Last night was the season finale of series 6 of Marc Cherry's multi-award winning Desperate Housewives, a show that has, since hitting UK TV screens in January 2005, firmly cemented itself in my heart as one of my favourite TV programmes of all time. Series 6 began by revealing who it was at the end of series 5 that Mike married - Susan or Catherine. It turned out to be Susan, and the jilted Catherine's pyschotic reaction was just one of the many plot devices and character developments touched upon in series 6, a series that also had characters dabbling in lesbianism, financial crisis, murder, parental rivalry, blackmail, and of course, a whole lot of intrigue and secrets.
This series was different from the previous ones in that there were two mysteries running parallel, rather than just the one. The first revolved around what it was that new Wisteria Lane housewife, Angie Bolen did, and the second was a simple whodunnit, who strangled Susan's daughter Julie. Although early on in the series it was suggested that it could have been Angie's son or husband (the former who was besotted with Julie and the latter whom was revealed to be having an affair with her) who did it, we soon discovered that this was just the writers throwing us avid watchers a red herring.
In terms of the four main housewives, Bree pursues an affair with Susan's lothario ex-husband Karl, an affair that we all know will be short-lived, and alas, it is. Lynette, meanwhile, is trying to cope with the prospect of having twins, and Gaby has various (moderately) engaging adventures involving either her daughters or her trying to revisit her glory days as a model. But it is Susan's plotline, one that emerges towards the end of the season, that is the most applicable to real life; her husband Mike gets them in financial trouble, and despite all her well-intentioned ways of aiding him recoup their losses, in the end, all that is left for them to do is move out of their house. This is a refreshing good representation of the economic state of the US (and the UK, to an extent) on TV, especially as we'd been watching the glamorous, sun-bathed lives of Wisteria Lane's women for many years.
As Angie Bolen's storyline developed, the dark, dastardly character of Patrick Logan (played by John Barrowman) was established, and whilst it was pushing it a little to see him as a terrible villain, John Barrowman has terrific fun with his role and it's great to see him broaden his acting horizens.
One storyline that I thought excellently handled was the who-strangled-Julie strand. As the episodes went on, we go on to discover that the perpetrator goes on to kill more women. However, as the identity of the murderer is revealed, rather than paint him to be all evil, we are shown his backstory and sad life story, so that we truly understand why he has become the way he is. Although he is obviously very damaged, the pathos evoked for his characters is well-done and maturely handled by the DH writers.
On the whole, most of the cast take a step up, especially Eva Longoria, who has been accused of being nothing but a pretty face in the past. In series 6, she is given some deliciously witty lines, and she delivers them wonderfully. Felicity Huffman maintains the strongest actress of the four, but all four of the leads' acting are, on the whole, not to be faulted. Last night's finale was a good representation of the season as whole, it varied from moments of hilarity to scenes of high drama and back again. The season has been a rollercoaster ride, and whilst it has, as ever, tested the bounds of belief, Desperate Housewives remains an explosively good watch.