Patty gets suspicious of Ellen, Uncle Pete gets his hands dirty, Phil gets kind of dirty all over, and Wes gets even stalkier, this time with more guns. It’s Damages – episode 5!
So where do vengeful master she-lawyers and their young, novice FBI informants go to get a little R&R? No, not a $59-a-night Super 8 Motel next to a toxic run-off in West Virginia. That was last week. They go to the spa, of course.
“I don’t think there’s enough rum in my relaxing protein shake. Luckily I’ve got a flask hidden in my bathrobe.”
Patty and Ellen bask in a glow of sunlight. “I’ve been worried about you,” Ellen says to Patty. “When Daniel Purcell flipped on the stand, he humiliated you in open court.” She would bring that up. Way to ruin spa day, Ellen. I know, let’s talk about Somali orphans during our cucumber-slice treatment. Jackass.
“Did I ever tell you how I choose a case?” Patty asks. She says she used to not understand why some cases grabbed her and others didn’t. “It starts with a seed of anger. I can feel it in my hands and in my chest.” Now I understand why none of my multiple-choice career aptitude tests told me to pursue law – I never checked the ‘sometimes I feel angry all over’ box.
“That seed has to be nurtured and cultivated until it grows into a full-blown rage.” Or a full-body anger tree, if you will. “The rage doesn’t abate-” “until someone’s punished,” Ellen finishes. What a relaxing convo. Anyone for brie?
Patty continues that in the end Purcell is just a pawn. Ultima National Resources is the shit-covered fertilizer that really makes her anger tree blossom. “We’re going after them,” she says. “And if Daniel Purcell is a casualty, so be it.”
Later we see the walking casualty himself exiting his townhouse with a realtor. He wants to sell as soon as possible. It used to be in a great neighborhood, but lately the drive-by kitchen stranglings have been getting out of hand.
While talking to his realtor, Purcell has a flashback to his wife Christine 5 WEEKS EARLIER, sitting on the front steps and telling him he has to make a decision. “If that company is making people sick, you have to stop them,” she says. We jump to another flashback, of Purcell and Christine in the car on the night of the fundraiser/murder. Purcell says that he’s not going to blow the whistle on UNR and Christine gets pissed. He tells her he cut a deal with them. Later that same evening, two argue in the kitchen. “If you don’t stop them, I will!” Christine yells. Doubt it.
“Can we just once have a date night that doesn’t end in a strangling? You never take me out for steak dinners anymore!!”
Walter Kendrick, CEO and professional dick, is on the TV talking about an upcoming merger opportunity for his company.
*Mental to-do list: Make CNN appearance, check. Burn through television screen with eyes, melting the brains of viewing audience, check. Pick up more Scotch from Benny’s liquor, then nap.
Patty, Tommy and Ellen watch the show from Patty’s office. “That’s why UNR wanted to cover up the Aracite investigation,” Tommy says. A class-action suit would have killed the upcoming merger. Patty says that their next step is to try and stop the merger. She sics Tommy on it. Before leaving, Tommy motions to Ellen and asks Patty “did you invite her?” “Invite me where?” Ellen asks. AWKWARD. Did you not get the e-vite? It must have got lost in the…e-mail. You know how the Internets can be…
Patty then invites Ellen to Tom’s ‘Congratultions-for-being-with-the-firm-10-years-and-not-getting-stabbed-or-blackmiled’ party. There’ll be tons of champagne, and maybe male some strippers – you know, the classy kind with rip-away tuxedoes. We haven’t nailed down the details yet.
“I know you haven’t been back to my apartment since…” (the attempted murder?) “So if you don’t feel comfortable joining us, I understand,” Patty says. Psssh. Like a little repressed memory of terror and death would keep Ellen away from an open bar.
Kendrick meets with a square-jaw, moussed up suit who has concerns about the upcoming merger. Apparently, the merger needs this walking Ken doll’s approval before going through. “We fully intend on easing your worries, Mr. Schiff. That’s why I brought Mr. Purcell here today,” Kendrick says. We pan over to an uneasy Purcell, who continues to lie like he’s never lied before, telling Ken-doll Schiff about how completely safe UNR is in every area. (Except for, you know, all the mysterious leukemia and pig deaths.) Dude deserves an Oscar for this.
