The second season had fourteen roles receiving star billing, out of whom eleven were part of the first season's main cast. The season sees the promotion of three former guest stars, who begin acting as series regulars from the season's first episode. The series is narrated by Brenda Strong, from the point of view of the deceased Mary Alice Young, as she observes, from a unique perspective, the lives of the Wisteria Lane residents and her former best friends. Susan Mayer, portrayed by Teri Hatcher, is divorcée and single mother, who, in her continuous search for a romantic commitment, ends up in bed with her former husband. Felicity Huffman portrayed Lynette Scavo, who starts neglecting her responsibilities as a mother, after the realization of her undeniable talent for advertising results in her going back to work after a six-year absence. Marcia Cross portrayed Bree Van de Kamp, whose flawless life is shaken after she starts dealing with the aftermath of her husband's death, while trying to overcome her guilt for having dated the man who killed him. Former model Gabrielle Solis, portrayed by Eva Longoria, who suffers a miscarriage just as she starts accepting upcoming motherhood. Nicollette Sheridan portrayed Edie Britt, whose commitment issues and numerous one night stands have made her an iconic character. Ricardo Antonio Chavira played Gabrielle's husband, Carlos Solis, who has to cope with the revelation of his wife's affair with their gardener, while trying to get out of jail. Mark Moses continues his role of widower Paul Young, who tries to cover up the murder of his adoptive son's biological mother. Zach Young, portrayed by Cody Kasch, finally learns about his true identity, but refuses to be a part of his father's life, whereas Julie Mayer, Susan's daughter portrayed by Andrea Bowen, deals with her parents' unexpected reconciliation. James Denton portrayed Mike Delfino, who has to deal with both his break-up with Susan Mayer, and his recently discovered biological son. Previously a recurring character throughout the last episodes of the previous season, Betty Applewhite, portrayed by Alfre Woodard, was conceived as a new resident of Wisteria Lane, whose mysterious arc is the season's main storyline. Also promoted from guest stars to series regulars were Doug Savant and Richard Burgi, who portrayed Tom Scavo and Karl Mayer, respectively.
Receiving "also starring" billing were Shawn Pyfrom, portraying Bree's homosexual son Andrew Van de Kamp, Joy Lauren in the role of Danielle Van de Kamp, Bree's irresponsible and rebel daughter, Mehcad Brooks, portraying Matthew Applewhite, Betty's son who begins a relationship with Danielle, and Brent Kinsman, Shane Kinsman and Zane Huett, playing Preston Scavo, Porter Scavo and Parker Scavo, Lynette's troublesome children. Also receiving an "also starring" billing was Roger Bart, who portrayed George Williams for nine episodes until his character's suicide. Page Kennedy originated the role of Caleb Applewhite, Betty's troubled son, until his replacement with NaShawn Kearse.
Numerous characters have been given expansive arcs in the progressive story line of the season. Kathryn Joosten portrayed Karen McCluskey, one of the most prominent residents of Wisteria Lane who mainly develops in Lynette's story line, whereas Pat Crawford Brown appeared as elderly neighbor Ida Greenberg. Part of Susan's storyline were Lesley Ann Warren returning as Sophie Bremmer, Susan's dramatic mother, Jay Harrington portraying Ron McCready, a doctor and Susan's boyfriend in the second half of the season, Paul Dooley appearing as Addison Prudy, Susan's real father, and Joyce Van Patten playing Carol Prudy, Addison's wife. Part of Lynette's storyline were Currie Graham and Joely Fisher in the roles of Ed Ferrara and Nina Fletcher, who are introduced as Lynette's superiors at the advertising firm she has started working for, and Kiersten Warren appearing as Nora Huntington in the season finale, before her character began being developed for a season three arc. Part of Bree's storyline were Shirley Knight playing Phyllis Van de Kamp, Rex's mother, Dakin Matthews in the role of Reverend Sykes, reverend at the local Presbyterian church, Sam Lloyd portraying Albert Goldfine, Bree's therapist, Ryan Carnes appearing as Justin, Andrew's lover, Bruce Jarchow playing Sam Bormanis, Andrew's lawyer whom he gets to emancipate him, Lee Tergesen in the role of Peter McMillan, Bree's AA sponsor, and former series regular Steven Culp returning in the season finale as Rex Van de Kamp, Bree's now deceased husband. Part of Gabrielle's storyline were Jesse Metcalfe appearing in a guest star capacity as John Rowland, Gabrielle's former gardener with whom she had an affair, Adrian Pasdar portraying David Bradley, a sleazy lawyer that Gabrielle hires to get Carlos out of jail, Jeff Doucette in the role of Father Crowley, priest at the local Catholic church, Melinda Page Hamilton portraying Sister Mary Bernard, a nun trying to pursue Carlos, Nichole Hiltz and Eddie McClintock respectively playing Libby Collins and Frank Helm, parents of Gabrielle's temporary foster baby, John Kapelos acting as Eugene Beale, owner of an adoption agency, and Gwendoline Yeo appearing as Xiao-Mei, a Chinese woman that is impregnated with Gabrielle's child and begins an affair with Carlos. Part of Mary Alice's storyline were Harriet Sansom Harris returning as Felicia Tilman, who is planning to avenge the death of her sister Martha Huber, and Bob Gunton portraying Noah Taylor, Zach's biological grandfather. Orson Hodge, portrayed by future series regular Kyle MacLachlan, is introduced close to the end of the season, but is initially conceived as a love interest for Susan, before being rewritten as part of Bree's story line.
Read more about this topic: Desperate Housewives (season 2)
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