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"Do You Regret What We Did?": Patty and Ellen Conspire on "Damages"

Wow. I, um, certainly didn't expect that to happen. (Patty sobbing, I mean.) What more is there to say after last night's episode?

I was absolutely glued to the television last night, positively riveted, during last night's installment of Damages ("Do You Regret What We Did?"), which pushed the plot into completely new and unexpected directions. I'm still reeling from a few developments including the possible (but highly probable) death of Gregory Malina (Peter Facinelli), the fact that maybe Tom isn't such an asshat after all, and the revelation of Arlington.

Frobisher. So it looks like Arthur Frobisher is even more of a villain than I had realized. When he's not seducing the deposition expert Fiske brought in (on his desk, natch), he's covering up even more crimes. I never imagined that there was a Chappaquiddick-esque incident in his past; according to George Moore (formerly known as Baby Carriage Man), Frobisher was involved in a car accident that left a young girl dead in the early 1980s. Allegedly, Frobisher was the driver of the vehicle but claimed that the girl was, a story backed up by police. The entire affair went away when the girl's family ceased their inquiries, paid off with Frobisher stock. Curious. Power goes scary things to people and, with Frobisher, it's put him above the law in every respect. Anything can be bought, including silence.

If there's one thing that this series excels at (and, believe me, there are many things), it's the use of dreams to reveal characters' innermost thoughts and fears. This week featured a doozy of a dream--less shocking than Ray's teeth falling out but stunning in its own right--in which Arthur attended the gala function a white smock-clad Patty was the keynote speaker at and danced with her. The scene, which seemed like reality rather than fantasy, quickly escalated when Patty began to make demands about the settlement, using the dead girl in Arlington as bait, until the price rose to $850 million. Still, nothing was enough for "dream" Patty, who promised Frobisher that she wanted to erase his accomplishments from the face of the planet and have his children sneer whenever they thought of him. I couldn't help but think of Shelley's "Ozymandias" during this scene: "Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!/Nothing beside remains: round the decay/Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,/The lone and level sands stretch far away." (Okay, enough poetry for today.)

Lila. Our little Cassavetes-adverse Soda Skank has turned into quite the psychopath. In last night's episode, she copied the keys she stole from David and returned the originals (left in a drawer where Ellen found them) and went to Hewes & Associates, where she calmly told Ellen that David didn't love her anymore and was sleeping with her. Fortunately, Ellen called security and believed David when he said that there was nothing going on between them. (There really isn't, as even David keeps brushing Lila off.) And Ellen turned up evidence that Lila has several restraining orders against her and was arrested for stalking. Just wait until Ellen learns that Lila's grandfather isn't even dead. There will be hell to pay. I'm still concerned that the psycho will be the one to smash David's head to bits with that Statute of Liberty bookend...

Katie and Gregory. I'm glad that the writers wisely brought Katie back into the mix, even if she's still not speaking to Ellen (and seeing as David now dies in six weeks, she won't be any time soon). I loved the scenes between Katie and Gregory as they come to realize that they were both pawns in this grand scheme of Frobisher and George Moore. I was completely blown away by the fact that Gregory used Katie's parents' video camera (good use of plant and pay-off) to enact a confession of his own, in which he reveals Baby Carriage Man's identity and links Fro with the SEC, and that he left Katie a check for $128,000. At least he feels guilty enough to do something good for Katie for once; any thoughts if it's the money left from his share of the Frobisher stock? While I knew Gregory was a goner, I didn't expect him to die chasing Kate's puppy Coco into the street... where he was promptly run over by a car. (Lesson learned: always use a leash and look both ways before crossing.) Poor Gregory, but at least he got the opportunity to find redemption in the end. Which is more than I can say for...

