Always Blame the Victim: Ellen Slips Over to the Dark Side on Damages

Last night's episode of Damages ("Blame the Victim") upped the ante on several levels as the bigger picture came into focus really for the first time. I've been pondering on Gregory Malina's word for the last few weeks about forgetting about the broker but I never thought that just what that might imply. It also subtly advanced Ellen's character development and provided a few more clues about just what happened that fateful night in Ellen and David's apartment.

Frobisher:

Art really doesn't get it, does he, that he keeps digging a deeper hole for himself every time he meets with Larry? Perhaps he hasn't heard of obstruction of justice, even if Larry does remind him of his father. (I thought that scene was perhaps the creepiest of the night for some reason.) And, even after giving him $20 dollars for a cab and acting surprised about Larry's accusations regarding the disappearance of Gregory Malina, Frobisher still thinks this guy is on his side, after he wiped out the poor guy's life savings. Frobisher really doesn't have a clue and still agrees to meet Larry one final time, even after Fiske screams at him for doing so. Is it hubris that makes him think he's somehow above the law or outside of it?

Patty:

I thought the scene in which Patty went to Larry's house, during dinner, no less, and confronted him about leaking the $175 million settlement to the other side was heartbreaking. Patty is right to be so callous; after all, Larry colluded with the very man that he and his other plaintiffs are litigating against. Still, it gave me chills to see the way she casually stormed into his home and told him in no uncertain terms that any member of his family who used any of the Frobisher payoff money over the next hundred years would be humiliated and risk jail time... in front of the man's family. Sure enough, though, her ploy worked and Larry came right around into Patty's corner, now working to take down Frobisher.

She's a crafty one, this Patty. Just look at the way she cannily "suggested" to Ellen that she fire her new assistant, without ever commanding her to do so. Still, I loved seeing her humanity during the family breakfast scene where, despite none of them saying a word to each other, it was clear just how significant the meal was to Patty, even if she didn't glance up from her cup of coffee when she said goodbye to her son Michael.

Baby Carriage Man:

Ding, ding, ding! We finally have a name for the mysterious Baby Carriage Man: SEC official George Moore. While it was obvious halfway through the episode just who the SEC official would be, it was nonetheless shocking that the whole mystery of the weekend and its subsequent cover-up had little to do with Frobisher meeting with his broker, but that the billionaire fat cat would be involved with dealings with the Securities Exchange Commission. Personally, I love the fact that Moore is the guy that was supposed to be taking Frobisher down "pretty aggressively." Obviously, he, er, had a change of heart along the way, but it's now clear why he's taking the risks he has in order to keep his name out of this investigation. Still, even he urged Frobisher to look into how Fiske knew Gregory and just why Fiske had put him in charge of organizing a condo in Palm Beach. The mystery thickens...

Ellen:

I did think it was particularly fitting to use this week's episode to push Ellen further into the "darkness" of Patty's shadow. The way she callously chided her father and told him that this was how the "real world" operated was jaw-dropping, considering her naivete and sweetness just a few episodes earlier. And it was absolutely chilling to me to see how well Patty had molded her protege when she casually fired her assistant as the elevator doors closed. Learn that from Patty, did you, Ellen?

We got a few more clues about the night of the murder from this week's installment. Interesting to see that Ellen and David were fighting about her job and that, given an ultimatum, Ellen chose her career over her engagement with David, and then stormed off after their fight and left her engagement ring on the hall table. (Where, later, the police find it on the floor.)

Cut to David, frantically trying to find Ellen and apologize, but he's interrupted by a knock at the door. Just who was on the other side of that doorway? We don't know but David doesn't live long enough to warn Ellen, either... which makes me think that Ellen was the intended target. The killer came for her at her home, surprised David and killed him, and then tracked her down at Patty's apartment. But why? And who is the dead men that David and Ellen argue over? Gregory Malina? Or someone else altogether?

Next week on Damages ("Do You Regret What We Did?"), the mystery behind Gregory's disappearance deepens as a videotape he made about his knowledge of the case surfaces; Frobisher's team brings in a secret weapon; Ellen discovers some shocking information; someone is hit by a car; and Patty's whereabouts after David's murder are discovered.

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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.