Close-up on Purcell, your favorite presumed wife slayer and mine, as he stands at a kitchen sink innocently washing dishes. Boy, this is the nicest jail sentence ever. Purcell looks so peaceful and happy and I know what you’re thinking…wouldn’t it be the best thing ever if “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” suddenly came on the radio and he just …coudn’t…stop from…singing for some reason, and then Glenn Close waltzes in and starts doing the happy booty side-bump dance with him and then the door opens again and its…Jeff Goldblum! And…okay, sorry. Come on, you know I’ve been waiting like four episodes for a ‘William Hurt in the kitchen scene.’
Ironically, now they are too proud to beg
But I’ll move on, sadly. Purcell continues to wash dishes happily and then looks outside his window and sees his wife Christine on swing set. Oh I get it…we’re opening the show on the whole “it’s all a dream” idea. I’m with you. Christine is laughing and asks Purcell to join her, but he’s too busy washing imaginary dream dishes. “Almost finished!” He says. Christine keeps swinging and laughing, kind of creepily. Purcell picks up a dish with a stain and his face falls. Christine keeps beckoning to him, but he can’t stop scrubbing at the one dish.
Suddenly, Purcell looks out and sees a hooded figure behind Christine, moving closer to her. She keeps swinging. She is innocently unaware of the stranger creeping towards her, and Purcell doesn’t warn her. He scrubs harder and harder at the dish . “I can’t get it out,” he says, and the stranger moves closer and closer and Purcell scrubs harder and harder until he screams, and wakes up in a prison bed, freaked out but relieved. Dude, you know your dreams must be bad if it’s a relief to wake up and find yourself in jail.
Patty is talking to Ellen in her office about the reporter Purcell tipped her off to in West Virginia – that would be our pig lovin’, beaten-to-a-pulp hot boy reporter, Josh Restin. She hands Ellen a file on Josh and explains that he knows about how Ultima National Resources is poisoning people with Aracite. Unfortunately, Josh has been all MIA, which probably has something to do with how he got taken to task by two lumberjacks last episode.
Patty tells Ellen that she and Tom are going to head down to West Virginia to find Josh. Ellen, in an effort to continue her streak as dumbest junior lawyer/human being alive, tells Patty that she would rather stay in New York and work on the UNR case from there (and prolly hang out with her support group lovah).
Patty, awesomely, shuts her down pretty quickly. “We need Josh Restin,” she says firmly. “You and Tom are going to find him. And Ellen? The next time I give you an assignment, just nod your head and get it done.” Ha.
Ellen takes it like the pansy she is. But then we flash forward – 5 MONTHS LATER- to be exact, and we’re back to balls-having Ellen in creepy hotel room 1910, fondling her gun and looking 10 shades of crazy.
“Mmmm…you smell like metal oxide and promises.”
Ellen puts the gun into her bag on the bed. Someone knocks on the door and Ellen tells the mysterious guest to enter and have a seat. “Is that the money?” She asks, and we see a sleek black suitcase being set down on the floor. Then we jump ahead slightly in time and see Ellen, once again, fire two rounds. Any guesses on who the mystery person is?? Obvious money’s on Olyphant or Purcell, Crazy but Interesting money’s on Patty, but my money is on Uncle Pete, just because. Always expect the unexpected.
Still in the flashback, a nervous-looking Ellen leaves the hotel room with the suitcase of money as scary music plays.
Title credits. I don’t see Ted Danson’s name anymore…Frobisher!!! Why have you forsaken us?!?
Patty is in a meeting with Skeletor and Angry DA lawyer #2 (we will refer to him as #2 from here on out, mostly because I’m too lazy to imdb his real name right now). Patty is arguing again that Purcell did not kill his wife, although she had a restraining order out against him three years ago and one week before her death the neighbors heard Purcell shouting out “I’m going to kill you!” That looks…not good.
Apparently the DA’s office is building strong case. “If you’re angling for a plea, now’s the time,” #2 says. A plea? A plea?!? Son, Patty Hewes eats pleas for breakfast. Actually she eats a slice of low-carb turkey bacon and egg whites to preserve her girlish figure. Pleas she’ll just shove down your throat. Run, boy, run – before you make her “people to frame, set-up or kill” list this month.
Patty brings up the elusive, missing ruby ring that will prove Purcell’s innocence. Skeletor laughs her off with a sarcastic comment. Haha, Skeletor needs a spin-off, stat. “Find the ring,” Patty says. “If you don’t, I will.”
