"Damages" Recap: Episode 3 - And My Paralyzing Fear of Death:

10 years ago

Cross Posted At Megan's Minute

This episode begins with a long tracking shot through the trashed apartment where Ellen Parsons and dead fiance David lived. We follow the shot through the apartment and around the bathroom doorway to see Ellen in her bloody clothes staring at dead David in the bathtub, while holding one of the those ugly, bloody Statue of Liberty bookends. There's no sign of the Death Pigeon but I don't think we've seen the last of him.

Flash forward to bloody Ellen at the police station waiting for her lawyer to show up once again wondering what the hell happened to her life.

Flashback to Patty Hewes and Ray Fiske hashing out lawyerly details with the judge assigned to the Frobisher lawsuit. The judge tells Patty her case ain't that great and she has until the end of the week to submit a brief that prevents him from throwing the case out on its butt. In front of the judge, Patty's all, "No problem, your honor." Back at Patty Inc. however, she brings out the really big whip and cracks it on her little minions. They will have no lives whatsoever until that brief is perfect and turned in on time.

Before they can even get started though the building has to be evacuated because of a handpicked gift from Frobisher to Patty of a grenade in a box. That's not quite as touching as a "Dick A In A Box" but Frobisher isn't quite as imaginative as Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg.

Speaking of dicks, Frobisher's favorite caterer, Katie Connor is reacquainting herself with One Night Stand Greg's private parts. They have hot, steamy sex and talk about the good times in Florida. Turns out Greg is married but he's okay about Katie's promise to try and keep his name out of the trial when she has to testify.

When the Feds interview Patty about who might have wanted to send her a grenade---she basically tells them to start at "A" in the phone book and continue on to "Z"---we find out that ten years ago Patty was slashed by a pissed off CEO on the losing end of patented Patty persecution and she almost died. During a heart to heart with her new bodyguard, ex-Secret Serviceman John Petroni, Patty confides that she was so busy gloating on the courthouse steps she didn't see the knife until it was too late.

Her lesson: "Taking power away from a man is a dangerous thing. Someone always pays." Thdsc_4853 Ain't that the truth. Petroni's all manners, white shirt and perfectly tied tie and he tells Patty he's going to stay closer to her than the nylon in her pantyhose.

Patty meets with "fired" flunky Tom and the only new info he has for her is that he's sick of following caterer Katie around town. He was meant for the law and the law was meant for him and he's wasting his talents. Patty tells him to keep his pants on, do what she tells him and he may get to keep what little manhood he has left.

On the personal front, Patty and husband Phil (Michael Nouri) meet son Michael's hoity-toity private school Headmaster. Headmaster says the kid's one step away from being kicked to the curb and he's very disturbed because of a dream Michael relayed to him.

In it he says, "eight black limousines pull up in front of your apartment and out of each one steps a Michael who all look exactly alike. So much so that even Michael can't tell which one is the real him. But he knows that the other seven are body doubles he has hired."

"Hired to do what," asks Patty.

"To prevent him from being assassinated." During the telling of this dream Phil and Patty exchange glances and we don't understand what they mean until later when we find out that Michael lied and the dream was really Patty's. Our first glimpse of David is outside the Headmaster's office: a blond, well dressed, high class punk listening to rap music.

Flash forward to bloody Ellen in jail and in walks Hollis Nye, attorney at law. He asks why she didn't call Patty if she needed a lawyer. She says, "just get me out of here." Now I've already said I don't trust Nye, and when he asks Ellen why she didn't call Patty there appears to me to be just the slightest smirk in his expression. Maybe it's my imagination, but maybe it's not.

Flashback to a classic Patty scene: the day after the hand grenade evacuation, six of Patty's employees take a personal "I don't want to be near Patty when the bomb goes off" day. As she tells her assembled minions, she immediately fired them. She then informs them that if anybody else is decides that their life is more important than their job, just call in sick.

This scene reminds of one of the great memorable scenes from the mini-series "I, Claudius." It's when Claudius's grandmother, played by the wonderful actress Sian Phillips addresses the gladiators prior to the funeral games for her son. She says:

"You're all scum, and you know it, but some of you have a chance here to prove that you're a bit more than that...But I want a good show...and I don't want any kiss-in-the-ring stuff...These games are being degraded by the increasing use of professional tricks to stay alive, and I won't have it...I know every trick in the book including the pig's blood in the bladder. So put on a good show, and there'll be plenty of money for the living and a decent burial for the dead." (Thanks to Brontepunk for the quote.)

Patty is Livia without the poison. But I don't want to speak too soon. The series isn't over yet.

