In the aftermath of Edie's shocking (Get it? Get it?!) death, the ladies of Wisteria Lane take a road trip to break the unfortunate news to her absent son, Travers. Along the way, each Housewife flashes back to a moment when Edie revealed herself to be a true friend, a complicated woman with her own tragedies, insecurities and vulnerabilities. In the end, they scatter Edie's ashes with few words but much sentiment.
Remember a few weeks back on Desperate Housewives when the ladies reminisced about dearly departed handyman Eli? Well, Sunday's episode is exactly like that, which is an interesting (read: bad) choice by the writers. The only difference is that whereas the ladies' fond remembrances of the soulful, deified Eli brought a new depth of understanding to the history of these desperate housewives, their memories of the sorta-dearly departed Edie Britt are kind of pat, tread familiar territory and lack emotional punch. But in the context of the rumblings that Nicollette Sheridan's departure from the show was also maybe not so dear, perhaps this episode is more tonally correct than we realize.
While Mary Alice is away at the spa for wandering spirits this week, new arrival Edie takes over the show's ghostly voiceover. She recounts her final minutes after the car crash, as her neighbors gathered around as Edie took her last breath. "The good news," she reports, "I died just as I lived... as the complete and utter center of attention." Aw?
Dave, who is apparently taking a break from murderous rampaging to mourn this week, asks the ladies to deliver Edie's ashes to her son, Travers. It's unclear why he wouldn't have been told by now, but never mind. Susan, Bree, Gaby, Lynette and Mrs. McCluskey get in the car for the four-hour drive to... where exactly? Boston? Is this some clue as to where the mythical Fairview is actually located? Because a four-hour radius around Boston would put it in New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, New York, New Jersey or Connecticut, no? Interesting.
"Why don't we talk about Edie?" suggests Susan, setting up the not-so-original structure of the episode. "Why don't you start with the time that she tried to steal your comatose boyfriend?" says Lynette, helpfully. But no, Susan, who is hopelessly moved by Edie's death, thinks they should remember Edie in a good light. "Well, after that five minutes, then what?" snarks Gaby.
Well, then this. (Sigh.)
Susan recalls the first time they met, when Edie caught Susan eating a donut out of the garbage, and thought she was homeless. Heh. They become fast friends, on a diet of margaritas and gossip ("That's a robot, right?" she asks of a muffin-basket-bearing Bree), and they soon start running together. On one of those runs, they spy their neighbors Helen and Ed. Susan decides not to introduce Edie to them because Helen is a chatterbox and kind of annoying.
But it's OK: Edie is screwing Ed, so they've met. Susan mounts a moral high-horse, accusing Edie of adultery. "Ed is committing adultery; I'm just getting laid," she says rightly. But Susan isn't buying it. "Hi, I'm the whore that lives down the street; can I borrow a cup of condoms?" Edie asks when she stops by a few days later, in an attempt at reconciliation. She also tells Susan she saw Karl with another woman, which — hello, writers! — is exactly what Eli told her. Susan doesn't believe her, of course, but three weeks later there's a bra in Karl's glove compartment. So Edie was right.
"You remember when you took turns driving me to chemo?" Lynette asks. "Well, none of you did it like Edie." We flash back to Katherine taking care of Lynette, making her lunch, fluffing her pillows and putting on her socks. Edie isn't buying Lynette's Camille routine, so she slaps a coat on her, and drags her to... a biker bar. "Edie!" the rogue's gallery shouts heartily when she enters, all Norm-like.
Lynette is uncomfortable since she has to be at chemo in a half-hour, but Edie is resolute. "You need to start fighting this thing," she demands. "You are the strongest person I know; you are even stronger than me, and that's saying something." It's a nice little speech, and it works. Lynette does a tequila shot and lets a dramatic tear run down her cheek. "Screw cancer; you are Lynette Scavo," Edie says. And Edie was right.
"Anyone know how to change a flat?" Susan asks. All heads turn toward Mrs. McCluskey.
While Karen maneuvers the jack, Bree reports that they are near where Edie lived after she left Wisteria Lane. Bree learned this the first time she went to visit Orson in jail, oddly. It seems that Edie visited Orson weekly while he was in the slammer. Naturally, Edie sharing private time with a married man, even an incarcerated one, is cause for alarm, so Bree bribes the prison guard to get Edie's address, and goes to see her to get to the bottom of things.
