A+ Episode Desperate Housewives Season Finale Series Finale

Desperate Housewives 8×23 – Finishing The Hat (Series Finale).

"Are you color-blind? You do know I'm black right?"

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It’s finally over. After eight glorious years, Desperate Housewives has finally come to end. Since that’s the longest time I’ve ever watched a show week-in week-out, there was a definite sense of bittersweet emptiness when it was all over. Although I’m sorry to see the show go (it’s been a big part of my life for so long), I know it did so at the right time. Was the finale a satisfying bookend for an iconic show that single-handedly revived ABC’s fortunes and radically altered the television landscape? I’d like to think yes.

First off, let’s tackle each of the ladies. Gabrielle’s character arc couldn’t have been more perfect. I absolutely loved her and Carlos experiencing a total reversal of their roles from the pilot. It bought their relationship full circle and cemented the two as my favorite couple of the show’s run. As always, Eva was fantastic with her pitch-perfect comedic timing and timeless charm. The inclusion of Carlos’ new Gardner (played by Roslyn Sanchez no less) was the icing on the cake. I really couldn’t have asked for a more fitting final plot for Gabby; she offered to sacrifice herself for her husband in the penultimate episode and then assumed the role he had in the pilot. As for her flash-forward, I liked the fact that she basically ran a clothing empire (as expected as that was) and eventually moved with Carlos to California (a fitting place) where they “argued happily ever after.” Although it was predicable, her future vignette was probably the most fitting and appropriate of all the ladies.

Lynette also got an amazing nod to the pilot as she ran into the exact same irritating woman in the supermarket aisle who callously judged her and her life decisions. This was an inspired choice by Marc Cherry and I loved that it fit perfectly with Lynette’s moral dilemma as she yet again found herself choosing between her family and her work. Nothing ever really satisfies Lynette and I enjoyed the fact that almost immediately after reuniting with Tom in the previous episode, they went back to their usual insecure troubles. Some things indeed never change. Moreover, Felicity Huffman truly shined during that eye-opening “happiness” toast she gave at Renee’s wedding. It actually really resonated with me and I though it was just perfectly written by Marc Cherry and brought the necessary gravitas and insight to the hour. Her flash-forward was also quite fitting as we found out she would become a CEO in New York and have many grandchildren. Actually I think her future ties with Gabby’s as the most fitting.

As for Bree, I didn’t really like the fact that she found ultimate happiness with someone we met only a couple of episodes ago (Tripp). After investing numerous seasons in several love interests from Rex to Orson to Keith among others, it’s a bit forced to expect us to believe that Bree finally found the love of her life so haphazardly. I think I would have been much more satisfied if Orson didn’t turn evil again this season and instead redeemed himself as Bree’s one true love simply because they were pretty perfect for each other (when he wasn’t a psychopath). But since they wanted Orson to go nuts this year, the writers could have easily left Bree on her own as a successful career woman just like she had been during the time-jump in season five. Thankfully, the fact that Bree became a politician was an interesting and surprising choice. I just think they missed an opportunity here about making a statement regarding Bree not needing a man to find ultimate happiness. Nevertheless, this didn’t really deter my enjoyment of the finale in the grand scheme of things.

When Mike was killed a few episodes ago, I wondered how the hell Marc Cherry would end the show with Susan alone. After all, Mike had been such an integral part of the show’s DNA throughout, and he and Susan were undoubtedly the show’s endgame couple. I’m happy to say that I was perfectly happy with the ending Susan ultimately got. First off, she didn’t get a flash-forward (which actually didn’t bother me as I’m fine with some details being left ambiguous), and she got to end the series reunited with the daughter she started it with. Now that she’s a grandmother, it only makes it sweeter. Interestingly enough when the show first premiered, it was pretty much common knowledge that Susan was the unofficial lead of the show. That sentiment was obviously followed upon with the finale as we ended with her driving off the lane (in a scene Marc Cherry mentioned he had envisioned in the show’s first year) as the ghosts of Wisteria Lane watched on. The scene was haunting, poignant, and just utterly beautiful in every way. The now iconic Housewives musical score coupled with Mary Alice’s most insightful voiceover yet was just a sight to behold. Simply put, it was an outstanding scene.

