Previously on the Patty Hewes show, Ellen is still working with the world’s two most boring FBI agents to feed Patty a case she can’t resist and bring her down from the inside. When she’s not busy setting up a plan that will surely bring her eventual destruction, Ellen packs her days by telling support groups to peace out and taking up with mysterious, Timothy Olyphant-shaped gun pushers. Meanwhile, an old buddy of Patty’s named Danny Purcell has gotten himself into a mess of trouble with a mysterious organization who may or may not have killed his wife by the end of the season’s opener. Nothing says “Welcome to the New Year” like a strangling.
The show starts and Holy Shit there’s been some horrible mistake! I must have sat on the remote and flipped it to a showing of The Shining. Aaaahhhhh, change it, change it, CHANGE IT!! I panic, thinking that two little ghost girls are going to appear on screen any minute and it took me three years to get rid of THOSE nightmares, but no. We’re actually in a completely different, but equally creepy hotel of horror. (Sorry for the freakout – I’ve had Steven King issues ever since my Dad played IT at my eighth birthday party – true story.)
If Jack Nicholson busts through that door with an ax, I’m going to have to break out my nightlight again. Damn you, Damages!!!
Anyhow, we continue through this truly disturbing hallway scene until it leads us right to room 1910. Is it a sign that I’ve been watching too much Lost when I think I should get out my calculator and start making random combinations of the numbers 1, 9 and 0 to see if they will somehow solve the mystery of Glenn Close’s icy awesomeness??
We go inside room 1910 where future badass Ellen once again takes out her gun and shoots a mysterious someone twice without batting an eyelash.
Then we see Ellen, looking thoughtful in the back of an FBI car (why does she never think to call shotgun?) A screen flashes 6 MONTHS EARLIER. It’s the night of the gala. Ellen’s phone rings in the back of the car and she announces that it’s Patty. She should hook that up so the ringtone plays out a polyphonic version of Michael Jackson’s “Bad” whenever Patty calls.
Ellen answers the phone and we see Patty, still in her gala wear and at the home of Danny Purcell. Ellen asks if everything is okay and Patty says “I’m fine,” but that she needs Ellen’s help. By now, Ellen should know that a late-night “I’m fine” from Patty Hewes translates into “dead body, SOS.”
Patty is still at Purcell’s house, dabbing her eyes with a Kleenex and looking at herself in a mirror.
“You are a confident, successful business woman. People like you. You will not murder anyone today. Aaaaaannnd break!”
We cut to an extreme close-up of the former Mrs. Purcell’s lifeless body. Man, this episode just gets more disturbing. Police are investigating the body and the scene when Patty walks into the room, looking resplendent in her gala wear. A very tall detective – we’ll call him Skeletor – walks up to Patty and asks her if she’s Mr. Purcell’s attorney. She answers no and says she doesn’t really know why he called her.
Skeletor moves it to the other room to ask Purcell and Patty more questions. Purcell says he dropped off his wife around midnight or so. “I had to drop her off because it’s a one-way street, and when I came back I saw that the door to the house was unlocked – that’s not like Christine,” he says. I don’t know why, but I just don’t buy Purcell’s story. You’d think someone whose wife was just murdered would be more devastated and less…whiny. Anyhow, Purcell continues that he called Christine’s name, and that’s when a guy ran past him and slammed him up against a door and then took off outside.
Purcell tells Skeletor that he’d never seen the man before. “He was shorter than me, blonde stringy hair. Aryan, or Nordic.” Dude, way to racially profile. When in doubt, everyone always blames the Nordic man. Nice, Purcell. Nice.
“Can you think of anyone who would want to hurt you or your family?” Skeletor asks. Purcell answers no, immediately. LIAR!!!
We flash back to the scary suit man (I just looked his name on IMDb, and he is actually credited as “Middleman.” Even this shows credits are vaguely sinister.) Middleman and Purcell are at the docks, and Middleman tells him that “it’s time.” If half this episode is going to be flashbacks, it’s gonna make my recapping job so much easier.
