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'Damages': Follow the money

March 1, 2010 | 11:14 pm
Damages-FX-Tom-Shays-Review After weeks of searching for Louis Tobin’s hidden Ponzi scheme money, we’re finally seeing some cash in this week’s episode of “Damages.”

And that’s really all we’re going to get. This was a frustrating episode, because the pieces just aren’t forming any pictures. As fans, we know that if we stick through this confusing quarter-season period, though, the pieces begin to fit. As I mentioned earlier, we did learn something about Tobin’s hidden cash.

Joe Tobin has decided to meet with Mr. Zedeck (played by “The Sopranos’” Dominic Chianese), the man who knows where his father’s money has been stashed. On a stalled train, Zedeck and an associate arrive to meet Joe. It’s clear that despite his overzealous friend, Zedeck works on an old-school system of trust. We saw it last week when he insisted (via another associate) that the police’s knowledge of Danielle Marchetti broke his contract with Louis Tobin and we see it tonight as Zedeck treats Joe with the respect he would have afforded his father.

Joe, not being the brightest lighthouse on the harbor, just seems to miss every cue Zedeck gives him. In response to Zedeck’s seemingly good will, Joe demands proof that he has access to his father’s money. Zedeck responds well to the affront. Later, though, we see that he had his own test. After making Joe jump through hoops, what he thought would be proof of Zedeck’s access to the money ended up being a fur coat for his mother. Once again, Joe doesn’t pick up the hint that he’s dealing with someone much more skilled at this game than he is and sends the coat back to Zedeck. After expressing that the move makes him feel weary of trusting Joe, Zedeck presents him with a briefcase of hundred dollar bills. Why is it that I don’t think that was a sign Zedeck has forgiven Joe and was merely a show of his ability?

Patty Hewes, under threat of being removed from the Tobin case, decides to tap an old friend. Sterling Biddle (played by “The Princess Bride’s” Wallace Shawn) who she had formerly sent to jail. He’s a financial/criminal mastermind and she knew he’d have some insight into how Tobin hid such large amounts of money. After dispatching Alex Benjamin, the attorney who has been interviewing to join the firm, to deliver some pleasure to Biddle (in the form of caviar), he tells Patty that Tobin most likely hid the money in the Caribbean. Tom figures out, though, that there was no way to wire the money without being detected. It had to be transferred physically and guess whose daughter is a flight attendant? Danielle Marchetti’s. Suddenly, it seems clear why Danielle had to go.

But, why is her daughter still living? Could it really have been Carol Tobin who killed Danielle while Zedeck’s thug sat in the car waiting for her daughter? Did Marilyn, by meeting her when she arrived, actually save her granddaughter/possible half-daughter’s life?

Tom Shayes and Ellen Parsons also come up with some cash four months into the future. Ellen goes to meet Tom, who has a bag of cash. We know now they are indeed working together. How did he get the cash and is it even from Tobin's stash? Also, does that mean Ellen and Tom were purely working on retrieving the money and there was no funny business going on between them? On that we can’t be sure. We also can’t be sure if in the time before Tom was killed, he hit Patty’s car, then fled the scene. Is there a point in time when Tom’s own financial need breaks him from working with Patty to retrieve the money? Do they become competitors in four months' time?

By the way, did Tom’s fight with his ex-investment advisor crack you up with its clumsiness? I thought it was hilarious.

Who do you think will recover the cash first? Joe? Patty? Tom and Ellen? They all seem to have uncovered very good leads.

Next Monday: Check back here for our press talk with Dominic Chianese (formerly of “The Sopranos”), who plays Stuart Zedeck, and the show’s producers.

– Jethro Nededog (Follow me on Twitter @TheRealJethro)


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Photo: Tom Shays, played by Tate Donovan, has his hands on some cash in “Damages.” Credit: FX