Ellen chooses this time to tell Patty that her engagement party is Friday night, the same day that the all important brief is due, but she says her portion of it will be done "well in advance."

I spit my Diet Coke halfway across the room when Patty responded, "Ellen you're an adult. Do you're work, your life's your own." Huh!? Who are you and where are you holding Patty?

Next we're at family counseling with Patty, Phil and Michael. Where's Dr. Phil when you need him? Patty thinks "Michael has manipulated you people into thinking he deserves another chance," she tells the therapist. The famous dream comes up again in addition to Michael's "paralyzing fear of death." Heh.

Later, Patty bonds with Ellen over family pictures in Ellen's office and does Patty's version of a heart to heart about how family's important and by the way, her son won't be expelled. Leaving the office, Patty sees the bookends and tells Ellen "those bookends are hideous. Take them home." Because remember you're an adult. Do you work, you're life's your own.

At home, Phil plays all sweet and cuddly hubby after discovering Patty scared to death and curled up on the sofa in the basement. And this ladies and gentleman is why Glenn Close makes the big bucks. Her subtlety. She doesn't have to throw things, she doesn't have to chew the scenery, she just has to tighten her lips or lift her eyebrows to convey the switch from one of Patty's many facets to the other. I believe her as the barracuda lawyer, I believe her as the frightened attack victim and I believe her as the inadequate, guilty mother.

Back at the office, Uncle Pete is making Michael's laptop G-rated again. He returns it to Patty and tells her that some of Michael's favorite sights were "Sorority Sluts.com, and Jugbanger.net.

Patty meets with flunky Tom, he still has no info on the Greg, Katie, Frobisher front. She gives him Ellen's brief and tells him to see if there's anything salvageable in it. If not, she tells him to rewrite it. She says it as if she fully expects it to be crappy.

Opera's playing and on this show that's never a good thing. Phil is picking up his car from a parking lot, we see him pull out and go up the street, the shot stays on the street and we hear a bang and see the car reversing really fast and the sound of a crash. At the hospital , a bloody Phil tells Patty there was a grenade in his glove compartment and that's what caused him to crash the car. That's as good a reason as any.

Flunky Tom tells Patty that Ellen's brief was perfect. Patty's shocked and it's suddenly obvious that she wanted it to be bad. Interesting. Next thing we know Patty "rewards" Ellen for her hard work by allowing her to take the completed brief to the judge in person so she can have some minion/judge face time. It'll be good for her career. Ellen doesn't know it, but the judge is notorious for keeping people waiting and today is the day of her engagement party. When Ellen arrives, Secretary Delia says the judge is in a settlement conference and "it'll be awhile." "Awhile" turns out to be nearly six hours and it turns out that's exactly what Patty wanted.

The party's going in full swing when Ellen calls fiance David to commiserate. He's really understanding about it and promises to cover for her. How sweet. Too bad he's gonna die a horrible death.

That same night, Patty is out to dinner with son David. He's surly and snotty and you just want to slap him. Guilt must be the only thing keeping Patty from doing it herself, 'cause she definitely seems like the slapping type. Instead Patty's tries to find out why he's angry, blah, blah, blah. The kid jerks her chain about how he wants to seem stupid 'cause it scares her if he's smarter than her, blah, blah...doesn't make any sense.

What does come out of this scene however is Patty telling Michael he has to stop what he's doing, and Michael honestly doesn't seem to know what she's talking about. No matter, quicker than you can say bootcamp, goons pull up in a black van outside the restaurant and kidnap the kid. Patty signs some forms to "enroll" Michael in the The Claremont Reform Academy and wants to be assured that Michael won't have access to the internet. That way he can't order anymore grenades. Uh oh. I think Mommy got it wrong this time. That's the other suspicious information Uncle Pete found on Michael's laptop that he hinted at earlier. We definitely know that Frobisher sent the first grenade, but did he really send the second?

Back to "Waiting for Judge Godot," he finally comes out and Ellen gets her looooong awaited minion face time. Ellen, sweetie, nothing was worth that.

Flash forward to bloody Ellen---she's really not bloody anymore, because they let her take a shower and got her some clothes---and the cops have info that fiance David was no longer Ellen's fiance when he was murdered. Neighbors said they had a big fight, she walked out and the engagement was off.

Flashback to the dregs of the engagement party and fiance David and Ellen slow dancing and looking forward to a happy future.

Flash forward and Ellen's talking to Hollis Nye. She says, "I didn't kill David. Someone tried to kill me."

All of a sudden we're back at that elevator in Patty's building and we hear screams and then see flashes of a dog barking intercut with Ellen struggling with a masked assailant...with a knife.

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