Glenn Close Demands "Damages" Recaps
Cross Posted At Megan's Minute
The opening theme song of the FX show "Damages" says: "When I get through with you, there won't be anything left." That's the show in a nutshell. The "I" is cutthroat New York attorney Patty Hewes and the "you" is anybody in her immediate vicinity. Deliciously played by Glenn Close, Patty is a manipulating virtuoso in high priced pumps. Think Alex Forrest of "Fatal Attraction" meets the Marquise Isabelle de Merteuil of "Dangerous Liaisons." Like Alex Forrest she has no problem hurting defenseless little animals (poor Saffron) to reach her goals, and like the Marquise her machinations and their results are her prime source of entertainment. 'Cause make no mistake Patty Hewes loves to win, but she loves jerking people around even more.
I'll be recapping "Damages" every week for the length of the series. The following are recaps of the first two episodes and they're chock full of spoilers:
Episode 1: The Pilot
From the opening visuals showing a sepia washed New
York City and a dazed and bloody young woman, barely clothed, running
from an elevator and down a New York City street, we're thrown into this show head first. The woman is Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne) and the next
thing we know she's in a holding room at a police station wondering what the hell happened to her life.
We flashback six months for the answers. There's the fresh faced, non-bloody Ellen Parsons being made a fabulous six figure offer by Hollis Nye (Philip Bosco)
attorney at law. He concedes his failure to hire her when he finds out she's got an interview with Patty Hewes and immediately deduces Ellen will go to work for her instead. He's nice enough about it but tells her she'll be sorry. For good measure, he has Ellen sign the back of one of his cards. Above her signature he
writes "I was warned," and says he did it so his conscience will be clear when she goes down in flames.
The first time we meet Patty she lies her way into a settlement with an opposing attorney. She gets him to agree to her settlement amount by letting him think a verdict has already been reached. After he tells the judge they've agreed to an amount, he
discovers the jury was out to lunch and hadn't reached a verdict at all.
Pissed that he's been duped he says, "Patty if you were a man I'd
kick the living dog-sh**t out of you." She shoots back with a tight
smile, "If you were a man, I'd be worried." It's a classic Glenn Close
line delivered in a deliciously Glenn Close way and I laugh every time I hear it.
After Nye's warning Ellen meets Patty's flunky Tom Shayes (Tate
Donovan), who immediately tells her that the only time Patty can
interview her is on Ellen's sister's wedding day...and she has to be
available all day. Ellen's appalled and reluctantly turns down the offer.
So our character lines have been drawn. Ellen's a sweet but ambitious
woman who puts family above all else and Patty is a barracuda who'll do
just about anything to get what she wants.
At the infamous wedding, who shows up but Patty herself. She toys with
Ellen just long enough to tell her she's been hired and let her think
it's because she's so wonderful and talented and blah, blah, blah.
What we come to find out however is that Ellen's newly engaged to a
young doctor David Connor (Noah Bean) who's caterer sister Katie
(Anastasia Griffith) is a witness that Patty needs. You see, Patty's
representing some disgruntled employees (DE's) whose pensions
evaporated quicker than you can say "Enron" when their corporate head
honcho Arthur Frobisher, a white-haired and sleazy looking Ted Danson
ditched his own stock before the company's crash.
We're told the whole case turns on whether it can be proven that
Frobisher spoke to his broker during a certain weekend in Florida.
Guess who happened to be catering a party for Frobisher that weekend?
None other than sister Katie. And Frobisher loved her food so much he
bankrolled a restaurant for her as long as she kept quiet about it.
Ellen eventually figures this all out and correctly suspects it's the
main reason Patty hired her.
Flash forward to still dazed and bloody Ellen. Hollis Nye's at the police station
identifying her. The cops called him after his bloody "I was warned"
card was found in her pocket. So far Hollis Nye has been all
sympathetic uncle and everything, but personally I don't trust him.
Anyway the cops break into the apartment Ellen shared with fiance
David. They find a bloody engagement ring on the floor and the rest of
the apartment trashed.
Flashback to Frobisher and Larry. Frobisher's invited Larry, one of the DE's to his private club, offers him a big ol' lemonade and talks about how he's a self made man, and one of them, and what can I do to make this whole thing go away?
Larry's number is $100 million and when Patty hears the employees
want to settle for that amount she hits the roof. She does damage
control with the other DE's, saying that Frobisher is worth a lot more and $100 million is a drop in the bucket. In spite of her arguments, the DE's vote to take the settlement.
Frobisher's having Katie followed and when he finds out that Katie knows Ellen, Frobisher tells his lawyer Ray Fiske (Zeljko Ivanek), "whatever it takes, fix this." So it's pretty obvious when Katie's cute little dog Saffron is brutally
murdered and a message is left behind that says, "Quiet," Frobisher's behind it, right? But Katie being the tough New Yorker she is, decides to do just the opposite and spill all to Patty so she can help "nail Frobisher."
Patty's all, they're going to come after you but don't worry, I'll protect you. Oh, you poor foolish young lady. In the meantime, Patty fires flunky Tom in front of
Ellen because it was his job to keep the DE's in line and instead he
let her be "blindsided."
A little personal stuff we learn about Patty in this episode?
She's married (to a dapper looking and often traveling Michael Nouri)
and she's got a seventeen year old kid who's this close to
being expelled from his hoity-toity private school. When did she have
time to have a family? Before or after she clawed her way to the top?
