Mary Alice Young (Brenda Strong) seems to have the perfect suburban life. At least, that’s what she tells us in a voiceover. So it’s a bit shocking when she steps inside her house and shoots herself in the head. Mary Alice may be dead, but we soon realize that her voiceovers will live on as narration from beyond the grave.
Mary Alice's suicide rattles the other residents of Wisteria Lane, including her closest friends. There’s former high-powered businesswoman Lynette Scavo (Felicity Huffman), who is unable to manage her three unruly boys. There’s klutzy single mom Susan Mayer (Teri Hatcher). There’s model-turned-trophy wife Gabrielle Solis (Eva Longoria Parker). And, finally, we have the perfect homemaker, Bree Van de Kamp (Marcia Cross). These four ladies were Mary Alice’s best friends. And not a single one of them has a clue as to why she killed herself.
[break] At Mary Alice’s wake, Susan meets plumber/hunky new neighbor Mike Delfino (James Denton). Susan’s daughter, Julie, urges her mom to make the first move. So, Susan brings Mike a housewarming gift. But she's not the only one interested in Mike; Edie Britt (Nicollette Sheridan), the most predatory divorcee on the block wants him to come by and "take a look at her pipes." When Susan goes to invite Mike over for dinner, she’s alarmed to see Edie is already there. So she lies about having a clogged drain. We admire Susan’s initiative as a hot, prowling divorcee, but we question her commitment to her daughter’s education once we see her stuff Julie's school project down the drain to create the aforementioned clog.
Nosy neighbor Martha Huber tells Susan that Edie is having a man over that night. Susan assumes it's Mike. She goes over, measuring cup in hand, to "borrow a cup of sugar." It’s all very neighborly until Susan sneaks into Edie’s house through the back door. While Edie is busy with her gentleman caller, Susan accidentally knocks over one of the many candles burning in the living room. The room erupts in flames and Susan bolts, leaving her measuring cup behind. Gathering with the rest of the neighbors to watch the raging fire, Susan is relieved to see Mike stroll by. He wasn't the one with Edie after all. You know, Susan never did get that cup of sugar.
[break] Lynette is mortified when her three sons jump into the pool at Mary Alice’s wake. She wades in, fully dressed, to get them out. When she runs into an old work colleague at the grocery store, a frazzled Lynette lies and says she’s happy being a stay-at-home mom. Husband, Tom (Doug Savant), arrives home early from a business trip, much to Lynette’s relief. But when Tom wants to have unprotected sex—and risk getting her pregnant again—Lynette socks him in the jaw. Tom may want to think again about getting some protection.
Gabrielle doesn’t want to attend a party with her hubby, Carlos (Ricardo Chavira). It’s being thrown by Carlos’ boss, who is always trying to grope her. As soon as Carlos is gone, Gabrielle falls into the arms of her teenage gardener, John, with whom she's been having a secret affair. Heading out for the boss’ party, Carlos notices the yard hasn't been mowed. Rather than risk having John fired, Gabrielle sneaks away from the party and mows the lawn—in her long dress and high heels. Landscaping never looked so good!
[break] Bree's children bemoan her stuffy, formal dinners. So the family dines out at the Saddle Ranch Chop House, where Bree’s husband Rex shocks her by saying he wants a divorce. Instead of answering him, Bree fixes him a salad from the salad bar, where she accidentally piles on onions, which Rex is deathly allergic to. At the hospital, Rex tells her he's sick of her being so perfect all the time. Her response is to disappear into the bathroom to water his flowers, where she wipes away the tears before coming back out.
Mary Alice's teenage son, Zach, wakes up in the middle of the night to find his father, Paul, excavating something buried underneath the pool. We’re not sure what’s going on, but we do know that midnight pool excavations are rarely a good thing.
[break] As Mary Alice’s friends clear out her clothes, they find a handwritten note that arrived the day she killed herself. It reads, "I know what you did. It makes me sick. I'm going to tell." Susan asks, "Oh, Mary Alice, what did you do?" Now that we’re hooked on these housewives, we’re pretty desperate to know what Mary Alice did, too.