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Remember Paul?
Desperate Housewives 7x01
Season
Episode
01
Airdate
September 26, 2010
Viewers (mil)
13.06 million
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Flashback
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Flash-forward
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Flash sideways
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Centric character(s)
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Viewers
13.06 million
Written by
Directed by
Special Guest Star
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Special Guest Star
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Uncredited
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Archive footage
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"Remember Paul?" is the 135th episode of Desperate Housewives, as well as its seventh season's premiere.

Summary

The residents of Wisteria Lane are stunned to discover that Paul Young is out of prison and back in the neighborhood with seemingly dark motives. Meanwhile, while Paul is renting Susan's home, she, Mike and MJ are living in an apartment on limited funds... However, Susan sees a glimmer of hope in getting her life back on the lane when she's offered an unorthodox job by her apartment manager, Maxine Rosen. Lynette's rich and successful college friend, Renee Perry, pays an unexpected visit to the Scavo household, whereas Gabrielle and Carlos find themselves keeping secrets from one another, and Bree, newly single and needing a fresh start after handing out her business, finds herself tempted by Keith, the handsome, young handyman she's hired to update her house.

Plot

Previously on Desperate Housewives

Quote1
Orson packed his bags. And Bree decided to come clean. A dying nurse made a confession. Financial worries drove Susan to a big decision. Which led to the return of a long lost neighbor.
Quote2
Mary Alice Young

Teaser

The episode begins with a recap of previous events.

Quote1
There was a time when my husband and I were very happy. I remember warm summer afternoons. And backyard barbecues. And laughter with friends. Our life was like some kind of suburban dream. But the day comes where we all must wake up...
Quote2

We see Mary Alice, our deceased narrator, and her husband, Paul, enjoying themselves at a neighborhood BBQ. The camera pans back and shows Rex Van de Kamp and Carlos Solis chatting over a drink, as Tom jokes around with Susan and Lynette while cooking some meat on the grill. Children run around the garden happily. Karen McCluskey is sitting beside Martha Huber and the two are enjoying their meals. Bree and Gabrielle converse beside them. The camera fades to black.

Quote1
For me, that day came when a letter arrived. As threats go, it was concise and to the point. I did what I had to to protect my family...
Quote2
PaulandMaryAlice7x01

Paul and Mary Alice hug in a flashback.

In a flashback we have seen many times before, Mary Alice pulls a purple envelope out of her mailbox and opens it slowly. We next see her sitting down at the dining table and she flips open the folded card and reads the writing. Finally, Mary Alice stands frozen in her living room. She pulls her arm up revealing a small hand-gun and places it firmly on the side of her head.

Quote1
My husband found out who wrote the letter. He let her know how much this upset him. Her sister figured out what my husband had done. So, she decided to frame him for murder. Her murder, to be more specific. And that's when the dream that was Paul Young's life became a nightmare...
Quote2

Paul stands outside a home on Wisteria Lane. The door swings open and Martha Huber smiles gently. We cut to Paul violently strangling the woman, whose lifeless body collapses. Paul is watering his flowers - Felicia Tilman, Martha's sister, stands in the foreground, clearly plotting against him. Next, Felicia is standing in her kitchen. She pulls out a large kitchen knife and holds if close to her two fingers. We see a policeman standing beside a crime scene, he holds Felicia's fingers in a plastic wallet. Paul is imprisoned for Felicia's 'murder' - we see him behind bars looking resentful.

Quote1
Years later, a woman was pulled over for speeding. This woman had no identification, so, she was arrested. And that is how people learned that Felicia Tilman was very much alive.
Quote2

Years later, a policeman is waiting beside a country road. A small car whizzes past him and the cop decides to give chase. A blonde-haired woman is arrested for having no identification. She has two missing fingers - it's Felicia. She is put behind bars for framing her death.

Paul is in his cell putting on a shirt and tie. His lawyer visits him and hands over his settlement cheque. Paul is a free man. "So where you going first," the lawyer asks friendly, "After all these years in prison, I guess you're ready to party!" Paul admits that all he wishes to do is go home to his old neighborhood. The lawyer points out that no-one would blame Paul if he hated his neighbors because they didn't support him during the trial. "Oh, I don't hate them", Paul says, "A little."

