Yeah, it's me, the guy who (thanks to a well-placed source) first gave you the scoop on Desperate Housewives' season-ending flash-forward. To hear some tell it, Marc Cherry has coined a new curse word derived from my last name. And just like that, I feel for an instant like I'm living la vida Ausiello.

But now that the five-year time-leap has played out on our screens, I ask: Did I really spoil anything? This is not Lost, where the Season 3 flash-forward completely altered our perception of the show and its narrative, at the same time raising a half-dozen questions integral to the series.

No, Housewives' temporal shift is simply a smart move to freshen up a serial coming off of one of its stronger seasons. Sure, we could have watched life on Wisteria Lane play out in "real time," but to do so handcuffs the storytellers. Storylines are limited to being about "the next beat," the next betrayal, the next lie, the next illicit romance. Instead, Housewives' writers have altered their mission to one of "filling in the blanks." They basically gave themselves a five-year head start, and now can play catch-up.



How did Gaby come to be a mom to two kids? Is Carlos still in the picture? How did Bree and Orson arrive at a reconciliation? What officially launched Bree's Martha Stewart-like career? Will we get to meet the older versions of the Scavos' juvenile delinquent twins, or are they off to off-screen reform school? Why is Susan kissing Gale Harold? (And why is Susan the only one who got to keep her 2008 hairstyle?)

When the idea of the flash-forward first was whispered in my ear, it registered as a super-savvy move. Watch it on Sunday night confirmed it (though I was expecting at least one more head-scratcher). TV serials can be so meandering, desperately trying to segue from storyline A to storyline B. That's why this Desperate measure is sure to pay off.

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