Harriet Sansom Harris Harriet Sansom Harris

To help explain how the villainous Paul Young is a free man and back living on Wisteria Lane after being sent away for murder, ABC's Desperate Housewives has called upon Frasier alum Harriet Sansom Harris to appear again on screen as wicked Felicia Tilman. "We are definitely going to show Harriet on the show," a source confirms to me exclusively. "We will be using her to clarify how Paul got out of jail."

As I understand it, Harriet's reappearance will be brief compared to Mark Moses, whose Paul is back full time as the new renter of Mike and Susan's Wisteria Lane home. Felicia, a nurse of questionable character, arrived in Fariview back in 2005 to avenge Paul's murder of her sister, Martha Huber and has not been seen since 2006. Ultimately, Paul was convicted not of Mrs. Huber's murder, but of the murder of Felicia, who faked her own demise — going so far as to sever her own finger to plant as Exhibit #1. "Felicia set him up and then disappeared," reminds Mark. "She succeeded. But if he got out of prison, I think we can assume the reason is that he was no longer found guilty — because his victim isn't dead."  

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My guess is that Paul used his new wife, Beth, who first made contact with Paul while he was still incarcerated, to expose Felicia's demented scheme. But Beth may have gotten more than she bargained for. "I'm not sure she realized when she married him that he'd actually get out, because usually this type of woman marries convicts who are in prison for life," Mark says. "So life could now hold all sorts of surprises for them both."

And how might Paul's dead wife, Mary Alice Young, who lives on as the show's all-knowing narrator, react to her widower's remarriage? "I don't know how they react in the hereafter, but she'll probably be sort of wistful, not vengeful," Mark believes. "I think when you're up in the heavens, you view life in a very detached, humorous way." 

Mark's return could prove a fitting bookend to fans should the series see its original cast of Housewives (who have yet to sign contracts for an eighth season) depart Wisteria Lane at the end of this upcoming seventh year. "I had lunch with (series creator) Mark Cherry who gave me an idea of some of the fun stuff he wants Paul to do," says Mark. "It's going to be a great run and very interesting to see which of the housewives still think Paul's guilty and which won't. And just why is he coming back to Wisteria Lane?"

Yep, he's hatching a plot! Let's just hope no one loses a finger this time. 

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