Quote1
And so my husband returned to Wisteria Lane. The neighbors were surprised to see him - they hadn't thought about Paul Young in years...
Quote2

It's a beautiful day on the Lane. The front door of 4353 Wisteria Lane opens slowly and Paul emerges. Karen McCluskey has returned from the supermarket. She spots Paul Young, who waves at her eerily, she drops her shopping bags in shock. He smiles deviously.

Quote1
But he had thought about them. And he was going to make sure they never forgot him again.
Quote2
Mary Alice Young

Act I

Quote1
The phone call that comes in the middle of the night, the letter that arrives by special delivery, the email marked 'urgent!' - yes, there are all sorts of ways bad news can be delivered but some news is so bad it must be delivered in person.
Quote2
Mary Alice Young

"Why do I have to tell them?" Jack Pinkham, Fairview Memorial Hospital's attorney, calls out angrily. The hospital's chairman explains that the couple live near Jack and that makes him 'uniquely qualified.' "And just what am I supposed to say?," Jack continues, "Great block party! By the way, one of our nurses switched your baby at birth. Try the dip!" The chairman tells Jack that every minute they wait the hospital takes on more liability and orders the lawyer to head over to Wisteria Lane and tell the people what's going on. Jack is reluctant because he doesn't know how he is going to do this. The chairman suggests that Jack remain as calm as possible.

Karen McCluskey dashes over to 4354 Wisteria Lane, the Van de Kamp residence, and furiously knocks on the door. No answer. "Bree! Get out here," Karen calls out, "Damn it. Why is nobody home?" She rushes up the road and catches the attention of two housewives, Nora and Gwen. She explains that Paul Young has returned and the woman all separate to warn other residents.

BreeconfessesGaby

Bree confesses to the hit-and-run to Gaby.

Meanwhile, inside the Solis household, Gabrielle and Bree are sitting on a sofa. Bree is incredibly nervous. Gabrielle can see how shaken up her friend is, and asks if she is OK. "I have something horrible to tell you," Bree starts, "And I don't know how to say it." Gaby tells Bree to say it quickly because it's starting to freak her out. "Remember that night when Carlos' mother was hit by a car?," Bree admits, "Well, I know who did it. It was Andrew." Gaby lets out an frustrated sigh and she begins to hold her stomach. "This is... This is..," Gabrielle stutters, "This is bad. This is really bad!" There is a pause. Before Gaby suddenly stands up and heads off to throw up. Bree chases after he and apologizes for not telling her sooner. Gaby turns around and snaps. "No, no, no," she yells, "You shouldn't have told me at all!" Bree is confused. Gaby says that she now has to tell Carlos and he will kill Andrew and then he'll go to prison for murder. Bree explains how she couldn't live with the secret for much longer and because of it, Orsonisdivorcing her. "Normally I'd give you a hug. But at the moment, I sorta don't give a crap!" Gabrielle yells as she continues to walk away. She stops on the stairs and turns around to face Bree. She asks how she is supposed to tell her husband because he'll probably find a way to blame it on her. She breaks down crying and Bree hugs her...still confused about her friend's reaction. The two hear a knock on the door and see Mrs McCluskey through the glass. "You'll never guess whose back!" the old woman cries.

LynettecradlesPaige

Lynette cradles new-born Paige in her arms.

At the Scavos', the children (and Tom) are all pressuring demands onto Lynette, despite the fact that she is cradling her newly-born baby in her arms. Lynette sits down at the breakfast table and Tom asks if she is going to help around the house because it's starting to get a dirty. "Baby number 5," Lynette shouts, "An entire basketball team has come out of me. So I'm officially to exhausted to care!" The telephone rings and Parker answers it. Renee Perry, a college friend of Lynette's, is on the phone. Lynette hands baby Paigeoverto Tom as she answers the phone. The Scavos discuss Renee around the table. "Damn it to Hell," Lynette says as she slams down the receiver, "She's coming here." Renee is due to arrive the following day. She orders everyone to get the house in order. Tom isn't moving. Lynette tells him that he must help out too, but he refuses - after all, he's holding the baby. "Spray her with some glass cleaner and rub her on the windows," Lynette exclaims, "I don't want Renee to know that I live like this this." Penny reassures Lynette that Renee is her friend so surely she wouldn't mind. "She isn't that kind of friend," Lynette adds as she walks to the door with a garbage bag in hand. She opens the door to find Gabrielle, Karen and Bree at the door. "You'll never believe whose back," Karen says seriously.

