I want you to be careful around Odessa. She's smart.
|Sam Alexander, "Pilot"|
Odessa Burakov is one of the supporting characters on Devious Maids. Hailing originally from Russia, her militant methods for managing the household of famous singer Alejandro Rubio is more akin to that of a gulag than a Beverly Hills mansion. Still, she cares deeply for her employer and sought to protect him from dangerous outside influences, such as his new maid Carmen Luna whose intentions she was initially suspicious of. However, she and Carmen formed an unlikely friendship upon the revelation that they have more in common than first thought, and together they grieved for the loss of Alejandro.
I danced in all the great ballets...
|Odessa Burakov, "Minding the Baby"|
A portfolio of Odessa's career as a ballerina. ("Minding the Baby")
At some point, Odessa became a principal dancer with the Nevsky Ballet, and for six years she danced in all the great ballets. She received many astounding reviews and was loved throughout the country, however, her success came to an end when she got cancer in her leg and it had to be amputated in order to save her life. After this, Odessa could not stand all of the pity she received, so she moved to America where, in 2003, she took a job as Alejandro Rubio's housekeeper; she soon developed romantic feelings for her employer. ("Minding the Baby", "Totally Clean") Ten years later, a maid for Alejandro, Lupe, is fired for stealing the silver, and because of this, Odessa and the butler Sam have to hire a new maid to take her place. One application handed in is that of Carmen Luna's, a girl which Sam immediately becomes interested in. He then throws out all of the other résumés so that Odessa has no choice but to give the job to her. ("Pilot")
If I can't have him, at least no other woman will take my place.
|Odessa Burakov, "Totally Clean"|
Odessa reminds Carmen of her place. ("Pilot")
Carmen is introduced as a maid under the employ of controlling housekeeper Odessa Burakov. The owner of the house Carmen works in, Alejandro Rubio, returns from his tour, and Carmen hopes to become friends with him as he is a famous music producer, however, Odessa does not allow Carmen to talk to him. Later, Carmen attempts to serve Alejandro some orange juice, but is unable to thanks to Odessa, and the maid complains to Sam, someone else under Alejandro's employ, who reveals that he hired Carmen because he had a crush on her. Odessa later confronts Carmen, having found some of the maid's songs on her boss' iPod, realizing that she wants to be "discovered" by Alejandro. Carmen goes to Sam that night and has him wreck the elevator so the next morning, Odessa is unable to use it to take up Alejandro's breakfast tray, which Carmen slips a copy of her CD in. She attempts to take the tray up herself, using Odessa's leg as an excuse, but Odessa refuses, bringing the tray to Alejandro herself and furiously removing the CD. As she chases down Carmen, Odessa trips and falls down the stairs, her prosthetic leg detaching from her body and landing separately. Once Odessa is in hospital, Carmen sings while she works in front of Alejandro, and, much to her delight, he compliments her voice. ("Pilot")
Odessa unexpectedly returns. ("Setting the Table")
With Odessa still in hospital and Alejandro leaving for a tour, Carmen thinks it's time for she and Sam to sit back and enjoy all the luxuries of their boss' mansion, but Sam is wary about the idea. He is mad at her when she invites Rosie, Zoila and Marisol over to lounge around the pool with drinks, but she gets him to allow her to do as she wishes by kissing him. Later, after using Alejandro's shower, Sam finds Carmen in nothing but a towel, playing a song on their employer's piano. She is singing and Sam finds it beautiful, wondering who she wrote such a sad ballad about. She says that she can sing about it but she can't talk about it, before pointing out how nice he's been to her. He says that it's because he likes her and asks if she likes him too. She does, but not in the way he thinks, to his disappointment. He wonders why she would do things such as kiss him and walk around naked - traditionally female signs of encouragement - and they begin to argue about it. Their argument is cut short when Odessa unexpectedly returns from the hospital, and she finds Sam cleaning with Carmen's towel. Carmen, meanwhile, is hiding naked inside the piano. ("Setting the Table")
