Damages: Lawyers and Idiots, Not Mutually Exclusive

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Don't give us that look. Photo: Courtesy of FX
Show
Damages
Episode Title
A Pretty Girl in a Leotard
Season
2
Episode
6

What the hell is going on? Last night was skimpy on the comic flourishes that have carbonated recent episodes. (Patty craves Chinese, Ellen watches a black-lady-judge show, an FBI agent has marital problems.) While the momentum sputtered, we tried to relish some quality time with long-lost friends and slutty, shiny new acquaintances, even as others (Wes, Patty’s husband and son, Uncle Pete) went missing with other plot threads.

Katie Connor, Ellen’s knocked-around almost-sister-in-law, is back, to unwittingly attract the attention of stalkers from the Frobisher days and remind Ellen of her culpability in the un-avenged death of her fiancé. When Ellen takes the opportunity to patronize her, Katie fires back: “Right. Because you’re a lawyer and I’m an idiot.” Lawyers and idiots are not mutually exclusive, Katie.

The stinky-looking NYPD detective who bludgeoned David Conner in the tub will be an uninvited, gun-wielding guest at Future Ellen’s hotel room. Back in the present, he shoots his accomplice, another cop, who’s been made by Katie.

Hi, Greta Van Sustern! It’s unclear where she’s been in the real world, but Greta makes her second Damages cameo playing what most actors on the show play: a patsy, helping Patty pick a public fight with Kendrick by accusing him of murdering Christine Purcell. This leads to a quickly settled defamation lawsuit and, more important, plummeting stock prices for UNR. Anachronism: A billion-dollar corporation plagued only by a toxic plant and merger jitters? In 2009, this ain’t no thing.

Claire Maddox, we’re falling for you. As another fearsome attorney with intimacy and control issues, she remains an alternate, Planet Buxom version of Patty: Though her boss tries to hook her up with old tycoons, she prefers trysts with Danny (why?) and hot young waiters. Post-coitus she enjoys, like a Howard Hawks villainess, rolling up her stockings, a solo smoke, and silence.

We feel strangely compelled to rub up against a 2009 Cadillac Escalade after Clarke Peters’s character buys one in cash, extolling its fuel efficiency and navigation system, later handing the keys to Kendrick at a gallery. Unless we simply didn’t get the joke (highly possible), this was perhaps the most embarrassing brand-integration scene in the genre’s history — plus, does Cadillac really want viewers to associate its wares with corrupt, scheming corporate thugs? Branding is weird.

Having healed up nicely, Arthur Frobisher meets with this season’s baddie, Balanchine-loving Kendrick, at the ballet. Frobisher out-crasses Kendrick in describing their mutual adversary, Patty, as a castrating, dildo-wearing rapist. But the potty-mouthing was all for show. Because, in the Big Reveal of the night, Frobisher is the UNR shareholder recruited by Patty to sue UNR. So far, Ellen doesn’t know about this unholiest of alliances with her fiancé’s killer. How her eyes will widen at the news.