Susanphone7x01

Susan learns that Paul Young has returned.

Susan, Mike and MJ Delfino are moving into their new home - an apartment across town. Mike asks what MJ thinks...he is not happy with their new living arrangements. He subsequently asks his parents if they're poor, which they struggle to answer. "No, honey. We're not poor," Susan explains, "We're just lower middle-class. Poor people wish they could live like this." MJ looks around before adding, "They shouldn't." Mike jumps in and says that money is tighter than before and they're trying to save up to get back to their home on the Lane. Susan says that it won't take long because Mike is taking on more work and she's teaching and selling her 'cool' jewelry she's designed. "Oh God," MJ sighs. Susan's cellphone begins to ring. She's pulls it out of her handbag and answers. Karen McCluskey informs her that Paul Young has returned. "What?!" Susan exclaims.

Susan pulls up in her car outside her house on Wisteria Lane and quickly jumps out to join Lynette, Gaby and Bree. "Where is he?" Susan says seriously. Gabrielle tells her that Paul is living in her old house, which she rented to him. "I didn't know. Lee just told me it was a guy," Susan replies, "He paid in advance and didn't have pets I didn't care." Bree chimes in and asks how Paul is even out of jail - he was supposed to be serving a life sentence. "Hello ladies," a voice calls out from behind them. It's Paul. "If you'd like to come in for a while I can tell you the story," he says calmly, "Come on now...it's a good one!"

Paul&thehousewives7x01

Paul explains his release from prison to the gals.

Inside, Paul is unpacking his belongings (including a family photo of him and Mary Alice). He has told the gals about the circumstances under which he was released. "Felicia Tilman is alive?," Bree says shocked. Paul asks why she seems to be so surprised - he said she was alive over and over during his trial, which none of the housewives attended. Susan tries to butt in, but Paul carries on. He explains how he was going to tell them that Felicia was alive when they visit in him prison...like before, none of them came. Lynette apologizes. "In our defense," Gabrielle chuckles, "We thought you were a cold-blooded killer!" Paul looks at her unamused and her giggling ceases. Susan then asks why he wanted to move back to Wisteria Lane. "Well why do you think?," he replies, "I missed my friends." He smiles.

"Innocent or not," Gabrielle murmurs, "That guy still gives me the creeps." The housewives leave Paul's home and gather around Susan's car outside to chat. Across the street, Jack is looking on, inside his car. He sighs to himself before getting out and heading over to talk. A cleanly-shaven Carlos Soliscallsout his name and asks if he is here to get his nine-iron golf club which Carlos previously borrowed. "Actually, I need to talk to you and your wife," Jack says seriously. Carlos calls his wife over and then asks what is going on as he is starting to get nervous. Jack suggests to two go inside.

Carlos&Jack

Carlos, moments before he learns of the 'baby-switch.'

Carlos has found out Juanita is not his and Gaby's biological daughter. He is furious. Jack explains that Teresa Pruitt, the nurse in charge of the baby's name tags, had a drinking problem and subsequently switched the two children. Carlos enters a fit of rage. Jack begins to tell him that the hospital only recently found out, but is interrupted. "Jack," Carlos screams, "I swear to God if you go lawyer on me I will put your head through a wall!" Carlos walks to the window and watches his wife laugh with her friends outside. He asks where they're biological daughter is and Jack admits that they haven't been able to track the family down. Carlos refuses to tell Gabrielle. Jack stresses that he has a legal liability here and Gaby must know. "Fine," Carlos exclaims, "I'll do it. But I don't know how. This is going to destroy her."

Act II

Renee2

Renee Perry arrives on Wisteria Lane.

