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This 2004 clip from Season 1, Episode 8 (“Guilty”) of Desperate Housewives depicts an overstressed mother of four young children pushed to the breaking point. While her kids bang on pots and pans, Lynette Scavo (played by Felicity Huffman) learns that her husband’s work will detain him much later than they’d originally planned. Powerless to retrieve her husband or quiet her children, Lynette breaks down and turns a gun on herself (aided by the ghost of recently deceased neighbor Mary Alice). SPOILER: Then she wakes up.

discussion

How does this clip of a mother and children at home compare to other television shows’ depictions? Consider historical  as well as contemporary examples.

How does this scene frame Lynette as a mother — good, bad, both, neither? What do you make of Lynette’s (fantasized) choice? Was she trying to escape, take control, communicate, blow off steam, or something else?

How would you characterize Lynette’s situation and emotions — common/realistic, uncommon/melodramatic, other?

Does this clip help viewers understand Lynette's socio-economic status? In your opinion, if Lynette’s socio-economic status were lower/higher, would this scene have played out differently? If so, how? If not, why not?