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"Mother Said" is the 85th episode of the ABC television series, Desperate Housewives. It is the fifteenth episode of the show's fourth season and aired on May 11, 2008. It aired on Mother's Day and is the series' first Mother's Day-themed episode.

"Mother Said"
Desperate Housewives episode
Desperate Housewives - Mother Said.jpg
"It's not like all the other times, Edie. We're done."
Episode no.Season 4
Episode 15
Directed byDavid Warren
Written byChuck Ranberg & Anne Flett-Giordano
Production code415
Original air dateMay 11, 2008
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Opening Doors"
Next →
"The Gun Song"
Desperate Housewives (season 4)
List of Desperate Housewives episodes



Bree confronts Edie about the kiss with Orson. Edie tells Bree that she is not interested in Orson. When Bree slaps Edie across her face, this marks a full-scale war between them. Bree sabotages Edie's business by hounding off a family that wanted to move into the Young house. Orson arrives at Bree's house trying to reconcile with her, and wants to take Benjamin to a carnival, but all his apologies fail and she calls in a lawyer to sort out Benjamin's custody. Edie then goes to Orson's apartment to complain about Bree and she notices Orson's statement about Benjamin on the table. In the statement, it is revealed that Benjamin's biological parents are actually Austin and Danielle. Edie then blackmails Bree to be kind to her and do whatever she wants, or all her secrets will be exposed. Bree decides to reveal Benjamin's true parentage to Lynette, Susan and Gabrielle herself and explains Edie's attempt to blackmail her. To her surprise, the ladies understand and support Bree and march down to Edie's house and finally end their friendship with her. Edie reluctantly apologizes, but this falls on deaf ears. Edie then tells her son Travers that she will be spending Mother's Day with him as she leaves Wisteria Lane. She also promises to spend a lot more time with him from now on.

Mike's mother, Adele Delfino, comes for a visit. Adele brings Susan a recipe book as a present, since she had heard from Mike that Susan is not a good cook. Adele also offers herself to teach her to cook. Adele brought up their financial issues while she and Susan prepare for dinner one night, but Susan insists that they do not have any problems financially as they both have jobs, although Adele thinks Susan's job as a children's book illustrator does not pay much. When Adele, Mike and Susan go to a restaurant to lunch, Susan tells Mike not to complain to Adele about her, but Mike insists that his mother is trying to help. As Adele rambles on about Susan's shortcomings, deciding that she would stay to spruce up the house, Susan fakes labor by spilling her club soda on her leg.

Lynette and Tom hire family counselor Dr. Dolan to work things out within the family. Lynette tells the counselor to focus more on Kayla since she thinks Kayla's the problem within the family. Kayla overhears the discussion and quickly acts upon it by giving Lynette a drawing she made in school. Later, Dr. Dolan suggests that Lynette and Kayla should spend more time together as often as possible to have a parent-child bond. Therefore, Lynette takes Kayla to a boutique and Kayla wants to spend a lot of money, much to Lynette's displeasure. Kayla threatens Lynette that the fun does not have to end as long as Lynette gives in to her demands. She warns her of what might happen to Penny since Kayla was able to convince Preston to jump off of the roof, causing Lynette to slap Kayla in the face. On the morning of Mother's Day, Lynette's children and Tom make her breakfast in bed, while Kayla calls Dr. Dolan and tells him that Lynette has been hitting her.

Carlos' and Gabrielle's relationship with their new tenant Ellie grows during her stay. One day when Ellie takes Carlos for a walk in the park, the fire alarm sounds in Ellie's room. Gabrielle then goes to deactivate it and she finds cocaine under Ellie's bed. Carlos then calls the police to report about Ellie's drug possession. The detective who Gabrielle recognizes as Ellie's "tattoo client" told them to pretend nothing had happened as the police wanted to use Ellie to catch the suppliers. Ellie then gave Gabrielle a bouquet of flowers for Mother's Day which moved her.

Dylan confronts Katherine, who had planned to move out now that Wayne knows where they live. Dylan refuses to move out as she wants to stay with her father. When Wayne picks up Dylan to take her to her recital one day, Katherine tells him that she is not interested in a reconciliation. She tells him that she cheated on him during their marriage, and Dylan is not his daughter. When Wayne asks about Dylan's actual father, Katherine replies that it does not really matter now. As she walks back home, Wayne picks up the chewing gum Dylan chewed on earlier for DNA examination. He says that he wants to get a confirmation of relation between a suspect and a victim. The results reveal that her DNA sample has no relation to the "victim". When Dylan visits Wayne on Mother's Day, Wayne checks on Dylan's arms for scars (he had watched home videos of Dylan learning to ride a bike and she had wounded her arm). Furious that she is not his daughter, Wayne yells at Dylan to get out of his apartment before he calls the police.

Susan then goes into labor for real later at home when Mike confesses to his mother that certain things she said hurt Susan's feelings, Adele apologizes and Susan accepts her apology as they go. The episode ends with Susan embracing her newborn baby at the hospital.

International titlesEdit

  • Czech: Jak řekla matka (Mother Said)
  • French: L'amour maternel (Mother's Love)
  • French Canadian: L'amour maternel (Mother's love)
  • German: Muttertag (Mother's Day)
  • Hebrew: מילה של אמא (Mila Shel Ima; Mother's Word)
  • Hungarian: Majd a mama megmondja! (Mom Will Tell)
  • Italian: Maternità (Motherhood)
  • Polish: Dzień Matki (Mother's Day)
  • Spanish: Mamá decía (Mother Used to Say)
  • Greek: Η μαμά συνήθιζε να λέει (Mother Said)


  • This episode's title is derived from the lyrics to the song I Know Things Now from the Stephen Sondheim musical Into the Woods
  • By garnering 15.4 million viewers, this episode joined another season 4 episode titled "In Buddy's Eyes", those episodes have the fewest viewers for this season.
  • 10.6 Million viewers watched this episode in the UL coming 26th in the week it was aired. On its first cable run the episode had 7.4 Million viewers.
  • Although credited, Joy Lauren (Danielle Van de Kamp) does not appear in this episode.