lo hace produce mucha tristeza. Rex muere, pero el episodio nos muestra los graves problemas de la relación con Bree y pues terminamos aceptando mucho el hecho de que se aleja de la vida de la serie. Aparece Betty Applewhite por segunda vez, ya dejando señas de que será un personaje clave para la nueva temporada. Como dije muchos interrogantes se despejan, pero otros muchos llegan... para quedarse.moreless
Alfre Woodard

Alfre Woodard

Betty Applewhite

Guest Star

Lee Whittaker

Lee Whittaker

Box Boy

Guest Star

John Haymes Newton

John Haymes Newton

Jonathan Lisco (Cable Guy)

Guest Star

Doug Savant

Doug Savant

Tom Scavo

Recurring Role

Harriet Sansom Harris

Harriet Sansom Harris

Felicia Tilman

Recurring Role

Richard Burgi

Richard Burgi

Karl Mayer

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • In the flashback, Paul said "Oh, Mary Alice, what did you do?". This is the exact same thing Susan says in the pilot episode, when the girls read the letter sent to Mary Alice.

    • Carlos yells at John "Te voy a matar, me entiendes?", which is Spanish for "I am going to kill you, do you understand me?".

    • The lights in Mary Alice's house are switched on in this episode, but there is no one inside.

    • The Grand Jury Scene isn't realistic. Probably a judge would not be officiating at a grand jury hearing and there would certainly not be a "gallery" for John to walk up and deliver his news to Carlos. Grand juries are the most secretive and arcane aspects of our justice system. Grand jurors are permitted to ask questions and there are usually more than 12. The scenes featured what looked like a standard court scene, with a judge, a gallery and apparently only 12 silent jurors.

    • When Tom comes home after a day of air-hockey he throws a plastic bag on the table and sits down with Lynette. In the first shot of Tom, the bag is no where to be seen; they cut to Lynnette then back to Tom - the bag is clearly in front of him; they cut back to Lynnette and then back to Tom again - the bag has disappeared again. In all shots, Tom is sitting with his hands folded behind his head so presumably he wasn't moving the bag around during their conversation.

    • When Mike takes Paul to the quarry, the SUV has a badge in the grille. When he leads him away, the badge is missing.

  • QUOTES (13)

    • Mary Alice: It was five o'clock in the morning on Wisteria Lane when the phone calls started. Of course, each of them knew something was wrong from that first ring. After all, it's one of the unwritten rules of suburbia, don't call the neighbors in the middle of the night unless the news is bad. And so they came with their uncombed hair and their unmade faces. They came because after all these years, they were no longer just neighbors.

    • Mary Alice: My name is Mary Alice Young, and before I died, my life was filled with love, laughter, friendship, and, sadly, secrets. The secrets had begun fifteen years earlier when my name was Angela Forrest, and I was living a life of quiet desperation. I'd feel it every morning as I made breakfast for my husband. And during the errands I ran in the afternoons. Even at my work every evening. To me, each day was gray and meaningless. And then one night, suddenly, there was color.

    • (Bree is polishing silver when the phone rings.)
      Bree: Hello?
      Dr. Craig: Bree, it's Dr. Craig. I'm at the hospital, and I'm afraid I have some bad news.
      Bree: Oh?
      Dr. Craig: Rex passed away about ten minutes ago.
      Bree: But his operation, it's not until tomorrow.
      Dr. Craig: I know. He just didn't make it. I'm so sorry. We did everything we could. Bree?
      Bree: Yes, of course you did. Thank you very much for calling.
      (Bree slowly hangs up the phone. She walks into the dining room and finishes polishing the silver. She closes the box and puts it on the shelf. She walks to the table and straightens the tablecloth. She sits down and, looking at the empty chair across the table from her, begins to sob.)

    • Susan: Now, you be a good boy, Bongo, or you're gonna go to bed hungry.

    • Carlos: Gaby, thank God you're doing this. Beating up a second gay guy? It looks bad.
      Gabrielle: Yes. Well, Carlos, in some circles, beating people up at all is frowned upon.
      Carlos: So why'd you change your mind?
      Gabrielle: Well, I'm about to be the mother of your child, which means a lot of responsibility and little time for myself. So if I'm gonna get you out of this mess, you have to reciprocate.
      Carlos: Okay.
      Gabrielle: When the baby cries in the middle of the night, you're gonna get up without saying one word. Doctors' appointments: you're driving. I'm not putting a car seat in my Maserati. And you will also be on bottle duty. That means washing, sterilizing, and filling. That way I'll have some semblance of a life, and then maybe I won't hate you so much.

    • Zach: Stop! What kind of freak are you? Just leave me alone, all right? You are not my mother! I told you that I am fine. Now stop acting like my mother and go home.
      Felicia: I wish it were that easy, Zachary, for your sake, but it's not. Your father's not coming back.
      Zach: He said that he was.
      Felicia: He lied. I wanted to spare you this, but your father and I discussed it, and he decided that he shouldn't come back. Now, get your bag and let's go home. I'm gonna make you some pudding.