Odessa is made to clean up after Carmen. ("Making Your Bed")
Benny Soro is set to attend an A-list party at Alejandro's mansion and Carmen grows worried when she learns this because she doesn't want him, her potential music producer, to see her as a maid. She asks Alejandro for the day off and he grants her this, going as far as to actually invite her to the party as a guest while forcing Odessa to do Carmen's job and serve drinks, to the house manager's annoyance. Carmen knows that Odessa is unhappy and promises to do whatever she asks in repayment for this, and Odessa asks her to not attend the party. In the ten years she's been working for Alejandro, he's never made her a guest at one of his many events; additionally, Carmen is the maid and Odessa is her superior, so while she can handle waiting on Alejandro's friends, she cannot bare to wait on Carmen. Carmen reveals a secret to Odessa: next Monday, she turns 37, and that is very old for the music business. She says she has to get on the fast track to achieving her dream as soon as she can or else it's never going to happen, but Odessa doesn't care. She despises waiting on Carmen, especially since the maid appears to be the life of the party, dancing salsa with the guests and going to great lengths to successfully impress Benny Soro and the other celebrities. When she smashes a glass while dancing, Odessa is made to clean it up and Carmen feels incredibly guilty once she notices. Benny Soro ushers her away before she's able to help and Odessa appears humiliated. However, the Russian housekeeper acts deviously to get back at her co-worker, approaching Soro and revealing to him Carmen's real age. This causes him to phone her up and drop her as his client, to her own absolute devastation. She realizes that Odessa is behind this when she leaves a present for her on the counter - a glass, just like the one Carmen smashed - and their relationship becomes even more strained than it already is. ("Making Your Bed")
Odessa saves Carmen from her ex-husband. ("Taking Out the Trash")
Carmen and Odessa continue to share a poor relationship; when Alejandro's bird bites Carmen, Odessa gives her a treat so that she will do it again, while Sam tries his best to stay out of the feuding. The butler is then shocked when asked by Carmen to lie to the man at the door about her being there, and the maid reveals this man to be her husband Oscar Valdez. She explains to her co-workers that she left him in the middle of the night because he didn't support her singing, having wanted her to be a traditional Puerto Rican housewife, and she never bothered getting a divorce because she knew he wouldn't agree to it. Sam thinks that she owes him an explanation but Carmen is reluctant to speak to him, appealing to Odessa who finally takes pity on the maid and tells her that some problems are just inescapable... she must face this man. Carmen does so, calling Oscar back to the house, and he promises her that he's changed and wants her back. She refuses because she still wants to be a famous singer, but he says that she can sing on the weekends at a bar he's lined up, not wanting her to be one of the many girls he sees who come to LA wanting to be stars only to end up wasting the best years of their lives. Carmen continually refuses to go with him and so he grabs her forcefully, saying that he is her husband and she must do as he says. When he starts to hurt her, Sam rushes in and tries to make him stop, only to receive a punch to the face and pass out. Odessa is next to threaten the man but he just pushes her away and begins to strangle his wife up against the wall... until Odessa hits him around the head with her prosthetic leg. Oscar is arrested and Carmen can't thank Odessa enough for her help; the two of them settle their differences and the latter suggests that maybe Carmen should thank Sam as well, leading to her finally allowing him into her life as her friend. ("Taking Out the Trash")
A sick Odessa opens up to Carmen. ("Minding the Baby")
