"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Friday, September 21, 2007

Damages: And My Paralyzing Fear of Death

Um... what changed? It's not that this episode was bad, but there was a huge drop off between this episode and the last episode in terms of tension. As a viewer, the last two episodes made me feel nervous and anxious. Not so much this time. Nothing about this episode really made me gasp or jump out of my seat. It was just a lot of what I already knew, with some extra info thrown in. The biggest issue? Way too much of the episode was devoted to Patty's misfit son. Unless something is switched around, he means nothing to the story as a whole.

So he sent the grenade to Patty and planted the second one in Phil's glove compartment. How predictable was that? The fact that it was so obvious that he was behind it rendered the truth as being completely anti-climactic. I loved all the little hints we got from Frobisher throughout the episode suggesting that he may have been behind the grenade threats. I wish he had been! Seeing the episode close with him palming another grenade and smirking... or something like that would have been great in my opinion.

My point? When does Arthur finally become the bad guy? Or maybe he doesn't? If that's the case, when does Patty become the bad guy? She never will in my eyes as long as they keep humanizing her with all this sentimental "my family is falling apart" business. It's three episodes in and I still don't know who I'm rooting for. I'm loving this show, but I need some direction. If the ambiguity keeps up, I'm going to lose interest. Take a cue from Tom and his frustrations with Patty sidelining him. I need something bigger to sink my teeth into.

What did I learn? Simple things, that while interesting, don't necessarily make up for the slow pacing of the rest of the episode. I know Greg (Katie's Florida fling) is now married and became some kind of consultant. While Tom hasn't found anything yet, I'm sure there's a Frobisher connection buried in there somewhere. We know Ellen brought on Hollis Nye as her lawyer and not Patty. That has to mean something. We know that Ellen and David eventually called off the engagement. The question is why? Again, I'm quite certain that too will have ties to the case and David's disgust that Ellen got Katie involved.

But who killed David? For the first time in the flashbacks, we finally saw a third party in the apartment. Someone was attacking Ellen with a knife. That doesn't mean it was David's killer though. Unless it wasn't a third party and David was the one with the knife? If that was the case, Ellen would be safe in saying she didn't murder David but rather that she was merely protecting herself out of self-defense.

Beyond all those questions, it was very much a Patty-centric episode and I'm really not sure that I care about her home life too much. She's afraid of dying. She cries in her husband's arms and worries for his safety and then turns around and sets her son up to be kidnapped in an effort to knock some sense into him. Well which is it? Is she compassionate or ruthless? I'm getting tired from sitting on this fence.

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