Damages 3.7 Recap: When Patty and Ellen Use their Respective Rebounds As Pawns

8 Feb

Disclaimer 2/13/12–I promise I did not read this recap until just this moment:  This other recapper and I are incidentally totally on the same page (we even use several of the same-ish screencaps).

Episode 7:  “You Haven’t Replaced Me”

Bourbon and Oreos? At 4 AM? Barfalicious, Patty.

Patty wakes Ellen up with a 4 AM phone call.  Ellen frets sleepily, wondering if everything is ok.  No worries:  Patty’s chilling in her office eating the worst snack ever and just called to leave a voicemail inviting Ellen to a little get together at her place on Thursday.  Ellen capitulates and makes an ambiguous facial expression as she falls back asleep next to Appalachia Reporter.

Is this a smile or a grimace?

Dammit, Tom! Why you gotta be married? And dead?

Tom follows DMM’s daughter into an Antiguan bank, where she meets with a woman in a jaunty yellow scarf.  If I worked at an Antiguan bank, I would want to be just like that woman.  In other fashion news, Tom’s Antigua traveling suit = BEST.  He is so classy.  Do I have a crush on Tom?

A Bank Dude sees Tom watching Tessa Marchetti—TM, as it were—and ousts him.  Tom apparently makes a better CSI than a PI because he got made pretty darn quickly.

TM goes to the back room and gives her check to Jaunty Scarf, signs three papers, and receives a fat envelope.

On the phone, Patty advises Tom to stay in Antigua because maybe he can get TM to talk.  Good thinking, Patty:  I know Tom’s charm would work on me.  He’s so dreamy in Antigua!!!

A Powerful Antiguan Guy (you can tell he’s powerful because he has a fancy office and people bringing him drinks) talks to Zedeck about a list of Names To Watch Out For.  Tom appears on that list, so Powerful Antiguan will keep an eye on him.

Martin Short meets with Patty at his office to discuss the injunction he’s filed re:  what stuff Tobins can keep.  He reveals that African art is one of Lily Tomlin’s interests and that she did his decorating.  One mystery solved!  While Martin Short looks out for weird Tobin trinkets, Patty connives:  Her express purpose for being there is to plant seeds of doubt in Martin Short about the family’s loyalty to him.  She says ominously, “Keep acting like a Tobin, and I’ll punish you like one.”

Apparently it’s now Thursday because Ellen has shown up at Patty’s—carrying a bouquet of flowers.  Is this a part of etiquette I don’t know about?  I’ve heard of people bringing flowers to dinner parties, but it seems like a more appropriate thing might’ve been wine? Oh goodness gracious! Does Ellen think this is a date?!?!

Doesn’t matter too much because Patty laughs in Ellen’s face that she must’ve misheard her—the dinner thing is actually on Friday (No, it’s not either, Patty!  Lyin’ liar face!!!!).  Anyway, still awkward.

Guess who waltzes into frame?  Alex Benjamin, of course, carrying a bottle of wine.


They chat—Ellen fake smiling so hard I keep thinking her face is going to break off, Patty real smiling, gleefully reveling in Ellen’s awkwardness.  Patty says, “Same time tomorrow, then?”  And Ellen says through gritted, fake-smiling teeth, “We’ll see.” And then Ellen finally extricates herself.

“I hate you, Alex Benjamin.”

As soon as Ellen hits the road, Patty’s totally over Alex Benjamin, who’s trying to make small talk but Patty won’t have any of it.  Alex Benjamin says, “You must miss having her around.”  Patty straight up ignores her and says, “Let’s have some wine.”


3 months later, Magician Cop confronts Ellen about her handbag (which had been found at the scene) complete with her season one DL (which still makes me lol).  She claims it had been stolen.  K.

3 months previous—Ellen and Appalachia Reporter are hanging out in Ellen’s apartment listening to ‘70s drug music and cooking supper.  Ellen has apparently asked Appalachia Reporter to do some background checking on Alex Benjamin.  JEALOUSEST.  She also asks him to write an article about Alex Benjamin—a puff piece about new, young lawyers.  This sounds like a Patty move so much.  SO much.

Martin Short meets up with Joe to tell him he must cancel a meeting they had scheduled because he’s going to see an old friend from law school.  But he’s acting cagey, so we know he’s not doing that in real life.