Cut immediately to Patty’s trusty henchman, showing a picture of a ruby ring to a group of polite, nice-looking street thugs. He says that his boss is giving five grand to anyone who can turn up the missing ring. They should use their “contacts” and not “run their mouths.” The nice-looking street thugs politely agree to the arrangement, and then discuss when they should meet up for tea and hit the early mass at St. Catherine’s before putting pressure on the local pawn shops. That last part maaay have happened in my imagination, only. I would keep my eyes peeled for that deleted scene when Season 2 comes out on DVD, though.
We cut to a dingy street corner where Crusty Kevin, the man who we saw sell the ruby ring at the end of last week’s episode, is meeting up with a coked-out looking blonde woman and young girl. He calls the girl “sweetheart” and hands the woman a stack of money, but she is less than impressed. “This all you got for that ring?” She is piiiissed. Apparently drug dealers don’t take credit cards. “I owe $450! And that’s not all the doctor bills.” Oh, doctor bills. Guess I jumped on the judgment bus a little too early. She seriously looks like a crack addict, though. See my evidence, below:
Stay in school, kids. Stay in school.
Anyway, the woman yells at Crusty Kevin some more and leaves. Poor Crusty.
Purcell enters a visitor’s room where his daughter awaits. I’m not sure if anyone filled the young actress in on what someone “visiting their father in jail” should look like, but her face is lit up like she’s at the damn ice capades or something. It’s a little weird. If my dad was in jail for potentially murdering my mom, and all he got me was a lousy tree garden, I think I might pump a tear or two.
Patty sits at a nearby table, watching. She looks touched when Purcell kisses his daughter hello.
Feelings…must keep out…the feelings
Erica asks when her dad will get to come home, and Patty says she’s doing everything she can. Patty tells Purcell they’re still looking for the ring. The mythical ring. One ring to rule them, one ring to…yes, crap, I’m pretty sure that’s my second LOTR reference in two weeks. Sigh. It looks like the jig is up. I have to come clean. Now, I know, I know – you were probably thinking that I was this badass recapper for an Internet web site, but alas. The truth is I have more nerd knowledge than street cred. It’s shocking, yes. And now you know. I feel…strangely lighter now, like a weight has been lifted. No it’s good, I’m glad we had this talk.
Anyhow, we cut over to The Best Road Trip Ever – Ellen and Tommy in a car, driving through West Virginia. Ellen is folding a map (her evil law firm can spring for a handful of henchman to track down a ruby ring, but not for a $10-a-day GPS rental??) and playing with the radio. “Awesome, there’s 17 stations of bluegrass,” Ellen says, bitchily.
Dude, if you’re gonna hate on West Virginia, hate on the flannel thugs, shady conspirac\ies and pig killers. Leave the Bluegrass stations out of it.
Then Tommy goes into a riff about how it’s not “bluegrass,” but “old time country.” Uggghhh. He’s totally the type of guy on road trips who spews out random facts about each state you drive through and makes you listen to NPR the whole way. Ellen correctly makes fun of him for this. I’ve got to give her credit, because I probably would have round-kicked him in the head and turned the car towards Daytona. Spring Breaaaak!!!
“Is that an open bag of Funyons I smell, or….oh uncool, dude. Uncool.”
Ellen points out something in the distance. Tommy pulls over to the side of the road and they both get out of the car. They see people surrounding a large fire across a river. “Jesus, what is that smell?” Tommy asks. Guys, it’s a bonfire. I know you’re city folk, but come on. But instead of grabbing a marshmallow roasting stick and joining in, Tommy and Ellen just stare like they’ve never seen flames before. No wonder the West Virginians hate them.
Then we see Kendrick and Middleman playing a lovely game of golf, evil corporation-style. A Sopranos extra named “Donny” rolls up in a golf cart and tells Kendrick that a local reporter, Josh Restin, has been snooping around their property. They found surveillance footage that shows Josh stealing water runoff from one of the compounds. “Get it back,” Kendrick says.
Meanwhile, the main henchman calls Patty and tells her that he found the ring, and has a lead on the guy who sold it. Patty looks pleased.
Back in West Virginia, Ellen and Tommy wander up the front steps of Josh Restin’s house. Ellen has shed the all-black look she’s been sporting this season, and once again looks about 12 years old in a tee-shirt and jeans. Josh isn’t home, but Tommy notices the door’s been broken into. They walk inside and find the entire place trashed. “Somebody got here before us,” Tommy says. Or maybe Josh just threw kegger. You don’t always have to jump to the negative, Tommy. At least check for a beer pong table before just leaping to conclusions like that.
