"Back in Business" is the 91st episode of Desperate Housewives.
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 to lend an unsolicited hand to Bree's marketing plan. MJ's drawing of a family portrait has left Mike feeling like he's not a presence in his son's life. Gabrielle hatches a plan to have more sex with Carlos. Susan teaches a reluctant MJ how to fall. Meanwhile, Dave's motives for moving to the neighborhood continue to take shape.
At MJ’s kindergarten class, Mike and Susan are surprised by a picture MJ drew that shows Jackson, Susan, and MJ at home while Mike’s a small, distant figure. Later, Mike brings MJ a new bike, and Susan correctly realizes he’s doing it because of MJ’s picture. When Mike calls Susan to say he’s coming over to teach MJ to ride the bike, Susan panics, as Jackson has just taught MJ everything he needs to know. Susan covers her son in protective gear, then tells him to fall while Mike teaches him how to ride the bike. MJ reluctantly falls, but hurts himself and has to be taken to the hospital. At the hospital, the doctor informs Mike that MJ fell on purpose. Susan admits what she did but says it wasn’t reasonable to make MJ wait to learn how to ride his bike. Still later, Mike shows up at Susan’s home to say he’s moving in to Mary Alice’s old place so he can be close to his son.
Unsatisified with the marketing campaign for Bree’s cookbook, Lynette decides to create one of her own, and she tells Tom she’s considering going back to work in advertising part time. But when Lynette pitches her ideas, Bree politely says no. At a banquet in Bree’s honor, Lynette damns Bree’s marketing campaign. When she learns her former assistant Stu owns the company responsible for the marketing campaign, Lynette becomes drunk, then confronts Bree. Bree tells Lynette to leave, which Lynette does, though not before setting off the emergency exit alarm. Afterwards, Lynette apologizes to Bree for her actions. She’ jealous of everything Bree has accomplished; Bree admits that Orson’s sleeping in the guest bedroom, so she doesn’t have everything she wants.
The women mask their jealousy as Bree presents them with copies of her cookbook. Bree downplays her success, and, when Andrew calls her to say she’s been named Businesswoman of the Year, Bree doesn’t tell her friends. Later, while driving in to see Orson at work, she sees him on a parking bench and realizes he lost his job weeks ago because he’s an ex-con. Later, Orson asks Bree to become her business partner, but Katherine quietly but decisively makes her tell her husband no. When Bree finds Orson sleeping in the guest bedroom, he claims it’s because of her snoring, even as she realizes it’s because she wouldn’t make him a business partner. Orson even keeps himself from going to the banquet in Bree’s honor. Afterwards, Bree tells her husband he can be a partner after all, and he rejoins her in bed.
Carlos doesn’t understand why Gabrielle insists that Juanita play with Bethany, a weird girl who spends her time spinning. Gabrielle wants Juanita to be invited to Bethany’s playdates, the one time of the week that will allow Gaby and Carlos time for sex! When they finally have time alone, Gabrielle dons a blindfold so she can experience sex in the same way as Carlos. But this backfires when Juanita returns home from her play date early and catches Carlos and Gabrielle having sex. Gabrielle tells Juanita that she and Carlos were wrestling; Carlos wants to tell her the truth but Gabrielle’s not sure if their daughter is ready for that. They tell Juanita the truth; but when Gaby picks Juanita up from her next playdate, Bethany declares that boys have sperm. Juanita told her friend everything she learned about sex, and Bethany’s parents no longer want Juanita at the play date. Carlos and Gabrielle attempt to smooth things over, but when Carlos accidentally informs Bethany that Santa Claus doesn’t exist, their efforts at getting a play date come to an end.
Dave and Tom audition a guy for their band; Tom’s enthusiastic about him, but Dave wants Mike in the band. Though Mike’s already said no, Dave’s going to handle this himself. Dave turns down Edie’s idea to buy Mary Alice’s former home and rent it out; when he becomes angry, Dave retreats to his bedroom and takes some pills. Dave busts his own pipe to force Mike to come over; once there, Mike says he can’t be in the band as he lives too far away. Dave and Edie buy Mary Alice’s former home and arrange for Mike to rent it for a low price, though Dave won’t let Edie tell Mike that they’re his landlords.
The episode received good ratings (although a drop from last week) with an averaged 15.49 million viewers, rating of 10.0 and share of 15. It was #3 for the week of October 13–19. It received positive reviews from critics but mixed opinion from fans of the series.
- Although credited, Porter Scavo (Charlie Carver), Preston Scavo (Max Carver), Parker Scavo (Joshua Logan Moore) and Penny Scavo (Kendall Applegate) do not appear in this episode.
- The title of this episode is taken from a song from the 1990 film Dick Tracy, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.
- We learn a woman named Mrs. Hudson was living in Mary Alice's old house. Dave and Edie buy the house and rent it to Mike, without him knowing they're his new landlords. This is the third house Mike's lived in on Wisteria Lane.
Bloopers and continuity errors
- During previous episodes, Tom and Lynette's garage door is green, along with their house. During this episode, the garage door is blue and the house is still green. In future episodes, both structures are back to normal.
- Gabrielle says that Juanita is five-years-old. In this case, Gabrielle should have been been several months pregnant in the season 4 finale.
- Bree tells Orson she doesn't snore. But in the episode "I Wish I Could Forget You", Bree tells George she sometimes snores.