Desperate Housewives

Season 5 Episode 13

The Best Thing That Ever Could Have Happened

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



  • Trivia

    • Goof: Eli started to help out the residents in Wisteria Lane as a result of not being able to prevent Mary Alice's death. However early in the episode in Gabrielle's flashback Eli helped Gabrielle get her friends when Mary Alice was still alive.

    • This episode marks the third time a character has had a husband that turned out to be gay Sophie Bremmer's third husband, Stella Wingfield's husband Glen (Lynette's step-father), and now Edie's second husband, Umberto.

    • Goof: Martha Huber's hair color and style look different from the pilot when she discovered Mary Alice's body. Back then she was a redhead and her hair looked quite messy while in this episode it has a blondish look and is more blow-dried.

    • Goof: For the flashbacks, Mary Alice's house was painted yellow again, only one mistake - they forgot to paint the side facing Bree's house. This can be seen when Eli rescues baby Penny.

    • This episode does not feature a Previously on "Desperate Housewives" segment. This is the second time that's happened this season (after its premiere), and the third time that's happened starting with the pilot episode.

    • This is the 100th episode to air on a Sunday on ABC. The show's airdate in America has not changed since the series began.

    • For this 100th episode, Christine Estabrook and Lucille Soong reprise their respective roles as Martha Huber and Yao Lin for the first time since the first season.

    • Mary Alice Young (Brenda Strong) is seen in this episode for the first time in the fifth season. This is the 99th episode narrated by Mary Alice, due to Bree's deceased husband Rex Van De Kamp (Steven Culp), who also makes an appearance in this episode, narrating an episode in the third season (although Mary Alice provided original narration for the Previously on "Desperate Housewives"... segment of that same episode).

  • Quotes

    • Susan: You can't retire. I break too many things!
      Eli: I know! You're paying for my trip to Hawaii.

    • Eli: Come on! You've had a gay guy sleeping with you for two years; now those guys are pretty hard to land.
      (Eli and Edie both laugh)
      Eli: Now trust me, no need to be sad. You're a knockout.
      (Eli kisses Edie's hand. In response to this, Edie holds Eli's hand tighter)
      Eli: I...I need this hand back. It's hard to be a handy man without a hand.
      (Edie gives Eli a very passionate kiss)
      Eli: Ms. Britt, what are you doing?
      Edie: Put the mirror over my bed. (pushes Eli backward onto the bed) You know exactly what I'm doing. (climbs onto the bed and prepares to ride Eli)
      Eli: Are you sure about this? I don't want to take advantage over you, unless I have to.
      (Edie rips open Eli's shirt)
      Edie: Oh, I'm sure you'll be gentle. (rips open her own shirt, exposing her bra)

    • Lynette: Allright... Time for my luck to change. This hand is for Eli. (Looks at her cards) Hmm... next hand is for Eli.

    • Eli: The ladies in this neighborhood are actually pretty nice.
      Gabrielle: Yeah. They came by. Brought muffins. One of them wants her basket back.
      Eli: (laughs) That'd be Bree.

    • (Susan is crying)
      Eli: Are you alright? (Susan shakes a no with the head) No, of course you're not; I heard you and Mike are getting divorced. I'm sorry. Probably not what you wanna hear but I thought you were a great couple.
      Susan: (Crying) Thanks.. sweet.
      Eli: Do you maybe remember what you wanna me to do?
      Susan: (Still crying) Locks.

    • Lynette: I got the job!
      Tom: Congratulations, baby's arm's sticking out, why don't you high five it?

    • (Gabrielle's thinking about Eli, and what he has done for her)
      Bree: Gaby?
      Gabrielle: I'm sorry, what?
      Susan: We're getting a wreath for Eli's funeral, are you in?
      Gabrielle: Actually why you don't let me pay for it? It could still be from all of us.
      Lynette: No, you don't have to do that.
      Gabrielle: I sort of do.

    • Gabrielle: I've only lived here a month and I want to put a gun to my head, (laughs, slaps her hand on Mary Alice's arm and looking at her) know what I mean?

    • (Lynette's throwing up on the toilet)
      Tom: Oh my gosh Lynette! Are you okay?
      Lynette: The doctor just called. I'm pregnant.
      Tom: This is fantastic!
      Lynette: (sarcastically) Yeah. Whooptiduh!

    • Bree: Do you have your copy?
      Gabrielle: I'll go get it. (Gabrielle took the book from under a table.)
      Bree: You use my cookbook to balance your table?!
      Gabrielle: Oh, it's only temporary. Juanita needed her coloring book back.

