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(c) TV Guide Online

May 27, 2005

Question: I'm really frustrated with the season finale of Desperate Housewives. Rex was the main reason I was still watching this show! There was so much opportunity there, with his and Bree's troubled marriage, and Marcia Cross and Steven Culp had such amazing chemistry. Plus I just loved the hell out of Rex. Now I'm expected to care about Lynette's stupid little should-I-go-back-to-work-or-shouldn't-I problems? And Mike most likely being Zach's father? And Susan tripping over stuff? And Gabrielle's who's-my-baby-daddy drama? I don't think so. I'm so done. - Katie

Matt: Pity. Keep reading this column, though, so you can catch up on discussions of what you're missing, because I'm expecting a sensational sophomore season from a show that I felt had a top-notch send-off and earned its hit status the old-fashioned way: with sensational writing and acting. Marcia Cross was at her absolute best as she reacted to the news of Rex's death while polishing the silver. Heartbreaking. Give her the Emmy right now (unless, of course, it goes to Lauren Graham). I liked Rex, too, and thought Steven Culp was brilliant at making this unsympathetic and seriously flawed guy tick. But having him die thinking Bree was the culprit? That's primo soap opera! And someone's gotta die on a show like this, so it might as well be the husbands. Also, I'm at a loss to understand why Lynette's situation seems "stupid," when hers is the most real of any of the story lines on the show. A corporate "shark" who drowned in the domestic pool, facing a return to the competitive workplace after a long absence while her resentful husband becomes "Mr. Mom"? That's a story I haven't seen on TV, and certainly not this well acted. The other subplots (Susan-and-Mike, and especially the Gabrielle-Carlos-John triangle) are more traditionally soapy and easy to ridicule, but the balance of comedy, drama, intrigue, satire, tragedy and whimsy on this show really works for me, and for millions of others. So I'm not letting anyone spoil my fun. (As for Chad C., who wrote in to say, "Unless it's been confirmed that [Steven Culp] is not returning, I'm going to go on believing [Rex] is alive," I'd have to say, it's pretty much a done deal. If Rex returns, it will be in flashback. Unless everyone's lying to us.)

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