Damages 3.8 Recap: When Frobisher Returns, and We All Groan Because He Is Ridiculous and Not That Interesting

9 Feb

Episode 8:  “I Look Like Frankenstein”

Previously on:  Frobisher!?!?!?  Ugh!!!!!

Flashforward:  Ok, that thing that I thought might’ve been one of those bookends that killed Ellen’s fiancé is not a bookend; it’s a bobble head on Tom’s dash.  We see from the driver’s perspective (so we still don’t know who ran Patty down).  We’ve got driving gloves and heavy breathing.

At the station, Magician Cop is talking to Ellen and writing stuff down with this pen that I also own—except mine has a pink shaft.  He tells Ellen that Patty has been in a car wreck.  Ellen’s asking a lot of questions about what happened.  She seems rather emotional but in a reserved, cagey Ellen way.  I can’t tell whether she knows more than she’s letting on. Then Magician Cop says, “You’re good at puzzles, right?”  and proceeds to tear up a piece of paper into “puzzle pieces.”  How’s this paper going to help anything?  Maybe creepy-ass Magician Cop killed Tom.  What a weirdo.

Check out those stairs! Is this the same set as Patty’s house, or do Patty and Frobisher live in the same building? (They also have the same patio doors!)  PS, the guy in the background with the full beard is Actor, and that woman in the foreground is not integral to the plot whatsoever, but I love her because of this awesome face I accidentally captured her making.

3 months earlier, Frobisher’s having a fundraiser-type rich-people party in what looks like Patty’s house (but of course is not.  Frobisher and Patty always have the same taste in living arrangements—modern wood-and-glass fancy stuff).  He’s starting some green energy wind initiative or something ridiculous and says as part of his speech, “What is the point of doing anything unless you’re doing good?”  He talks about a movie star who supports his cause and has come to his party.

TM and Patty and Tom are at Patty’s, and TM gives them some statements from the bank.  She seems cagey.  Patty asks where she spent Thanksgiving, and TM tries to sell them a story about spending it with a friend because she and DMM had had a fight.  Not sure Patty’s buying it.

Zedeck, Powerful Antiguan, Joe, and Martin Short are meeting in Joe’s hotel room trying to ascertain how much Patty knows about their Antiguan bank situation.  They figure she knows about the money, but the laws will protect them (they don’t know that laws have never stopped Patty before, apparently).  Powerful Antiguan leaves, and they all talk about how they can trust him because he’s “financially motivated.”  Zedeck says everything will be fine if they don’t spend money too soon.  Joe gets around to telling Zedeck about Ellen’s suspicions, and Martin Short basically accuses Zedeck of murdering DMM, but Zedeck swears he didn’t.

Crazy Sister enters a shady-looking apartment building.

Lily Tomlin is crying in Martin Short’s office.  Crazy Sister has disappeared, and she’s worried about her “tragic taste in men.”  Martin Short promises to hire someone to find her.   They share a sweet exchange about how he takes care of her better than anybody else and always knows what to say to make her feel better.

Powerful Antiguan—in Patty’s office—tells her and Tom that TM doesn’t have any other accounts than the ones they know about.  Tom’s pissed.  Patty doesn’t buy it.  Powerful Antiguan leaves, and Patty says hopefully, “We may have another lead.  I’ve been talking to Ellen.”

Patty and Tom and Ellen all meet in Patty’s kitchen and agree they should find Crazy Sister.

Crazy Sister makes herself comfortable on a couch.  We don’t see the man she’s talking to, but she says she “feels much safer here.”  Whom’s she holed up with?!  Is she Frobisher’s mistress?!?!  I approve of that plot twist if that is the plot twist that brings Frobisher back into our lives!

Michael has eschewed the haircut of his former mother for the haircut of his new mother.

Ellen’s at a baby store (a store that sells baby items, that is—not a store that sells babies) and sees Michael with Cougar Hippie.  Michael introduces Ellen as “Patty’s favorite associate,” which makes me wonder about what all Michael knew about in seasons 1 and 2.  I always got the feeling that he might have eavesdropped a lot.  Anyway, he’s having an art show, and he invites Ellen.  When Ellen leaves and Cougar Hippie asks whether he thinks Ellen will tell Patty about the baby, Michael replies that he doesn’t think they talk anymore and that “Ellen’s another person my mother pushed away.”  Poor sad/mysterious/ominous Michael.

