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'Desperate Housewives': John Barrowman lights a fire on Wisteria Lane

May 2, 2010 | 10:00 pm


As with any good -- and even not-so-good -- mystery, at some point it has to come to an end.

Each year, no matter how viewers may feel about them personally, seeing how the season-long mystery unravels its ugly truth is always a treat. This brings us to this season’s whodunit.

For 20 years the Bolens have been running, fleeing from this elusive yet dangerous Patrick Logan. We’ve been told very little over the course of the season, though it’s been pretty simple to fill in the blanks. Angie, hoping to change the world, teamed up with Patrick to do his dirty work. Things took a turn for the worse, someone died and she ran off with Nick -- an undercover agent closing in on them -- and Danny/Tyler, her unborn child with Patrick. Insert all the years they were running [here] and the family is now on Wisteria Lane. Caught up?

John Though I’m sure none of the backstory came as a surprise as Mary Alice introduced the episode, it’s always good to have a refresher. As a longtime viewer of the show, I put my all into the mystery.  OK, as much as a viewer can: my trust, my willing suspension of disbelief (which some seasons takes a lot more work than others) and most importantly my full attention.

I’m the first to admit the Bolen saga hasn’t grabbed me. It’s not that I don’t enjoy a good, juicy secret, it’s just that the secret they had hidden away didn’t grab me. I’ve never felt creeped out, or even convinced, by the whole ecoterrorist plotline. There is something that just didn’t bite. Angie -- and this is no offense to Drea de Matteo -- doesn’t have the bad factor. I know I shouldn’t be comparing her work on “The Sopranos” to “Housewives,” but they could have made her character a bit more dangerous. She’s wielded a bat, knocked over a trash can and broke some furniture. Not enough for me. Or they could have made her more intriguing and somewhat integrated with the ladies, like when Katherine first came along. A trip to New York with Gaby, though it yielded a great deal of revelations, wasn't enough for viewers, in my opinion.

So I waited patiently. Very patiently, until I realized I might have had her wrong all along -- or at least that’s what I’m pretending. Unlike the other newbies to the Lane every season, I feel that as of late the show wants me to like her. Over the weeks she has gotten more and more vulnerable, and dare I say nice? Her screen time has also been a bit limited as they have set us up for Angie the rescuer, who I'm assuming will risk her life for her son. I get it, she wants to protect her family and her new life. So now I’ve placed her in the victim role, especially now that the “Fairview Strangler” storyline has gone into overdrive. The sad part is, placing her in the role of victim only makes me hope her death will be for the greater good. She will more than likely die saving her family and not because she deserved it -- which in the past I've said out of frustration with her character.

Now Patrick has upped the ante, albeit in baby steps. My eyes didn’t deceive me, it was indeed Nick Bolen getting run down by a car, driven by Patrick. He doesn’t die, but Patrick does offer up a clear warning to the Bolens, giving them just enough time to get Danny/Tyler out of dodge. Although I still cringe at all the coffee talk between teenage Bolen and the papa he doesn’t know, it’s cute how committed they are to making the two interact on screen -- even if it’s over chocolate scones, cappuccinos and metaphorical murder literature.

I’ve said how I hoped Barrowman would light a fire under what has been a dragging mystery and tie things up nicely. And he literally did just that. When finally confronting Angie in her house, after staking the place out, he did what any terrorist seeking revenge would do when they finally revealed themselves: He lit a bunch of candles and brought his bag for a sleepover. Really? 

I somehow pictured it differently, so I’m only assuming that while Nick is in that medically-induced coma Patrick will indulge in some light torture techniques. Maybe he has another big hit up his sleeve. He did say he needed Angie’s help. Whatever he has planned, he is certainly going to enjoy. He could have just killed Angie in her house and been done with it. But the best revenge is cooked up nice and slow. The entire scene between the two only reinforced my views of Angie as the victim, or maybe she hasn’t unleashed her claws yet? For once I’m actually dying to see how this will tie together.

Between Patrick and Eddie, there was no need for any other plots, which turned out to be a bit hit-and-miss.

In the Scavo household Eddie isn’t adjusting so well -- big surprise. We are seeing more of what makes him tick, which is mainly any of the male Scavos disrespecting Lynette. He pummels one of the twins for muttering the b-word when asked to grab a load of laundry, and after Lynette teaches him a breathing technique that only works for sane people he nearly loses his cool at Tom when he berates Lynette for not cooking. The little guy certainly is a threat, but good ole Lynette is really trying to work with him. She even takes him to therapy. Again, the show is working the sympathy card hard for Eddie. But it’s too late for the crazy kid.

Another exposed creep -- well at least to Bree, finally -- is Sam. Not only is his mother still alive (gasp) but his motivation the entire time has been money (big surprise). My stomach cringed when he screamed at Bree, with a strange sense of entitlement, about the things he deserved: new bikes, a big house, etc. Poor guy, actually had to grow up in a single-parent home where money was tight -- oh, the horror. But I was melted by her sincere apology to Andrew, and got a kick out of Orson's "told you so" mentality. Now that Sam's true colors are out in the open, how exactly will the prim and proper Bree clean up this mess, which is sure to get dirtier?

The only laughs, as usual, were courtesy of Gaby and Susan. The pair’s lighthearted though silly subplot was once again all about money. I hope at this point the whole Susan and Mike financial story has been brewing a bigger surprise. Maybe his dark past will play a part in his financial woes. I know I’m reaching, but we all know I’m always desperate for a juicy ending to a plot.  We all deserve it.

-- Gerrick D. Kennedy (Follow me on Twitter

Photos: John Barrowman guest stars on "Desperate Housewives." Credit: ABC.


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