Alejandro yells at his two remaining cleaners for shrinking his sweater in the laundry. Carmen knows that this is Odessa's job but, to her chagrin, she ends up taking the blame. She tries confronting Odessa and smells alcohol on her breath, later waking up in the middle of the night to find the Russian housekeeper crouched over a broken bottle of Alejandro's good scotch. She cuts herself on the glass and Carmen offers to fetch her first aid kit; however, amidst Odessa's pills she discovers the same medication Carmen's mother took when she had cancer, and she realizes that her co-worker has been drinking to cope with the pain. She takes the blame for the broken scotch as well, putting her in jeopardy with her boss, and the next day she begins cleaning the silverware, which is Odessa's job. Odessa is furious about this, now knowing that Carmen knows of her illness, and orders her not to take her work away from her... she's not dead yet. Later, Carmen makes Odessa a pot brownie to help with the pain because she knows medication doesn't always work, and this gets Odessa to open up about her past. She used to be a great ballerina until she got cancer in her leg and it had to be amputated. After that all she ever got from people was pity, which is why it annoyed her so much when Carmen did her chores for her. But the brownie was nice, and the two women are able to bond while reading Odessa's old dance reviews. ("Minding the Baby")
Alejandro sings to Odessa. ("Scrambling the Eggs")
Odessa's hair begins falling out due to chemotherapy, which means it's all over Alejandro's food. She and Carmen have to work fast to snatch it away before he and his guest have a chance to eat it, and this event leads them to decide that it's time to tell their employer of Odessa's condition. Later, Carmen stands beside Odessa as she reveals to Alejandro that she has cancer and will be taking some time off. She is very grateful for Carmen, who has been a godsend and will be taking over her chores, but Alejandro's heavily nonchalant reaction upsets them both. Carmen reports this to her maid friends who are sure that Alejandro cares deep down but something is stopping him from expressing his emotions. When Carmen is serving him dinner and asks if he would like to visit Odessa in the hospital, he refuses, saying he'll send some flowers instead. This leads to his maid throwing his plate at the wall and quitting, telling him that she only took this job because she respected him so much, but, after seeing the way he treats people, he's no longer who she wants to be when she grows up. She herself visits Odessa at the hospital and is surprised when she finds Alejandro in the hall. He tells Carmen that, when he became famous, people stopped kicking his ass and started constantly kissing it instead; therefore he's happy that she yelled at him earlier because she forced him to realize the error of his ways. She is given back her job and watches happily as Alejandro sings to Odessa. ("Scrambling the Eggs")
Odessa is distraught to learn of Carmen and Alejandro's engagement. ("Totally Clean")
Odessa finally returns, having beaten her cancer, and immediately concludes that the house filthy. Carmen points out that she hasn't even seen it yet, but she assures the maid that she can just tell. Later, she confides in Carmen that she's relieved to learn that Alejandro is gay because she's always had feelings for him and at least this means that, if she can't have him, no other woman will take her place. Carmen goes to get her some paella for lunch but Odessa says that it's too spicy. She is told that she hasn't tasted it yet, but yet again Odessa can apparently just tell. Carmen is soon approached by Alejandro and asked to marry him, being told by his business managers that should she agree to this then they will produce an album for her and ensure that she becomes a star. Wanting this, she asks Sam if he'd be willing to wait two years for the divorce to occur, but he refuses, saying that Carmen has to choose between him and her career. She wants it all, but he tells her that she can't have it, leaving. She tries begging him to come back, only to find Odessa distraught over the fact that Alejandro is marrying her friend. ("Totally Clean")
Alejandro can treat me like the help; I don't care. But you... I thought I mattered to you.
