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Lots and lots of screaming in this second-to-last episode of Damages, plus some questions get answered, some loyalties are tested, and one all-purpose remote control joins Uncle Pete in that big living room couch cushion in the sky.
At least Pete can change the channel now.
It’s William Hurt, once again in the kitchen. Don’t worry, I won’t subject you to another stilled YouTube image from The Big Chill. But that won’t stop me from singing “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” throughout the entirety of this recap.
So Danny Purcell is cracking eggs and taking names, cooking up a nice breakfast for his daughter. Speak of the adolescent devil, in walks Erica, voted in her yearbook as the eighth grader to be most completely unaffected by her mother’s murder and father’s subsequent arrest. She asks if she can take the dog out for a walk, and Purcell agrees. Just don’t talk to strangers, and don’t drink any water labeled “From the Clear Mountain Springs of West Virginia,” okay?
Erica and her dog play in the yard, carefree.
Skipper learns what happens to most four-legged creatures on this show, makes mental note to contact agent.
Then the dog runs away from Erica and starts digging a hole near the lake. “You find something?” Erica asks him. Geez, woman, give the dog some time to dig, wouldja?
Purcell is scraping eggs onto plates when Erica walks back in. “Look what he dug up this time,” she says, holding up a badly charred object. Purcell looks at it. 5 Â½ MONTHS EARLIER. We see Purcell digging a hole in his yard. He sets fire to an object and throws it in the hole. We see, through the flames, a silver television remote control. Look, Purcell, I’m upset about the outcome of last week’s American Idol too, but there’s no reason to be so dramatic.
RIP Samsung Remote
Gone but not forgotten
After the credits, Purcell is pulling up into his driveway when he spots a ginormous limo already there. He gets out of the car and heads to the house, where he finds Erica joking around with Walt Kendrick. Purcell’s all ‘how many times have I asked you not to let a minion of Satan into this home? Go to your room!’
But seriously, Purcell’s pissed that Kendrick’s there. He says that what he did to Busty was unforgivable. Kendrick says he had no choice. “By the way, I always wondered – how is she in bed?” Classier and classier, this guy is. “I have nothing to say to you, asshole, get off my property,” Purcell replies. Don’t need a much better comeback than that.
Kendrick is worried that Purcell is going to back down from their deal. Purcell says he held up his end, but people are still getting killed in West Virginia. “People get killed all the time, Danny,” Kendrick says. I’m pretty sure that excuse for murder won’t hold up in court. I don’t know as it’s ever been tried, though, so good luck with that.
Kendrick says now is not the time to start looking for redemption. He walks away,
then turns back, saying, “it was a real pleasure to meet Erica.” Not a direct threat, but the implications are still there.
Ellen is sitting in a conference room with Judge McGluttony Smarm. Ellen says that Patty is looking for reassurance – she wants to know that certain key evidence will be permitted in court, even the defense objects to how it was obtained. “Based on past transactions and mutual concerns, Miss Hewes is prepared to extend herself should the need arise,” Ellen says. That’s pretty vague, but I’m pretty sure Ellen just said Patty will offer up a BJ, should the need “arise.”
“That kind of request is highly unethical,” Smarmy Judge says. I’ll say. And yet, I doubt the good judge is getting any other kind of action these days. He nods. “Let Patty know I’m flexible,” he says. Dirty, dirty.
In Patty’s office, Tommy is handing over a list of the GPS coordinates that Finn Garrity took from the Cadillac. He sent them to a numbers guy to decode them, but so far no luck. Then Tom’s wife calls on his cell. He talks to her for a minute, then looks at Patty and Ellen. “Is it safe to eat blue cheese when you’re pregnant?” Both women give him blank stares. Ellen pretends to think about it, but is actually having the following inner dialogue:
Did I have three mimosas with lunch, or four? Damn, lost count. Looks like I’ll have to start back at zero.
Tom takes his cue to leave. Ellen tells Patty she met with the judge and she thinks he’ll play ball. “Did he try to grope you? He can be a very grabby old man,” Patty says. See, I knew there was something dirty going on between Patty and Smarmy Judge. Bow chica bow boooow.