Other important things we find out? Patty thinks she's a bad
mother---I'd have to agree; the building we see Ellen running out of at
the beginning of the episode is Patty's building; the trashed and bloody present day apartment has a dead body in the bathtub. It's fiance David.
Ellen meets with the fired Tom who's watching his daughter Megan
(cool name that) taking her horseback riding lesson. She asks him if
Patty knew about Katie before she hired her. He says he's sure she
Tom it seems is a real good actor 'cause later we see "fired" Tom
meet another flunky from Patty's office, old guy Uncle Pete. We find
out that Tom's "firing" was a phony when Uncle Pete gives Tom a
small package, "souvenir for Patty." Tom meets her at her beach house in the Hamptons (I'm assuming it's the Hamptons because Patty wouldn't have a
beach house anywhere else except the Hamptons). She's dressed like a
Kennedy at the Cape all warm jacket and head scarf and beady little round sunglasses. After Tom leaves, Patty opens up her package to
find poor Saffron's dog collar. Dog killer! It wasn't
Frobisher at all. It was Patty. Satisfied, she tosses the collar into the ocean.
In all honesty I gotta tell you, I did see that coming, but they way they set it up was very, very good.
Flash forward to Bloody Ellen who the police are trying to question. The first thing she says? "Get me a lawyer."
Episode 2: Jesus, Mary and Joe Cocker
This episode opens in present day, back in the bloody bathroom where a pigeon is checking out dead fiance David. The cops discover him and what looks like the murder weapon. Flashback six months to Ellen's birthday and her gift from future sis-in-law Katie. It's a pair of cheesy looking Statue of Liberty bookends, just heavy and spiky enough to bludgeon someone to death.
That same evening, Patty is chatting with Tom and directs him to be all friendly with Ellen and pump her for info.
At the Frobisher household, "Boopsie" Frobisher
is upset 'cause she can't go shopping without paparazzi escort, while
"Binny" and "Biff" Frobisher can't go to school without being hounded. Plus, none of the cool kids will play with them anymore 'cause Daddy's
slimy mug is splattered all over the tabloids. Boopsie tells Frobisher she wants something done about it and she wants it done now. Frobisher's financial wheels start turning and he finds out from Fiske that if Boopsie decides to skip out with the little Frobishers he's in deep doo, so he'd better make nice with the Mrs. But Fiske also reminds Frobisher that if Katie gets on the witness stand against him he's in deep double doo.
Patty placates the DE's by telling them there's a new witness. The DE's give her a week to find out something useful.
Katie gets a first hand taste of full throttle Patty when Patty meets her to go over her Florida timeline. At first Patty's sweet as pie, then she turns on her, accusing her of being a downright filthy liar.
Frobisher meets with the Scruffy Haired Guy he's had tailing Katie. Scruffy suggests sending Katie to that great catering hall in the sky, but Frobisher is all, no way, she's an innocent young girl, I could never do that. He starts to have second thoughts however after watching happy and innocent Binny and Biff frolicking in his multi-million dollar pool. After a tension relieving romp in the backseat with a hooker, he calls Scruffy and tells him, "Do it."
Turns out Patty was right, Katie is lying. Her Florida timeline is inconsistent and Patty sends flunky Tom to find out why. She also gives him secret info on Ellen and fiance David that he passes along to a Smarmy Guy in a dark suit.
We see Knife Guy getting all dressed up to go out a murdering. Next thing we know, he's following Katie down the street, murder on his mind, knife in his hand. But being the street smart New Yorker she is, Katie realizes that she's being followed and turns on Knife Guy and accuses him of killing her dog while pummeling him with her fists. Knife Guy plays dumb and backs off. After hearing that Katie signed the confidentiality agreement Frobisher wanted, Frobisher calls Scruffy and tells him to call off the hit. He's disconnected before he gets a response.
Frobisher then goes to visit Katie personally and they have an oh so uncomfortable conversation. Something about him thanking her for signing his agreement and reminding her that "our fates are intertwined." The conversation comes off as some sort of coded plea from Frobisher. I'm thinkin' there's more that went on between these two than just a catered meal.
Meanwhile, more personal angst for Patty. It seems son Michael has been hiring
strippers and playing footsie with them in Patty's apartment. She's
disturbed and hubby Michale Nouri promises to take care of it long distance.
Katie ends up at Patty's and admits she did lie on her timeline. She confesses she had a one night stand with Greg in Florida. She says she never saw him again but that she got pregnant and terminated it. Frobisher contacted her a week later and offered to help her open a restaurant. Patty's all tea and sympathy, but you can just see the wheels behind those piercing eyes are whirling around double time.
The next thing you know, Katie meets Greg and tells him they have to talk.
Patty is all smiles when she talks to Ellen and gives her the keys to a palatial apartment for Ellen and her fiance.
Frobisher is all smiles with Boopsie and the little Frobishers thinking he may not have to go to jail for murder after all.
Ellen and fiance David are all smiles when they see their new, spacious
apartment. They're shown into the apartment by none other than
Smarmy and they're welcomed by the Death Pigeon outside their bathroom window.
Patty is again all smiles when she hands over a cute little puppy to Katie as a gift. Don't trust her Katie, she's a dog killer!
Flash forward to bloody Ellen and she's still at the police station. We see brief flashes---memories?--- and then bloody Ellen standing over the body of dead fiance David holding one of those ugly Statue of Liberty bookends. I'd say she has some splainin' to do.
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