Jonathan Cake, Desperate Housewives

Jonathan Cake knew from the moment he first stepped onto Wisteria Lane that he was in for a wild ride on Desperate Housewives with his new co-star, Marcia Cross.

"She was wielding an enormous gun," Cake tells TVGuide.com, "which I thought was a great way to meet the person you were going to have this exciting story arc with."

Their story kicked off in last week's episode with the unusual meet-cute between Cake's character, Detective Chuck Vance, and Bree Van de Kamp. First, Chuck misunderstood Bree's joke and thought she was out to kill Gaby's daughters. Later, he misheard that she killed Carlos' mother. For such a well-manicured perfectionist, it was far from Bree's best first impression, but Chuck still gave her his number in the end.

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"I loved the first episode," Cake, 43, says. "Shooting it, I thought it was a great introduction to the character. I immediately felt Marcia and I had a great connection."

A connection, in fact, that just may go the distance. "As a detective, he's sort of drawn to this woman who seems both quite proper and conservative and yet can't seem to stop herself from being drawn into these sort of crazy, lurid scenarios," Cake says. "There's a sort of wild streak in Bree somewhere that he thinks is really interesting."

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Because of their age and their respective rocky romantic pasts, the biggest obstacle for Bree and Chuck will be how they work to define their relationship. "They're trying to work out how they go about doing this tango together when they've already had a few other dance partners before," Cake says. "It's about trying to figure out what that means to them at this stage of life that they're both at."

That road to discovery will be bumpy. "The course of true love doesn't run smooth for these two," Cake says. "I'm sure no one really knows how all this stuff is going to play out, but it's exciting to find out."

Luckily, he has plenty of time to figure that out. The British-born actor will appear in the final two episodes of the season and is set to return next year for Season 8. The deal for Housewives happened fast, and for Cake, the real work was catching up on the show itself. Although his sister-in-law was "beside herself," about his latest role, he hadn't seen many episodes himself.

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Cake did his homework and logged in many hours in front of the TV, particularly those pertaining to Bree's many previous relationships. (For those keeping track, this includes her late first husband Rex, psycho fiancée George, AA sponsor Peter, the now-crippled Orson, her late divorce lawyer Karl, and, most recently, Keith).

"Sometimes, it made me think I better watch my back," Cake says with a laugh. "Her beaus seem to come to a sticky end or something peculiar happens to them."

Desperate Housewives airs Sunday at 9/8c on ABC.