We're finally here, folks! It's the two-hour season finale of Desperate Housewives, which is technically two self-contained, one-hour episodes — so I've recapped them separately. Bree and Orson's divorce battle heats up fo' realz, with Karl on the scene stoking the fire with devilish glee. Gaby and Carlos inherit an unruly teenager. Lynette receives some life-changing news from the doctor, just as Tom's midlife crisis pops up again. Plus, Lily Tomlin is back to help the idiot cops connect the dots of Dave Williams' murderous plan for revenge, which finally kicks into gear. Its resolution is somewhat surprising, in that its aftermath prompts further revelations that set up interesting developments for Season 6. Read on to find out how it all went down...
"Everybody Says Don't"
ON DAVE'S TRAIL
The idiot police are finally catching on to Dave. They've certainly had plenty of time! They track down Jackson in immigration jail and ask him if he knows Dr. Heller, whose body was found in the nightclub's storage room. He doesn't, but he lets it slip that he saw Dave coming out of the storage room right before he was locked inside the men's room.
Roberta Simmons (Lily Tomlin), Karen McCluskey's sister, gets a call from Dr. Heller's secretary, who tells her that the good doctor is dead, and that he died in a nightclub fire in Fairview. Roberta and Karen put the pieces together, but without proof, there's little they can do. So... they're on the case!
"I didn't want to kill M.J. Delfino; I had to," says Dave to a videocamera. It's clear that he's recording this in advance, but hearing his plan out loud is kind of chilling. He's interrupted by none other than M.J. himself, who has popped over to show Dave his new tackle box. But since Jackson has just been deported, Susan's not in much of a mood to go fishing this weekend. Dave tries to force the issue, but Susan is all: Bug off, Yellow Satan!
Meanwhile, the idiot police head to Boston to tell Dr. Heller's secretary that he's dead. But she tells them that she has been receiving texts from him, some after the date of the nightclub fire. The police finally have a bright idea and send a bogus text message to Dr. Heller's phone to see if they can smoke out the killer.
It's at this point that the ghost of Dr. Heller shows up to tell Dave that the cops are on to him, "Whatever plan you had; it went to hell when you killed me," he says. He also helpfully tells him that the police can trace the cell phone, which Dave promptly smashes. The ghosts of Lila and Paige Dash are also there to encourage Dave to get on with it already (I'm with you, Dashes!) "Who cares if you're caught? We miss you, Dave. We should be together," Lila says. And then — surprise! — the ghost of Edie stops by to tell Dave to sack up and start making Mike and Susan suffer. Even her ghost is a ball-buster!
Dave labels his videotape of doom and gives it to Mike. He tells him it's a band rehearsal and that he shouldn't watch it until he gets back from his honeymoon. (Wait, seriously? That's his plan?) And off Dave, Susan and M.J. go. Mike, dope that he is, chucks the videotape in a drawer.
SUSAN, JACKSON, MIKE and KATHERINE
Jackson calls Susan from immigration jail to tell her that he's getting deported. He also says he thinks it was Mike who dropped a dime on him.
Susan goes to talk to Mike to find out if this is true, and Katherine confesses her deception with the text message. Katherine tells Susan that Mike proposed, and that she was worried that he might reconsider if he knew that Susan's marriage was one of convenience. "I can make him happy, Susan. He just needs to get over you. Please don't ruin this," she pleads, and I reflect momentarily on how much Katherine has changed. I miss the old, feisty Katherine who went toe to toe with Bree and would eat someone like Susan for lunch. This Katherine is for sure pitiful, so Susan doesn't blow her cover.
That doesn't mean that Susan is above sticking her nose in Mike and Katherine's business anyway. She asks Mike if he really loves Katherine. He says he does, and that's all Susan needs to hear. She wishes the couple well. Katherine and Mike getting married in Vegas this weekend, while Susan and M.J. are suddenly going fishing with Dave again!
LYNETTE and TOM
Preston wants to go to Europe instead of college, which sounds like a good idea to Tom, who is still all midlife-crisis-y. Lynette wants Tom to help her convince Preston to go to college. So Tom takes him on a tour of the campus. But Lynette's plan backfires, as when the pair returns from the school, Preston is still going to Europe, but Tom has decided to go back to college to study Chinese.