Patty says bribing the judge is the only way to get the codes from the Cadillac into evidence, because it was stolen. After a beat, Ellen gets her concerned voice on and asks how Patty is doing. Patty pretends not to know what she means. Awk-ward! Ellen helpfully brings up “everything that happened with Phil.” Patty would rather not talk about that. But then as Ellen gets up to go, Patty throws her a bone. “It’s about trust,” she says. “You can overlook someone’s flaws but in the end, if you can’t trust them, they’re worthless.” Ellen tries not to adjust the wiretap in her bra. Irony!
Dave and Kendrick are sitting at a bar, puffing on cigars. “How the hell did we lose a Cadillac?” Dave asks. Um, by leaving it parked unattended in a New York alley for seven days??
Kendrick is nonplussed. He is also an arrogant bastard. “Dave, the car was stolen. So even if Patty Hewes manages to figure out what was on the GPS, it won’t be admissible in court.” He adds that Busty is not a threat either, being bound by privilege to the company and all. “The law is on our side,” Kendrick says, jackassedly.
“You don’t look worried enough,” Dave says. In fact, Kendrick looks like this:
Kendrick: I got 99 problems, but a bitch ain’t one.
Dave: That is factually incorrect.
Dave tells Kendrick a story about how he grew up on food stamps, and every day he wakes up assuming he’s going to lose it all. Kendrick says he’s different – every day he wakes up and assumes he’s going to win. He puffs on his cigar. I hope he gets run over by a Cadillac.
Phil and Patty are arguing in the kitchen. Phil is saying it’s over, he’s not going to see his London Lady again. “I am SORRY!” He yells, but not in a convincing way at all. Patty tells him to stop apologizing. “You’re a man, you cheat, I get it,” she says. She’s just pissed he got caught.
Then Patty brings up the fact that Phil invested in UNR behind her back. Phil, like a typical PHIL-anderer, immediately turns it around on Patty, angry with her for looking into his financials. Dude, you’re married to Patty Hewes. What did you expect? Patty says that UNR may have killed Christine Purcell. “They are the enemy.”
Phil says that may be, but in the meantime their stock was at an all-time low. Patty doesn’t think that’s an acceptable answer. “You and I had an agreement, Patty. I don’t get in your way, and you DON’T GET IN MINE!” No, my caps lock didn’t get stuck. He really did yell that last part really loudly, and threw the folder with his financials in it down for good emphasis.
“You are my husband and you bet against me,” Patty says. Fair point. Phil says he warned her not to pursue the case against UNR. Patty wants to know who tipped him off and told him to buy the stock. She figures it was the same person who told him she was being investigated by the FBI. Phil has a tiny “oh shit, I was played,” moment, but tries to pass it off.
“So twice someone came to you, and twice you advised me to drop the case?” Patty asks. She asks who it was and he tells her – Dave Pell. Patty is on the verge of losing it. “The same Dave Pell who put you up for energy secretary? Who was in this apartment?” Phil says yes.
Then Patty picks up her mug and throws it against the wall. Holy. Shit. “Get out,” she says. Phil tries to reason with her, and then this happens:
As Phil leaves, Patty tells him he’ll be hearing from her divorce attorney. “I will fight you. You think I’m gonna roll over?” Phil asks. Patty raises her glass. “Good luck.” I smell a juicy season 3 storyline…
Later, Purcell comes to give Patty a visit. “I want to help,” he says. So his dog digs up a burned remote control and all the sudden Purcell develops a conscience? Too little, too late, guy. Patty lets him in.
“I agreed to lie on the stand, but only if Kendrick would clean up Aracite,” Purcell says. He says he made a deal with them, took money. Patty says she appreciates his turn of conscience, but since he already swore on the stand that Aracite wasn’t toxic, he’s kind of useless.
That’s when Purcell reveals that he knows about the energy scheme as well. He says Kendrick must have an energy trader helping him. “Finn Garrity,” Patty says. “You know his name?” Purcell asks, incredulously. Bitch, she’s Patty Hewes. She knows your grand-mama’s cup size.