The Scavo clan are outside their house. Lynette is making sure everyone looks perfect before Renee arrives. "When Renee pulls up," Lynette begins, "She is going to see the one thing I can show off - my beautiful, beautiful family." She spots a pimple on Parker's face and tells him to go behind the others to hide the imperfection. Tom thinks Lynette is over-reacting but Lynette wants everything to be perfect to impress her frenemy. Parker sees a limousine glide around the corner and asks if it's Renee. "Of course it is," Lynette says slowly. The limousine stops outside the house and the door swings open. Two high heeled shoes are placed firmly on the ground, followed by the rest of the body of Renee Perry. Lynette runs up to greet her friend but Renee holds a finger up to her friend and turns around to speak to someone on her cellphone. She finishes her conversation and tells the person down the phone that there is someone more important she needs to speak with. Lynette, thinking that person is her, moves in even closer to hug. Renee holds her hand her up again and continues to chat on her cellphone. Lynette snatches the phone off Renee, tells the person on the other end of the line to call back, and hangs up. "Lynette, you haven't changed," Renee says. "Neither have you," Lynette replies. The two hug tightly, before Renee starts to joke around with Tom. Lynette then introduces her kids and her latest addition to the family, Paige. "Look at you all," Renee says cheerfully, "What a perfect little suburban picture." Lynette smiles happily as she cradles Paige in her arms. "Well, what can I say," Lynette starts, "I've been blessed..." Paige spits up on Lynette's dress - "Very blessed."

Inside, Tom heads off for work. Renee then begins to make herself at home. She says that she hates walking around her 'lonely, old barn of a house' and how sometimes weeks go by without her 'running into a servant.' "I'm sure you see them on whipping day," Lynette says comically. Renee asks why Lynette is being so mean as she worked on her compliments all the way from the airport. "Drive slower next time," Lynette replies. The children are upset with their mother's behavior, but Lynette reassures them that the two of them are only joking around. "I mean, this is the way to go," Renee says, describing Lynette's home, "Stripped down to the bare essentials. You know more people should live like this." Lynette informs Renee that most people do live a similar lifestyle to what she does and says that when Renee is flying in her private jet and comments on the 'ants' below - they're the ants. The twins are excited to hear that Renee has a jet and then even more excited to learn that she shares it with the New York Yankees base-ball team. Lynette asks how Renee's husbandis- Renee says that he's fine but she yearns to live a normal life, like Lynette does. Parker asks if Renee has a fancy hotel booked. She doesn't. She is invited to stay with the Scavos for a few days, despite Lynette's initial hesitation. Lynette says she could put Renee on the sleeper sofa to which Renee replies, "Oh, look at me! I'm one of the ants!"

Susan&Maxine

Susan explains her financial troubles to her landlady.

Meanwhile, across town, Susan knocks on her landlady, Maxine Rosen's apartment door. Susan introduces herself and explains that she is here to drop off her security deposit. She apologizes for it's lateness and says that she has been having some money problems. Maxine looks interested, before replying with, "Have you?" She invites Susan inside for tea. Susan explains her financial situation to Maxine, who is apologetic. Maxine then in turn tells Susan about what an awful situation she herself was in once her husband died - so, she decided to set up her own business. And how now she is able to help other struggling woman and they have perks - they sit their own hours, work from home and get big paychecks. "That sounds like the dream job," Susan replies politely. Maxine says that she thinks Susan would be 'real good at it.' The landlady and entrepreneur stands up and pulls back a large door revealing to Susan her business - a porn website called 'VaVaBroom.com' Susan is angry that Maxine tried to lure her into pornography and asks if she slipped something into her tea. "Honey, relax," Maxine begins, "This is strictly PG. Woman doing housework. No nudity, no sex." Susan is not amused and shakes her head in disgust. "So, what d'ya say?," Maxine asks. Susan points her finger at Maxine and shouts "Shame, shame on you!" Maxine explains that all her workers are respectful woman who are going through tough times and no one they know sees them because most of the website's clients are from overseas in Europe and Asia. Susan is starting to crack - she is becoming interested. Finally, Maxine hands over an envelope containing how much money Martha makes in a week - it's a small fortune. Susan gasps and lets out a surprised wow before realizing that she is falling for Maxine's ploy and quickly dashes away.

