'Damages': It's all about Patty
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)
Photo: Glenn Close as Patty Hewes on "Damages." Credit: Timothy White / FX