Monday, January 11, 2010

Damages Season 1: Episode 10 and 11

One of the more interesting aspects of the cable TV show is that it’s not forced to fit into the box a series on one of the big four has to fit into.

To wit: On a big four channel, Damages would have been 22 episodes long. And since it was a new, untested show, chances are good that it would have gotten a 13 episode order, followed by an additional 9-episode order.

That would have put the writers into an interesting situation – do they complete the first “story” they originally planned, and then create another 9-episode story? Or do they try to stretch out the story they’re telling, so that the four episodes I’m about to cover get moved to the end, while the writers cram in even more subplots that aren’t all that important to the story?

Imagine “Damages’” thirteen episodes. Then imagine nine more hours of plot. It just wouldn’t be as effective. You can start to see how keeping a series this slim and trim can be an advantage.

Episode 10

Damages Episode 10 on Hulu

Then! David and Ellen are still at the beach house. David has a rather… intense dream, which involves Ellen and Patty and will probably require that David spend some time in therapy. David goes to find Ellen at the end of the dock, and he asks her what’s wrong.

She says, “I could get used to this.”

At the office, Tom asks Patty what her plans are for Ellen. Patty says that Ellen is around as long as Gregory is around.

David gets a call – Katie tells him Gregory is dead.

Now! Patty drives away from it all.

Tom and Ellen talk at the jail.

Then! All the lawyers gather. Patty tells them Gregory is dead, and they’re going to try to crack Arthur’s cool veneer at the deposition by using the Arlington information.

At Arthur’s house, Arthur gets ready to take off and prep for his case. His wife (who turns out to be the kid’s step-mom) hands him a lucky golf club.

At a restaurant, Ray and Patty bargain about the length of the deposition, and whether they can use a video camera. Then Patty tells Ray that Gregory is dead – and concludes their dinner with a, “Shame on you.”

Arthur and Ray talk – Ray isn’t sure how to protect Arthur from the Arlington portion of the deposition.

Patty calls Ellen into her office, and asks her how she liked the beach house. Then she tells Ellen that Ellen is being taken off the deposition. Ellen seems to know something is up.

Later, Arthur calls a press conference. He gets the father of the girl who died in Arlington to say that a) he thinks his daughter was driving the car she died in, and b) that Arthur gave them money to help take care of the family because he loved their daughter. He thinks that everyone should be proud of Arthur for not talking about it in the press, and gives a “Character is what we are in the dark” kind of speech.

Now! Ellen tells Tom to go to Patty’s apartment and find proof that she was attacked there. Tom says the cops didn’t find anything, and Ellen says someone’s covering it up.

Tom goes to Patty’s apartment. He lets the dog into the house. The dog runs in.

Then! Ellen says they were set up. Patty says there’s a leak, and they’re going into lockdown. Tom and Patty will be the only people in the deposition.

Moore and Ray verbally spar. Both are upset about the press conference – it wasn’t Ray’s idea.

Arthur dresses for his deposition, and Ray helps Arthur tie his tie. Arthur doesn’t know how to tie a Windsor knot. Arthur thanks Ray for being a good lawyer and a good friend.

At the deposition, Patty and Arthur verbally spar. Lightly. Basically, he says he doesn’t know where the money went.

Ellen calls Moore, which she isn’t supposed to be doing.

Arthur calls his wife, who is at dinner with some mystery guy. They’re going to “tell him” after the deposition. That can’t be good.

Ellen sees Moore. In an alley. In the city. That can’t be good either. Moore accuses Ellen of leaking Arlington. And he tells Ellen they’ll get nothing else from him.

Ellen warns Moore that if there’s a connection between himself and Arthur, they’ll find it. Moore tells Ellen to watch herself.

As they walk out of the alley, someone takes pictures of Ellen and Moore.

Ellen goes to talk to one of the people who used to work under Moore, who informs her that Moore was in Florida when Arthur was in Florida.

At the office, Arthur tries to talk to Ellen, pretty much to no avail.

