Tom Shayes may have taken one step closer to his fateful demise, but Tate Donovan has a long and lengthy career ahead of him … behind the camera. Donovan, who plays our beloved and much-beleaguered attorney Tom Shayes, traded in his acting hat this week for a directorial one, and while it wasn’t the best episode of Damages, it was still pretty good. Donovan tried his hand at many an artistic shot, occasionally distracting us from an otherwise lackluster episode full of exposition, shifting elements, and nuanced layers.
Everyone seemed to be gunning for Patty, trying to get under her skin. Tom rattled her cage when he handed in his resignation. Frobisher and his new Hollywood cohorts pushed her buttons by casting her as the villain in their new biopic. Guest star David Carradine made another attempt to get into her pants and strip her walls down to their original glamour. Michael hoped to faze her with the truth about his love child with Jill, but it was prying questions about any possible miscarriages before he was born that seemed to hit a nerve. Patty finally cracked, hurling a bowl at the wall, and then taking a hammer to it. Patty even seemed to be under attack by her own subconscious, as she was once again haunted by dreams of that strange horse.
Patty wasn’t the only woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Ellen’s druggie sister Carrie got busted with a felony amount of crystal meth and unfairly vented some sibling hostility. Crazy Carol looked like a meth addict, but it was really the guilt of killing Danielle Marchetti that was eating her alive. Winstone walked in and narrowly saved her from committing suicide.
Luckily, Patty maintained her cool (in public, atleast) and got the upper hand, spinning lies left and right to snare a blackmailing trap for Carol. Patty peeled away the truth about what actually happened with the Tobins on Thanksgiving night, and she discovered that Tessa is not as innocent as she seems.
Peekaboo! I’m not just a pretty face anymore! I’m a director, too!
There’s a close up of Patty’s office door. Suddenly, Tom breezes in and hands Patty his resignation. He strides out, leaving her and the audience in stunned silence. Then, at the end of the opening titles, I was pleasantly surprised to see that this episode was directed by Tate Donovan himself. Way to go, buddy!
Winstone stops by Carol’s apartment with a giant bag of groceries. He finds her sitting on the couch wearing sweats and watching Wheel of Fortune. How ironic! He says she hasn’t eaten in days, and I find that very hard to believe. Carol whines that she is tired of being a fat shut-in. She wants to go home. Winstone says it’s not safe. She’ll have to wait until the DA wraps up its investigation of Danielle’s death. Carol goes stir crazy.
Thank god for sweat pants and elastic waistbands!
Winstone checks in with his security guy positioned outside Carol’s apartment. As he gets into his car, he is spotted by Tom and Patty’s bald henchman, Mr. Clean, who calls them with the intel that Carol hasn’t left her guarded loft in four days. Patty is convinced that Carol knows where the Tobin money was moved on Thanksgiving. If only they could get to her without the rest of the family finding out…
Meanwhile, Frobisher is directing Hollywood actor / activist Terry Brooke in a cheesy PSA for his new Whirlwind Initiative. Frobisher does some major butt-kissing, and Terry tries in vain to ad lib a few lines. Better stick to the script, genius!
“I’m Terry Brooke. You may remember me from such other lame PSA’s as The Wind Beneath My Wang, and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatheads.”
Ellen’s co-worker shows her a piece of paper confidentially and tells her that he hasn’t told Gates yet. Ellen thanks him. Cut to Ellen in a police interrogation cell, talking to her sister Carrie who was busted with over an ounce of crystal meth on her. Ellen says that amount is considered intent to distribute. Her sister tries the old “I was just holding it for a friend’ routine, but Ellen is no dummy. Meth Face whines about the hard times she’s fallen on, and Ellen says she should have come to her for help. Um, she did that already, and you ripped up the check you gave her after you found out about the drugs, Ellen! Meth Face seconds my emotion. She asks for Ellen’s legal help, then gets pissy when Ellen points out that she works for the DA, not the public defender. A little less meth, and a little more paying attention in school, missy!
Careful, Ellen! The velociraptors have escaped.
Winstone is back with another trough of food for Carol, and he calls out her name. No answer. He looks in the bathroom and finds her in the tub with a knife, mumbling about the potassium drops she put in Danielle’s drink. Winstone wrests the knife away from her, then pulls her from the tub like a drowned rat and cradles her in a towel. This chick needs some serious help!
Is it wrong that I hoped Winstone would have walked in just a few minutes later?
Marilyn is at some brasserie, wooing Tessa Marchetti, her late husband’s illegitimate daughter. “Is something wrong, Tessa?” she purrs. Um, yeah, you’re totally fondling her, you lez! Paws off! Tessa is upset about Patty prying into her whereabouts on Thanksgiving. She promised her mother she wouldn’t tell the truth. Aha! I knew better than to trust that thieving, little whore!
