• Genre: Comedy
  • Air date: Oct 10, 2004
  • Network: ABC





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Ah, But Underneath

For fans, by fans

Ah, But Underneath

"Ah, But Underneath" is the 2nd episode of Desperate Housewives.


After her house has burnt down, Edie Britt asks Mrs. Huber to let her stay over for a while. Meanwhile, Martha finds something among the wreckage that she finds quite interesting: a misplaced measuring cup. Meanwhile, Susan wants to ask Mike over for a dinner date, but things don't go as expected when Edie makes her way to the party and charms both Mike and his dog. Lynette can't get her kids to sit down in the backseat of the car, and while Carlos wants to figure out what is making his wife so angry all the time, Gabrielle continues her romantic affair with the underaged gardener, and soon realizes he is starting to think of their relationship as something more than a simple affair. Bree wants Rex to take up marriage counseling with her, and Paul Young tries to get rid of something his family had kept buried for years.


Previously on Desperate Housewives

  • Mary Alice shoots herself. The girls discuss her suicide.
  • Gabrielle and Carlos have an argument. Later, she is seen after sex with John.
  • The women discover the mysterious note among Mary Alice's belongings. Susan says "Oh, Mary Alice, what did you do?"
  • Teaser

    Close-up on some lilies, growing in the local graveyard. It is daytime, as the camera pans across the cemetery, and focuses on the grave of Mary Alice Young. The tombstone, which is decorated with two vases of orange roses, reads:

    "Mary Alice Young 111865 ~ 82804 Beloved Wife and Mother" The camera then turns to the sky. We are then treated to the sight of Gabrielle Solis submersed in water.

    A sequence of flashbacks is shown. The first one features Gabrielle parading in a black dress she recently got. She takes Carlos' hand and twirls, and they engage in a kiss. In the second flashback, Carlos puts a necklace on her, and then checks out the bill. In the third and final flashback, he hands her a diamond watch in its case, without even stopping his business phone conversation. Gabrielle looks sad as she checks out her new gift.

    Gabrielle gets out from under the water in her bathtub, smiling, and she promptly makes out with her gardener/lover, John Rowland. They are both naked in the bathtub. Outside the house, Carlos drives up in his car and parks it. Inside the main bathroom, Gabrielle, in a bathrobe, and John, with his lower body wrapped in a towel, are toweling off and making out, all cheery. Carlos gets out of his car and when he closes the door, Gaby hears it. As he walks into the house, she watches him from the window, and she then immediately grabs John by the arm and rushes downstairs with him, as he picks up his clothes from the floor. Outside, Carlos picks up his mail. Inside, John wonders where the rest of his clothes are, and Gaby tells him she'll find them. She then tells him to get out the window, and he is surprised. Carlos heads for the house, noticing John's work material in the garden. John is getting out through the window, and then Gaby pushes him, but his towel is stuck and left in the window pane, so he falls to the garden completely naked. Carlos finally enters the house, and Gaby takes the towel and puts it over her hair. She feigns surprise at finding him there, and he says that his meeting got canceled. He then notices she is in her bathrobe, and she notices that John's pants are on the couch. He is confused, because he thought she'd taken a shower that morning, to which Gaby responds that she just finished worked. She covers the pants with a pillow. He then asks her where John is, since his truck is out front. Gabrielle is silent for a while, as she tries to come up with some excuse/answer to give Carlos, but she can't think of anything. Luckily for her, John promptly greets Mr. Solis from outside the house, via the window he was pushed from. He is now wearing his shirt, and trimming some bushes with his pruning shears. Carlos is happy to see him, and asks if he's taken care of some ficus yet. John explains that he'll get there as soon as he's done with the bushes. They engage in some more talk, as Gaby appears to be extremely relieved.

    Outside the house, we can now see that John still has no underwear on, and the shirt is barely covering his buttocks.

    Mary Alice's tombstone.

    Gabrielle and John make out in the bathtub.

    John tries to sneak out through the window.

    John tends to the bushes, with no pants on.

    Act I

    Nighttime on Wisteria Lane. The women are gathered at Susan Mayer's house. Lynette Scavo is sitting on the counter, Bree Van de Kamp is walking around the kitchen, polishing it with a cloth, and Gabrielle Solis is too walking around, holding a glass of red wine. Susan is sitting at the kitchen table, with the mysterious note laid out before her. They're unclear on what to say or how to react regarding said note. Susan picks it up and says she thinks they should give it to Paul, Mary Alice's widow. Gaby takes the note from her, saying he's still mourning, and he'd probably freak out. Susan says that doesn't matter, as she was his wife and he deserves to have all the facts. Bree says they could do it gently, they could tell him about it over coffee and pastries. Lynette says "That'll be fun. Paul, we have proof your wife killed herself over some deep, dark secret. Another bearclaw?" Gaby suggests that they call the police, and Lynette points out the option that maybe it's just a sick joke, to which Bree replies that if it is indeed a sick joke, it's in very poor taste. Susan has the note with her again, and says that this was serious, she knows it was. She then adds that they have to find out what was going on. Lynette isn't too sure. She says that if they do, there's a chance they're not gonna like what they find her. Susan thinks it's worst to live in the dark and think Mary Alice did all these horrible things. Bree points out that this is the age-old question: "How much do we really wanna know about our neighbors?" Over at the Young property, the pool area has been dug/broken through. There is a large hole in the middle of it, that goes deep into the ground. Zach Young stands atop it, and then looks back at his house.