Back in her office, a smug Patty hands the recovered ruby ring over to Skeletor. She also hands him a photo of Crusty Kevin that was taken by the pawn shop’s security camera. You can actually see the moment when Skeletor’s entire face crumbles before his eyes. “That’s the man who killed Christine Purcell,” Patty drives it home. Skeletor gets up to leave, but first puts in a parting shot. “You know, I’ve been doing this for 26 years and I want to believe Mr. Purcell. But I just can’t.” Word.
We follow Crusty Kevin himself down a city street. He goes into key repair shop and walks up to the counter, where the employee, who evidently knows him, says hello. They make some friendly chit chat, and then Crusty pulls out a gun. Dude. Crusty. That’s just unwise. “What the hell?” the employee asks, and then hands over a stack of bills from the register. It looks like it can’t be more than a couple 20s (or “Andrew Jacksons” as I believe they’re called on the street.) Crusty, retardedly, flees.
In Case de la Hewes, Patty is sipping tea and listening to Michael discuss Phil’s recent dream. “I’d say it’s a basic fear of mortality,” Michel says. Is this how the Upper East Side spends their Thursday nights? Wouldn’t Jenga be more fun? Maybe Uno? Patty stares at Michael as he talks.
We flash back to 10 YEARS EARLIER, with a pissed-looking Patty marching up to Purcell. “You filed for custody?!” She asks. Uh-oh, baby daddy drah-ma! Purcell says he just wants to see his son, and legal terms are the only ones that Patty understands. Patty says Michael’s not ready. “You don’t want to pursue this in court,” Patty says. “Why not?” “Because I’ll destroy you.”
Back in the present, Patty visits Purcell in jail and tells him things are looking good since they found the ring. Purcell says he needs an attorney to redraft his will. Then they have a super depressing conversation about how Christine always refused to face her own mortality, but Purcell wants to be prepared. It’s downer. “You listen to me, alright? I’m going to get you out of here,” Patty says. It’s kind of touching.
Over in West Virginia-land, Ellen and Tommy dine with the editor of the newspaper who employs Josh Restin. And by “dine,” I mean they are literally at a diner. One that serves booze, by the looks of it. They ask the editor where Josh is, and he says he sent him to cover a woman’s basketball game in Morgantown. Wait a minute…since when does woman’s basketball make the paper? This sounds…suspicious….the conspiracy thickens!
Tommy asks about Josh’s research into livestock mortality rates and why it hasn’t been published. The editor says there wasn’t the research to back up Josh’s claim that the mortality rates were connected to UNR. Tommy then asks about Josh’s place that was ransacked. “I don’t know anything about that,” the editor says, picking up his beer and looking shifty. He looks over at another man across the diner and starts to get all paranoid. Then he gets up- and tells Tommy and Ellen to “be careful down here.” Yeah, not suspicious at all.
Skeletor is walking up to the station when an officer tells him that Crusty was picked up for armed robbery. “Robbed his own cousin,” the officer says. Oh, that’s just cold. “And get this. He had a pawn ticket on him.” Even Skeletor has to laugh at his own failure.
In sunny West Virginia, the shady man from the diner brings Donnie out a beer. He tells him “a couple of suits from New York” were talking to the editor. Donny slips the man, “Chuck,” some money. “You’re a good man,” he says.
Back in NY, Purcell is facing a line-up of Nordic-looking men. He seems to struggle with his choices, until he finally picks out Crusty Kevin. Purcell has gleam in his eye – this is the man who killed his wife. It’s very convincing. Which makes me very suspicious….damn it, show, you have completely destroyed my sense of trust!!
Later, to the swell of hopeful music, Purcell is released from prison and meets Patty and Erica outside of the jail. Erica runs up and gives him big hug. Awwwww. Patty, once again, looks touched. All of these visible displays of humanity from Patty are really freaking me out.
Busty walks through a farmer’s market with Kendrick at her side. They make borderline-inappropriate small talk. Kendrick asks why a gal like her doesn’t have a husband. Because she busts balls for sport?
“Maybe because I don’t want one,” she says. Busty brings up Purcell and mentions that he was released from jail and cleared of charges. “I think Wayne Sutree (Middleman) had something to do with the murder,” she says. Dangerous waters, Busty. Dangerous waters. Kendrick plays it cool, but agrees to cut ties with Middleman to minimize the company’s potential exposure.
