On Sunday's episode of Desperate Housewives, Robin Gallagher (Julie Benz) is the new stripper on the block, and she's making quite a first impression. At a party to celebrate Katherine's return to Wisteria Lane (that was quick!), the Desperate Husbands ogle and delight at learning Robin's former chosen career path. The Housewives are collectively peeved that Susan brought such an element to their precious cul-de-sac, but little do they know that strippers are magical! Over the course of the hour, each of the Housewives learns to appreciate Robin's special talents. "She can't bring any more crazy to this street than I did," Katherine says. Wanna make a bet?
At Casa Scavo, Parker's friends pile into the house and run upstairs to his bedroom. They're spying on Robin with binoculars while she showers, which sends a high-and-mighty Lynette over to Susan's house to confront the strident strumpet. But Robin's got a surprise for Lynette: Little Parker offered Robin money to have sex with him!
Needless to say, Lynette and Tom need to have a serious talk with Parker. Parker says he needs to have sex, since he's the only one of his 16-year-old friends who hasn't. Tom is a model dad, telling his son that one day, when he's emotionally ready, he'll have all the sex he wants — after marriage, of course. Lynette is pleased. "Do you think he bought it?" Tom asks, explaining that guys always pay for sex in some way — dinner, flowers, or antique rings, like the one Tom bought Lynette just that very morning for their anniversary. Lynette is incensed.
Later in bed, Lynette withholds sex until she makes Tom realize that she has sex with him not because of the things he buys her, but by the things he does to show that he cares. Aw, problem solved!
But Tom's attitude gives her pause, so she apologizes to Robin for being so closed-minded. Robin accepts, and asks that she and Tom close the blinds when they do it. Then she winks, and I half-expect that little sparkly special effect to glint off her teeth it's so cutesy.
Bree and Orson are beginning the long, slow thaw of their marriage. Things appear civil (which is significant considering how little time has elapsed since Karl's death), but clearly the passion is gone.
Robin shows up at Bree's test kitchen; she wants to make Susan and Mike a cake for helping her. Bree tells her she'll help her. "You rock, Bree," she exclaims. "I rock," Bree replies drolly. Their girl talk leads to Bree revealing her intimacy troubles with Orson. Anecdotally, Robin suggests that Orson's wheelchair hasn't snuffed out his passion.
That night, Bree arrives at home to find Orson looking all Rear Window-y listening to Tchaikovsky, which he says is "sensual." Okaaay... This inspires Bree to give Orson a classical music-scored lap dance. To say it's awkward is an understatement, even before she gets an earring caught on her sweater, Orson runs over her foot with his wheelchair and she falls to the floor. But it was worth it, because the couple has an open conversation about their intimacy issues for the first time since Orson's accident. I've always been a fan of this pairing, so I'm glad to see them take baby steps back toward being the old Bree and Orson we all knew and loved.
After the last episode's doorstep eavesdropping, Gaby and Carlos are suspicious of the Bolens, so they don't want Ana dating Danny. Gaby consults the Wisteria Lane Parenting Handbook and gets Ana modeling representation in New York. There's a catch: She has to leave right away, something Ana doesn't want to do since she and Danny have plans to move to New York together after graduation.
Gaby tells Susan and Robin her plight. Robin tells them that she gave up her ballerina dreams for a boy, and subsequently her life fell apart. Gaby wants her to tell Ana this, to disabuse her of her notion of waiting for Danny. "Nothing sells pathetic like stripper tears," she says. It works! Ana breaks up with Danny and wings off to New York. But when Robin finds out that Gaby used her, Robin tells Danny what happened. Next scene is Danny hopping in a taxi... Guess who else is in New York? The Bolens' old life! Stay tuned!
Mike's back is hurting since he's a plumber, and Robin helps him readjust it. (Not a euphemism — she actually readjusts it. What can't she do?) The next day, Susan comes home to find a scantily clad Robin walking on Mike's back, just like the monks do or whatever, accompanied by all kinds of porny talk about being "stiff" and "working it out." It's enough to drive a crazy person like Susan crazier.
The next day, Mike pulls out his back again (I think he needs one of those belts like the guys at Home Depot). Susan, playing the jealous wife, wants to help him fix it instead of Robin. Quick cut to... Mike in the hospital weating a neck brace! Robin shows up with M.J., dressed like she's going to a Colbyco board meeting with Alexis Carrington. Susan freaks out and tells Robin her behavior is inappropriate. "You were the only one who never treated me like [a stripper... until now," Robin says, and starts crying. Susan apologizes, and Robin winks. She's a winker.
Robin drops off Katherine's "while you were in the loony bin" mail, and the two have an awkward chat. Katherine acknowledges her "little vacation at Fairview Behavioral," and admits that it's tough being out in public again. Robin, really inappropriately, asks if she can move in since things are getting crowded over at the Delfinos. "No one judges the woman from the loony bin when there's a stripper next to her," she says, and it seals the deal.
Katherine tells Robin about her rough time at the mental hospital and Robin, in turn, shares a bit of her own checkered past, including her alcoholic, abusive mother and adulterous father. Aw, bonding!
More bonding: They go out for drinks. Two guys ask them to join them, Katherine wants to go, so they do. The guys are clearly only interested in Robin, despite her best effort to sell them on Katherine. This peeves Katherine, so she spills Robin's big secret, that she used to be a stripper. Her deception backfires when the guys are even more intrigued. They love strippers: "They're like "angels of mercy... that show their boobs," one says. It's time for a quick exit, so Robin kisses Katherine, and says something that indicates the ladies are a couple.
Back at Mayfair Manor, Katherine says she thinks it's time she gives up on men. This interests Robin, as she says she has explored other options. Yes, she's a lesbian. Katherine says it doesn't bother her, but it clearly has her thinking — quite the opposite, in fact.
Robin runs in to Mrs. McCluskey, who offers Robin her moral support by way of telling her that she was once in "the sex trade," as she puts it. It seems that Karen used to model women's foundation garments for Sears Roebuck, which put her through college. Heh. Robin says people are really seeing her for the first time in her life. Mary Alice's haunting voiceover ticks off how Robin helped all the Housewives, emphasizing last that Katherine has noticed Robin's beauty, but in a much different way that the Desperate Husbands did at the beginning of the hour.
What did you think of "Lovely"? Should every block have a magical stripper on it? Will we soon be heading to New York to follow the Ballad of Ana and Danny? Do you miss the old Bree and Orson? Will Katherine go gay? Weigh in in the comments section below.
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