Act III

Later, Carlos is looking at some family photos when Juanita arrives. He points out her grandmother and Juanita admits that she wishes she could have met her. "Every day she was the light of my life," Carlos admits. "That's why I named you after her - I could not imagine a world without Juanita Solis in it." Gaby watches them from the door. Later, when Gaby is tucking Juanita in to bed, she tells her that she is not allowed to ride her bike to the mall. When Juanita tells her she is mean, she responds: "Sometimes I have to be mean. It's my job to protect you. What if you got hit by a bus? I can't take that chance. You're my whole world. If something happened to you, it would ruin my life." Carlos watches on from the door.

BreeOrson7x01

Bree and Orson share one more touching moment before they divorce.

Meanwhile, Bree is sitting silently on her sofa as Orson packs up the last of his belongings from the house with the help of his physical therapist, Judy. Orson wheels himself over to the sofa and asks his ex-wife if she'll be OK. "Lets see," Bree starts, "I'm getting a divorce, I lost my business and I'm sitting here trying to remember why I quit drinking. I've had better Mondays." Orson apologizes but Bree tells him not to be - it's for the best. The two agree that they haven't been happy for a long time, before Orson tells Bree that she should make herself a project to do to keep her busy through this stressful time. "No," Bree chuckles, "That's what I always do, distract myself with meaningless busywork to avoid my emotions. I think I need to sit quietly and think about what I'm going to do with my life."
Bree'sproject7x01

Bree finds herself a 'project.'

Bree smiles delicately as Orson watches on emotionally. "Whatever you do, I know it will be spectacular," Orson says. The two tightly hold each other's hands before they part. Their hands separate and Orson leaves. Bree is all alone. She slowly gets to her feet and walks over to a nearby cabinet and admires the photos she has collected of Orson and herself over the years. She is reminded of how happy the two of them used to be. She suddenly spots a torn piece of wallpaper in the corner of the room. She casually sticks it back down only for it to spring back. She sticks it down again and it, like before, returns to sticking up. She loses her patience and furiously grabs the torn corner and yanks the whole sheet of paper off the wall. She feels a whizz of satisfaction and begins to tear the rest of the paper down too. We see the lighting in the room change (she has clearly been up all night) and she continues to tear the paper down. Her telephone rings. It's Orson. He explains that he was thinking about their conversation last night and is checking in to see if she's alright. "I'm fine," Bree says happily, "In fact I took your advice. I found myself a project."

Act IV

Later, Paul goes to visit Felicia in jail. She promises that she will be out in 18 months with good behavior. Paul begins to tell her about the horrible side of prison life and she tells him: "I don't care what I have to do. I will see you behind bars again or dead." Paul reminds her that the prison officers record their conversations. Felicia accuses Paul of murdering her sister, but he describes it as a "groundless accusation". As he leaves, Felicia says: "You know you did." Paul hangs up the phone and mouths "I did" through the glass. Felicia face curls up in terror.

7x19

Bree and Gabrielle.

Susan is showing her home-made jewelry to Lynette, Bree and Gaby. They all comment on how big the pieces are and Susan seems to be oblivious to the fact that that is a negative aspect of her designs. Gabrielle asks where Lynette's friend is as they are all dying to meet her. The gals finally give in and agree to buy some of Susan's jewelry, just as Renee appears at the bottom of the stairs. Lynette introduces her friend to the other housewives. Bree explains how nice it is to meet Renee as Lynette has talked so much about her. "Ah yes," Renee says, "You know how the pretty girls always hang out together? Well, I refused to go along with that." The two zip back and fore and Gabrielle comments "Wow, you guys play rough." Lynette says that it's OK - the two of them just joke around. The pair continue to exchange banter again but the conversation turns sour when Renee hints that Lynette has not lived up to her college award of 'Most Likely To Succeed'. Eventually, Renee says that the Lynette she knew was adventurous and backpacked through Croatia, jumped on stage at a Springsteen concert and had a threesome with two guys from the rugby team. The housewives are shocked because the Lynette they know would never do those things. Tom returns home from work and looks on from the door.

Act V

In her bedroom, Lynette asks why Renee decided to visit just to criticise her life. Tom is distracted by the threesome story and keeps asking about it, but eventually points out that he thought Lynette liked her banter with Renee. Lynette says that she's not allowed to be disappointed in her life and leaves to confront Renee. She presents her with a Yellow Pages and advises her to look up a hotel and a taxi. Renee insists that she doesn't think Lynette's life is pathetic and admits that her husband is leaving her. She reveals that she found out he was cheating on her and he chose his mistress. Lynette asks why she didn't tell her earlier but Renee replies: "My life's about to fall apart. I hadn't even admitted it to myself yet." Lynette promises that she can stay for as long as she likes.

