Desperate Housewives

Season 4 Episode 7

You Can't Judge a Book by its Cover

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Nov 11, 2007 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
348 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


The women become acquainted with Bree's baby boy, little Benjamin Tyson Hodge. While having dinner together, Bree and Orson realize they share different views on circumcision, and Mike learns that his child's education is going to be very expensive. In the meantime, Victor (guest star John Slattery) decides to take Gabrielle on a boating trip in order to have a talk with her regarding her affair with Carlos, and Lynette tries to get rid of her mother (guest star Polly Bergen) after her presence in the house becomes a burden. Dylan goes out of her way to get some info about her estranged father.


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  • Deception

    This was another great episode from desperaten housewives dseason 4 is quicky becoming the best season so far.

    All the storylines this week were funny i thought orson and bree disagreeing over benjamen was pretty funny

    susan discovers that mike has a drug problem

    Gaby had a entertaining storyine with victor this week as her and carlos knock him off board now the question is has victor survived or has gaby and carlous killed him katherine had a good storyline this week as dylan wants to find out about her father the scene were we discover the blank piece of paper was amazing

    overall another good one, desperate housewives realy is on top form at the moment and better then it has ever beenmoreless
  • Another great episode and this was explosive

    Funny, Funny and Funny, Gabbie and Victor on the boat and she kept hitting him with the fishing pole. I couldn't stop laughing that I had to pause my tv. But a great episode and I can't wait till everything comes out into the open and Susan's Daughter's friend finds that paper and find out what really happened to her in that house and find out what really happened to her father. They probably killed him or something but the girls mother is a good faker and things will turn on her they always do on westeria lane. I feel bad for Gabbie and Carlos things are gonna get bad for them now and all they wanted to do was be together and now they might go to jail.moreless
  • Bree and Orson clash over whether to get baby Benjamin circumcised, Susan confronts Mike over his drug taking, Lynnette tries to foist her mother onto her sisters, Katherine lies to her daughter and Gabby and Victor go on a boat trip.moreless

    A disappointing episode from the housewives this week probably my least favourite of the season so far. After a strong episode last week in which Lynnette, Bree's and Edie's storylines had come to a relative close, this week saw some slightly frivolous stories come into play. Whilst all the stories were entertaining enough to watch some of the conclusions were a little weak.

    I enjoyed Bree's storyline, the debate over circumcision was interesting and I loved Bree's attempts to get what she wants. It was a little disappointing however that it took a sudden turn into the underlying reason being that this isn't actually Orson's child. Whilst this issue surely had to be addressed, I felt there could have been a better storyline to lead up to this.

    Susan's discovery of Mike's addiction had me worried near the end that it was going to turn out that Mike wasn't addicted and that he was really actually doing this to earn money. The final scene with him trying to get the drugs from the drain (yuck!) was good though and makes for a much more interesting storyline

    Now that Lynette's cancer has gone, it was time for her to have a lighter storyline. Now I have to say I don't always love Lynette's humorous plots. She is so much better suited to the drama, and her humorous stories always make her seem much more desperate and juvenile than the other housewives who seem to pull off the ridiculous a little better.

    While I thought Lynnette's sisters were hilarious (why haven't we seen them before? It's a real shame) the fight over who should take their mother was played out completely childishly. First of all arguing in front of their mother was completely unnecessary and unfair. Secondly, Lynette is showing complete ingratitude in chucking her mother out. Her mother really looked after her these last few months and its unfair for Lynette to chuck her out now she's better (though I do understand her annoyance with her) When her sisters claim that they don't care for their mother enough to look after her, Lynnette's emotional act of bravery here rung little hollow. She has only been with her mother for a few months whereas her sisters had her for 1/2 years and therefore have more of a reason to not want to look after her.

    Katherine's mystery is growing deeper and deeper. She is keeping up the story of her husband abusing her even to her daughter with a convincing display of emotion, so if he didn't abuse her, than what did the husband/Katherine do in their past?