Fiske. I am blown away by the fact that he absolutely sold Gregory out to George Moore, revealing his location, and singlehandedly causing his demise. Throughout this all, I thought Fiske acted out of his responsibility to his client, but this is beyond the pale and now looks as though he and Moore are in collusion. They are tying up all the loose ends, starting with Gregory, but given Ray's feelings for the star witness, I'm surprised he signed his death warrant like that. Still, there was that uncontrollable shudder after he was told it was done. Also, we learned that Fiske gave Gregory the Frobisher stock in payment for setting up the condo in Palm Beach, a convenient location for an illegal rendezvous between Frobisher and Moore. Oh, Ray, you vampire; there's more blood on your hands than you know.

Ellen. Ellen really is turning into Patty, seeing the worst in everyone, believing that everyone has a secret motive, a hidden agenda, a corrupt or dark side to their personality. She's turned into quite the little protege and has learned from her master very well. The scene between Ellen and Moore spoke volumes about how much Ellen has changed these past few episodes, as she turns to her anonymous witness and says that she better not find out that he has an ulterior motive for talking to them. (Um, the biggest!) But, seeing a distraught-but-in-control Ellen in prison made me truly realize how she's subsumed her naivete and innocence into a now jaded and embittered shell. She's learned the ultimate lesson that Patty tried to teach her from Day One: trust no one. Apparently, not even yourself.

Patty. Just what did Ellen and Patty do? It would appear to be something extremely serious for Ellen to run over to her apartment after her breakup with David for a little heart-to-heart, asking Patty if she regretted what they did. Not that their actions were a mistake, mind you, but if there was regret over what they did. Just what did they do? My guess: murder. I can't help but think about Tom's words from a few episodes ago: there's a dead man. I don't think he was referring to Gregory Malina. But since we know that Greg's already dead six weeks earlier and Tom and Fiske are both alive, who could the corpse be? Moore? Frobisher? I'm not entirely sure. What we do know is that it's serious enough that it's spooked Patty herself, who retreats to her beach house, where she throws a glass of Scotch against the wall and terrifyingly sobs on the beach, and then flees New York. Where is Patty going? And why is she keeping Tom in the dark? (It seems as though he might not be as tight with Patty as we thought.) And did Patty set up the murder attempt on Ellen to tie up her own loose ends, namely silence her partner in crime? Only time will tell.

Next week on Damages ("Sort of Like a Family"), Frobisher and Patty face off during his deposition, David receives a surprising visitor, and Ellen, pushed to the sidelines, considers a series of daring moves that might bring her back into Patty's inner circle.

What's On Tonight

8 pm: Kid Nation (CBS); Deal or No Deal (NBC); America's Next Top Model (CW); Dancing with the Stars (ABC); Back to You/'Til Death (FOX)

9 pm: Criminal Minds (CBS);
Bionic Woman (NBC); Gossip Girl (CW); Private Practice (ABC); Kitchen Nightmares (FOX)

10 pm: CSI: New York (CBS); Life
(NBC); Dirty Sexy Money (ABC)

What I'll Be Watching

8 pm: America's Next Top Model.

On tonight's episode ("The Models Go Green'"), the finalists move into a Los Angeles mansion and participate in a photo shoot that shows the negative effects of smoking. Um, okay.

8 pm: Back to You.

A former network president I was talking to a few weeks ago called the Kelsey Grammer/Patricia Heaton series "time capsule television," and I'd have to agree. It definitely seems like a throwback to a different time in TV but there's something vaguely comforting about that. On tonight's episode ("Fish Story"), Chuck tries to convince Kelly that he can be a a nurturing caregiver while Gary prepares for a police story and Marsh tries to figure out a magic trick.

9 pm: Gossip Girl.

On tonight's episode ("The Wild Bunch"), Blair tells Serena that she knows her secret while Chuck hosts a fund-raising party, which Serena attends with Dan. Is anyone watching this?

9 pm: Bionic Woman.