Patty says she’s still having trouble proving how Kendrick gets the information to Garrity. She asks Purcell if he’s any good with codes.
Ellen and Wes are wandering through some woods, seemingly lost.
Ellen: “Wow, it’s really isolated up here. I bet if you fell down a ravine, no one would find your body for weeks.”
Wes: “Hm. That had not occurred to me at all.”
Wes admits to Ellen that they’re lost and then they make out. “You’re shoe’s untied,” she says, walking ahead. He leans down to tie them up and takes a gun out of his pants. Errrm, how does “gunshot to head” equal “make it look like an accident,” Wes? Aren’t you supposed to be a professional here?
Ellen, moronically, keeps her back to him and looks off into the trees for no apparent reason. Wes eases up behind her with the gun. He points it at her, then hesitates. He can’t do it. He lowers the gun.
Ellen turns around and sees the gun. “Jesus,” she says. Wes covers it up smoothly, handing the gun to Ellen and saying that she should get some more shooting practice in. Ellen takes the gun and fires some shots into a tree. To be fair, the Birchwood had it coming.
Daniel Purcell is up late at night, trying to crack some codes on a legal pad. He’s writing down a bunch of gibberish numbers and circling cities on maps. Just looking at it makes my head hurt. There’s a reason I don’t keep a calculator anywhere on my person – if God meant for us to do math all day, he would have given us abacuses for fingers. (Yes, I know that made no sense.)
Anyhoo, the code-cracking is really tough, and Purcell slams some papers down in frustration. 5 Â½ MONTHS EARLIER. It’s an earlier scene we saw of Purcell and Christine arguing in the car after the gala. He tells her that he’s backing down off Aracite, and she’s pissed that she married such a fucking coward.
Then we jump to the scene later that night, with Christine and Daniel in the kitchen. She accuses him of selling out and says he has to protect their daughter.
Back in real time, Erica walks in and asks Purcell if he’s okay. He tells her she should be in bed. She turns around and walks away.
Speaking of awkward parent-to-spawn moments, Michael walks in and greets Patty. Apparently he’s been shacking up with his geriatric gallery owner and Patty is none too pleased. She says that his relationship with Jill is unhealthy. “You really want to do this? You really want to discuss responsibility? You and Phil are getting a divorce, who’s responsible for that?” Michael asks. Way to twist the knife, kid.
Patty tries to divert the topic, but Michael pushes. He asks why Patty can’t sustain relationships, whys he hurts every person she comes into contact with. He lists them – Phil, Uncle Pete, Ray Fisk. “People either leave you or they die,” he says.
Fresh from this conversation, Patty decides to tell Ellen that she no longer wants her bribing the judge. Is this because she doesn’t trust Ellen, or because she has truly come to care for her?? Either way, Ellen’s a little miffed. This totally messes up her plan to backstab Patty. “I don’t need you to leave me out of [this],” Ellen tries. But Patty’s made up her mind.
Ellen goes straightaway to divulge this information to Dum. Can Dum still be dum without a matching Dee? It appears yes. “Maybe I’m too close to [Patty] now,” Ellen says. “She actually seems to care about me.” She says this with her lips curled in disgust. Ellen thinks Patty will use Tom to bribe the judge instead – he’s the only one she’ll trust. He’s also, apparently, the only other one in the office.
Ellen says they’ll have to get the info from Tom – by arresting him for bribing the FBI agent in the Monique Bryant case. Dum helpfully points out that legally Tom did nothing wrong and no money was exchanged. “It would be the FBI’s word against Tom’s,” Ellen says. She seems to be going down the same moral slip-and-slide as Patty – wanting something bad enough she’s willing to break the rules and hurt people.
Purcell’s Night O’ Codes, Part Deux. He holds up a map, seemingly having made a breakthrough. Or is he just playing Risk? That’s the face I make when I take over Australia.
Purcell goes to relay his info to Patty. By jove, he’s cracked it! He has the proof Patty needs and he seems pretty proud of himself:
“Now, I’m not saying I need a gold star, but if you happen to have any lying around…I would also accept a silver ribbon of some sort.”
