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Damages: We’ve Got Questions

A human flip book of spitting rages, death stares, and bourbon swigs, Patty’s falling apart, and even her cougar-blinded son’s being ruthless. (“People either leave you, or they die,” Michael says. Ouch.) Wan no more, Ellen’s all secret smiles and playing dirty: The word “corruption” brings an erotic glow to her cheek, and she talks tough to Tom in FBI custody — as his wife is giving birth, no less! Kendrick has pulled out the party cigars — too soon. Wes can’t shoot his gun at Ellen; she’s too much like Snow White. Daniel Purcell is kind of a sociopath, but his conscience kicks in when his doggy digs up an old murder-scene remote control at the lake house. This juicy, crackling hour inspires cautious confidence in next week’s finale, even as the machinations accelerate and multiply with terrifying complexity. Will the following questions be answered? Believers in miracles, we say yes.

Did Patty order Ellen’s (failed) murder, or was it really Uncle Pete’s independent scheme?
Ellen — who sometimes serves as our stand-in — is as confused as any viewer regarding her boss’s emotional motivations: “She actually seems to care about me.” Agreed.

Did future-Ellen, now an exhaustively trained sharpshooter, actually shoot Patty?
How did she lure her into her hotel room, anyway? Oh, and why?

If Ellen bribes a judge based on Patty’s say-so in order to admit inadmissible evidence (like, oh, a stolen luxury hybrid SUV), will that finally entrap Patty? And will the FBI drag her away in handcuffs?
Side note: Ellen’s deep-yellow satin dress is yummy but inappropriate (in our eyes) for visiting a judge, even a buy-able one.

If Patty gets thrown in the clink, does that put the entire UNR case in limbo?
After all, she’s just fired one key lieutenant (Tom), while her other (Ellen) is the FBI informant, and supposedly about to hold her at gunpoint.

Will Daniel Purcell’s admission of guilt in his wife’s murder actually expose UNR’s entire plot and bring down Kendrick?
You know: the Aracite cover-up, the faked brownouts, the energy-stock manipulations of Finn Garrity, the poor, defenseless Cadillac used as a code mule then gone in 60 seconds to Hewes’s crew?

But wait: Turns out Purcell only tried to kill his wife in a violent rage. UNR’s cleanup goon (Darrell Hammond again, rendering latex gloves even creepier than usual) actually discovered Mrs. Purcell still alive, and finished her off. Kendrick et al. are in a lot of trouble anyway, but this murder thing could push them over the top.

In their now-impending divorce trial, how quickly and how often will Patty make Phil cry?
For Patty, his silly girlfriend is beside the point: The meatier “affair” was with power broker Dave Pell, who’s in league with UNR and is thus the Real Enemy. And he dined in their home! Disappointing that the mug she chucked was shatterproof.

But wait: Pell is also allied, somehow, with the FBI agents investigating Patty, and had Mario Van Peebles killed. What’s that all about?

Will Wes attempt to kill Ellen again? If he doesn’t, will Detective Rick do it himself?
Wes and Ellen’s chilly weekend frolic in the woods, where Wes couldn’t build up the nerve to shoot her, was eerily reminiscent of Adriana’s demise in The Sopranos.

Ellen is admittedly kinda in the weeds right now with other stuff, but will she ever solve and avenge her fiancé’s murder?
The Frobisher investigation has dried up, and Arthur was last seen in a yoga pose plotting a spirituality/guilt-absolution center.

Where’s Claire Maddox? Licking her wounds on a Greek island, eating lots of tomatoes and scrapbooking?
Will she return with blonde highlights, join Hewes & Associates as partner, and guarantee an Ally McBeal–like season three?

Photo: Courtesy of FX