Cut to Middleman, getting a massage and talking to the shadiest of shady professional shadesters. “Our guy’s been arrested,” Shady McDefinitelyWearingSomeLipstick says. He’s referring to Kevin, and adds that Purcell’s been released. Shady applies some more chap stick, creepily, and asks for further instructions.
“I always carry cherry chap stick with me – being evil can be a bitch on lip moisture levels. Also it makes me feel pretty.”
“I respond well to instructions,” Shady says in a creepy crawly voice. His words seem innocent, but his tone says, “I eat babies.” This guy is freaksome.
Back at a cheap hotel in West Virginia, Ellen and Tommy are waiting outside while Tommy tells Patty on the phone that there’s definitely case, but they still need to find Josh. “Hey! Mr. Pibb!” Tommy says when he hangs up. He seriously just got that excited over a vending machine. Dude needs to get out more. Ellen is less impressed. She goes up to her room while Tommy makes more sweet verbal love to his new best friend, the Mr. Pibb vending machine.
Ellen is standing at her hotel door when shadowy figure comes up behind her. She turns around and its…hot intrepid boy reporter! Looking a little worse for the wear, too. “I heard you were looking for me. Can we talk somewhere safe?” He says, all mysterious.
Apparently, “somewhere safe” is a stretch of woods behind the hotel. Josh leads Ellen and Tommy out there. He tells them that Purcell contacted him a month ago when he read one of his obituaries on a local pig farmer who hung himself after all his pigs died. Man, people really love their pigs around here (and we all know how much they mean to Josh).
Tommy brings up the fire alongside the road that he and Ellen passed on their way into town. “That’s the dead livestock. They burn them at night,” Josh says. Mmmmm, speaking of barbecued pork, I think it’s almost time for lunch…
Josh continues that there has been a 30 percent increase in livestock fatalities in the area. “But it’s not just affecting livestock,” Josh says. “Leukemia rates around here are 145 percent above the national average.” Hmmm, on second thought, cancel that last lunch order for a pulled pork sandwich…looks like it’s another safely processed Hot Pocket with a side of cheaply manufactured peanut butter-like substance for me.
“Anyone who speaks out against them gets silenced,” Josh says. Tommy says they are looking to bring a suit against UNR. Josh tells them no one will speak out, and Ellen assures that they will provide him protection. Ummmm…yeah, cause that’s worked so well for your key witnesses in the past…
Then Josh brings up the water sample he took. He leads Tommy and Ellen to his car and hands them bottle. Never has the focus on a bottle of water been so dramatic in the history of serialized television, or possibly ever. Creepily, a man watches from his car as the trio fondle the water bottle.
We go to a prison cell, where a prisoner in corn rows sits down to speak to Shady McLovesHimSomeChapstickAndPossiblyAlsoEatsBabies. “You got something for me?” Corn Row asks. “It’s simple,” Shady says. “I want you to deliver a message.” Only there is no amount of justification I can do to the creepiness in this guy’s voice. Seriously, he drips evil in every single line delivery. Corn Row nods.
Patty is in her kitchen, wearing fetching hot pink blouse. She sees Michael working on his computer and goes over to talk to him. Michael, I’d like to talk to you about something. Uh-oh, I recognize that tone. That’s the tone women guests on Maury get right before they’re about to reveal the baby daddy…
And then we cut to the man himself, talking to Patty in his kitchen (!!!!Try not to grab a salad bowl and dance around…must remain cool….must remain cool…) Patty tells Purcell about Josh’s water sample from UNR. She asks Purcell to test the sample for Aracite, and he agrees. She also asks him to testify against Aracite in court. “These people killed my wife, Patty. I’ll do whatever you need me to,” Purcell says. Even though like two episodes ago he said he wouldn’t go against these people in order to protect his daughter….see, this is why I can’t trust Purcell. He’s a flip flopper. He flips, then he flops.
Purcell is washing the dishes when Patty decides to drop the bomb. She takes a deep breath and is all, so you know how we hooked up that time and I got all knocked up but didn’t tell you for 7 years and then never let you meet your kid? Well, how would you like to meet him now? Only she says it more classy than that. “Thank you, Patty. I would like that very much,” Purcell says.
Next comes the big father-son reunion scene. Michael goes to Purcell on his dock. We don’t hear their words, but I imagine the conversation went something like this:
P: So, what kind of things do you like?
M: Mostly I like being a manipulative, floppy-haired tool. Also playing charades.
P: Yeah, yeah same here.
M: Haha, apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, does it?
