What a difference a season makes.
When Devious Maids debuted a couple of months ago, I found the pilot to be quite terrible. I was shocked that Marc Cherry’s pedigree coupled with Eva Longoria’s producing skills could yield such terrible results. Nevertheless, I stuck by the show, and little by little, it kept improving. In fact, Devious Maids has actually morphed into an amusing little concoction with some unexpected twists and killer dialogue.
Sadly, the finale was a bit of letdown after a string of impressive episodes. Starting off right from Taylor’s brutal shooting in the fantastic penultimate episode, the finale brought a number of plot points to a head. My main issue with Devious is the likeability of its core cast members. I do like Marisol and her quest to save her son, and Carmen has grown on me in a Gabby sort of way, but Viola has to be the most evil mother of all time (yes I know she has her daughter’s best interests at heart), and the less said about irritating, childish Rosie the better. That’s half our protagonists being completely unlikeable; not good odds.
Nevertheless, I can not stress how stellar the supporting cast is. Whether it’s Genevieve’s epic one-liners, Evelyn’s cold and calculating methods, or Perri’s complete disregard for her baby, the characters that populate the world of Devious Maids are wonderfully cartoonish, and they never cease to disappoint.
Which brings me to the season’s main mystery. While it’s obvious that Cherry tried to replicate the Desperate Housewives template with a season-long arc that carefully revealed itself over time, the Flora story wasn’t nearly as nuanced or compelling. Nevertheless the various whacky subplots throughout the season kept it afloat, as did the numerous suspects. Was I shocked that Philippe turned out to be the culprit? Not really, but it was undoubtedly satisfying to watch Adrian and Evelyn hatch a sinister plot and throw him out the window in a hilarious visual callback to the murder that began everything in the pilot.
I’m actually intrigued to see where season two will take us now that the girls know Marisol’s secret (it was great to see them working together at the party), and Rosie was dragged off by ICE agents thanks to Peri’s vengeful ways. Let’s see if they can sustain the show’s newly-found energy and wit.
Bits from Beverly Hills
– I can’t get over Viola deviously writing fake letters and sending Remy off on his own. Thankfully, Valentina learned the truth quickly.
– Great touch: the way text messages appear on screen. I can’t think of any other show that employs this awesome visual gag.
– Evelyn killed me in the divorce settlement. The woman is comedy gold.
– Carmen’s been very hit-or-miss this year (especially her dynamic with Odessa). But the deal to become a popstar in exchange for marrying Alejandro (to protect his image) is a pretty interesting turn. I’m glad Sam stood up to her this week because dude was getting pathetic.
– Peri uncovered Rosie and whatshisname’s affair in the lamest way possible. I can’t even write it down, it’s painful.
– Evelyn describing Marisol to the cops as “vaguely ethnic” made me genuinely laugh out loud.
– The maids corroborating the story about Phillipe killing himself was way too easy. Is it really over? At least Marisol has her son back.
– Really cool shot with Peri in total bitch-mode in the distance as Rosie is taken away. The birth of the ultimate supervillain ladies and gents.
Genevieve: Come see my wedding dress.
Valentina: Why such a thick veil?
Genevieve: It’ll be my fourth wedding in this church. If the minister recognizes me, I’m toast.
Genevieve: He left last night for Africa… he wants to vaccinate children in the Congo. That sounds like the worst vacation ever!
Genevieve: I don’t understand – Africa of all places! If he wanted to help poor people why couldn’t he just go to Burbank?
Genevieve: Are you sure you don’t want to get married in Beverly Hills? It will affect the quality of gifts we’ll receive.
While not as satisfying as the episodes preceding it, Totally Clean is still an effective closer for a season brimming with surprising potential.Well done Devious Maids, you truly surprised me this year.