Last Sunday, the women of Wisteria Lane bid goodbye as we’ve witnessed the series finale of Desperate Housewives. After eight years on the tube, surviving a tornado, a fire incident, a plane crash and a huge amount of killings in such a short lane, the show finally aired its last episode.
Being one of the show’s biggest fans, I’ve managed to stick through the course of the eight seasons whether it’s the good (Seasons 1 and 4), the okay (Seasons 3, 5, and 7), and the really bad (S2, S6). The show has really carved its way to be one of the best pop culture reference during the time it was on the air, and though the enthusiasm died more and more as each season starts, the impact that Susan Mayer, Bree van de Kamp, Lynette Scavo, and Grabrielle Solis brought worldwide will never ever be denied.
In a span of eight years, exactly 180 episodes were shown, and here I think are the sixteen that stood out and showed Desperate Housewives in its top form:
1. PILOT (Season 1, Episode 1)
And this is where it all begins. Just the first shot of Mary Alice killing herself with a gun as nosy neighbor Martha Huber peeks through her window is enough already to declare that this show will be big. Then we meet the actual Housewives: single mother Susan Mayer who sticks peanut butter in her faucet just to get attention of new neighbor plumber Mike Delfino, Bree Van de Kamp, as Martha Huber’s reincarnation who demands that baskets must be returned to her after Mary Alice Young’s funeral, mom of four Lynette Scavo who jumped to the pool just so that she can tame her three kids, and sexpot Gabrielle Solis who has an affair with her gardener prompting her to mow their lawn in a gorgeous gown at midnight. Of course it has to end with a bang as well when the Housewives saw a note that could have prompted Mary Alice’s death: I KNOW WHAT YOU DID. IT MAKES ME SICK. I’M GOING TO TELL.
2. PRETTY LITTLE PICTURE (Season 1, Episode 3)
This is where it gets wild, as it’s probably one of the episodes with the most memorable moments in the show’s history. Who could ever forget Susan being locked out of her house naked? Only Teri Hatcher can get away with that while being funny and likable. How about Gabrielle running three blocks in high heels because a young neighbor caught her affair with John Rowland? Lynette giving the kids hyper sugar snacks to even out Tom who refused to come to the dinner. And lastly, Marcia Cross’s Bree at her Stepford finest saying “Rex cries after he ejaculates” line is enough for it to be a classic already.
3. GUILTY (Season 1, Episode 8)
What I particularly like about this episode is that it showed the Housewives in a more human approach. While all the other episodes might be too soap opera-ish for others, this showed them in clear desperation. Gabrielle admits that she was selfish all this time though that a little bit of guilt strikes her every now and then. Bree goes beyond measures to protect the people she loves, and Susan was stuck in the middle of a broken floor. My favorite though was Lynette’s frustration as a mother and her football field scene that rakes in as one of the most genuine moments ever in this show.
4. BANG (Season 3, Episode 7)
As a starter for the show’s annual tragedy episode, desperate housewife Carolyn Bigsby (Laurie Metcalfe) holds a hostage in the town supermarket in a fear that her husband was cheating on her. What was caught in between all of these were the different people that were inside the grocery having different storylines of their own and yet smoothly binded with the hostage incident. With an Emmy worthy performance by Laurie Metcalfe, this remains, in my opinion, as the ebst Desperate Housewives episode in the history of the series.
5. MY HUSBAND, THE PIG (Season 3, Episode 16)
This episode is memorable for a lot of reasons. For one, it was Rex van de Kamp (Bree’s estranged husband) who narrated the episode. Another is that the ladies took the back seat with this one. What I like about this is that it goes to show the other perspective from the husbands’ and boyfriends’ point of view. That is pretty brave considering the nature of the series as a female-centric one.
6. GETTING MARRIED TODAY (Season 3, Episode 23)
Season 3’s finale was a good balance of setting things up and giving a preview of the upcoming season. From this, we learned a lot about Lynette’s current condition, and Susan finally tying the knot with Mike. However, we were also welcomed with a “pregnant” Bree, Gabrielle’s real love interest after marrying politician Victor, and whether Edie Britt did really commit the suicide or not.