Is there a problem? Um, yeah! Your grubby paws are ALL over me, lady!
Now that Carol has completely flipped her shit, Winstone decides it’s best to drop her off at her therapist’s office, and warns her to keep her fat trap shut about killing Danielle Marchetti.
Terry introduces Frobisher to his bitchy, blonde, business partner, Gail. Apparently, they love his book and want to turn it into a biopic. (No accounting for taste!) But they want to flip it on its ear and turn his character into the hero who “gets caught up in something and loses himself, but now seeks redemption.” Moreover, the true villain in their eyes is Patty Hewes, “because she acts like it’s about justice, but the woman is pure Machiavellian evil.” LMAO! Frobisher is eating this up with a spoon! Frobisher lamely tries to defend Patty, to which Gail responds, “Yeah, yeah, we’ll find Patty’s humanity and we’ll … drive it through hardcore.” Frobisher suggests he introduce them to Patty so they can see the real deal. I cannot wait for this smackdown!
Is there a literary version of the Razzies? There should be!
Carol speaks with her shrink, Dr. Maurice Samuels, who wants her to open up. She just wants him to write her a damn prescription! The two of them have an epic stare-down. Carol remains all clammed up. Dr. Samuels pries, and she is DYING to confess, but doesn’t. He lets out a heavy sigh, then writes her the obligatory prescription and sends chub cheeks on her way.
Tonight’s performance of ‘Carol’ will be played by Gollum, from Lord of the Rings.
Tom reports to Patty about Carol’s visit to Dr. Samuels. Patty surmises that if they can’t get to Carol directly, they’ll have to get to her through her shrink. Tom asks about doctor-patient confidentiality. Patty tells him, “There’s ways around that!” ‘Atta girl, Patty!
Cut to Patty’s loyal, bald henchman, Mr. Clean, breaking into the shrink’s office and taking pictures of documents with Carol’s name on them.
Looks like Mr. Clean is getting his hands a little dirty!
Patty comes home and calls out to her dog, Cory. Instead, her obedient lap dog son, Michael tells her that he let himself in. He proceeds to inform her that he’s having a baby, and she feigns surprise, but he’s too shrewd for her bullshit. Surprisingly, he pays her an apology for lying to her at lunch. He doesn’t have a corporate job; he’s a painter. And he didn’t break up with Jill. In fact, she’s his baby mama. “Lovely,” is all Patty says. He says he lied because he wasn’t in the mood for her judgment. Ha! Too late!! She asks if he is sure that he is the father. Way to kick him while he’s down, mom! Michael then reveals his true reason for coming; his genetic counselor has some family history questions. When he asks Patty if she was ever pregnant before him, any miscarriages, she hesitates for a second, that icy cold smile frozen on her face. “No,” she says, but I suspect she is lying. So does Michael. “Are you okay, mom?” “I’m fine!” her voice cracks. “Next question!”
Can’t read my, can’t read my, no he can’t read my poker face!
Michael leaves. Patty gets up to clean his cereal bowl, then in the blink of an eye, whirls around and vehemently hurls the bowl into the wall, sending milk and ceramic shards flying all over the place. When she sees the crack in the wall she caused, she smiles. Eww! She’s SO gonna call David Carradine to come fix this!
Patty practices her Olympic discus throw.
Back from commercial, and what do you know?! It’s David Carradine! He’s happy she reconsidered remodeling her loft. Patty looks at his plans. They don’t seem too different from how it is now. He reiterates that the true value lies behind her walls. Oh, god, just bone already, you two! Patty seems intrigued by the change, but still isn’t ready. He leaves, and Patty stares at the dent in the wall.
Ellen’s mom shows up at the DA’s office with Carrie’s baby Charlotte in tow. Ellen is mortified that she forgot it was Bring Your Frumpy Midwestern Mom To Work Day. They move to a private room to talk. Apparently, daddy is furious. Isn’t there anything Ellen can do to help Carrie? Ellen counters that she committed a felony, but her mother persists. “Carrie has never had a chance!” Oh, please! “I’ve never been able to protect her!” From what, good hygiene? “I need you!” the mom bellows. Whoa! Slow your roll, lady! Ellen promises to see what she can do.
Who let the dogs out?! That is one helluva nasty underbite, lady!
Patty is reading a depo and listening to opera at home. She stares yet again at the dent in the wall. All of a sudden, there’s a hammer in her hand and she is savagely beating the wall like it’s Rihanna and she’s Chris Brown.
If I had a hammer…!
Frobisher tells his son he should have seen this coming. He hates Hollywood for twisting the truth around. “She DID try to destroy you,” his son points out. Frobisher said it took a lot for him to come to terms with his own actions. His son also points out that in a story, every protagonist needs an antagonist. Frobisher says not everything in life is black and white. “We live in the gray area!” Tell that to your blinding, white hair, buddy! “Not in Hollywood,” his son chortles.
