All in all, the retelling mostly fits what we saw the first time around, but I still think there was some lingering creepiness, for instance the glimpse we saw of Orson making Alma de-lint his suit before leaving the house, that doesn't quite fit in with this new version of the story. So much for the omniscient narrator! Or maybe MA was deliberately misleading us the first time around? Either way, her reliability as Wisteria Lane's one truth teller has been shaken considerably. Mary Alice lies. She lies!
Back in the now, a determined-looking Alma (looking significantly cuter in a loose sort of graduated bob-style haircut that's a very pretty light auburn) beelines right up to Bree's house. Bree opens the door, and Alma chirps: "Bree Hodge? I'm Alma Hodge. I believe we have someone in common." Marcia Cross's body double collapses to the floor in a dead faint, and Alma smiles the tight smile of someone whose plans are coming to fruition. Something about her is off, like biting into a soft, dusty apple.
When we get back, MA introduces us to the golden part of the Wisterian's day, right before the kids get home, when the Ladies get together to gossip over coffee about whomever couldn't make it to the gossip session that day. Lynette (wearing the ubiquitous men's shirt), Gabby (ubiquitous sweat suit), and Susan (actually a very pretty dusty-pink top with delicate, fluttery sleeves) are perched on the creaking white wicker furniture found on the Scavo veranda. Susan dishes that Bree and Orson are back together, and then she shares her newfound knowledge of Orson's mental-patient past. Gabby: "How'd you find that out?" Susan, nonchalantly: "I snuck into his office and riffled through his things." Lynette: "Of course you did." Gabby very rightly points out that a teenaged stint in on the mental ward does not a murderer make. Susan insists that it's still a "piece of the puzzle," along with the fact that he had an affair with Monique, who then turned up dead, combined with the whole suspiciously missing first wife thing.
Bree has recovered from her faint, and now the Mrs. Hodges are tea-ing up in the living room. Alma explains to Bree, with perky "just us gals" over-familiarity, that she's been hiding out in Winnipeg all this time, eschewing credit cards for cash so she'd be untraceable in a deliberate and vengeful attempt to cast suspicion on Orson, all fueled by jealousy over his dalliance with Monique. (What, she couldn't send one postcard to her neighbor and friend Aunt Jackie from Roseanne? That seems cruel and heartless. Though really, all we have is the word of the unreliable Mary Alice that the two women were even that close...Jackie may have been nothing more than the annoying neighbor that keeps insisting on stopping by.) Apparently another one of Alma's hidden hopes was that Monique would be frightened by Alma's disappearance and leave Orson. Alma, I'm beginning to think, is not exactly the best judge of human nature: First she thinks mysteriously disappearing for a night in a hotel is just the ticket to reel in a distant husband? Then she decides that her sudden disappearance will scare a mistress into abandoning her husband? While that outcome is I guess vaguely possible, I don't think it's so sure-fire that it's worth spending almost a year hiding out in Winnipeg, a town where wintertime temperatures drop below 30 degrees (Fahrenheit), a town that world curling champions Don Duguid, Kerry Burtnyk and Georgina Wheatcroft all call home. Really you have to be willing to leave a few fingers behind, to make a plan like that work.