Sunday, September 16, 2007

Damages 1x07 "We Are Not Animals" Summary and Review

"Do you want to play mind games like these people or do you want to be yourself?"

Damages Official Site

A top-form episode of "Damages" sees Patty's home life and the attempt to subpoena Greg Malina both come to a head. With her son refusing to come home from the camp, Patty bluffs him with emancipation papers and manages to get him to return voluntarily. Meanwhile, Fiske tries and fails to stop the subpoena. Greg is essentially kidnapped by Hewes to ensure his presence at a deposition, but flees. And at the office, Patty drives a wedge between Ellen and Tom by asking whether he tried to hire Ellen when he'd quit. Ellen decides to protect Tom and asks him to trust her, and he immediately stabs her in the back by revealing to Patty that he did try to hire Ellen -- and at the same time revealing that Ellen lied to protect him.

But even more exciting, there's a lot of maneuvering in the present. Ellen tells Nye what happened to bring her to this situation -- she was staying in Patty's apartment after a fight with David when she was attacked -- but no one can find Hewes. Then Ellen asks Tom to help her find Patty. He says he has no idea where to find her, but leaves and immediately calls Patty, telling her not to return. Ellen, however, is on the phone herself -- to Nye, to whom she says, "He's full of shit. Stay on him: he'll lead you to Patty."

Great episode this week. The present and past storylines have sometimes seemed unrelated except in the most basic causal sense in past episodes, but with this episode's emphasis on the mind games being played with Ellen by both Tom and Patty, the present and past meshed in far more meaningful ways than they ever have.

Three Patty Hewes character moments of note this week. The first was her inability to work a DVR remote, which she insists on trying to handle herself despite her husband offering to do it (eventually tossing it at him in irritation, but only after screaming at him that she can do it herself). The second was the tapping of fingers while waiting for Greg to show up for the deposition -- a hint of not only impatience, but the vulnerability that she accidentally displays by showing her impatience. And the third was the naked gladness in her eyes when her son returned.

Meanwhile, we see Ellen at two different stages of her metamorphosis into a clone of Hewes. Damages is doing a great job of showing the dangers and manipulations that will eventually prove to Ellen how difficult it is to be naively herself in Patty Hewes' world.

In summary: Maybe the best episode yet.

08/22/07: Damages 1x05 "A Regular Earl Anthony" Summary and Review
08/15/07: Damages 1x04 "Tastes Like a Ho-Ho"

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