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July 26, 2014

Damages: Do You Regret What We Did?

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Sep 26th 2007 7:28AM

Rose Byrne as Ellen Parsons on FX's Damages.

(S01E09) "I want you to feel the disgust in your children's eyes when they look on you in shame." - Patty

Well, that certainly made up for the last few weeks. It's been slow to build, but I think that most of what's going to shape the rest of this season took form in last night's episode of Damages. Granted, a lot happened. Definitely a blink and you missed it kind of situation. But then again, that was one of the things that made me fall in love with the pilot in the first place. I'm actually starting to believe that the writers may be able to wrap this season up with a logical and satisfying ending.

Everything is starting to come together. All the little things we've assumed or only heard bits and pieces about were finally laid on the table for us in plain English. It's slightly annoying to me that everything was such a guessing game up until now, and just like that -- it's all out. For new viewers that tuned in for the first time, all you needed was last night's episode to really get into the game. There isn't much else you missed out on and most of the season's mysteries at least got a foundation to rest on.

First off, we saw the first hint that David and Ellen aren't going to last. Lyla, who apparently has a pocket full of restraining orders, has chosen David as her next "lover." She made copies of his keys, planted them back in Ellen's sock drawer, and even visited Ellen at work. I don't think Ellen believes her right now, but something tells me that Lyla's persistence will wear her down. It's hard to ignore someone who says she's sleeping with your fiancé. Throughout all this, I loved seeing how Ellen has changed. I think I mentioned this last week. She wears only black and acts much colder. She was going to call security to get rid of Lyla and then she ripped David a new one when she interrogated him about Lyla later that day. Despite the mini-vacation they went on to Patty's beach house, the engagement is definitely rocky.

Speaking of Patty's beach house, what happened there? In the present, things are still moving forward. Now that Ellen has been transferred to Riker's Island, she seems to have renewed some of her trust in Tom. I think she believes him when he says that he has no idea where Patty is. No one does. All we know is that she was driving out of New York like a crazy person behind the wheel, crying and sobbing. Even though Ellen told Patty that the engagement was off (What did they do that Ellen regrets?), I doubt very much that's what has her torn up. If she did order a hit on David and Ellen, what would Patty's motive be? The only clue so far is Ellen admitting to Tom that she knows something in the previews for next week. I should hope so! If she doesn't know something, this is going to sink fast.

Random thought... we haven't seen Frobisher once in the present. Where's he at? Would he have a reason to visit Ellen in jail?

Back in the past, the only other thing to talk about is Frobisher's side. People are frustrated with him, especially Moore. Spilling info to Ellen was interesting, but I personally think that Arthur having his own personal Chappaquiddick (sort of) is a bit too convenient at this point in the season. It just makes it easier for Patty to take him down I think. Takes away some of the challenge. Anyway, Moore and Fiske brought it all out in an attempt to bring Arthur into settlement mode. Seems foolish since he's been so stubborn thus far. Plus, now that Ray and Moore sent some goons to take out Gregory, that's another missing puzzle piece which only makes a trial seem more attractive to Frobisher.

Ah... but what about the tape? Assuming it wasn't destroyed when Gregory was hit by the car, the police are going to find that on his body. I think he stuck it in his pocket. Or did he leave it in his bag when he went to walk the dog? I forget. Either way, the police or Katie are going to find that tape and after that it all falls down. Even if Moore is able to kill all knowledge of Gregory's stock sale, Katie now has the check to prove it. But we know how they operate now. If they know Katie has any of this stuff, she's in trouble. We know she doesn't get killed because we saw her ID David's body in the present, but that doesn't mean they can't try. The question is who will come after her first? Patty or Arthur? Both sides want what she has.

Which story do you think will play a bigger role in David's death?
The reasons for Patty fleeing New York.90 (43.7%)
His connections to Lyla.75 (36.4%)
His relation to Katie.41 (19.9%)

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Steven Rubio

A quick question ... we didn't get to this week's episode until tonight. Was that the first scene so far between Close and Danson?

September 28 2007 at 2:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
e

chase

You are right about Heroes. But it's a dramatized comic book, not a series that pretends to be realistic. That's like expecting the Fantastic Four to be realistic. When it comes to pure Sci Fi/Fantacy the standards are different, I wouldn't object to an associate being hired for a convoluted readon if we where talking about Harby Birdman Attorney at Law. For a "realistic" series try Mad Men.

September 27 2007 at 1:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
e

Rodney - Good one, you are right about 10.

But, if you are to meet in private because you don't want anyone to even see you together, wouldn't it make sense to go out of the meeting place at separate times?

If you subtract #10, there's still twelve more. If I was wrong about three more, like, well the dog is already dead and we know who did it, that still gives you nine in the convolutedness (I just had to use that word, at least once) of the multiple lines of the plot. That's, what, three more than I want to deal with. I mean, come on, did the kid have to send his mother a grenade in the mail?

And hiring an associate because her fiance is the brother of a witness whom they already know knows nothing because they already knew the boytoy was the one they wanted? In real life they would just have deposed him and, if they thought he was in danger, taken him to a secure location until the trial.

Also, who didn't notice when Patty told what'shername she didn't like her assistant that it meant she should just fire him? I mean, come on, you don't come out of law school that green.