    Paul Young comes down the steps that lead to the garage/basement, holding in his arms a large toy chest, decorated with images of teddy bears, which he places on a worktable and caresses. A while later, the ladies are seen walking out of Susan's home together. They bid their farewells, and then each of them heads back to their own house.

    Several consecutive shots are shown of the ladies lying in bed, unable to sleep, each of them alone in couples' beds. Bree gets up from her own bed, puts her nightrobe on, and heads down the stairs into the living room, where she meets her husband Rex, who'd been sleeping in the pulled out sofa-bed, and who tells her he's up. Bree says "Good", and then she sits down on the sofa-bed and says she has a question for him. Rex sits next to her, and she asks him if he remembers when he proposed. Rex can't believe her, but she maintains her conversation, re-telling the story of how they sat at Skyline Drive and drank a bottle of apple whine, and when they finished it he turned to her and said "If you marry me, Bree Mason, I promise to love you for the rest of my life". Bree goes on to say that even though she was engaged to Ty Grant at the time, and even though her father didn't like Rex, she still said "yes". Rex says that was a long time ago, to which Bree responds that he's gonna cancel the meeting with that divorce lawyer, and they're gonna find themselves a marriage counselor. When he tries to object, Bree reminds, as though she's begging him, of the promise he'd made to her. Rex looks at her, sees the mixture of hope and pain in her face, and says "Alright". Bree smiles and says she's gonna make herself some more milk. She then gets up and, as she's headed for the kitchen, turns back to him and asks if he'd like something to drink. He says anything but apple whine and gets up.

    We see Susan, in a nightrobe, filling up a glass of water from her kitchen sink's fawcet.

    Susan drinks her water and she then stares at Mike, who's walking his dog outside. She sighs. Behind her, her daughter Julie mocks her, saying "Dear diary, Mike doesn't even know I'm alive". Susan tells her to shut up, and Julie says that if she wants to date him, she's gonna have to ask him out. Susan turns to her, saying that she keeps hoping he'll ask her out. Julie jokingly asks her how that's going, and her mother changes the subject, instead asking if she shouldn't be making brownies for her "nerdy" friends, to which her daughter replies that she can't find their measuring cup, asking afterwards if her mom's seen it. Susan is thrown. She remembers dropping it in Edie's house and leaving it there after the house caught on fire. She then weasels out, simply telling her daughter that the measuring cup has got to be there somewhere, so she should just keep looking. Carlos is seen entering his bedroom, dressed in his business suit. Gabrielle pretends to be asleep already. Carlos heads for the closet hall and starts undressing by removing his tie. "I know you're awake", he says. "I know you're a jerk", replies his wife. Carlos smiles, and explains that dinner with Tanaka ran long, and he's sorry. Gabrielle sits on her bed, saying she didn't get married so she could have dinner by herself six times a week. She tells him she was so bored that day she actually came close to cleaning the house. He tells her to not act like that, as he's brought her a gift. Gabrielle lies down again, saying he's not gonna buy his way out of this one. He turns on his bedside lamp, sits down on the bed and hurls a red box at her, claiming that it's a good gift. Gaby opens it, admires it, and then asks if it's white gold. Carlos tells her it is. He tells her to put it on, kisses her on the shoulder, and adds that after she puts it on, she can make love to him. Gaby closes the box again, claiming not to be in the mood. She then sits up again, suggesting that they stay up and talk. Carlos gets up and out the bed, laughing and saying, "When a man buys a woman expensive jewelry, there are many things he may want in return. For future reference, conversation ain't one of 'em". Gaby gets mad and throws the red box at his back. Carlos turns around, surprised, and says that it was a joke. Gabrielle proceeds to get up, saying "Yeah, right", and tries to leave, but he keeps her from going, grabbing her by the arms. He asks what's wrong with her, and she tells him to let go. He adds that she's been acting like a nightmare for a month, and he can't fix the problem unless she tells him what it is. Gabrielle breaks away from him, sits on the bed, and tells him "It's not exciting anymore, Carlos". He sits down next to her and asks what he's supposed to do, to which she replies that he should be the way he used to be, surprise her, take her breath away. Carlos says "Okay". She makes it clear that she means it, and he insists that he'll oblige. He then gets up from the bed.

