By People Staff
Updated January 19, 2009 12:00 AM
Credit: Ron Tom/ABC

The Desperate Housewives sure looked good at 100 (episodes, that is). The ladies each took a walk down memory lane after the neighborhood’s longtime handyman (played warmly by Beau Bridges) died fixing Susan’s roof and one by one, realized how much of an impact Eli Scruggs had made on their lives. And bringing the centennial celebration full circle was the realization that he was first helped by the woman who started it all, Mary Alice. –Carrie Bell

Bree Bree flashed back to her first marriage and a brunch she made for a pregnant Lynette and Tom. She and Rex were fighting about a broken stove and he told her that if she wanted a new one, she should get a job. She started working on her cookbook the next day, but when it kept her from making dinner, her husband hurried to put her back in her place. Upon Rex’s death, the handyman returned the book notes he had rescued from the trash, thus rekindling the dream.. Edie Dave and Edie returned from their makeup sex-filled Bahamas trip to find a message about Eli’s passing. Edie did her best mannequin impression before traveling back to the days of Umberto, the husband who wouldn’t sleep with her. Eli was trapped in the bathroom during one of their fights, and after, he gave her a pep talk. (Yet another opportunity for Nicollette Sheridan to be in lingerie.) He was also there when she found out Umberto was leaving her because he was gay and he helped her get back on the horse, figuratively and literally.

Gabrielle The handyman’s death made Gabrielle remember when she and Carlos first moved to the suburbs and she was miserable until he got her in the weekly poker game with the girls. The first game was a disaster of the foot-in-mouth variety. Gaby, looking hotter than ever, even made a suicide joke to Mary Alice. Eli came back with the bill and gave her advice to “drop the attitude” or she would find herself “sitting in her big house alone without any friends. She showed up at the next game that she wasn’t invited to with muffins to apologize. “I made a horrible first impression. Now you know why models don’t usually talk because we say a lot of stupid patronizing things that make want to avoid us.” She then admitted how her husband was always gone and how she could use the friends and the circle welcomed her.

Lynette Lynette recalled the final time she had been knocked up but desperate to go back to work. So desperate that she was locking down the details of a new position as she went into labor. “People say that you can’t have it all but I know we can,” she told Tom. But just a few weeks later, she was on the phone with her new boss and taking groceries in when she forgot the infant in the car. Eli heard crying and brought the baby in. Lynette freaked, but Eli never made her feel bad about it. “You’ve got a lot on your mind. It’s a lot to handle,” he sympathized and those wise words made her realize family should always come first.

Susan Susan thought back to the day when Carl left her for his secretary and she had called Eli over to change the locks. Unwittingly, Eli broke the news that Carl had cheated other times. The next memory was the day Mike left and Eli was summoned to change the locks once again, but this time he found a very distraught Susan crying uncontrollably. He consoled her, calling her “heroic” for always “getting back up, dusting herself off and trying again” for love despite how hurt she’d been. The last time he came to help, he was dropping off keys for Jackson and she explained that they had broken up but she was okay and planning to fly solo for awhile. He told her about his plan to retire and she admitted, “You have been the most consistent male relationship in my life. I always thought you’d be around.”

Everyone who had been helped by Eli attended his services, but the person that affected him most couldn’t be there: Mary Alice, who had been the first person he approached for work. He dropped by the day she got the note that was the impetus for her killing herself. Mary Alice thanked Eli “for walking into her life and making it better.” From that day forward he voed to do whatever he could to help fix their lives because he hadn’t been there to help her.

Tell us: How do you think the ladies are looking at 100? Which was your favorite flashback?Ron Tom/ABC