This week’s Desperate Housewives gave us the story of Eddie Orlofsky (Josh Zuckerman), aka The Fairview Strangler, in an episode I would like to call “Out of Your League”: The Eddie Orlofsky Story, or “How To Become A Serial Killer – Desperate Housewives Style.”
Introduction – Every Story Has A Beginning…
We open with the sight of a God ugly house that is a landscape blemish on Fairview’s beautiful facade. Then we find out that it is Eddie’s house, immediately making me retract my statement and compare it to Norman Bates’s infamous house from the Psycho films.
Eddie smiles as he looks outside, but has his moment interrupted by his mother, Barbara Orlofsky (guest star Diane Farr), who is hell personified and would make Joan Crawford proud. She gestures to Eddie that she is out of booze, insinuating that he has been stealing her stash and asks if he has any. Eddie innocently says that he doesn’t, but warns his mother to not enter his room, all under one breath. After Eddie leaves, Barbara kicks down the door into his bedroom (which was bolted lock, by the way) to find liquor, but what she finds instead is a portfolio of the Fairview Strangler’s murders. Horror comes across her face as the cheap Joan Crawford realizes that she might’ve raised an even cheaper Norman Bates.
How To Become A Serial Killer – Step One: Have A Crappy Childhood
Mary Alice (YES!!!!!) gives us the first glimpse into Eddie’s life as she recalls meeting him when he was only four.
While jogging, Mary Alice comes across a frightened Eddie sitting in front of the house that will one day become hell for him. He clutches his stuffed animal as his parents shout and argue inside the house. Mary Alice befriends Eddie and, in turn, witnesses his parents’ fight as it spills outside. Eddie’s father is packed and ready to bolt as he tells Barbara that he never wanted Eddie or anything that involved a nice picket fence life. Mary Alice is horrified that someone would say that in front of their kid and lets her voice be heard to the jackhole of a ‘father’. Unfazed, Eddie’s father leaves and Barbara nearly has a breakdown. Mary Alice sadly watches as Eddie follows his mother back into their house.
Later, Mary Alice shows her sympathy by bringing a dish of macaroni and cheese to Barbara and Eddie. While eating, Mary Alice listens while Barbara laments on how much she will have trouble finding a man, that she has no friends, and that she is single with a four-year old son. Wah! Wah! Wah! Mary Alice offers to return to help, but Barbara has amnesia all of sudden and doesn’t need any help. Mary Alice leaves and before she does, she comments on how Eddie will be a heartbreaker later in life. When Mary Alice is out of hearing range, Barbara bitterly mutters. “Just like his father.” Resentment much?
Mary Alice makes good on her promise and returns later to deliver a teddy bear she had bought for Eddie. When she gets no answer, Mary Alice sees Eddie looking out a window, but is immediately shocked to find out that the kid is home alone! Mary Alice eventually finds Barbara in a bar about to be picked up by some biker, but spoils the fun by reprimanding Barbara on her parenting skills and demands that she goes home to Eddie. When they get there, Barbara promises that she won’t be reckless again after Mary Alice makes it clear to her that Eddie’s needs come before her own now and to deal with it. After Mary Alice exits, Barbara hugs Eddie, telling him that’s not his fault that he has ruined her life. Wow, Mary Alice, I don’t think she got the message…
Step Two: Try To Be A Good Person and Get Treated Like Crap In The Process
Gaby meets an older Eddie when she finds him snooping in her newly bought house. Carlos is away at work and Gaby has not made friends with the neighbors yet (calling them Stepford Wives), so, when Eddie pathetically asks if he can help her move her stuff in, she accepts. Eddie also paints Gaby’s toes and cooks for her, as well, being the bright kid that he is. Even at a prepubescent age, Eddie knows that Gaby is not a bad sight on the eyes, but what he doesn’t know is the concept of not entering people’s houses unannounced. Gaby also notices that Eddie has been over her house daily and wonders if his mom knows, but Eddie explains that Barbara has company and they like their alone time. Child services anyone?
