Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Damages 1x05 "A Regular Earl Anthony" Summary & Review

"I keep thinking baby, someday I'll just, I'll wake up and I'll realize something's missing, but right now, know? I turn to this one, and I say baby, pinch my dick."

Damages Official Site

In "A Regular Earl Anthony," the current-day plotline squeezes out a tiny bit of information about what's going on: Ellen insists that someone tried to kill her, and that the body is in Patty Hewes' apartment -- but when the police show up, the apartment is suspiciously clean... Meanwhile, the flashbacks, which now hover at 4 months ago, feature Donal Logue as Tom's jogging buddy (and speaker of my line of the week, above). Encouraged by aforementioned Donal Logue, Tom quits, and the clients in the Frobisher case follow him. Tom eventually persuades Patty to give him nearly everything he wants, for his return -- except a name on the door.

There are also some dullish maneuvers with the settlement figure, resulting in no real change, and a little bit of drama between Ellen and David and Katie -- Ellen and Katie are mad at each other, Davidbot tries to mediate, nothing changes. (See a trend?) The major case-related development of this episode: Greg Malina sold his stock on the same day as Frobisher, and he gets beaten up for wanting out of the situation.

I'm going to go ahead and wish that this episode had taken us further, plotwise. It was clear that Tom would never leave Patty, so the A-plot was lame. It was equally predictable that he'd take an unsuccessful shot at bringing Ellen with him, and that cracks were going to start appearing in David and Ellen's relationship. Not enough happened in the present-day plotline, and little changed in the flashbacks.

Nevertheless, it's a pleasure to watch Glenn Close playing Patty's cards close to the vest. When Tom quits, Hewes responds in classic manipulator fashion by pretending not to care, and she does so with majestic, consummate skill. But when Patty tells Tom that he's a "born second," and that's his limitation, it's almost a meta-statement. Tom's character makes a good complement to Patty's, but as the center of his own episode, he just isn't enough.

Another great character moment: Hewes and her personal trainer doing weights. It's amusing to watch her growl, and interesting to be reminded that though she was born strong of will, there are things she has to work at. My other interest is listening to all the bullshit justifications people trot out for their actions. Characters want to convince others, and sometimes themselves, that they're in this for the good of the clients, or their children, or some other noble motive. Rarely do they admit how much ambition and power hunger has to do with it.

In Summary: A filler episode, though still as good as any top-notch episode of most other shows.

08/15/07: Damages Ep 4: Tastes Like a Ho Ho
08/04/07: Damages Review (Warning: Slightly Spoilery


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