7. THE GAME (Season 4, Episode 3)
It is truly a joy when there are episodes of Desperate Housewives that focus on the strength of the ensemble as a whole instead of watching Separate Housewives four storylines. Susan and Mike hosted a charades party that turned out everything but a party. Conflicts arise one after the other making this a highly enjoyable episode that showed a lot of chemistry not only among the four Housewives but to everyone else in the cast.
8. WELCOME TO KANAGAWA (Season 4, Episode 10)
Not all Desperate Housewives disaster episodes are successful with their attempts to bring interest to their readers. It usually is just a shortcut to kill a boatload of unnecessary minor characters in a snap by the writers. However, this one that involves a tornado hitting Wisteria Lane is golden as it manages to interweave the situation to the internal conflicts that the characters are facing during the situation. Also, it is probably the best art direction that the show has ever featured.
9. FREE (Season 4, Episode 17)
This isn’t a popular choice per se, but I like how they resolved things this season especially the story line regarding the Mayfairs. It also explored the chemistry of both Marcia Cross and Dana Delaney especially since Delaney was the original choice to play the role of Bree. The best thing about this is the flash forward concept when we saw a great surprise to the four Housewives physically and with their roles five years later.
10. MIRROR, MIRROR (Season 5, Episode 5)
This one the start of the “What If” episodes that the used show multiple times in the succeeding seasons, but what I like about it is that aside from giving backstories to the four Housewives (which is necessary given the flash forward), but it is integrated with another ensemble episode: Karen McCluskey’s 70th birthday! If that’s not a worthy cause of a celebration, then I don’t know what is. Also, this is one of the most creative cold opens the show has ever done.
11. THE BEST THING THAT EVER COULD HAVE HAPPENED (Season 5, Episode 13)
The show’s 100th episode took time to commemorate a regular visitor of Wisteria Lane, handyman Eli Scruggs (Beau Bridges). Each of the Housewives traveled back to memory lane and remembered what Eli did to their life. This is, indeed, a very memorable 100th episode for the Housewives, and a start of the trend where they commemorate a certain character by remembering the best thing the dead person did to them.
12. LOOK INTO THEIR EYES AND YOU SEE WHAT THEY KNOW (Season 5, Episode 19)
Just like what I mentioned above, this is another of those “We commemorate (insert dead character) here. While it may sound repetitive and redundant, there’s something special about this episode as the focus is one of the original Housewives in the show. Plus points were also given because the set up is that the five women are traveling which means more group interactions from them, and another point for including the fabulous Mrs. McCluskey in this tribute episode.
13. DOWN THE BLOCK THERE’S A RIOT (Season 7, Episode 10)
The last of those “disaster” episodes that the show produced, what hooked me with this one is how striking and intense the whole episode was. You can clearly identify from the get go that something crucial will happen by the end of the episode and you just get excited and excited as each detail leading to it unravels. Now when the actual “disaster” happened, it was too specific and vivid that you can’t help but still be carried away once the credits rolled.
14. COME ON OVER FOR A DINNER (Season 7, Episode 23)
This one is similar to the “Free” finale in the sense that they resolved the season’s mystery smoothly and focused on setting things up for the next season. However, what makes it different from the other season finale was that the mystery executed by the writers involved all the four Housewives together with Gabrielle’s husband, Carlos. Now that’s one secret that will definitely you go gaga while waiting for the final season of the show.
15, YOU TAKE FOR GRANTED (Season 8, Episode 16)
The thing I like the most about this episode is the treatment that the writers used to bid goodbye to one of the characters. By the episode’s cold open: it was mentioned that one of the characters featured in it will soon say goodbye at the end of the day. And as the episode progresses, we all saw those characters deal with a surprising visit from death with all but one not surviving in the end. This is really a genius episode of Housewives that worked well in my book.
16. FINISHING THE HAT (Season 8, Episode 23)
And of course, we have to have the finale right? This episode is by no means groundbreaking or revolutionary. However, there’s a specific nostalgia factor that will bring you back to the start of the series especially if you managed to watch it through the eight seasons. I love how the finale was juxtaposed with the pilot episode on so many levels which included some good casting and memorable scenes. Plus, that final scene including a stroll down the lane and how Cherry ended it with soemthing intriguing is atisfying enough for hardcore fans of the show.
How about you? What are some of your favorite Desperate Housewives episode? And will you miss the show the way that I do? 🙂
All photos are courtesy of abc.go.com/shows/desperate-housewives/photos