    • (A realtor comes out of the house, greeting Paul, Mary Alice, and young Dana.)
      Realtor: I really do hope you folks will be happy here in Fairview.
      Paul: Thank you.
      Mary Alice: (voiceover) And we were.
      Mary Alice: Wave bye, Zach. Wave bye-bye.
      Mary Alice: (voiceover) We were as happy as any family could be.
      (Mary Alice and Paul smile at each other, then enter their new home.)
      Mary Alice: (voiceover) Until one night three years later...
      (Hand knocking on the door late at night.)
      Mary Alice: (voiceover) When there was a knock at our door and I was desperate once again.
      (Mary Alice opens the front door. Deirdre is standing there.)

    • Bree: And for the record, you are gonna come through this operation just fine.
      Rex: How can you be so sure?
      Bree: Because I told you: the best is yet to come.

    • Paul: Oh, Mary Alice, what did you do?

    • Susan: (mouthing the words) Zach is sticking a gun at me.
      Edie: Stick it up my what?
      Susan: Just get the hell out of here.
      Edie: God, you are such a bitch.

    • Mary Alice: Zach is our son.
      Deirdre: His name is Dana.
      Mary Alice: If you think I'm giving my baby to some junkie, you're crazy.
      Deirdre: He's not your baby.
      Paul: Look, just calm down.
      Deirdre: You were always so high and mighty back at the clinic, looking down on us poor degenerates, pretending you wanted to help when all you really wanted was to feel superior. You self-righteous bitch.
      Mary Alice: You're still using, aren't you?
      Deirdre: Go to hell.

    • Mary Alice: It's an odd thing to look back on the world, to watch those I left behind. Each, in her own way, so brave, so determined, and so very desperate. Desperate to venture out, but afraid of what she'll miss when she goes (shot of Lynette looking at her sleeping children). Desperate to get everything she wants, even when she's not exactly sure of what that is (shot of Gabrielle looking at her empty bed). Desperate for life to be perfect again, although she realizes it never really was (shot of Bree choosing Rex's clothes for his funeral). Desperate for a better future, if she can find a way to escape her past (shot of Susan sitting at gunpoint with Zach). I not only watch, I cheer them on (shot of a picture of Gabrielle, Susan, Lynette, Bree, and Mary Alice), these amazing women. I hope so much they'll find what they are looking for. But I know not all of them will. Sadly, that's just not the way life works (shot of a car driving, then it pulls into Mike's house. Zach and Susan get nervous). Not everyone gets a happy ending (shot of Mike coming into his house).

    • John: Just so you know, you beat up the wrong guy. Didn't you think it was strange that you had the only lawn on Wisteria Lane that needed to be mowed three times a week?
      (He claps Carlos on the back and gives Gabrielle a brief fierce stare before walking off. Carlos slowly turns his head to look at Gabrielle. Her eyes widen and Carlos turns his body to look at where John is standing directly behind Justin.)
      Carlos: You are so dead! You are so dead. You are dead!
      (Carlos jumps over the barrier and runs toward John. Judge pounds the gavel.)
      Judge: Order!
      Gabrielle: Aaah. Carlos!
      Attorney: He's doing it again!
      Lady: He's going after the gay guy!
      (Carlos runs toward John, but Justin is in his way. He knocks Justin down.)
      Cable Guy: Hey, for God's sakes. Somebody stop him!
      Guard: Get off of him!
      Gabrielle: Stop it!
      (Guards pull Carlos up. John stares at Carlos with hate in his eyes. Carlos yells at John.)
      Carlos: I'll kill you! Te voy a matar! kill you!!
      (The guards pull Carlos out of the room.)
      Judge: Ladies and gentlemen, please be seated. We will have order!
      (Everyone sits down. Gabrielle looks at John who has a very smug look on his face.)

  • NOTES (8)

    • This is the last episode featuring Steven Culp(Rex Van de Kamp) and Jesse Metcalfe (John Rowland) with regular roles on the show. They will only be seen as guest stars hereafter.

    • ABC accidentally leaked on their website a photo of a scene that was cut out of the season finale. This photo reveals the Applewhites's big secret. The network had the photo immediately pulled.

    • Brenda Strong (Mary Alice Young) is seen in this episode.

    • The opening titles sequence was cut for time in this episode to make room for more scenes.

    • There was a deleted scene between Gabrielle and John. They're kissing while they are made wet by a sprinkler.

    • In the official synopsis for this episode actress Melinda McGraw (Annabel Foster) is credited as a guest star, but does not appear in the episode.

    • Some things that were supposed to happen in this episode actually didn't happen, including a storyline involving Andrew and Justin fighting as well as more detail into what new neighbors, the Applewhites, are hiding.

    • This episode of "Desperate Housewives" was the most-watched episode of an ABC series in more than five years - since Michael J. Fox left "Spin City" in early 2000. ABC says "Desperate Housewives" was also the most watched season finale of a first-year drama since "ER


    • Episode Title: The episode's title comes from the song "One Wonderful Day" featured in the early Sondheim musical "Saturday Night".