How are monsters created? That's the question that the ghostly Mary Alice Young asks from beyond the grave on Sunday's Desperate Housewives. As it turns out in flashback, she is perhaps the Housewife who first noticed that things were not quite right with Eddie Orlofsky, who was raised by his drunk single mom Barbara (guest star Diane Farr, who you might recognize from her stints on Californication, Numb3rs and Rescue Me). After last week, we know that he's the Fairview Strangler, but this week we see how five unwitting Housewives tried to help him through the years — and failed. It's a time-honored (read: overused) narrative device around these parts, a cheat to explain why it's OK that an extremely minor character is suddenly the central figure of one of this season's mysteries. How are monsters created? Apparently they get to know the ladies of Wisteria Lane. Let's see what they could have done differently.
Mary Alice meets Eddie when he's a sullen 4-year-old, playing alone on his front lawn when his father charges out of the house and leaves his mother. Mary Alice brings Barbara macaroni and cheese and reassures her in the wake of her abandonment. "He's going to be a heartbreaker one day," Mary Alice says of the cute little boy. Not soon after, Mary Alice brings Eddie a teddy bear and finds that Barbara left him home alone to go trolling in a bar. Mary Alice finds her and brings her home, and again tries to reassure her. But after she leaves, Barabara turns to Eddie and says drily, "It's not your fault you ruined my life." Ouch. Thanks a lot, Mary Alice!
Gaby meets Eddie at 9 the day the Solises moved into the neighborhood. He's been playing in their empty house since the previous owners moved out. At first, Gaby is alarmed by his presence ("I don't really do the kid thing," she reports.), but bratty Gaby is bored and is resisting making friends since her kindly neighbors who have come by with welcome baskets kind of freak her out. (Of Bree she says: "I like my robots to be more lifelike." Heh.) So she recruits Eddie to be her chief box-unpacker and adoring sidekick. It's a demented arrangement, but makes sense given Gaby's planet-sized ego.
All goes well until Carlos comes home at lunchtime one day for a nooner. Eddie catches them naked in the tub, and they yell at him to get out. Carlos is naturally a little taken aback by Gaby's new friendship (and her future actions with young boys warrant his reaction). Gaby tries to let Eddie down easy, saying they should both make friends their own age. Eddie doesn't like this idea, so he goes and shoots an innocent widdle birdie in his backyard, and a serial killer is born. Thanks a lot, Gaby!
Bree hires an adolescent Eddie to paint the house. She uses words like woo to give him relationship advice best suited for a 1930s Gatsby type rather than a millennial high school kid, but whatever, her heart was in the right place. He takes her advice and attempts to woo a girl he likes at school. But ruh-roh, it's Danielle van de Kamp, a more terrifying object of affection I can't imagine. Naturally, she rebuffs him, and Bree has to clean up the mess without hurting fragile Eddie's feelings.
Bree goes to see Barbara, who is now in full-on wild eyed alcoholic mode. (I bet Diane Farr had a ball doing this role -- her abusive alcoholic mom is kind of hilarious. Is that wrong?) "You're not the woman who's having sex with the gardener, are you?" she asks Bree. Heh. Since this is television, Barbara's reaction to finding out that her baby boy has had his heart crushed is to mock him. "Don't laugh at me," he foreshadows. Ah, subtlety, whither sweet subtlety?
When a mortified Eddie returns to work on Bree's house, she tries to comfort him further, now that she fully understands how clichéd his mother's emotional abuse is. His acne makeup in this scene is really distracting; it looks like he fell asleep on a table covered with cinnamon hearts. "There are girls out there who will say yes to you — you just have to go out there and find them," Bree advises.
So he hires a hooker, who he hilariously tries to woo with a bouquet of flowers as she leads him into "her" alley/workspace. His sweet gesture makes the skanky slattern positively guffaw. "Please don't laugh at me," he warns. And then he strangles her. Thanks a lot, Bree!
Susan meets Eddie at the coffeehouse, just after she has divorced Mike, who is now dating Katherine. It seems that young Master Eddie is a budding hyphenate: artist-serial killer. Susan tells him that he has huge potential, so she tutors him. She even signs him up for a two-week seminar at the Art Institute, which he enjoys immensely. He's all smiles, until he finds out that Susan is remarrying Mike. He says she should marry him instead; he has saved some money. It's so ludicrous an idea that Susan laughs, thinking he's making a joke. Uh-oh — don't laugh at him, Susan. Later that evening, he throttles Julie, thinking that she's her mother. Thanks a lot, Susan!
Eddie is playing charades with the Scavos when Barbara shows up, thinking that Eddie has hidden her booze. She makes a scene and, despite Lynette's protestations, drags him home. The next day, while Eddie is at the Scavos fixing their car (is there anything he can't do?), Barbara finds a scrapbook under his mattress of newspaper clippings that document all the victims of the Fairview Strangler. When he comes home, she confronts him and he confesses to the murders. "I didn't raise you to be like this," she says, hilariously. "Didn't you?" he replies. And then he kills her.
At this inopportune moment, Lynette stops by and asks him to move in. She sees Barbara's hand peeking out from behind the sofa and assumes that she has passed out. "She's dead-drunk," Lynette reports, just to put a finer point on things. He accepts Lynette's boneheaded offer and now there's a serial killer living on Wisteria Lane. Thanks a lot, Lynette!
"Monsters are created by other monsters," Mary Alice says, and she's probably referring to Barbara's Mommie Dearest routine, but she wasn't the only one to display monstrous lapses in judgment when it comes to dealing with Eddie Orlofsky. Unfortunately, I think Lynette's the one who's going to have to pay for it.
What did you think of "Epiphany"? Are you excited to see how it all plays out?
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How are monsters created? That's the question that the ghostly Mary Alice Young asks from beyond the grave on Sunday's Desperate Housewives. As it turns out in flashback, she is perhaps the Housewife who first noticed that things were not quite right with Eddie Orlofsky, who was raised by his drunk single mom Barbara (guest star Diane Farr, who you might recognize from her stints on Californication, Numb3rs and Rescue Me). After last week, we know that he's the Fairview Strangler, but this week we see how five unwitting Housewives tried to help him through the years — and failed.