Monday, October 19, 2009

'Desperate' Monday: The God-Why-Don't-You-Love-Me Blues

*Warning, spoilers ahead from the latest episode of Desperate Housewives.*

Okay, what have they done with the Carlos Solis character which the show carefully cultivated over the past few seasons, the one who was caring andloving, a full-fledged human, not a stock character from Mad Men’s Sterling Cooper? The one who became worthy of the love and devotion of his wife and two daughters, the one who wanted to work for the blind and didn’t care about money until Gabby forced him into taking a six-figure job? He’s now an unrecognizable sexist meathead who’s not only willing to pass over a talented woman for a promotion because she’s pregnant (Remember the days when children and family were important to Carlos? When he was actively trying to knock Gabby up?), openly tell Lynette about how he didn’t want to promote a pregnant woman, then use what he perceives as Lynette’s surgically enhanced breasts to seal a business deal.

The guy who last season wanted to devote his life to the basics of love and family, is now uttering such lines as, “Why did you get those things if you don’t want people looking at them?”

He even told Lynette to buy a dress that would reveal her cleavage to two men with whom he’d arranged dinner, and then encouraged her to take off her coat. When Lynette said it was too chilly in the room to remove her jacket, Carlos then, unbelievably told HIS EMPLOYEE that it’d be even better for their chances of securing the deal if it was cold when Lynette revealed her boobs.

I now HATE Carlos (as I’m supposed to, I guess). And that pains me because I didn’t hate him last season. Now he’s a Neanderthal again and the inconsistency of all of this is driving me crazy.

Of course the storyline is building up for the big reveal, when Carlos finds out Lynette’s pregnant with twins. What will happen? Will he fire Lynette? Demote her? Will she then sue for gender discrimination? How low will they have Carlos go?

That’s what made the scenes with Gabby and John, then later with Gabby and Carlos (when she told him that while she’d never imagine this would be her life, she loves it, unlike Betty Draper) lose their power. The writers can’t have it both ways, that Carlos is a sweet, doting family man on the one hand, and on the other, he’s a sexist pig who’s wildly discriminating against women and making them use their breasts to land business deals . . . not after turning him into a kind, down-to-earth character last year. I, frankly, was unmoved by Gabby’s declaration of love for Carlos knowing that Carlos had just pimped out Lynette’s breasts. Carlos is not Don Draper, with whom viewers can have a love/hate relationship.

The big twist of the episode, of course, was that Julie Mayer woke up from her coma (She was only in a coma for five days? Boy did that seem longer!) only to discover that her mother Susan knows that she dropped out of med school six months ago, now works as a waitress and is/was dating a married man whose first name started with the initial “D” whose baby Julie had been worried she was carrying, though she’s not pregnant. Then, at the end, we learned that Nick Bolen’s real name is Dominic and that he was/is Julie’s lover. Even though I really hate the Bolen family, especially the Danny subplot (I could care less about him), mixing it up with an apparently loon like Angie could be provocative to say the least. Maybe Angie and Katherine could team up to rumble with the Mayer women. Sounds like something Desperate Housewives writers might consider for sweeps week.

Speaking of provocative . . . I found Susan’s line to Julie when she expressed her shock that Julie, of all people, would have an affair with a married man who has a family, poignant, “You know what an affair like this can do. You saw it firsthand.”

What did you think of this episode? What do you think of the Carlos-Lynette work situation?

Image credit: Ron Tom/ABC.


Anonymous said...

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Mandie Reed

Meredith said...

Thanks Mandie. Looking forward to reading your comments.