It's the series premiere of David Eick's reimagining of classic TV series Bionic Woman, starring Michelle Ryan. (Read my original review of the pilot here.) On tonight's episode ("Pilot"), bartender Jamie Sommers must deal with her new life after a near-fatal car accident leaves her clinging to life and she undergoes advance reconstructive surgery using bionic implants. Oh, and Katee Sackhoff comes by as a femme fatale with a bone to pick with our girl.

10 pm:
Top Chef on Bravo.

On tonight's episode
("Finale, Part One"), the remaining four chefs jet off to Aspen, Colorado, for the semi-final and some rather interesting in-the-wild cooking, only to fall victim to some hard questioning and even harsher criticisms from the judges. It all starts here!

10 pm: Dirty Sexy Money.

On ABC's new primetime soap, Dirty Sexy Money, a young lawyer (Peter Krause) inherits an sadistic and wealthy family to look after, following his father's untimely death, and must deal with their every whine and complaint. But he does make a cool $10 million, so you can't feel so badly for him...

Comments

Anonymous said…
I don't have anything, really, to add. Your post said it all - what a stellar episode. SO much happened and most of it surprising (poor Gregory) and unnerving (soda skank). This is one of my favorite eps so far.

Glad to see a better use of a broadway vet - Donna Murphy, this week, versus Debra monk, last week.
The CineManiac said…
I have to say if Gossip Girl hasn't improved over the pilot I may not be tuning in again next week. As for Binoic Woman I'll be catching it on Sci-Fi Fridays. I just hope Sci-Fi keeps showing them all season as I'm currently wanting to watch 5 shows on in that time slot (Gossip Girl, PRivate Practice, Bionic Woman, Criminal Minds, and Ghost Hunters) Thank God for Tivo, Sci-Fi Repeats, and the internet or I'd not be able to see them all.
Every week I think "That was the best episode of Damages yet!" and that certainly applies to last night's.

The opening scene between Patty and Ellen was so chilling. In fact, almost every scene was filled with unbearable tension, from Patty sobbing at her beach house to Katie making popcorn.

I was glad to see Katie back in the picture and happy that they didn't kill off another one of her dogs. Gregory's death was a shock. I assumed they would eventually get him but didn't ever think that Fiske would be the one to pull the trigger.

And good ole Fro just gets creepier every week!
Sooz said…
I thought the Frobisher dream was pretty telling. Was Patty using the exact words the young woman in the car had? He seemed pretty freaked out by what she was saying. Is Patty related to that woman, hence the Frobisher vendetta?

I also thought it was interesting that he told his "coach" to go back to being Patty and then next sceen he's banging her.

I was surprised when Fiske basically pulled the trigger on Gregory.

Jace - Do you know how many episodes in this season are left?
linda lou said…
I'm embarrased to admit it but i'm watching Gossip Girl and I like it (God, help me!)
so far Gossip Girl is a guilty pleasure
Anonymous said…
Your reviews of this series are spot on!! I always look forward to reading them after each episode.

Fisk taking down Gregory was a twist and a half! and i literally jumped when greg got run over. i knew it was coming as soon as the pooch ran off, but not quite so suddenly!

And Patty having a breakdown on the beach? Who'd have thought she had feelings?? I can't wait to see what that's from.

Damages is one of the best series i have seen in a very long time. Thank god for the internet... the BBC are not showing it till next year here in the UK. Good on them for buying this amazing series.
Unknown said…
As soon as Gregory started recording his video, I knew he was a dead man walking. Does no on else think the car that hit him (and is briefly shown in the scenes from next week) is Patty's? Why else focus so much on Patty's car in this ep? A car that now has Ellen's fingerprints in it. (Although David drove.) Is Gregory's murder why Patty's having her breakdown?

It's seemed clear for a while now that David's murder was not premeditated. A killer would bring a weapon, not pick up a bookend. True, that could be misdirection, but I think it's Lila who kills him.

What was Uncle Phil doing in Patty's desk? Did Patty ask him to get/destroy something?

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