At last week's Desperate Housewives panel at Paley Fest, series creator Marc Cherry teased that "a major character from the first and second season comes back for the final five minutes of the [season] finale" (which airs May 17, on ABC). Cherry's use of the phrase "from the first and second season" is clever, as there are quite a few former cast members who fall into that category. Review the likely suspects below and then in the comments section explain who you think it might be booked for an encore.
Betty Applewhite (Alfre Woodard): Technically, Betty only appeared in Season 2, but we have this feeling like Cherry feels as bad as we all do that Woodard's mystery arc was so poorly written, and he might want to make it up to her. We'd love to see Betty return in a more dramatic capacity — neighborhood gossip, extortionist, all-around bad influence. You know, like Edie used to be.
John Rowland (Jesse Metcalfe): This seems to be the most likely choice (for beefcake nostalgia reasons alone), although we have to ask: Didn't they already do the Gaby-and-John-the-Gardener reunion episode? As we recall, it went kind of terribly and he was engaged to be married at the time. Still, we're betting it's him and he's a changed man, which makes him even more attractive to the ladies of the Lane.
Paul Young (Mark Moses): Convicted murderer Paul Young has been in prison, no doubt been seething with rage for all those stuck-up ladies who helped put him there. It might be nice to see him move back to the neighborhood (I hear Edie's house will be available shortly), where he can wreak havoc on the Housewives through awkwardness alone.
Danielle Van de Kamp (Joy Lauren): Bree's pain over losing Benjamin to Danielle was one of the more touching developments of the five-year flash-forward. Danielle's brief reappearance as a restrictive, bohemian mom felt a little ... off. What if the perpetual spoiled brat fell off the responsibility wagon and needed her Mommy's help again?
Rex Van de Kamp (Steven Culp): Sure, he's dead, but wouldn't it be great if, through some implausible TV magic, they brought Rex back to match wits with Bree again? It seems clear that sad-sack Orson is on his way out; Bree deserves a more formidable partner. We miss Rex.
George Williams (Roger Bart): I know we heard that George committed suicide, but did we ever see him dead? Although we didn't love the resolution to George's insta-crazy storyline, the idea of a newly stable George reappearing intrigues us for some reason.
Zach Young (Cody Kasch): There was that icky episode where a Richie-Rich Zach tried to buy Gaby's love with his newfound riches, but remember, Zach is five years older now, and perhaps he has learned not to be so showy with his wealth. Wouldn't it be funny if he came to visit his dad (that is, Mike Delfino) and ended up charming one of the Housewives after all?