Bree tells Lynette that if she really thinks that Tom will eventually change his mind, then she should only express support for his Rodney Dangerfield-inspired plan. If she objects to it, he'll only dig in his heels. There's a phone call from the university telling Tom that the date of the entrance exam has been changed to the next morning. Lynette conveniently forgets to tell him about the switch, and instead takes him out to a Mexican restaurant and gets him sloshed on tequila. He gets the message when they get home, when he's already three sheets to the wind.
"I found a new level of suck that I never knew I had inside me," a hungover Tom says when he returns from the exam, at which he thinks he spelled him surname wrong and puked in the parking lot. Dejected, Tom tells Lynette that he wanted to learn Chinese because China is an emerging market and he thinks it would make him a more desirable job candidate. He's right, of course, and Lynette feels kind of lousy about her treachery. "I'm sorry I let you down," Tom says.
GABY and CARLOS
"Your father's side of the family is trash — any questions?" Gaby tells Juanita. They're heading to Carlos' aunt Connie's house for a family reunion, so Gaby is trying to figure out which fancy jewelry will make Connie the most jealous. As usual, great example, Gaby! At the party, Connie tells the family that she may only have a few months to live, and thus needs someone to take care of her beautiful granddaughter, Ana, whose dad walked out and whose mom is in jail. Though Gaby is dead-set against the idea, Carlos convinces her that they should share their good fortune — especially considering that Aunt Connie took in Carlos and his mother when he was a kid, saving them from the streets.
Carlos calls his Aunt Connie and says they're willing to take in Ana. When Connie puts down the phone, another relative asks Connie if she's going to tell Gaby and Carlos the truth about Ana. "They'll find out soon enough," she says.
BREE, ORSON and KARL
Bree and Karl sort through her valuables in the storage unit, and Orson catches them. Bree returns home to find that Orson has surreptitiously removed everything from storage and put it all back in the house. The jig is up, and Orson wants to know why Bree went to such lengths. She tells him she wants a divorce, and that she's sick of lying; he can have whatever he'd like. "All I want is out," she says.
Not so fast though! Since Bree rented the storage unit in her own name, and since Orson filed an insurance claim in both their names, technically Bree has committed insurance fraud — a fact of which Orson is well aware. So it's time for some good old-fashioned blackmail! "You would actually send your wife to prison?" Bree asks. "My wife, no. My ex-wife, sure." Orson replies, and this storyline has taken a somewhat more interesting turn.
"If It's Only in Your Head"
THREE YEARS EARLIER
We see David Dash at home with his wife Lila and daughter Paige. Dave has to work, so Lila and Paige go out for ice cream without them, and that's when they die in a car crash with Susan and Mike Delfino. This is all information we already have. What's the point in showing this again? I guess we're supposed to realize that Dave was a good guy, just a victim of his circumstances, but, you know, let's just get on with it, writers!
MIKE and KATHERINE
The happy lovebirds are leaving for Vegas to get married. Mike says that Dave gave off a weird vibe when he, Susan and M.J. left for the lake. Katherine tells him he's being paranoid and convinces him not to call. She also takes Dave's videotape with them, purportedly to record over to document their wedding.
But Mike does call Susan from the airport because he lurves her, and everything's fine. Katherine is kind of pissed that Mike called her, and asks him for, like, the 1,000th time if he's still hung up on Susan — which, let's face it, if you're asking that question on your wedding day, it's not a good sign. "You were in a crappy mood until you talked to your ex-wife," she notes, forgetting the obvious that M.J. is his child, and worrying about his welfare isn't exactly unreasonable. But they quickly get over it, and Katherine is off to buy them cappuccinos while they wait for their flight to board.
She also accidentally starts the video when she reaches in her purse. Mike hears Dave's voice — and his murderous message — and takes off, asking a woman nearby to tell Katherine that there was an emergency and that he had to go. So when Katherine returns, Mike is gone, and that helpful lady says only that Mike said that he had to go and that he's sorry, which of course makes it look like he has abandoned her. Poor Katherine, and poor Dana Delany — she got the shaft this season.
