Devious Maids Season 1 Review “Walking the Dog”

After a bit of an off week last time out, I’m happy to say that “Devious Maids” was very much back on its game this time around, in “Walking the Dog.” While not a terrible episode, last week’s “Taking Out the Trash” suffered from two major things: it was a bit too serious for its own good, and the most amusing characters were either uncharacteristically defanged (Evelyn and Adrian) or absent altogether (Genevieve). Thankfully, the show rectified that right out of the gate with not only the return of Susan Lucci, but with a juicy new plotline that found her faced with the possibility of- gasp!- being poor. Say it ain’t so!

Turns out her business manager flew the coop, absconding with her money in the process, and fleeing to a non-extradition country, which means that getting her money back will be quite the uphill battle. In the meantime, Genevieve was forced to grovel a bit, trading sexual favors to her ex-husband for some quick cash. I loved the fact that she wasn’t willing to do anything of the sort until Zoila alerted her of the fact that she might have to- gulp! – actually get a job. In no time, she was hopping all over ex Philippe (Stephen Collins).

Also fun was the tryst between Sam (Wole Parks) and the chef-next-door Julie (Jolie Jenkins). Julie was delightfully trashy- “Don’t come in, I’m super-naked!”- and amusingly annoying to Carmen, who wasted no time in trying to bring her down, resulting in the titular dog-walking escapade, in which, after learning Julie was allergic to dogs, she brought one in and had it roll around in Sam’s bed so that Julie would suffer the consequences. It worked a little too well, sending poor Julie to the hospital for her troubles, but it also brought Carmen and Sam together, so there’s that.

It was also nice to see Rosie and Spence hook up, but that affair might be short-lived, given the way the episode ended up. For one thing, Spence’s ride on the hot tamale train led to him having a heart attack, which is understandable, given how steamy those scenes were. However, a more unexpected development was that his wife Peri got a much-needed wake-up call about her treatment of Spence and has resolved to change her ways, planning on going to a shrink to de-bitch-ify herself. Good luck with that!

Last but not least, Marisol found one of the elusive DVDs she was searching for, but this one proved to be of her main employer Michael Stappord and his wife Taylor. Michael (Brett Cullen) was not amused and promptly went over to the Powells and beat the crap out of Adrian until Evelyn agreed to give him all the DVDs of him and Taylor. She did- and fired Marisol in the process, so no more snooping around for her- but is that all of the evidence against Michael? Nope, as it turns out Adrian also has footage of Michael and Flora- and now Michael has made him into an enemy. Whoops!

While it was a bit dubious that Evelyn would show Marisol where the secret room was, even if she did fire her directly afterward, I suppose it was the only way to “prove” that she was giving her all of the footage. Still, it’s only going to encourage Marisol to break in the house and steal the Flora DVDs- although that may well be what she intended to inspire her to do, although apparently her husband slept with Flora, too, so there’s likely footage of him there as well. Of course, he or she could always remove the more incriminating DVDs and leave the ones with Michael and Flora (or Flora and whoever else she was sleeping with, for that matter).

So, some pretty juicy stuff all around, with some hilariously demented dialogue at nearly every turn. Here are some of my favorite lines:

Genevieve, lamenting her weight gain: “Years of Mexican cooking have disfigured me!”
Zoila: “If you insult my cooking one more time, you’ll know what it means to be disfigured by a Mexican.”

Evelyn, on Genevieve’s issues: “The poor thing is having financial troubles and I want to make sure she knows that I am not.”

Peri, looking for the perfect dress for an impending TV gig: “Billy Bush is interviewing me- the last thing I want is to give that bitch ammo.”

Rosie, on Peri’s self-perceived bitchiness: “I’ve seen worse.”
Peri: “How? Did you clean for Hitler?”

There was plenty more where that came from, but those were my favorites. Let me know if I missed any of yours!

So, a really engaging episode this week. The show was really in top form again, and this time the juxtaposition between drama and comedy was just right. I’m not sure why the show was so off last week, but I guess it had something to do with the fact that: A- the tragic death of a child isn’t really laugh-inducing; and B- the actor playing Carmen’s ex was a little too effectively abusive; both of which caused the show to delve into more traditional Lifetime material, which is to say, heavy-handed and gloomy. As a guy, I prefer the campier Lifetime material, like “The Client List” and some of their more over-the-top movies, so when they lean towards the heavy-handed, it just doesn’t work for me as much.

Thankfully, “Devious Maids” is definitely more on the campier side, more often than not opting to not take itself too seriously, which is a good thing on a show like this, I think. It’s a fine line, but on the plus side, the show gets it right for the most part, so I think I can forgive the odd “off” week.

What did you think of “Devious Maids” this week? Were you glad to see Carmen and Sam finally hook up? How about Rosie and Spence? What do you think will happen now that Peri has announced she is going to change her ways for the better? Will she succeed? Will Marisol break into the Powells to retrieve more DVDs? Will Remi’s coke habit get out of control? Will Genevieve bounce back from her financial ruin?

Sound off on this and more below in the comments section, and see you next week!