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

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Damages: Because I Know Patty

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 the season finale definitely made up for any shortcomings this phenomenal season had. All the big questions got answered. The ones I was left with won't drive me crazy.

For the majority of the episode, I was rewarded with everything I'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. I 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, I 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 I'm 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 I 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 me that Patty had accepted Ellen as the daughter she never had. However, the second that really sunk in, it was shattered and I 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 me? Well, now I 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, I was 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 next summer's second season.

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