If There's Anything I Can't Stand

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"If There’s Anything I Can’t Stand"
Desperate Housewives episode
Bree and Phylis.jpg
Phyllis Van De Kamp chats with Bree
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 4
Directed by Larry Shaw
Written by Alexandra Cunningham & Lori Kirkland Baker
Production code 404
Original air date October 21, 2007
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"The Game"
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"Art Isn't Easy"
List of Desperate Housewives episodes

If There’s Anything I Can’t Stand” is the 74th episode of the ABC television series, Desperate Housewives.[1] It is the fourth episode of the show’s fourth season and first aired on October 21, 2007,[1] and attracted 18.21 million viewers in its original airing.[2] The episode was written by Alexandra Cunningham and Lori Kirkland Baker, and directed by Larry Shaw.[1]

Plot[edit]

Susan Mayer welcomes the new couple, Bob and Lee, to Wisteria Lane. She makes quite a mess of greeting them and ends up getting off on the wrong foot. She tries to make up for it and get the new neighbors to like her by heating up some cookies (since she cannot bake to save her life) and takes them over to their house, where she is greeted by Lee. She and her cookies are not received well, as Lee is allergic to nuts and Susan can't answer if there are any nuts in the cookies since she didn't make them herself, and she ends up with some very rude comments and the door shut in her face. Susan’s daughter Julie later finds their dog running around in the street, and Susan decides to take the dog and keep it in her garage so she can be the “hero” and make Bob and Lee like her. When Lee notices the dog missing, Susan helps him look for it, temporarily winning his thanks and apologies for being so rude earlier on. However, when Susan’s husband Mike returns home, he opens the garage door and the dog runs out with Susan and Mike’s wet paint all over his paws, which not only ruins Bob’s very expensive Dolce suit, but leaves a trail straight back to Susan’s garage. Mike comes back after trying to do some damage control and tells Susan they have to pay $2000 to replace Bob's suit. Susan starts to figure out another way to get them to like her, but Mike snaps at her and tells her to let it go.

Katherine Mayfair's elderly aunt Lillian arrives from the nursing home on her deathbed. She expresses to Katherine that she does not want to take the guilt of what they have done to her grave, wondering if God will let her into heaven, and she pleads with Katherine to let her tell her daughter Dylan the truth. Katherine becomes enraged, stating that they did what they had to do and she will not let Lillian ruin her and her family’s lives. Katherine steps out for a bit, and Lillian rings her bell to summon Dylan. She beckons Dylan over to the bed and starts to explain the reason as to why she cannot remember anything about her childhood on Wisteria Lane. Katherine walks in, sends Dylan out of the room, and takes away Lillian’s bell.

Bree Hodge receives a motorcycle, intended as a present for Danielle. She forbids her son Andrew from riding it and intends to give it away at a church raffle. Her husband Orson disregards her advice and "road tests" it, leading to a minor crash.

Bree insists to her friends Susan, Lynette and Gabrielle she does not want a baby shower, citing many reasons why it is either inappropriate or unnecessary, in order to cover up her fake-pregnancy. When Bree walks away for a second, her son Andrew goes over to them and suggests that they throw her a surprise party. Bree is shocked when she walks into the party, and speechless with fury when Phyllis Van De Kamp, her first husband Rex’s dreadful mother, shows up. (Andrew indicates to Bree that this was revenge for not letting him drive the motorcycle.) When Bree and Phyllis argue, Phyllis brings up that she even gave Bree her mother’s sable coat. Bree tells her that if she wants it back, she can have it. As Phyllis storms out, she asks Andrew where her mother would keep the coat. He told her it was in Bree’s bedroom closet, forgetting that this is also where Bree's false pregnant bellies are stored. Bree runs upstairs to stop her, but is too late. Bree begs Phyllis, for the sake of Danielle’s reputation, not to tell anyone, and tells her where Danielle is really staying. The conversation escalates into an argument about how Rex really felt about his mother, and Phyllis angrily stomps out of the room, and calls for everybody’s attention at the door. When all eyes are on her, she stops herself and just tells everyone how good it was to see them again. Bree thanks her quietly, and Phyllis expresses to her that, “You’re not the only one who would like a second chance”. At the end of the episode, Danielle is in her room in the convent when Phyllis arrives. Phyllis tells her that she does not have to stay there and she can leave with her. Danielle is delighted and immediately packs her things.

