Desperate Housewives Episode Recap: “City on Fire”

Desperate Housewives Episode Recap: “City on Fire”

by Mickey O’Connor, TV Guide

On this week’s Desperate Housewives, we finally get to Wisteria in Chains’, er, Blue Odyssey’s long-awaited gig at the Battle of the Bands at the White Horse. It seems that Wisteria in Chains are older than most of the competition by two or three decades. “Rock and roll is not just for young people,” says Mike. “Tonight we’re not a plumber and a masseur and a guy that makes pizzas, we’re a rock and roll band.” And he promises that “tonight will be a night to remember.” “And it was,” says Mary Alice with creepy omniscience. Yes, Blue Odyssey is on fire! No, really, the nightclub is on fire, and the emergency exit is locked! The cops are calling it arson. Who made it out alive? And who… didn’t? Read on to find out…

Virginia is back. Not only did “Grandma Screw Loose” get Carlos rehired, she put the Solises in their will — in fact, they’re the sole heirs of her entire fortune. Carlos, who is the more logical, ethical Solis (just barely), still seems to think that Virginia is just a lonely old lady who just wants some companionship and that they should play along… until Virginia’s high cholesterol finally gets the best of her and the ultimate payday arrives (like I said, just barely). Still, it’s odd that he hasn’t seen the crazy warning signs that Gaby has. Which isn’t to say that Gaby is taking the high road. “Virginia! Why can’t I stay mad at you?” she chirps when she finds out about their potential windfall.

Virginia invites herself along to the Battle of the Bands, which makes me realize: If it’s true that the aforementioned nightclub fire results in some fatalities, as rumors seem to indicate, there are an awful lot of possible victims. This gig is the hottest ticket in the town (no pun intended… much).

Nana Cuckoo has enrolled the girls in a private school an hour away, which appears to be the last last straw for Gaby. “I’m afraid I must insist,” Virginia says. Gaby tells her that nobody gets to insist when it comes to her kids. “A couple of years ago, you could have bought me with that big fortune of yours, but I’m a mom now,” she says. When Virginia threatens to remove the Solises from her will, Gaby replies, “That is your right as a crazy old rich lady.”

Preston tells Lynette that Anne is pregs, and that they’re planning to run away. (Boy, I bet that twin wishes his storyline would arrive soon.) Lynette confronts Anne, and finds out that Porter helped Anne at a time when she was having trouble with her abusive husband, Warren (guest star Peter Onorati). Their conversation is accidentally overheard by Warren — oops! Lynette leaves, but reconsiders and returns to the house, just in time to find a bloodied Anne getting kicked in the gut by Warren. “Just so you know, I hit back,” Lynette says, momentarily defusing the situation and becoming Anne’s unlikely savior.

When Porter arrives at the hospital and confronts Lynette about her confrontation with Anne and Warren, the lovesick teen freaks and dashes off, leaving Lynette to tail him as any protective mother should.

“Tonic water, bourbon, ketchup — this is your grocery list?” Roberta asks Karen. Heh. The McCluskey crime team decides to head the Boston to confront Dr. Heller about what he knows about Dave, which is a weird plot detour considering that we already know that Dr. Heller is on his way to Fairview.

The New York Dispatch has sent a hard-nosed reporter, Sandra Birch (guest star Rachael Harris), to profile Bree, who has ensured that both Katherine and Andrew won’t reveal any of the Hodge family’s myriad dirty little secrets. Sandra Birch is known for hatchet jobs, hilariously in particular one she administered to Betty White. Try as she does to keep her skeletons in the closet, though, Bree can’t prevent Sandra from learning that Orson has been to prison.

Sandra bends the ears of Lee and Bob to confirm some other rumors she heard around the neighborhood. “Were you really a boozehound?” Lee asks salaciously. “I wish I had known you then; we would have been such good friends.” And she’s going to the Battle of the Bands too (ominous music cue) to hear “Orson sing harmony with the guy he tried to kill.” Oh, what a tangled we weave, Wisteria ladies! “Was your first husband really into S&M hookers?” Lee asks, punctuating the brief, funny scene.

