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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Desperate Housewives: The Complete Fifth Season
Desperate Housewives: The Complete Fifth Season
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment // Unrated // September 1, 2009
List Price: $59.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Jeffrey Robinson | posted September 15, 2009 | E-mail the Author
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The Fifth Season

Desperate Housewives is a popular comedy/drama about the seedy underbelly of American suburbia. The basic premise is that underneath the happy suburban facade is a web of deceit and secrets, as well as unbounded lust and passion. The show first aired in 2004 and was very successful. The attraction of Desperate Housewives comes in multiple flavors, from strong writing to topnotch performances to witty comedy to eye-rolling melodrama. Desperate Housewives has a little bit of everything. It is the kind of show that is easy to get hooked on. For more details about the series, refer to DVD Talk's reviews of season one, season two, season three, and season four.

Season five takes places five years after the events of season four. Life on Wisteria Lane is a little different, but the same sorts of drama are around every corner. Some highlights: Mike and Susan are no longer together, Gaby and Carlos are poor, Tom and Lynette are struggling, Orson is an ex-con, Bree has a successful business, and Edie has returned to the neighborhood with a charming husband who has a few secrets. As the season unfolds, there are a lot of great twists and turns in the plotlines and plenty of eye-rolling drama with fun, comical moments. In the end, fans of Desperate Housewives will not be disappointed with this exhilarating season.

Edie was shun by her fellow housewives in season four and forced to leave Wisteria Lane. In season five, she comes back to the neighborhood with new husband Dave Williams (Neal McDonough). Dave's interest in the people of Wisteria Lane becomes the season's main story arc. He has many secrets, most of which he keeps even from Edie, and is planning something villainous. Dave portrays a friendly neighbor and pushes Edie to repair her former friendships. This single development gets pretty intense as the season develops. Unfortunately, towards the end of the season, the story arc gets a little over-the-top and loses its excitement. Nevertheless, Edie and Dave introduce some fun drama.

Susan is no longer married to Mike. Three years back, they got into a terrible accident. After the incident, their relationship went on the rocks and unstable emotions led the couple getting a divorce. Susan is now seeing Jackson Braddock (Gale Harold), who she had hired to paint the inside of her house. After the divorce, Susan used Jackson for a relationship without any commitment. However, their no strings attached relationship turns into something more. Mike also finds a new girlfriend and it happens to be Katherine, which causes drama.

Bree is a different person. During season four, she found out that Orson had done something illegal and compelled him to turn himself into the police. In order to save their marriage, Orson did. He went to jail. When he came back, Bree had turned her small catering business with Katherine into a full fledged business. She is also the author of a successful cookbook. Bree's success causes many problems in her marriage with Orson. He feels like he has no place in life. As an ex-con, no one wants to employ him. The change of the balance of power in the relationship produces juicy drama, as Orson slowly goes over the edge and Bree cannot handle it anymore.

Gaby is a completely different person for most of season five. After events in season four, she remarried Carlos. Unfortunately, he was left blind after the tornado. The two love each other deeply and live different lives than during their first marriage. They are poor and struggle to get by, but are happy together. They have two girls named Juanita and Celia. Gaby, as mentioned, is a different person. She is no longer stuck up and seems to appreciate life more. However, she still urns for the glamour she used to be surrounded by. Eventually, the situation changes and Carlos gets back in the game, making lots of money, and they slowly head down a path they have been down before with little success.

Lynette is still running the local pizza place with her husband Tom. Times are tough for them, as the troubles in the economy are affecting their customer base. Lynette also fears that Tom might be having an affair. Tom goes through a mid-life crisis and doubts his ability to succeed in the world. He leases a place for his band (with Dave, Orson, and Mike) to practice from Anne Shilling. There are some irregular things going on between Tom and Anne, which lead Lynette to believe her husband is having an affair. Fortunately for her, it is not Tom. However, Anne is having an affair and the situation introduces some fantastic melodrama for the Scavo family.

Overall, Desperate Housewives's fifth season continues to offer a lot of exciting drama as the various housewives get involved in one melodramatic turn after the other. I thought the season was an improvement over season four. The storylines were over-the-top and melodramatic, but they also came off as more intense and gripping. The introduction of Dave Williams and his related story arc gave the season a much needed boast. In addition, the show reboot (taking place five years in the future) added a lot of new mystery and developments as a lot changed with cast over the years. In the end, I enjoyed season five a lot and think it is a must for fans of the show.