    Finally Gabby's story has to be the most ridiculous of all. This whole affair thing was funny for a while, but Gabby's to-ing and fro-ing was getting dull so it was good that he found out. Now I know they want Gabby and Carlos to get together and therefore they need to write Victor out but did they really need to do that faux killing?? Its ridiculous especially considering they'll hardly send one of their lead housewives to jail so its unlikely that he actually dead. The whole storyline is just stupid and hopefully it will get quickly resolved in the next episode.

    Overall an average episode of the show, hopefully it will pick up with the next episode.moreless
  • Season 4, Episode 7.

    Wow, this season is just too good. Lynette's sisters Lydia and Lucy come to visit. While having dinner with Susan and Mike, Bree and Orson realize they share different views on whether their newborn baby should be circumcised. On a boat, Victor confronts Gaby about her affair with Carlos and she throws him into the ocean. Later, Bree informs Susan that she thinks Mike is addicted to drugs. I loved the scene when Lynette was putting her mother's things in her sister's car. I also loved when Bree made the Mohel circumcise Benjamin. LMAO I love Bree. Great plot with Gabby, too. 10/10.moreless
  • Judgements Written by Chuck Ranberg And Anne Flett-Giordano Directed by David Warren

    Bree (to Susan): "Addicts are good at deception. My advice to you is trust but verify".

    Tell me something I don't know. On this show just about everyone lies as easy as they breathe, maybe even a little easier to for good measure. All the plotlines here are drenched in some form deceit and while this episode isn't a classic, it's still an entertaining hour to behold.

    First in the lying awards goes to Mike. So far this season him and Susan have been the only couple with a clean slate. They haven't adulterous like the Edie/Carlos/Gabrielle/Victor quadrangle, riddled with cancer like Lynette/Tom or faking pregnancies like Bree/Orson. No, they've been perfectly content with one another.

    In fact you could argue that they've been so happy, it's almost record breaking for the pair. Well, now that we're into our seventh episode of the season, it's time for much needed drama when Mike's renewed drug addiction threatens the not so long marriage of him and Susan.

    In the previous episode, Susan got a harsh wake up call from Nick about Mike and because Susan tends to have her head in the clouds 90% of the time anyway, she chose to ignore it. Which for Mike definitely had to have made being a drug addict both easy and frustrating at the same time.

    So why is Mike back on drugs? It seems the stress of imminent parenthood is the main reason behind. Mike's needs to make ends meat was touched on last season when he was determined to give Susan a lavish wedding and relapse is totally a possibly for anyone with a serious addiction.

    There's just one problem – aside from the money issue, a part of this plot does feel a little rushed. I'm all for anything that gives Mike a bit of grey area because in spite of James Denton's acting skills, Mike comes across as being a lot more real that oh so, McDreamy or Robert McCallister but perhaps the drug thing should've been a little more gradual.

    Probably the most interesting thing about the plot is that it's Bree who became privy to Mike's addiction and not Susan. One of the successes with certain episodes is getting characters slightly involved in the goings on with other characters that they don't often interact with. Maybe my memory is failing but Bree and Mike haven't exactly had a lot of scenes together, which is why her involvement works here.

    Bree spotted Mike acting suspicious enough and was wary when he told her that the pills were for the pain he suffered due to being knocked down. Okay, so Mike wasn't lying there but he was taking more pills than required and Bree's abilities to smell a rat was superb on that score.

    Instead of being a judgemental harpie about it, Bree did the decent thing and warned Susan. There was no malice or a sense or moral satisfaction, just concern for a friend and the very thing you would do yourself in a similar situation. Susan at least had the brain cells to take Bree's advice on board.

    The annoying thing is that Susan then got made to look like a dummy by believing Mike. I know Susan lacks self-awareness as a person but given how unconvincing a liar Mike seems to have become, perhaps Susan should get her head. Even Bree had to shake some reality into her but pointing out an obvious thing about addicts.

    Bree's method of doing this is hilarious but she is vindicated when Susan actually finds Mike's stash and has it out with him. This scene I did enjoy but I sided more with Susan than Mike. I got that he felt the pressure to be a provider but even still going back to drugs wasn't a smart move.