    The following morning, Susan walks out of her house, still in her nightrobe, and carrying a garbage bag with her. She tosses it in the garbage can, not noticing that Mike and Bongo are next to her. Mike greets her, and Susan is surprised to know he's there. He asks her what's wrong, and she tells him she didn't realize there'd be people out there, she just sort of rolled out of bed. Mike smiles and tells her he's sure she looks fine. Susan squeals, tries to compose herself to some extent, and turns to him, smiling. Bongo immediately starts barking at her. Susan is somewhat shaken, and Mike tries to ease up the dog. Julie, eating her breakfast, looks at them through the kitchen window. Mike apologizes, saying Bongo scares easy, and Susan says it's fine, she gets it. Mike says he didn't mean to disturb her, and that he'll see her later. Susan builds up her courage and asks him if he'd like to have dinner with her. He seems interested, asking if it'd be just the two of them. Susan smiles, and tells him Julie would attend too. She tells him it's something they do when someone new moves to the neighborhood, they invite them over for a home-cooked meal, sort of a tradition. Mike reminds her that she said she was an lowsy cook, to which she responds that she orders take-out. He jokes that she invites them over for home-cooking and gives them take-out. A nervous and smiley Susan tells him it's sort of a new tradition, and she's working out the kinks. Mike chuckles, and suggests that he cook for them, and they can have dinner at his house. Susan says "Great", and Mike suggest Friday night at 6. Susan says she'll be there, and thus they're all set. Before heading back to her house, Susan says goodbye to Bongo, but he barks at her and startles her again. Mike tells him to shoosh. Inside the house, Julie sees her mother rushing back home, and she then calls out for her daughter as soon as she's inside. She announces to Julie that Mike Delfino has just invited them to dinner Friday night. Julie says that's cool, but Susan tells her only she is going, because Julie's gonna come down with something semi-serious that requires bed rest and fluids. She then rushes upstairs, filled with joy, and Julie smiles. Down the street, Edie's house is shown to be completely ruined. It's entirely blackened, and there are several openings on the walls. Edie and Martha Huber are rumaging through the piles of clutter acumulated, trying to find stuff that can still be used, and Edie complains that everything her ex-husband worked for all those years is gone. Martha tells her not to worry about clothing, as she's already started a collection from people of the neighborhood. Edie is indignated, saying she doesn't want to wear other people's old crap. Martha tells her she can be homeless or she can be ungratious, but she really can't afford to be both. Edie picks up her pink bra, which she'd left in the living room before. She then drops it, and tells Martha that her insurance check still hasn't come yet, so she asks if she can stay with her for a few more weeks. Martha says, "Of course. What kind of Christian would I be if I denied shelter to a friend in need?". Edie smiles. Martha then notices the measuring cup Susan dropped on the floor, and picks it up, telling Edie it can still be salvaged. They can just scrape off the burnt part and it'll look good as new. Edie tells her that's not her cup, as hers was plastic. Martha asks how this one got in there, to which Edie replies that she doesn't know, and makes it clear that she also doesn't care. Edie then tells her to put it down and start looking for jewelry. However, a suspicious Martha contemplates about the cup.

    The women discuss what to do with the mysterious note.

    Paul admires the toy chest...

    Bree reminds her husband of how they met.

    "It's not exciting anymore, Carlos."

    Susan is surprised to learn that Mike was outside.

    Edie and Martha rummage through the burnt clutter.

    Act II

    We are shown several framed diplomas displayed on a wall. The diplomas belong to Dr. Albert Goldfine, a therapist, who's sitting at his desk in his office.

    A sequence of flashbacks is shown, depicting Dr. Goldfine helping several married couples. He first slides a tissue box in the direction of a young woman who is married to a supposed junkie, who looks pissed. In the second flashback, he slides the tissue box in the direction of small, middle-aged man who is married to a tall and clearly loose woman. In the third and final flashback, he slides the tissue box towards an elderly woman, who picks it up and beats her husband repeatedly with it.

    Dr. Goldfine is scribbling when he hears a tap on the door. He gets up to answer it and meets Bree and Rex Van de Kamp. Bree greets him with a smile, shaking his hand and introducing herself. She then introduces her husband, as he shakes hands with Dr. Goldfine, and hands in some home-made potpourri she brought. She walks past him and Rex tells the doctor, "The answer is "yes". You're about to make a fortune off us." Dr. Goldfine looks at his potpourri, slightly confused. Lynette is seen driving her car, with her boys misbehaving in the backseat. They all refuse to sit down and buckle up, and keep goofing around in the back of the car, going so far as spilling the contents of a box of cereal on each other. Lynette repeatedly asks them to behave, resorting to mild and empty threats, and then a cop in a motorcycle shows up behind her, signaling at her to stop the car. Once she's done that, he walks up to her and demands to see her license and registration. He then sternly asks her if she knows why she was pulled over. Lynette looks at her kids in the back, smiles, and says she has a theory. The cop tells her the kids were jumping up and down, when they should be seating, and wearing seatbelts. Lynette tells him she yelled at them, but they never listen to her, which is very frustrating. The cop then tells her she's gonna have to find a way to control them, which is her job, after all. He walks away, and Lynette ponders about what he said.

