Smiles of a Summer Night (Desperate Housewives)

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"Smiles of a Summer Night"
Desperate Housewives episode
A frustrated Bree.jpg
Bree attempts to find Katherine's recipe
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 2
Directed by David Grossman
Written by Bob Daily
Matt Berry
Production code 402
Original air date October 7, 2007
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Now You Know"
Next →
"The Game"
List of Desperate Housewives episodes

Smiles of a Summer Night” is the 72nd episode of the ABC dramedy series Desperate Housewives. It was written by Bob Daily and Matt Berry and directed by David Grossman. It is the second episode of the show’s fourth season and aired on October 7, 2007.


Julie asks Susan if she can go to a party. However, Mike tells Susan that he would rather Susan forbade her daughter to go due to the fact he has seen some crazy parties in the house where Julie is going. Even though Susan had already given Julie permission to go to the party, she sides with Mike and Julie is banned. However, Susan decides to go behind Mike’s back and tells Julie she just wanted Mike to feel as if he were part of the decision-making process, and she allows Julie to attend the party. Later that night Mike tells Susan he drove past the house earlier on and saw things like girls running around topless, people staggering around drunk and music blaring. Susan says she needs to run to the store, and she runs to the party to pick up Julie and Dylan. Mike later finds out about Susan’s lie and tells Susan that he respects her decisions on how to raise Julie how she wants, as Julie is her child.

Dylan is walking by Mrs. McCluskey's, and she strikes up a conversation with Dylan about how she used to always see her playing on her tricycle around the neighborhood with her father close behind. Later, she waits until Katherine leaves then grabs her family photo album. She comes across a baby picture of herself and the picture of her father cropped off from the family portrait, but hides it quickly when her mom comes into the room.

Lynette Scavo asks during her lunch if anyone would like to attend chemotherapy with her, seeing as she kicked Tom out for being too emotional. Bree, Susan and even Katherine all offer to do it; however Gabrielle pretends to not hear the question and Lynette confronts her about it. Gabrielle gives in and decides to go with Lynette. However, when she is there to entertain Lynette, she seems uncomfortable and awkward, constantly finds reasons to leave the room and disappear for hours. Seeing Lynette’s frustration and hurt, Gabrielle reveals that when she was five, her father died from cancer, and her mother told her not to cry because she wanted her husband to feel well dying and not see his daughter cry. She said she smiled all night – even after he had died – and later made a great career (as a model) where all she had to do was smile. She fights back tears when she tells Lynette she is so scared of losing her that she cannot pretend to smile. Lynette is choked up and promises her she will not die.

Katherine Mayfair suggests to have a lunch party for Lynette one day and she and Bree both insist to bring dessert for the party, which at first Katherine reluctantly agreed to bring salad. During the lunch, everyone tries the pie Bree has brought. Susan and Gabrielle tell her that it is the best she has ever made. However, when Bree tries it, she realizes that it is not hers and stares over at Katherine. Katherine comes clean and announces that she swapped hers with Bree’s so that everyone could try it. Bree, furious about Katherine's deceit and largely irate about Katherine upstaging her pie, desperately tries to figure out Katherine’s secret ingredient. When that doesn’t work she gives Katherine her meat pie recipe and then asks nicely for Katherine's lemon meringue pie recipe. Katherine refuses, but Bree keeps pushing it. They get into a verbal tussle. In her determination, Bree breaks into the Mayfair house to steal it, only to find that Katherine padlocks her recipe box. Instead of giving up, Bree gets a pair of bolt cutters from Mike, but is trapped when Katherine and her family come home. Before she escapes unnoticed, she overhears a conversation between Dylan and her mother. Dylan tries to find out more about her father and why he left the family when she was younger. Katherine tells her not to listen to a thing the neighbours tell her about her father. When Dylan calls Katherine a monster, she slaps her hard across the face and Dylan runs to her room as her stepfather Adam watches. Katherine, Dylan and Adam do not notice that Bree is listening to the entire conversation.