Later, Ellen pulls a beer from the mini-fridge in her hotel room. The girl’s been tying one on in at least three quarters of the scenes for the last four episodes, I swear. She offers Dee and Dum a drink, but they refuse. Can’t get beer stains on their only suits.
“Check it out – 459 ways to please your man with kitchen utensils. Man I love Cosmo. Got a spatula anywhere around here? No?”
They discuss the upcoming dinner party. “I never want to go back to that apartment again,” Ellen says. Dum tells her that if she doesn’t go now, she’ll just have to go another time. Ellen’s all, ugh! Being a crappy FBI informant is so unfair! They tell her that if she does go, she’ll have to wear a wire. As long as it doesn’t get in the way of all the singles she plans to stuff down her bra…
Drinking alone while looking into a mirror in disgust: always a good character development
Later we’re at the Energy Commission, where Patty goes to see Mr. Schiff. She shows Schiff her documents on UNR. “These are serious allegations,” he says. Patty’s like ‘you’re telling me. And you haven’t even gotten to the bold-faced report listing all the ways Kendrick is a buttface.’
Patty tells Schiff that she aims to kill the merger. “You’re commission may be the only thing that can stop him,” she says. No pressure. She convinces him to hold off his ruling until she can find some more evidence.
Back over at Ultima National Resources, Kendrick talks to freaky-scary chapstick man, who so far has no name on the series and so will simply be referred to as Darrell Hammond, or Freaky Darrell for short.
Kendrick says that Schiff is stalling on approving the deal, and it’s pissing him off. “I’ve explored that situation,” Freaky Darrell says all creepy. “Schiff has no extracurriculars.” For some reason I doubt he’s talking about chess club. “I could always get creative,” he says in his baby-eater voice. Kendrick tells him no. There’s no need for corporate espionage and murder…quite yet. Not until after…the party!
We flash over to Kendrick’s Super Sweet 16. JK, it’s actually a gentleman’s club party that he’s just been made the president of. But you can forgive my confusion, because this is how Kendrick chose to dress for the evening:
Sometimes a caption just isn’t necessary
A douchey-looking dude stands at the podium and says he’s there to honor Walter Kendrick. A bunch of 60-year-old, portly white dudes suffocating on their own cigar smoke clap and guffaw (literally, I think the words ‘audience guffaws’ are in the script for this episode).
Proceeds of this event proooobably didn’t go to Obama’s campaign fund
The Podium Douche explains that Kendrick is wearing a dress for tradition, then goes on to make some pretty uninspired gay jokes (so THAT’s how this series got a ‘warning: adult content’ label). He follows up the hilarious gay jokes with some incest jokes, which go over smashingly. If this is what gentlemen’s clubs are like, then sign me up!
“Looking over the crowd, I can see that Walt’s favorite attorney, Claire Maddox, is not in attendance,” Podium Douche says. Sweet! They’re gonna roast Busty! I hope he makes a crack about her boobs – it would really make my job so much easier if they create the awesome jokes for me.
Here comes the wind-up: “Do any of you folks know Claire Maddox? That lady gets around.” Okay, it’s not the most original, but I’m with you….keep going with the pitch… “I’m not saying I don’t want to throw a hump into her, but..” Okay, not so much with the classy, but I’ll still give Podium Douche the benefit of the doubt… “but I have a feeling it’d be like tossing hot dog down a hallway.” Seriously? That’s the joke you went with, Podium Douche? I’ve been recapping since 7 in the morning on a diet of processed cheese slices and leftover champagne from New Year’s Eve, and I could STILL come up with a better Claire Maddox joke than that.
Later, Kendrick is in the bathroom when Podium Douche comes up to him.
“Don’t you just love the feel of pantyhose against your nads?”
“Great stuff in there,” Kendrick-in-drag says. “Nothing personal. Gotta be able to swallow it,” Podium Douche says. He’s even less funny away from the podium. Kendrick smiles, flushes, then turns around and kidney punches Podium Douche, sending him to the floor. That was…unexpected. Awesome, yes. But unexpected.
