Here are some thoughts about the Desperate Housewives finale.
1. Bree’s murder trial was wrapped up quickly and neatly, as Karen McCluskey (who doesn’t have long to live) stepped forward and took the blame for killing Gaby’s abusive step-father. Was this satisfying? Well, on the one hand, I was hoping for more length and drama to the resolution. There was drama, for I enjoyed watching Ben refuse to reveal Bree’s secret on the witness stand and going to jail as a result. But I hoped for more, since the murder of Gaby’s step-father, the subsequent cover-up of it, and the resulting tensions have encompassed this entire season, and so you’d expect more to the resolution than a quick confession by Karen McCluskey soon followed by a dismissal of Bree’s case. On the other hand, Karen McCluskey’s confession was a neat way to resolve this plot-line, and I admired McCluskey for doing what she did.
2. There was long talk that Marc Cherry would make a spin-off about Karen McCluskey and her sister, who is played by Lily Tomlin. (And, as West Wing fans know, both actresses played Jed Bartlet’s secretary on The West Wing.) But Karen McCluskey died, and so that’s now out of the question. I do not know for certain, but Marc Cherry may have canceled the idea due to Kathryn Joosten’s lung-cancer.
3. I enjoyed the last episode, but I can’t say that I found it riveting, until the last few minutes. Why were the last few minutes so riveting? For one, we see that the ladies drift apart from each other. Susan sells her house and moves. Lynette, Tom, and the kids go to New York, where Lynette becomes a big-shot executive in Katherine Mayfair’s new company, grows old, and has grandchildren. Gaby and Carlos stay close to each other in their marriage and start an online shopping company, and eventually a TV show. And Bree marries Trip (played by Scott Bakula, whom I love as an actor), moves to Kentucky, and enters the world of politics (presumably as a Republican). All of this was sad and yet good (since it left an emotional impression on me). It makes me want to wait a while before I watch old episodes of Desperate Housewives because, if I were to watch them now, I’d be sad that the ladies’ good times at Wisteria Lane would eventually come to an end.
Second, there were the ghosts on Wisteria Lane. I could identify some of them but not others. Fortunately, wikipedia has identified them, along with providing links to who they are. I’ll quote wikipedia, and I’ve taken the liberty of supplying the links that wikipedia left out: “As Susan departs the lane one last time, the ghosts of the lane watch her. Among them include Mike Delfino, Karen McCluskey and her son, George Williams, Juanita ‘Mama’ Solis, Mona Clarke, Karl Mayer, Ellie Leonard, Nora Huntington, Rex Van De Kamp, Lillian Sims, Beth Young, Chuck Vance, Alma Hodge, Bradley Scott, and Martha Huber.”
There were a variety of reasons that I was moved by the ghosts scene. (1.) What better way is there to say good-bye to the show than to see the various characters who have appeared in the show’s history? (2.) It was interesting that good people, bad people, and weak people were among the ghosts, and they all had peaceful expressions on their faces. Mary Alice said that these ghosts hope that the living will learn to put aside regret and bitterness. I like the concept of redemption for the wicked, who look back on their lives and realize that they made poor decisions, perhaps out of insecurity and ego, and they hope that the living will learn not to make the same mistakes.
It was disappointing not to see certain characters in the afterlife. Eedie Britt was not there, but I’m not surprised, since the actress who played her is not on good terms with Marc Cherry. But I was especially disappointed when I did not see Ida Greenberg, whom I really liked.
(UPDATE: The wikipedia article has been updated. First, it says that Matthew Applewhite was in the background as a ghost—-and Matthew Applewhite was Betty’s son in Season 2. Second, it says regarding Eedie: “Edie Britt‘s ghost is absent in the final scenes because of the lawsuit pending between Nicollette Sheridan and show creator Marc Cherry. In an interview in Summer 2011, Cherry had previously hinted that he wanted to ask Sheridan back for the series finale ‘to pay homage to everyone who has been on the show’. However, though they could not get Nicollette back as a ghost, there is a blonde woman during the final scene in the background that could be Edie.”)
Third, at the very end, we see that the lady moving into Susan’s house has her own dark secret, and we’re not told what it is. Life on Wisteria Lane continues!