'Desperate Housewives': The talented Mr. Scruggs
Tonight on Desperate Housewives, handyman Eli Scruggs died fixing a shingle Susan's roof. Don't worry, that's not a spoiler. It happened before the opening credits. It's a great guest-starring role from Beau Bridges. We also delightfully finally got back to our ladies' poker game. I miss seeing this all the time like we did in the first year or so.
We use the Eli Scruggs death convention as a way to flash back in all the ladies' lives. [Wayne's World sound effect] "Doodlee-doot, doodlee-doot, doodlee-doot."
Gabby is sad about Eli's passing because he helped introduce her to Lynette, Susan, Bree and Mary Alice. She hosted her first poker game once they moved in and immediately offended all her neighbors by acting uppity and high-falutin'. Eli helped her see her snobby ways and she shows up to the next poker game with a basket of muffins and an apology. It's a really nice speech about being lonely and needing friends, Eva Longoria totally sells it. The girls invite her inside. All together now... "Awwww."
Bree is back in her homemaker days, fighting with Rex and deciding to start working on her own cookbook. Her Martha-Stewart-esque endeavor started way back when, with Eli there fixing the sink as Rex calls Bree just another plain old housewife. She throws away all her recipes. Flash forward to the night after Rex's funeral. Eli returns Bree's stack of recipes to her. All together now... "Awwww."
Edie's husband won't sleep with her, so she's parading around in lingerie in front of Eli Scruggs and making me worry that Nicolette Sheridan is now 84% plastic. I mean... my god, woman. A few days later, it turns out her husband is leaving her because he's gay. Eli finds her knee-walkin' drunk and cheers her up. They then sleep together to cheer her up. All together now... "
Lynette finds out she's pregnant with (unbeknownst to them) Penny right when she was thinking of going back to work. Tom is excited about the fact that they might finally have a little girl and is against the idea of her going back to work. Lynette is going stir-crazy with her 3 male holy terrors and insists on going back to work. Flash forward to a few weeks into work. Lynette gets home and leaves Penny in the car accidently. Eli spies the baby and takes Penny inside. Lynette freaks out, it's really nice work by Felicity Huffman. Eli makes her feel better about being a working mom. All together now... "Awwww."
Susan cracks open a bottle of wine and stares at Eli's tool box that got left at her house. In her flashback, she is throwing Carl's stuff out into the yard and asking Eli to change the locks because Carl is sleeping with his secretary. Eli accidentally lets slip that Carl isn't JUST sleeping with his secretary. Flash forward to Eli coming over another time and Susan sobbing in her entryway about her and Mike getting divorced and she wants him to change the locks again. He sits down next to her and advises her to keep trying because love is worth it and that she's heroic to him because she DOES keep trying. Flash forward to Susan telling Eli about breaking up with Jackson and asking Eli to fix her loose shingle. She is sad to hear he's retiring because she thinks he's been the most stable, consistent male relationship in her life. Susan heads out for wine so that they can toast his retirement when he's done with the shingle. All together now... "Awwww."
There is a huge turnout, but the one person missing is Mary Alice. She changed HIS life and now we get a Mary Alice flashback. (I love when we get to see Brenda Strong, by the way.)
Mary Alice Flashback
Eli is new in town and gives Mary Alice his business card. When he drops some on the ground, she notices the hole in his boot and then asks him to fix her broken vase. Flash forward to a different day. Eli is dropping off a door handle and Mary Alice is holding a letter that we should all recognize. She then asks him if he remembers fixing her vase and gives it to him, thanking him for making her life better. She then tells him he should go now, in a very flat, emotionless voice. Knowing what we know, it's a very scary scene to watch.
Later, as they take Mary Alice's body away, Eli watches from across the street and cries. He then vows to help people whenever he can. All together now... "Awwww."
The 5 women agree to remember him and stand together as his casket is lowered into the ground.
Seriously, where did this episode come from? It's beautifully done and I have cried no less than 5 times. No offense, Edie, but your flashback didn't have me sniffling. But what in the world? I'm enjoying this season immensely but this episode was quite a jewel. I hope you guys liked it too.