Episode Guide

1. You're Gonna Love Tomorrow: Five years have passed since Katherine shot her ex-husband as Susan, Lynette, Bree and Gaby stood together to protect her.
2. We're So Happy You're Happy: Lynette discovers her son, Porter, has a softer side, which she finds endearing; Gaby amusingly attempts to mask her demise in social stature; and the time has come for the...
3. Kids Ain't Like Everybody Else: Bree's estranged daughter, Danielle, returns to Wisteria Lane and is met with a deluge of criticism; Gaby and Susan find themselves embroiled in a catfight brought on by an...
4. Back in Business: Bree's new cookbook and entrepreneurial success has the women of Wisteria Lane feeling envious; Lynette's longing for a taste of her breadwinning days as an ad-exec leads her...
5. Mirror, Mirror: The night is full of surprises as we learn what has transpired on Wisteria Lane in the past five years. Driven by a hidden agenda, Dave convinces Susan to throw Mrs. McCluskey...
6. There's Always a Woman: Gaby is over the moon when Carlos' client makes them an offer they can't refuse, but a startling discovery leaves her second guessing.
7. What More Do I Need?: Desire proves to be a dangerous emotion. Lynette and Tom uncover the unsettling truth about son Porter; Gabrielle suspects Carlos' best client has ulterior motives; Bree's moment...
8. City on Fire: Susan's daughter comes to visit with her surprising new boyfriend; Gaby uncovers the unsettling truth about Mrs. Hildebrand's past; Katherine has a confession to make to Susan;...
9. Me and My Town: The road to recovery begins in the aftermath of the deadly fire that shook the citizens of Fairview. For Gaby and Carlos, injuries sustained in the fire lead to a fortunate...
10. A Vision's Just a Vision: Darkness lifts and brings resolution for some, while others suffer in the depths of despair. Lynette does what any mother would do to protect her son; Carlos realizes the sacrifices...
11. Home is the Place: The competition is on when Bree meets Andrew's future mother-in-law for the first time, as each is determined to win over their son's affection; Gaby urges Carlos to accept...
12. Connect! Connect!: Susan and Edie are forced to spend time alone together when they accidentally lock themselves in a basement; Bree's devious plotting against Andrew's future mother-in-law in...

13. The Best Thing That Ever Could Have Happened: When neighborhood handyman, Eli Scruggs (Beau Bridges), passes away, the residents of Wisteria Lane come to realize just how much he affected their lives. Gaby recalls how Eli...
14. Mama Spent Money When She Had None: Bree reaps the success of her new book by treating herself to a new car, while Lynette and Tom resolve to sell his Mustang for some extra cash.
15. In a World Where the Kings are Employers: Susan starts a new job in order to give son MJ the best, but when Mike leaves their son in Katherine's care, anger and jealousy pervade; as Scavo's Pizzeria continues to take...
16. Crime Doesn't Pay: In a gesture of friendship, Bree tells Lynette she'll help Tom secure a new job, but the best intentions will reach a tempestuous end and reveal Orson's shameful misdeeds; Gaby...
17. The Story of Lucie and Jessie: When Susan tries to impress Jessie (Swoosie Kurtz), a teacher at work, Jessie comes away with the wrong impression; with the wrong intent, Gaby convinces Carlos to hire Lynette;...
18. A Spark. To Pierce The Dark.: Bree considers selling her business to save her marriage, Lynette is threatened by her new boss, boundaries are crossed for Gaby and Carlos, Katherine is caught in the most...
19. Look Into Their Eyes and You See What They Know: As the women look back on Edie's life, Susan recalls their first meeting, Lynette reflects on a memorable night out, Bree is reminded of the thoughtfulness she bestowed upon...
20. Rose's Turn: Carlos finds Lynette in a precarious position, which she chooses to hide from Tom; Gaby hastily covers for Tom's coy behavior; Orson tries to hide the truth about his wounds...
21. Bargaining: Bree sinks to a new low to retain the best lawyer; Gaby's vanity is put to the test when she makes a deal with daughter Juanita; Lynette and Tom negotiate sex; Katherine deceives...
22. Marry Me A Little: Bree goes to extremes to hide her true intentions from Orson; Susan and Jackson put on an act for the authorities; Lynette is shocked at the lengths Tom will go to in order...
23. Everybody Says Don't: Gaby runs into an old acquaintance who's lost everything, Lynette is upset with Tom for his latest "bright idea," Orson threatens to blackmail Bree, and Susan accepts Dave's...
24. It's Only in Your Head: The season's mystery and suspense come to a shocking end as Lynette adapts to Tom's decision to go back to school, Orson takes a beating that Bree cannot comprehend, Gaby's...