Edie Britt’s gynecologist tells her that she has crabs, Edie talks with her fiancé Carlos Solis about it, who is pretty grossed out, and they both have to use an awful licorice-smelling shampoo and a fine-toothed comb to take care of it. Carlos realizes as he has been secretly sleeping with his ex-wife Gabrielle, that she must have it, too. He drops by one of Gabrielle’s husband's Victor press conferences to warn Gabrielle, and they both realize that since Gabrielle might have it, Victor stands a good chance of having it, too. When they see him briefly scratch his crotch, they know they have to do something. Gabrielle later dresses up in a sexy nurse’s costume for a night of passion with Victor. She pretends the awful-smelling shampoo is a lotion that she made out of natural herbs, and she seductively rubs the shampoo on him. Later, at Bree’s baby shower, Edie smells the shampoo on Victor, wonders how he came about it and asks about his “cologne”. He tells her Gabrielle rubbed some homemade lotion stuff on him. As she looks around the room at people eating the crab cake entree, she slowly makes the connection between Carlos, Gaby, and Victor, and her suspicion grows strong as she crunches up her crab cake in anger.

Lynette Scavo, feeling great about not having to go to chemotherapy for another month, wants to have sex with her husband Tom. When they start making love, however, Lynette’s wig slips, and she just takes it off. Tom is uncomfortable with Lynette’s bald head, and tells her that he has an early day the next day and he will sleep with her tomorrow. Lynette is upset and confides to Gabrielle about this in the wig shop. Gabrielle advises her that men like variety, and to try different wigs to spice up their sex life and pique Tom’s interest. She tries the redheaded wig that night, and Tom cannot run up the stairs after her fast enough. The next night, Lynette is getting ready for another passionate night with Tom, wearing her normal blonde wig, and Tom comes in with a black wig for her to put on behind his back. She is upset, and feels that he only wants to have sex with her when he is pretending she is someone else. He explains that that was not the case at all, and her illness is affecting him more than she knows. They decide that they should just make love as Tom and Lynette, which makes them both happy.

Finally, in her last hour of life, Lillian is desperate to tell Dylan of the guilty secret that she has been carrying with her. With all of her attempts blocked by Katherine, her only option is to quickly write it down on a piece of paper, which she folds up in her hand. She dies, and the note drops out of her grasp onto the floor. In the end, Katherine watches as paramedics take away her body. The camera then pans to the other side of the bed where Lillian’s dying words lie folded on the floor.

Ratings and reception[edit]

If There's Anything I Can’t Stand scored an 11.5/17 in Nielsen points (originally reported as 11.3/16), down from previous episodes with a total of 18.214m viewers; however, a championship baseball game reduced viewer ratings for other programmes as well.[3]

The episode was well received by critics. TV Squad’s Isabelle Carreau had a positive review of all the sub-plots, especially the Mayfair storyline.[4]

13.4 Million viewers watched this episode in the UL coming 5th in weekley ratings.

On its arrival in the UK, the terrestrial airing on April 16 had been given was #11 with 2.36 million viewers. The lowest so far this season. This is a dip of 47,000 viewers (20%) since last week. The cable airing on April 13, viewing figures had still not returned to the top 10, and the viewing number is therefore currently unknown.

Awards Notes[edit]

Title reference[edit]

  • The episode title, “If There’s Anything I Can’t Stand” is a song taken from Stephen Sondheim's first musical By George.

International titles[edit]

  • Czech: Jestli něco nesnáším (If There's Anything I Hate)
  • French: Les Nuisibles (The Vermins)
  • French Canadian: Les Nuisibles (The Vermins)
  • German: Plagen (Plagues)
  • Hebrew: דברים שאני לא יכולה לסבול (Dvarim SheAni Lo Yechola Lisbol; Things I Can't Stand)
  • Hungarian: Kártevők (Pests)
  • Italian: Se c'è qualcosa che non sopporto (If There's Anything I Can't Stand)
  • Polish: Jeśli jest coś czego nie mogę tolerować (If There's Anything I Can't Stand)
  • Spanish: Hay cosas que no tolero (There Are Things that I Can't Stand)
  • Greek: Εάν υπάρχει κάτι που δεν ανέχομαι (If There's Anything I Can't Stand)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c WISTERIA LANE'S NEW RESIDENTS ARE PARTNERS, ON ABC'S "DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES", ABC MediaNet, October 3, 2007
  2. ^ Seidman, Robert (18 November 2007). "Desperate Housewives Ratings 2007-2008". Nielsen Media Research, Inc. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  3. ^ FOX Sox it to Sunday Rivals Zap2it Retrieved 2007-10-24
  4. ^ Desperate Housewives: If There's Anything I Can’t Stand TV Squad Retrieved 2007-10-24
  5. ^ a b "Official 2008 EMMYS Episode Submissions". The Envelope Forum, Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on October 8, 2008.