|"Women and Death"|
|Desperate Housewives episode|
|Episode no.||Season 8|
|Directed by||David Grossman|
|Written by||Annie Weisman|
|Original air date||March 18, 2012|
"Women and Death" is the 174th episode of the ABC television series, Desperate Housewives. It is the seventeenth episode of the show's eighth season and was broadcast on March 18, 2012.
After the murder of Mike, the residents of Wisteria Lane get ready to attend his funeral and reflect on how he had helped change their lives. Lynette looks back on a conversation she had with Mike while Tom moved out some of his belongings from their home, realizing that she must fight to win him back and save her marriage. Gabrielle remembers how Mike shared Carlos' insecurities with her while he was in rehab, which leads to her telling Carlos that he can quit his job to help people.
After Orson's letter to the police detailing the murder of Alejandro Perez and Chuck Vance, Bree is taken to the police station for questioning. She denies any involvement in his murder and states that she never met him. She is then allowed to leave after questioning to attend Mike's funeral. However, she is unaware that the detectives have her finger prints from a cup of coffee that she was drinking. They later match Bree's prints to some that were found on Alejandro's body. They decide to wait before arresting her to see what else they can uncover.
Susan struggles with making decisions regarding Mike's funeral and tells the Reverend that nothing will ever be the same again. As the service comes to an end Susan decides to speak at the funeral after looking back on a day where Susan, Mike and M.J. had dinner together in their favourite restaurant and how Mike described what heaven would be for him. Susan then tells everyone what Mike is doing in heaven, and that because he's there she has to say goodbye to him for now. She says one final goodbye before walking to the coffin and whispering back the only poem Mike knew: "I love you once. I love you twice. I love you more than beans and rice". Renee then sings 'Amazing Grace' as Mike's coffin is carried out of the church and lowered into the ground as Mike's tearful family and friends watch on.
While enjoying Mike's favorite hamburgers at Bree's house Susan recalls to her three friends how much she is going to struggle now that Mike is no longer around. Bree, Lynette and Gabrielle all promise Susan that they will help her through this difficult time.
According to Nielsen ratings, "Women and Death " was watched by 9.03 million viewers and held 2.6/6 rating between 18 and 49 years of age. The episode was competing against The Amazing Race on CBS, which was watched by 9.54 million viewers and held a 2.7/7 rating, the combination of Family Guy and American Dad! on Fox which averaged 5.11 million viewers for the hour, and had a 2.5/6 rating, and Celebrity Apprentice on NBC, which averaged 5.80 million viewers and a 1.8/4 rating in the 18-49 demographic. The episode gained an additional 1.6 million viewers and 0.7 rating in the week following the original broadcast due to DVR recordings.
"Woman and Death" received critical acclaim from critics and fans, with much praise going to the performances of Teri Hatcher and Vanessa Williams. Christina Tran from TV Fanatic.com called the episode "absolutely incredible". She also stated that despite her disappointment in Mike having to be the Wisteria Lane resident to die before the end of the series she thought the episode "was written perfectly, with a stroll down Wisteria Lane, focusing on flashbacks and memories of how the tragic hero impacted all of the women's lives. It honestly was a beautiful episode honoring James Denton's Mike". Tran also praised Teri Hatcher's performance in this episode, commenting that she had "nothing but praise to Teri Hatcher for making me cry uncontrollable tears. She did a phenomenal job and her emotions felt so raw and meaningful". Tran also commended Renee's involvement in the funeral, writing; "Vanessa Williams gave one heck of a performance singing 'Amazing Grace' during Mike’s funeral". She summed up by writing that "Mike's tragic death will certainly go down in Desperate Housewives history".
"Digital Spy" reviewer Daniel Sperling also praised the episode and Teri Hatcher's performance. He wrote "the absolute anguish on Teri Hatcher's face throughout this episode is astonishingly believable. It barely feels like she's breathing". Sperling summarized the episode by saying "So, while not the most action packed with Desperate Housewives installments, 'Women and Death' was one that was certainly needed after the sudden, senseless killing of Mike last week and somehow still served its purpose in managing to keep the season going forward". Sperling did however criticize the character of Renee, branding her "pointless" and that "Her conflict about not wanting to go to Mike's funeral literally lasted about 30 seconds. Ridiculous".