    The only thing that undermines this plot is that Mike then manages to get Susan to believe he can quit cold turkey. Most smokers and alcoholics can't quit cold turkey, so I don't a drug addict is able to do the same thing. Naturally Susan is a little too quick to believe him and it's way too obvious that Mike was still using without the inclusion of the last scene to back it up.

    Another person who is top notch in the lying department is Bree. Over the years she's covered up two hit and runs, found ways of lying about her deceptive children and now is happy to pretend that her grandson is actually her own son. To Bree, things like this make perfect sense but to everyone else, the woman's just a nutter.

    A funny thing is that Bree has also her mirror self in Orson. Okay, he's possibly a lot more saner than Bree but if ever there was a perfect match, it's certainly these two. That being said, even two peas in a pod like Bree and Orson can have very different opinions on things and this week both of them conflict over circumcising Benjamin.

    Basically Bree is all for having her baby boy snipped in the neither regions and Orson thinks there is nothing wrong with a little foreskin. The fact that he also had a bad experience himself when he got circumcised also plays a part. To keep things simple, I have to admit that I do side with Orson on this one.

    Once again, part of Bree's reasoning for circumcision is down to appearances and in fairness, I don't necessarily feel she is a qualified party to make that decision. A part of her might have Benjamin's best interests at heart but once again, it's her own selfish needs that she puts first.

    At least Orson is smart enough to try and combat Bree over getting their son circumcised. The letters to the various doctors and hospitals, followed by the wry observation about how well he knows his wife made me laugh. Even Bree couldn't deny Orson's perceptiveness.

    It would've been nice if Bree had the respect for Orson to leave it there but sadly she didn't. Instead she decided to raid a Bris and managed to swindle the Rabbi into doing the snip on Benjamin even though she knew it would pissed off Orson. Even after Orson expressed his upset over Bree's actions, she did dismiss his feelings. Heck not even allowing Orson to hold Benjamin is much of an apology. Bree I am very disappointed with you this week.

    Also disappointing but inevitable was the departure of Stella. I suppose I should be grateful that she has gotten to last much longer than any other mother of a housewife but I have to admit that I have gotten attached to her, even when she is wrecking Lynette's head.

    With cancer now out of the way, Lynette really didn't have any need for her mother and just wanted her gone. The thing is with Stella actually having no money to fend for herself, Lynette had to be inventive when giving her mother the old heave ho. I mean, it would be cruel just to dump her out of the streets, right?

    No the better thing Lynette could've done was to pass Stella off to her weak willed younger sister Lydia, played very nicely by Sarah Paulson from the sadly cancelled Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip. Lydia is one of those characters now in therapy after systematic abuse from Stella and she's pretty determined not to renew contact with her mum.

    Lynette who isn't the most sensitive of people treats Lydia's distress by dumping Stella's bags in her car and leaving. Maybe a few years that tactic might have worked but Lydia is so fed up with Stella that she ropes in the other sister Lucy to take on Lynette and foist Stella to her.

    I get why all three women don't want Stella. As fun as she is to watch (and she has been big time), she was also a crap mother who gave them a horrible life. Some people are able to forgive, forget and move on. Clearly Lydia and Lucy aren't two of them.

    Playing the emotional guilt card fails to resonate with them as well. At first I was a little disgusted when they flat out admitted that they really didn't care about Stella but if I had to grow up with her as a mother, I'd react the same way. Still Lynette doesn't have to worry about being saddled with her because Stella just ups and leaves anyway.

    Speaking of leaving, the sooner this quadrangle between Edie, Carlos, Gabrielle and Victor is over, the better. With their affair pretty much being knowledge, Victor plans a boat trip for him and Gabby while Edie had little better to do than goad Carlos. Yeah, I'm really loving how pathetic Edie is being made this season – not!

    The upshot is that Victor manages to get knocked overboard twice, only for the second time to matter. The first time is more an act of stupidity on Gabby's part because instead of trying to kill (which I don't think I would blame Victor for doing), Victor was actually trying to get Gabby a sweater.

