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'Damages': It's all about Patty

Damages-fx-patty-hewes-glenn-close This week’s "Damages" emphasized something we’ve known since Season 1. It’s all about Patty Hewes.

All Patty’s talk about redesigning her home and the decision being a big one couldn’t have been more obviously significant.

There’s no way that even the most casual of viewers could have missed the lingering shots of the small scratch Patty made when she threw a bowl at the wall and then the hole she broke open trying to figure out what lay behind it. Has even Patty realized that the wall she has built around her may have chased everyone she loves away? Does the dream of her desired horse sitting on the other side of that wall mean there’s a deeper need in Patty to find another version of herself?

By the way, those lingering shots on the wall are courtesy of Tate Donovan, who stepped away from Tom Shayes a bit to direct this episode.

Michael Hewes climbs the wall
Patty’s son, Michael, is turning out to be just like his mother: Manipulative. After all, very few people can get away with tricking Patty into believing a lie. And in the last episode, it was clear that Patty had figured out his deception.

In my opinion, he played his mother on several levels. In one mighty swoop, he told her he was free of her control by letting himself in to her apartment and “apologizing” for deceiving her. His questions about her family’s health and asking about how Uncle Pete died reminded her that she had no family ties left in this world but him. And finally, the entire scene served to warn her that he too would abandon her if she continued her course of action against his girlfriend and their baby. After he left, Patty lost it and threw a dish at the wall, creating the small crack. Well played, Michael.

Carol falls down the hole
After Patty discovered Carol’s whereabouts and that she was leaving to see her psychiatrist, Patty intercepted Carol at her doctor’s office. Knowing she was in an emotional state and had been missing since Danielle Marchetti’s death, Patty told Carol she knew that she had killed Danielle. To save herself, Carol turned double agent and got information from Tobin family lawyer Leonard Winstone. She then turned the information over to Patty. Without knowing it, she had placed the boots and cellphone Tom had found, as well as Tessa Marchetti, at Danielle’s home on Thanksgiving night. Now, Patty knows Tessa lied and she must be hiding something.

Arthur Frobisher meets a wall
This week, Frobisher’s storyline finally met up with Patty's. After Terry and his producer told Frobisher they were making the movie portraying Patty as the Machiavellian antagonist, he insisted that they meet her. At the meeting, it was Frobisher’s chance to show Patty that he had changed his life around. He wanted her to recognize his redemption from all the selfish actions he had performed in the past. Instead, she refused to see his change and then enumerated his sins for the producers as if Frobisher hadn’t changed since the last time they butted heads. Frobisher wanted her to recognize that they were finally on the same team. Too bad Patty doesn’t play that game.

Ellen Parsons stands on the edge of the abyss
At the beginning of Season 3, it had seemed that Ellen had finally escaped from the black hole that is Patty. As the season progressed, we’d seen her slip closer and closer to its edges. This week, Ellen seemed about to fall in.

She found out that her sister had been arrested for possessing crystal meth. As a member of the D.A.’s office, her hands are tied in respect to helping her sister beat the charge. If she got involved in the case, it would ruin her career. But not only does her sister’s life hang in the balance, but so does her young niece. Add a helpless plea from her mother and Ellen has reason to go against her boss’ advice and get involved. She goes to Patty for help. There’s no telling what Patty will ask of Ellen in return.

Other thoughts and observations from the episode:
-- In the flash forward, Tom handed in his resignation to Patty. Could that have set her off against him?

--  Hiding Carol after Danielle’s death seems like a dumb plan. Doesn’t that scream she’s guilty? Wouldn’t it have been better if she was seen out and about afterward? I understand it was Joe Tobin who hid her in the first place, but why didn’t Leonard Winstone change the plan when he found out?

-- Ten Danson was again excellent in this episode, his eyes squinting with hate when Patty read the laundry list of awful things Frobisher had done.

-- Now that we know Tessa is Louis’ child, does anyone else get the feeling that Lily Tomlin as Marilyn Tobin has some ulterior motive for getting close to Tessa?

-- And, of course, something fell off a bridge into the river this week. Was it Tom committing suicide? And was he expressing his love on the phone to his wife, Ellen or someone else?

-- Jethro Nededog (Follow me on Twitter @TheRealJethro)


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Photo: Glenn Close as Patty Hewes on "Damages." Credit: Timothy White / FX

Comments () | Archives (11)

How did Tom "happen" to know Barry the homeless guy?