At the deposition, Patty continues the grilling. Patty asks why Arthur was financing Katie’s eatery. And if he knew Gregory. And that Gregory sold his stock on the same day Arthur did. And that Gregory is dead. Arthur says he’s never heard of the guy.

Later, Arthur asks if Ray gave Gregory stock in the company. Arthur thinks Moore engineered the hit-and-run. Ray says he thinks Moore leaked Arlington.

Some more lawyers from Ray’s firm show up at the hotel room.

Ellen goes to Patty and tells her that she (Ellen) went to talk to Moore. This makes Patty angry. Ellen tells Patty that she’s sick of Patty. Patty tells Ellen to get out and don’t bother coming back. Ellen goes. On her way out, she leaves a folder with the receptionist.

Now! Patty’s dog goes to eat some food. Then he noses at the furniture. Some dude is inside the apartment. He asks if Tom is supposed to be there. The dude tells Tom that Patty had a water delivery.

The dude leaves. Tom looks at some coral the dog was sniffing at, and finds blood.

Then! Ellen tells David that she got fired, and that she feels great. She wants to go out and get drunk.

Ray runs into Arthur in the hallway. Arthur’s wife is divorcing him. The papers were filed this morning. This happens just as Arthur is headed into his deposition. Ray wants to reschedule. Arthur says he can handle it.

The deposition continues. Patty says that Arthur was like the father of his company – how did he feel when it failed? Was it like the dissolution of a marriage?

Patty keeps pushing this line of thought until Arthur freaks out, and stomps out of the deposition with, “I’ll see you in court!”

Arthur confronts his soon-to-be ex-wife at his house. She drives away while Arthur smashes her windshield with his lucky golf club.

Arthur calls Ray and tells him to make an offer.

Patty meets with a lawyer – he’s the mystery man who was talking to Arthur’s wife. He leaked the story to Patty, and blamed it on a clerk.

In a bar, David and Ellen and their friends party and drink.

Ray calls Patty and offers five hundred million. Patty turns him down. She figures Gregory must have been worth a LOT if they bumped him off.

Patty opens up the file Ellen left behind – then calls Ellen. Ellen ignores the call.

Now! Tom tells Ellen that someone tried to clean up the body in Patty’s apartment. Tom also tells Ellen that Patty is a lot of things – but Patty is nor a murderer. Ellen tells Tom she knows things about Patty that could destroy her.

Elsewhere, Patty keeps on driving – there’s a spot of blood on her shoe.

Episode 11

Episode 11 on Hulu

Then! Ellen and Nye walk in the park. Ellen has Nye’s card, which she says she won’t need any more.

Ellen tells Nye she needs a job. Nye tells Ellen not to let her life pass her by. She asks if that’s a no.

Now! (8 Days Later): Patty stops for gas. She looks down and sees the blood on her shoe. She goes to the bathroom and tries to clean the blood off.

Then! Ellen is trying to work out the season arrangements for the wedding. David has to go. As he heads out, Patty is there – at the door. Ellen says she’s wondering when Patty would show up.

A little later, Patty pulls out the file Ellen gave her, and asks what it all means. Ellen says that, though they don’t have proof, the file shows that Moore was in Florida when Arthur was, and that chances are good Moore tipped off Arthur about what was happening.

Patty tells Ellen to talk to Moore, and that Patty can have her job back. Ellen says she doesn’t want the job, but she’ll talk to Moore, because she wants Patty to win the case.

The case goes to trial in six weeks. Patty’s staff wants to know where Ellen went.

At Ray’s office, Ray’s wife brings him lunch. It’s cute.

May 2002: Ray meets Gregory. Ray is eating. Gregory is his waiter.

They sit around, after-hours, drinking wine and talking.

Then: David comes into the apartment and finds two maintenance workers and a guy in a suit. The suit-guy says that they’re investigating a leak. And that he was changing a light bulb because he had seen that it had burned out, and Patty told him to take extra-special care of Ellen and David.