Carlos is at the hospital. He walks into Jack's office to talk about the baby swap. He says he will either sue the hospital for $10m or $20m, which he thinks he'll get (the hospital will have to announce bankruptcy) or the Jack will shred all the documents and call off the search for the other family to make sure Gaby never finds out that Juanita is not their biological daughter. Jack explains that the hospital has already sent out letters and hired investigators and the process cannot be stopped. "Try," Carlos adds. Jack explains that Carlos is going to be keeping a huge secret from his wife and Carlos informs him that he has no choice, as the truth would hurt Gaby too much.

Back on the Lane, Gabrielle tells Bree that she isn't going to tell Carlos that Andrew was responsible for his mother's death. "Are you sure?," Bree replies, "Doesn't he deserve to know what Andrew did?" Gabrielle explains that Carlos has been so happy lately; their marriage is strong; he enjoys his job; and the girls are turning out beautifully - except for this one ignorable blip - they're life is now perfect and she doesn't want anything to change that. Bree understands.

Back at the apartment, Mike is sipping a beer and reading a letter from the bank. Susan returns home from the supermarket and Mike explains that the bank has turned down his loan application. Mike says that without that money, he can't employ any more help and so he'll have to stick to working on small jobs. It's going to take ages for them to recover their debts if that's all the work he's getting. Susan sighs and says that they'll 'scrimp and save' - Mike admits that he's thinking of a taking a job in Alaska, working on an oil-rig. Susan says that it's too dangerous and beside, MJ and she both need him here and that there's got to be another way to do this. Mike says that they don't have any other options. Susan tells him to give her a month before he makes a decision. She says that her jewelry designs may start pulling in 'serious money.' Mike doesn't think so but Susan adds, "You'll be surprised what some people are willing to pay for." We cut to Susan knocking on the door of Maxine's apartment. The doors opens - "No nudity, no sex and no one can ever know," Susan says quickly. "I am so glad I can help," a smiling Maxine says slowly.

Act VI

Bree hires a new decorator, Keith Watson. He suggests making over the room with something "bold", and when Bree suggests a "nice deep beige", he admits that he was thinking of a scarlet red. "Don't take this the wrong way but I'm going to be serving dinner, not sailors," Bree replies. She excuses herself as Orson is outside. He hands over the division of assets and Bree invites him to Andrew's dinner party. Orson thanks her, but soon his physical therapist points out that they have plans. Orson tells her to wait in the van and admits to Bree that they have started seeing each other. He promises that they didn't begin their relationship while he was still married. "We can't let opportunities for happiness pass us by," he says. Back inside, Keith suggests Bree decorate the dining room in a moonstruck yellow. "With your red hair you'd look so hot in this room," he says. "You know, whatever you want. You have other options." Bree replies: "Maybe I do."

Paul is collecting his mail, when he is confronted by Lee who is angry that Paul didn't tell him about his 'past.' Paul tells Lee he is about to give him more business. Lee is intrigued. Paul tells him that his old house is back on the market and he wants to buy it back. Lee tells him that since he is already renting Susan's house buying another property across the street doesn't seem like a very good plan. Paul replies "Oh believe me, I've had 10 years to work on this plan - it's a good one."

Quote1
Bad news travels quickly. And when it arrives we have to find a way to deal with it; if our husbands tell us they've moved on, we look for projects to distract us; if the bills start to stack up, we find ways to earn extra cash; if we're told a secret too terrible to share, we learn to keep it to ourselves...
Quote2

A newspaper boy rides past Paul and Lee: a paper lands on Bree's garden and she reads the front page before smiling flirtatiously at Keith; Susan moves a paper out of the way and begins dusting while on webcam; Gabrielle hands Carlos his morning paper and reluctantly sips her tea - not telling him her and Bree's secret.