    The second time however, Gabby did have a right to knock him overboard. After all he was going to kill Carlos and possibly her but the fact that Gabby and Carlos left Victor out there to die doesn't do them any favours. This is the problem with this plot – no-one is being made in a victim, so it's a little to feel for anyone even Gabby and Carlos, whose lives were put in danger in this episode.

    Then to cap everything else off, there's still very little progression in whatever dark little secret that Katherine is so desperate to keep hidden. Dylan is ballsy enough to stand up to her ogre of a mother this week when it came to getting an address for her father but as soon as Katherine laid on the water works, she lost her ground. Too bad because Dylan works better when she's feisty.

    It also doesn't help that the note Katherine had was obviously going to turn out to have nothing on it. While this plot is still interesting, can we please have something significant happen with it already? I'm getting from the lack of Adam, that he doesn't really factor that much into things.

    Also in "You Can't Judge A Book By It's Cover"

    Victor got his backstory in the teaser this week. Perhaps it wasn't surprising that it revolved around his own ability to deceive people.

    Bree: "Orson take Ben into the bedroom before my friends run out of lies".

    Benjamin certainly cried a lot for one little scene. Watching the women lie (especially Gabby) was a nice touch.

    Susan: "This is what people do in the suburbs".

    Mike: "Ah, yes. The suburbs".

    Orson: "I hope I didn't offend you".

    Mike: "I haven't heard a word since 10,000".

    Seven episodes in and Teri Hatcher hasn't been given a fake belly yet. I'm guessing it'll come soon.

    Gabrielle: "Oh that's right. Those two boring hours I'll never get back".

    Victor: "Well the good news is that this trip won't be boring".

    Bree: "What's wrong with that? I thought we liked conformity".

    Orson: "Not at the expense of pain and reduced sexual pleasure".

    Bree: "Well I know someone who's sexual pleasure is going to be reduced big time".

    I appreciated the little nod in this episode about Bree's booze addiction from Season Two. It worked well during her warning to Susan about Mike.

    Carlos (re his picture): "There's a hole in it".

    Edie: "Yeah I don't get modern art either".

    Orson: "I see myself as Benjamin's father. I need to know if you see me that way too".

    Bree: "I know how much you love Benjamin. I guess I just have to remember that it's love that makes us a family and not blood".

    Orson got circumcised when he was five as an act of spite by Gloria. Now that she's been mentioned, will she ever return?

    Lynette: "Lucy every fight we have ever had has ended with my foot on your neck. I guarantee this one's gonna end the same way too".

    Lucy (re Lynette): "There it is, the 'I have a family' card".

    Lydia: "Good news, congratulations. We can all reproduce".

    It's interesting that Felicity Huffman has worked with both Carrie Preston (Lucy) and Sarah Paulson (Lydia) on different things before they were cast as her sisters here.

    Lucy (to Lynette, regarding Stella): "I know I'm supposed to feel guilty but I don't".

    Lydia: "I don't either".

    Victor: "You tried to kill me".

    Gabrielle: "I came back, didn't I?"

    No Adam, Danielle, Andrew or Julie here and Tom didn't have much to do either.

    Susan (to Mike): "I'm thinking you're a drug addict and a liar so say something that isn't that".

    Chronology: The day after "Now I Know, Don't Be Scared".

    Well this certainly lived up to it's title. "You Can't Judge A Book By It's Cover" may not be the best episode so far this season but seeing as the majority of the plots are still maintaining interest, I don't think there's anything otherwise wrong with this episode.moreless
Sarah Paulson

Sarah Paulson

Lydia Lindquist

Guest Star

Carrie Preston

Carrie Preston


Guest Star

Bob Glouberman

Bob Glouberman


Guest Star

John Slattery

John Slattery

Victor Lang

Recurring Role

Polly Bergen

Polly Bergen

Stella Wingfield

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Although they never confirm which state this story is set in, this episode offers up that is a state that touches the ocean. (Victor states that he and Gaby are going out on the ocean in his boat.) Since Gaby was able to go back and forth at least twice in one day and the boat has FAIRVIEW on the back, it would strongly suggest that the fictitious "Eagle State" is on the West coast.

