Desperate Housewives’ death toll ticks

Death is knocking at the doors of Wisteria Lane in Desperate Housewives‘ eighth and final season. Like the preceding seven seasons, death is a constant theme. In case you forget that neighbors drop like flies, the show Mary Alice Young, a neighbor who committed suicide before season one, reminds you as she narrates the show.

Photo from

Here’s a look at how many characters die each season on Desperate Housewives:

Deaths in seasons 1-7... Average: 6 Range: 4-11 Total: 43

The death tally was collected from, which also shows that there were six deaths referenced before the series started and three deaths between seasons four and five during the “five years later…” period. That makes the true total number of characters who died before this season a whopping 52.

If season eight is going to catch up to the average of six deaths– or even the low of four deaths in seasons one and six– somebody’s gotta go.

The two murdered characters in season eight happen to be the two most attractive males: Chuck Vance (Jonathan Cake) and Mike Delfino (James Denton). And unless you count Cupcake, Juanita’s class hamster, they are the only casualties of this season. Bree and Mrs. McCluskey attempted suicide, but it was fairly obvious they would not be successful.

Dan Herrick photo / Why, Mike, why?!

Death is the show’s most relied-on way to add drama, and they can write as they please without worrying how to make it work for next season. Killing a character can be an easy out, especially if you’re series creator Marc Cherry and you don’t get along with Nicollette Sheridan. If you think 54 deaths would desensitize viewers, check out their mourning/outraged tweets over Mike Delfino’s demise, which happened three weeks ago. Only a few episodes remain, and viewers should brace themselves for action. I’m sure the writers will make the series go out with a bang.

Tonight’s episode airs on ABC at 9 p.m. EST.

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