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August 31, 2015

Damages: Because I Know Patty (season finale)

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Oct 24th 2007 6:58AM
Tate Donovan and Rose Byrne
(S01E13) "I'm accused of murder and my mom bakes cookies. Sounds about right." - Ellen

Four or five episodes ago, you might have caught me saying that I was getting sick of Damages. It was getting slow and I was tired of all the questions. But with each week after that, things turned around and last night's finale definitely made up for any shortcomings this phenomenal season had. If FX doesn't renew this show, I'll be more disappointed than when Showtime canned Huff. All the big questions got answered. The ones we were left with won't drive you crazy. Plus, just as Tate Donovan promised us, we got one hell of a set-up for season two.

For the majority of the episode, we got rewarded with everything we've been expecting and hoping for. No bells and whistles. The story played out smoothly. Patty got Ellen off for David's murder by cracking a deal with the D.A. and Ellen turned over the tape. We finally saw David and Ellen's "hiding place"; there was a hidden compartment in the Statue of Liberty book-end. David's killers had been holding what they wanted the entire time. Speaking of his killers, we got some illumination on that too. Wiry red-haired goon? He's a detective, and his name is Rick. That's one of the loose ends we got left with. It'll be interesting to see how Ellen approaches the situation when she finds out that Frobisher had a cop in his pocket.

Art's story wrapped up neatly too. Patty showed him the tape and he caved for her price. Art shelled over almost 93% of his net worth and Patty agreed to sign a non-disclosure agreement regarding all evidence. At the settlement party, all the other clients came down hard on Larry when they found out he was the leak. In his rage about being cut out, Larry found Frobisher, shot him, and left him for dead. Now, while we saw Art gasp for breath and flop around in the field as blood gushed from his gut, it was still a little ambiguous. I personally think he's dead, but it did leave it open for him to come back.

Once all that stuff was out of the way, the rest of the show got fun. That grave Patty had been visiting? It was family. On May 24th, 1972, Patty had a still-born daughter that she named Julia. It had no connection to her crusade against Frobisher. As far as I could tell, it served one purpose for a mere few minutes in this episode: it built up the possibility for us that Patty had accepted Ellen as the daughter she never had. However, the second that really sunk in, it was shattered and we got hit with the big (although fairly predictable) shocker: Patty ordered the hit on Ellen. Not Frobisher.

It all makes sense now, doesn't it? After Ellen admitted her regret and guilt, Patty saw her as a threat. Short, simple, logical. I like it. The irony is that had her goon succeeded, Patty would have never found out about the Gregory Malina tape.

So where does that leave us? Well, now we get to watch Ellen try and take down Patty while simultaneously trying to nail Frobisher's goons for David's murder. She's teamed up with Hollis Nye and his FBI buddies (Hollis wasn't bad after all) and agreed to feed them dirt. Patty isn't stupid though, right? So a.) she must know that she's being investigated and b.) the only reason she wants Ellen back at work is because she knows Ellen isn't stupid either. She wants to keep an eye on her since her hitman failed.

More stuff on my mind...

  • I'm terrified of Uncle Pete. When he called Patty and said "it's done" after he let the goon into the apartment... that old dude is creepy.
  • There was no pay-off with Patty's son. Why was he back in the apartment that night? Does it even matter now?
  • With Frobisher potentially dead, does the D.A. having the tape matter either? At this point, if the Frobisher case somehow plays any substantial role in the next season, it'll just be annoying.
  • What's going to happen to Larry? He shot Art no problem. Did he go after anyone else?
  • The FBI had a laundry list of things they were investigating Patty for. So... what exactly did she do? And how much does Tom actually know?
  • Does Patty's husband have any idea what his wife is actually like? I don't think he does. Phil seems like a genuinely nice guy. I bet Ellen tries to flip him.

The thing I found most amusing about the episode was how, at certain moments, we were supposed to feel bad for Patty. Let's not forget that the season started with her saying, "Yes. Kill the dog." This woman is not nice and now that Ellen is on to her,;who knows what else is going to be dug up. With this chapter over, here's to hoping that FX lets us read another.

Which would you rather see Ellen accomplish in season two?
Take down Patty.643 (54.0%)
Uncover David's killers.547 (46.0%)

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What I have never understood is what crime is Larry guilty of by taking to Frobisher. He gets squeezed out of his portion of the settlement when they threaten to hand him over to the US Attorney for talking to Frobisher. Frobisher never did pay him off. What law was he breaking?

October 28 2007 at 11:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joey Geraci

Really amazing series. Absolutely. There were the couple of questions that people mentioned, but I just thought of one other thing. When they were still doing the flashbacks, they got to the point when they were only "three days ago", and even two days. Then later, it seemed like they switched to "a week ago", but it looked liked the story was just continuing from where they were when it was only two days before the shit came down. Anybody else catch that?

