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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
True, this isn't a big budget, cranked-up sweeps episode, but it is an
exceptionally good offering. It is the first episode written and filmed
after the 2007-2008 Writers' Strike, and you can tell the writers are
creatively refreshed and the actors glad to be back at work. If you
watch Desperate Housewives more for its female-driven acting, comedy,
and suburban panorama than its darker, more mysterious and deadly side,
then "Sunday" should be perfectly satisfying.
That said, this episode does significantly propel the season's mystery. The teaser ends with Katherine crying over a makeshift grave, and Susan's cousin Tim (played by Chris Carmack) visits, providing information about Katherine's past.
But the true merit of Chris Carmack's appearance is the opportunity it gives Teri Hatcher for zany comedy. Susan leaps to conclusions about Tim's intentions regarding Katherine's daughter, and Teri plays her comedic timing perfectly so you can really see the cogs turning inside her character's head.
Gabrielle's plot line is significant, if not a little slow-going. The highlight is the scene between her and Father Crowley, her long-suffering priest. The writers don't always get away with Gaby's ill-acquaintance with a moral compass, but here it comes off brilliantly in her inability to mourn the dastardly Victor and her hurry to remarry. It's a rare actress and writing team who can make that so funny. Her beau Carlos - and the viewer - may be sceptical that Gaby will stick by him considering his blindness, but her response is pleasantly surprising.
The stand-out story though is shared by Lynette and Bree, and really is the cornerstone of the episode's theme of "faith". Any plot line on this show focusing on any two female leads together is usually great, and this is unusual for being religious in theme, involving Lynette's newfound desire to go to church. The writers brilliantly play Lynette's need to freely ask "questions" against Bree's insistence on prescribed "answers". It's not highly intellectual theology, but it's a light, touching storyline, that both delicately reveals Bree's hypocrisy, develops her friendship with Lynette, and looks at an aspect of life that isn't really discussed much on mainstream prime-time television.
There we have it - some praise for an episode that really doesn't deserve to be overlooked.
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