Spoiler alert: If you still want to watch the "Desperate Housewives" finale and have it on your DVR, read no further.
Well, at least the ladies of Wisteria Lane weren't in purgatory. But for the last season or two their viewers were, and therein lay the challenge in wrapping up the series in some sort of meaningful way.
Before his cameo as a moving man (nice touch, that), series creator Marc Cherry and his team had to deal with a lot of unwieldy baggage from the ho-hum final season, including Bree's murder trial, Renee's wedding and the birth of Susan's granddaughter.
Alas, the twist to exonerate Bree was telegraphed so far in advance as to be sweet, but utterly unsurprising. And the drawn out, on-again/off-again romance between Lynette and Tom was just teeth-gnashingly awful, as well as poorly developed through the swan-song season, making both characters beyond irritating.
So if you were among the millions who once dutifully watched the show — which drew a huge audience at its apex — and drifted back just to see where things wound up, I suspect the first 90 minutes felt like a lot of preliminaries before the main event. "Lost" had the luxury of setting an end date, and even they couldn't pull it off. What chance did "Desperate Housewives" have when it slogged on, like a good soldier, well past its prime?
Mostly, the mix of elements in the finale kept making me think "Oh, a wedding, a birth and a death — the whole 'Circle of Life' deal. ABC should pay a royalty to Disney. Oh, wait…."
For all that, it was hard not to admire the logistics — and even the sentiment — that brought together everyone who had died on the show, although even I had to strain to remember who some of them were, and I do this for a living and saw every episode.
The one other semi-peculiar aspect of the finale — other than Bree's slightly perplexing move into Kentucky politics — was the notion almost everyone ends up not just moving away, but apparently, rich.
Then again, at its peak "Desperate Housewives'" was certainly a money-making machine for the network and everyone involved, which might be its most enduring legacy — especially given what a pivotal role it played in jump-starting ABC's fortunes.
So goodbye to the old neighborhood, even if it's been clear for awhile property values ain't quite what they used to be.