March 26, 2006 - May 7, 2006
Lee Tergesen played Peter McMillian in a
five-episode arc. He's the new
"addiction" of desperate housewife Bree Van De Kamp, who is played by Marcia Cross.
2.17 - Could I Leave You? -
March 26, 2006
caps (47 images from DVD)
Video clips: Scene 1
// Scene 2 & promo
Lee is in two scenes. The first opens as
he's leading an AA meeting. When one member finishes telling
his story of hitting rock bottom, Lee-as-Peter calls on Bree,
who's doing needlepoint. She declines to talk, cheerfully
noting that she couldn't possibly top that.
During a break in the meeting, Peter
joins Bree at the snack table, where she's tidying up. "I
never realized how messy substance abusers could be," she
In fine snarky style, Lee/Peter
says: "We usually leave the doughnut crumbs for the
Overeaters Anonymous group that meets after us. You know, just
to mess with them."
awful," Bree admonishes, obviously charmed.
Peter quizzes Bree on how long she's been sober, she's
evasive. But then she gives him the story about how her son
Andrew is petitioning to become an emancipated minor and that
he's planning on telling the judge she's some sort of dreadful
lush. She says she's not really an alcoholic and that she's
only going to the meetings to put on a show that she's
changed. Peter is doubtful, though, and gives her his card in
case she ever needs help of someone to talk to.
Bree assures him, "I'm nothing like you people... I just
don't have a compulsive personality." Of course, viewers
know Stepford Wife Bree all too well. And at the end of the
scene, the doughnut table is spotless, with napkins tidily
The second scene actually
starts with a quick clip of Lee waking up to a phone call.
He's groggy, bare-chested and buff. Oh, and the phone call is
from Bree. Sure enough, that card came in handy. She passed
out in a department store, woke up after hours, and got
herself trapped trying to wedge her way out the doors.
Peter comes to the rescue, the two share a quiet talk in his
car. She explains more about Andrew's extortion attempt. His
latest ploy is that he will tell the judge about
"repressed memories" of abuse. That's what prompted
Bree's latest binge. Peter seems impressed that Andrew is
"seriously twisted." "I gotta meet this
kid," he says.
After a moment,
they share some sweet, awkward glances. Sad smiles. Then, Bree
says, "I wish you could have known me when Rex was alive
and my kids were young and everything was the way it was
supposed to be. I think you really would have liked me. So
"I like you just
fine," Peter says.
But Bree says
quietly, "Really? Because I don't."
a beautifully acted sequence.
2.18 - Everyone Says Don't - April
Gallery: Screen caps (100
images from DVD)
Video: Scene 1 //
The other scenes
episode gets right down to it -- opening with Bree's deepening
relationship with her AA sponsor. When she gets a craving for
chablis, Peter comes over and they watch a DVD. Merlot?
Peter again, etc.
On Bree's 20th day of sobriety, the
two are playing chess. She gives him a peck on the cheek to
thank him for being such a good friend. He's stunned and
confesses to her that he's not just a recovering alcoholic, but
he's also a sex addict. Any little touch, he says, "gets
my juices flowing." She thinks he can handle it and gives
him a kiss on the lips. After another stunned moment, Peter is
all over Bree, ripping off his T-shirt, shoving the chess
board to the floor and pinning her to the dining room table.
He comes to his senses quickly, however, and dashes
shirtlessly away. Bree is left, dazed, on the table, inhaling
his discarded and torn shirt. (Mmmmmmm.)
has a couple of brief appearances throughout the rest of the
show. The first comes at an AA meeting as he introduces
Bree to her new sponsor, Donna (played by Diane Delano,
who can be seen here
with Lee in a 1991 TV pilot called "Acting
Sheriff"). The butch new sponsor isn't quite Bree's
type, though, and Bree later calls Peter to talk him into being
friends. He struggles not to give in to temptation and asks
her to not to call again.
But at the end,
when Bree gets drunk and passes out in a bar, it's Peter she
wants and Peter who
comes to her rescue and chivalrously carries her out. (His
muttering, "I don't even like redheads," adds
a little levity to the sad, sweet, touching scene.)
In the closing
scenes, we see him tending to her at home while the voiceover
talks about giving in to temptation -- and perhaps regretting
it in the morning.
2.19 - Don't Look at Me - April 16, 2006
caps (12 images from TV)
Lee-as-Peter is in one scene and has one line,
and it comes during the opening credits.