Oh, wait, there's another plot line I forgot. How about her father running the woman over and being naive enough to want to take responsibility for it? Then, of course, there's the murder of her fiance. See, even losing one and giving back a couple there are still ten or more plot lines going on at once, some of which are unnecessary and annoying. And we haven't even gotten to Frobisher's wife and children. Wait, there's the guy who used to work for Frobisher who's his spy and is now turned - never having gotten a dime for it. I think we can hold to, at least ten plot points. If this series gets beyond two seasons we may find that the hotdog vendor in the corner had some illicit things going on.

I'm going to stop now. You just made me remember a few more which I'm not going to list. I have liked Glenn Close since Fatal Attraction, but the Shield was better for her than this complicated-for-it's-own-sake melodrama.

September 27 2007 at 1:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
chase

E...haha, I'm going to respect your opinion...but you get upset that he calls someone on his cellphone and says, "do it"? How is anyone going to implicate him from that? It wouldn't happen. And then you go and mention heroes.... That show has a million things wrong with it. The writers screw up the continuity like crazy.

Episode 1...Peter rides in cab with Mohinder...they meet and introduce each other. Then like in episode 4...Peter shows up at Mohinders door because of the book he saw....They both reintroduce each other and act like they've never met.

Don't even get me started with the finale. Hiro jumps in....shouts, "sylar"...then runs from about 20 feet away, and charges while Sylar just stands there. Then the worst thing about the episode is the "exploding man" himself. Everyone knew that someone was going to explode and destroy the city....and where the hell is the haitian? Just chilling around in the bahamas? The haitian would have been the easiest way to stop the exploding man...he could have just sat there. Claire could have just stabbed peter in the side of the head...or heck with it...she probably could have shot him in the side of the head...and the bullet would pop out. Instead Nathan comes up with a cool plan to kill two people instead of one. It just was goofy. Those writers can't even secure actors/actress's on the show. The actor who played Claude left...luckily...and i mean luckily they got him back for this season. THe actress who played Claire's mom left...so who knows what they will do with that. The whole thing is messed up.

September 27 2007 at 1:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rodney

e@10:

Point 4: Actually, Ray befriended Gregory and then had him rent a condo in his (Gregory's) name so that Frobisher could meet quietly, under the radar, with Moore. Gregory would have no possible connection to Frobisher. While he was down there, he happened to pick up Katie in a bar, and she saw what she saw (she says: very little, but they think otherwise) by accident. He then was instructed to pretend to be married to get away from her.

September 26 2007 at 6:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
e

Midnight Penguin: I just don't think the issues can be resolved. Let me count the ones I remember

1 A guy defrauds his stockholders - check
2 He does a Kennedy and killed a girl/ran away while she
died in his car
3 He cheats on his wife on a regular basis
4 His lawyer is gay, but married and uses his boytoy to
befriend/have sex with a woman whom they think may
have seen something - the problem here is that his
conscience bothers him so much he's having
nightmares we get to witness.
4a Said boytoy is given stock and a job for manipulating
the supposed witness and is having second thoughts
about it, because now he may be in love with a woman
with whom he had sex once.
4b The woman who ended up not seeing anything is paid
off/persecuted by both attorneys.
4c Her dog gets killed by one of the attorneys!
5 A public official responsible for investigating the
malfeasance is in on it and may be mob related.
6 The attorney for the employees is a psycho who
appears in bathroom out of nowhere.
7 Her son is a psycho who sends bomb threats to his
Mother.
8 She hires an associate whom is given an integral part
investigation just because she's the fiance of the
brother to the witness who saw nothing even though
they know she knows nothing and just want to flush
out the boytoy.
9 Her fiance has a serial stalker after him.
10 He's killed.

That's thirteen plot points and we haven't gotten to trial yet! I love Glenn Close but this is ridiculous. Forget about the fact that recently hired associates don't get that close to billion dollar cases, but the whole serial stalker thing, the son who's sent to a concentration camp and all the people who discover they have morals after the deed are just too much for me to waste another two hours on this. So far the only characters who don't seem to have a problem are the old man who killed the dog, we don't see him with nightmares about it yet, and the killers hired to defend/kill the boytoy. Oh, and wasn't that a great scene when Ted Danson's character uses his own phone to call the guy to have the boytoy killed?

I'll be watching Chuck, the Reaper, Bionic Woman, Heroes and Back to You, among others; but Mad Men is my favorite so far.

September 26 2007 at 6:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
The Midnight Penguin

e - you only have three episodes left, you really can't stick around to watch to find out?

September 26 2007 at 4:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gudlyf

@Brownie -- That was a younger Patty.

@khamel -- I didn't say that Patty's husband was the one who Ellen confronts and kills, just that perhaps he's "taken care of" in another way. Remember her asking Patty if she regrets what they did?

September 26 2007 at 3:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brownie

Who is the woman in the pictures that Tom found at Patty's beach house?

September 26 2007 at 2:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Karen

Tim@3, you and I must be on some kind of freaky mind-meld. From the boiling pot (which contained popcorn, not Peter Rabbit), through to your theory on Lila DiMeo, you hit every point that was in my mind!

I loved that Ellen has become savvy enough to mistrust George Moore's motives--she's come a long way since Patty hired her.

I thought this was a great episode, and it just makes me more anxious for the following weeks. I'm loving this show--but then, I was also one of the 15 people who loved "Kidnapped" last season, so maybe there's something wrong with me.

Oh, and Jonathan: Malina put the tape in his bag just before he pulled out the envelope for Katie, so no, it wasn't on him. That is going to one crazy incriminating piece of evidence when (if?) it comes out.

September 26 2007 at 2:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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