Edie Britt blackmails her boyfriend Carlos by threatening to tell people about his illegal bank account if he won't marry her. Carlos accepts but afterward pays some sinister looking man in a bar to stop Edie from ruining his life. The stranger promises to “take care of it."

In a flashback of Susan’s about the day on which Katherine abruptly left Wisteria Lane, former neighbor Mary Alice Young and Susan walk up to Katherine’s house questioning a younger looking Katherine as to why she and Dylan are suddenly moving. A very nervous-looking Katherine tells them that she got a job in Chicago and she refuses to let Susan get Julie to say goodbye to Dylan. A crashing noise is heard upstairs and Katherine tells them she is really going to miss them and urgently shuts the door.


This is the first episode since season three’s Bang in which the character of Mary Alice Young is seen.

Although credited, Andrew Van De Kamp (Shawn Pyfrom), Danielle Van De Kamp (Joy Lauren), Parker Scavo (Zane Huett) and Kayla Scavo (Rachel Fox) do not appear in this episode.


Dana Delany submitted this episode for consideration of her work for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards.[1]

Title reference[edit]

International titles[edit]

  • Croatian: Osmijesi ljetnje večeri (Smiles of a Summer Night)
  • Czech: Úsměvy letní noci (Smiles of a Summer Night)
  • French: Rien n'est plus trompeur qu'un sourire (Nothing is more deceptive than a smile)
  • French Canadian: Sourire Trompeur (False Smile)
  • German: Kuchenschlacht (Pie Battle)
  • Hebrew: חיוכים של ליל קיץ (Chiyuchim Shel Le'il Kaitz; Smiles of a Summer Night)
  • Hungarian: Pite-csata (Pie Battle)
  • Italian: L'ombra di un Sorriso (A Smile's Shadow)
  • Polish: Druga Strona Uśmiechu (The Second Side of the Smile)
  • Spanish: Sonrisas de una noche de verano (Smiles of a Summer Night)
  • Greek: Χαμόγελα Καλοκαιρινής Νυκτός (Smiles of a Summer Night)

Reception and ratings[edit]

Smiles of a Summer Night scored an 11.7/17 in Nielsen ratings with 17.817 million viewers tuning in,[2] down from the season premiere "Now You Know", which scored 12.2/18 with a total of 19.317 million viewers.[3] A total of 7.81 Million viewers watched this episode in the UL finishing 23rd in weekley ratings and on its cable debut it had 2.55 Million coming 9th in Cable Ratings

Smiles of a Summer Night made its terrestrial debut in the UK on April 2, 2008, with the cable debut a mere 3 days earlier on March 30. The Terrestrial debut had achieved 4th place and 2.77 million viewers. A dramatic 603,000 viewer fall (equivalent to 23%) since Now You Know. However, on E4 the episode was played over 2 weeks, firstly as a "sneak peek", then as a "encore" the following Sunday. On its original airing, straight after the encore of Now You Know The episode's numbers had doubled since the encore to 727,000. The number had risen by a massive 206%

Critical response[edit]

TV Squad writer Isabel Carreau was quite pleased with Smiles of a Summer Night. Carreau called Bree’s sub-plot “delicious” and claimed that it was another reason for calling Bree her favourite character from the programme. She was critical of Susan’s behaviour, noting that she should act more mature.[4]


  1. ^ "Official 2008 EMMYS Episode Submissions". The Envelope Forum, Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on October 8, 2008. 
  2. ^ NBC picks off Sunday win Zap2it Retrieved 2007-10-08
  3. ^ Premieres carry ABC Sunday Zap2it Retrieved 2007-10-02
  4. ^ Desperate Housewives: Smiles of a Summer Night TV Squad Retrieved 2007-10-08

External links[edit]

Read the episode commentary from Thinking About The Box [1]