|Odessa Burakov, "An Ideal Husband"|
Odessa reveals why she's upset. ("An Ideal Husband")
Three months after becoming engaged, Carmen and Alejandro return from a red carpet event and Carmen brags about how beautiful all the celebrities were up close, but she was still the prettiest. She wants him to buy her some new clothes but Alejandro reminds her she is just his fake girlfriend. Moreover, Carmen runs into problems with Odessa, when Carmen starts acting like the diva she always has been. The next night, Carmen and Alejandro arrive at another red carpet event, but Carmen refuses to get out of the car. He climbs back in and she complains about Odessa not respecting her. He says that he will support her more and she finally gets out of the car and smiled for the paparazzi. Carmen wakes up the next morning and tries to get Odessa to make her breakfast. She tells her if she doesn't then Alejandro will fire her. Odessa says she will save her the trouble and quits. Carmen breaks the news to Alejandro that Odessa quit. Alejandro is furious, Carmen says it is no big deal they can hire a new maid. He reminds her that they sleep in separate bedrooms and aren't really together, and a new maid will realize that and leak stories. He tells her she has to clean the house like she used to. Carmen apologizes to Odessa, and begs her to stay. Odessa says she isn't jealous of Carmen, she is happy for her, but she can’t stand Carmen "treating her like the help". Odessa breaks down in tears and says she "thought she mattered" to Carmen. Carmen apologizes and Odessa agrees to stay. ("An Ideal Husband")
Carmen and Odessa cry over a deceased Alejandro. ("The Dark at the Top of the Stairs")
After fearing Alejandro will call off the wedding and leave her for Dario, Carmen and Odessa read over the contact that states the deal between Alejandro and Carmen. Odessa reads that if Carmen and Alejandro are never married, Carmen will get nothing. Carmen then decides she has a plan. Later on, while preparing the engagement party, Odessa notices Carmen slipping the bartender some money. She asks what Carmen is up to. Carmen defends herself, asking Odessa why she always thinks she's up to something. At the party, Odessa watches as Carmen tries to force Alejandro into marrying her. While Alejandro and Carmen talk about this upstairs, Odessa, along with the rest of the party guests are taken hostage. One of the men shoots and kills Alejandro, the rest of the robbers leave. ("The Dark at the Top of the Stairs")
Alejandro is given the tribute he deserves. ("Dangerous Liaisons")
At Alejandro’s house, Carmen and Odessa are in for a shock. Alejandro’s family lawyer reveals to them that he left all of his money to charity and they have sold his house, Carmen and Odessa have four days to evacuate the premises. Later, Odessa catches a young man, named Ty McKay, leaving flowers outside. He says he feels bad about what happened to Alejandro, she reassures him that Alejandro’s killer will be caught and punished. The next day, Carmen and Odessa help Renata plan Alejandro’s funeral. The latter reveals to Carmen the entire recording industry will be present at the funeral. Later, Odessa catches Carmen rehearsing a song for Alejandro’s funeral. She informs Carmen that this is a funeral, not an audition, and Alejandro’s love ones deserve to say good-bye to him with dignity. Carmen informs Odessa that Alejandro is dead, and she is not, and she “is going to be a star.” During the funeral, Carmen takes the stage but the reality sets in that Alejandro is really gone and she is unable to sing her song and breaks down in tears. Odessa comforts her. ("Dangerous Liaisons")
- Odessa is the first character actress Melinda Page Hamilton has played with a prosthetic leg.
- Odessa's surname is given as Burakov in official press releases for the show, and she says as such in "Dangerous Liaisons", but Russian surnames for women are always feminized, and so it should be "Burakova". This form of her surname is said solely in "Minding the Baby".
- Originally, Odessa was announced to be filling a recurring role, and would be promoted to series regular if the show was to be renewed for another year. It appears the writers have changed their minds in regards to her promotion though, as she wound up not being promoted, with her storyline ending in the third episode of the second season.
- In an early script for the series' premiere, Odessa and was not featured, but instead Carmen worked alongside Jace Gold for Phoenix and her druggie boyfriend, Shiv. This story was eventually scrapped, however, and Alejandro was written to be Carmen's boss instead, with Odessa as the house-manager, taking Jace's place. 
- On two occasions the writers have thought about bringing Odessa back into the storyline, one of which happened to be as the maid in the third season who was eventually made into original character, Blanca Alvarez (Naya Rivera). The idea was that when she was killed off, they would find her prosthetic leg thrown away. Curtis Kheel opted out of revealing the second idea.
This is a gallery of photographic stills released to promote the character.
- ↑ http://www.tvguide.com/news/kecks-exclusive-devious-maids-amputee-1067049/
- ↑ http://deadline.com/2012/11/melinda-page-hamilton-matt-cedeno-join-lifetimes-devious-maids-377236/
- ↑ http://leethomson.myzen.co.uk/Devious_Maids_1x01_-_Pilot.pdf
- ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKmP4nO81uY