A straight-faced man in a purple tie walks in to Kendrick, who is adjusting his lipstick in the mirror. “I agree, it wasn’t funny,” the man says, looking down at Podium Douche. I like him. He brings up the merger problem and asks how he can help.
Far away, mariachi music plays as Patty’s elevator doors open and Ellen steps out. So she’s on her way to the party. And she didn’t think to bring margaritas? A bag of ice? A party hat? She’s the worst guest ever. I trust she has a flask in her purse, though.
Ellen sashays weirdly into the party. I wonder if it’s uncomfortable to wear a wire…Phil welcomes Ellen and hands her champagne. Ellen goes over to Tommy and makes small talk with his pregnant wife. “Congratulations! 10 years. It’s amazing that you survived,” Ellen tells Tommy. True dat.
Suddenly Ellen has a flashback to her attack, and we see the large stranger who tried to knife her down, the barking dog, the struggle. Geez, Ellen, that was last season. Get over it already. We have.
Patty comes up to Ellen and asks her if everything is alright. You know, aside from the terrifying flashbacks and the FBI wiretap that’s coiled in her B cup. “Yeah,” Ellen says. “Just fine.”
Then we flash to Ellen, shooting off rounds at a firing range. In my professional opinion, this woman is a little too angry to become a gun owner. When she’s finished, Wes rolls the target back towards them and we see that Ellen didn’t hit it once. Haha. That’s classic Ellen.
Later the two are walking away from the firing range. “Why the sudden interest in firearms?” Wes asks. Um….weren’t you the one trying to hawk her a gun two hours after you met? Ellen tells him about the time she was attacked. She says she never wants to feel that vulnerable again. “See you next lesson. I’m gonna put a hole in that thing if it kills me,” Ellen says. I bet she would have better aim if she tried NOT downing a fifth of tequila beforehand.
Ellen leaves. Wes, who we now know is SneakyMcWorksForaMysteriousStranger, picks up his phone and dials said stranger. “Suddenly she wants to know how to use a gun,” he says. “I don’t know if you’re safe.” Um, dude. Did you not just see what a crap shot she is? Your mysterious boss is safe – unless Ellen is trying to shoot the person standing next to him (or her). Then they might want to duck.
Oooh, creepy flash forward to the Motel Room of Lies and Bullets (5 MONTHS LATER). Ellen opens the door and its Wes. She say she can’t be there today, all hardass. “I just had to see you,” he says. This line apparently works on Ellen, and she’s all ‘okay, come in and let’s make out a little then.’ That’s what I like about Ellen – she sticks to her principles.
Back in the present – or is it the past? – Mr. Patty Hewes, also known as Phil, is talking jargon business speak to a colleague as he exits a building. A limo outside rolls down its window ominously, and it’s Mysterious Purple Tie Man. “I’ve only got a minute,” he says to Phil. Purple Tie Man, who Phil calls Dave, warns him that he caught wind of something concerning Patty.
Later, Patty walks into her kitchen, where Phil is eating and reading the paper. He tells her about his special limo visit with Dave. Apparently Dave told him that certain CEOs don’t like Patty (really? Whatever for?) and are using their connections in Washington against her. Patty asks if she’s under investigation and Phil says he doesn’t know. But I do! I know! And the answer is yes! But Patty can’t hear me, because TV’s don’t work that way…yet…
At the office, a worried Patty talks with Uncle Pete, who tells her they have nothing to worry about. “I’ve said it before. The only thing that can hurt you is Ellen Parsons,” Uncle Pete says. He obviously hasn’t seen her at the shooting range. Patty wonders aloud if the infant mortality case could have been a set up.
Patty walks into Ellen’s office. “Something’s been bothering me,” she says. This is the moment when Ellen should excuse herself to go to the bathroom and then jump on a plane to Mexico, never to be heard from again. But instead: “Yeah?” She asks. Patty grills her about the plaintiff that wanted a payoff in the infant mortality case – Monique Bryant. “I’m concerned that someone was trying to set you up,” Patty says. Ellen doesn’t crack, I’ll give her that much. “Something about that case never felt right,” Patty continues. Um, could it have been all the dead babies?
