Before we get started, I want to pause for a moment to introduce a new feature: it's called the Inexplicably Missing In Action Review, and it's a quick rundown of all the characters whom you probably were expecting to see in the episode, especially those whose storylines supposedly lie at the very core of this season's (supposed) big mystery, yet still they are nowhere to be found. This week's IMIAR includes: Danielle, Tom, all three Applewrongs, and (aside from a short, short appearance right at the beginning) Hempy. So you can stop looking around for them in every scene, your eyes, at first, bright with eager expectation, then slowly fading to confusion, to irritation, to disgust. Just my little way of helping you manage your expectations downward.
Okay, everyone with me? Then, let's MAVO. This week she starts out by introducing us to a one Mrs. Pate, played by Amy Hill (who, according to IMDB, has been in every single show ever made, including Andy Richter Controls the Universe). Mrs. Pate is a teacher. She is also a master of manipulation and control, as demonstrated by the ruler she slaps into her palm like a cop with a billy club. MAVO: "As a teacher, she had found that the best way to control unruly students was to instill a strong sense of shame...in their parents." You can almost hear MAVO's eyebrow arching archly. We flashback to Mrs. Pate, browbeating parent after parent, each in turn cringing and wilting under the heated guilt of having raised such inferior stock: one little girl destroyed the class hamster "Patches," one brought in his dad's Nazi memorabilia for show and tell, wow, and another has been beating up kids for their "milk money" (does such a thing really exist anymore, school milk sales?). Back in the now, Mrs. Pate sits down with Lynette. MAVO gushes, "Of course, Mrs. Pate also knew that when it came to unruly children, some parents had more reason to be ashamed...than others." Is this the same singsong that Mary Alice used for her inside voice? If so, there really wasn't much to the mystery of why she blew her brains out. Lynette has been called in for this particular parent-teacher conference because of a very "serious incident": apparently Parker offered "a cookie to Cindy Lou Peeples if she would show him her VAGINA." Now. Before I even take on the VAGINA part, first let me pause to discuss "Cindy Lou Peeples," lest I risk the wrath of the many giddy people who posted on the forums and emailed me directly about the matter. Now hear this: yes, Cindy Lou Peeples is a shout-out to The Golden Girls, specifically the double episode "Home Again Rose," in which the Girls crash a high school reunion, and DoroMaude randomly puts on the nametag for a one "Cindy Lou Peeples," and then she wins the Queen of the Reunion Award, or something. And finally, the reason for the Golden shout-out, assuming a person needs such a thing, is that Marc Cherry got his start writing for the Girls. Okay, with the crazed Golden Girls fans (and they are legion) now sated, back to the Cindy Lou cookie VAGINA incident.