Mr. Clean reports to Patty about his findings from the shrink’s office. Patty reads Carol’s prognosis aloud: “Situational depression.” Very inneresting!
Winstone gets a call from the shrink, who says that Carol’s not returning his calls. He wants to schedule a meeting before their next appointment. How does Saturday at 2pm sound? Winstone agrees. Cut to Mr. Clean on the other end of the phone, impersonating Dr. Samuels! Genius!
Ellen goes to Gates and tells him about her sister. He coldly tells her not to get involved. She asks what he would do if it was his sister. Gates says he’d find the “biggest prick of a prosecutor and tell him to go for the jugular!” Ellen is disgusted. He explains that he’d rather keep his job than show a hint of favoritism. Um, I think we found the biggest prick in the room!
Patty is at home listening to classical music. She picks up her mug. Oh, god, not more breakage?! She pauses to peer inside the hole she carved. Inside, she sees the horse that has been haunting her all season, and she drops her mug, then wakes up from a dream!
Frobisher brings Terry and Gail by Patty’s office. “They want to see who you really are. What makes you tick!” Patty is surprised that Frobisher wants to rehash the UNR case from season two in front of company. These two are like ex-lovers who are trying in vain to remain friends. (The outcome is terribly entertaining, of course!) Frobisher tries to stroke Patty’s ego. He thinks that SHE is the true hero of this story. This is a tale of rebirth and redemption. She cut him down and thus made him a better person. Patty is snickering from the massive amounts of bullshit she’s being fed by everyone in the room. Patty is incredulous about redemption. There certainly wasn’t redemption for the lives of the workers he ruined. Or for Ray Fiske, who committed suicide because of Arthur’s scandals. Patty calls Frobisher, “foolish, vain, pathetically insecure,” and “a despicable bully.” “Do whatever you want. I don’t like movies much, anyway,” she sneers.
Patty is smirking in an attempt to suppress her seething rage and contempt.
Carol walks into Dr. Samuel’s office … and right into Patty’s trap. “My lawyer is right outside!” Carol says. “Does he know you killed Danielle Marchetti?” Patty asks in return. Carol’s face gives her away. Patty assures Carol that she’s in luck because she can’t prove it – yet! “What do you want?” Carol sobs. She has never looked worse. Who’s the meth face here? Her or Ellen’s sister?? Patty says she just wants to know the truth about Thanksgiving.
Look! It’s the Goodyear blimp!
Carol is finally eating again. What a shock. (Note sarcasm.) Winstone thinks she looks better. Carol says she misses dad. She really needs to talk to someone, but she can’t be honest with the shrink. Winstone takes the bait. “So talk to me,” he says. Carol asks why they went to Danielle Marchetti’s the night of Thanksgiving.
I just wanted to post another unflattering photo of Carol.
Cut to Thanksgiving. Carol’s in the car with Winstone outside of Danielle Marchetti’s place. She asks where he’s going. He says he just has to pick something up.
Present Day. Carol asks what he had to get. Winstone says Louis wanted to leave no trace of his affair. Carol asks what was in the bag? Winstone says he was getting rid of some of clothes and a cell phone. Her dad was ashamed. Carol’s not done interrogating him. She asks who the girl was that gave him the bag…
Cut to Tessa handing Winstone the bag.
I knew that filthy, little minx couldn’t be trusted!
Cut to Winstone lying his ass off. “I’d never met her before.” He thinks it must have been a housekeeper Louis hired for Danielle. Carol is just retarded enough to buy it.
Frobisher is toasting Terry and Gail with champagne on a rooftop. They are impressed with the way he handled Patty. “You could not have made that woman up! If you had wrote that, no one would believe it,” gushes Gail. “You have to see her in person to see how big a bitch she really is!” Frobisher eggs them on. “Screw her humanity. She’s going to make a great villain, dontcha think?” I think this lame subplot just got a WHOLE lot more compelling.
Carol reports to Patty and tells them about this mysterious young woman at Danielle’s place on Thanksgiving. Tom has a hunch and pulls out a photo of Tessa. Carol thinks that could be here. “Why? Who is she?” “That’s Danielle’s housekeeper,” Patty says. “Mr. Winstone was telling you the truth.” Liar! I don’t know what Patty is up to, but I trust her implicitly. Carol is a fool and leaves. Tom says that Tessa DID spend Thanksgiving with her mother after all. Patty crosses her arms. “Apparently. So why is she lying to us?” Good question!!
Patty, unlike Lost this season, roars back!
Cut to “2 Months Later.” Tom hands Patty his resignation. In the next shot, Tom staggers down the street to a pay phone and tells someone that he loves them. Suddenly, a body falls off a bridge into the water. Alls well does NOT end well for Tommy Boy!
Everybody else was jumping off the bridge that day, so Tom did, too!