To be honest, Devious Maids is not the most accurate title for this series. Distractingly Glam and Slightly Horny Maids was probably too lengthy and Murder, Maids Wrote too awkwardly phrased. But when it comes to deviousness, the titular help have nothing on the wealthy sociopaths who sign their paychecks. Knifings, contract killings, secret chambers, prosthetic limbs, gay freakouts, and dinner party suicides are par for the course in these Beverly Hills homes — and it's usually up to our five main heroines to scrub away the aftermath.
In honor of Devious Maids' upcoming second season (premiering Sunday, April 20 at 10/9c on Lifetime), let's take a look back at all the dizzyingly lurid intrigue of Season 1, shall we? We shall. Oh, and beware of spoilers. [Cue zesty guitar.]
That's Not Cocktail Sauce
Flora Hernandez, maid to the wealthiest and meanest couple in Beverly Hills, stumbled bleeding through their swanky cocktail party and fell dead into the swimming pool. Was this a rude party foul or a cold-blooded murder? According to the police it was the latter, and the handsome young caterer standing dazed with a bloody knife was immediately arrested and charged with murder. But did he do it? Or was the real killer still out there? Marisol (Ana Ortiz), the accused boy's mother, aimed to find out in thirteen episodes or less.
Like some kind of Latina James Bond, Marisol went deep undercover as a full-time maid for a neighbor couple and proceeded to befriend all the other maids in their social circle: Rosie (Dania Ramirez), who works for nightmarish actress Peri (True Blood's Mariana Klaveno) and her put-upon husband Spence (Melrose Place's Grant Show); Zoila (Judy Reyes), who works alongside her teenage daughter Valentina (Edy Ganem) for unstable pill-popper Genevieve (Susan Lucci) and her absurdly attractive son Remi (Drew Van Acker); and Carmen (Roselyn Sanchez), an aspiring singer with designs on slipping her demo to her famous boss Alejandro (Matt Cedeño). It's through these four ladies that we dig into the lurid and ludicrous lives of the Los Angeles elite. [Cue playful violin plucks.]
Secrets and Guys
It should come as no surprise that Flora has a backstory to make Laura Palmer blush. As Marisol dug deeper into the slain maid's life, she quickly learned that Flora had not only been sleeping with her employer Adrian Powell (Tom Irwin aka Angela Chase's DAD), she'd also worked as a literal prostitute and had been dead-set on getting knocked up by a rich dude. But just when Marisol had gathered enough evidence to get the police to re-open the investigation, it all worked against her: Marisol's son had been in love with Flora and her pregnancy by another man made him look even guiltier. Meanwhile it turned out that Adrian had a secret room from which he videotaped his houseguests sexin' with prostitutes he'd procured for them (an interesting approach to hospitality), and these prostitutes included Flora and even local trophy wife Taylor (Brianna Brown), Marisol's employer. Did the key to busting this murder case wide open lay among the hundreds of DVD-Rs Adrian kept in his secret voyeur room? Maybe. Probably. Fingers crossed.
Even with all of Marisol's findings, there was still about ten more episodes' worth of story to tell, most of which focused on the remaining maids' sex lives! The soapiest thread involved Rosie's attempts to navigate her employers' failing marriage: despite a newborn baby, Peri and Spence actively despised each other, so it wasn't long before he started paying special attention to their shy, sweet-natured maid. Spence even attempted to gift Rosie a big chunk of money to help bring her young son to America, though the moment was slightly ruined when Spence popped a boner while she hugged him in gratitude. But Rosie eventually came around to her employer's affections, alternating between jumping into his bed and into the confessional booth, all the while agonizing over having betrayed the admittedly awful Peri (who was engaging in her own extramarital affairs). Meanwhile Zoila grew concerned over her daughter's bourgeoning romance with her boss' college stud son Remi, whose interests seemed limited to getting out of swimming pools slowly and also cocaine. Carmen, on the other hand, discovered that her hunky boss Alejandro was secretly gay, but still had to deal with romantic complications involving his handsome driver Sam (Wolé Parks). She also had to help clean up all the busted IKEA furniture after Alejandro's boyfriend tore apart the living room during a lovers' quarrel. [Cue spicy marimba.]
Justice Is Shined
Just as it seemed like everybody's lives were spiraling out of control, Marisol's investigation began to take center stage and the ladies' plotlines folded together like a swan-shaped napkin. After discovering that Flora had been impregnated by none other than college stud Remi, Marisol was able to rule her son out as the murderer only to realize that Remi's father Phillipe (Seventh Heaven's Stephen Collins) had been the true family sociopath. Unfortunately she learned this the hard way after Phillipe ordered a hit on her; but the hit man's bullet instead struck Marisol's boss and newfound bestie Taylor, who ended up losing her baby in the ordeal. This act of violence enraged the heretofore villainous Powells (they of the secret voyeur chamber) and caused them to align with Marisol against Phillipe. One carefully planned cocktail party and a poisoned Old Fashioned later, Phillipe was sailing out the third-floor window and landing dead in the swimming pool (making it TWO consecutive Powell cocktail parties marred by murder). The maids, for their part, joined forces to lie to the cops: Phillipe had fully confessed to murdering Flora before dying (he hadn't, at least not on camera), which meant that the true killer was not only dead, but Marisol's son could now go free. Phew!
...Which would have made for a happy ending had the season's final scene not been such a colossal bummer: Rosie got deported! Yep, it turned out Spence's wife got wise to their affair and handled it like any jealous racist might: by calling the INS.
The Future Is... What Now?
Just because Flora Hernandez's murder was solved in a tidy fashion doesn't mean the characters' other unresolved issues have been swept under the rug. Season 2 promises to address many loose threads. Will Rosie be able to return to America? Will Marisol return to her job as an English professor? Will Carmen become Alejandro's legally married beard in exchange for music stardom? Will Zoila's daughter run off to Africa with Remi? Will that mean one-legged Russian lady beat bone cancer? (Did I forget to mention her?) Will Alejandro get his back waxed? Will Susan Lucci eat all the pills? And WHO will be murdered next? Anything could happen! [Cue cackling Marc Cherry.]
Now you know what went down in Season 1! To find out what kind of sexy madness happens next, be sure to tune into Devious Maids' Season 2 premiere on Sunday, April 20 at 10/9c on Lifetime.
Price Peterson is a comedy writer and TV recapper from Los Angeles, California. His work currently appears on Vulture, TV.com, and The Atlantic Wire.