Arrested Development
As the Twin Peaks giant once said, "It is happening again." Another edgy, odd and — of course — funny night of substance abuse, sperm theft and hints of incest with the Bluths. That's a good thing.

"Really shoddy narrating, just pure crap," says narrator Ron Howard. Now, how many shows' narrators trash other narrators? Yes, this one's. I know that; I'm trying to get you to come up with others because I — holy cow! A Sugarfoot reference! I guess if you don't remember that show or never heard of it, it's not the same, but that's something to ask the Televisionary about. (I hear he has a new column up tomorrow, and a classic one due Thursday.)

Exchange of the evening, as far as I'm concerned: "Mom's still got it!" screams Buster. "I don't date whores!" Gob replies. And once again, if you didn't see it, I can't begin to explain. A quick and complicated setup/payoff is why this show's so brilliant; do try to keep up.

Final thought: Is there anything more unsettling than the sight of a guy in short denim cutoffs? (No, not Gob trying to make himself vomit; that's just plain old revolting.) And how does Dave Attell manage to look even worse in them than David Cross? Don't answer in detail, please. It only makes the image tougher to exorcise from my head. — Michael Peck

Desperate Housewives
Certainly not the funniest episode so far. That scene with Carlos physically forcing Gabrielle to sign the postnuptial agreement was DH's most disturbing scene to date. (Oh, c'mon, Mrs. Huber's strangling was not that bad.) Carlos instantly went from unpleasant, controlling husband to the show's reigning bastard. And John finally returned, just in time to provide a new mystery as to who will be the father if Gabrielle's "surprise" pregnancy actually happens.

In fact, this whole episode had a pervasive theme of violence and physical intimidation. From the police telling the remaining "Youngs" about the chopped-up woman found in the trunk to the shoving and throwing issues involving Susan's mother (Lesley Ann Warren) and stepfather (Bob Newhart) and, of course, Bree's spanking of little Porter Scavo.

And then there's Mrs. Huber's sister (Harriet Sansom Harris). She is so sickeningly sweet and splendidly conniving all at once, it's a thing of absolute beauty. So it appears (and I can't emphasize that word enough) that good ol' Mary Alice Young (or Angela) swiped Zach when he was a baby, changed his name, and then disposed of the female "private detective" who came calling for him. Private detective? Try real mother, I bet. The question is whether she was anybody notable or just a random soon-to-be corpse.

The whole spanking scenario was pretty interesting, which, I'm sorry to say, doesn't usually apply to the Scavo story lines. I mean, they're decently amusing and all, just not overly riveting. But this time there was a little more for Felicity Huffman to do than just act harried and disheveled. Thankfully, Bree and Lynette's friendship bounced back quickly. But the bigger question for Mrs. Van De Kamp is how she (and Rex) will ultimately react to Andrew's coming out. But that's for next week....&#151 Danny Spiegel

Deadwood
"You, Al, are an object lesson in the healing powers of obstinacy and a hostile disposition.... In the overall, sir, I call you a miracle." — Doc to Swearengen. Damn nice of you, Doc. He's been called a lot of other things in his time, certainly — sometimes by you.

Oh, how the scheming continues in earnest, to the point where it makes my widdle head hurt just trying to keep up, and I'm pretty sure I'm failing at that... miserably, if you must know. I realized Trixie was a con artist born, but she's sure at the top of her game now. Reporting on Sol to Swearengen and setting up a marriage between Ellsworth and Alma. She's swinging for the bleachers, huh?

And that's just the beginning, as we've got Tolliver dealing every which way and Miss Isringhausen proving to be no slouch in the manipulation department herself. I said last week she was a player, but I had no idea. Though I must admit I still can't figure out exactly what she's up to, I'll say again that Adams is going to come out the loser for letting his little brain guide his big one.

Then, of course, we come to the "Mother, look at the blood!" moment. Did anyone out there think Wolcott was capable of that much slaughter, and did you, like me, start to wonder where it would end?

I'm betting the credits people on this show must be the busiest in Hollywood, what with all the comings and goings. I'm also betting that Garret Dillahunt would like to know when he'll get to play a role that doesn't involve committing cowardly, heinous murders. Or, at least, when he'll get to play one on this show, since being asked back when Wolcott's time ends wouldn't be that crazy.

What else is there to say about this episode? Between the triple-throat-slashing homicide of three women, the bestiality and all sorts of alliances forming and dissolving on top of the usual conniving, is it any wonder I'm ending this hour with my stomach all dancy? The best line of the night did not belong to Al Swearengen, for once, but to Hostetler. "You need to die, Steve." If you didn't see it, you can't know how well it worked, and this site's devotion to family-friendly discourse prevents me from explaining more, even if I could do it justice. Let's just say Roy Rogers was never so passionate about Trigger as Steve was with Bullock's ride.

"Was it a difficult day?" Martha asks Bullock. "No," he answers. Maybe, but he's about the only who can say that this week. — MP

Saturday Night Live
Cameron Diaz took time out from Trippin' to plug Trippin', read cue cards and smile a lot. Fortunately, like Mary Richards, Cameron can turn the world on with her smile, which made for a very cheerful SNL indeed.

Biggest laugh: The "TV Funhouse" Michael Jackson cartoon. The King of Pop tries to polish his image and impress the jury by dating beautiful women. "You gotta perv it down," advise the remains of the Elephant Man. But how? The answer: special glasses that make Tara Reid look like Emmanuel Lewis.

Cameo overload: The Barry Gibb Talk Show featured ex SNL-er Jimmy Fallon (as the falsetto, hirsute-chested chief BeeGee), Diaz's boyfriend Justin Timberlake (as Robin Gibb), Fallon's Fever Pitch costar Drew Barrymore (as Ann Coulter) and Diaz (as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi). Delis don't have this much ham.

Thank heavens: Green Day was the musical guest, not Timberlake. My ears' taste buds still haven't recovered from Justin aping Stevie Wonder when he hosted the show back in 2003. By contrast, the Green Day boys were smoking — and Billie Joe Armstrong wears eyeliner better than any guy since the Cure's Robert Smith.

Best Update line: Tina Fey "quoting" House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's reaction to charges of financial misconduct: "Just an attempt by the liberal media to discredit me with my own actions, words and illegal doings."

Best skit within a skit: Fallon and Fey's emotional reunion on "Dramatic Weekend Update Play" — the pair apparently share custody of a catatonic little boy with ugly Lisa Loeb-type glasses.

Sexy fictional character who is almost, but not quite, as sexy as my girlfriend: Spy Glass' Zoe Anderton (Amy Poehler ). Her sassy bangs can get inside my TV Guide anytime. Well, not anytime, of course, as I am in a committed relationship, but if something ever went horribly wrong and Zoe should become a real person — like a merrie olde ho version of Pinocchio — then, yeah, baby.

(Obviously, this is just between you and me, America — I'm kind of a coward and I'm not entirely sure how the girlfriend would take this, so shtum...) — G.J. Donnelly