The Desperate Housewives episode this week had good scenes. Last week, I was speculating about who left the note in Bree’s mailbox, which had the exact same wording as the note that Mary Alice Young got in Season 1. I thought that Paul Young may have arranged for someone to put the note there, for he knew the contents of the note that Mary Alice received. In the most recent episode, Bree apparently thought so, too, for she visited Paul Young in jail. But Paul denied Bree’s charge, and he told Bree one more person who knows about Mary Alice’s note: the cop Bree is currently dating.
I don’t know if the cop will turn out to be the one who left the note. Arguments for the “no” side are that he acts like he doesn’t know about it, and it’s too early in the Season for a mystery like this to be solved. Arguments for “yes” are that he’d have to be blind not to figure out that something is up (unless he’s blinded by love), and I can somewhat envision him playing games with Bree to make a point—about the importance of even society’s elite obeying the law, or something like that. But I am inclined to say that somebody else left the note.
I enjoyed a couple of the scenes with Ben Faulkner, a contractor, who is played by Charles Mesure, an actor I recognize from V (which I’m sad was not renewed for a third season). Renee is attracted to Ben, and, when she learns that Ben reaches out to the elderly, she tries to make him think that she likes the elderly, too (which she doesn’t, since she’s rather self-centered). Ben then takes her on a date, and the date turns out to be serving senior citizens at a seniors’ home. Renee walks out the door in disgust, and Ben goes after her. When Renee tells Ben that she hates charity work and that places like the senior citizens’ home make her uncomfortable, Ben responds that he’s the same way, but he knows why they make him uncomfortable. Ben and Renee both learn that they have something in common: a time in their lives when they were poor and had to accept charity from others.
I liked this scene for two reasons. First, it overlaps with some themes that I discuss in my post, Self-Recognition, Glenn Bateman’s Summary of Sociology, in which I talk about Larry Underwood’s (of The Stand) honest realization that he is a self-centered taker. In many cases, knowing who we really are is an essential step in our progress to become better people. Ben knew why charity work made him uncomfortable, and he was able to take who he was and move on from that point so he could help others. Could the same thing happen to Renee, or would she simply know why she avoids charity work and keep on avoiding it? That brings me to point two: perhaps Renee could remember why she hated being the target of charity, at least be happy that there were people who were willing to help her at that time, and then go on to help others in need—and yet do so in a manner that shows respect to those receiving the charity, respect that she herself did not receive when she was the recipient.
In another scene with Ben, Ben is hiring Mike Delfino for his company, but he cannot “bond” Mike because of Mike’s criminal record. Years before, Mike killed a cop who tried to rape his girlfriend (or, actually, the cop said he wouldn’t arrest her for drugs if she slept with him). Ben wonders why Mike did not tell him this, and Mike replied that he did not like to lead with that foot, and he’s not the same person today. Ben says that he hopes Mike is the same person—one who will defend the people he loves. Ben said that life is about two things: getting what you want, and protecting the people you love. This statement somewhat surprised me, since Ben does a lot of charity work. But I did like Ben showing Mike understanding.