Recap: "Crime Doesn't Pay"

Sunday's episode of Desperate Housewives involves various people dealing with their new life situations, with varying degrees of success: Susan is (still!) trying to get over her ex. Tom and Lynette are mourning the loss of their restaurant and seeking new means of employment. Gaby is trying to extricate herself from an extortion plot without giving up the new lifestyle to which she has become quickly again accustomed. Sad Orson, ever the ex-con, is dealing with his new station in life with an odd new behavior. Plus, Yellow Satan is under pressure to put Operation Kill People into effect, so that he may move on... to the afterlife?


Orson is very polite. But he also likes to punish people for not being polite. So says the nonsensical, albeit soothing babbling of the Mary Alice voice-over this week. It's meant to explain why Orson is suddenly a kleptomaniac. Sigh. Things were going so well for Orson (and Kyle MacLachlan) - I'm not sure what to think of this narrative detour just yet.

When Orson stops by Scavos' on the day of their Going Out of Business Sale, Tom is understandably a little cranky. Orson tries for sympathy - "I think I, of all people, know what you're going through. I know what it's like to have your livelihood suddenly vanish," he says. "Remember, I used to be a dentist." - but Tom balks at the comparison.

This makes sense because, um, Orson kind of brought all his trouble on himself by hitting the gas pedal those many years ago, right? "What happened to me was unfair," Tom says, "and what happened to you was..." He doesn't finish the sentence, but it's enough of a slight to Orson that he pockets a salt shaker that looks like my great-uncle Dom (incidentally, the man made a mean braciole). Bree finds the salt shaker, but with a racist Italian voice (how dare he assail my people!), Orson somehow convinces her that it's OK that he took it.

Later in the episode, Orson is similarly rebuffed by Bree's publisher, who comes over for dinner to talk to Tom about a new job (more on that below). The guy is kind of a cad, spewing insulting, common-sense ideas into his digital recorder. "Idea for a children's book: Kid gets beat up on the playground for having a ridiculous name. Could be Orson," he barks. This prompts Orson to steal his recorder, but Bree catches it and covers for her suddenly delusional husband.

Time for Mrs. Van de Kamp to clean up another mess! Bree confronts him about his new hobby and informs him matter-of-factly that it will stop. Now. To show that he's been listening, Orson then steals one of her earrings. I will reserve judgment for now. Wait, no, I won't - this plotline sucks, and is way beneath MacLachlan's talents.

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