At Martin Short’s office, the severe lady PI is back again, and he informs her that he no longer needs her and her team’s services on Joe, but he would like them to search for Crazy Sister.  As she’s leaving, he tries to hit on her, and it does not work one ounce.

Joe and Mrs. Joe meet at Joe’s hotel and share some bittersweet memories about their erstwhile lavish lifestyle.  He gives her some Zedeck money that she’s reluctant to take, but he assures her it’s all above board.

Frobisher meets with Actor and tells him, “I’m a big believer in redemption.”  Actor thinks Frobisher is so lame (as does this recapper!).  Frobisher wants Actor to be his pitchman for his green initiative thing and ends up giving him his autobiography (which is called “The Long and Windy Road” but it’s pronounced windy as in air that moves as opposed to windy as in curves on a road).

Lily Tomlin brings Joe Jr. back from a day out with grammy.  Joe Jr. tells his dad he wants to see Aunt Crazy Sister.  K, family scene.

Patty, Ellen, and Tom are at Ellen’s this time.  Patty’s drinking out of a coffee cup that I also own.  Why am I twinsies with everybody in this Damages?  They all talk about Crazy Sister’s history of bizarre disappearances—she likes to hole up with a crazy boyfriend in Barbados or go to weird spas occasionally and not tell anybody she’s leaving.  They decide she could be anywhere but vow to find her.  Tom leaves, leaving Patty and Ellen alone, but not on the same couch.

Patty says, “It must be nice to be out of that hotel,” and they share a remember-that-time-you-held-me-at-gunpoint-after-I-had-been-stabbed-in-the-elevator stare for a few seconds and then Ellen moves on to the next awkward order of business—congratulating Patty on being a grandmother, but Patty didn’t know about the pregnancy.  Whoopsy daisies.  Patty tries to cover her shock/embarrassment/pissedness, but it does not work at all, and Ellen looks as if she genuinely cares about Patty’s weird feelings and tries to quell said weird feelings with the news that Michael’s having an art show.

Mercifully, we never see the rest of this outfit. I’m imagining straight-legged, ’90s mom-cut slacks. Woof.

At the art show, Michael and Cougar Hippie discuss his art and how much they love each other.  Patty drives by in her limo (not the red car) and sees Michael fondling Cougar Hippie through the window.  She’s pissed and decides not to go in.  She’s also wearing some buttoned-to-the-gills severe suit.  Yucky, Patty.

Ellen’s preparing for the day and hears a knock at her door.  Tom appears and wants to take her to Brooklyn to track where Crazy Sister’s been according to her credit card statements.

Frobisher b.s.es with somebody on the phone, who seems to be saying no to being his pitchman for the green thing he’s doing now.  He comes in from his veranda and talks to his son about what the public thinks of him—which is that he’s “still a greedy monster” and that “reputations die hard.”  Frobisher Jr. tries to encourage him by saying that the stuff he did was “Mickey Mouse compared to the Tobins.”  Is this the only link between Frobisher and this season?  Oh Frobisher, you suck.

Ellen and Tom try tracking Crazy Sister through her grocery store.  No luck.

“Girl, you’re a 40-year-old divorcee pregnant by an 18-year-old artist. Take the money while I’m still offering it.”

At Patty’s apartment, Patty tries to pay Cougar Hippie to get up off Michael.   Some information comes out about Cougar Hippie, including that the state of Colorado found her an unfit mama for her two kids she had with her first husband.  She gets out her checkbook and says some choice cutting Pattyisms:  “Oh come on, Jill.  You run an art gallery.  And a pretty shitty one, at that,” and an ominous closing line:  “Consider this the carrot.  Believe me, you don’t want the stick.”

Ellen and Tom stop at a café to drink coffee and have a heart to heart about his money situation.  He admits his marriage is on the rocks and that he still hasn’t told Patty about investing in the Tobins.  He postulates that Patty would think he wasn’t objective enough for the case.  Ellen postulates differently:  “If you told her, then you might seem weak.”  He considers this and says that Patty once told him he’d be nothing more than a right-hand man. He transitions the conversation a little, and this exchange happens:

TS:  You’re the only one who knows her as well as I do.  Why don’t you come back to the firm?
EP:  If I had to deal with Patty every day, I would lose myself.

They stare at each other for a few seconds, and then something jogs Tom’s memory, and he remembers someone who lives around where they are who can help them.

“I don’t like the looks of this one’s sneery, doe-eyed little face.”

