Previously on Desperate Housewives: all the stuff we learned in the last episode (Mike got arrested for murdering Monique, Susan promised Ian she'd stop seeing Mike, Alma's back), also Lynette promised dying Snora that she'd look after daughter Kayla.
Okay, so we start off with Mary Alice unraveling that whole "Orson was an abusive, obsessively compulsed husband" story she told us back in the first episode of the season. Now she's retelling it to us from an entirely different point of view.
This time around, we discover that Alma "tricked" Orson into marrying her by getting pregnant, an assertion that MA supports with some footage of a pregnantly-plump Alma all done up like a bride, flanked by the glum-looking groom, Orson. Mama Hodge is also there, looking thrilled. MA tells us that Alma hoped that Orson's feelings for her would grow over time, but then there was some sort of miscarriage, and "Alma found herself married to a man who seemed to despise her."
And now we get the same footage from the first go-round: Alma doing some darning and telling Baby the parrot how much she loves him. Only this time, Alma notices there's lipstick on the collar of the shirt she's fixing. Orson was having an affair! MA: "Alma realized the only way to get her husband to appreciate her was to leave him. Immediately." Is that scientifically proven? I hadn't heard that. So then we get the same scenes of Alma frantically packing up her bags and running all over the house, and then screaming at an escaped Baby (with far more urgency than the moment now calls for, seen from this perspective) to get back in his cage. I'm not sure why "Operation Appreciation" had to be slapped together with such abruptness. Certainly someone who had the wherewithal to create a pregnancy trap could also spend a little time crafting her departure? Anyway, so Orson comes home unexpectedly (there's the unplanned bird guano on his sleeve, if you remember), and he catches Alma standing in the living room with her bags all packed. He says, "Going somewhere?" in a way that is now supposed to be seen as "puzzled yet amused," where in the first telling, came off as "profoundly menacing." Alma defiantly explains that she's leaving to spend the night in a motel, news Orson receives with bored calm -- clearly not the uproar Alma was hoping for. Alma runs after him to give him the explanations he never asked for: she's leaving because he's cheating on her! Orson, bored: "Ah, I see." Alma: "Aren't you even going to deny it?" Orson: "On the contrary, I want to SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS! For the first time in my life, I'm actually in love." In love with someone else, that is. Orson, looking like a huge burden had been lifted, skips out the door, leaving a distraught and confused Alma in his wake. MA: "It was at that moment Alma realized it wasn't enough to leave her husband. He had to be punished."