    • Bree (allegedly) just gave birth only a few days earlier, yet she is up and about without any signs of wear or exhaustion. She also doesn't even try to pad her figure with post-pregnancy weight, which is very likely after giving birth to a third child, especially for a woman her age. Granted, her pregnancy is a hoax, but for someone who is concerned on pulling it off as accurately as possible, you'd think she would try to make the effort.

    • Timeline Goof: In this episode, Bree and Mike discuss his accident at the end of Season two and mention that it was "almost two years ago". In these almost two years, Danielle has gone from being 3 months over 17 (considering Xiao-Mei's pregnancy) to turning 18.

    • Goof: At the diner, Lydia's keychain moves across the table without anyone touching it.

  • QUOTES (18)

    • Victor: You OK?
      Gabrielle: Uh, actually, I'm really cold. Maybe we should bail and do this another know, when it's warmer.
      Victor: It'll warm up.
      Gabrielle: Oh, OK. Well, just in case, we should run back to shore so I can grab a jacket.
      Victor: Gaby, you're not going anywhere.
      Gabrielle: Oh, I'm not?!
      Victor: I know about everything. You, Carlos, the affair, everything.
      Gabrielle: OK, I am so sorry. But in my defense, you were always gone. And you...knew how needy I was when you married me.
      Victor: That's it? That's all you have to say to me?!
      Gabrielle: Well, it'd be easier to talk if we were back on shore.
      (Victor drops knife on table)
      Gabrielle: What are you doing?!
      Victor: It's bad enough you betrayed me. And I have to listen to your whining. I brought something for you.
      (Victor turns around. Gabrielle strikes him on the head with a paddle. Victor falls into the water)

    • Dylan: For years you have told me that my father is too evil to talk about. And now I find out you've discussed him at a neighborhood game night?!
      Katherine: Regardless, I am still your mother. And while you're under my roof, you will obey my rules.
      Dylan: What if I don't? Are you gonna slap me again? Kick me out of the house? Send me to bed without any supper? Go ahead, try it. See what happens! I'm sorry, Mom. You can't stop me this time. I am officially no longer afraid of you.

    • Mary Alice: Yes, Victor was not above deception to get what he wanted and what he wanted now... was revenge.

    • (Carlos calls Gabrielle on her cell phone while she's on the boat. She reluctantly answers.)
      Gabrielle: For God's sakes Carlos, am I gonna have to change this number?
      Carlos: Victor knows!
      Gabrielle: Knows what?
      Carlos: Everything! Edie told him we're having an affair.
      Gabrielle: No. it's impossible. He hasn't said a word. In fact, I've never seen him so sweet and attentive.
      Carlos: It's an act! Edie said he was enraged!
      Gabrielle: Well, if he's so mad at me, why would he take me on a boat trip?
      Carlos: He took you on a boat?
      Gabrielle: Oh, crap!
      Carlos: I think you need to get out of there.

    • (After she knocked Victor overboard for a second time)
      Gabrielle: I'm getting pretty good at that.

    • Lucy: You may have been able to strong-arm the weak one, but not me.
      Lydia: I'm not weak!
      Lucy: Then why did you call me? Get out of our way.
      Lynette: Lucy, every fight we have ever had has ended with my foot on your neck. I guarantee that this one's gonna end the same way too.

    • Lynette: (referring to her mother) Well, we can't just throw her out on the street.
      Lydia: I can!
      Lynette and Lucy look at her with surprise)
      Lydia: My therapist said it's time for me to be a little more Lydia-centric.
      Lynette: I really wanna meet this jackass.

    • Lynette: (referring to her mother) I've had her for four months. I also had cancer for four months. And If I could've asked one of them to leave, I'm not sure which I would've picked.
      Lucy: Oh, four months, boohoo! I had her for a year, and that was the year she joined the Gin of the Month club.