I’d also like to discuss the girls’ final poker game. On one hand I admire the show’s willingness to stay true to real life as Mary Alice stated that the girls never really did play together ever again. However, as a loyal viewer of eight years, that truthful insight is just way too depressing. I think if Cherry made it a point to mention that the girls always remained close through thick and thin, it would have been more satisfying. Nevertheless, I won’t deny the impact and power of the notion that life simply got in the way and friends just don’t always stay in each others’ lives.

After the ghost sequence, Cherry surprised me by ending the show with another sequence: a new neighbor moving into Susan’s house and locking away a deep dark secret of her own. While I was taken aback on my first viewing as to why Cherry would decide to end the show on someone we’d never met before, I’ve come to realize it’s an inspired decision as it perfectly encapsulates the show’s essence: as long as people are alive, they will always have secrets. And well, that’s a pretty powerful thought to end things on.

Wisteria Snippets

-Utterly spectacular opening which I can’t praise enough. Martha Huber and Mary Alice’s first meeting was just brimming with classic season one Housewives quality, and I just adored the quick cuts of the series’ most iconic moments juxtaposed with the original suicide. Perfect.

– Katharine’s back! Nice.

– Renee using the fatty to hide her wedding dress: hilarious. I wish she joined the show earlier.

– It was satisfying to see Gabby flourishing in her work and getting a much-deserved promotion.

– Katharine offering Lynette a job was definitely an interesting development.

– I practically died at Gabby shutting Carlos up with a watch. Genius.

– I can’t believe how much the woman from the pilot that Lynette meets in the supermarket looks exactly the same as she did eight years ago.

– Great continuity: Carlos’ line about focusing “on all the wrong things” was a nod to the pilot where Gabby told Jon Rowland the exact same line.

– Renee stretching out on Julie in the limo and then the latter’s water breaking was just hysterical. And Vanessa Williams looked beyond gorgeous in her wedding dress.

– Very touching speech by Susan to Julie after the latter asked her if she’d ever date anyone again. Teri Hatcher knocked it out of the park.

– The music montage of Mrs.McCluskey dying (while Julie was giving birth) was pretty spectacular wasn’t it?

– Although I appreciated the sense of finality and closure that the flash-forwards offered us, I found it curious as to why Marc Cherry choose to make practically all of the ladies rich (as if that was their one source of happiness).

– I would have liked Eddie to have been part of the final ghost scene. Nevertheless, we all know Nicolette Sheridan would have never appeared thanks to the recent lawsuit. A true pity.

The Grapevine

Renee: Gene I told you tighter. I don’t care if I can’t breathe.
Gene: At this point, neither do I.

Carlos: I have a job too you know.
Gabrielle: Carlos you help the poor and downtrodden; a group with a very flexible schedule.

Gabrielle: I just gotta learn how to be a boss. I don’t even know how to talk to employees.
Carlos: Yeah I think our gardener would agree.
Gabrielle: Oh please, that sad-sack was a moron.

Julie: Mom, I just felt the baby tap “make her stop” in Morse-code.

Gabrielle: Shut up and enjoy it.
Carlos: I can’t believe you’re trying to buy me off with a watch.
Gabrielle: Ooh when you shake your wrist like that the diamonds really catch the light.
Carlos: Oh my God you’re even quoting me.
Gabrielle: You don’t want the watch, fine. But everyone has a price. You name it: sex, massage, Three Stooges marathon.
Carlos: The price of my forgiveness is your paying a little more attention to me. Being more present, more respectful of my feelings and needs.
Gabrielle: You want a new car.
Carlos: I’m going to bed.
Gabrielle: Come back, you’re sexy when you’re angry.
Carlos: Yup, that’s mine too!
Renee: Focus ladies, this dress cost more than your houses. Put together!

Conclusion
Ultimately, I was very satisfied with the series finale as aside from a few minor quibbles, it was a superb tribute to the show’s unique legacy and as close to perfect as I could have hoped. Desperate Housewives is a show that will always stay dear to my heart. The lovable characters, the delicious dialogue, the crazy plots; Marc Cherry created a vibrant world that always provided me with the perfect escapism, and for that I couldn’t be more thankful. As far as I’m concerned, the show ended at just the right time. It went out on top and didn’t really wane in quality for long stretches at a time (I know many people detest season two, but I found season six to be the weakest). I’ve always defended the show and its unique brand of storytelling, and will continue to do so for a long time.
Wisteria Lane, you will be missed.

