More Characters Become Pawns in the Game of FX's Damages

Who here laughed their heads off last night when Patty tried a Ding-Dong and then asked Ellen and Katie what it was, only to turn around and say that it "tastes like a Ho Ho"? It's moments like these which only make me love this smart series even more.

I'm talking about last night's little gem of an episode of FX's Damages ("Tastes Like a Ho Ho"), which focused mainly on the character of Katie Connor (Anastasia Griffith), a consummate liar whose constantly shifting version of the events in 2002 in Florida have kept me on the edge of my seat. We had known that Katie lied about her time line, concealing a one-night stand with a mystery man named Gregory (Peter Facinelli) and an abortion she had as a result of their tryst. What we didn't know though was how far gone Katie was and that she entered rehab after their meeting. So why didn't baby brother David know about any of this? And just who payed for her rehab stint?

Katie, of course, is merely a pawn in the war between Patty and Arthur Frobisher. She's being used by both sides without her knowledge. I knew better than to trust Greg, who turned out to be another cog in the conspiracy. Sure, he's being forced into playing his role but he made Katie perjure herself under oath and fed her information that was quickly disproved by conniving attorney Ray Fiske, information that Patty had in her possession way before Katie's deposition.

So why did Patty set up Katie to take the fall? Simple: Patty knew she was lying because she had had that incriminating ATM photo (of the man Katie claimed to see getting into the limo that night with Frobisher) for months and she had to get Fiske and Frobisher off their backs. She wants the settlement withdrawn because she wants Frobisher to think that he's in the clear; if he does, she can nail the billionaire's butt to the wall when the case goes to trial. And Fiske won't even see it coming. That's the beauty of Patty's grand scheme.

So who was the mystery man who employs Greg and what is the connection between them? Greg was staying at his house (and obviously had a key to the place) and owed Frobisher stock, yet knew to dump it back in June of 2002 before the alleged fraud occurred. Hmmm. Was he really ever just a West Village waiter or is that just a cover story? And what was he doing in Florida that night? My guess is that the mystery man is Frobisher's broker; hence the big cover up that Frobisher engages in to keep Katie Connor happy and silent. But why does this guy have a penchant for wandering the streets of Manhattan at night with a baby in a stroller? Whose kid is that and why did he show up for a clandestine meeting with Greg with the kid? Curious.

Katie was never meant to testify at the trial. She was an unreliable witness with a past filled with "a blur of narcotics and intercourse" who was completely not credible. But the icing on the cake was the fact that both Patty and Frobisher's people destroyed Katie's entire life for something that she didn't even see. She wasn't even awake when the mystery man entered that Florida house on the water that night in 2002 and never saw him or his face, never knew he even existed. So everything that happened to her: the stalking, the murder of her dog Saffron, the sacrifice of her dreams of owning her own restaurant, they were all in vain. It's a sad testament to the power of the wicked over the truly powerless.

That said, I had thought that Katie would be killed before this was all over. Not so, as in the current time line, she goes to the police station and has to identify David's body. Turns out that she and Ellen haven't spoken in months (Katie takes off in her car, without looking back, at the episode's end) and she didn't even know that Ellen and David had called off the wedding. (Lest you fear that Katie is off the series, she appears in the scenes for next week's episode.)

Could the reasons for that split between the two lovebirds have something to do with that extremely flirty (not to mention inappropriately chatty) woman whose grandfather David is looking after? Hmmm. Given the way that she still put a move on David even after he told her that he was engaged leads me to believe that David is going to stray from Ellen, especially since Patty continues to drive a wedge between them. Could this be why Ellen is staying at Patty's when she's attacked by an unknown assailant with a knife? After all, she was in Patty's apartment wearing only a negligee.

Just who is this young woman who lacks even a remote knowledge of the films of John Cassavetes? Is she for real or another plant, a honey trap hired by Patty to split David and Ellen up for good? Patty tells Ellen to trust no one and I'm doing just that. Anyone who comes onto the screen is a potential villain and could be caught up in this web of lies that threatens to overtake them all. Hell, even Tom (Tate Donovan) himself, who has finally proven that he's not Patty's lapdog anymore when he accepts an offer from a rival firm in order to get his daughter into an elite school. (After years of abuse from Patty and getting "fired" from the firm only to spy on Katie, I'm surprised it didn't happen sooner.) Just what will Patty say when she learns of this new treachery? And how will she enact a bitter revenge on the one person she did trust above all others? It's time to eat your words, Ms. Hewes.

Next week on Damages ("A Regular Earl Anthony"), Fiske is spurred by Frobisher to take a more aggressive tack with Patty who finds herself on rather insubstantial ground with her clients; Tom meets with an old friend (Donal Logue); and someone gets beat up.

* * *

Jace is an LA-based television development and acquisitions exec who watches way too much television for his own good and would love a TiVo for every room in the house. (He’s halfway there.) His blog, Televisionary, can be found at televisionaryblog.com.