The ladies of Wisteria Lane returned for a second season of high anxiety, testy relationships, and a new mystery. Susan's (Teri Hatcher) angsty on-again off-again with Mike the plumber (James Denton) took an odd twist when her ex-husband (Richard Burgi) moved in with neighborhood seductress Edie (Nicolette Sheridan), then took an even odder one. Bree (Marcia Cross) resumed her widow's relationship with George the pharmacist (Roger Bart), then descended into personal … mehraddiction. Annette's (Felicity Huffman) return to the working world turned bizarre when her husband, Tom (Doug Savant), got tired of being a house-husband and returned to the workforce at Annette's own firm. And Gabrielle (Eva Longoria) had to cope in her own unique way with Carlos (Ricardo Chavira) in prison.
With the first season's mystery surrounding Mary Alice Young (Brenda Strong, still around as the narrator) revealed--though repercussions were still flying--the show's intrigue came from a new character, Betty Applewhite (Alfre Woodard), and her son (Mehcad Brooks), who try, unsuccessfully, to fit into Wisteria Lane while harboring their own secret. While Woodard is a great actor, her storyline tended to drag down the action, the brilliant Cross was saddled with two dismal character developments, and the housewives spent far too little time together. There were laughs to be had, however. Huffman's interplay with Savant was a highlight, and Gabrielle's conflict with a perceived rival named Sister Mary Bernard (Melinda Page Hamilton) was the funniest of the season. No longer as fresh as it had been in its debut season, Desperate Housewives ended up taking a back seat to its Sunday-night running mate, Grey's Anatomy, and was shut out of the major Emmy awards, but its late-season resurgence was a positive sign going into the third season. With Lesley Anne Warren as Susan's mother, Sophie; Bob Newhart as Sophie's beau; Andrea Bowen as Susan's steadfast daughter, Julie; Jay Harrington as Susan's doctor; Mark Moses and Cody Kasch as Paul and Zach Young, who continue to be plagued by Felicia Tilman (Harriet Sansom Harris) about what happened with Mary Alice; Shawn Pyfrom as Bree's rebellious son; Carol Burnett as Bree's stepmother; and Kyle MacLachlan as an oddball dentist. weniger