The video in this release is given in anamorphic 1.78:1 ratio widescreen color format. The picture quality is quite good. It suffers from a slight grain, but detail remains to be sharp and clear. However, there are some occasional moments when the picture suffers compression artifacts. This is a rare occurrence, but it does happen. Needless to say, the show should look good on bigger television sets.

The audio in this release is given in English 5.1 Dolby digital surround sound. Overall, the sound quality is very good, providing an audible and clean audio track. The majority of activity is in the forward channels, but there is decent use of the surround sound capability. Music and sound effects sound very rich and vibrant. There are subtitles in English, French, and Spanish. There is also support for closed captioning.


  • Audio Commentaries: are included for episodes "You're Gonna Love Tomorrow" with Larry Shaw, Doug Savant, Kyle MacLachlan, and James Denton, and "The Best Thing That Ever Could Have Happened" with Marc Cherry and Brenda Strong.
  • "What More Do I Need?" A Very Good Read (11:15): is a behind the scenes look at a table read for the episode "What More Do I Need?". The regular cast and crew appear as they read through scenes with clips of filming, final production, and interview commentaries.
  • I Know Things Now: Desperate Housewives Celebrates 100 (20:49): is a featurette with Brenda Strong, James Denton, Richard Burgi, Andrea Bowen, Teri Hatcher, Marc Cherry, Stephanie Hagen, Felicity Huffman, Doug Savant, Christine Estabrook, Kyle MacLachlan, Marcia Cross, Dana Delany, Neal McDonough, Shawn Pyfrom, and others. It highlights a big mark in any television series' history: the 100th episode. Various individuals provide commentary about the show, the pilot episode, its history and growth, the success, memorable moments, the 100th episode, and so on.
  • So Very Teri (8:04): is a featurette with Larry Shaw, Teri Hatcher, Stephanie Hagen, Marc Cherry, Andrea Bowen, Dana Delany, Matt Berry, Bob Daily, Beau Bridges, and more. Teri Hatcher is the topic of discussion. They talk about her ability to integrate physical comedy in her acting and turn non-comical situations into laughs.
  • Cherry-Picked: Creator Marc Cherry's Favorite Scenes: is a collection of scenes from season five that were Marc Cherry's favorites. The scenes include "Gaby's New Game" (1:37), "Croquembouche" (0:57), "Pot Roast" (1:46), "Fire!" (2:13), "Edie & Eli" (1:52), "Quite the Ad Wig" (2:34), and "Jackson?" (3:28). They can be watched with optional commentary, which stars Marc Cherry.
  • Bloopers (6:24): is a montage of goofs and mess-ups captured on tape during filming.
  • Deleted Scenes: is a collection of deleted and alternative scenes. They are "Alternate Opening for 'What More Do I Need?'" (0:33), "Out In The Open" (0:39), "Memory Lane" (1:38), "Aversion Therapy" (1:31), "Last Call" (1:42), "Mike Takes The Blame" (0:23), "Goo Goo Eyes" (1:08), and "The Right Choice" (1:04).

Final Thoughts:
Desperate Housewives is an over-the-top drama with witty dialogue and comedy. It is a fun show that has lots of eye-rolling drama. Season five gets pretty intense with solid drama for fans to enjoy. As usual, a new character is introduced and he has an exciting, mysterious story arc that runs throughout the entire season. In addition, there is even more drama at every corner for fans to enjoy. In a nutshell, Desperate Housewives's fifth season is an intense experience and will leave you on the edge of your seat wanting to know what happens next.

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