The Husband:

So what’s going on in the D-House? (No, not the Dollhouse, although that would make more sense. I mean Desperate Housewives, and now I’ve wasted the amount of time I thought I would save in abbreviating the show’s title by explaining it here. It’s early for me, people!)

Gaby: So, what has Gaby learned over the course of this season, about motherhood, about responsibility, about her love for her husband. Apparently nothing, because now she’s just plain old money-grubbing Gaby from pre-flash-forward, although her reasons have slightly changed. Hers and Carlos’ excitement over his bonus at his new job is tempered when they have dinner with his boss and find that the entire company is doing away with bonuses this year due to the poor economic climate, which puts them in a bind. (It would, of course, be less of a bind had Gaby not started buying ridiculously expensive things again, but whatever.) Later that day, Gaby sees Carlos’ boss traipsing around with another woman, and uses this info to blackmail the boss into granting Carlos an even bigger raise than he would have received before the bad economic news. So Gaby is defined by money again, the kids are nowhere to be seen, and Carlos is once again whipped. What season are we in again?

Bree: When Orson finds out that stepson Andrew is making more money in Bree’s catering industry than he is, he tricks her into revealing her bank account password (it’s one of her favorite pets growing up, Munchie) and looking into her finances. Yep. That’s actually it. The Bree storylines have really become a snooze in the past few weeks, and I’m sad to say that I actually miss the bitchy, conniving Bree, because this new battle-with-Orson crap is getting old.

Susan: Susan continues her growing hatred of Katherine and her unintentional mothering of M.J. when, now that Susan is working at M.J.’s prestigious grade school, she finds that Mike has had to work so much that he is having Katherine watch M.J. and M.J. is really liking all the gourmet food and attention from Ms. Mayfair. (Goddamn, that’s a lot of times to type M.J.) M.J. likes Katherine so much, in fact, that when Susan says she can’t make M.J. a panini, he leaves the house without permission and gets his noms from Katherine. This is made even worse when Susan discovers that Mike is now finally moving in with Katherine, which is just going to confuse M.J. more. I was fine with Jackson leaving the show (sorry about your motorcycle accident, Gale Harold), but I’m not really digging Susan’s storylines over the last few episodes. Where’s that spunky chick I know and half-way love?

Lynette: Poor economic climate strikes the Scavos when they find that their pizzeria is overstaffed and underpatronized, so, mixed with their steep legal bills for Porter’s antics with the Schillings, Tom decides to fire his staff and replace them with his own family, child labor laws notwithstanding. It’s a tough start, especially when Porter refuses to serve some of his high school peers in fear of being mocked at school, but Tom for once puts down the hammer, throws Porter against the wall and declares that this pizzeria, ever since he and Lynette quit their jobs in advertising, makes or breaks the family. It’s a strange little piece of story, and I’m sure many viewers may turn against Tom for this sudden half-assed violence, but Porter had it coming, and Tom needed to step outside his mid-life crisis and really focus on keeping his family safe and together.

So this is definitely a transitional episode, and it all seems to be leading up to Creepy Dave’s devious plan that should go down in the next couple episodes, but that’s also no excuse for some dilly-dallying nonsense storylines. There’s nothing wrong with an expositional episode, but they still have to be compelling, and if I’m to get on 24’s case when they forget to tell a good story but still move the many plots forward ever so slightly, I’m definitely going to do it to a show that can’t rely on awesome action sequences and Kiefer Sutherland’s soft-to-loud line readings.

I wish I could say that Brothers & Sisters, once again, came on at 10 p.m. and completely schooled DH in the ways of proper storytelling and valid emotional catharses, but this week everything seemed kind of…wonky. Rebecca visits New York and reconnects with her father (Ken Olin) in a nice way, and in doing so she becomes a stronger woman, but other than that the rest of the stories just kind of moseyed along with nary a surprise.

Yes, Kitty’s writing career keeps getting in Robert’s way, especially now that he is running for governor, but this week was more of the same, as Robert becomes unsettled by an interview piece about her where she reveals some uncouth private details about their marriage, and tries to have Kevin kill the piece. Kevin doesn’t want to, but Robert, by episode’s end, feigns that he will love Kitty no matter what and will accept whatever she chooses to do with the interview piece, while quietly lying to her and killing the piece himself. It’s sad that their marriage has dissolved in the last several episodes, so much so that I think we’re being cheated. They were a happy couple, and all of the things that stand in their way seem remarkably convoluted. I get the need for conflict, especially when their surrogate mother is about to give birth, but I don’t know how much is actually working.

Heres 50 bucks, no go film where you should be filming.

Here's 50 bucks, now go film where you should be filming.

Maybe I just had a bad taste in my mouth right from the start, when Nora, who received a call from Ryan the Missing Walker, decided to fly up north to the Bay Area and visit this UC Berkeley student, and the only location shot they could give us was a helicopter shot of San Francisco. Yeah, San Francisco is on the other side of the Bay Bridge, and the East Bay, especially the Berkeley campus and the city around it, is so beautiful that I don’t know why they couldn’t just show us Berkeley and its spirit. But instead, it’s a stock shot of The City and a coffee shop (where Ryan works) that looks like it belongs in L.A. But hey, I’m from Berkeley. There’s no reason to appease just me. I just wish they would have taken the time to get it at least slightly right. Storywise, Ryan is nice enough to Nora and they come to a few understandings, but his resistance in coming down to Pasadena to meet the family is just more of the same ol’ same ol’. I’d love some progress with this story, because if the show is going to make a big deal about a new Missing Walker, as they did earlier in the season, I’d like some development.

And the fall of Balthazar Getty continues as Holly finally figures out that Tommy has put into motion a plan that would take all her shares in Ojai Foods away from her and thus oust her from the company, and that Saul has been lying to her. Saul, meanwhile, is furious that Tommy decided to go through with the plan as presented to him several episodes ago, and is probably going to be in a hell of a lot more trouble by not being completely honest with Holly. Ms. Harper is a devious one, and I can see one of both of these characters in jail by season’s end. Rough stuff, but at least it’s a new development in the story, and it is kind of fascinating. It’s just not enough to carry the episode.

It’s just a minor stumble, though, as B&S continues to have its best and most compelling season ever. My suggestion? Tell me what the hell is going on with Sarah and Greenatopia.

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