But Gaby doesn’t think twice about the predicament until she and Carlos are interrupted by Eddie while having their own “alone time”. Carlos tells Gaby that she needs to cut ties with the kid, because it’s not healthy for either of them. When Gaby does this, Eddie lashes out at her and runs home. When he gets there, Barbara and her “company” are too engrossed in putting a dent in the couch to notice Eddie’s presence. The kid sulks upstairs to his room, where he picks up his BB gun and takes it outside. He spots an innocent bird and shoots it dead. Wow.
Step Three: Have Your Heart Broken by Not Only Your Crush, But Your Own Mother As Well. Follow This With Your First Kill…
Eddie is now the Eddie we know today. He has been hired by Bree to paint her house, a task that Bree generously pays him for. Eddie declines the extra cash when Bree suggests he can take a girl out on a date with it. After Eddie reveals that he is without a girlfriend, but does have someone in mind, Bree decides to give him lessons in catching this dream girl by suggesting that he woos the girl and move his way up to jewelry. Who is this dream girl? None other than Danielle.
Bree makes her way to the Orlofskys’ house, which has become the eyesore that we know today. I immediately think that Bree is about to have a heart attack at the way Barbara is watering a dead plant, but she manages to compose herself well enough to explain to Barbara the situation at hand. Barbara thinks that Eddie’s attempts at Danielle are a hoot, as well as Bree coming over to ask for help to break the news gently. Matters get worse when Eddie comes home to find Bree there; which is when Barbara takes Bree’s words of kindness and twists them into hateful, condescending words that jab not only at Eddie’s heart, but his psyche as well. Bree watches in horror as Barbara continues to berate Eddie, but eventually leaves, offering a pity look at Eddie as she departs.
When Eddie returns to finish his job at Bree’s house, she tries to talk to him, but he is beyond hurt and I swear this is where Josh Zuckerman knocks the character out of the ballpark. When Bree remarks that Danielle is willing to be a friend, Eddie breaks down, sobbing that he doesn’t want a friend, he wants somebody to love him. Bree is taken aback, but tells Eddie that there are girls out there who will say yes to him, but he has to be patient and find them… which is what Eddie does when he finds a prostitute.
The prostitute is ready for business, but Eddie pulls out a bouquet of flowers, presenting them to the woman. She laughs her ass off and leads him into the alley, despite Eddie telling her to not laugh at him. She’s dead the next second and Eddie is shocked and horrified at what he’s done. A killer is born…
Step Four: Hurt Those Who Hurt You By Hurting Them Where It Matters Most
Susan’s next to get to know Eddie when she orders a drink at The Coffee Cup. She also notices that Eddie is a talented artist. He blushes while Susan gushes over his work, but the convo goes towards Mike and Susan’s divorce. Eddie tells Susan that Mike is pretty much a fool for leaving her, but Susan changes the subject. Later at her place, Susan is in awe over Eddie’s advancement in his drawings in a short period of time. She offers Eddie a trip to hone his skills at an Art Institute seminar that will be all expense paid from Susan’s pocket. Eddie wants to decline, because of Barbara’s disapproval, but Susan preaches to Eddie that if he loves something so much then he needs to hang on to it and never let go. While saying this, Susan is staring at Mike, who is over at Katherine’s house, cutting her lawn. She then makes the mistake of hugging Eddie, which is like saying here is a grenade, Osama, use it.
Eddie returns from the trip and is ready to tell Susan all about it, but is devastated when Susan comes downstairs in her wedding dress with news that she is about to remarry Mike. Womp womp. While Susan gushes over her upcoming nuptials, Eddie makes a plea for Susan to not marry Mike, but marry him instead. Susan laughs at this and invites Eddie to the wedding, but is oblivious to Eddie’s feelings. When Susan goes back to get dressed, Eddie takes out a portrait he drew of Susan and rips it in half.
