“Desperate Housewives” has always based itself around secrets and lies, and the Season Four premiere is no different, with each of the four leading ladies keeping up some sort of facade â€” and that’s not even mentioning the mysterious new neighbors. More on them later.
The early resolution of the season-ending cliffhanger, Edie’s suicide attempt, is strangely humorous, if predictable. (Did anyone really think Nicolette Sheridan wasn’t going to be returning to the show?)
Early on, Susan’s (Teri Hatcher) insecurities appear to be putting a strain on her new relationship with Mike (James Denton). It would be nice to see them as a normal, functioning couple for once, and a plot twist at the end of the premiere might make that happen.
Gaby (Eva Longoria) and Carlos’s (Ricardo Chavira) reconciliation also seems like it will come with complications, but their volatile interactions have always been enjoyably entertaining. And viewers will likely be rooting for any subplot that will lead to the elimination of the misguided pairing of Edie and Carlos and boring supporting character Victor Lang (Gaby’s politician husband, played by John Slattery).
The housewives, as always, go to great lengths to preserve their reputations and in doing so, satirize modern-day suburbia. Bree (Marcia Cross) wears a prosthetic belly in order to conceal her daughter’s out-of-wedlock pregnancy, and Lynette (Felicity Huffman) wears a wig to conceal the fact that she has cancer. But a jarring image of a bald Huffman, after a month of cancer treatments, clues viewers â€” and eventually other characters â€” into the truth. Judging by the premiere, her illness will likely be one of the more sobering plotlines this season. Let’s hope the writers don’t use it for any ill-placed comedic fodder.
In the fourth season, Wisteria Lane is once again home to intriguing new neighbors (led by Dana Delany), the Mayfair family, who return to the neighborhood after suddenly moving away years earlier. “Desperate Housewives” has consistently been at its best when exploring the mystery genre, and Delany and company will probably provide ample material (why, for instance, does daughter Dylan have no recollection of Susan’s daughter, Julie, her supposed best friend from childhood?)
The premiere held true to the series’ genre-bending fluctuation between drama and comedy. The latter half of the episode was rife with poignant moments, such as Lynette’s disclosure of her illness to her friends and Bree’s touching explanation to husband Orson (Kyle MacLachlan) her true reasons for wanting to raise her illegitimate grandchild herself, which she sees as a “second chance” to be a good mother.
After a third season that alienated both viewers and critics at times, the fourth season’s premiere gave a promising indication that the series will redeem itself this season. Based on Sunday night’s episode, the characters seem to feel right at home.