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"I Will Rip Your Face Off": Skeletons Are Rattled on "Damages"

Ah, how the plot thickens...

This week's episode of Damages ("Uh oh, Out Come The Skeletons") featured quite a few reveals about some troubling developments this season and forced Patty to come to terms with her own issues of abandonment when faced with her teenage son Michael growing up (and, um, getting a girlfriend who is at least twice his age).

And it finally revealed just what has really been going on with those often-shifty FBI agents, Warner and Harrison. Which made me feel better as it proved I wasn't just paranoid when it came to those two. (Proving that old adage that just because you're paranoid doesn't mean people aren't out to get you.)

The Visitor. Judging from the episode's beginning and closing scenes, it does look as though Ellen's interrogation of Patty is at the behest of Agent Warner, who is watching the scene in a nearby surveillance truck. However, Ellen's decision to squeeze the trigger? Not really on the agenda. Warner, meanwhile, books it to Ellen's hotel down the street as Patty staggers out of the room, dazed and possibly injured. As for the blood on her hand, which gets smeared on the elevator door and her face? Is it Patty's? Or someone else's? The fact that she slumps to the floor of the elevator would seem to indicate that Patty's been shot but this series has often twisted the appearance of certain scenes... which could mean that Ellen has in fact shot someone sitting next to Patty. Hmmm...

The Benefactor. The calls from Warner's ex-wife Pam have driven me crazy since the beginning of the season and I surmised early on that it wasn't actually Pam who was calling him, given the way he shiftily excused himself every time one of those calls came in. Sadly, Harrison gets suspicious when he answers Warner's mobile and discovers that "Pam" is actually a mysterious male caller. Questioning Warner, Harrison learns that he is secretly in the employ of a man with a vested interest in the FBI's case against Patty and Warner has been collecting cash for keeping him in the loop with the investigation. That man, we learn after poor Harrison is killed (and his death staged to look like a drug overdose), is none other than Dave Pell himself. Which puts his scene at Patty's dinner party last week into a whole new context: Dave Pell is far more ruthless and cutthroat (quite literally) than the genteel persona he projects. He's willing to kill to take down Patty and his nomination of Phil Grey as the new Energy Secretary was just another means at sowing the seeds of dissent in the Hewes/Grey household.

So just when did Pell become involved with the investigation? Clearly, the investigation was already ongoing when he made contact with Warner, likely at the start of Season Two. Which leads me to believe that he only started paying Warner when Patty made an enemy out of UNR. But given that Pell has ties to the FBI Deputy Director, why pay an agent to keep tabs on Patty Hewes? Could it be that Pell's interest only extends as far as the UNR case and not to any criminal matters that Patty might find herself? Did he learn that Ellen was the FBI's confidential informant and therefore think he could gain intelligence on Patty's case via the FBI? I'm not entirely sure. Patty's graciousness towards Pell at the dinner party doesn't point to any past animosity between the two adversaries, so why is Pell so dead-set on bringing her down?

Patty. Meanwhile, I loved the scene between Patty and Michael's new girlfriend Jill Greenblatt (guest star Wendy Moniz) at Jill's gallery. Initially, it seems as though Patty went to the gallery in order to build some bridges with Jill... but it quickly turned into Patty aggressively warning Jill against hurting Michael. I believe the words "I will rip your face off" were involved, should Jill inevitably break Michael's heart. Jill, for her part, didn't cower or run away but stood her ground in front of Patty. I smell trouble brewing. Speaking of brewing, I also loved the small scene between Patty and Michael over the tea kettle as Patty quickly learned that she doesn't know her son at all anymore. It was a sad realization as she offered to listen to Michael just how little of a connection they really shared and it deftly echoed the scene between Patty and Ellen as she offered the very same service to her protege (and was likewise also shut out).

Claire. Walter Kendrick's greatest crime might be his hubris. Taking Claire Maddox's support as a given, he shuts her out and blatantly lies to her about the need for any West Virginia clean up and about the veracity of Daniel Purcell's toxicity report. And that lie is what will likely propel Claire, now armed with the truth about what Kendrick is doing with Finn Garrity, to assist Patty in taking him down in order to save the company. The look of dawning realization in Marcia Gay Harden's eyes as Walter flat out lies to her was heartbreaking. I am concerned, meanwhile, by the fact that Claire and Purcell's little trysts are being watched by someone (likely also working for Dave Pell) and that they could be found out before Claire makes her move. Anyone else hoping that Claire takes a job at Hewes & Associates in Season Three?

Ellen. I'm glad Ellen came clean to Wes about the fact that she knows that Patty was behind the attempt on her life. While it makes no difference to Rick Messer that Ellen doesn't care about Frobisher, Wes clearly doesn't want to follow through on his orders to kill Ellen. Could it be that the knowledge about Ellen's CI relationship with the FBI will lead him to turn on his employer, who clearly has information about some of Wes' past wrongdoings and is threatening to turn them over to Wes' old police supervisor? Ellen is hitting rock bottom; she's drinking to try to dull the pain and is desperate to tell someone--anyone--the truth about what's really going on. She drunkenly half-tells Katie that she's not "really" working for Patty but she feels this bond with Wes that propels her to tell him the truth. Is it enough to keep her alive? And just what happens with Messer's own murder attempt on Ellen? Curious.

What do you think? Did Ellen shoot Patty? Or someone else? Why is Dave going to such lengths to keep tabs on Patty? Discuss.

Next week on Damages ("London, Of Course"), Claire risks everything to expose Walter Kendrick and push him out of Ultima National Resources, while Ellen uncovers a secret about Patty's personal life.


Melissa said…
Marcia Gay Harden's performance is so stunning on this show, I've missed her and she looks amazing.
Unknown said…
So, what was the point of the punk girl that Michael was talking to at the gallery? It was obviously supposed to look like she was his girlfriend, but is that all?

Or is there more to that part of the story?
Anonymous said…
I LOVED the punk girl and her chemistry with Michael. And I agree with Andy--was that just a tease? Was there more to this than making us think Tanya was the one coming to dinner? I was actually disappointed. THAT would be a fun story line. We deserve to see Patty Hewes sitting across the table from the cute punk girl that wants to drive her limo.

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