Nad Rating
A+

15 comments

  1. You managed to wrap the show really well in this review. It brought back comparisons and memories from older seasons I had completely missed.
    It was touching to read as a finale post-finale for a show that will also stay dear to my heart for some time. I agree that Renee is an addition to the show that could’ve brought more colour early on.
    Although she has some cross-over with Gabby’s character, they still are distinctly different and their dynamics which shined in the finale (with the wedding dress purchase + walk to the venue) were such a feel-good classic comedy to add to the show’s ending.
    When you say Renee looked beyond gorgeous in her dress are you referring to the one pre-water breaking or the one she finally ended up in? I’d say you’re referring to the former.
    Finally, I have to agree about the ending – truly haunting yet beautiful scene with the Wisteria Lane ghosts watching on Susan as she drives away.

    Farewell Fairview.

  2. Thank you! We really should watch the entire show again from the beginning! That way I can actually review the first 7 season! So many little details to pick up on!

    I was referring to Renee's first look. I have been seriously in love with Vanessa Williams for years and can't get enough of her (thankfully she's getting her own new show this fall woohoo)

    Hahah Fairwell Fairview indeed. That should have been the name of the finale!

  3. It should've! Can't believe it didn't occur to them haha.
    Renee's first look then I agree. Great she's getting her own show – is it a sit-com? Can't get enough of Vanessa.

  4. No Vanessa Williams' new show is called “666 Park Avenue”. It's a supernatural thriller about a haunted apartment building in Manhattan. Can you imagine my love for NYC and my love for Vanessa Williams combined? Should be epic. Can't wait for September!

  5. You really made some good points in your last review for this show, i do agree with all of them, i think the ending was a bit unpredictable knowing that we used to predict some of the events when it comes to the last episode, but we never thought that it might end that way, smart and engaging. I believe that the last part was the smartest one, when u get to see all these ghost faces and when you recognize them you'll get to feel that you are a part from the show. It was so refreshing to read your review, and it made me feel that for real “wisteria lane, it will be missed”..

    love it!!!

  6. Thank you Hala. I'm really glad you enjoyed the finale. That ending with the ghosts really was brilliant and unexpected. Remember when we assumed the show would end would all the ladies in jail? Haha this was definitely creepier and filmed in the most beautiful way.
    Ah I'm gonna miss this show. Shall we rewatch the show from the beginning? 🙂

  7. hehehehehh amazing idea watching the show from beginning I might go for it!but im thinking in case we will do it, its 8 seasons!!! so i guess we will be soooooooo busy during “the office hours”!!!!!

  8. Great review, Nadim.

    I just watched it and I think I agree with everything you said, particularly the Bree flash-forward. Her finding Tripp reminded me of a certain other show that forced a love interest on us at the last minute, just for a happy ending (ahem, Coop). I loved Susan's final scene, too and I'm glad she ended single, but content. It's nice to know that even though she lost Mike, she still treasures all the memories and doesn't think of them as painful.

    A lovely, if slightly underwhelming send-off.

  9. Great review! I hadn't appreciated the finale too much (because I was still upset that Mike died!) but it was great to read this and appreciate the interesting spins and choices. I agree with you that I did not really like the Bree bit, and would have liked Susan's bit to have a little more of a hopeful touch to it especially with the baby in the picture, she seemed to come across as a bit hopeless and surrendered to me…but the rest was all perfect and exciting to follow.

    Going to miss this show! It's really the only show i've watched (albeit on and off). Now I have some seasons to catch up on and the Good Wife to focus on.

  10. Agreed. But I guess Susan was the loser of the group who will always remain Desperate (pardon the pun). I still find the decision to kill off Mike so abruptly very weird though as a writing choice. Did it really add that much to the show? I wonder…

    I agree I really miss the show. I'm glad they ended on a high note but it was a big part of our lives for so long. I remember introducing you to it during the July 06 War. Ahhh the memories. But yes do continue The Good Wife and I will make some other awesome recommendations as well. Thanks for commenting Joey!

  11. I just found out about your site and the first thing i looked for was Desperate Housewives 🙂

    So here I am 2 years after the finale, but i just wanna say I absolutely love this show, and it's actually one of my favorites and I would watch any episode any time it's on.

    I liked your review but I must say I found the finale to be a little underwhelming (as a series finales). Compared to other season finales, there wasn't much suspense, I wasn't really at the edge of my seat.
    But i did love the ending, starting with Mike, then the ghosts, then Mary Alice; it was very touching.

    I could go on for ages about every little detail, so I'm gonna stop here 🙂

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