Desperate Housewives

Season 5 Episode 13

The Best Thing That Ever Could Have Happened

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Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jan 18, 2009 on ABC

Episode Recap

Eli Scruggs, the neighbourhood handy man, is at Susan Mayer's house when he is approached by an angry Karen McCluskey. McCluskey is annoyed that Eli has sent out cards to everyone in the neighbourhood announcing his retirement. While fixing the shingle on Susan Mayer's house, he suffers a heart attack and suddenly dies. Once Bree, Gabrielle, Susan and Lynette meet up for poker and to discuss Eli's funeral, they start thinking through flashbacks how much he affected their lives. Gaby recalls how when she moved into the neighbourhood Carlos was working a lot and she found herself extremely bored. She recalls how Eli suggested she host the girl's weekly poker game in order to make friends. Gabrielle flaunts her wealth in front of the other women and makes a bad impression which Eli berates her for. Gabrielle realises how obnoxious she has been and apologizes to the other housewives, admitting that her life isn't all it cracked up to be. Back in the present day Bree suggests that she prepares food for the funeral. Whilst looking at Gabrielle's copy of her cookbook she recalls a brunch she held with her late husband Rex, a heavily pregnant Lynette and Tom. Complaining that she needs a new stove, Rex suggests that she gets a job. Taking him up on his suggestion Rex walks in on Bree preparing notes for a cookbook whilst Eli is fixing the sink. Rex teases Bree about her idea and her skills as a cook. Disheartened, Bree throws the papers away. After Rex's funeral Eli reveals to Bree that he kept the papers and that, when she feels up to it, someday she should go ahead and write her cookbook.



In the present day news reaches Dave and Edie that Eli has died. Edie is extremely upset and recalls the time that when she was having marital problems with her ex-husband Umberto Roswell. Feeling insecure about her appearance Eli reassures Edie and makes her feel better. After Umberto reveals he is gay and leaves Edie, Eli is there and a man-hungry and drunk Edie cheers herself up by having sex with him. Back in the present day Lynette's daughter Penny shows up at Gabrielle's house, asking for her mother. Lynette recalls how when she was pregnant with Penny she planned on going back to work as soon as Penny is born. She finally realizes she is putting too much importance on getting her career back on track when she is distracted on the phone and leaves Penny in a hot car outside. Eli retrieves Penny and Lynette is moved to tears, disgusted with herself for putting work above caring for her daughter. Back at her house Susan opens a bottle of wine and looks at Eli's toolbox still on her kitchen table. She recalls how Eli changed the locks for her when Karl left her for Brandi and Mike left her after the car accident. Distraught at losing Mike, Eli comforts Susan by saying although he has little experience of love he is inspired by how Susan always manages to pick herself up again and move on after each failure with a man. Susan then recalls the day that Eli died, before he began working on her roof. Eli shows up with a spare set of keys he had cut for Jackson. Susan reveals that she has just broken up with Jackson but is remarkable calm about the situation. Eli then tells her that this is his last day as a handy man before he retires, so Susan's roof will be his last job. Susan rushes to the store to buy a bottle of wine so that she and Eli can toast to his retirement. When Susan returns, Eli has died. It is this wine that Susan is drinking and raises a glass in memory of Eli.



At Eli's funeral Mary Alice herself recalls how she changed Eli's life. She remembers how one morning before he had any steady work, he approached her and introduced himself. Initially commenting that she doesn't have any work for him Mary Alice changes her mind when she notices Eli is wearing worn shoes and had obviously fallen on hard times. She asks him if he will fix a vase she broke for her. Eli appreciates her sympathy and initially declines but Mary Alice is insistent. A few years later now that Eli has found steady work thanks to Mary Alice recommending him to the women of the neighbourhood, Eli walks in on Mary Alice reading a note. Mary Alice tries to be upbeat despite the fact that something is obviously troubling her, and offers Eli the vase that he fixed for her a few years ago. Eli gratefully accepts and leaves, worried about Mary Alice's fragile state but thinking it best to leave her alone. It is then revealed that the note Mary Alice was reading is the one she was blackmailed with and that day is the one that she killed herself. An ambulance arrives and the neighbourhood shows up in force to find out what happened to Mary Alice complete with Martha Huber (the blackmailer) gossiping with other women about Mary Alice's suicide. Eli watches from afar and regrets having done nothing to stop Mary Alice's suicide. From that day forward he makes a vow to not only fix people's belongings but their lives as much as he can as well. At his funeral the women gather around Eli's coffin and Bree fixes Eli's flower arrangement before the coffin is lowered, remarking that after all the fixing Eli did for them, she wanted to fix something for him.

From the great beyond, Mary Alice informs us that Eli has said "Thank you".
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