Then Patty turns on her creepy face – you know, the one where she’s smiling – and tells Ellen she’s glad she came to the party.
No, please…enjoy your last night on earth. I insist.”
Uncle Pete gets into an elevator with a cell phone. “Patty’s getting nervous. It’s about the girl. We need to take action.”
Later, Ellen walks quickly down the street. A man with a funny looking hat follows her, not very stealthily. I feel as though Uncle Pete could do better than this…
Ellen meets up with Dee and Dum around the corner. She tells them Patty’s acting paranoid. The three start to talk about the infant mortality case as they walk away. Funny Hat man follows them.
Patty’s downstairs in her house when Phil enters. He’s off to London. Patty asks him to look over the UNR financial report for her. Phil kisses her goodbye.
In the Patty Hewes battle room, lawyers gather around a conference table and Patty tells them that they need to step it up – Doug Schiff gave them less than a week to get more evidence on UNR. In the middle of the meeting, Ellen checks her phone. She’s texting in her American Idol vote. Ellen’s spearheaded the campaign to push out Bikini Girl by week 3.
Actually, we see that the caller is Dum, who is waiting in a car outside.
Patty asks Ellen into her office, briskly. “What do you think you’re doing? You see anyone else checking their phone while I’m talking?” Ooh, busted.
“Do I look like I play? Homey DO NOT PLAY.”
Patty wants to know who was on the phone. Ellen weasels out of it, saying that she was late to her counseling session.
Phil lies in a hotel room, reading the UNR report. He says the report is amazing. A woman who is NOT Patty walks out of the bathroom in a bra. Oh, this must be London. I was just thinking this season wasn’t complicated enough…we need a little extramarital affair to spice things up a bit.
He asks her to look over the report. “Later,” the hussy says, throwing the report aside. “We’ve only got one night in London.” That’s what she said.
Back in the Hewes house, a sleepy Patty walks into the kitchen where Michael is eating. He tells her he’s writing his college application on Daniel Purcell. It’s entitled: “Daddy, why did you come into my life, bond with me on the dock that time, then lie about pig leukemia on the stand and leave again? That hurt, daddy. Ouch.” He’s making it into a poem.
Patty tells Michael she doesn’t want him to have anything to do with him. “He betrayed you, Mom. You’re human. Get over it.”
Doug Schiff is on the phone with Patty, telling her that he’s looked into it and he’s ready to go. “Consider the merger dead.” That seemed a little too easy…
Ellen is walking down the street. Funny Hat Dude is following her again. Seriously, I thought the whole point of being a private investigator or professionally menacing stranger was to BE INCOGNITO. Incognito does not mean wearing the same tacky hipster hat every time you follow someone. Worst. Stalker. Ever.
Purple Tie Dave (here seen in a snazzy red tie) walks into Dough Schiff’s office. “What’s this about, Mr. Powell?” Schiff asks, standing up. “Your career,” Dave replies. See? Too easy.
Ellen tells Dee and Dum that she thinks she’s being followed. This is in fact true, but the way she’s pacing around the hotel room and talking like a crazy person does not exhibit credibility.
“Remember that one episode when we had personalities? Those were good times.”
Ellen tells them about the funny hat guy. She tells them about Patty asking her about the infant mortality case again. Dum looks worried. “I’m afraid that she’s onto my somehow.”
They tell her that if she’s been compromised, they can’t continue the investigation. “There’s a very good chance this operation is over.” It just occurs to me that we’ve never met Dee and Dum’s bosses…who DO they work for??? Ahhh, the multiple conspiracies are giving me a headache! Processed cheese slice break…
Okay, I’m back. Funny Hat Dude waits outside in a car. Who should get into the passenger seat, but…Wes! Somehow I sense this is not a forbidden lover’s rendez-vous (although that would be hotter). Funny Hat Dude hands Wes an envelope with pictures of Ellen talking to Dee and Dum. “Your girl gets around,” he says. Haaaaaay. Wes examines the pictures. “They look like feds to me.”
