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Edie Britt was the most predatory divorcee within a five-block radius. Her conquests were numerous, varied and legendary.
|Mary Alice Young|
Edie was the most reviled woman on Wisteria Lane, and yet her charm was that she didn't really understand why. Strong-willed and self-employed, when Edie saw something she wanted, she got after it. And nothing would stand in her way. Within the series, Edie was one of several residents of the fictitious Wisteria Lane; she lived at 4362 Wisteria Lane in Fairview, Eagle State. Edie was a real estate agent. She has been married three times to Charles McLain (with whom she had a son, Travers), Umberto Roswell, and Dave Williams. Throughout her time on the series, she also had numerous relationships with the ex-husbands or former lovers of other characters.
Edie was brought up on the "wrong side of the tracks"; her father abandoned her at a young age; she was raised in a caravan park; and was mistreated by her alcoholic mother.
After years of abuse and neglect, Edie left home and set up her own real estate company. She then married her first husband, Dr. Charles McLain and quickly became pregnant with her only child, Travers McLain.
Edie was introduced in the show's first season as a serial divorcée, with two marriages behind her at the beginning of the show. It is explained by her only friend Martha Huber that she has a son, although he does not appear in the show until its third season. Both Edie and Susan Mayer are attracted to new neighbor Mike Delfino, creating tension between the two which culminates in Susan accidentally burning Edie's house down. Edie is upset when Martha is murdered, and proves to be the only Wisteria Lane resident who wishes to give her a proper burial. Susan, aware that Martha knew she had started the fire and recorded the incident in her diary, admits the truth to Edie, who uses Susan's guilt as a way to join the housewives' poker group. Edie continues to hit on Mike, but he's only interested in Susan. Edie is upset when Susan and Mike move in together. Edie tries to get the women to convince Susan that Mike is bad for her, but Susan is sure he's the one. Susan later finds out her ex-husband, Karl Mayer, had cheated on her with Edie while they were married; using this knowledge, Edie goes on to date Karl, increasing the tension between the two of them.
Edie begins a relationship with Karl, Susan's ex-husband. Edie and Susan get in to many confrontations as Susan tries to get over some minor jealousy issues. Edie later discovers a wedding ring in Karl's briefcase and suspects that Karl is going to propose. The truth was Karl had re-married Susan to get her health insurance. When Susan tells Karl that Edie thinks he's going to ask her to marry him, he decides he wants Edie and proposes to her. Susan's boyfriend ends up telling Edie about her and Karl's marriage and Edie gets angry at the two for lying to her. To punish Karl and Susan, Edie decides Karl will throw her a lavish wedding and Susan will be burdened with the arrangements. Edie, one morning, wakes up to Karl packing up and leaving. Before he can drive away, his car is hit by a dump truck. Edie then discovers that Karl slept with another woman while they were engaged and breaks the news to the other housewives. Edie is extremely upset and Susan, who feels guilty about unknowingly being the 'other woman', attempts to help her feel better. Edie begins forming a bond with Susan and this makes Susan feel even more guilty. Edie gets a confession leter from Susan by mistake and feels betrayed. She retaliates by burning down Susan's house. After discovering Edie burned down her house, Susan attempts to extract a confession from Edie whilst wearing a wire, but when Edie realizes this, the two fight, and Edie is badly stung by yellowjackets. Susan feels guilty when Edie is hospitalized, and declines to turn her confession over to the police, sparing Edie prison. Edie refuses to accept Susan's pity and vows to get revenge. Susan and Mike plan on getting married, but Mike is hit by a car in the second season's finale.
In the show's third season, Edie is with Mike when he wakes up from his coma. She learns that Mike has retrograde amnesia and doesn't remember the last two years of his life. While helping Mike fill in the blanks of his memory, Edie constructs a horrible image of Susan and leads him to believe that Susan never loved him and that they were never happy together. Edie admits to Mike that she’s always had a thing for him and that she’s hurt about how he never paid any attention to her. Susan comes by the hospital to give Mike flowers, but catches him having sex with Edie on the hospital bed. Edie and Mike start a relationship, creating even more tension between her and Susan. Edie breaks it off with Mike when he is arrested for the murder of Monique Pollier. Edie's nephew, Austin McCann, comes to live with her. He begins a romantic relationship with Susan's daughter Julie. Susan doesn't want her daughter dating Edie's nephew, but Edie claims she can't do anything about it because they are in love. Julie has Edie pose as her mother so she can get birth control pills without her mother finding out. Edie and Susan later catch Austin having sex with Bree's daughter Danielle Van de Kamp. He departs from Wisteria Lane when Danielle reveals she is pregnant with his child. Edie is also involved in a hostage situation with Lynette, Julie and Austin at a supermarket, but makes it out all right.
