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‘Desperate Housewives’ explores life of killer

Eddie had been just a background figure, one who was probably created strictly for this plot. So it's no real wonder that the episode that tried to explain his murderous motives felt fake.
/ Source: TODAY.com

Last week, "Desperate Housewives" revealed that long-haired, zit-faced Eddie, pal of Julie Meyer and the Scavo boys, was the killer that's been stalking Wisteria Lane, strangling Julie almost to death and offing Irina.

The revelation didn't exactly come out of nowhere, but this week, the show decided it had to double back and offer an explanation for Eddie's insanity. And, of course, it was his mother's fault.

The show sketched out a pretty simplistic backstory for Eddie. His dad left his mom when Eddie was four, shouting that he never wanted the boy. The mom turned to sleazy men and alcohol, and was blunt about telling Eddie he ruined her life. When his battered psyche wouldn't let him find a girlfriend, he turned to a prostitute, and when she laughed at him for bringing her flowers, he killed her.

Of course, before he became a killer, Eddie's life became interwoven with every main character on the show. Dead Mary Alice even made an appearance, as the witness to Eddie's dad's departure.

Gaby met a slightly older Eddie on her first day in Fairview, and in true Gaby fashion, found a way to make him work for her, helping her unpack. When he discovered her with Carlos and then his own mother with her latest scummy guy, he started killing innocent birds.

Bree encouraged Eddie to court women, and it was her misguided and outdated ideas on courtly dating that left him to think giving flowers to a hooker was the norm.

Susan helped him with his artistic dreams, but she, too, abandoned him for a man. Her remarriage to Mike was what led Eddie to attack poor innocent Julie.

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Lynette came into Eddie's life late, but she was the one who could have helped him the most. She and Tom saw firsthand how Eddie's mother treated him, and decided to let him move into their home. (What's one more kid in the crazy Scavo place anyway?) But just as Lynette made the offer, Eddie was hiding the body of his own mother, killed after she found his scrapbook marking his murderous trail.

The episode felt glib and squirm-inducing. Yes, we don't watch a show like "Desperate Housewives" to see a young boy physically abused by horrible parents, but Eddie's life story felt as if it had been written by someone whose idea of an abusive family was drawn only from Disney movies. They never wanted me! I ruined their lives! Mom drinks! Girls don't like me! I have zits!

This is the problem with a show that has to shoehorn a killer into its yearly mystery. Sure, Crazy Dave's plotline was telegraphed throughout the season, but his craziness didn't pop out of nowhere — he was a nut pretty much from day one, it was only the revelation that his family were the ones killed by Susan in the car accident that was news.

Eddie had been just a background figure, one who was probably created strictly for this plot. So it's no real wonder that the episode that tried to explain his murderous motives felt faked as well.