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Test Pattern: Readers on Rex’s fate

Will ‘Desperate’ husband return as show’s voiceover? By Gael Fashingbauer Cooper

Readers on Rex’s ‘Desperate’ fate

Turns out I'm not the only one who's been speculating on Rex's death on "Desperate Housewives." Here are some of your thoughts. And just a note: I'll be out of the office for a bit, so no new Weblog entries until I'm back. Enjoy this early summer!

“You are missing one really big potential plot twist. There is the possibility that George did not kill Rex. What if the killer was Rex’s and Bree’s son (whose name escapes me)? This could be the ‘revenge’ he spoke about to the minister.”    --Walt

WHO WILL BE LEFT?“I thought the same thing. Rex is alive and it is a hoax between him and his doctor to find the person poisoning him. I hope so. I hate to see Rex go. If they really kill off a main character a year, who will be left to carry on?”    --Anonymous

STICKING TOGETHER“Rex is still alive! He wanted out of the marriage and his doctor is a fellow doctor [and they] are friends. Doctors always stick together!”    --Taylor

IT’S NOT OVER“I LOVE the idea that Rex is not really dead, and kicking myself that I didn’t even think of it! It would make so many viewers happy. The way he left the show was just so abrupt; it makes so much sense now. He’s not finished on the show, not yet anyway.”    --Stephanie

REX COULD HAUNT GEORGE“I think Rex’s death should be treated like the death in the movie GHOST where Rex will follow George around until he makes him crazy and is found out.”    --Anonymous

NEW VOICEOVER?“With Rex dying at the end of Season 1, whatd’ya bet HIS voice comes back as the Season 2 narrator of each episode instead of Mary Alice. That way with one character killed off at the end of each old season, a new narrator would then start the new season.”    --Anonymous

REX HARDLY A BELOVED CHARACTER“Bree’s breakdown over Rex’s death was haunting and powerful. It would be easier for us to all wish he were not truly dead. However, let us not forget that even though Bree is unbearable, Rex did 1) ask her for divorce, 2) cheat on her with the neighborhood hooker, and 3)convince her to do kinky sex acts that she was not very comfortable with. Truth be told, it’s not like we lost a beloved character.”    --Amanda

“I think the saddest thing about this is the poor actor, Steven Culp. When casting for ‘Desperate Housewives’ was underway, he was being killed off of ‘JAG’ and ‘Starship Enterprise’. Now, he’s dead on ‘Desperate,’ too. The poor guy!”    --Leslie

NO PRETTY BOW“It was a good idea to kill Rex. The way their relationship was: fighting, stress towards one another, and at times hatred is a perfect set up to kill one of them off. The means of how to deal with the death of someone you constantly fought with and sometimes hated but ultimately proved to be a true love will be interesting for us to watch Bree explore. It isn’t a nice thing to think about but I give the show respect for not putting a pretty bow on their marriage before killing Rex off. It is sad but it is done well.”    --Michael

IF YOU WANT TO KILL SOMEONE OFF…“Any word on the ‘Desperate Housewives’ show getting rid of those extremely annoying twin boys? That would be great!”    --Rob

BUT HOW WILL THEY GET OFF THE ISLAND?“I had the same thought about Rex. But maybe that’s from watching too many episodes of ‘Lost,’ ‘24,’ and ‘Survivor’” this season—I’m just expecting to be manipulated. Whatever happened to plausible, sensibly plotted shows like ‘Gilligan’s Island’?”    --Loren

Rex’s ‘Desperate’ fate

Possible spoiler warning: I'm about to speculate on the fate of a "Desperate Housewives" character, using quotes from various magazines. If you're a fan who stays away from this kind of coverage, surf elsewhere now.

The some weeks back left plenty for fans of the ABC drama to discuss. Is Mike Zach's father, and will an unhinged Zach shoot him? Who's the father of Gabrielle's baby? Will Lynette be able to handle going back to work while Tom stays home? But for me, the most dramatic plot twist was when preppy Bree got a phone call from the hospital telling her that her husband, Rex, who'd been being slowly poisoned by creepy pharmacist George, was dead.

Rex had not been looking well. He'd had a heart attack and was awaiting surgery to implant a pacemaker. George's cruel trick not only had him taking some pills of unknown origin, it had him missing out on the real medicine he'd been prescribed. Viewers saw Rex, himself a doctor, discuss with his own physician the idea that Bree could be the one poisoning him, then saw Rex shakily write a brief note telling her she was forgiven. That was all we saw of Rex — Bree learned of his death via the phone, leading to an agonizing scene where she forced herself to finish polishing their wedding silver before breaking down.

At first, I bought it completely: That Rex had in fact died, his tortured systems just giving up. He'd died believing his wife had killed him, when in fact she was an innocent bystander. I figured that Bree would remain under suspicion for a while, but that sometime next season, George's dastardly deeds would come to light. They must have a pretty big jail somewhere near Wisteria Lane, for all the criminals that seem to haunt the town of Fairview.

But few things are straightforward in the "Housewives" world. There's another theory out there, one in which Rex does not in fact die, but merely fakes his own death in order to get Bree to reveal herself as his poisoner. When you think about it, this does make sense. Rex, a doctor, might be able to get his colleagues to go along with him and make the life-shattering call to Bree. (After all, the Hippocratic Oath gets very little attention in the world of nighttime soaps.) It's easy to invent scenes we didn't see on the show, where Rex's doctor figures out that it's the medication, treats him, and puts him up somewhere to try and get Bree to confess.

That would satisfy fans, who aren't thrilled about seeing a main character widowed, and in such a cruel way. It would create a juicy plotline, with Rex skulking about haunting Bree, and an innocent women suspected of murder. In a traditional soap, it would end with George holding Bree at gunpoint (shades of Zach and Susan in the season finale) and a thought-dead Rex bursting in. Viewers would watch Bree mourn, but would have the secret knowledge that all would be put right in the end.

As much as I like the above plot, here's why I don't think it's going to happen. The actor who plays Rex, Steven Culp, has been interviewed all over town talking about being killed off. Show creator Marc Cherry is quoted in the June 5 issue of TV Guide as saying "Bree is based on my mom. And my dad died, so I told poor Steven, 'Had my dad lived, you'd still have a job'." Cherry goes on to say that "Housewives" will kill someone off "at least once a year."

Culp is also interviewed in the June 3 Entertainment Weekly, which treats Rex's death as 100% unchangeable fact. The magazine reports that Culp got the news in early April. Co-executive producer Kevin Murphy said it was decided that each woman would enter a new life chapter, and for Bree, singlehood beckoned. Says Murphy to EW: "We either had to have Rex divorce her or did, and we already did the coma with Mama Solis." It's an interesting theory, this new life chapter thing, and I have to say that a plot with Bree as a young widow, while sure to be tough to watch in many ways, will provide plenty of dramatic opportunity for Marcia Cross, who plays Bree, and for the show's writers.

I know actors and shows have conspired before to put out false information — and many "Lost" fans are still hoping . And Culp seems aware that anything can happen. EW quotes him as saying "If millions of people call in and say 'How can you kill Rex?' maybe they'll make it all a hoax." Maybe they will. But I doubt it.