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(c) TV Guide Online

March 9, 2007

Question: Why don't the producers at Desperate Housewives just admit they stumbled badly when Rex was pinched out of existence for what amounted to minor offenses in this bent neighborhood? Rex's narration last Sunday reminded me anew of the snark and backbone he added to the plot, as a partner who rolled his eyes along with the rest of us when Bree climbed on her polished soapbox. Steven Culp's Rex is the only male lead struck down when his character could have added such delicious spice to the recipe. Why was Rex sent packing to the afterlife?

Marc Cherry has said it was because Rex was modeled on his own late father. But this brand of logic could also lead you to conclude that his real mother (Bree) was an alcoholic who lusted after her sex-addicted sponsor who then bedded her manipulative son (Andrew/Cherry) who in turn embraced life on the streets as a hustler. Well, did Rex's demise enhance the storytelling? Offer insight into Bree or Andrew? Not that I could tell. In fact, it ushered in a dismal Season 2, rife with meaningless plot twists and a bloated cast list. Now in Season 3, it seems we are served more caricatures than characters: the Bree-clone Orson, the makeout master Carlos, a ditzy Tom, a wimpish Ian and a whatever Mike. Even murderers and attempted murderers are well represented, but no Rex. Will producers see the error of their ways and reverse course? After all, his death could have been staged to escape a wife he thought poisoned him — not impossible for a doctor with connections, or for a show with enough loose ends it requires viewers to suffer from amnesia.— Fran M.
Matt Roush: First off, I think we have to accept Marc Cherry's explanation for why he killed off Rex as a creative and personal decision, even if you disagree with it, all of that armchair psychoanalysis aside. It wasn't to punish the character; as you said, there are far more despicable characters on Wisteria Lane. And I don't think all of the failures of Season 2 (and to a certain extent, of Season 3) can be laid at the feet of Rex's corpse, though it's true that Steven Culp is much missed, and it was fun to hear his voice again.

I never really gave this much thought, to be honest, but looking back, maybe it would have been better if the pharmacist hadn't killed Rex, but instead only served to drive the couple further apart, to the point of divorce. I'd much rather that Bree and Rex got a divorce than Gabby and Carlos, who've never been as much fun apart as they were together. Bree as an actual divorcée would have been interesting to watch, and if she still had Rex as a possibility in her life, maybe she wouldn't have so eagerly embraced someone as creepy as Orson. Regardless, Rex is most sincerely dead and is likely to stay that way. Should he be resurrected, you're likely to hear shark-jumping cries far and wide, even louder than usual.

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