"I'll Swallow Poison on Sunday" is the 154th episode of Desperate Housewives.
With Gaby and the girls temporarily staying at Bree's house, Bree must lay down the law and demand discipline before Juanita and Celia destroy her home. Meanwhile, Tom hires Lynette and Renee to redecorate his office - but Lynette has her own ideas of what she thinks Tom needs as opposed to what he wants; and while continuing to help nurse Paul back to health, Susan discovers that Felicia has been released from prison and is back on Wisteria Lane.
Susan continues to bring Paul food but is shocked when she discovers that Felicia is also in the house. Paul and Felicia reveal that they have put their differences aside and Felicia drops the bombshell that she was Beth's mother and has moved into Wisteria Lane. Later, Susan passes on the news to the other housewives but reveals that she is going to continue caring for Paul because she was given a second chance with Beth's kidney and wants to do the same for him. Later, Felicia arrives at Susan's house and claims that she is missing Beth, but remembered that part of her is still alive in Susan. Susan reluctantly agrees to let her in and reveals that she is cooking dinner for Paul.
Felicia claims that she is having a migraine and, when Susan leaves to get her some aspirin, puts drops of something into the pie for Paul. Felicia returns home and reads to Beth's ashes about the effects of antifreeze coolant, which is what she slipped into Paul's pie. She reveals that it will cause a "slow and agonising" death involving nausea, vomiting, cardiovascular dysfunction and acute renal failure. Soon, she is following Susan around and slipping the antifreeze coolant into all of Paul's food. Susan is confused as she doesn't know why Paul keeps deteriorating.
Later, Mike shows Susan their bank statement and she is thrilled to learn that they have paid all of their bills and have some money left over. Mike reveals that they can afford to move home, but Susan is reluctant to make Paul leave as he is still fragile. However, Mike suggests that she ask him now that she has started looking after him and points out that it might be good for Paul to get away from the memories of Beth. The next day, Susan and Felicia bake some brownies but Felicia is thrown when Susan asks her to try one, explaining that she can't as she is allergic to nuts. Felicia takes a small bite and says they are great, but refuses to eat more. Susan worries that they are bad and decides to make a new batch, but Felicia says she just didn't want to break her diet and eats the rest of the cake. Outside, she throws up into her handbag and throws it into a bin.
Susan takes the brownies to Paul, but he admits that he has no appetite and feels dizzy. Susan notices that he took down Beth's painting and suggests that he could maybe use a change of scenery to get away from the memories. Paul says he couldn't leave Susan without a tenant but Susan reveals that she and Mike can now afford to move back in. Paul is furious, believing that Susan has been pretending to care for him so that she can chuck him out and move back home. He angrily says that he knew nobody in the street cared about him but Susan is worse because she pretended to get something out of him. Susan tries to explain, but Paul throws her out of the house and tells her to leave him alone. When he shuts the door, he grabs his heart and collapses.
Tom reveals that he has a $20,000 budget to redecorate his office and hires Lynette and Renee for the job. He suggests that it could be a good way to spend more time with Lynette. Renee and Lynette go to his office and suggest a design, but Tom reveals that he already knows what he wants and shows them a picture of Donald Trump's office. Lynette is shocked and suggests that it's not representative of Tom, but Renee interrupts her and reveals that she used to know Trump and can call his assistant for help sourcing the furniture. When they leave, Lynette admits that Trump's office wouldn't suit Tom, but Renee points out that they have to give their client what he wants. However, when Renee drops by the office at the weekend she is shocked to discover that Lynette has changed their plans and is setting up the office she thinks Tom wants.
The next week, they wait outside for Tom's verdict. He arrives and reveals that he loves it, and Lynette is surprised to discover when she walks in that Renee has changed everything to match Tom's original specification. Renee manages to stop Lynette from revealing that she wanted something different and when they leave, tells Lynette they have to make their client happy. She adds that Lynette needs to accept that Tom is running a company now and has a persona to match that. However, Lynette refuses and returns to Tom's office, complaining about the decoration. Tom is furious to learn that she tried to impose her own ideas on him and reveals that he needs to show he is powerful to be respected in the business world. He is furious as he has been waiting for Lynette to show she is happy with his success and thought the fact that he got the office he wanted meant that she finally understood. The conversation is interrupted when Tom takes a business call and Lynette leaves sadly, listening to him speaking in a macho way.