    An angry Lynette gets out of her car and slams her door shut. She looks livid, as she asks the policeman if he's saying she's a bad mother. He tells her she needs to get back in her car. Lynette goes on to say that she has no help. Her husband is always away on business. Her baby-sitter joined the witness relocation program. She hasn't slept through the night in six years... and for him to just stand there and judge her... all through this, Officer Hayes had gone so far as reaching for his gun, in his waist, but he can then see how much he upset Lynette, and how unruly her children are, so he tells he's not gonna write her a ticket, he's just gonna let her go with a warning. Lynette says she accepts his apology. She takes the ticket from him and walks back into her car. The cop hesitantly tells them to "buckle up". John Rowland's sister enters her mother's car, and they drive off. Once they're gone, Gabrielle gets out of her own car, as she'd been waiting for them to leave their home. She is slightly camouflaged, wearing a leopard-printed scarf over her head, with matching shoes, and dark sunglasses. She walks up to the Rowland household. A doorbell is heard ringing, and John opens the door to find her, surprised. She says "Hello, Jonathan". Shortly afterwards, they are seen entering his bedroom, and he apologizes for the mess. As Gaby admires the room, he tells her she just missed his mom. On Fridays, she coaches his little sister's soccer team. Gaby says she heard that, and she then takes a plate with a sandwich off of his bed, placing it on top of the TV, and sits down, telling him they need to talk about what happened the other day. John asks if Mr. Solis is starting to catch on, to which Gaby responds that he doesn't have a clue, "God love him". She was just thinking that when he comes over to garden, he might actually have to garden. John misinterprets her, thinking she's breaking up with him in his own bedroom. Gaby says she's not dumping him, as lately he's the only thing keeping her going. It's just they won't be able to do it at her house anymore. John is relieved, and asks her where she wants to do it. Gabrielle asks him what time his mother gets back from soccer practice, and he catches on to where she's going with this. She tells him they oughta hurry, as they don't have a lot of time. He takes off his shirt and they start making out on his bed. As he's kissing his neck, Gabrielle notices a framed picture of him, when he was younger, playing baseball, and she turns it face down.

    A tape recorder is seen on the coffee table at Dr. Goldfine's office, recording his session with the Van de Kamps. Bree is telling the therapist all sorts of meaningless info regarding her family, including that her son Andrew is 16 and her daughter Danielle is 15. Dr. Goldfine catches on to the fact that she was just about to show him pictures, and lets her know he doesn't need to see them. He then adds that she spent most of the hour engaging in small talk. Rex has been very vocal about his issues. "Don't you want to discuss your feelings about your marriage?", he asks. Bree is reluctant to say anything, and Rex turns to the counselor and says that the thing about Bree is she doesn't like to talk about her feelings. It's hard to know if she even has any. One can never tell if she ever feels anger, rage, ecstasy, because she's always pleasant. As he's talking, Bree gets distracted with a loose button on Dr. Goldfine's coat. Rex adds that that aspect of Bree is very (referring to her "fašade") is very annoying. Dr. Goldfine plays with the button, subconsciously. Bree is very distracted by it, even ignoring Rex's talk because of the button. The scene goes into slow-motion mode, as Rex tells Dr. Goldfine that whatever Bree feels is so far below the surface no one can see it. Bree reaches for her bag, and Dr. Goldfine reaches out to her. She is caught off-guard, and he asks her if she'd like to respond to what Rex just said. Since she wasn't paying attention, she doesn't know what to say. He asks if there's some truth to Rex's claim that she uses housework to disengage emotionally. Bree says "Of course not", with a smile, and puts back in her bag the sewing kit she had taken out to tend to the loose button.

    John is lying down on his bed, wearing nothing but his underwear, right after sex. He says he's got tons of homework, and it's always easier to concentrate after sex. Gabrielle, who's sitting on the edge of the bed, fully dressed and putting on her earrings, says she's glad she could help, since education is very important. He then gets up, saying he's got something for her. He heads for the bookcase, adding that he was gonna give it to her the next time he mowed her lawn, but since she's there... he picks up a red rose from a glass with water and hands it to her. Gaby smiles, saying "Oh, it's a rose". John tells her it's not just any rose. None of the petals have any flaws. It's perfect. Just like her. Gaby is surprised by this.

    John says he spent days looking for the right one, and he finally found it. Gabrielle is speechless for a while, but then regains her smile and tells him the flower is beautiful. She then gets up and leaves, saying she has to go. He says "Bye" as she closes the bedroom door behind her.

    Mike is seen taking grocery bags out of his van, and Susan runs up to him. She asks what they're having, as she takes one of the bags from him, and Mike says he talked to Julie, who announced to him that her mother's favorite is steaks. Susan smiles and says she loves her steaks, and they are both greeted by Edie Britt, who just drove by and stopped her car in front of Mike's house. Susan is none too happy to see her, but Mike walks up to her, giving her his condolences about her house having burnt down. He asks how she's holding up, to which Edie responds that she's doing alright. She then notices the grocery bags, and asks, as she gets out of her car, if they're having a party. Mike explains that Susan's throwing him one of her traditional "welcome to the neighborhood" dinners. Only he's cooking. And having it at his house. Susan and Edie chuckle, and the latter then tells the former she didn't get one of those dinners. Susan says it's sort of a new tradition. Mike says it won't be anything fancy, just a little home-cooking. Edie moans and says that sounds so good, right before she checks the contents of his grocery bags.

    Edie mentions she's been eating nothing but fast food lately. Susan realizes what's going down. Mike turns to her, giving her a look. Susan realizes what he meant by this, and asks Edie to join them for dinner. She tells them that's sweet, but she doesn't want to intrude, three's a crowd. Mike explains that it's nothing like that, in fact, Susan's even bringing Julie. Susan backs him up, saying that it's not like that, the more the merrier. Edie smiles and says this will be fun. Mike tells her they eat at six and heads inside. Edie goes back to her car, but then turns back to Susan and tells her this'll make up for the dinner that she never threw her. Susan says "Right", faking a smile, and Edie gives her farewell and drives off. Mike comes up behind Susan and asks her if he should had told Edie they were having steak. "She's not like a vegetarian, or something?"; Susan says no, Edie's definitely a carnivore.

