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What’s next for Wisteria Lane women?

Viewers ponder cliffhangers after season finale
/ Source: The Associated Press

The desperate divas of Wisteria Lane have brought their first season to a smashing close. So what’s in store for Year Two for ABC’s hit melodrama from the ’burbs?

With viewers reeling from cliffhangers, there’s nothing to do between now and fall but ponder what twists might lie ahead.

A biggie: Will Bree (Marcia Cross) be a grieving widow? Is her husband, Rex (Steven Culp), really dead? If so, will she have to defend herself against accusations by Rex’s doctor that she — in the past a vengeful, cheated-on wife — was responsible for his death?

Or was the phone call she got from the doctor on the eve of Rex’s heart surgery (after a tender reconciliation scene in his hospital room) some sort of ruse? Reminder: The audience saw no death scene and no body. When has “Desperate Housewives” exercised restraint without an ulterior motive?

Meanwhile, viewers know there’s another suspect for Rex’s malady, fatal or not: Bree’s creepy suitor, George. He’s a lovesick, jealously obsessed pharmacist who tampered with Rex’s medication for weeks. Or did he?

With the explanation of the mystery surrounding Mary Alice (the show’s suicide victim-narrator, who shot herself on last fall’s premiere), has the tangled web of Wisteria Lane been yanked even tighter?

Mary Alice's suicide explainedOn Sunday, we discovered that a dozen years ago, Mary Alice (Brenda Strong) killed Dierdre, birth mother of Zach, the son who Mary Alice and her husband Paul (Mark Moses) have raised as their own.

Hunting down whoever murdered Dierdre has consumed Mike (James Denton) — the hunky plumber now hooked up with Susan (Teri Hatcher) — ever since he arrived on Wisteria Lane to avenge her death. Reason: Dierdre used to be his girlfriend.

Is Mike, who learned only in the finale that Dierdre had a child, the father of teenager Zach?

This question takes on special urgency since, at the final fade-out Sunday, Mike was walking into a possible ambush from the unhinged Zach, who was holding Susan at gunpoint and waiting in her home to kill him.

When the time comes, Mike better talk fast: No, he didn’t just get back from killing Paul (which is what Zach believes). And, by the way, he just might be Zach’s real dad!

But Zach is already one very confused lad. News like this isn’t likely to calm him down.

Carlos in courtWith the return of “Desperate Housewives” in the fall, Carlos (Ricardo Antonio Chavira) will likely be in jail for business fraud. But now he knows his wife Gabrielle (Eva Longoria) has been messing around with John, the lawn boy.

“I’ll kill you!” he bellowed at John.

Will he?

Or will the calculating Gaby — who happens to be pregnant with who-knows-whose child — devise a way to one-up Carlos again? (Up to now, she has a pretty good record.)

Will Lynette (Felicity Huffman), the desperate mother of four unruly kids, really return to the working world? After she messed up a promotion for her fast-track husband Tom (Doug Savant), he angrily quit his job and informed her they were swapping roles.

Why would this be a dilemma for Lynette, who has chafed at her stay-at-home-mom duties since the show began? Hasn’t she been itching to resume her career? Or is this new plan fated to backfire somehow, a woeful example of “be careful what you wish for”? And just how good a stay-at-home-dad will Tom turn out to be?

As the first season ended, little but mystery surrounded the new desperate housewife Betty (Alfre Woodard). With her son, Matthew, she moved into a house she bought from real estate agent Edie (Nicollette Sheridan) over the phone.

Edie is very curious why anyone would buy a house sight unseen. She, and more than 23 million viewers.

Finally, what does the future hold for dear, departed Mary Alice? After serving viewers as their from-the-grave narrator all last season, she knows the terrible secrets that drove her to suicide are public knowledge now.

Shouldn’t she be spared from further chores on the show? Shouldn’t she get to rest in peace at last? Highly doubtful. Whether the housewives are living or dead, there’s little peace on Wisteria Lane.