Peter is at the courthouse with Bree,
apparently to support her in a long-awaited hearing regarding
her son Andrew. Enter Carol Burnett as Eleanor Mason, Bree's stepmother.
When Eleanor notices Peter and says hello, she inquires
whether he's Bree's lawyer. "Uhhhh no, I'm not her
lawyer," he says. Eleanor's relieved, declaring:
"Good. The hair had me worried."
Also in the scene, but not quite interacting
with Lee, is Ronny Cox, playing Bree's father. The actor
played the elder version of Lee's character in "The
Boys of Sunset Ridge." And Bruce Jarchow is in the
background, missing yet another chance to interact with his
old buddy Chett from "Weird
2.20 - It Wasn't Meant to Happen - April
caps (23 images from TV)
Video: Lee's scenes
Lee has some nice scenes in this episode,
which works hard to show us that Peter is a good person who is
working hard to conquer his addictions. It also shows how
manipulative Bree can be in going after what she wants.
Lee's first scene shows him wrapping up an AA
meeting with Serenity Prayer. Afterwards, Bree helps him clean
up the room and they have a playful banter about the merits of
opera. Bree and Peter come close to kissing, but they are
interrupted by Claude, Peter's sex addiction sponsor. (Claude
is played by M.C. Gainey, who also plays The Other dubbed Zeke
and Mr. Friendly in
"Lost." His disposition is not much better here.)
Claude berates Peter for getting involved with Bree, referring
to her as a "lust trigger," a term Bree doesn't take
too kindly to.
To plead her case, Bree later visits Claude at
the doughnut shop where he works. When it's clear she's not
going to get what she wants, she winds up setting him up on a
drug arrest -- effectively removing Claude from Peter's life.
Later, while serving Peter cookies and milk, Bree says she
could be his sponsor. He warns her that Claude had rescued him
from some pretty ugly situations. Peter wonders if Bree could
To prove his point, Peter calls Bree to come
and get him from a sex party. It's a pretty tame scene, but he
wanted to see what it could be like if he
The show winds up with Bree reciting the
Serenity Prayer during an AA meeting and holding hands with
2.21 - I Know Things Now - May 7 , 2006
caps (25 images from TV)
Video: Lee's scenes
Bree invites Peter over for a family dinner
and asks him not to mention that he's a sex addict -- even
though her kids know they met at AA. But her evil son, Andrew,
listened in on the phone line and he tells Danielle he's got a brilliant way for her to get back at Bree for not letting her see Matthew anymore.
At dinner, Danielle pours on the sex appeal
and the double entendres fly. She puts her hand on Peter's
knee under the table, and he's puzzled. But when she moves her
hand upward, Peter jumps up, makes hurried excuses and dashes
Peter comes by the next day to drop off a college brochure for Andrew, since he's interested in attending the school Peter went to. Andrew seizes his opening for the ultimate revenge on Bree when he realizes that
Peter is attracted to men as well as women.
Later, Bree arrives home, looking for Andrew (he had called, saying there was an
emergency). She goes upstairs and finds Andrew in her bed,
with Peter is coming out of the bathroom in just his
underwear, looking for his pants. "Now we're even," Andrew smirks.
And Peter is never seen or mentioned again!
Click for larger view
See episode guide
at left for galleries
and video clips
Housewives official ABC Web site
Available on DVD
Lee was spotlighted on Court
TV's "Hollywood Heat" April 27, 2006.
Click for the clip
The April 10-16 issue of TV Guide,
hailed Lee in the "Cheers & Jeers" section:
"CHEERS to 'Desperate Housewives' for casting Lee Tergesen as Bree's sex-addicted Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor. Nobody plays seemingly normal guys who reveal a kinky underbelly better than the man who was lawyer-turned-depraved inmate Tobias Beecher on
'Oz' and cross-dressing firefighter Sully on
'Rescue Me.' Plus, doing 'Housewives' must be more fun than Tergesen's low-profile gig as a U.S. Marshal on TNT's routine crime drama
Lee has a connection to "Desperate Housewives" executive producer Tom Spezialy
and other members of the DH team.
Spezialy was co-executive producer and creator of the
TV series "Weird Science,"
which Lee co-starred in for several years. Spezialy also directed multiple
episodes of "Weird Science" as well as Lee's guest
appearance on "Honey I
Shrunk the Kids" TV show.