James Denton James Denton

For most ex-cons, becoming an accessory to murder wouldn't be something to celebrate. But for Mike Delfino (James Denton) on Desperate Housewives, learning that Susan had helped Carlos cover up killing Gaby's stepfather was, oddly, a huge sigh of relief.

"It was good news for him. Obviously, it's a little bit disturbing because of what happened, but I think the worst news for him would have been the affair he was convinced Susan and Carlos were having," Denton tells TVGuide.com. "I think he was more relieved than anything."

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Yes, try as she might, the always subtle Susan (who are we kidding?) ended up spilling the beans to Mike at the end of last week's episode. Although his previous life behind bars (for manslaughter and dealing drugs) means the stakes are high should the murder — and his knowledge of it — be uncovered, Mike's time on the wrong side of the law will help his wife battle her own demons. "He feels like he knows how to deal with it. So there will be a little bit of drama, as far as how Susan thinks they should handle it, and Mike thinks they should handle it because he's been there before," Denton says. "Then it's just a matter of how they handle the stress of it, and him helping her deal with having this baggage. Susan's tendency is to talk about it a lot — which would be the worst thing she could do — or to not deal with it at all, so he has to help her."

After Susan (Teri Hatcher) began going to great lengths to appease her nagging guilt by seeking out punishments — i.e. handcuffing herself for forgetting to pay for soda and ripping up a picture of a police officer's newborn baby — Susan needs all the help she can get. "That's certainly one of their sources of conflict, is how she has to keep a low profile and basically not act crazy about it and not draw a lot of attention to it," he says. "Some of their conflict is him trying to keep her in check with it."

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Now that he knows the truth, Mike will not only have to deal with Susan, but also Carlos (Ricardo Antonio Chavira). After all, Susan would never have been involved in the cover-up had it not been for him. "The best stuff for me comes with Ricardo. Carlos and Mike have been friends for a long time so they have to deal with this," Denton says. "Ricardo's a really good actor, and we have a really close relationship so it's fun for us to get to work together and do that kind of stuff. I think the audience will appreciate that guys have to work this stuff out. We didn't just ignore that they have a big history."

On-screen, Mike's new knowledge may lead to some problems with Susan and with Carlos, but off-screen, Denton is reveling in the chance to revisit his character's bad boy side that was retired long ago in favor of his role as doting husband and father. "The character was so much more interesting the first couple of years," he says. "It's fun to remind people that this guy, at one point, was a really mysterious, really interesting character that you couldn't quite put your finger on. So in that respect, Susan bringing Mike into it is fun for me."

"He's a little more dangerous, a little darker."

Desperate Housewives airs Sunday at 9/8c on ABC.

Are you happy to welcome Dangerous Mike back?