At the very least, we can be greatful to FX that they let this series finish out its run. Hopefully they will bring it back, and it won't plummet/dip down in quality (Like Eureka/Friday Night Lights, etc.)

October 26 2007 at 11:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Two things:
1. Blooper - Ellen ran out of the apartment after the murder attempt wearing black pants and grabbing an overcoat. The next scene she going out the door no pants and in her underwear under the jacket.
2. Patty's son saw Pete pass the key to the guy who tried to kill Ellen. Possible theory.

October 26 2007 at 7:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Does anyone recognize Frobisher's apartment/condo in New York? Where do you think it was filmed? It looked very cool!

October 26 2007 at 5:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I liked the symmetry of Ray leaving Patty's office and returning to shoot himself in front of her, and Ellen's leaving the cab and reentering it with the idea of revenge against Patty.

Now I understand why Patty's reaction to the telephonic news that Ellen had been arrested was one of super shock. It was the revelation that her hit had failed.

Maybe in some twisted way, Patty resents and hates Ellen, because she exists and her own daughter does not. The more she respects Ellen, the more she hates her, because her dead daughter should have had Ellen's life's accomlishments, not Ellen. I think Patty resents her very existence.

Now I understand Patty's reaction when Ellen told her she thought they went to far, and crossed a line. Just the excuse Patty needed to kill Ellen. She decided in a split second and offered Ellen her apartment. Such a quick decision because she hates Ellen.

I usually watch the show again, immediately after viewing. How many shows can you say that about? I think Debra Messing is married to one of the writer producers, Daniel Zelman, who's not only handsome, he's brilliant.

FX, do what Bravo did with Project Runway. The first season did poorly, so they reran it all summer and the audience for the second season was huge. Rerun Damages and publicize it. Most people I know were unaware of Damages. PLEASE let us have more of this show. I'll be heart broken if it disappears.

October 25 2007 at 9:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Sorry if I missed this in the comments, but does anyone think that Patty may have lost her baby (perhaps the baby was Frobisher's) and in her grief, stolen another baby -- her son. Just wondrin.


October 25 2007 at 9:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This was certainly one of the best shows to come around in a while. What's really nice-unlike other shows (um, Traveler anyone?) that I've really enjoyed, til I was left hanging- Damages actually ended at a point where I could be at peace with it. Certainly there are open questions, what exactly is Michaels role, Uncle Pete, there's more to the daughter story for sure, why that land was so important to Art, etc. But most of the big questions were addressed and there will be plenty to see if we get a 2nd season.

I'm left wondering just who is the biggest a-hole, Patty or Art? Both were responsible for some pretty dispicable behavior. All of the things Patty did, what I thought was the worst, was her cutting Larry out of his share of the settlement. No matter that he might have deserved it, it cost Patty nothing to give him the money. IMO, she did that just because she could. It seemed beyond vindictive. If I were him, it would have been Patty that I would have shot. After thinking about it, I kind of wish the writers would have done it that way. Art was a broken man at the end; having Patty shot would have been more interesting.

I think Art will bounce back easily, at least until Patty breaks the non-disclosure deal. I'm not sure how she will pull that off, isn't she asking for trouble? I didn't really understand that part, I guess.

October 25 2007 at 5:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i assumed Patty wanted Ellen killed because Ellen was the only person who knew that Patty was going to blackmail Ray.

October 24 2007 at 11:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree w/atm about Patty's hatred of Fro: "Does Patty's daughters death have anything to do with the car accident that Arthure Frobisher was invloved in years back? I cant remember the date of the car accident."

I also agree w/ Donna about the seemingly attempted murder of Ellen "imo, however, the guy ellen ended up stabbing was in the apartment for a reason connected to the son somehow. the office "uncle" was arranging clean up of the whole mess so that the son wouldnt be implicated in what ever he'd put into play - eg. having his mother killed. that the son would do something (again) to hurt his mother would explain why patti would be so upset on the beach."
Or...What if Patti tried to kill her son(Michael)? & if that was why she was so upset on the beach;visited her baby's grave for the 1st time in 35 years?
Glenn Close is sooooo fantastic as Patti --I'm riveted to the Tivo each wk (I just now saw it) & I hope they renew but DON'T succeed in taking Patti down, cuz I want her back again the following season!! She absolutely makes the show -- and brilliant writers.
Ellen really booorrrred me up until the last 2 weeks. Now she is like a "mini Patti" & interesting.

Also, as to the bloody bookend at the beachhouse - Wow- I never saw that - but I'm still a bit suspicious of Tom; and also of Uncle Pete. Tom seems to act too nice & maybe be playing his own agenda no one suspects him of. Or maybe HE is in on everything w/ the FBI invest. of Patti also.

THis is why I loved this show - I kept thinking about it all week - & trying to figure out all the twists & turns.

October 24 2007 at 10:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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