David says next time, call him first.

Now! Patty has 57 new messages, from Tom, her son, and her husband. Patty gets a message: Ellen is in jail. She’s been arrested for killing David.

Later, Patty drives. A cop behind her flicks on his sirens, but they aren’t for her.

Then! Ellen meets with Moore. She asks him about June 2002. Then she brings up his ex-worker. Ellen says Moore needs to give them more, or Patty will look into Moore.

Moore says to meet him “tomorrow night.”

The next day, David heads to the apartment. Lila sees him go into his building. David turns around, and there’s… Ellen!

Ellen opens a big box on the counter. It’s their first wedding gift. A garden gnome. David’s phone rings. It’s Lila. David tells Ellen, she tells him not to pick up.

Tom asks Patty when Patty is going to tell people about Ellen getting fired. Ellen says Tom can go ahead and tell them.

Ray is out at a restaurant, thinking about…

2002! Ray confronts Gregory about what Katie might have seen. Gregory screwed up. He’s apologetic. Ray tells Gregory to sell his stock.

Now! Ray talks to Arthur at the restaurant. Arthur is living in a hotel, out of his house.

Ray passes pictures to Arthur, of Moore and Ellen. He tells Arthur Moore sold him out.

Patty talks to Ellen in Patty’s apartment. Patty tries to give Ellen some money. Ellen leaves without taking it.

Later, Ellen goes to see Moore. She sees his car, and gets in. The glass is broken in his windshield, and there’s a hole in his head. Ellen takes his keys out of the ignition, gets something out of his glove compartment, replaces the keys, and wipes all her fingerprints off the car.

She goes to Patty and hands Patty an envelope.

The envelope has documents linking Ray to insider trading. Patty says something about this being blackmail.

At Ray’s office, Marshall, another lawyer at the firm, tells Ray that it’s been decided. Marshall will be shadowing Ray through the rest of the case. The senior partners have lost confidence in Ray.

Patty goes to see Ray in the dog park. She brings pictures of Gregory and Ray, and a document. The document shows the insider trading. Patty wants to come to “an arrangement.”

Patty says this will go to trial. And that Ray needs to “repent.”

At his office, Ray opens his mail. It’s a letter from Gregory that ends, “If anything happens to me, I left a videotape explaining everything.”

At Ellen’s apartment, Ellen opens a box. She thinks it’s a wedding gift. It’s lingerie. And a note from Lila to David. Ellen calls David and asks for Lila’s phone number. She leaves the message we heard on Lila’s phone a few episodes ago.

Now-ish! David and Ellen fight, Ellen leaves, David packs. The phone rings. It’s Lila. David tells Lila to stop calling him.

Ellen goes to Patty’s apartment. Katie is outside smoking and holding a videotape.

Now! Patty sits by a lake, being all serene-like.

Then! Ray looks at the letter from Gregory.

2002! Ray and Gregory walk and talk. Gregory just got his new job. Ray says they can’t be in contact any more. Ray kisses Gregory. Gregory says that’s not who he is. Then he pushes Ray away.

Gregory apologizes. Ray cries.

Now! Ray makes a call. He tells Arthur that Moore is dead. And that he got a letter from Gregory. Ray says, “It’s over, Art.” Then he hangs up.

Ray goes home, late at night, and tells his wife that first thing in the morning they need to leave the country. He asks his wife to trust him, and that she needs to pack.

Ray calls Patty, and says he wants to work things out. Right now.

Ellen goes home. Lila is sitting in the shadows. Ellen doesn’t see her. Ellen goes to the kitchen, and when she gets back to the front door, it’s ajar.

Ray goes to see Patty. She tells Ray he needs to blow his case, and in six months or a year she’ll have Ray come work for her. They shake on it. Ray leaves.

Then he comes back, and says he always wanted to work with Patty. But not any more. Then he sticks a gun in his mouth and pulls the trigger.

Ray is dead. And there’s the blood on Patty’s shoe.

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