Desperate Housewives' Dirty Laundry: Susan Delfino's Wild Ride
Desperate Housewives wraps its eight-season run on Sunday, May 13 (9/8c on ABC) and what a long, strange trip it's been for the ladies of Wisteria Lane! As we prepare to kiss our favorite harried housewives goodbye, TVGuide.com takes a look back at each of the four protagonist's biggest triumphs, greatest downfalls and all the juicy hookups, makeups and breakups in between.
Check back every day this week for our takes on the other Housewives' wild rides.
Name: Susan Mayer Delfino
Known For: Pratfalls, clumsiness, lack of cooking skills
Marriages: Karl Mayer (twice, both ended in divorce), Mike Delfino (twice, one divorce, then widowed)
Children: Julie and Maynard James (aka M.J.)
Profession: Author/illustrator, art teacher, Internet lingerie model
Look back at photos from Desperate Housewives' entire run
Teri Hatcher received much of the glory during the show's first season — and with good reason. From her very first pratfall — when she fell naked into a bush in front of her then-crush Mike (James Denton) — Susan was the girl next door for whom everyone rooted -- everyone except for Edie (Nicollette Sheridan), town vixen and fellow Fairview single lady. Susan and Edie had an explosive, hilarious rivalry that included at least one sexy car wash, an ex-husband hookup and an accidental house-burning. It lasted, in fact, right up until Edie's shocking (heh) death. Susan also went head-to-head with Katherine Mayfair (Dana Delany) during Season 6 when Mike left Katherine to return to Susan, of which Lady Mayfair did not approve. But while that dynamic had its funny moments, like when Susan accidentally shot Katherine, it wasn't exactly a fair fight, since Katherine had more than a few screws loose.
Although Mike was always The One, "Suzy Q" also enjoyed terrific romantic chemistry with her charming, lothario ex-husband Karl (Richard Burgi), whom she remarried in Season 2 for health insurance. Had Karl not been killed off in Season 6, it would have been interesting to see if Susan ended up with him again after Mike's death. Karl obviously loved her; he was just too immature to do the right thing.
One of Susan's strongest relationships on the show is her Freaky Friday-like bond with her daughter Julie (Andrea Bowen), who most always exhibits better parental judgment than her crazed, insecure and impulsive mother. After viewers met Susan's youth-obsessed, doe-eyed mom Sophie (Lesley Ann Warren), that role reversal made a lot more sense.
Behind the scenes for Desperate Housewives' emotional series finale
Unfortunately, it was almost all downhill for Susan after Season 1. As much as fans ate up Susan and Mike's will-they-or-won't-they romance at first, the writers struggled to find convincing reasons to keep them apart. And pretty much all of Susan's other love interests — the boring and clueless doctor boyfriend Ron in Season 2 (Better Off Ted's Jay Harrington), the boring and clueless painter fiancée Jackson (The Secret Circle's Gale Harold) in Season 5 and the slightly less boring fiancée Ian (Mission: Impossible II's Dougray Scott) in Season 3 — paled in comparison.
Even worse, when Susan and Mike finally got married for good the second time, the obstacles thrown at her were far less interesting than those of the other women. Susan's stint as an Internet lingerie model was fun, particularly in its surprising connection to the return of Paul Young (Mark Moses), but Susan as a wannabe brooding artist just seemed like filler.
Susan's perceived role as the most comedic of the Housewives made Mike's sudden murder in Season 8 all the more painful because it left such little room for levity. The loss meant most of Susan's most recent scenes have been opposite her children, Julie and M.J. — the latter of whom has yet to bond with his mom in any significant way.
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HOW WE THINK IT WILL END
Unless Bree actually goes to prison, as a widow, Susan is destined to have the most bittersweet ending. All we can hope at this point is that Susan, who is moving away from the Lane to help take care of Julie's baby, finds peace in being the most hands-on grandmother ever, and that the destructive M.J. doesn't show any further signs of nascent sociopathy.
Desperate Housewives' series finale airs Sunday, May 13 at 9/8c on ABC.