Edie balks at Bree's insinuation that something fishy is going on. Instead, she calls her a "red-headed ice cube" for not visiting Orson is jail. Bree claims a busy schedule, but then admits that thinks the jail is disgusting, "those men in cages like animals." Edie points out that Orson went to jail for her, and that he deserves to be treated better. And Edie is right.
One night after Carlos and Gaby got divorced, Edie took her out to a nightclub. "I want to get to the club while this bikini wax is still fresh," Edie says. Edie claims that she and Gaby are an unstoppable team, the hottest chicks on Wisteria Lane. Gaby says that there are lots of beautiful women in the neighborhood, and Edie systematically disses each one of them, most notably calling Lynette "a baby factory."
At the bar, after a man buys Gaby — and not Edie — a drink, Edie gets competitive. She boasts about having larger breasts, the veracity of which Gaby questions. "When you jump up and down, the room moves more than your boobs," Gaby tells her. Thus the gauntlet is thrown. The challenge: Whoever gets the most swizzle sticks in an hour, wins. Hooray! It's a slut-off!
A montage reveals that both Gaby and Edie should be laying face-down in a pool of their own sick if they actually drank that many drinks within an hour. In the end, Gaby gets twice as many swizzle sticks — bonus: No. 17 has a yacht and big feet! — which leads Edie to ditch her at the nightclub. They catch up on the Lane, where Edie is mourning her lost youth. She also tells Gaby that ever since she was a child, there was a voice in her head that told her that she was going to die before she turned 50. Okay... Edie (or, at least, the voice in Edie's head) was right.
Well, I guess we'll never know where Fairview is, because the ladies were headed to Travers' boarding school, which may or may not be in the Boston area. Who knows? Anyhow, at Becher Academy's Van Meter Hall, where the dorm rooms are nicer than the suites at the Mandarin, the ladies tell Travers that his mother has died. They explain the big gaping plot hole in the episode — namely, that he wasn't told sooner — by saying that his dad was out of the country and Dave had never met him, which is why the ladies were drafted for the gig. For the most part, Travers seems nonplussed, and then a little angry, since, he claims, his mother never cared about him.
Which leads us to Mrs. McCluskey's flashback. It was the anniversary of her son's death, and Edie found her drinking alone in her bathrobe. "And you didn't call me?" Edie asks.
Edie sympathizes with Karen, since she also lost a kid when she gave her ex-husband full custody of Travers. Karen logically bristles at this comparison, since Edie's loss was her choice. But maybe it's not that simple. "I wanted to protect him... from me," she says. So she gave him away so he could grow up normal.
Karen points out that it's kind of a boneheaded decision that will probably lead to Travers hating her. "There's nothing you could say that could make me think less about myself," Edie says poignantly. "I love him enough to let him hate me." And then they drink together! Edie was right? Sort of.
"I'm not defending everything she did, but you have to know she loved you," Karen tells Travers. He appreciates story time, and is probably thanking his lucky stars he wasn't in that car for four hours, but he has to go to class. He thanks them all for coming. They give him the ashes, but — predictably — he tells them to take them. "I bet you can think of the perfect place," he exposits. Under her bed? At the biker bar? Condomania?
Back on the Lane on a windy night, Karen settles in with a drink with Edie's ashes. The door blows open, and a light bulb goes off in McCluskey's head that went off in our heads at the end of last week's episode. Edie's ashes should be scattered on Wisteria Lane! The next day, each lady has a mini-urn of Edie, and they agree to each say one word that sums up Edie. Sexy, says Gaby. Perceptive, says Bree. Strong, says Lynette. Beautiful, says Karen. But Susan, ever the pill, needs four words: one-of-a-kind.
"That is how Wisteria Lane became my final resting place," Edie says in voiceover, as an Edie-based duststorm creepily overtakes the neighborhood. She says at that moment she let go of it all — the white picket fences, cars in driveways, coffee cups and vacuum cleaners, all those things that seem so ordinary, but were all part of a life that was one-of-a-kind. "Oh, how I lived!" she says.
But oh, how she died. This was kind of a lousy send-off, don't you think? I expected something with a little more pizzazz, something more Edie: say, a clothing-optional car wash, an orgy, a night at the Playboy mansion sponsored by Skyy vodka. But no, instead, they gave us four hours of lukewarm-flashback-induced carsickness.
So, you know, Edie is dead; long live Edie!
What did you think of "Look Into Their Eyes and You See What They Know"? Was it a suitable send-off for Edie? Too repetitive of the Eli tribute episode? And will you miss Edie?
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