Oh, and a cliffhanger, natch, and snappy patter amid the melodrama. Why should the ABC series change now?
Dave's twisted journey of revenge, milked all season, ended Sunday at the same intersection where his wife and daughter had died in a car crash with Susan and Mike (Teri Hatcher, James Denton).
This time, Dave (Neal McDonough) wanted to take the lives of their son, MJ, and Mike as fair trade. Susan was intended to bear witness to the tragedy, tied up helplessly in the grand tradition of a "Perils of Pauline" silent screen heroine.
But - spoiler alert - Dave wrote a new ending for his would-be victims after the ghost of his angelic dead daughter appeared to him. (Earlier, Nicollette Sheridan made a brief appearance as Edie, Dave's dead wife, but wasn't similarly angelic).
When Mike, speeding to the rescue of Susan and MJ, crashed into Dave's car, the only thing lost was the last shred of Dave's sanity. The tortured widower had freed MJ without harm.
Mike and Susan, clutching their son, shared a passionate kiss after their lives were spared.
Dave was last seen in a psychiatric facility, lost in a smiling reverie in which the past is erased and he's together with his loved ones.
An indirect victim: Katherine (Dana Delany), who was en route with Mike to their Las Vegas wedding when the crisis hit. She ends up abandoned at the airport, her plans for marital bliss looking shaky.
Meanwhile, back at Wisteria Lane, Lynette (Felicity Huffman) schemed to derail her unemployed husband's plan to return to college - and learn Chinese. She warms to the idea when Tom (Doug Savant) explains the language will give him an edge in the global marketplace.
A health scare quickly follows for Lynette, who fears that her cancer has recurred. The doctor delivers a different diagnosis: she's pregnant with twins.
"We're old!" Tom protests, in disbelief.
Gabrielle (Eva Longoria Parker) also confronts an unexpected new family member, but this one is full-grown and full of trouble. She and husband Carlos (Ricardo Antonio Chavira) have agreed to take in his niece, who turns out to be a saucy teenager who casually uses men and boys.
Shape up or ship out, Gaby warns her, setting up juicy confrontations to come.
For control-freak Bree (Marcia Cross), life is spinning wildly off-kilter. Husband Orson (Kyle MacLachlan) has discovered that she staged a burglary at their home, part of her plot to hide assets before divorcing him.
Threatening blackmail over the faked crime, Orson encourages her to give their love a second chance.
"Sure, we've had our challenges: Your penchant for emasculation, my kleptomania. But every marriage has its ebb and flow," he tells a cornered Bree. Her response: She stays with Orson, for now, but locks lips with her divorce attorney, Karl (Richard Burghi).
The episode ends with another kiss, this one at the altar. The groom is Mike and the bride is ... shielded from the TV audience by her veil.
Is it Susan? Is it Katherine? Did you have anything else to do this summer but speculate about it?
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.