Bree & Gabrielle
Bree is annoyed with Juanita and Celia. She asks Gaby how long it will be before they move back home and Gaby suggests that Carlos will soon start begging her to return. However, Bree is unimpressed with Gaby's lack of discipline with the girls. Later, she decides to go to church to have a break from the chaos in her house. However, she is annoyed to see that someone has parked across her driveway. She gets into the offending car and uses the horn, but the owner soon arrives. He complains that she has illegally entered his vehicle but Bree points out that he illegally blocked her drive. However, the man soon introduces himself as a detective - Chuck Vance. He reveals that he was checking on Felicia because she is on parole. Bree apologises and explains that she is frazzled because her friend's daughters are staying with her. She jokingly asks if she could borrow Chuck's gun. Chuck pretends that he is shocked but reveals that he is joking, before driving away.
Back inside, Juanita and Celia are running through the house but Gaby fails to discipline them. Bree decides to take matters into her own hands but Gaby warns that she won't be able to control the girls. Sure enough, as Bree tries to talk to them they reply rudely and end up walking away in the middle of her lecture. Gaby smirks, but Bree vows not to give up. Later, Gaby drops the girls off at Carlos's house and asks how long this is going to go on for. He asks how long she is going to be friends with Bree. When Gaby has gone, Juanita asks why Carlos is so upset with her. Carlos sits her down and tells her why he is angry with Bree. Afterwards, Juanita whispers to Celia that Bree killed their grandmother. The next day, the duo return to Bree's house and, because they are scared of her, begin behaving perfectly - much to Gaby's confusion. Bree believes that they are just responding to structure and her firm hand. Gaby even tries to tempt Juanita to eat one of Bree's cupcakes, but she refuses.
That night, Bree goes in to the girls' bedroom to check on them but they wake up and start screaming. They lock themselves in their room and refuse to leave. Gaby calls Carlos, as the girls say they will only come out for him. Meanwhile, the doorbell rings - it's Detective Chuck Vance, who is responding to a 911 call from two girls saying that their mum's crazy friend is trying to kill them. Bree is shocked and Chuck asks if she managed to get someone to lend her a gun. Chuck speaks to the girls and later confirms that they think Bree is trying to kill them. Carlos arrives and Chuck asks him if he told the girls that Bree killed their grandmother. Bree's eyes widen, but Carlos says that the girls must have misunderstood and comes up with a fake explanation. The girls arrive and Bree sees Chuck back to his car. He jokes that he is glad she didn't kill anyone and admits that he took the 911 call so that he could see her again. He hands her his card, telling her to call if she notices anything suspicious about Felicia - or even if she doesn't.
Back inside, Carlos and Gaby argue again. Gaby points out that they would have done what Bree did to protect their family, but Carlos says family should stick together and asks why she is staying at Bree's. Bree comes back inside and thanks Carlos for not saying anything to the police, but he admits he did it for Andrew, not her. He adds that he doesn't forgive her and won't forgive Gaby for as long as she sticks with Bree. He leaves with the girls and Gaby admits that she keeps waiting for it to blow over. Bree tells her it won't, and sadly they agree that Gaby should go home to Carlos.
"I'll Swallow Poison on Sunday" was written by Jason Ganzel and directed by David Warren. It marks the first appearance of Chuck Vance, portrayed by Jonathan Cake, who becomes a regular during Season 8 of the series.
Despite Osama bin Laden's death throwing every broadcast network's schedule upside down, Desperate Housewives managed to get decent preliminary ratings. A 3.0 in the key demographic and just above 10 million viewers. "I'll Swallow Poison on Sunday" received positive reviews from critics but mixed opinions from fans of the series.
- The title comes from a line in the song "Kiss Me" from Stephen Sondheim's musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
- Kevin Rahm (Lee McDermott), Tuc Watkins (Bob Hunter), Charlie Carver (Porter Scavo) and Darcy Rose Byrnes (Penny Scavo) are absent from this episode, and are therefore not credited
Gallery of photographic stills released to promote the episode.