    • Carlos: Where is he? Where is Victor?
      Gabrielle: Well, I clubbed him and knocked him overboard.
      Carlos: He's in the ocean?
      Gabrielle: He was going to kill me. He had a gun!
      Carlos: Ok, ok, let me think. (takes a moment) You saw him in the water. I mean, he's not dead, right?
      Gabrielle: No. He's mad, but he wasn't dead.
      Carlos: So then we'll send someone out there to fish him out. Call the police, show them the gun, and tell them it was self-defense. You still have the gun?
      Gabrielle realizes she didn't search the bag she thought contained the gun, which Victor pulled out and opened before she knocked him, they go to find out what's in it
      Gabrielle: It's in there.
      Carlos opens the bag and takes out only a sweater, they exchange a look, Gabby is surprised
      Gabrielle: Well, maybe he wanted it to muffle the gun!
      Carlos: (Opens the bag wide) There is no gun.
      Gabrielle: Ice pick?
      Carlos grabs his cell phone
      Gabrielle: What are you doing?
      Carlos: I'm calling the coast guard.
      Gabrielle: And tell them what? "I knocked my husband overboard because he was coming after me with a sweater"?

    • (After Bree had Benjamin circumcised and ignored Orson's feelings)
      Orson: I see myself as Benjamin's father. I need to know if you see me that way too.
      Bree: I know how much you love Benjamin. I guess I just have to remember that it's love that makes us a family, and not blood.

    • (Bree arrives home with baby Benjamin)
      Orson: Hey, where have you been? I woke up and you were gone.
      Bree: Oh, we had a very busy day. We dropped off the dry cleaning, we deposited money into our Christmas account and then we got circumcised!

    • Mohel: You realize that this is a covenant. That whatever your husband says, you're promising to raise your child as a devout Jew.
      Bree: I swear to you before God, that this child will be as devout a Jew as I am!

    • (Bree and Orson argue about circumcising baby Benjamin)
      Orson: What have you got against untrimmed penises?
      Bree: They're… unsightly! Ah, I do not want our son to be teased for being different. Do you?
      Orson: So in the end it all comes down to tradition and conformity.
      Bree: What is wrong with that?! I thought we liked conformity!
      Orson: Not at the price of pain and reduced sexual pleasure.
      Bree: (Angrily) I can tell you someone whose sexual pleasure is going to be reduced big time!

    • Mary Alice: Deception - you find it in all the best homes. Parents rely on it when dealing with inquisitive children. Women use it to help keep secrets big and small. Lovers need it to cover up inconvenient accidents. Why do people resort to deception? Because it's a handy tool that helps get us exactly what we're looking for.

    • Orson: We have some extra preschool applications if the two of you are interested.
      Mike: Isn't it a little early to be talking preschool? She just got pregnant. Our baby still looks like a sea horse.
      Susan: Oh honey, you'd be surprised how fast the best schools fill up and only the best for our kid, right?
      Bree: Start saving your pennies. Bonny Briar's up to $10,000 a year.
      Mike: 10,000 dollars for used legos and a potty chair?

    • Mary Alice: The thing you need to know about Victor Lang is that he was not above using deception. Whether it was an insincere promise to a campaign donor or the artful evasion of a reporter's question or an outright lie to his constituents, Victor did what he had to to get what he wanted. But thanks to some compromising photos, he learned that his wife knew a little something about deception as well.

    • Dylan: (to Katherine) I'm officially no longer afraid of you.

    • Julie: Hey, I need your help with a school thing.
      Susan: Wow, you never ask for my help, it must be something easy.

  • NOTES (5)


    • Bree: Trust... but verify.

      "Trust but verify" was a signature phrase of the American president Ronald Reagan. He used it in public, although he was not the first person known to use it. When Reagan used this phrase, he was usually discussing relations with the Soviet Union.

    • Bree: My Grandma....Tzietel.

      This is no doubt an allusion to the famous Jewish-oriented Broadway musical Fiddler On The Roof.

    • Bree: By the way, his [Benjamin's] Hebrew name is Simcha. (Answering Orson's wondering look) I'll explain later.

      Simcha means happiness in Hebrew. It's a modern (not Biblical) Hebrew name.

    • Episode Title: The title of this episode comes from a song in the Stephen Sondheim musical Anyone Can Whistle.