Dreamy Antigua Tom talks to TM about how many papers she signs, etc. and wonders whether she’s a pawn.  She might very well be.

Appalachia Reporter meets with Alex Benjamin, who says he can’t ask about Patty or Tobin.  Why does this gal always look as if she’s flirting with everybody?  Is she?

A meeting at a bar between Joe and Zedeck, in which Zedeck asks whether Joe’s given his mom the fur coat yet and tells Joe there’s a problem with Antigua.  He explains that Dad Tobin used a family-member courier to move money around down there, but Joe doesn’t understand because he didn’t know about TM.  Also, Zedeck tells him that Patty knows about TM and supposes that someone must’ve told her.

Tom and Patty talk on the phone about to what degree TM may or may not be a pawn—whether she knows about how many accounts she has, etc.

Now Ellen’s counseling Alex Benjamin about this article.  She claims the writer sent her the article to get a quotation from her about working for Patty, too.  She advises that Patty will hate it and that she needs to get out in front of it and take it to Patty to apologize up front.  Wow.  Ellen.  This is ridiculous.

Patty’s tactics worked on Martin Short—she effectively shook him as he is now trying to visit his mom in her nursing home, but she died without his knowing even though he’s been paying still.

At the DA’s office, they’re still talking about potassium!  Oh, man, you DA guys are the boringest.  They figure Joe was the last Tobin to see Dad alive, so Ellen suggests they catch him off guard instead of letting him prepare a statement by bringing him downtown.

Lily Tomlin pours herself a drink in Joe’s hotel room as he freshens up after a run.  Crazy Sister is there being crazy.  Crazy Sister leaves, and Joe takes up for his sister and tells Lily Tomlin to take it easy on her.  It comes out that Lily Tomlin is the one who’s been talking to Patty Hewes, and she’s unrepentant because she figures there’s nothing to protect anymore, but Joe tells her about the money and gives her the fur coat, and she’s so excited.

Tom meets with that dude who knew he was following TM.  This dude wants to trade TM’s bank information for a visa for him, his wife, and his sick kid.

Ellen catches Joe off guard at a restaurant and tells him there’s reason to believe Dad’s death was a suicide.  He covers well.  Then she mentions DMM’s death, and Joe doesn’t seem to care about any of it.

Patty’s  on the phone with Tom about a guy in Antigua who might help them:  It’s hard to find Antiguans to help because most bureaucrats down there are corrupt, I guess.

The dude with the sick kid is ominously approached by Powerful Antiguan Guy and told to drop his transaction with Tom.

Is that an apple crate full of hubcaps to Martin Short’s right?

Martin Short takes a cab into a snowy trailer park where he talks to his mean dad about his mom’s death and why Mean Dad did not tell him about aforementioned death.  Martin Short wants his money back from the five months of nursing home he’s been paying for, but Dad wants to continue taking this money and more and proceeds to say, “What’s that family gonna do when they find out you’ve been lying to them all these years?”  So he’s going to blackmail Martin Short for lying about what?  That he’s from a trailer park?  Doesn’t sound like that great of a plan to me.

3 months later, the cops have found a print on Ellen’s bag belonging to Lester Wiggins, a small-time hood from the early ’80s who has since been off the radar.  (Lester Wiggins is Martin Short’s character’s real name—he’s taken the Leonard Winstone moniker for himself to put on airs and be a fancy attorney).

3 months previous, Patty’s wearing this exquisite blazer and talking to Alex Benjamin about how stupid she is for letting this article happen.  Patty says, “If someone flatters you, you have a hard time keeping [your mouth] shut,” among other cutting Pattyisms.  She makes it clear that she thinks Alex Benjamin is a total idiot.  She then sees who has written the piece and recognizes the name and questions Alex Benjamin about how Appalachia Reporter even knew anything about her.  Alex Benjamin says that he just contacted her out of the blue.  Patty dismisses her with this parting shot:  “Do yourself a favor—don’t talk to strangers.”

Patty knows Ellen’s behind the whole thing and loves it so much.  SO MUCH.

“Ellen, you malicious little minx.”

Ellen talks to DMM’s doorman about whom he saw coming and going from the apartment on the day she died.  He denies Joe’s involvement but states that Crazy Sister was there.