Bree decides to come clean with Sandra at the Battle of the Bands, begging her not to ruin her reputation. It seems that Sandra thinks that Bree’s cookbook is a “look-how-great-I-am” book that establishes standards that make most women feel inadequate. (No argument here.) But Bree has a counterpoint, saying instead that her book is a lifeline to all the desperate housewives out there. “I want them to know that there’s always a chance to get something right, even if it’s just a casserole,” she says. Surprisingly, this is an angle that Sandra can work with. See! Some of us mainstream media types have a heart! Problem solved!

Julie’s back, and she has brought her new boyfriend, Lloyd, who was also once her professor, which naturally puts Susan into a signature tizzy. It seems that Lloyd has been divorced three times, but the first one didn’t count. “Did someone throw rice at you?” Susan asks. (Yes.) “It counts.” They have a funny exchange in which they debate the relative sins of being divorced twice and three times, which is abruptly interrupted by the shocking news that Lloyd is planning to propose to Julie.

Susan, in her infinite wisdom, decides it’s her mission to head off the happy couple’s special moment at the pass. Jackson, in his actual wisdom, tells her to stay out of it. Does she listen? What do you think? She sabotages the proposal with some embarrassing mom dancing, but is pleased (?) to find out that Julie wasn’t going to accept the proposal anyway, since they’ve only been dating for three months and she doesn’t believe in marriage anyway. Susan tries to convince her that marriage is special, and in the process realizes how lucky she is to have Jackson. Aw.

Dr. Heller arrives in Fairview just in time for the Battle of the Bands, to which he was invited by… Edie Britt Williams, who helpfully hands him a flyer with Dave’s picture on it. At the White Horse, he corners “Dave,” who apparently changed his name (there goes that theory), and asks him why he moved back to Fairview, and if Edie knows the whole story. “Did you tell her your history? Did you tell her why it’s not healthy or safe for you to be here?” Dave says (lies?) yes. It’s interesting that as climactic as this scene was, we still don’t really have any new information about Dave’s supposed vendetta. The doc then notices something unusual about the band’s sign hanging in the club. “He’s in your band?” he asks, obviously flabbergasted. When Dave realizes that the doc is on to him, he promptly strangles him in a storage closet. Well, even before the fire starts, we have one corpse in the building. Yikes! A deranged Yellow Satan decides the easiest way to cover up his little murder oopsie is to set the whole damn place on fire, which is odd considering he’s about to go on stage in said damn place. Oh, and also, he locked Jackson in the men’s room for some reason. James Denton doesn’t have a bad singing voice. I think he’s in that Band From TV, right?

Then a lot happens. Porter slugs Warren. Warren slugs Porter. Warren locks the emergency exit for some reason. Then… fire! Virginia is shoved to the floor. Jackson escapes through the bathroom window. Gaby saves Virginia, even though Virginia refuses to agree to put the Solises back in the will. Mike goes to the men’s room to find Jackson, and ends up passed out on the floor! Aieee! Porter shows up at the club with a gun, but appears to reconsider whatever he was planning. Yellow Satan goes back into the club and rescues Mike (which confuses me), but as Mike is wheeled away on a stretcher, Dave leans in and whispers, “I’m not done with you yet.” Which makes me ask: If the goal is to kill Mike, why wouldn’t he have just left him in there? Unless that isn’t his goal…

Fire tally: Deaths: 6 (including Dr. Heller and… who else?); Injuries: Many, including Carlos and Mike, both of whom appear to be OK for now; Fake Heroes: 1 (Dave); and Arson Accusations: 1 (Warren on Porter — uh-oh!)

Carlos could regain his sight. Susan finds out that Mike is dating Katherine. Lynette and Tom are going to protect their son, even if he killed six people. (Except he totally didn’t!)

What did you think of the show’s first November sweeps offering? Did “the fire” live up to the hype? And what would you like to see happen next? And what exactly is Dave’s secret? Was he telling the truth to Edie about what happened to his brother in prison?

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