“Any grievances or threats that you’re aware of?” Skeletor continues. Purcell says none. Patty leans forward and prompts him. We do another flashback to the scene in the car when Purcell asks for Patty’s help and says he has knowledge that could take down a whole industry.
Back in the living room, the body is being rolled past on a stretcher and Purcell starts to freak out. He asks why no one’s out there looking for the killer, and Skeletor tells him they’re canvassing the area looking for someone to fit his description. Great, another reason to pull over dozens of innocent Nordic men who are just minding their own business, heading over to the ski lodge to smoke a blunt or two.
Purcell continues to freak out. Patty says he’s diabetic and asks for someone to get him some orange juice. With vicadin, maybe? A splash of horse tranquilizer? Patty tells Skeletor to back off and says they’ll finish the interview later. “I thought you said you weren’t his attorney,” Skeletor says. “I am now,” Patty responds.
After the credits, we cut to Tom in the office, talking on the phone. He tells someone that Purcell’s daughter is staying with someone upstate (convenient, no? I know it’s crazy to think that Purcell murdered his own wife in order to gain Patty’s help to…protect his wife…but for some reason I think he’s guilty.) Patty breezes in and checks up on the security surrounding Purcell. Tom says he’s on it, but asks Patty what they’re doing there. “Purcell doesn’t need us. He needs a criminal defense attorney.” Patty says it’s not something she can hand off to another lawyer.
Ellen says that the lead plaintive from the dead baby case is coming in to meet with Patty tomorrow. Patty says she can’t deal with that right now. She asks Tom to take first chair on the case instead.
“You want me to ‘man up?’ I am unfamiliar with this term.”
Patty says it’s time for Tom to take the lead. He looks pretty uncomfortable with this decision.
We cut to Patty’s apartment, where Purcell is napping on her couch. A cup full of OJ is sitting on the table in front of him. Dude, never leave your screwdriver just in the open like that – learned that in Freshman Partying 101. Patty comes out and touches him tenderly on the shoulder. She tells him they’re moving him to a hotel. Purcell says he has to call his daughter. Patty tells him the paramedics gave him a sedative (see, he was roofied!)
“I know this is a difficult time, but we have to talk,” Patty says. She wants to get some things straight before the detectives come to interview him again. She asks why he lied to Skeletor and didn’t mention the threats to his life. He says they don’t need to know that. “I don’t think you realize what’s going on here,” Patty says. He was found alone in the house with his wife’s body. The spouse is always the first suspect. Dude, I know. I saw that on a Lifetime movie once. Or twice. Okay, 27 times. There was a marathon, alright?
Patty asks him who’s behind this, and he says he can’t talk anymore. Patty says it’s time to get him to the hotel. He’s led there by like, two armored cars and 20 security guys. Let’s not be dramatic, or anything. As he enters the building, Middleman drives by in his car and looks on, creepily.
Next day, Ellen is at her desk working when Patty comes in. Ellen asks her to close her office door. I get the feeling this is how a lot of office-themed porn movies start, but I don’t get my hopes up. Ellen asks if Purcell is guilty. Patty answers, “I think it’s best not to jump to conclusions.” I don’t know. That dude from Office Space seemed to think it was a good idea.
“Do you think he’s capable of something like that?” Ellen asks. “I think anyone is capable of anything,” Patty replies, delivering one of the rejected taglines for Season 2. Ellen says criminal law isn’t her strong suit, but she’s willing to help however she can. Then she brings up the infant mortality case, trying hard to get Patty to reconsider. But she’s shut down, as per usual.
Cut to Ellen talking to Dee and Dum, who seem to have…grown mini-personalities since the last time we saw them? Dee is actually wearing a casual tee instead of a suit, and the top button is…wait for it…undone. He’s actually looking kind of good. This is more information than my mind can process. Then we see Dum, also in casual attire. Did Ellen call them on their day off or something?