Thanks for your question. In the premiere, Joe Tobin got the number that his father dialed on Thanksgiving from his mother, Marilyn. He passed that on to Patty Hewes and when they called it, the homeless man answered.

Since then, Tom has created a working relationship with the homeless man for information. - Jethro

"In the flash forward, Tom handed in his resignation to Patty. Could that have set her off against him?"

I don't think so. When Tom hands her the paper, Patty does not look one bit surprised. Judging by the promos for next week's episode, Patty and Tom get into a very heated argument, which leads to the resignation.

"She goes to Patty for help. There’s no telling what Patty will ask of Ellen in return."

Patty better not ask a single thing from poor Ellen. She once tried to have her KILLED, for god's sake! Patty owes Ellen big time.

I hope annoying Michael is the one falling from the bridge. ;-)

Oh! it's all so delicious especially the Michael and Patty and Arthur Frobisher storylines. Just love how they all play each other and yet are so deeply vunerable.

Any ideas on where the architect will fit into all of this?

I raised the same question/criticism that Carol did a week or two ago, and I am not entirely sure about Jethro's explanation. When Tom and Ellen met the homeless man, we were led to believe -- I think -- that he and Tom had a prior relationship. The homeless man trusted Tom, but seemed uneasy meeting someone new.

Maybe it's just me. But after a promising and exciting start I find this season to be dragging -- we seem to pretty much be stuck where we were a few episodes ago.

I found last night's episode to be the worst and slowest-moving to date. The storyline is not coherent, if that's the word I am looking for: a bunch of scenes stitched together.

Maybe having Louis Tobin die so early was a mistake.

For "Damages" to really work, Patty needs a vital and worthy adversary. And I am not sure if the Tobins collectively (without Louis) cut it. Carol is mopey, we see too little of Lilly Tomlin, and, while Joe is a snake, he certainly isn't in Patty's league. Leonard Winstone has been fantastic, but last night he was relegated to being Carol's babysitter.

I think my point is proven by how much zest Ted Danson brings to the screen and how -- while Frobisher is not relevant to the Tobin story -- welcome his presence has been.

I still want to see where all this is heading -- Ellen's and, especially, Tom's story than the Tobin case. But I wonder if anyone else shares my frustrations and criticism.

I agree with bedtime for bonzo.Ellens sister and Frobisher are not interesting at all.They might have added Frobisher because they realized they killed of Tobin too soon.And wheres the new assistant? Slow moving to say the least,perhaps they used film from the cutting room floor.

i've been sick of joe tobin for awhile now and didn't even realize he wasn't in last night's episode until it was over, carol tobin is an annoying character too---still the best show on television.

You hit the nail on the head bedtimeforbonzo. I love this show, but did the dishes during last night's episode. It's needs to get snappier. also, its' obvious to me where this show is going and why Patty and tom try to kill each. Tom steals the Tobin's money (because of in-law's medical bills) and Paty tries to stop him.

thank god for paragraphs!!!

I'd like to guess that Tom was saying 'I love you' - to Patty. Sounds silly - but I have a feeling.

I think Lily Tomlin's character will become far more manipulative - and soon. I think she has ulterior movtives, like money and being a scorned woman for so many years. Why else would she stay in a 'false' marriage for so long? money money money...

Ellen asking Patty for help will definitely cause her problems. Wonder what they'll be? But, she'll try to not be 'trapped' by Ellen (as she always is). Hence - the new business with Tom. Of course Patty knew of Tom's resignation before he handed it to her - doesn't she always figure stuff out?

Yeah - slow episode I agree. And Frobisher? What's up with that story line? I'm not sure I would see him as 'redeemed' either? Do you? I still see him as a selfish manipulator. He's too concerned with what everyone sees or makes of him to be 'redeemed'.

I agree with almost everything except your reading of frobisher. his actions *after* the meet with patty confirm all our suspicions about his supposedly changed character: he's still exactly the same - making sure to present himself as caring oh so much about patty being represented properly, and then toasting the fact that patty will make a great villain ('see...you have to see her in person to see just how big a bitch she really is'). I'm more annoyed by him back than anything else.

also, that dialogue with his son is super, super lame. and why is he always sitting there with his laptop? srsly.


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