They pull up to The Hobo’s makeshift hovel.  So that’s how he knows they had a thing!  The Hobo sniffs at Ellen and says, “I don’t trust her.”  Oh man, I love this hobo so much! I would watch a buddy comedy starring him and Tom in a heartbeat.  Anyway, they tell him to be on the lookout for Crazy Sister or anything else suspicious.

Pictured: Detective work?

3 months later.  Those papers Magician Cop tore up earlier don’t even have anything written on them.  He takes each piece and describes all the stuff he knows so far as flashbacks within this flashforward.  I guess he’s trying to fluster Ellen with this nonsense?  She says, “I don’t think I’m in the right state of mind to help you right now,” referring to feeling sad/weirded out by both Tom’s death and Patty’s hit-and-run.  As she turns to leave, Magician Cop asks whether she and Tom were having a relationship.  Ellen hesitates, then reveals that “Tom and I were starting a law firm together.”

Frobisher meets Actor at a restaurant.  Actor loved Frobisher’s autobiography and wants to make a movie out of it and, of course, star as Frobisher.  He says if Frobisher will give him the rights to the story he will act as the wind thing pitchman.

Tom shows Ellen all the stuff The Hobo had provided for them previously—I guess Ellen didn’t know all this before they went and talked to him?

Martin Short’s PI has tracked down Crazy Sister, whose current address is someplace Martin Short recognizes, according to his facial expression when he hears the address.

Michael and Cougar Hippie are taking a walk together, and she asks if he really wants to be with her and the baby and suggests he go to college and have fun instead.  He reassures her and then asks if Patty’s talked to her.  She denies it, and they drop the conversation and continue to be in love a lot.

Hobo watches Martin Short go into where Crazy Sister is staying.  Once he goes inside, it is revealed that Joe has put her in hiding there (so much for the Frobisher connection, darn it!).  Martin Short is also the landlord of this set of apartments, and he’s appalled that Joe would hide Crazy Sister here, of all places.  Joe explains why in a flashback:  three weeks earlier, Joe tells Crazy Sister that DMM pled the fifth.  She’s very upset, and then Joe gives her the poison!!!!!!!!  Joe, I believed in you!  Kind of.

Hobo calls Tom to tell him the same guy whom he saw putting the boots in the trash was now in this apartment.

3 months later, Tom’s getting off the phone with Patty when someone knocks on the door.  Martin Short appears, bearing that bag of money.  Martin Short says, “I’m a man of my word.”


  • This has been one of my least favorite episodes.  I think it’s because I was getting in such a groove of really kind of liking the case aspect, and LOVING the tension between Ellen and Patty.  And then Frobisher shows up again.  And derails the flow.  What in the wide world of sports?!?!  Why is he back?!?!  If he didn’t kill Tom, I’m going to be so mad he’s in my grill again.  And if he did kill Tom, I’m going to be so mad that he didn’t appear since the beginning of the season.  Ugh!!!!!
  • Martin Short’s relationships with women—Not-that-bad date with hairdresser; weird hooker time; failed pass at Severe PI; close with Lily Tomlin.  This guy has succeeded in changing his identity from trailer trash to high-powered attorney, and he fits in fine with all these rich people, but there’s, at base, an uncomfortableness that Patty taps into.  Does that same uncomfortableness manifest in his weirdness with women?  He has a surface-level charm, but he’s unable to connect with an appropriate mate?
  • Joe killed Tom.  I’m 25% sure.  Or maybe he had Crazy Sister kill Tom?!  Oh wait, he wasn’t poisoned.
  • Michael’s art show is called Emancipation.  If my last name were Hewes and I were an artist, I would be all about the wordplay:  I’m thinking Hues of Hewes or All the Hewes of the Rainbow or Dark Hewes.
  • When Patty tries to bribe Cougar Hippie, she’s wearing a red sweater that’s almost exactly like the green one from episode one that may or may not be velour.  She must’ve taken advantage of a sweater-set sale.  This is one of my favorite things about Patty Hewes—she’s fabulously dressed, yet she has distinctive pieces that she wears over and over again—just like a real-life person!
  • Re:  Movie within the TV Show:  Who are they going to get to play Patty Hewes in this movie about Frobisher?  I’ve got my fingers crossed for a Broadway star—I’m thinking Patti LuPone.  How many times they make a movie outta yo life, Patty?  THREE TIMES!

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