Ellen tells Dee and Dum about the Purcell complication. “This is not what we wanted,” Dum says. Um, Duh, Dum. If the show is finally revealing the personalities of these guys, then so far what I’ve learned is Dum is kind of a douche. And I’m pretty sure Dee prefers the company of other Dee’s, if you get what I’m saying…
The trio decide to go ahead with the plan and target Tom instead of Patty with the case set-up. Ellen is surprisingly casual about raining down total career destruction on Tom’s head. “Tom’s a big boy. If he wants to break the law, then he can pay the price.” Even Dee and Dum look a little surprised at her total bitchery.
Later, Ellen comes into her office and a newspaper is sitting on her desk. There’ s a post-it on it: “Have you seen this? Uncle Pete.” The article reads that Frobisher was released from the hospital. No word on the state of his beard.
Then we see Ellen, who has apparently picked up some stalking tips from her new friend Wes-Olyphant.
You can’t see me!
Wes spots her in her excellent hiding spot behind four leaves and heads over. She asks how group is going, and he says it’s fantastic. She says it’s the only place she knew she could find him. (Plus, she knows he thinks stalking is hot.)
She tells him that she had a chance, to get revenge with David’s killer. She says they were alone in his hospital room. “It would have been so easy.” But then she realized getting revenge is something David wouldn’t want her to do. Yeah, I don’t know – he was bludgeoned to death by a tacky Statue of Liberty bookend. I think he’d be okay with the whole revenge scenario.
“Now I just feel like I blew it.” She says it’s too late, the guy’s been released (yeah, way to give away telling information to the hot stranger, well-trained lawyer that you are.) She said she had to tell someone, and Wes was the only person she could think of.
We cut back to the scary hotel room. 6 MONTHS LATER. Only now we see that in that room are Ellen and Wes, rolling around and laughing in a semi-nude capacity. It’s all hot, post-coital good time fun until Ellen’s phone rings and she bolts. Olyphant asks if she has to go, and she says there are things in her life that she can’t talk about. “Don’t be here when I get back,” she tells him. Wes stares after her. What, no cuddle?
Purcell is in Patty’s office and Patty brings out the cardboard box o’ illegal documents. Purcell explains that his firm was hired to do toxicity studies on a chemical compound begin developed commercially under the name Aracite. Apparently, Purcell found out it was extremely toxic. He claims to not know what it was developed for, but the company that commissioned the report pressured his firm to doctor the results. “Daniel, do you think your firm killed Christine?” Patty asks. The Firm. Sounds sinister. Someone should make a movie out of that.
Purcell says they warned him to keep his mouth shut (yeah, nice job with that one) but says they’re not big enough to be calling the shots. They consult for energy industries, for companies worth hundreds of billions of dollars. I knew I was being overcharged for those fluorescent light bulbs. Evil! Purcell says he won’t go to the police with the information, even if it would keep him out of prison. “I was stupid once. Now I have a daughter to protect.” Yeeeaaah, where is she, anyway?
At the elevator, Purcell and Patty run into Michael. Patty introduces Michael to Purcell, and Purcell looks at him strangely. It’s awkward. I suppose Michael is….slightly Nordic looking….hmmmm.
We cut to Ellen and Tom, talking to the lead plaintive in the infant mortality case, named Monique. “We’re going to fight for all those women,” Tom says. “But you are going to be the face of this class action.” And it’s not as easy as being the face of Noxema, Hayden Panettiere.
Monique asks for a moment alone with Tom. She says she works two jobs and it would help if she could get a little something up front. Tom’s all “well, that’s illegal, but sure, why not?” Way to break the law 15 minutes into taking on your own case, man.
And it’s even worse news for Tom, because Ellen, Dee and Dum are outside, listening in on the conversation with a little iPod-looking recorder device. Why, Monique’s not a plaintive at all! She’s ACTING! And boy, is she hamming it up. It’s like dinner theater, without the over-cooked steak and 2-drink minimum.