GABY and ANA
Ana (guest star Maiara Walsh, who is definitely shedding her Disney Channel roots with this role) arrives, and as you'd expect, she's kind of a tramp. Gaby lays down the law: Ana has to do her own laundry, sweep the front porch and clean the guest bathroom. Curfew is 10 on weekdays, 11 on weekends. But what's this? Anna has Versace and Vera Wang dresses that were given to her by her college-aged boyfriends -- plural. "They give you designer clothes and you give them..." Gaby asks. "...The pleasure of my company," Ana, clearly a pro, responds. OK, let's review. Isn't this, like, a huge red flag? What parent would let that revelation slide? While Ana concedes that "she doesn't have to do anything" with the boys to get the clothes, clearly this behavior is suspect — except perhaps to someone like Gaby, for whom Ana appears thus far to be a formidable match.
The next day, Gaby and Carlos head out and leave Ana and the dumplings at home to do their chores. Ana significantly sets her sights on the Scavo boys. This is interesting! When the Solises return, they find all three smitten Scavo boys running around the house, finishing up everyone's chores at Ana's behest. Juanita in particular notices the way Ana manipulates men and asks Ana to teach her how to make boys do stuff for her. "Go to your room, and don't come out until you're 18!" Gaby barks.
Gaby confronts Ana and tells her that her behavior is not the example she wants to set for her girls, which makes the audience laugh heartily. Ana tells Gaby that she's jealous because she isn't young anymore, which surely comes a little too close to the truth. "You make one more statement like that and I am throwing your ass out on the street," Gaby tells her.
When Carlos comes home, Ana fake-cries and tells Carlos that Gaby is going to throw her out. As the strains of ELO's "Evil Woman" start running through my head, I find myself excited at the prospect of seeing how this match-up plays itself out next season.
BREE, ORSON and KARL
Bree tells Karl that Orson knows about her divorce plans, and about Orson's subsequent blackmail plans. "The man put chives in my Parisian salad; he should be in a straitjacket," Bree fumes. Karl tells Bree he'll think of something — and he does!
He hires some goon who beats up Orson and leaves him with this message: Let go. Bree claims to have nothing to do with it, and Orson believes (or pretends to believe) her, so... he'll stay!
Bree confronts Karl about hiring someone to threaten Orson, about how she's sinking "deeper and deeper into your moral cesspool." Karl tells her that she loves every minute of it, and then confesses that he thinks that Bree is the most fascinating woman that he's ever met. This scene slowly enters screwball-comedy territory again, as Bree announces: "Understand this: I detest you," which, like last week when Bree called Karl "repugnant," is a cue for the protagonists to suck face. Only this time they actually do! Though I knew about this plot development weeks ago, it's still exciting, and I can't wait to see where Season 6 takes these two.
LYNETTE and TOM
Lynette is out of breath standing at the mirror, which is TV shorthand for "the cancer is back." At the same time, Tom finds out that he got into college, scoring in the top 5 percent of the exam! Preston helpfully tells his dad that he knows how to say "Take me to a strip club" in Mandarin. Porter says that Tom isn't allowed to talk to him on campus. Parker and Penny both say something useless, and I hope these kids get decent storylines next season.
Lynette heads to the doctor, but the news is "good": Lynette is pregnant! "Are you sure it's not cancer?" she cracks. She tells Tom, who is still on his college high. "You can't — we're old!" Tom protests. But oh yes, she is. But there's more! "Please tell me you're about to recite the Girl Scout oath," Tom asks, when Lynette raises two fingers to indicate that she's having twins... again! Oy!
KAREN and ROBERTA
In an effort to get some solid proof to back up their suspicions, Karen and Roberts use Edie's spare key to break into Dave's house. Karen justifies it by saying that she "only used [the key] when I was out of milk or bread — or cash." Roberta seems more interested in Dave's extensive liquor cabinet and his collection of prescription meds (but who's David Dash? they ask). Just as they're ready to focus on the job at hand, the idiot cops show up and catch them breaking and entering.