Patty busts into Schiff’s office, pissed. “Why the hell did Furque authorize the merger?” So it looks like upright and honest Schiff can be bought out/intimidated after all. Schiff blusters that there is no evidence and Patty calls bullshit, loudly. “I feel terrible about this, but truly my hands are tied,” Schiff says.
Elsewhere, on a hotel room, a happy Kendrick tells Purcell that the merger is going through. He promises to take care of Purcell. “You’re going to clean up the mess down in West Virginia?” Purcell asks. Kendrick says it’s already happening. He offers Purcell a job as head of research for UNR. Purcell says he’s done. He walks away. Kendrick looks after him, hurt – it he’s unused to being rejected. Which is strange, considering that he was probably the only dude to show up to senior prom in garter socks and evening gloves.
Uncle Pete walks into Patty’s office and tells her he checked into Monique Bryant, the client in the infant mortality case. Turns out that Monique Bryant is a real person – a real white person. The Monique Bryant they met was African American (or maybe just having a really tan day?) “Ellen’s a liability, Patty,” Uncle Pete says. “I’ve said it all along.”
Later, Ellen and Patty sit at Patty’s apartment. We see that Dee and Dum are listening to the conversation from a van outside. “I know you don’t trust me,” Ellen says. “I was approached by the FBI last night.” Dee and Dum are not in on this plan, they freak out a little in the van. Ellen tells Patty that the FBI wants to use her as an informant. “I told them to go screw themselves,” Ellen continues. She says that she thinks the infant mortality case was a setup. Patty seems to buy this confession, and wonders who else in the office is likely to be approached by the FBI next.
Later, Dee and Dum bitch out Ellen for her move. “It was the only way to win her confidence,” Ellen says. She adds that she’s still the only chance to get to Patty.
Ominous music plays as a large, dark van pulls into an alley. Uncle Pete gets out of the van and talks to a man loading boxes there. The man turns around and we see…he’s the Knife Wielding attacker from Ellen’s flashback! He’s alive! His name is apparently Patrick!
Uncle Pete tells Patrick that the heat is on and he has to get out of the country for a few months. We see a flashback of Ellen accidentally stabbing Patrick, and leaving him for dead on Patty’s living room floor. Only this time…he gets up. He’s like freaking Michael Meyers, man.
Purcell has sold his townhouse. He stands out on the front steps, contemplating. He once again flashes back to his argument with Christine on the night of the gala. “If you don’t stop them, I will,” she says, again. “I’m going to call the police. In fact, I’m going to call the EPA.” “I can’t let you do that,” Purcell says.
Later that night, still in flashback, we see a Purcell with a cut on his head standing at a pay phone. “We’re in trouble,” he says. Then we see Freaky Darrell get into Purcell’s car. Purcell says he want his help. “Go park your car. In 20 minutes, this will all be over.”
Back in the present, Phil and Patty are walking their dog down the street. Phil tells her that the UNR merger makes no sense financially. Kendrick is grossly overpaying, and there must be an ulterior motive for the merger. Of course there’s an ulterior motive. Great. Now my brain’s going to be racing to figure it out, and it’s already pulling double duty to get to the bottom of the “how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop” mystery. (The results are still inconclusive.)
Phil asks Patty to promise to leave UNR alone. She smiles and walks away.
We cut to a grisly scene – literally – it’s the grizzly detective/Frobisher employee who killed David last season. Detective Grizzly examines a body in the street, then takes a cheeseburger break (way to miss out on that endorsement deal, McDonald’s) and meets up with a darkened alley figure, who is…Wes! Man, talk about getting around.
Wes hands Detective Grizzly the photos of Ellen and the feds. “What do you want me to do?” He asks.
5 MONTHS LATER. Wes packs a bag, grabs three guns from his stalker closet. We then see him sitting in Ellen’s hotel lobby, cancelling a flight (484 out of Newark, just in case it’s important). Ellen comes down and we see her. He tells her they’re doing work in his building and asks if he can crash for a bit. She says sure. Crazy rock music plays.
Then we see a car parked out in broad daylight, with two figures inside. The first figure shoots the second in the back of the head, hitting the windshield. The first figure gets out of the car, and it’s…Wes! Does it get less dramatic every time I do that?
Anyway, til next week, when the conspiracy will triple in size – again.