Dee and Dum are still wearing the street clothes they had on a couple of days ago. Dee’s top button is even still unbuttoned the exact same way. Fishy, fishy. Or possibly just a mistake by the wardrobe department…
We cut to Purcell and his daughter, digging in the dirt. They’re planting a tree. I’d be installing barbed wire fences and training attack dogs, but I guess a baby sapling is a good defense system, also. Patty drives up. She and Purcell sit on the porch and Patty tells him there was no evidence that anyone else was in the house that night.
Patty tries to convince Purcell to let her pursue the report, but he refuses. “I can’t help you unless you tell me absolutely everything,” she says. She asks about possible financial problems, drug problems. He answers calmly. It’s only when she asks if he was having an affair that he gets a little testy. This guy would suck at poker. Patty brings up his temper. “We both know you have one.” Yeah, and we all know how he likes to take it out on innocent legal documents. “Don’t you get it?” Purcell says. “None of this matters. We’re never going to figure out who’s actually behind this.”
Challenge, meet Patty Hewes.
Cut to Patty, sporting her charming face and deceptively bright blouse and talking with “the sharpest guy at the EPA.”
Why yes, I was June in this year’s “Hot bods of the EPA” calendar. Rawwr.
EPA man, also called Earl, asks Patty how she got her hands on the box o’ documents, and she says “you know I can’t answer that.” She asks if he can explain them. He says that it will be next to impossible to find what the compound was developed for, but vows to talk to some of his colleagues in the field. “I need you to be discreet,” Patty says.
Cut to Earl, totally meeting up in a park with Middleman! Oh jeez, the EPA is eeevil! Does this mean global warming IS a lie?!?!
Middleman thanks Earl for the heads up, and says he’ll look into his company to see who might have leaked Patty Hewes the information. Earl leaves, and Middleman takes out his cell phone, scheduling a meeting with Claire Maddox. “It’s urgent,” he says.
Cut to Ellen, entering Patty’s office. Tom is sitting down and they both look serious. Tom hands Ellen an envelope. “What is this?” Ellen asks. “A photograph,” Patty says, expressionless. “Turns out someone we know has been keeping a secret.” Ellen takes a moment to completely shit her pants. She slowly opens the envelope and sees….a sonogram? Turns out Tom’s gonna be a big poppa again. Ellen’s all “haha, good joke guys, but seriously, I have to go change my pants now.”
Later in the FBI car, Dee and Dum (still in casual gear) ask how Tom is doing. She tells them he’s going to be a dad. Then Dum’s phone rings and he swears, picking it up. He starts yelling at someone named “Pam” in the phone. He gets out of the car. “All day long with this bullshit. His wife’s leaving him,” Dee tells Ellen. Wait, first new clothes and now actual personal problems? Reign in on the personality transplants, Dee and Dum. This is too much, too fast.
Cut to Middleman, entering the office of Busty McGee, aka Claire Maddox, professional ball buster. She lights into him for having to “clean up his mess.” Middleman tells her there is a containment problem, and it’s a legal issue that’s “out of his domain.” He says one of his employees leaked sensitive documents. “Does Mr. Kendrick know?” Busty asks. “Mr. Kendrick doesn’t need to know,” Middleman says. Busty asks who has the document and Middleman tells her Patty Hewes. Busty looks up sharply at the name. Ruh-roh.
Ellen and Wes are having lunch together. It’s nice to see they’ve graduated from stalking each other for kicks and are now onto sharing scones. Wes says she’s braver than he thought and whips out the newspaper with the article on Frobisher’s hospital release. “You didn’t tell me it was him,” he says. Ellen looks shocked, and then says that Wes is wrong. Convincing. “You do not mess with a guy like this,” Wes says. He tells her to forget about Frobisher.
But then later, we see Wes cutting the article out of the newspaper. Oh, shit. Not only is he hot, but he’s a scrapbooker, too! He’s too good to be true. Or possibly…he’s a serial killer…because the next thing we see is Wes opening up closet doors to reveal a whole shitload of Frobisher-related articles tacked up on his doors. There’s even an article with David’s face up there. Then we pan back further, and see that the back of the closet is lined with a small arsenal of guns. Boy, that Ellen sure does have a knack for making friends with questionable sanity.