    Edie drives by Lynette's house, wheres Mrs. Huber is standing in the front porch, and honks at her. Lynette shows up with a box, telling her that this is what she pulled for Edie, but she should warn her that most of the clothes in there aren't that stylish. Martha tells her not to worry about it, because Edie's a beggar now, which means she can't be a chooser. However, she takes off an article of clothing she dislikes, saying they don't have to add salt to the wound. Lynette tries to excuse herself, saying she was getting dinner started, and Martha says she'll get out of her hair. As she leaves, she turns back to Lynette, asking if it was her she saw getting pulled over by a policeman. An uncomfortable Lynette answers that her boys were acting up in the car, she couldn't get them to sit down... Martha tells her young boys can be so wilful, and Lynette confides in her that she tries everything, she scream, she threatens, she reasons, she begs, nothing seems to work. "I don't... know if it's because they're too young and they don't understand, or they're just getting some perverse joy out of testing me." Martha says that her mother used to have the worst time with her in the car, so one time when she was acting up, her mother stopped, left her on the side of the road, and drove off. A shocked Lynette wonders if she's kidding, and Martha smiles and says her mother came back for her immediately, but she never misbehaved in the car again. She then recommens that Lynette tries that. Lynette tells her she could never leave her kids by the side of the road. Martha tells her when it comes to discipline, sometimes one has to be criative, which her mother knew, smart lady. "Of course, she's in a home now, and her mind has just turned to mush", she adds. Lynette fakes a chuckle, and again tells her she needs to make her dinner, so Martha leaves. In the street, Martha runs into Susan, asking if she's managed to find some clothes for Edie, as she's got nothing to wear. Susan smiles and tells her she thought that was the look Edie was going for. Martha smiles as well, telling her that Edie may be trash, but she's still a human being. Susan then notices Zach Young in his front yard, and is reminded of Mary Alice's note, which she takes out of her pocket to look at once more. It is unclear what she's thinking, but she heads over to Zach to ask him if his father's home, saying she needs to talk to him, probably with the intent of sharing the note with him. Paul is seen in his garage, taping up the toy chest, now covered in plastic, when the door is opened by Zach and Susan walks in. Paul doesn't seem too content, and Susan greets him and says she hopes she's not interrupting, to which Paul replies that he was just getting ready to go somewhere. Susan says she just wanted to come by, say hello and see how he and his son were doing. Paul says they've been trying to move on, which has been pretty tough. Susan says she can only imagine... not knowing why Mary Alice... Paul picks up the chest, interrupting her by asking "Why what?". Susan says "Why she did it"; Paul then accidentally drops the heavy chest, and Susan rushes to his aid, but he composes himself, saying he's got it. He puts the chest in the trunk of his car, and then closes it. He then prepares to get into the car, and Susan says she's sorry if she upset him. Paul asks her if he can be frank, to which she says "Of course", and Paul goes on to say, "I don't care what her reasons were. Maybe she was depressed, maybe she was bored. It doesn't matter. She abandoned her husband and her son. And I'll never forgive her." He then gets into the car and drives off, leaving an upset Susan behind.

    Susan is then seen in her house.

    Susan stores the note in a small chest.

    It's nighttime now, and Paul has arrived at his destination. He proceeds to take the toy chest out of the trunk of his car.

    Paul then tosses the toy chest into a lake. He then watches it as it drowns into the lake.

    Dr. Goldfine meets the Van de Kamps.

    Lynette and the cop.

    A picture of John as a young boy.

    Bree takes out her sewing kit.

    John holds up a single, perfect red rose.

    Susan helps Mike with his grocery bags.

    Lynette hands Mrs. Huber some old clothes for Edie to wear.

    Susan pays Paul a visit.

    The toy chest, before disappearing under the surface.

    Act III

    Julie decides to go through her grocery bags, when there's a knock on her door. She opens it to find Martha Huber, who greets her and informs her that she's told Susan about her collecting of clothes for Edie. Julie states that her mother is at Mrs. Van de Kamp's, but she'll see if she left anything upstairs. Julie then heads upstairs, and Martha lets herself in and snoops through the grocery bags. She takes out a perfume flask and spritzes herself with some of it, and then she notices and grabs a brand-new measuring cup. She is surprised. Julie comes downstairs and is confused to find Mrs. Huber shamelessly touching their stuff, and Martha tells her she was just admiring their new measuring cup. Julie takes it from her and says they lost their other one, and Martha smiles and says "Really?". Julie tells her she couldn't find the clothes, and Martha says that's okay and proceeds to leave. The girl then tells her she can keep looking, but Martha lets her know that she's truly helped enough. She leaves, and Julie is confused.

