And by the way, we're not jumping the gun with that little nugget. The opening sequence takes us on a tour through Wisteria Lane and shows us a number of residents smiling happily and generally loving life, before explicitly telling us "in just a few days one of these people will be dead".
Meanwhile, Bree making up with the girls and celebrating the end of their cover-up nightmare (when in fact police have read Orson's package and are hightailing it to the building site) serves as the perfect precursor to a tragedy.
Of course, cancer-stricken Karen is the smart bet to be offed, but it soon becomes clear that her storyline - in which she asks Bree to help her die - is, somewhat unsettlingly, going to be played for laughs. Approached by the Wisteria Lane battleaxe because she's "cold and heartless", Bree reluctantly commits to granting Karen's wish after discovering that her cancer has spread, but confides in Renee that she plans to string her along in the hope that she'll eventually give up on the idea.
When Karen continues to push the plan forward, even resorting to lying down behind Bree's car in the hope of being backed over, Bree ends up confessing all to Roy - who has already refused to help her commit suicide.
Their discussion is interrupted by Karen, who alerts Bree that she has been eating her "suicide pie" laced with "sleeping pills, tranquillisers and a bottle of liquid something". Frustrated at being put in jeopardy, as well as Karen's insistence that they stop for gas before taking her to the hospital, Bree comes out about her own suicide attempt and how thankful she is that Renee stopped her.
After Bree argues that committing suicide will undermine everything she accomplished in her lifetime and Roy makes one last emotional plea, Karen decides to accept her fate. It's a bit of a weird one this plot and more than a little uncomfortable. It would have been nice to see Desperate Housewives dive head on into the subject of euthanasia, rather than dilute it with scenes of elderly make-out sessions and lines about Bree refusing to kill Karen because she has pilates.
There's more red herrings to come throughout the episode in terms of who's getting killed off, as Juanita and Carlos find themselves balancing on the roof of their house in an attempt to rescue their pet cat in an awkward scene clearly set up to trick us before the big reveal.
Granted, there is a tenuous link back to Carlos's freakout upon his first day back at work after leaving rehab, during which he decides to donate $50,000 to those laid off in a corporate takeover. Gabby, predictably, is furious - especially when she discovers that he has been taking the funds from their personal account.
Carlos later tells her that he wants to "give back" some of his wealth and suggests they move to a smaller house outside of Wisteria Lane. Gabby thinks that the aforementioned cat incident will remind him that family comes first, but he's intent on quitting his job and becoming a counsellor. This leads to an impressively passionate row in which Gabby reminds him that she has never given up on him and that he should take a leaf out of her book and fight on even when he's miserable.
Elsewhere, Lynette is busy organising a birthday party for Penny when Tom pops round to ask if Jane can come too. Before Lynette can answer, Penny drags him off and Jane shows up at the party anyway, complete with a photographer to help put together a scrap book of them on their big day. When Jane gets wise to Lynette's photobombing, a tense confrontation between the pair results in Jane blurting out that Tom has asked her to move in.
Lynette confronts Tom when he shows up at the bash and berates him for not telling her. His suggestion that they see a divorce lawyer smashes her to pieces and - in a heartbreaking moment that even rivals the episode's teary finale - Tom tells her that he is happy without her.
Jane later comes round to apologise for revealing all and, as their encounter inevitably turns sour, begins choking on a cheese puff leftover from the party. Lynette tellingly hesitates and watches her love rival struggle for air, before finally coming to her rescue.
Of course, Jane was never going to be the one biting the dust but at least this turn of events has the potential for something huge in the future. How will Tom react when Jane tells him his ex-wife was content to let her die? Potentially amazing.
Ultimately it's beloved Mike Delfino who doesn't make it to next week alive, shot on his porch by Ben's loan shark. And like I said, his demise was both the best and worst thing about the episode. Of course it's emotional - you'd have to be made of stone not to be effected by the recap of all his wonderful moments with Susan, like their first meeting, the birth of MJ, their wedding, all thrust forward as the fatal bullet hurtles at him in slow motion.
But it all seems a little rushed. Considering this is his last appearance and the whole episode has been geared towards his demise, Mike is actually only present in a few little scenes. He's there when Susan discovers a gun in his pocket while she's trying to seduce him and he's there when she rushes them both off to the police station, only to be given minimal protection from the loan shark. But that's all. It just seems like he was killed off for the sake of it.
And it's a little too obvious as well. Housewives fans who don't mind spoilers will have known this was coming for the last few days, but even if you were completely in the dark, there's little doubting who'll be bumped off when Renee reminds Susan how amazing Mike is. Susan responds by declaring her love for him and a tragic backstory (he witnessed his father abuse his mother as a child) is quickly cobbled together.
It's a shame because Susan and Mike are arguably the heart of Desperate Housewives and they're the only couple we've been with right from the start. And while the aftermath of his death has the potential for more compelling moments than the event itself, it would have been nice if the episode gave him a proper send off rather than building up the mystery of who was for the chop.
- Roy continues to shine as the season goes on. His anger at how the doctors were treating Karen felt lovely and sincere.
- "I need specifics, Gandhi!"
- I'll seriously be surprised if the police manage to find dirt on the Housewives. Bunch of buffoons.
- It was dark as heck, but that image of Karen lying down behind Bree's car slayed me. I think it was her little granny feet.
- "A dying woman's sitting in front of you and you haven't even offered a cup of coffee, what does that tell ya?"
- The car argument while Bree's panicking about having been poisoned - Genius!
- More of Carlos's secretary please - "I'm a party girl with a taste for young Brazilian gentlemen."
- Regardless of the situation, it was nice to see the greatest hits of Susan and Mike one last time.