'Desperate Housewives' Kills Two Marriages With One Stone...er, Plane

There’s nothing worse than being stuck in a lousy marriage. Death, even, is preferable. That’s been a running theme throughout Desperate Housewives since day one, and last night’s fall cliffhanger stayed on message.

Only on this show would a plane crash be milked for comedic effect. You’ve got to hand it to the writers for packing this season’s much anticipated “disaster episode” so full of snarky comments and sly witticisms. The jokes start early, starting when the various characters are assembling the neighborhood Christmas village, and Parker Scavo (Joshua Logan Moore) is fiddling with the sound system. “Do we really want the kid working with electricity?” asks Karen (Kathryn Joosten), in a moment of silly foreboding. “He can’t even get the newspaper on my porch.”

And then there was this one from Susan (Teri Hatcher): “This is a time when we should get together and celebrate peace on earth and good will towards man and…[an ambulance siren briefly interrupts her]…Oh, crap. Who’s dead now?”

That quip is a nod to the rumor that fans have been discussing for weeks: In this episode, a chartered plane would crash into Wisteria Lane, trapping people inside a house and, as producer Marc Cherry confirmed last week, killing “three characters: one minor, one central and one major who's been on since season one."

The plane turns out to belong to Jeff and Daphne Bicks, a couple with an aerial banner business and very lousy marriage. (So naturally, they’re doomed from the start.) Daphne, we’re told, is a big complainer—so much so that “Jeff Biggs began to wonder when God would end his suffering. Luckily For Jeff, God had a plan.”

Who’s the God of Wisteria Lane? The show’s writers, of course, and we know how they like to solve problems. With the fiery wreck, Jeff will be forever free from his hen-pecking wife. But of course, it’s really Bree’s (Marcia Cross) problem that God is solving tonight. The Bicks’ boom and a crash will get Bree out of a lousy marriage—though we don’t yet know which relationship she’s being saved from.

In a delicious irony typical of the show, the plane is pulling a banner with a marriage proposal from Karl (Richard Burgi), who hopes to surprise Bree during the annual yuletide festival. (“Good luck, Mr. Mayer,” says Daphne Bicks, when Karl arranges it. “I hope this Bree says yes—almost as much as I’d said no.”) But it’s not to be. The aircraft plummets to the ground after Jeff Bicks has a heart attack (brought on by his wife’s vitriol). It lands on Santa’s workshop, inside of which Orson (Kyle MacLachlan) and Karl happen to be brawling--with Bree trying to break the fight up.

This means that at least one of Bree’s men is dead, and possibly both. (Obviously it’s not Bree herself; she’s too integral to the show.) So… has the crash obliterated her loveless, boring marriage to Orson (which is already on the precipice of divorce) or her upcoming union with the coarse and unsavory Karl? Considering the plane was toting his marriage proposal, I’d bet the dead guy is Karl.

It hasn’t been easy to watch the unlikely romance between Karl and Bree, two people who couldn’t be more wrong for each other. Karl is a lying weasel, if nothing else. Uptight as Bree may be, the show’s writers always look out for their strawberry-haired linchpin. If Karl is dead, then Bree will be spared another marital trap. And this one would have been a doozy, since Karl is also a merciless divorce lawyer.

Elsewhere in the episode, the plane gets Angie (Drea de Matteo) out of a jam as well, when her extortionist, Mona (Maria Cominis), is swept away by its wing. (I’m assuming that a person doesn’t survive that!) So, Angie lucked out, and Angie's secret is safe. Another problem solved.

Plus: Homeschooling Tips from Desperate Housewives!

Were you shocked by the disaster episode? Chime in below!

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