    Bree is sitting in the waiting room outside of Dr. Goldfine's office, and he comes out, and warns her that Rex won't be able to join them for their session today, as apparently there was an emergency at the hospital. Bree says she wishes he'd had called her, and as she gets up, Dr. Goldfine claims that he suggested they meet by themselves, as she's been very quiet during their joint sessions. Bree only has eyes for his loose button yet again. She tells him, as she slowly breaks away from this distraction, that she has things she should do that day, and he asks her if she's sure, to which she replies that she is. They then part ways, with Dr. Goldfine entering his office, and Bree preparing to leave. However, she turns back immediately afterwards and enters his office. She tells him there is something he could do for her. When he asks what, she tells him "Take off your coat". Dr. Goldfine is surprised and confused.

    Gabrielle and Susan enter the former's house, having come home from shopping. The rose that John gave Gaby is standing in a lean vase on a small table in front of the main door. They're discussing Susan's upcoming dinner date with Mike, which will now also feature both Julie and Edie. Susan says that Julie's got to be there because, with Edie also in the picture, she's gonna need emotional support. Gaby says she can't believe Edie warmed her way in, and asks how Susan could let that happen. Susan says she was gonna take her out of the knees, but it all happened too fast. She sits down. Gabrielle tells her she needs to get there early and spend a little time with Mike before the "little barracuda" gets there. Susan acknowledges that this is a great idea, and makes a plan to be there at 5 and help set things up. Gaby motivates her, and then says she'll take all her bags upstairs. Susan says she'll take her own single bag and head home. As she prepares to leave, she notices the red rose, and admires its beauty. She asks Gaby where she got it, and Gabrielle, as she's going up the stairs with the bags, instinctively tells her that John gave it to her, and immediately realizes she's just made a mistake. Susan is surprised that John, her teenage gardener, gave her a rose, and Gaby promptly explains that they're having new bushes planted outside, and John gave it to her as a color palet. Susan accepts this excuse, and as she leaves, she says "It sure is beautiful, isn't it?", and then goes. Gaby looks at the rose for a while and says "Yes, it is".

    In Dr. Goldfine's office, Bree is sewing his button back on the coat, properly. Dr. Goldfine looks on as she does her task, and comments that he's sure Freud would not approve of this. A disdainful Bree tells him "Who cares what he thinks?". She goes on to say she took Psychology in college, and they learnt all about Freud, who she claims was a miserable human being. Dr. Goldfine asks what makes her say that, and Bree tells him to think about it: he grew up in the late 1800s, and there were no appliances back then, which means his mother had to do everything by hand, back-breaking labor from sun-up to sun-down, not to mention countless other sacrifices she probably had to make in order to take care of her family, and what does he do? He grows up and becomes famous peddling a theory that the problems of most adults can be traced back to something awful their mothers have done. "He saw how hard she worked. He saw what she did for him. Did he even ever think to say "thank you"? I doubt it." The therapist realizes where Bree is coming from with this speech of hers, and she then gets up and puts the fixed coat on him. Dr. Goldfine then tells her that many of Freud's theories have been discredited, and she smiles and says "Good", before leaving. Lynette is driving her van, with the boys acting up in the backseat yet again. She tells them to sit, to no avail. She insists, telling them they'll be in so much trouble unless they obey, but she then notices the kids talking to each other in close proximity, as though they're sharing secrets and plotting to further drive their mom crazy, and afterwards they continue to act up and misbehave.

    Lynette parks her van, and gets out. She then slides the back door open and orders her three boys to get out as well, informing them that if they can't behave, they can't ride. She then gets back inside the car and drives away, and the boys look on as she does this, rather confused. Lynette takes a left and parks the van beside a fence, out of the kids' peripheral vision, and spends some time there, actually counting the time and telling her young daughter that she's a genius. When she decides enough time has passed, she drives back to the street where she left her boys, and is disconcerted to find that they're no longer there. Lynette gets out of her van and looks around for her children, calling out for them, and scared that she can't see them anymore.

    Julie finds Mrs. Huber going through their stuff.

    Gabrielle and Susan get home from shopping.

    Bree sews Dr. Goldfine's button back on.

    Lynette orders her boys to get out of the van.

    Act IV

    Lynette is beyond worried, looking for her children around that unfamiliar neighborhood, and calling out for them. A beefy middle-aged woman comes out of her house and Lynette spots her. She tells the woman she's looking for her children, describes them, and asks if she's seen them. The woman says she did, and she also Lynette drive off without them. Lynette says she was only trying to scare them into behaving, and asks if she saw where they went. The woman lets her know they're in her kitchen, and Lynette is relieved and walks up to her. The woman tells her it seems as though she has some anger management issues. Lynette tells she's got four kids under the age of six, which means she absolutely has anger management issues. Lynette tries to walk past her and into the house, but the woman stops her, saying she thinks she needs to talk to somebody, because abandoning her children... Lynette interrupts her, saying she didn't abandon them, she came back. The woman insists that it's not normal, and Lynette replies that her kids aren't normal, and she doesn't have time for this, so... the woman keeps her from walking past her, and Lynette calls out for her kids. The woman says she doesn't think they should go anywhere until their mother calms down. They show up behind the glass door, holding cookies, and Lynette tells them to come. The woman tells them to stay put, and grabs Lynette by the arm, telling her they need to have a little talk. One of the twins yells at her to leave his mommy alone, and Lynette tells the woman to let go of her. Lynette asks her what's her problem, and twin bites the woman in her leg, whereas the other twin pushes her, causing her to fall on the lawn, on top of a hose. Lynette yells at her children to run, and they all rush back to the van. Lynette can see through the rearview mirror that the woman has gotten back up again, and when she turns her head back to tell her kids to buckle up, she sees that they already are doing just that. Lynette turns her head back to the front, realizing they have finally indeed learnt their lesson, and tilts her eyeglasses with some prepotent attitude. She then drives off, as the beefy woman yells that she's calling social services.

