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We're All Businessmen Here: Intrigues Aplenty on "Damages"

The enemy is closing in.

On this week's episode of Damages ("You Got Your Prom Date Pregnant"), Patty went on the offensive against the FBI, Messer moved Wes into place, and Patty's husband Phil became a bigger player in a conspiracy that threatens to ensnare nearly every character on this serpentine series.

If there's one thing you don't want, even if you are the FBI, it's Patty coming after you and yet that's just what Patty does, bringing the battle right into the New York field office. Something's definitely fishy with this federal investigation of Patty Hewes, something that involves the deputy director, and I am hoping that the next few episodes get to the bottom of this intriguing twist.

Tom. I'm very curious to see just what events precipitate Tom's firing from Hewes & Associates. After all, Patty DID fire him in Season One... even if it was just a fake firing so that Tom could work behind the scenes. Still, something truly earth-shattering must happen that ends the partnership between Tom and Patty, something so awful that Tom feels compelled to get Ellen the gun that she turns on Patty in the hotel room. That Tom wouldn't even be allowed access to Hewes & Associates (where he threatens to sue Patty for wrongful termination) is very interesting as it seems as though Tom has done something to displease Patty. Just how this ties into the procurement of the gun remains to be seen. But as seen from the other flash-forwards, Ellen demands payment from Patty. So does she get tied up in the very UNR conspiracy she seems to want to tear down?

I liked seeing Tom take more of a proactive role in this week's episode; he's been relegated far too often to the shadows this season. Here, he manages to track down the SUV that Kendrick is using to pass along coded messages to Finn Garrity via The Deacon... and demands to know why Patty didn't bother to tell him that she was under investigation by the FBI. ("I'm telling you now" is her answer.) I'm glad that it was Tom who approached an Assistant US Attorney about the FBI's investigation. I was worried that said contact would end up being a former flame of Tom's or something of the sort, so I was chuffed that it was actually his sister instead. Far more troubling, though, than Tom's future employment situation is why there is no record of the FBI's investigation. So where are the agents' case updates going?

The Feds. I loved that Ellen finally questioned Agents Warner and Harrison about whether they were actually federal agents and that they turned around and jokingly said that they were members of a government branch that investigated extraterrestrials. Ha ha, guys. In all seriousness, Warner and Harrison are also concerned by why there's no record of their investigation and, despite not liking Ellen (nice touch), they confront their supervisor McGraff (Kevin O'Rourke), who says that the deputy director of the FBI pulled the file as Patty has contacts within the Justice Department and he didn't want her to be tipped off. It's a convenient answer that seems far too convenient to be true. Something else is going on here and, judging from the call that McGraff makes to an unknown person (perhaps not the deputy director?), there's a lot of smoke and mirrors here to distract from the truth about what this investigation is really about. Given their propensity for flipping targets and forcing them to reveal information, I wonder if there isn't a bigger fish to fry than Patty Hewes. Curious.

Phil. Once again, Phil tries desperately to get Patty to drop her case against UNR, made all the more urgent by the fact that he's now secretly a shareholder. But Patty is not relenting (did he really think she would?) and says that she won't let UNR get away with it. Phil accuses Patty of being paranoid as she thinks that UNR and the FBI are out to get her. Sadly, she also believes that Uncle Pete killed himself in order to protect her, unaware that he was murdered by the same man who tried to kill Ellen in Patty's apartment. (Oh, was a tangled web we weave...)

Meanwhile, Phil is the target of Dave Pell, who wants to nominate Phil as the replacement energy secretary; Kendrick and Pell clearly want someone in their pocket and Phil has enough of a reputation to divert attention. Plus, his relationship with Patty, currently crusading against UNR, makes him an even more appetizing nomination. More smoke and mirrors... Still, Phil is not comfortable with politics and instead whispers in Dave Pell's ear about Patty's old charitable partner Sam Arseneau (I was wondering when he'd come back into the picture) and sets up a dinner party so Phil can meet Arseneau. Said dinner party descends into a public tiff between Phil and Patty over dinner (as they argue about the free market), Arseneau sings "Danny Boy," and Patty and Dave Pell bond on the couch. While Phil is behind Sam Arseneau, it's clear Patty is not: she tells Pell that Arseneau is a spoiled brat who will stab him in the back. Turns out that Patty and Pell are more similar than they believed: unlike the others, they are not "to the manor born," but self-made power brokers. Could an unlikely alliance be forming? Or will Patty learn that it's Pell pulling some of the strings? Hmmm...

Katie. I'm glad that Katie didn't fall for Wes' charms and realized that he was only going out with her to get information on Ellen. While she didn't totally read his signals correctly (she believes he's interested in Ellen), it does show that Katie isn't quite as naive as she was during Season One. Still, Katie does screw up when she divulges everything they know about Frobisher's involvement with David's death, even alerting him to the fact that she and Ellen know about Calder Security. (Damn it, Katie, really?)

Wes. Wes, for his part, does seem to have feelings for Ellen. And he's clearly chafing under Messer's insane demands on him to keep tabs on Ellen. The final straw seems to be when Messer tasks him with running some high-powered rifles to New Jersey. Wes is tired of being Messer's errand boy, yet he continues to follow Messer's commands, as though he's somehow in Messer's thrall. And it's hardly surprising that Wes falls into bed with Ellen, which further complicates things when Messer instructs Wes to kill Ellen and make it look like an accident... even though Ellen clearly doesn't know Messer even exists.

UNR. Kendrick is finally making his play, using Wayne Suttry's company to create a hypothetical situation involving supply and demand. They are going to shut down a plant in Idaho to create a supply drop in energy with a storm coming and thus increase the demand and inflate the stock price. But now that Tom has figured out how these messages are being passed on to Finn, think they'll be able to prevent the next trade? Hmmm...

What did you think of this week's episode? What is Patty's endgame? Just what happens between her and Tom? And will Wes be unable to follow through on Messer's orders? Discuss.

Next week on Damages ("Uh Oh, Out Come the Skeletons"), Patty ramps up the pressure in her case against UNR; Ellen tells Wes that someone tried to kill her and Wes surprises her by asking if she wants to get away with him; the FBI's investigation of Patty takes a shocking twist.

Comments

Anonymous said…
The fact that there are no FBI files on Patty is extremely suspicious (and I don't believe the excuse about not wanting to tip off anyone in the Justice Department for one second).

Also interesting is Patty's husband's growing involvement in UNR and also seeing Dave Pell in her home (getting advice from her, no less)! Things are getting very messy...
Anonymous said…
This weeks episode felt more like a connecting storylines one than the usual twists one. I loved every second of it. I think the guy from the FBI is somehow connected to UNR, as Patty suspects.

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