Quote1
...But we must remember, the bad news that's delivered can sometimes be good news in disguise.
Quote2
Mary Alice Young

Meanwhile, in prison, Felicia sticks up a newspaper clipping of Paul Young. Her roommate asks her if that's the guy Felicia has been talking about and adds "it's a shame they let him out." Felicia replies "As it turns out, it's all for the best, Paul can now receive the punishment he's entitled to." Her roommate is confused and asks what she means, to which Felicia replies "Just between us girls? Paul Young will be dead within six months." Felicia's cell mate again asks how that's possible, seeing as Felicia will be behind bars for at least 2 years. "True, but Paul Young doesn't have friends on that street...I do!" Felicia cackles.

Notes

Production

"Remember Paul?" was written by series creator and executive producer Marc Cherry. It marked the debut of Vanessa Williams as Renee Perry, an old college rival of Lynette Scavo. Williams was offered the job after her recent starring role as her Emmy award nominated character Wilhelmina Slater ended on ABC's Ugly Betty. It was announced on May 18th, 2010 that she would be joining the show, this news came after Cherry had announced he was looking for a new troublemaker to fill the void left by the demise of Nicollette Sheridan's Edie Britt. The episode will also mark the return of the show's first ever bad guy Paul Young.

Reception

According to Nielsen ratings, "Remember Paul?" was watched by 13.056 million viewers and held a 8.1 rating/12 share on its original American broadcast on September 26, 2010. Among viewers between 18 and 49 years of age, the episode drew a 4.3 rating, making it the twelfth most-watched show for the week in that demographic. The premiere was outperformed by Sunday Night Football on NBC and Family Guy on Fox, which respectively drew a 7.3 and 4.5 rating in the 18 to 49 demographic in the Desperate Housewives time slot. The episode is the least-watched season premiere of Desperate Housewives to date, with an eleven percent decrease in viewership from the sixth season premiere one year earlier. ABC reported that the episode gained an additional 2.1 million viewers and 1.0 rating in the week following the original broadcast due to DVR recordings. "Remember Paul?" was outperformed by the following episode, "You Must Meet My Wife", which drew 13.234 million viewers and scored 8.2 rating/12 share in total viewers and a 4.4 rating in viewers between 18 and 49 years of age.

The episode received mixed reviews. Tanner Stransky of Entertainment Weekly gave the premiere a positive review. He praised Williams' performance, stating that she brought back a "brand of bitchery" that had been missing from the series since Nicollette Sheridan's departure; additionally, he favorably compared the performance to Williams' portrayal of Wilhelmina Slater on Ugly Betty. He also complimented Harriet Sansom Harris' performance, naming her "the creepiest character... in the best possible way." Stransky called the Gabrielle and Carlos storyline "sweet," but criticized the ridiculousness of Susan's storyline. Neal Justin of the Star Tribune said, "the premiere is packed with the zippy zingers that made us fall in love with the dramedy in the first place," accrediting the series' improved quality over season six to the return of Mark Moses as Paul Young. He also commented that Vanessa Williams gave "a repeat performance" of her character on Ugly Betty. Damian Holbrook of TV Guide also drew a comparison between Williams' performances in the episode and on Desperate Housewives, stating the two characters "have the same stiletto-sharp tongue and prickly chemistry with everyone who enters her orbit." John Griffiths of Us Weekly gave the premiere a negative review, awarding it only two stars. He stated the show had turned into "a run-of-the-mill sitcom" and criticized the writers for not being able to develop material to match the "venerable cast capable of great things." He called the Paul storyline "corny" and the switched-baby storyline "as compelling as a manicure," and commented that both Williams and Brian Austin Greene deliver underwhelming performances

Trivia

Quotes

Renee: It's just hard for me to reconcile this suburban housewife with the girl who had a threesome with two of the guys from the rugby team.

Bloopers and continuity errors

  • The baby in the picture of "the day Juanita was born" is in a crawling position and supporting itself by its arms, which would be impossible for a newborn.
  • In flashbacks shown in this episode, Martha Huber is seen opening the front door of her house to Paul Young, on the night she was murdered. This contradicts the actual events that transpired in the episode "Guilty", in which Paul helps Martha with her groceries, taking them from her car and heading inside her house with her.

Gallery

Gallery of photographic stills released to promote the episode.


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