    Back in her house, Gabrielle is sitting in the staircase, staring at the red rose John gave her, when she hears a car honk, and gets up to look at what it is through the door's glass. She is surprised, and when she comes out Carlos is waiting for her with a brand new black convertible, complete with a red ribbon tied around it. She is overwhelmed with joy, asking him what he's done, and he says he was driving by the dealership when he saw it, and he thought "Gabrielle would look so beautiful in this". He starts describing the car's perks, and Gaby tells him it's beautiful. She still can't believe her eyes, when he asks her if he took her breath away. Gaby says "absolutely". He then approaches her from behind and asks her if it's the best gift she's ever gotten.

    Gabrielle turns to him, smiling, and kisses him on the lips. She then lets out a little squeal as she positions herself on his lap, and they twirl around.

    Across the street from them, John is tending to someone else's garden, raking leaves, when he sees them filled with glee over the new car and looks sad.

    Susan walks over to Mike's, and when she enters the front porch, Bongo, who had been lying there, gets up and starts growling and barking at her. Susan is less than content, and she rings the doorbell, trying to ignore the dog. Mike is surprised to find her there already, and Susan tells him she hopes she doesn't mind, she thought she could come by earlier and help him set up. This said, Edie walks out the kitchen, wearing an apron, and greets her neighbor. Susan is shocked to find her there beforehand, and Edie tells her not to worry, as she and Mike have got everything under control. Susan doesn't know what to say, and Bongo barks at her some more. Mike says he doesn't know why he barks at Susan, and Edie tells her not to take it personally, as dogs are very sensitive. She then walks up to Bongo, crouching down to pet him. She starts petting the dog, saying one never knows what freaks them out.

    A ringing bell sound, similar to the ones heard in the beginning and ending of fighting matches' rounds, is heard.

    In Dr. Goldfine's office, Rex and Bree are having another session with the marriage counselor, and Rex is going on about how the theory that it takes two to mess up a marriage is bull, given that the problems in their marriage are because of her. Bree crosses her arms with contempt, telling him that's not true, and he then asks her what he's done over the past 20 years that's so awful. He hardly gives her time to reply, stating that she's not saying anything because he's been a great husband, and it kills her to admit that. Meanwhile, Dr. Goldfine had been admiring the work Bree did on his jacket and its button. He then turns to Rex, asking him if he ever acknowledges the benefits of living with Bree. Bree puts on a grin, as Rex wonders what the therapist means by this. Dr. Goldfine reminds him that, by his own admission, his home is always clean, his clothes are always freshly pressed, she sounds like a wonderful cook... despite her flaws, does he ever remember to say "thank you"? Rex is thus backed to a corner.

    Later, Edie, Mike, Susan and Julie are all having dinner, when Bongo suddenly jumps at the table, and he starts to lick Edie's plate. Mike tells him to get down, while Edie gently shoos him. Mike then turns to Susan and asks who the guy living across from Mrs. Huber is again, and she reminds him that it's Mr. Mullen. And, just so he knows, if he ever invites him in, Mike'll be forced to meet all of his pets. Mike says that's okay, as he loves animals, but Susan adds that the man is a taxidermist. They all chuckle, and Edie, noticing Susan and Mike and their shared laugh, then asks Susan if Mr. Mullen's brother wasn't her divorce attorney. Susan, a bit surprised at the question, says he was indeed, and Edie then tells her that, in her heart, she still believes Susan and Karl will get back together. She even winks at Julie, who is astonished by this low move. Mike says "Really?", and Edie adds that she's never seen two people more in love. Susan's never gonna find that kind of chemistry with another men. Never. Susan is awkward.

    Another bell sound is heard.