As Purcell turns to leave Patty’s office, she asks him what else is wrong. Then she flashes back to the moment she discovered Christine’s body on the floor. “I understand,” she says. Purcell nods and leaves.
And then we jump right to a showdown or the ages: a lunch date between Patty and Kendrick. I am literally tingling with anticipation. (Note: I may have a liberal use of the term ‘literally.’) Kendrick, of course, kicks it off all cocky. “I think if we sit and talk you’ll realize how much we have in common,” he says. Patty coolly eats her salad.
Then Kendrick brings up Phil. “Sorry the son of a bitch cheated on you,” he says. Klassy. Patty remains calm. Then Kendrick brings up his “daddy” who worked the coal mines. Blah blah daddy issues blah. “So your point is that we both had humble beginnings?” Patty asks. “And we both made it to the top,” Kendrick says. Yeah, enjoy your time there while you can, senor.
Kendrick asks why they can’t settle their differences amicably. Patty agrees that they should, and that he should start by answering a simple question. “Was it your plan to manipulate the energy market, or did Dave Pell bring you the idea?” Kendrick has a brief ‘oh, shit’ look flit between his eyes. Then he does what he does best under such circumstances – “What’s your price?” he asks.
Haha. Patty Hewes spits on your money, sir. And then she rolls it up into an origami shoe and uses it to kick your nads in. “This isn’t about a number. This is about Aracite,” Patty says. She wants him to clean it up, compensate the victims, and step down as CEO of UNR. Kendrick chuckles. Patty brings up her GPS coordinate evidence. Kendrick says that evidence was stolen and won’t be admissible in court. “So tell me, why do I feel so damn confident?” Patty replies.
Later, Patty is filling Ellen and Tom in on her lunch date with Kendrick. She says Kendrick clammed up as soon as she mentioned Dave Pell, power broker about town. Tom once again gets an urgent phone call from his about-to-burst wife. “Are you serious? I’m on my way,” he says. Looks like it’s time for Lil’ Bundle of Joy Shays #2 to make an appearance.
Tom is leaving the building, on the phone with his wife and trying to catch a cab to the hospital. FBI agent Dum pulls in front of his taxi. Dum’s all “Mind if we talk to you?” Tom says yeah, actually, my wife’s having a baby. Which would be an awesome excuse, if it weren’t kind of sad because it’s true. Dum’s team manhandles Tom into his car, while he screams “my wife’s in labor!!” It’s actually kind of sad.
In the interrogation room, Tom is defending himself, saying that he never gave Monique Bryant money. That’s when Dum drops the load that Monique Bryant is a federal agent, and they have it on tape that Tom was going to give her money. Dum shows Tom pictures of he and “Monique” at the park. “Good, then you know I didn’t give her anything,” Tom says.
“Agent Hawkins,” Dum calls out. In walks Monique with an envelope. She throws it on the desk. “Got it right here. 60 Grand.” Dude. That is cold.
“That is bullshit,” Tom says. Then he demands a lawyer before he says another word. “We’ve got an attorney for you,” Dum says. And in walks…Ellen. And Tom is all:
“Not to sound like the 12-year-old girl I sometimes am, but W.T.F.”
Tom wants to know how long Ellen has been lying to his face. Ellen says it’s not about him, it’s about Patty -she’s a criminal. “We know she’s planning to use you to bribe Judge Oliver,” Ellen says. Tom can’t believe this is happening. He wants to call his wife. “I called, she’s fine,” Ellen says coolly.
“How can you live with yourself?” Tom asks. Ellen says that they can send Tom to jail for making a payoff – it’s their word against his. He can make it all go away. “Screw Patty,” Ellen says. “If she were in your position, tell me she wouldn’t give you up in a heartbeat.” Tom pauses.
“Patty’s going down anyway,” Ellen continues. “I’m trying to help you. Just give them what they want.”
Tom looks despondent in the interrogation room while Ellen joins Dum behind the two-way mirror. “He’ll say anything now to see his wife. I don’t think we can trust him to go through with it,” Ellen says. She suggest that they tell him they’ll make it all go away if he refuses to bribe the judge for Patty. “Then Patty will be forced to use me.”
