In the closing moments of its season finale Sunday, “Desperate Housewives” flashed ahead five years.
And while there were no hints to the White House’s occupant or the state of the economy in 2013, viewers got a few clues about Wisteria Lane’s future.
Spoiler alert: Read no further if you haven’t yet seen this episode and want to preserve its surprises.
The two-minute “jump forward” (expected to be a recurring plot device next season on the hit ABC series) began with a glimpse of the ladies’ weekly poker game. In 2013 it will comprise not only the original foursome of Lynette, Gaby, Susan and Bree, but also Katherine, this season’s troubled outsider (played by Dana Delany), who by then will be part of the sisterhood.
Gaby (Eva Longoria), the self-absorbed former model who has had marital ups and downs with Carlos, will apparently be a mom. After the game breaks up, she finds her two little girls are playing with her makeup and her clothes.
“We’re playing fashion model,” says one of the kids.
Bree (Marcia Cross) will apparently have made a success of her catering business. She has a cookbook coming out. And she’s clearly patched things up with husband Orson.
Lynette (Felicity Huffman) arrives home to find a police officer waiting. One of her twins, who by then are teenagers, has been arrested for stealing a car and taking it for a joyride. The last time this happened, it was the other twin.
Katherine is overjoyed when daughter Dylan phones to say she’s getting married.
The most surprising twist comes courtesy of Susan (Teri Hatcher), who, in the present day, is happily married to Mike, with a newborn they named Maynard. But in the flash forward — the season’s cliffhanger — Susan enters her house calling out, “Honey, I’m home.”
The man who greets her lovingly isn’t Mike.
“Did you miss me?” Susan asks.
“You know I did,” says Mr. Who-Is-This-Hunk?
It’s a question fans can mull all summer, while they ponder what other circa-2013 bombshells might be dropped next season. (Those future sightings should include Edie, played by Nicollette Sheridan, who exited Wisteria Lane on last week’s episode after an explosive feud with the housewives. She isn’t expected to appear in any scenes set in the present.)
The finale also settled several dangling story lines.
Lynette’s domestic battle with her husband Tom’s illegitimate daughter, Kayla, came to a head when Kayla framed her for child abuse. But after Lynette was briefly jailed, Tom pressed Kayla into confessing she had lied. She was shipped off to live with her grandparents.
Gaby’s drug-dealing tenant, Ellie, evaded capture when police raided the house.
But a bit later, Ellie made an ill-timed entrance at Katherine’s house, hoping to hide out.
She barged in on Katherine being held at gunpoint by her psychotic ex-husband, Wayne. He seized the chance to shoot Ellie, then vowed he would pin Ellie’s murder on Katherine.
Having stalked Katherine and their daughter, Dylan, for years, Wayne had recently decided that the teenage girl his ex-wife was raising as Dylan was an impostor.
He forced Katherine to reveal the truth, and the season-spanning mystery’s solution went something like this: 12 years earlier, Dylan had died in a freak accident. Katherine buried the child in the back yard instead of reporting the death, fearing that Wayne would have told police his ex-wife killed Dylan to prevent him from taking her.
Then, a week later (explained Katherine) she had flown to Romania, where she adopted an orphan who looked exactly like Dylan and unknowingly became the dead girl’s substitute.
Katherine was rescued just in time, but then, as she held a gun
on Wayne while police were summoned, he was more enraged than ever.
“Even if I do a little time,” Wayne seethed, “you know this isn’t over. I’ll get out and I’ll find you, and I’ll make you pay.”
Hearing that and desperate to be safe from him, Katherine shot him dead.
But Bree, Gaby, Lynette and Susan, sympathizing with her plight, conspired to tell authorities she had acted in self-defense. No charges were filed against her.
Charges against the show for this dizzy resolution were pending.