Thursday, January 29, 2009

Damages - Recap & Review - Hey! Mr. Pibb!

Hey! Mr. Pibb!

Original Air Date: Jan 28, 2008

Tom R. - TwoCents Staff Writer

Patty Hewes is beaten at her own game. We don’t know what the payback will be for that. But seeing her on good days, there are people who should be terrified.

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1 comment:

  1. Patty Hewes is beaten at her own game. We don’t know what the payback will be for that. But seeing her on good days, there are people who should be terrified.

    So many great moments and plot turns here. We get a rare courtroom scene, remarkably different from the Law & Order courtrooms. Going against the film/TV norm, the room is sparse, with very few viewers in the gallery. It’s not ceremonial, it’s functional. There’s no mood to it, which works perfectly, since Patty expects a quick turnaround.

    In a terrific opening sequence, we see Purcell in a kitchen, watching his wife on a swing outside. As an attacker approaches, his OCD prevents him from protecting her. There’s never any question that it’s a dream. But we see a frustration from Purcell that makes sense by the time the episode ends.

    Present: We see Ellen fire the gun and leave the apartment. The camera focuses in on the bag she is carrying.

    5 months earlier, the story focuses on the UNR case, as Tom and Ellen head to West Virginia to find Josh. They see something being burned by the side of the road, and when they get to Josh’s house, it’s been broken into. The newspaper is also suppressing his story targeting UNR. As Kendrick’s men follow Ellen and Tom, Josh finds them. He hands over the sample, telling them that UNR is burning tainted livestock, and that leukemia rates are also on the increase. Ellen gets the sample back to Patty.

    As Patty offers a reward for the ruby ring that can clear Purcell, we meet Kevin, the man who pawned it. When he is picked up for robbing his cousin’s hardware store, he has the pawn ticket in his pocket. The shop owner has already turned over the ring. The police still advise against trusting Purcell. Patty doesn’t comment on that, but doesn’t see Kevin as a killer, either. Before anyone can talk to him, however, another inmate is prompted by Sutry’s agent to stab Kevin.

    The ultimate moment of betrayal takes place during a rare courtroom scene. Purcell agrees to test Josh’s sample and testify against UNR for doctoring his results. Claire Maddox is ready to argue that Purcell leaked confidential info. But when Purcell gets to the stand, he testifies that there was no doctoring, the sample was clean and the leaked documents had nothing to do with Aracite. In an incredible moment, Patty and Purcell glare at each other before Patty leaves the room.

    Patty tells Michael the truth about his father, and finally allows Purcell to meet with him. His daughter Erica also meets with him while he is incarcerated. The trust pendulum keeps swinging until the closing moments, we see that Purcell was paid off (Erica’s name is dropped in the conversation), and another flashback reveals that he was outside the house when his wife was killed. Sutry’s agent killed her and gave the ring to Kevin.

    The scene where Tom and Ellen see the fire is also nicely-played. There’s no frightened gasp when Ellen asks, “What’s that?” She really does not know what she’s looking at, and neither do we. She only knows that it’s something worth digging into. To paraphrase Patty in the previews, it’s a seed that keeps growing.

    But it’s Purcell who continues to plant the most seeds. Did he drop Josh’s name so that Kendrick could find him? Did he commit perjury as revenge on Patty? How deep does his commitment to UNR really go?

    The title comes from Tom’s unexpected discovery of the Dr. Pepper knock-off. Ironically, we get a clearer sense of what the other characters on the show want. And like Tom, they don’t get it. No case for Patty, no story for Josh, no truth for Claire, and no security for Purcell, no matter what he thinks.

    So there’s my two cents…I’d love to hear where your thoughts. Drop in your comments or send me a note at:


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