Michael and Daddy Purcell are standing in Purcell’s backyard. Apparently Michael is about to meet Erica. “I want you to know I did try to be in your life, Michael,” Purcell says. He mentions the custody battle with Patty, and how he lost. “I’m sure my mom was pretty vicious,” Michael says. Purcell says she was just protective.
“I’m sorry I never met your wife. Do you really think that company had her killed?”
Michael asks. Purcell flashes back to the fated night of the gala. Christine accuses him of selling out. Of selling out for his houses, for “that lawyer you’re screwing.” She says if he doesn’t stop them, she will. She says she’ll call the EPA and then goes to a phone book. The EPA is listed in the phone book?
Purcell sets down his drink and heads toward Christine. She tells him not to come any closer. Purcell moves closer anyway and Christine flings a remote control at him (!) It hits his head – that’s how he got the cut. Then we flash to Purcell talking on the phone to “Wayne” (Kendrick’s Middleman). “I need…we’re in trouble” Purcell says.
Back in the present, Erica wanders up. Purcell introduces her to Michael. “Hi, my dad’s told me all about you,” she says casually, as if she’s meeting a family friend and not her half brother. This girl is literally unfazed by anything. I think she might be one of those children who live in the corn and sometimes kill people. What are they called? Children…of the…corn?
Later, Tom is in Patty’s apartment, showing her a picture of his son, Charles Curtwood Shays. Awwwww. I think my ovaries just sighed. Patty gives Tom a hug. Then he says they have to talk. He says he can’t bribe the judge anymore. “I can’t do it and I don’t think you should either,” he says.
Patty gets up. “I’ve always known that you would let me down,” she says. She tells him he’s not cut out for this and she shouldn’t have trusted him. Tom tries to explain that he can’t do it, just this once. And then, for the second time this episode, this happens:
“So leave. You’re fired,” Patty says. She turns around and Tom takes the picture of his son off her desk. He leaves.
A phone is buzzing in Grizzly’s car. He answers it and it’s Wes, failed attempted murderer. “I’m going to have to try again,” Wes says. Then we see a scene we’ve already seen – Wes packing up three guns from the arsenal in his closet and loading them into a duffel. Then he heads over to Ellen’s hotel and asks if he can crash with her for awhile, his crinkly eyes charming and not at all screaming out “one of us may not survive this weekend.”
Purcell is in his car, calling Kendrick. When Kendrick answers, Purcell says “I’ve been thinking a lot about God. Heaven and hell.” Kendrick tells him not to waste his time. Then Purcell spews this: “The nine circles of hell are for the unrepentant who try to justify their sins. Everyone in hell has knowledge of the past and the future, but not of the present. It’s a twisted joke because after the final judgment, time ends. And all of us burning in hell will know nothing.”
Kendrick, and all of us, are basically like ??? But it’s clear that Purcell has lost a screw. Kendrick looks worried.
Then Purcell gets out of his car and wanders into the police station, where he totally…confesses to the murder of Christine Purcell!! But first, another flashback. Again, we see Christine whip the remote at Purcell. This time, he comes up and grabs her by the neck. She goes down, he’s still choking her, damn this is intense. When it’s over and Purcell realizes what he’s done, he proceeds to FLIP THE FUCK OUT. “No, no noooo!” He screams, hitting his head over and over.
Then we see Kendrick talking to Freaky Darrell. “I think we may have a problem on our hands,” he says. Darrell asks if Purcell knows what really happened that night.
We’re back again to the night of the murder. Kendrick has called in his number one creepy cleaner-upper, Freaky Darrell. Freaky enters the kitchen and sees Christine. He calls Kendrick. “We have a problem,” he says. “She’s still alive.”
And in fact, Christine is breathing. Kendrick pauses in the phone, then says, “finish it.” Freaky Darrell leans down. He takes off her ruby ring. Christine looks up, blood in her eyes. “Help me,” she says. Freaky Darrell moves toward her neck…