Edie's son, Travers, is introduced for the first time, having been dropped off by his father for a month-long visit. Carlos Solis develops a fondness for Travers, which Edie uses to her advantage. Edie tries to seduce Carlos, but he tells her he's not interested in her that way. They eventually sleep together and later, they start dating. Carlos wants to keep the affair a secret, which makes Edie think he's still in love with his ex-wife, Gabrielle. Edie tells Gabrielle about her and Carlos at Gabrielle and Victor's engagement party. Gabrielle is furious and wants Edie to stop seeing Carlos, but she refuses. Gabrielle tries to get her friends to freeze out Edie, but Edie makes that difficult. Edie considers going for full custody of Travers, but Carlos convinces her not to. When Travers is collected by his father, Edie would like for Carlos to move in with her. Carlos is renting from Mrs. Simms, who is in a nursing home. Edie visits her at the home and tells her that Carlos is an alcoholic, does drugs, and uses her home as a place to hook up with prostitutes. Mrs. Simms terminates the lease and Carlos is evicted. Edie offers Carlos a place to stay at her house, but he is suspicious that she was involved. Carlos tells Edie he doesn't love her. She then tells him she might be pregnant with his child. After they find that she was not, in fact, pregnant, she suggests that he stay with her and they together try for a baby. She begins taking birth control, because she would not like to have children with him unless he truly loves her. While looking for money in Edie's purse to pay the paper boy, Carlos discovers Edie's birth control pills. At Gaby's wedding, Carlos confronts Edie and tells her he can never trust her again. Edie tries to apologize, but is unsuccessful. At the closing scene of the season, Edie is shown with a sealed letter to her "beloved" Carlos, and hangs herself with a scarf.
It transpires that Edie's suicide attempt was faked, and was merely a bid for Carlos's attention. He agrees to resume their relationship, leading Edie to discover his secret offshore bank account containing $10 million. She uses this knowledge to blackmail him, asking him to marry her, unaware that Carlos is having an affair with Gabrielle. Edie goes on to announce their engagement, but discovers Carlos's betrayal when she, Carlos, Gabrielle, and Gabrielle's new husband Victor Lang (John Slattery) all suffer from crabs. Edie hires someone to spy on Carlos and Gabrielle, and manages to get pictures of the two of them kissing. Edie attempts to get revenge by telling the IRS about his offshore account. She then discovers that Carlos has emptied and closed his offshore account so she turns the pictures over to Victor, knowing he will get revenge. Edie, still feeling vindictive, reveals to the police that Gaby and Carlos may be responsible for her husband Victor's disappearance. A tornado is about to hit Wisteria Lane and Carlos and Gabrielle plan on disappearing. Edie then gets her hands on a folder, giving her access to Carlos's offshore bank account. Gabrielle and Edie fight over the folder, but lose the papers in the tornado. They are forced to take shelter together in Edie's crawl space and are able to put aside their differences for a while. Carlos is blinded in the tornado.
Edie finds out Carlos gave her fake jewelry when they were together and gets back at him by telling Gabrielle that Carlos's blindness is permanent, when she thought it was only temporary. Later Edie tells Gabrielle that the way she is treating Carlos is sick and that there are other women out there who would treat Carlos better. When Bree and Orson Hodge (Kyle MacLachlan) are having troubles, Edie lets Orson stay with her. Edie later shares a brief drunken kiss with Orson which is seen by Bree, who is looking for Toby the cat. Bree then confronts Edie about the kiss. When Edie says it meant nothing, Bree slaps her and a full scale war erupts between them. Bree sabotages Edie's business by hounding off potential house buyers. Edie visits Orson, who is now living alone at a hotel, to complain about Bree. When she enters the room, she discovers a piece of paper revealing that Bree's baby is really Austin and Danielle's. Edie threatens to tell everyone about it unless Bree does exactly what she wants. Bree tells her friends about her faked pregnancy and about Edie's threats. The housewives confront Edie and force her out of Wisteria Lane. On her way out, Edie calls Travers, and tells him she's going to be spending a lot more time with him from now on.
