Pretty Little Picture (Desperate Housewives)

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"Pretty Little Picture"
Desperate Housewives episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 3
Directed by Arlene Sanford
Written by Oliver Goldstick
Production code 103
Original air date October 17, 2004
Guest actors
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Ah, But Underneath"
Next →
"Who's That Woman?"
List of Desperate Housewives episodes

"Pretty Little Picture" is the third episode of the first season of the ABC television series, Desperate Housewives. The episode was written by Oliver Goldstick and was directed by Arlene Sanford. It originally aired on Sunday October 17, 2004.

Plot[edit]

At the start of the episode, the four housewives are reading different parts of the daily papers. Susan scans the front page and sees something. On her calendar she sees a Post-it note on that day's date which reads "Mary Alice's Dinner". She walks over to Lynette's house and there is a flashback of Susan walking into Lynette's house for their weekly poker game. Mary Alice tells the girls that she wants to host a dinner party, for the housewives and their husbands. The girls all agree that it is a good idea and Mary Alice is excited. When it returns to the present time, Susan shows Lynette the note and the girls soon gather to discuss it. They decided to throw it anyway, as a way to honor Mary Alice. Bree decides to host it at her house, Susan seems rather disappointed that she will be the only housewife without a partner. Mike Delfino passes them jogging and waves to Susan and Susan subtly hints that she has found her date.

Susan reunites with her ex-husband Karl when their daughter Julie goes to stay with him for the weekend. Before leaving, however, Brandi, Karl's girlfriend, attempts to throw a soda can in the trash but it misses and lands instead near Susan's feet.[1] Karl tells Susan to pick it up and she refuses.[2] Susan is angered then kicks the can near the sidewalk where Mike and Bongo are walking.[3] Mike asks Susan if she would like him to pick up the can.[4] Later, Karl visits Susan (who has just gotten out of the shower) and asks why she does not like Brandi, and why she is treating him so harshly. [5] Susan tells Karl that she is still reeling from the divorce and not to expect her to be nice to his new girlfriend.[6] Karl tells her that it is not an excuse. Susan is clearly finished talking and shows Karl the door.[7] Susan follows Karl to his car where her towel gets stuck in his car door.[8] Susan is shockingly stripped of her towel and is now naked.[9] Susan panics and runs toward her house which is locked and secretly tries to get back in before someone catches her.[10] She holds a potted plant in front of her body and tries the back door, which is locked as well.[11] She then tries to climb to the window. Susan then falls into her bushes and is discovered by Mike.[12] Mike helps her out and manages to get her back into the house by jimmying a window.[13] Susan then asks Mike if she would like to go with her to Bree's dinner party. Mike accepts and the two end up having a very good evening despite the tension caused by Bree.[14] The following day when Karl brings Julie home, Susan apologizes to Brandi for being immature and tells her that she will try to be more accepting.[15] Brandi accepts her apology and also apologizes to Susan for her own behavior.[16]

As Bree and Rex's marital problems continue to surface, Bree tries to cover up the fact that she and Rex are in counseling since she does not want to be seen as weak or to be mocked for her "failed" marriage. When Rex asks what their cover story is, Bree replies that they will be taking tennis lessons and hands him a racket, which they will both use as decoys before and after the sessions.[17] Bree's plans quickly backfire, as Rex tells everyone at the dinner party that he and Bree are in marriage counseling.[18] Suddenly, Bree drops a plate but quickly changes her tone as dinner is about to be served.[19] The following day, Bree packs Rex's bags as he tells her that he has checked into a motel and they discuss how they are going to tell the kids about their separation.[20] Bree jokes that she can say that he "went to tennis camp" which Rex does not find in the least funny.[21] Later, Bree visits Dr. Goldfine's office in the hopes that she can talk to him about what happened the evening prior. Dr. Goldfine tells Bree he is in between clients and that she will have to wait until tomorrow's appointment.[22] As Dr. Goldfine walks into the hallway, Bree snoops around and find Rex's tape from his private session. Instead of taking it, she suspiciously comes across a tape labeled "Young, Mary Alice". Bree decides to take the tape for herself to see if it can shed any light on Mary Alice's mysterious suicide.[23]

During the awkward dinner, Susan manages to break the ice by telling her embarrassing story of how, earlier that day, she was locked out of her house naked and Mike came to her rescue by helping her out of a bush.[24] Gabrielle then tells how she and Carlos broke a waterbed in a hotel room[25] and Lynette tells the group that she and Tom were accused of lewd conduct while on Main Street, USA in Disneyland.[26] Bree ends the conversation by telling everyone that, "Rex cries after he ejaculates".[27] At that moment, Rex embarrassed, gets up from the table, grabs his car keys and leaves as everyone quietly finishes eating.[28]

