Damages Goes on a Binge

By
Ellen, please. Photo: Courtesy of FX
Show
Damages
Episode Title
New York Sucks
Season
2
Episode
7

Deluxe hookers, Polish pastries, strawberries, Metamucil, sea lions, Zen gardens, electronica-fueled coke binges . . . this episode is a blast! Frothy, pungent exchanges and excitingly linear (!) plot progressions have us in a gleeful mood, ready to forgive even Ellen’s most vacant stares.

The fate of UNR’s stock price and Kendrick’s bid for big-city corporate power relies on a “maverick” commodities trader (and MIT alum) who likes Emperor’s Club–grade escorts, cocaine, and really bad techno. Straight out of a Ben Mezrich bestseller, “Finn Garrity” also serves to explain the crucial role of that white Cadillac Escalade, Damages’ very own McFlurry: For now, its GPS monitor is being used to convey cryptic numbers from Kendrick, through various intermediaries, to his nerdy stocks-boosting friend. Kendrick is off his game this week, entertaining his bratty, hyperactive grandkids unmoved by the adorable sea lions of Central Park. Meanwhile, Pell (Clarke Peters) picks up on Kendrick’s desperation to get away from the “toothless masses of Appalachia.” Real nice.

While Kendrick strives for legitimacy, Frobisher hilariously continues to deny his inherent douche-baggery and previous wrongdoings. He wears white caftans, meditates awkwardly with a Deepak-ish spiritual advisor, and tells new bestie, Patty, that he’s a builder and that he “made mistakes.” To which Patty replies, “That’s big of you,” her sarcastic chirpiness sounding a lot like the Barefoot Contessa holding up a plate of canapés.

When Ellen understandably flips out about this new client, Patty is similarly nonchalant. But taking on Frobisher as a client is a brilliant strike against UNR, and gets a lead on David’s murder. Yay? We also noticed that Ellen refused an offer of a pastry, forcing us to remark upon her gauntness for the 100th time this season.

Even if Patty’s intentions here are upstanding, she’s about to get screwed, maybe, by Uncle Pete. We previously questioned her alliance with this Junior Soprano–like goon; turns out he’s her actual uncle! Patty’s got some workin’-class roots. Given her primordial ambition and Brokovitchian caseload, this actually makes total sense.

In any case, the evening arguably belonged to sniveling, newly complex Pete McKee: He’s got a dying wife whose final days are spent hooked up to an oxygen tank, watching infomercials and downing Metamucil. (“One infomercial and you’re a fiber Nazi!”) Awwww. But he’s bribed, robbed, and cheated through life, and has a trunk full of his hard-ass niece’s deep secrets in storage. We understand why he downed several bottles of pills: We couldn’t turn Patty over to the Feds and then deal with her life-force wrath in this lifetime. Next week: Uncle Pete lingers at the hospital while Patty stares.

Remainders
Did cipher-like Tom Shales go Client 9 with that escort during his fact-finding mission? Does he actually have flaws?

Wes tells Ellen that he shot his first Bushmaster at age 8 and had a violent father. No wonder he’s getting nowhere with her, nookie- or intel-wise.