Sunday, June 05, 2011

ROUND-UP OF TV SEASON 2010-11 (PART II)

After finally having watched the end of DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES S7, here are my thoughts on a completely unconventional, fresh and oddly ‘poetic’ season finale of the show

‘We all lead lives of quiet desperation’ is the theme of DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, and the most recent season finale epitomizes that very line. The season that just ended, closed with a montage of our leading ladies from Wisteria Lane enjoying the last leg of a progressive dinner party, along with neighbors and friends, sipping wine and relishing dessert. But we all know what was going on in their minds. They had just covered up a murder and hidden the body… In no way could their situation have been more desperate. Yet, they sat among the others, dealing with their desperation, quietly…

THE SEASON GONE BY
After having finally had a chance to watch that finale, I could only think that it was worth the wait. And not just that; it made it worth watching what one could easily call a less than impressive season. While there were certain storylines throughout S7 that met their climaxes in the end, there were others that one could easily brush away as being pointless, like Lynette’s mother’s wedding and Zach Young’s drug addiction. Moreover, Paul Young’s return to Wisteria Lane didn’t live up to expectations, in a lot of ways. Vanessa Williams’ inclusion in the cast made for some interesting and funny moments, but the fact that her character lacked a strong storyline, weakening the purpose of the actress on the show.

Storylines that did pan out interestingly were Bree’s divorce, leading to an exploration of another aspect of her character; Susan’s financial problems, leading to another level of desperation; and Gaby’s knowledge of Juanita not being her daughter, leading to issues with her mental health and having to deal with the demons from her past. Additionally, the placement of Felicia Tillman’s role in Paul’s life, and her daughter Beth being his wife, added a deeper sense of satisfaction, as that tied up several loose ends from over four seasons ago. The riot episode was a highlight in the season for sure, as was the episode when Carlos finds out Andrew had killed his mother.

THE FINALE
I wondered what they would do with a two-part season finale, until I discovered that besides closing the Paul Young story, the writers had planned something else that would serve as the cliffhanger. What made the culmination of the Young-Tillman storyline absolutely intense was the part when Paul held Felicia’s neck, bringing back memories of him strangling Martha Huber to death in S1. However, the end of that story left me unsatisfied. Paul surrendering sends him back to jail, and even though Felicia had an accident, we still can’t be sure that she’s dead. That just puts both of them back to where they were earlier. If anything, Felicia’s the one who got what she wanted—for Paul to have to pay for killing Martha!

Moving on to Part 2 of the finale… The progressive dinner, in honor of Susan and Mike returning to the street, was a fantastic way to reveal the housewives’ situations or predicaments at the end of the season. One major situation in it all was Lynette’s. Now Tom and Lynette have not been the happiest couple, but theirs is probably the most realistic story, and hence the most beautiful relationship. Considering that the relationship was strained, it was even understandable that the tension would make things snap one day and for them to be having certain unresolved issue. It also made sense for Lynette to not be completely supportive of Tom and his success, because she’s always felt the need to be the alpha member of the family. What didn’t make sense was the feeling of relief over him leaving her. That just didn’t add up. Moreover, Lynette’s evolution towards the end of the season, becoming unsupportive, negative, and then inconsistent, made me like her less this season, leaving me disappointed with the handling of the marital issues between her and Tom.

THE POETIC CLIMAX
That brings me to the murder. The last few minutes of the finale revealed to us that Carlos kills Gaby’s stepfather by accident to protect her. While that was shocking, the seconds that followed made the twist even more intense and chilling. The ladies discover the murder and have just a few moments to hide the secret. They all come together for Gaby and Carlos in a way that gave me chills. Moreso because it reminded me of the S4 climax, when Katherine kills her ex-husband Wayne Davis, and on Bree’s instructions, the other housewives fabricate a story, to save Katherine, without asking questions, while making their statements to the police. This was just like that and the strength of their friendship moved me immensely, yet again. The epilogue left my mind rushing, as I saw Carlos seemingly forgive Bree. The irony of Carlos forgiving Bree for covering up a murder, because she comes through to help him cover up a murder he commits was poetic, and then there was the chest. Not too different from the one that Mary-Alice and Paul used to dispose of Deirdre’s body, the one in this finale is now the chest that holds the secret that all four housewives have to keep!

UP AHEAD
‘A Secret and a separation’ are the key words that will define the opening of S8, this fall. The only information available on the eighth season is that the secret of murder that the housewives are carrying is going to take a toll on them, and that Tom and Lynette will be separated when the season begins. It has been revealed that the two won’t get divorced, which is a relief, because the other three housewives have been through divorces, and out of those three, two remarried the men they divorced. Now we just know that eventually Tom and Lynette will get back together, so for the writers to make even them get divorced and then remarry would be overdoing it. However, before they give each other a chance to fall in love with each other again, is has been revealed that they will try their hand at mid-life dating, and that a certain woman will make that reunion harder for Tom. Now we saw where Renée was at the end of S7. Her devastation over her ex-husband’s impending wedding showed us how lonely she is, and we also know that she’s always been in love with Tom. Will Tom and Lynette’s separation make her feel like a door has opened up for her? Will she jeopardize her friendship with Lynette and act on her feelings for Tom? I suspect that she will want to, causing her to feel conflicted, but she eventually won’t. Either way, I suspect Renée will have a meatier storyline next season, as Vanessa Williams returns to play her this fall. It has also been revealed that even Jonathan Cake, who plays Det. Chuck Vance, will be a series regular next season. Given that, I see his relationship with Bree evolving, but only to the point where it becomes a problem for Bree to be dating a cop while having covered up a murder. And while that indicates how the secret could take a toll on one housewife, we can only wait to find out about the others! September can’t possibly be close enough!


What did you think of the finale... I'd love to know, so do comment below...

2 comments:

  1. a very in-depth, insightful and clear-cut analysis-- very crisp and made me think about points that i had not picked up. well done!

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  2. @Purvi Thank you; I'm glad I could help you see the finale for what it was... Thank you for reading TV TALK.

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