Lynette is happy that Tom has finally returned home from work but becomes angered over a photo taken a few months prior. When Lynette asks Tom if he would come to the dinner party with her, he informs her that he is tired and would rather skip it. Lynette is obviously upset since this party is probably the only social dinner for a while since most of her time is spent with "children under the age of 6" who do not talk as maturely as adults do. Lynette decides to go to the party without Tom who volunteers to stay home with the kids. To give Tom the experience of what it is like to be her, she gives the kids sugar and snacks beforehand which gives Tom quite a night. When Lynette arrives home, he thanks her for giving them sugar as part of her revenge and tells her that they are really raising "little terrorists".[29] The following day, Tom makes it up to Lynette by wearing a sombrero and makes mimosa which leads the two to dance.[30]

When Carlos tells Gabrielle that she needs to relax, she calls up John to invite him to come over and "help her" feel better. John comes over after school, in his gym sweats and begins to take them off as the two make out. Their kissing is interrupted however when a little girl catches them from Gabrielle's door. Gabrielle quickly runs after the little girl and continues to search for her throughout the afternoon. When she finally finds her, she is shaking hands with Carlos who tells Gabrielle that Ashley and her mom are new neighbors. The following day, Gabrielle visits Ashley who is playing with sidewalk chalk and gives her a new doll as a "bribe". Gabrielle then explains to Ashley that many people can kiss as friends even if they are not married. Ashley nods but tells her that she wants a bicycle if she does not want Carlos to find out what she saw. Later on, Gabrielle gives Ashley a top of the line bike which leads her to ask Gabrielle if she will teach her how to ride. Gabrielle tells her some other time but Ashley wants to learn now. Gabrielle, fearing she has no other choice helps her ride (in her heels) until Ashley gets tired. Ashley says that she would like to do it again tomorrow. Gabrielle quickly interrupts saying that she has school tomorrow. Ashley then tells her that she is home-schooled and that she is home all the time. Gabrielle gives a nervous smile as she walks away.

Zach Young asks his father why he has not put an obituary notice in the paper.[31] Paul tells Zach that he had completely forgotten and asks why. An angered Zach then says to Paul "that when you die, maybe I won't put an obituary in the paper". Paul tells Zach that it is his choice if that is what he decides to do. That evening, Zach finds the gun Mary Alice used to kill herself in the garage which is still in fact loaded. Zach then sits in the dark playing with the gun as Paul comes in. Zach then confronts Paul about why he kept the gun. Paul asks Zach if he has taken his medication today but the question is not answered as the doorbell suddenly rings. Bree Van De Kamp greets Zach as she invites him and Paul to her dinner party. Paul then comes from behind Zach and tells her that they have already made plans. Zach quietly hands Paul the gun. Zach thanks Bree for remembering his mother as she walks away from their home. The following day while Zach is asleep, Paul watches a news report about a mysterious toy chest that was found in the lake days prior. Paul quickly turns the television off and walks away as Zach opens his eyes and becomes suspicious. During the middle of the night, Paul puts a "for sale" sign in front of his house.

Title reference[edit]

The episode title Pretty Little Picture is a song from the Stephen Sondheim stage musical, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. (The song does not appear in the movie version.)

International titles[edit]

  • Finnish: Kaunis kulissi (A Beautiful Scene)
  • French: Le dîner (The Dinner)
  • German: Die nackte Wahrheit (The Naked Truth)
  • Hungarian: Szép kis látvány! (Pretty Little Vision)
  • Italian: Ritratto di famiglia (Family portrait)
  • Spanish: Imágenes idílicas (Idyllic images)
  • Serbian: Lepa mala slika (Pretty Little Picture)

References[edit]

The time is excluding commercials

  1. ^ "Pretty Little Picture" approx 10:01
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  3. ^ "Pretty Little Picture" approx 10:46
  4. ^ "Pretty Little Picture" approx 10:55
  5. ^ "Pretty Little Picture" approx 24:29
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  9. ^ "Pretty Little Picture" approx 26:08
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  11. ^ "Pretty Little Picture" approx 27:12
  12. ^ "Pretty Little Picture" approx 27:29
  13. ^ "Pretty Little Picture" approx 28:18
  14. ^ "Pretty Little Picture" approx 33:15
  15. ^ "Pretty Little Picture" approx 38:01
  16. ^ "Pretty Little Picture" approx 38:22
  17. ^ "Pretty Little Picture" approx 9:01
  18. ^ "Pretty Little Picture" approx 29:35
  19. ^ "Pretty Little Picture" approx 29:44
  20. ^ "Pretty Little Picture" approx 36:15
  21. ^ "Pretty Little Picture" approx 36:28
  22. ^ "Pretty Little Picture" approx 40:47
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  24. ^ "Pretty Little Picture" approx 31:40
  25. ^ "Pretty Little Picture" approx 32:14
  26. ^ "Pretty Little Picture" approx 32:02
  27. ^ "Pretty Little Picture" approx 32:28
  28. ^ "Pretty Little Picture" approx 32:49
  29. ^ "Pretty Little Picture" approx 34:30
  30. ^ "Pretty Little Picture" approx 39:12
  31. ^ "Pretty Little Picture" approx 11:05