Damages: We Love It When a Plan Comes Together

By
Photo: Courtesy of FX
Show
Damages
Episode Title
London. Of Course.
Season
2
Episode
11

We envy the Damages posse’s dedication to alcohol: When aren’t these duplicitous, paranoid puppets and puppeteers draining a head-size goblet of wine, a tumbler of whiskey, or a Dixie cup of spiked (we bet) OJ? Today, we'd like a drink to celebrate the bracing, burning clarity afforded by matters finally locking into place — not that we saw it coming.

The anachronistic magazine spread. Now that Phil, Patty’s hubby, is up for that Energy Secretary appointment (ironically arranged by Pell, Kendrick’s D.C.-connected henchman, to grease the UNR merger), it’s the perfect time for a Phil-and-Patty power-couple spread in New York Style Magazine. (In the real world, this magazine would have already shuttered, its fluffy, expensively dressed reporter submitting herself to a MediaBistro mixer.) Patty’s staff gives canned testimonials, with Tom basically admitting that his job demands more of a blood-oath commitment than his kid. “Ellen knows all my secrets,” Patty tells the reporter. And how! Ellen, meanwhile, lays it on thick to the reporter, even pulling that grating fake-friendly trick of addressing her by her first name.

Ellen gets the scoop, awakes from coma. Ellen spies Phil with a clop-clopping trollop (a financial advisor from London) saying a lusty goodbye in the lobby of the hotel where Ellen lives (and Phil apparently canoodles). Crestfallen, she keeps this ammo in her pocket — for now — and discovers that Patty has suddenly denied her promised resources to work on the Frobisher case. This leads to a thermonuclear confrontation in Patty’s office. “We’ve talked about your temper,” Patty mews to Ellen later. “It’s a shame you can’t control it.” Coming from the self-professed rageoholic herself, this is comedy gold. Ellen hires her own investigator, has photos taken of Phil and Mistress. She sends them anonymously to Patty and fixes to be in Patty’s office as she opens the evidence. “How do you make your marriage work?” she asks as Patty quietly tears open the envelope. “Trust and commitment. Some things are simple!” Patty says, about to be schooled. In a transformation similar to season one, Ellen is no longer catatonic but very fabulous.

Maddox gets made, allies with Patty. Claire Maddox’s daddy issues run deep, and she feels epically betrayed by Kendrick for being such a dishonest and manipulative water-poisoner and stock-fixer. Her solution, cooked up with schlub Purcell, who's back again: Oust Kendrick and Mitch McCullen, his heir apparent, through an elaborate double-crossing scheme, and take over UNR herself! Good plan: She successfully cajoles McCullen into pissing off Kendrick, thereby taking him out of consideration. But then she’s triple-crossed and fired, because of a videotaped love session with Purcell. Wrecked, Maddox finds her Obi-Wan in Patty, who Maddox knows is dirty enough to take down her old boss. Her slithery consonants weakened by defeat, Maddox, a woman scorned like Patty, is an ally we never expected.

NY1 Cameo! The photos of Phil and his mistress were leaked to the press, thereby ending his UNR Energy Secretary dreams. This also leads to Patty’s breakdown; when Ellen discovers Patty at home, she has trashed her room and is muttering something about donating her clothes to Goodwill. “It wasn’t the affair — it was that he got sloppy,” Patty explains from a heap. “That bothers me.”

One Patty down. Again, we see Future-Patty a bloody mess, discovered by the surviving FBI (double?) agent Werner, who then arrests Ellen for shooting her. This girl can’t stay out of jail.

What of Frobisher? Wes’ imperative to kill Ellen, or else? (Rick’s not getting any assist from the black-ops security group on that one.) The poisoned piggies down in West Virginia? Just how much uglier could the UNR case get?