    • (Gabrielle knocking on Lynette's door. Lynette opens the door)
      Gabrielle: I brought muffins.
      Lynette: (Nodding trying to be polite) That's so nice. We were just..
      Gabrielle: ..playing poker, and I wasn't invited. I know, I get it. I just wanted to tell you guys, I know I made a terrible first impression. Now you know why models don't usually talk. Because we say a lot of stupid patronising things that make people avoid us. What I should have said was:"My husband is never home.. I miss the city.. I miss my life.. I'm lonely all the time.. and I could really use some friends. (Giving to Lynette the basket of muffins) Anyway, here.

    • Gabrielle: (Opening an expansive present from Carlos) What's the catch?
      Carlos: What are you talking about?
      Gabrielle: You never buy me presents unless I'm mad or about to be mad, and I don't think I am mad, so why am I about to be?

    • Bree: (To the undertaker. She fix a rose that have fallen from the wreath) Wait. I wanted to fix something for Eli for a change.

    • Mary Alice: (closing voiceover) Eli Scruggs sat in his truck for almost an hour, devastated that he had done nothing to save me. He then made a quiet vow to God. From that moment forward, he would do what he could to help people. To help them fix their lives. And for the rest of his life, that's exactly what he did. (To Eli's funeral, Bree fixes his wreath, that was missing a rose) And somewhere in a place reserved for the very best of us, Eli Scruggs smiled and said 'thank you'.

    • Mary Alice: (voiceover) Eli Scruggs was buried on a Saturday and all the people that Eli had helped over the years came to pay their last respects. But one person was missing. Someone who had changed Eli's life in a way he never forgot.

    • Eli: You're doing alright though?
      Susan: Oh, well, on the one hand I got dumped, for a pair of headlights named Brandy. On the other, I reported Karl's credit card stolen and I cut the pockets out of all his pants so, a little from column A, a little from column B.

    • Lynette: We agreed I could go back to work after I gave birth.
      Tom: After, Lynette, not during.

    • Lynette: (to Tom) I swear if you touch this phone, I'll have this baby right here and then beat you with it.

    • Edie: Wait a second. What do you think of my ass?
      Eli: Sorry?
      Edie: My ass, on a scale from one to ten?
      Eli: I, uh...
      Edie: Tick tock!
      Eli: Ten. It's ten.
      Edie: And the boobs? Perky and firm?
      Eli: You've named them?
      Edie: Oh, come on, Eli. My husband won't have sex with me! I just need to make sure it's

    • Tom: (to Bree) If you're looking for a stove, we've got one that's hardly ever been used.
      Lynette: I wish I could say the same for my uterus.

    • Eli: By the way, you made quite an impression at the poker game.
      Gaby: Really?
      Eli: Oh yeah, the ladies can't stop talking about you.
      Gaby: Aw, I'm sure it was kind of exciting for them to have a star in their midst.
      Eli: Oh, let me think, did they say star? I heard stuck-up, obnoxious, bitch.

    • Mary Alice: (voiceover) It took an hour for someone to finally notice the body lying atop Susan Mayer's roof. It was less than ten minutes later that the neighbors began arriving. Each determined to get a look at the various paramedics and policemen who were all frantically trying to figure out exactly how to bring the body down. And it took two days for my friends to realise this tragedy had affected them more than they were willing to admit.

    • Mary Alice: (voiceover) With that, Eli Scruggs climbed his ladder for the very last time. And once he had finished making his last repair, Eli Scruggs, quietly, with no fuss, had a heart attack and died. And, most importantly, without leaving a mess.

    • Mary Alice: (opening voiceover) Eli Scruggs was the handiest of all handymen. You could ask any of his customers and they would tell you there was nothing he couldn't fix. Whether it was a broken vase, a leaky pipe or a shaky banister, Eli always knew how to get the job done. But sadly, the man who had fixed so many things for the residents of Wisteria Lane, was now about to break their hearts.

  • Notes

  • Allusions

    • We see Gabrielle making the remark: "I've only lived here a month and I want to put a gun to my head". She then turns and gives Mary Alice a friendly pat on the shoulder. It is well known that Mary Alice actually killed herself by putting a gun to her head and shooting herself.

    • Gabrielle: I guess I'm just gonna have to get used to the fact that the best part of my life is behind me. "Goodbye" drinking vodka shots with Kate Moss and "Hello" to sipping international coffee with you girls.

      Kate Moss is an English model born on January 16th 1974. She is very famous for her tiny frame that is pretty uncommon among models.

    • Gabrielle: So I said, 'Pumpkin', that's what I call Jon Bon Jovi, I said 'Pumpkin, even if I could steer a yacht, I'm certainly not about to do it in 5-inch heels.

      Jon Bon Jovi is an American musician and songwriter. He was born on March 2nd 1962. He is the leader of his rock band called Bon Jovi.

    • Episode Title: "The Best Thing That Ever Could Have Happened" is a lyric in the song "Now You Know" from the Stephen Sondheim 1981 musical "Merrily We Roll Along".