Ah, But Underneath (Desperate Housewives)

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This article is about a Desperate Housewives episode. For the Stephen Sondheim song, see Follies.
"Ah, But Underneath"
Desperate Housewives episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 2
Directed by Larry Shaw
Written by Marc Cherry
Production code 102
Original air date October 10, 2004
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Pilot"
Next →
"Pretty Little Picture"
List of Desperate Housewives episodes

"Ah, But Underneath" is the second episode of the ABC television series, Desperate Housewives. The episode was the second episode for the show's first season. The episode was written by Marc Cherry and was directed by Larry Shaw. It originally aired on Sunday October 10, 2004. This episode aired in the UL on October 16 and had 20.06 Million viewers.

Plot[edit]

Mary Alice thought that she knew everyone, but had she looked further, she would have realized that she was never looking deep beneath the surface. Had she realized this, she would have known that Gabrielle Solis was a "drowning woman" and she would have offered to help her. Mary Alice only saw the side of Gabrielle that most of the others saw: her expensive jewelry, her fabulous designer clothing, and her diamond watch. Gabrielle knew that she was lonely since her husband Carlos was constantly away but knew that if she lost him or they separated she would be less happy than she already was. This is perhaps the reason that John Rowland is not only Gabrielle's personal gardener but also her current lover. As the two relax in the bathtub, Gabrielle hears a noise from outside. When she looks out the window, she finds Carlos getting out of his car and checking the mail. Gabrielle panics and quickly devises a plan to get John out of there. The two race down the stairs and Gabrielle throws John out a window. John falls into the shrubs and quickly puts his shirt on. Simultaneously, Carlos enters the house oblivious of what is going on. Carlos asks why Gabrielle took a bath in the afternoon which she explains by saying that she had just worked out. When Carlos asks where John is, Gabrielle quivers until John pleasantly greets the two from the window while trimming the shrubs. Carlos reminds John to finish work on the ficus tree, which John agrees to do once he is finished the shrubs. Carlos smiles and the scene ends with John trimming away in only his shirt.

The women gather the following evening at Susan's to discuss the mysterious note that was used to blackmail Mary Alice. Susan thinks that they should share the letter with Paul since it could be used as evidence to find the writer. Gabrielle thinks that he would break down. Bree agrees but Lynette scoffs at the suggestion since it would only make matters worse. The four leave without a resolution and decide to talk about it in the morning.

Meanwhile, Bree tries to save her marriage with Rex by going to couple counseling with Dr. Albert Goldfine, supposedly Fairview's number 1 therapist. Dr. Goldfine has handled cases such as domestic abuse, affairs, and marital disputes but has never met anyone as eccentric as the Van De Kamps. At their first few sessions, Rex manages to get his complaints about the marriage out in the open but when it's time for Bree to talk she rambles on with small talk. Dr. Goldfine tells her to think about herself and Rex sometimes other than always obsessing about the housework or the children. As Dr. Goldfine gives Bree these suggestions, Bree focuses on a button that is torn on his suit. Later, Bree returns privately to Dr. Goldfine where she offers to re-sew his button. As she does him this favor, the two talk about how Rex always exaggerates and that the marriage is not entirely her fault. Dr. Goldfine agrees but he believes that the blame be put on both parties. At their next session, Rex talks once again and Dr. Goldfine manages to remind him that he should be thankful that Bree does all the nice things that she does because it is not mandated of her to do so. Rex feels shut down as Bree smiles back at Goldfine.

Susan decides to make her move on Mike by inviting him to one of her "annual" welcome dinners for the new neighbors. Mike accepts her offer. However knowing that her cooking is bad, Mike agrees to cook and hold it at his house. He also invites Julie to come as well. As they talk, they are interrupted by Edie who asks what is going on. Mike tells Edie that Susan has just invited him over for one of her traditional welcome dinners. Edie asks why she did not get one and Susan replies that it is a new tradition. Edie decides it will be fun and wants to join in. Mike says that it is up to Susan, and since she feels guilty she decides that Edie can come. Susan definitely decides to bring Julie since she will save her from doing something awkward in front of Mike and Edie. Susan tries to get at Mike's early to help him but Edie has arrived unexpectedly before her. The dinner goes well and the only person Susan has failed to impress is Mike's dog, Bongo, who has taken more of an interest in Edie. Susan decides to butter up the dog by putting drops of gravy on her face. Susan successfully manages to get Bongo to like her but he accidentally swallows her earring and begins to choke. Mike rushes out of the house with the dog to drive it to the hospital. At the animal hospital Susan apologizes to Mike. He also offers his apology since the dog was originally his deceased wife's. Susan realizes that Mike still has feeling for his dead wife and that he will not be available for a while. Susan quietly hugs him as they get the news that Bongo is all right.

With Tom away once again, Lynette has trouble with her children in the car. Lynette has tried various methods to get the kids to behave, without results. After being insulted by a police officer on her parenting, she lashes back at him by telling him how stressful it is to be a stay-at-home mom. When the officer sees how stressed out Lynette is, he gives her a warning and walks back to his car. Later, Mrs. Huber tells Lynette how her mother got her to behave in the car. When Martha misbehaved, her mother stopped the car and left her on the side of the road. She quickly came back however and Martha never misbehaved again. Lynette agrees to try the method out with unsuccessful results. When the children act up once again, Lynette pulls up to a street and lets the kids out. Lynette then drives around the block and comes back. When she arrives back, the boys are missing and Lynette panics. Lynette asks a woman if she has seen the boys but she has seen everything and asks what kind of mother abandons her children. Lynette says that she has not abandoned them and that she was coming right back. The woman recommends anger management and that she is calling the police. Lynette spots the boys and yells for them to run. The family runs into the car as the woman chases them demanding they come back.

Edie moves in with Mrs. Huber shortly after the fire at her house. At the crime scene, Mrs. Huber finds a piece of evidence: Susan's measuring cup. While collecting clothes for Edie, Martha visits Julie where she learns that they have purchased a new measuring cup. If Martha Huber decides to go the police it could be bad for Susan who did (accidentally) set Edie's house on fire.

After being almost caught by Carlos, Gabrielle decides that she and John cannot have sex in the house anymore. When Gabrielle shows up unexpectedly at John's house, he offers her a token of his affection by giving her a beautiful rose. Gabrielle treasures the gift and John says that he wants to make sure that their relationship lasts for a long time. Gabrielle feels differently about her relationship with John, seeing that it can only be an affair, and will not go any further. When John sees that Carlos has purchased Gabrielle a new car, he learns that Gabrielle is still in love with Carlos and that he will have to share her.

During the middle of the night, Paul Young throws a child's toy chest in the town lake. The contents inside are unknown at this time, raising more suspicions to the Mary Alice mystery.

Title reference[edit]

The episode title Ah, But Underneath is a song that appears in some versions of the Stephen Sondheim musical, Follies. (It was written for the 1987 London production, in which it replaced "The Story of Lucy and Jessie". It does not occur in current licensed versions of the musical.)

International titles[edit]

  • Finnish: Pinnan alla (Underneath)
  • French: Premier Round (First Round)
  • German: Unter der Oberfläche (Underneath the Surface)
  • Hungarian: Óh, de lent a mélyben! (Ah, but underneath)
  • Italian: La verità sfuggevole (The Slipping Truth)
  • Spanish: Ah, pero en el fondo (Ah, but Underneath)
  • Serbian: Ispod površine (Underneath the Surface)
  • Romanian: Secrete (Secrets)