    Julie turns to Edie, telling her she always liked Mr. Rothwell, her forth husband. Edie corrects her, stating he was her second husband, as she's only been married twice. Julie is surprised to hear this, and asks if she wasn't married to the guy with all the tattoos that they took away in handcuffs. Susan tells her daughter that Edie wasn't married to "Javier", he was just one of her special friends. Edie is clearly uncomfortable, and Susan suggests that they change the subject, unless she wants to keep talking about it. Before Edie can reply, Bongo jumps at her plate again, and when Mike softly tells him to get down, Edie takes the opportunity to show him something she taught Bongo while he was tossing the salad. She gets up from the table, bringing with her a treat, and holds it up above the dog, saying "Up". The dog gets up, on two legs, and tries to reach for the treat. Susan gets up, clearing the dishes from the table. Mike is excited about his dog having been taught a trick, and Julie feels bad for her mom. Susan gets to the kitchen, and Mike tells Edie he can barely get Bongo to sit. Susan notices the gravy container, and when Mike says he's never seen the dog walk on two legs, Edie tells him Bongo knows who to come to. Susan then has an idea: she spritzes herself with some gravy, the one Bongo likes so much, on the back of her hand, and behind her ears, and comes out of the kitchen bearing the dessert plates. She hands them to each attendant, and then she comes closer to Bongo, who starts licking the gravy off of her hand. Mike notices this, and comments that it looks like Bongo's finally warming up to Susan. Susan has crouched down, and the dog is now licking her ears. Susan, smiling, says they just go off on the wrong foot, but they're best buddies now. Julie and Mike smile, but Edie is pissed. However, the seemingly nice moment comes to an abrupt end when the dog starts making a strange sound, as though he's choking on something. Edie asks what's wrong with him, and Mike says he's never heard him making that sound. He gets up and rushes to the dog's aid, and Julie notices her mother is missing her earring. Mike notices this as well, and is upset. Shortly afterwards, he is seen getting out of the house and walking to his van, carrying Bongo in his arms. He tells Edie to call the vet, whose number is on the fridge, to tell him he'll be right there. Edie tells him not to worry, as she'll stay there and get everything cleaned up. Mike thanks her, and Susan asks if there is anything she can do to help, just after Mike has put the dog inside the car. Mike dismissively tells her "no", and gets into the car. Edie's attitude demonstrates she's happy with his coldness towards Susan, and as he drives away, both Susan and her daughter feel really sad about what happened.

    One of the twins bites the lady on the leg.

    Carlos surprises Gabrielle with a new car.

    Susan disturbs a resting Bongo.

    Rex is shamed.

    Bongo helps himself to some gravy.

    Bongo chokes on something...

    Act V

    Mike is seen waiting impatiently at the veterinarian's office. He is sitting down, but he the gets up and walks, due to his nerves. Susan shows up, and he notices she's there. They casually greet each other, and Susan asks about Bongo. He tells her he's waiting to see if they'll have to operate. Susan feels bad, and she shows him a large novelty dog bone she was keeping in her purse, which she bought on her way over there. She then tells him she is very sorry for this, and Mike too says that he is sorry, for having snapped at her, which he tries to justify by saying he was just so worried about Bongo. Susan completely understands, and tells him it's okay. The veterinarian shows up, and informs to Mike that they won't have to do surgery. Both he and Susan are relieved, and the vet adds that they've given Bongo something to help pass the earring. He then asks if they'd like it back when it's out, to which Susan says she won't. The vet then tells Mike he should be able to take the dog home in about an hour. Mike then sits down and Susan tells him he must be so relieved. He says, as she sits down next to him, that he was just really worried. Susan says it's his dog, so she gets it, but Mike replies that it's actually his "wife's" dog, and one of the last things she said to him in the hospital before she died was to be sure he looked after him, and he promised her he would.

    Mike smiles and says his wife loved the dog so much, and if something had happened to it, he would had felt like he'd failed her. He then says he knows that sounds stupid, but... Susan interrupts him, saying it's not, not at all.

    She then gives him the bone, saying he should give it to Bongo. Inside Mike's house, Edie is seen cleaning up. She puts some beverages and/or condiments in the cupboard, and doesn't notice the wads of cash, the gun, or the big drawn map of Wisteria Lane that features information on the street, its households, families and inviduals, complete with names and, when attained, ages.

    We are treated to the outside shot of Mike's house. We see Edie through the kitchen window, cleaning up. The camera pans to the sky, and then takes us somewhere over at Rockwater Lake, where we see the toy chest resurfacing...

    Susan hands Mike the bone for Bongo.

    Mike's map.


    This episode was written by series creator Marc Cherry and directed by Larry Shaw, marking his 1st directing credit with the series. It originally aired on Sunday October 10, 2004. The production code for this episode is 101, as the pilot's production code was given as 100. Therefore, season 1 becomes the only season in which the last two digits of the production codes don't match the number of the episodes in the seasons.


    The episode had high ratings; it was viewed 20.33 million people, which ranked it in second place for its timeslot. "Ah, But Underneath" received extremely positive reviews from TV critics.


  • The title of this episode comes from a song of the same name taken from the Stephen Sondheim musical, Follies.
  • Bloopers and continuity errors

  • Right before John escapes through the window, one can see that he's wearing underwear under his towel.
  • When John is forced to escape from Gabrielle's room, it's clear he's wearing underwear, with a color similar to his skin tone.
  • The envelope that contained the mysterious note contains in the address of the receiver a town that is clearly not Fairview. Some state that it reads "Secretsville", but it's rather arguable.
  • Mike has a map of Wisteria Lane which details the residents of each house, along with their ages and when they moved in. The names noted under the Scavo residence correctly include Tom, Lynette, Porter, Parker, and Preston. However, the baby is listed as Daisy, although her name is Penny.
  • When Mrs. Huber comes over to the Mayer house, Julie comes downstairs to find her going through their stuff. When she does so, she puts one hand on the stair's pillar, but in the shot immediately afterwards she has both her hands on each of the two pillars, rather than just one.

  • If one looks closely, Jesse Metcalfe's underwear is distinguishable.

    The note and envelope.


    Gallery of photographic stills released to promote the episode.

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