After the wedding, Eddie decides to add another victim on his list. The unlucky victim? Julie. After seeing what he has done, Eddie visits Julie in the hospital to bask in his guilt. Susan comes in and really lays into The Fairview Strangler and Eddie flinches at each blow, feeling bad moment after moment.
Step Five: Lose Your Damn Mind…
Lynette knows Eddie through her kids, so it isn’t out of place for them to have him over for a family game night. But Barbara has a problem with it and she drags Eddie out of Lynette’s house, much to Lynette’s ire. When Lynette has some words for Barbara, Eddie’s mom counters that the only reason Lynette has Eddie over is to make herself feel better for trying to be a saint. Ooooooohhhhh!
Then we are back to the beginning of the episode where we see what Eddie’s attention was on when he opens the blinds. He was looking at a woman lovingly teaching her son how to skate, a warm moment that is ruined when Barbara asks for the booze. Eddie then leaves to go fix Lynette’s car and when he gets there, Lynette tries to talk to him, but Eddie changes the subject. Later, Lynette talks with Tom on how she is mad at herself for not stepping up for Eddie last night more than she did, especially when everyone knows how much hell Eddie goes through with Barbara. She’s tired of being a bystander and wants to help Eddie out. Tom suggests that they stay out of it, since Eddie is old enough to get his own place if he wanted to, but Lynette points out that maybe Eddie is too damaged to even know where to begin. Tom, who knows his wife to the hilt, asks Lynette where is she going with the conversation. I am as well, Tom.
Back at Casa de Hell, Eddie returns to find Barbara waiting on him with his scrapbook of his murders. Barbara asks her son through tears if he had anything to do with the murders. Eddie admits to being the Fairview Strangler and Barbara breaks down, crying that she didn’t raise him to be this way. She then chides him before reaching for the phone to call the police. Eddie takes the bottle of liquor he had bought and slams it upside his mother’s head. Stunned, Barbara attacks Eddie, but he gets the upper hand and strangles her to death. Horrified, Eddie runs for the front door and is stunned to find Lynette standing there. NOOOOOOO!!!!!!! Lynette sees that Eddie is disturbed about something, but she eventually gets to the reason why she is there: she and Tom agreed to have Eddie move in with them. WHAT?!?!?!?! Eddie declines at first, but Lynette tells him that his home life is not healthy. Then Lynette spots Barbara’s body, but thinks that the woman is dead drunk. Eddie runs with that explanation and promises Lynette that he will move right in, but first he has work to do.
Eddie takes his mother’s body and wraps it up in a shower curtain for burial, while Mary Alice tells us that monsters come from the monsters who create them.
Indeed, Mary Alice. Indeed.
The Wisteria Lane Ledger
– There isn’t much to say other than Josh Zuckerman needs an Emmy for taking a one dimensional character and multiplying it by three to give s a well rounded character that has been a ticking time bomb in the shadows waiting to go off. Echoes of Robert Bloch’s “Psycho” screams from this episode as it reiterates the message that society creates its own monsters and we tend to forget that. It always start in the home, folks, not with the latest video game, metal/rap album or Rated R movie. Psychos were prevalent before the inventions of those items and until we can admit that we as a society are our own worst enemy, then we might continue to see people like Eddie being molded into the next Charles Manson behind the picket fence of some picturesque landscape. Now, that doesn’t mean that you have to have a real messed up background at home to be America’s Next Top Psychopath. It can stem from school, church, band camp, etc.
– With all that said, Eddie is still a killer and is dangerous. There are several different ways he could’ve defeated the hell he was raised in, but he didn’t utilize them in a healthy manner. In other words, he knew right from wrong from those he looked up to, so, while we were given the cause, the effect could have been different. But the sad thing is that while I sympathize with the kid, I can’t ignore his actions. Why is that sad? Because maybe he could’ve been saved, but now it is too late.
Kudos to Marc Cherry, Josh Zuckerman and everyone involved for a really stand out episode. I can’t wait to see how all this ends.
See you guys next week.