The Missing Years
In the five-year jump between season four and five, Edie gets engaged and married to a motivational speaker, Dave Williams, who eventually convinces her to move back to Fairview.
Edie returns to Wisteria Lane, a new and transformed woman. When the housewives notice the change in Edie, they resume their friendship with her. (The fifth season is set five years on from the fourth season finale.) Dave is persistent in convincing Edie to get along better with her neighbors. He kidnaps Karen McCluskey's cat after she is rude to Edie, only returning him when Karen apologizes. When Karen attempts to investigate Dave's background, Edie realizes she knows very little about his past. Dave's doctor arrives in Fairview and confronts Dave at the White Horse Club, but Dave strangles him and sets fire to the building. Dave only married Edie to have an excuse to move to Wisteria Lane and get revenge on Mike, who, as it turns out, had been involved in a car accident that killed Dave's wife and daughter. Edie starts to notice something is off about Dave and is irritated that he doesn't show interest in her. One night she wakes up and sees Dave talking to himself. Edie wants to know why he's acting so strangely and Dave tells her he used to be married before he met Edie and that his wife died. Edie is furious he never told her about this before and throws him out of the house. When Edie is locked in a basement with Susan, they have a heart to heart chat and Susan tells Edie not to treat men like tissue and to believe in happily ever afters. After they are freed Edie goes to Dave and tells him to move back in. When Dave tells Edie that Eli Scruggs, the neighborhood handy man, has died, she recalls the time that when she was having marital problems with her ex-husband, Umberto. In a flashback, while feeling insecure about her appearance after Umberto turns out to be gay, Eli reassures Edie and makes her feel better and ends up having sex with her.
While at a liquor store, Edie observes an encounter between Dave and Father Drance. Suspicious about her husband's motives, she does a research on his past after Father Drance calls her Mrs. Dash. Determined to know more about her husband's past, Edie goes to the local newspaper for information on Dave's family, only to learn that Dave had both a wife and daughter who were killed in a car crash. Later, when she asks Dave how he feels about children, he tells her that his "friend" had a daughter he loved who died in the crash and lives his life wondering what she would've looked like and how old she would've been; he also tells her that he would never have a child as it wouldn't be worth it.
Edie is still determined to know a lot more about Dave's past. Upon receiving a news article on the fateful car accident and finally learning the truth about her husband's intentions, she confronts Dave when he returns home from his camping trip. As she attempts to call Mike to warn him, she is almost strangled to death by Dave. Tearful and disorientated, Edie manages to run away and drives down the lane. She almost hits Orson as he stumbles onto the road; swerving to miss him, she hits an electric post instead. Dazed and unaware that the power line had snapped and there was water underneath the car, Edie steps out. She receives an electric shock, falls to the ground and dies a few minutes later.
- After Edie's death, the housewives pay a visit to her son, Travers, to announce her death and to give him her ashes. On the journey up each of the housewives and Karen McCluskey share memories of Edie. Once they arrive, however, Travers tells them that they were her closest friends and that they should spread the ashes wherever they see fit. Ultimately, her ashes are spread around Wisteria Lane. Edie was at peace about her death and had no regrets because she lived her life to the fullest and to her it was "a one of a kind life."
- Edie appears briefly in "Everybody Says Don't" as a hallucination of Dave's, telling him to do away with his complicated plan of killing Susan's son, M.J., on a fishing trip, and instead urging him to go and kill M.J. right then and there.
- Edie is based on the neighborhood slut featured in director Tim Burton's movie "Edward Scissorhands", called "Joyce", and portrayed by actress Kathy Baker.
- Edie was originally going to be called "Evie McCall", as stated in the book, Behind Closed Doors.
- Nicollette Sheridan originally auditioned for Bree Van de Kamp, but Marc Cherry thought she would be better as neighborhood tramp, Edie.
- At the beginning, Edie was only supposed to be a recurring role and was only set to appear in a few episodes each season. However when Sheridan was cast, Cherry updated her to a more prominent role.
- Although Edie is often seen as the fifth main housewife — in addition to Susan, Bree, Lynette, and Gabrielle — the opening credits only pictured the other four women, excluding Edie. Additionally, Cherry shared that his goal for the series would be to have the central four women remain in the series.
- At the beginning of season six, new real estate agent Lee McDermott makes a reference to Edie Britt as "the woman who handled the properties in the neighborhood". He also stated that she "slammed her car into a pole and got fried by a power line".