Later, we see Tom knocking on a metal door. The colors are all blue-ish so we know this is the future. He enters and it’s ooohh, the law firm’s secret boiler room of secrets. Tom walks to a desk and takes a package that is taped to the bottom of it. Later we see him waiting in a car, and Ellen gets into the passenger seat. He hands her the package and she unwraps it. It’s the little gun she held in the opening of the season. “I hope you know what you’re doing.” He tells her. Then we see Ellen again, holding up the gun in the hotel room and firing two shots. 6 MONTHS EARLIER.
Ellen enters Tom’s office and says the Purcell case makes no sense. “Are we turning into a criminal defense firm? That’s not what I signed up for,” Ellen says. Tom tells her to stick with him on the infant mortality case. Then they make small talk about his daughter. “I think kids have a basic sense of justice,” Ellen says. “And then as we get older, it just gets all screwed up.” She starts to leave and Tom says, “I don’t think so. I think when you get older you realize you gotta fight and claw and do whatever you have to to get it.” Sounds like Season 2 in the Rock of Love house.
Later in Patty’s office, a balding security guy plays her a tape of Tom agreeing to pay off the infant mortality plaintive. “I wouldn’t have expected that,” Patty says.
Cut to Tom loading a briefcase up with money. Oh, Tommy.
At the payoff point, Monique the fake plaintive is waiting in a park. Dee and Dum are sitting in a car, watching. Dum plays nervously with his wedding ring on a string.
“My precioooouss.” Wait, are LOTR references still uncool?”
Tom enters the park and says hi to Monique. Tom takes a moment, seems to have a twinge of conscience, and then proceeds to take out the giant bagful of money. But just then, his phone rings. It’s Patty on the line. Tom puts the money back in his briefcase and starts to walk away. Dee and Dum start to freak the fuck out in their cars. Tom walks away. On the phone, Patty tells him not to take the infant mortality case. She says she needs his help with Purcell, and that it’s not just a simple murder case.
We see Busty McGee enter a tennis court and approach a nebbish man with a racket, whom she addresses as ‘your honor.’ “You have a nice compact stroke there,” she says. Haven’t heard that one since college.
Busty gets out a motion she wants the judge to sign, “for the immediate seizure of property.” The judge says he’ll need some time to look this over. He sees the document. “Patty Hewes and Associates? This is who you’re up against? Give me the goddamn pen.”
Cut to several policeman entering Patty’s office. They demand the “stolen documents.” Patty looks at the court order. “Claire Maddox,” she reads.
Later, Tom walks by Ellen’s office and tells her he’s not taking the infant mortality case. He tells her Monique wanted money up front and Ellen acts shocked. She apologizes for bringing in the client. Tom says it’s okay, that Patty didn’t want him to take the case anyway.
Patty pulls her car up to Purcell’s and he comes out a-screaming. “You screwed me! Jacobi (Earl!) is in the pocket of big industry!” Patty will have none this shit. “Think!” she says. “I wanted Jacobi to leak the information. It was the only way to expose who commissioned the Aracite report.” Oh, Patty, you’re such a genius. That’s Hewes: 83,562, Rest of World: 0.
She asks if Purcell knows Claire Maddox. Apparently she’s head counsel of the world’s third largest energy provider, Ultima National Resources. Also, she’s got a noteworthy rack.
Later, Purcell sits in his car in the dark. Rain falls down on the windshield. The car door opens and someone gets in. It’s Busty! WTF!?! “Did you tell anyone about us?” She asks. WTF x 7.
Then cut to Purcell, digging in his yard in the dark. He lights something on fire and stares at it.
Okay, show. Seriously, you got me. I have no idea what the fuck’s going on.
Until next week, when things will surely get more, and not less, confusing.