Back at the DA’s office, Gates is on the phone with his boss, who is up his ass about not arresting anybody.  Ellen comes in and they talk about how he needs a conviction.  Again, Ellen suggests he consults Patty Hewes because nobody does it better.  Gates says, “Why don’t you forget about Patty?  You work for me now.”  Which is the exact wrong thing to say to Ellen Parsons.  He goes on to state that he doesn’t care about getting money back for investors—he just wants to put a Tobin in jail.  Which is an even wronger thing to say to Ellen.  When he finally asks about Ellen’s doorman investigation, she lies about her findings and hides Crazy Sister’s involvement.

Sick-Kid Dude and Tom meet.  He can no longer help Tom because Powerful Antiguan threatened him.

Martin Short, back in the city, meets with Joe in front of a Chinese restaurant.  To Joe’s chagrin, Martin Short knew about TM.  Joe threatens to cut Martin Short out of the money deal.  Martin Short’s face shows the doubt Patty planted.  Joe tells MS about Ellen’s ambushing him, and he wants to set up a meeting with Zedeck (which Martin Short is in charge of).  Joe asks about the “sick friend”—kind of redeeming himself for threatening to cut Martin Short off from the money, but Martin Short’s face is so sad.

Patty and Ellen are at Patty’s house, and Patty is eating something weird again—some kind of thing that looks either like chicken-fried steak or pasta and sounds like a lot of crunchy stuff (Maybe all this weird eating is where her weird dreaming had been coming from?).  They chit chat about that time Ellen pulled a Patty move and set Alex Benjamin up to fail.  Ellen feigns innocence, and Patty is so pleased.  Patty then apologizes for “the confusion the other night.”  Oh Patty and Ellen and your mindgames.

Then this exchange happens:

PH:  You’re upset that I replaced you.
EP:  Patty.  You hired someone.  You didn’t replace me.

Now that that’s out of the way, they get down to brass tacks:  Ellen tells Patty about Crazy Sister, and Patty wants to know why she didn’t tell her boss.  Ellen says, “The case is what matters, Patty.  I want you to find that money.”

The Judge (who had set Patty up as trustee, who was pressuring her about the case last episode) knows someone in the Antiguan government who may be willing to help them.  And she needs to meet with him in Antigua.

In Antigua, Patty is wearing two different kinds of gray checks.  I’m pretty sure I love it because it’s such a bold/weird statement, but it might make me dizzy.  Anyway, the guy she’s been referred to is Powerful Antiguan Guy!!!!  Is The Judge in on it?  Does Patty know?  She’s making a lot of ambiguous/knowing Patty faces.

3 months later, panning across a lot of debris scattered around Tom’s apartment.  Close up on some quivering fingers as part of a body lying on the floor.  Are these fingers Tom’s or Martin Short’s?!?!?


  • We still don’t know much about Tom’s murderer.  I’m hesitant to believe it was Martin Short.  I don’t think he could manhandle Tom, and I don’t think he’s a killer.  I’m leaning more heavily toward Joe at this point because I think something different about him every time he’s on screen.  I don’t trust him.
  • I don’t understand the blackmail that Martin Short’s dad wants to do.  Couldn’t Martin Short just say, “Yeah.  I changed my name so I could escape my white trash roots.  BFD.”  Or was Leonard Winstone a real guy whom he killed and whose identity he subsequently stole?!?!  Maybe he does eventually kill Tom to protect that secret?!?!
  • Ellen’s started to make more and more Patty faces and use Patty tactics.  When did she get not lame?
  • I think I’m onto something with this Patty-and-Ellen-in-the-same-frame business.  Seasons 1 and 2 saw them curled up on couches together to the nth degree, and now they hardly ever share a frame together.  Up until this episode, any time they were truly on screen together, it wasn’t for very long, and they were far apart.  At the end of this episode, they’re sitting just a table apart–the closest they’ve been all season so far–as they decide to work together again.
  • Also, it’s Ellen who’s making the step toward reconciliation.  I’m not sure if I really expected that.  She’s the one whom Patty almost murdered; she’s the one who tried to have the feds get Patty.  So, is she destined to follow in Patty’s footsteps, or is she that desperate?  Is Patty Hewes her only option for achieving her aims?  It’s so weird to me.  I really don’t disagree with Gates at all about getting a Tobin in jail.  If a Tobin committed a crime, then that Tobin should be in jail.  The money would be a secondary issue to me.  But I guess Ellen has more of an emotional connection to it because of Tom?

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