Synopsis by Hal Erickson
An awful lot of awful things happen in the outwardly respectable neighborhood surrounding Wisteria Lane during the first season of Desperate Housewives, beginning with the suicide of Mary Alice Young (Brenda Strong) -- who still manages to stick around in spectral form to serve as the series' narrator. Why did she do it -- and what exactly is her husband, Paul (Mark Moses), trying to cover up by throwing that old box he'd dug up from the backyard swimming pool into the river? Then there are Mary Alice's housewife friends Susan Mayer (Teri Hatcher), Lynette Scavo (Felicity Huffman), Bree Van De Kamp (Marcia Cross), and Gabrielle Solis (Eva Longoria). Divorcée Susan starts dating handsome plumber Mike (James Denton), only to be undercut by the neighborhood's resident vamp, the much-married Edie Britt (Nicollette Sheridan). Lynette has given up a high-paying business career to take care of her family, only to be rewarded with the cutthroat competitiveness of husband Tom (Doug Savant), the miserable behavior of her children, and the open scorn of such obnoxious neighbors as Maisy Gibbons (Sharon Lawrence). Control freak Bree, described by the ABC publicity folks as "Martha Stewart on steroids," finds her life spiralling out of control when her husband, Rex (Steven Culp), divorces her and her sociopathic son, Andrew (Shawn Pyfrom), adopts a "so what" attitude after striking down an old woman with his car. And sexy ex-model Gabrielle is cheating on her moonstruck millionaire husband, Carlos (Ricardo Antonio Chavira), with hunky 17-year-old gardener John (Jesse Metcalfe). And that's only a sample of what season one has to offer. Want more? Well, you asked for it! Susan accidentally burns down Edie's house and is blackmailed on that account by a Mrs. Martha Huber (Christine Estabrook) -- who is later killed by Paul Young, but it is Mike who is arrested for her murder. Later still, Susan is descended upon by her ex-husband, Karl (Richard Burgi), and her intrusive mother, Sophie Bremmer (Lesley Ann Warren). As for Lynette, she finds out that her husband's sainted father (Ryan O'Neal) is a serial philanderer. Also, after painfully adjusting to the breakup of her marriage, Bree starts going out with pharmacist George Williams (Roger Bart); Paul Young's son, Zach (Cody Kasch), inexplicably drops out of sight; and it is revealed that the oh-so-judgmental Maisy Gibbons has been sleeping with practically every man in the neighborhood -- including Bree's ex Rex!