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'Damages': Patty can't catch a break!

January 14, 2009 | 11:00 pm

Damages My, how the tables have turned. Last season, Patty masterminded a most-twisted plan to win her case against Arthur Frobisher. She hired Ellen, rigged witnesses, even killed a pet puppy, and nearly the entire time, she was on top. This season, Patty's world has gone topsy-turvy.

Starting from the beginning: It's going down in room 1910. Whatever Ellen's up to with her whiskey and her pistol, it's happening in room 1910.

The song that's playing is Ray Charles' "Just For A Thrill." The lyrics might be telling? A sample: Just for a thrill / You were my pride and joy / But to you, I was merely a toy / A plaything, that you could toss around at will / Just for a thrill / You made my life one sad song / Just for a thrill / You just led me, led me along

Six months earlier ... Patty is crying, again, in the bathroom of Daniel Purcell's house. Is she coming undone? What exactly is her connection to him? Is he the father of her stillborn child? Moving on. Patty had only just met his now-dead wife, so those tears aren't for her. Daniel tells the cops that he saw the man who did it, a Nordic type apparently. Remember "The Firm"? Those Nordics will get you every time. The ominous company man who tried to give Daniel a way out in the first episode -- character's name is Middleman (Brett Collins) -- pulls up in a car outside the house. He's up to no good.

We find out Daniel is diabetic. Write that down. He's dazed, he's confused, he puts up a fight with the cop, wanting to go after his wife's killer, not realizing he's pretty much the primary suspect in her murder. This reminds me of "The Fugitive," in a good way.

Back at the office, Ellen asks Patty if maybe Daniel could have murdered his wife. Patty says anything is possible, which is too true on "Damages," right? Ellen pushes the infant-mortality case some more. The FBI thinks that maybe Tom should take the case, that way they can use him to help hang Patty. Ellen says to go for it. (Tate Donovan says, "Yay! Material!")

Ellen reads in the newspaper that Arthur Frobisher is out of the hospital and confesses to Wes that she is kicking herself for not plugging the bearded one when she had the chance. Wes reveals that he knows exactly who she is and what her MO is. So is she now in the market for a gun? Nope. Just a roll in zee hay! Me? I still think he's cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.

Daniel tells Patty that the box he sent her is full of studies about a chemical compound that's super-lethal. Its purpose? He can't and won't share. But he's certain that the energy company he worked for is behind his wife's death. OK, will he testify to this? Heck no! He's got a daughter to protect. Patty's at a loss. The box is to be burned.

So if he's so willing to go to jail, why does he need Patty's services again? Search me!

Patty's son Michael strolls into the office for a visit and comes face to face with Daniel. Daniel looks confused. Is this a father-son moment, perhaps? They are both ... bloooond. And Patty does shove Daniel into the elevator mighty quickly. Curious. Write that down too.

Tom goes to work on the infant-mortality case, large and in charge. But whoa, this potential client wants money upfront to secure her case? That's illegal. Something's up. Yup, that'd be the FBI working hard for its money. Tom agreed. He's doomed.

Daniel and his daughter are planting a tree that his wife would have liked. Patty comes and demands an explanation, again. No dice. Later, she quizzes a friend/expert to help figure out the documents and how they figure in with the energy industry. He says he'll try -- then meets up with Middleman to set up their next golf game. Patty is foiled again!

Tom's going to be a dad! Still want to watch him go down, Ellen? Hey, there's Marcia Gay Harden as sexy energy company counsel Claire Maddox. Hey, Ellen's new bed buddy is up to something. He's got a Ted Danson shrine Frobisher headlines posted in the inside of his closet, along with some heavy artillery!

Flash forward: Ellen's wiping off her pistol, which she just fired. And Wes is standing outside room 1910. So the person across from her is not Wes. That's one down.

Back at the office, six months earlier again, a bald man is giving Patty information about Tom agreeing to pay off a potential client. We'll call baldy Uncle Pete No. 2, or No. 2, for short. But there's no need to be worried, Tom has a crisis of conscience, thanks to Ellen, and decides against paying up for work. ("Dangit!" says Tate Donovan.) Claire gets papers signed by folks at the big, bad energy company and sends a warrant out for Daniel's box of secrets, now in Patty's possession.

Daniel is angry. Ah, but Patty has the upper hand: The warrant came from the big, bad energy company, so now she knows who the big, bad energy company is.

Except wait! There's Daniel in a car in the rain. And there's ... Claire Maddox getting in. OMG. OMG. OMG. And there's Daniel burning ... something! OMG.

I'm lost still. How about you?

-- Denise Martin

(Photo courtesy FX)