Desperate Housewives recap: Mommie Dearest, Part Deux

Lynette's mom returns with Larry Hagman as her fiancé; Gaby's beloved doll stolen; and Paul Young realizes Zach's back.
Ep. 13 | Aired Jan 16, 2011

LEAD IN Dallas alum Larry Hagman guest starred as Frank, the new fiancé of Lynette's (Felicity Huffman) mother Stella (Polly Bergen).

Ron Tom/ABC

Last week, Susan’s mother appeared on Desperate Housewives in the form of Lesley Ann Warren, and she memorably toted along a beloved television star from yesteryear in Mary Tyler Moore and Rhoda vet Valerie Harper, who played her sister Claire. Well, the mother-with-former-small-screen-star formula continued yet again this week on Housewives, as Lynette’s mother—deliciously portrayed both crusty and uncouth by Polly Bergen—resurfaced, this time toting along another beloved (and possibly the most beloved ever) television star from yesteryear in Dallas alum Larry Hagman. And good news: Just like with Harper, enlisting the former J.R. Ewing proved quite savvy, as Hagman served up a rather enticing guest spot as the racist, inappropriate fiancé to Bergen’s looking-for-love (and a fat inheritance) Stella. I couldn’t stop laughing at all his various and hilarious sound bites.

“Call me dad,” he told Lynette when she was introduced to him for the first time. She seemed shocked and unwilling to do so, and he quickly added: “Wouldn’t it be awful if I was that guy?” Zing! But wait for it—there's more! Before we knew it, however, Hagman’s too-blunt Frank was throwing totally inappropriate racial epithets out by the handful. Annoyed that he wasn’t getting service quick enough at the meal where he met Lynette, Frank told the Mexican-looking server: “What do I have to do to hurry over? Build a fence?” I shouldn’t laugh at such things, but you have to admit it’s pretty funny. Mostly because everyone knows some old codger like this (read: your grandfather) who is so far beyond the line that you can’t do anything by let out a chuckle and know that they'll never change. It didn’t stop there. After Frank’s food order wasn’t right, an irritated Lynette offered to trade food with him and offered him her salad. “Lemme check,” he said, snappily. “Nope, still got a penis!” I guess he was insinuating that real men don’t eat salad? Ha! Not even sure what that means, really, but it's so stupid it's funny.

Bergen as Stella, too, offered up one of my favorite lines of the night, right after she first appeared on screen. She was wheeled into the Scavo household, announced that she was going to marry Frank that coming Saturday, and told Lynette she could meet her future husband the following day. “Come by tomorrow,” Stella said, hilariously adding: “We’ll squeeze you in between Nothing to Do and Waiting for Death.” That line just kills me! Nothing to Do and Waiting for Death. Tee hee hee. I plan to use it in the not-too-distant future, and often.

While Lynette dealt with her mom’s seemingly reckless fourth marriage, Gaby was still obsessing over her doll, Princess Valerie. Mrs. McCluskey found out about her obsession and spilled the beans to Carlos, who went ballistic that she was using the doll to replace Grace. “The doll makes me happy!” Gabby told Carlos, in the heated moment. “What do you care?” And then she threw the no-talking-about-Grace rule in his face. “No, we’re not supposed to talk about it!” she screamed, as she stormed off, in reference to him walking to discuss the Grace issue. “That was your rule!”

Things only progressed to weirder territory, nearer to the end of the episode, as Gaby and Carlos headed out for dinner—with Princess Valerie strapped into a car seat in the back seat. Yes, I really did just type that Princess Valerie was strapped into a car seat in the back seat. Good Lord, I didn’t think this storyline could get nuttier. And then, of course, Carlos and Caby got carjacked (because Fairview has so many sketchy areas!), and Gaby couldn’t get Princess Valerie out in time, which sent her into a tailspin. “It’s not Grace,” Carlos yelled at her, as the car sped away with Gaby’s doll inside. Well, any sane person could have told her that. Where this all goes from here is beyond me.

NEXT: Susan’s lame storyline gets lamer; Bree learns a big secret about Keith—and hides it from him; and Beth is spared when Paul learns that Zach has returned.

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