You Can't Judge a Book by Its Cover (Desperate Housewives)

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"You Can't Judge a Book By Its Cover"
Desperate Housewives episode
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 7
Directed by David Warren
Written by Chuck Ranberg
Anne Flett-Giordano
Production code 407
Original air date November 11, 2007
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"Now I Know, Don't Be Scared"
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"Distant Past"
List of Desperate Housewives episodes

You Can't Judge a Book By Its Cover" is the 77th episode of the ABC television series, Desperate Housewives. It is the seventh episode of the show’s fourth season and originally aired on November 11, 2007, in the United States.[1]


Lynette’s cancer may be gone but she is starting to wish her mother was gone as well, especially when she brings a strange man home that she picked up the night before. Lynette suggests it is time for Stella to leave, but she admits she has nowhere to go since her other daughter, Lucy, kicked her out and that she has no money since loaning it all to Lynette. Lynette tries to get her other sister, Lydia, to take Stella back, but Lydia, who is still in therapy after the two years Stella spent with her, refuses. Lucy also refuses to take Stella in, having spent one year with her. Lynette's sisters say that they do not owe Stella anything since she was such a terrible mother to them and Lynette cannot believe they do not care. She tells them not to visit for a few years, since it will take that long for her to stop hating them. Meanwhile, Stella has overheard their heated conversation and taken a taxi to points unknown.

Bree is shocked to hear that Orson does not want to get baby Benjamin circumcised. He reveals how traumatic it was when he was circumcised since it happened when he was five years old. Bree sneaks the baby out to the doctor and finds that Orson has written to all the doctors in town to forbid them to perform the procedure. Bree seizes the invitation to a bris to ask the mohel to perform the circumcision. She has to pretend to be Jewish so that the mohel will perform the circumcision. The mohel tells her that they are entering a covenant and she vows to raise the baby as a Jew. Orson is angry when he finds out she went behind his back and she admits that since Benjamin is related to her by blood, she felt her wishes were more important. He wants to know if she considers him to be the baby’s father since he does not just want to be a glorified babysitter.

Dylan uses a school assignment on genealogy to probe for more information on her father. Katherine refuses to help at first. She finally brings her a piece of paper and says it contains all the information she needs to find her father, as long as Dylan swears to never reveal where Katherine is, since the night he left, he had vowed to kill her for taking his daughter away. She tearfully tells how her husband beat her and she was certain she was going to die. Dylan hands back the piece of paper and says she will ask her teacher for a different assignment. Katherine smiles in triumph as she unfolds the paper and the viewer sees that it is completely blank.

Victor tells Gabrielle that he has cleared his schedule for a month so that they can take a real honeymoon. First, they are going to start with a boat trip. He makes her promise not to tell any of her friends about it. She is surprised that he has even dismissed the crew and that it will be just the two of them at sea.

Carlos goes to collect a painting he left at Edie’s and she gleefully informs him that she showed Victor an incriminating photo of him and Gabrielle. Carlos immediately calls Gabrielle who now sees the romantic boat trip in a sinister new light.

Victor tells Gaby he knows about the affair and tells her he “has something for her”. As he is reaching into a duffel bag. Gabrielle assumes he has got a gun and knocks him overboard with an oar. She motors the boat back to the marina, where Carlos is waiting for her. He suggests they call the police to look for Victor, since it was self-defense, but when they look in the bag there is no gun, only a sweater Victor was going to give Gabrielle because she was cold. They decide they are going to have to retrieve Victor themselves and, luckily, find him and bring him back on board.

He and Carlos start to fight and Gaby, fearing for Carlos’s safety, knocks Victor overboard again. Only this time, they cannot find him. They look for six hours, but finally assumed Victor must be dead. They return to the marina and realize that since no one knew that Gabrielle was with him, if they send the boat back out on its own, it will just look like an accident or suicide, since Gabrielle will say that Victor was despondent over her leaving him.

When Susan and Mike are over at Bree’s for dinner, Bree finds Mike taking some pills in her kitchen. He tells her it is just aspirin for residual pain from his car accident but she examines a pill he has left behind and determines that it is a highly addictive narcotic. She tells Susan, who is reluctant to believe that Mike is lying to her and is reassured when he says it was the last few pills from an old prescription.

But Bree convinces her that addicts are cunning and resourceful liars, so Susan looks through Mike’s things and finds a bag full of pills hidden in a flashlight. When she confronts him, he says he has been taking them since hurting himself on the job. He did not think he could take time off, not with all the talk of expenses for the baby. He wants his son to have all the advantages he never had, and not to have to be a plumber. Susan says all he needs is a father who is not addicted to drugs. To reassure her of his sincerity to quit, he empties the bag of pills into the kitchen sink. But later that night, he opens up the drain to get the pills back.


  • This episode attracted 18.63 million viewers in its original US airing.
  • Although credited, Andrew Van de Kamp (Shawn Pyfrom), Danielle Van De Kamp (Joy Lauren), and Kayla Scavo (Rachel Fox) do not appear in this episode.
  • This is the second time Carrie Preston has played sister to a Felicity Huffman character. In the 2005 movie Transamerica, Preston played Sydney to Huffman's transsexual character Bree/Stanley.
  • This episode had 13.8 Million viewers in the UL coming 9th in the week it was aired
  • Bree falsely promises that Benjamin will be raised Jewish. However, in the next season placed five years in the future, we learn that Benjamin is in fact raised as a Jew by his stepdad and Bree's daughter, Danielle Katz.

Awards Notes[edit]

Title reference[edit]

International titles[edit]

  • Czech: Nesuď knihu podle obálky (Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover)
  • French: Tromperie (Trickery)
  • French Canadian: L'Art de la Supercherie (The Art of the Trickery)
  • German: Täuschungsmanöver (Feint)
  • Hebrew: זה לא כמו שזה נראה (Ze Lo Kmo SheZe Nir'e; It's Not How It Looks)
  • Hungarian: Ne ítélj külsőre! (Do not judge by appearances)
  • Italian: Mai giudicare un libro dalla copertina (Never Judge a Book by its Cover)
  • Polish: Nie osądzaj książki po okładce (You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover)
  • Spanish: No juzgues por las apariencias (Don't Judge by Appearances)
  • Greek: Δε μπορείς να κρίνεις ένα βιβλίο από το εξώφυλλό του (You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover)


  1. ^ The Hodges welcome a new family member on ABC’s DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES
  2. ^ "Official 2008 EMMYS Episode Submissions". The Envelope Forum, Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on October 8, 2008.