At the precinct, Karen warns her sister: "Don't piss him off; you can't take a club to the head like you used to." Though the rumor of a Karen-Roberta spin-off turned out to be totally unfounded, it's not the worst idea in the world, right? I mean, without the ladies, the idiot police might have never connected the dots between Dr. Heller and Jackson and Dave Williams and David Dash and Mike and Susan Delfino. But they finally do, and then it's off to find David Dash before it's too late!
DAVE, SUSAN and M.J.
Meanwhile, Susan, Dave and M.J. are heading up to the lake. Dave tells Susan that he had a little girl who died. Susan says she had no idea and expresses her condolences.
Mike calls Susan and tells her that Dave Williams is actually David Dash, and though Susan sufficiently hides her shock so Dave doesn't know they're on to him, Mike says he's a half-hour from the lake, which, if I were a betting man, I would say isn't Dave's intended destination after all.
Susan slips M.J. a juice box so he'll have to pee and they'll have to stop somewhere, giving them a chance to escape. They do stop, but just by the side of the road in a wooded area. It's a this point that the idiot cops call Dave and tell him that they're on to him, which isn't exactly crack detective work. Why not just track his cell-phone signal and call the local authorities to set up a roadblock? But oh well.
Susan tries to knock him out while he's on the phone, but while she's trying to ferret the keys from his pocket, he comes to. Susan and M.J. run away and Susan tells M.J. to hide, and not come out until she tells him to. Dave pulls a gun on Susan, and tells her to call M.J. She does, but she tells him not to come out. He pistol-whips her, and in short order finds M.J. crouched behind a tombstone in the cemetery that has suddenly materialized by the roadside. "Mommy, wake up, I get to drive the boat," M.J. chirps from Dave's arms.
They get back in the car and Susan puts headphones on M.J. so he can't hear her conversation with Dave, who still has a gun pointed at her. Susan tries to apologize, but it's no use. Dave is on a roll, and, you know, let's not interrupt him this time; it's been long enough.
So, of course, Mike calls, and Dave's plan changes yet again. "How does it feel to know that you can't save the people that you love?" Dave tells Mike. Nevertheless, Mike convinces Dave to swap Mike for Susan and M.J. Or at least that's what he wants Mike to believe. He asks him to meet them on Canterbury Road, which is conveniently the site of Mike and Susan's accident with poor Lila and Paige Dash.
The new plan: Dave is going to re-enact the fateful accident, with Mike in one car and Dave and M.J. in the other. Once there, Dave ties Susan to a pole, so she can watch everyone die. We see Dave take M.J.'s seatbelt off and we fear that we're about to witness something really awful. Dave sees the ghost of Paige sitting in M.J.'s place, but he shakes it off.
Just as Mike is speeding around the corner, Susan gets her hands free and runs into the street to warn him. But it's no use. The two cars collide, and Susan runs toward Dave's car to save M.J. But! He's not in the car; he's toddling down the side of the road. Dave freed him at the last minute. (Huh?) Mike stumbles from the car, basically unharmed. The trio is reunited, and Mike and Susan kiss.
Dave sits motionless behind the wheel. The camera moves into close-up on one of his eyes and he flashes back to the same moment when he told his wife and daughter to go out for ice cream, only this time he tells them not to go, and offers to make them s'mores instead. "I always have time for my girls," he says, and when the camera pulls back out of the eye close-up, we see that Dave has been institutionalized at a mental hospital in Boston.
TWO MONTHS LATER
We're at a wedding, and the Scavos, Solises, Orson, Bree and Karl are all in attendance. It's revealed that Mike is the groom, but the bride's identity is concealed by a giant veil. "For a moment, the groom wondered if he was doing the right thing," Mary Alice's voiceover says. The priest tells Mike he may kiss the bride, and as he reaches for the veil, Season 5 fades to black.
So what did you think of Desperate Housewives' season finale? Was the conclusion of Dave's never-ending plan satisfying for you? Are you as excited as I am about the prospect of an Orson-Bree-Karl love triangle? Has Gaby met her match in the scheming Ana? Do the Scavos really need two more mouths to feed? And who do you think Mike has married? I have it on good authority that Dana Delany will most definitely be back next season, but does that mean that she's the bride?
Catch up with full episodes of Desperate Housewives in our Online Video Guide
Follow TVGuide.com on Twitter for more breaking news and scoop