P: Good one, son! So…do you wanna hear about the time I was in prison for killing my wife? Or maybe we could do something you like to do, like send a bomb through the U.S. Postal Service? Or we could do something less evil, maybe go to a movie?
M: I hear Paul Blart: Mall Cop is still in theaters.
P: I said less evil.
Patty is in her office talking to #2. She’s filling him in on who may have actually caused Christine Purcell’s death – UNR. #2 is not convinced. Apparently Crusty Kevin confessed to the murder. Patty still thinks it’s suspicious that a man with a few misdemeanors would suddenly commit murder on his own accord (although to be fair, the dude robbed his own cousin). “If Kevin Walker murdered Christine Purcell, he didn’t act alone,” Patty says.
Then we cut to Corn Row, entering the prison yard, about to deliver his “message” to Crusty Kevin. I hope it’s the kind of message you put on a folded note and pass secretively. Or maybe he could play a game of telephone with all the other prisoners. Buuuut, nope. No, it’s your standard prison-yard shiving. Poor Kevin. This is what meddling with powerful rings beyond your control will get you. Just ask Frodo (I know! I know! It’s like it’s physically impossible for me to stop!)
But yeah, Corn Row totally stabbed Kevin.
Later, on a dusty West Virginia road, a group of state troopers pull over Tommy and Josh, who’s riding shotgun. Kendrick’s man Donnie is telling the police to search the car for stolen property. The cop starts going through Tommy’s backpack – pretty roughly too (don’t worry, it’s a Jansport, they’re built to last) – and Tommy’s all “that’s illegal, sir.” But doesn’t actually do anything to stop him.
“Where’s the goddamn water?” the cop mutters, retardedly. But the water is safe and sound with –
Ellen, who hands the bottle to Patty back at the office. Sneaky, sneaky lawyers. Patty says the next move is to file a motion, with Purcell going on record to say that UNR doctored his initial Aracite report. After that happens, they’ll be all set to start a class action law suit. Fun.
And here we are in front of the judge, with Patty Hewes at one table with Purcell and Busty at another. Busty argues that the documents Patty is requesting in the motion shouldn’t be given to her, because Purcell illegally gave company information to her while she represented him in his criminal trial. “Mr. Purcell was being threatened, your honor,” Patty says. “As so he was forced to share his work in an effort to protect himself against the company.”
The judge calls Purcell to the stand.
Purcell gets in the hot seat. He takes the oath to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Purcell says “I do.” I’m pretty sure “truth” isn’t word he even understands. It’s like Sanskrit to him, or like trying to understand the words coming out of Paula Abdul’s mouth during American Idol. Does not compute.
“Did Ultima National Resources doctor the results of a study that you yourself conducted?” Patty asks Purcell on the stand.
We flash suddenly to an image of Purcell, standing on his dock, holding the bottle of water…
Purcell leans forward slowly.
“UNR doctored nothing. The results are clean.”
Oh haaaayyyylllll no. No he didn’t!! He totally did. He double crossed Patty. Her facial expressions go through a series of stages that will mark Purcell’s ultimate demise:
A sudden understanding of having been played like a violin
Allowing three seconds for her opponent to change his mind before…
Vowing to melt the skin from his skull using just the power of her brain (it’s been done before)
The judge denies Patty’s motion and she stalks out of the court with anger blazing from every pore. I can practically hear the soundtrack for the Wicked Witch of the West cueing up in the background.
This will not end well for Daniel Purcell, who we see, in a flashback, pouring the water sample into his lake. “What are you doing here?” He asks, and we see that he is talking to Middleman. “Just a friendly thank you,” Middleman says. “Mr. Kendrick just wanted you to know that the first wire transfer went through. You and Erica have been provided for.”
And who’s providing for the leukemia-stricken pigs, huh? Nice one, Purcell. You’ll be hearing from PETA’s lawyer soon.
Then we flash back even further to Purcell on the night of Christine’s murder. He’s all shaken up and breathing heavy, and sitting in a car with Shady and Crusty Kevin. WTF??
Shady holds up the ruby ring. “This ring was on your wife’s right hand.” He hands the ring to Kevin, and tells him to sell it and keep the pawn ticket on him. Then he tells Purcell to get a good long look at Kevin’s face, which he does. “Everything’s going to be okay, Mr. Purcell,” Shady says. “Just go into the house and call 911.”
I know I’ve said this so often it’s lost all meaning, but seriously: Whaaaaaaat the f@*k??
Til next week, when we will presumably see Purcell’s head in a box or something.