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August 17, 2007

"Damages" Recap - Episode 4: Tastes Like A Ho-Ho

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It took awhile for it to occur to me how many meanings this title could have besides the obvious one about the little chocolate snack cake.  It wasn't until I watched it for the second time, knowing that the episode was all about caterer Katie, that they all came jumping out at me.  All of them dirty.

Anastasia Griffith as Katie and all of her personas gets to do it all in this episode and her acting is fabulous.

Our opening sequence fast cuts Party Hearty Katie at a nightclub in Palm Beach, Florida on that fateful weekend of the Frobisher party, June 2002, drinking, drugging, dancing and doing the nasty with One Night Stand Greg.

When shots are fired in the nightclub, they high tail it out of there and end up in a parking lot, high on coke and ready for luuuuv.

Flash forward to Katie being grilled by Ellen and a Patty associate who I can't find on any official cast list.  She a black woman and she's had a couple of lines every episode, so for now I'll just call her "Foxy Law."  So Foxy Law is grilling Katie, asking her did she have more than two drinks, did she do any drugs, did she know Greg's last name?  Katie lies like a champ and says no, no and no.

Flashback to Katie and Greg in a parking lot flirting shamelessly when the big moment happens.  No, not that big moment.  I mean the moment when they see Frobisher next to a white stretch limo and a man joins him and they both get in the car.

Flash forward and Katie tells Foxy Law and Ellen that she can't remember much about the man because it was five years ago and she only saw the guy for a second.  Patty joins the grilling session and suggests hypnosis to help Katie's faulty memory 'cause that's how she quit smoking.  Then in the funniest moment of the series so far, Patty picks up a small round chocolate cake from the table and takes a bite.  She asks what it is.  Ellen, really embarrassed, tells her it's a Ding Dong.  Patty gets this surprised look on her face and says, "It's delicious."  As she leaves the room she says, "It tastes like a Ho-Ho."  Ellen and Katie look at each other and burst out laughing.

We go from comedy to tragedy when we flash forward to a devastated Katie identifying Dead Brother David at the morgue.  Opening credits.

After the break Patty's told she can't talk to son Michael at the reform school because he still doesn't have phone privileges.  Patty's pissed because we can tell she wanted to make sure the kid doesn't hate her guts because she had him kidnapped.  Good luck with that.

Frobisher makes his second cameo of the episode.  He's skimming high priced bugs out of his high priced pool while lawyer Ray Fiske is getting the screws put to him about the Frobisher case by his bosses. The message?  It's high profile, it's important and if you mess it up you're toast.  Fiske's normally deep, slow southern accent gets even slower and deeper as he assures them he's got it under control. Patty's got nothing.  No witnesses.  Nothing.  Uh oh.

Katie's asks One Night Stand Greg to help with the mystery limo guy identification but he says he won't because the wife will find out.

Patty meets with "fired" Flunky Tom and though he turns over new info on Katie, including that she still sees One Night Stand Greg everyday, he's worried about his career going down the toilet because of these shady little errands Patty has him doing.  During the scene, Patty looks over his shoulder and seems to see someone or something that disturbs her but when Tom questions her about it, she says she's fine.

As Patty's about to leave, Tom asks her to put in a good word for little daughter Megan so she can get into an exclusive music school she's applied for.  Patty's response, "Tom wake up!  People think I fired you.  Find another connection."  Now that was cold.  Here Tom's been the best flunky that any barracuda lawyer could ever want and she treats him like that.  How much longer is Tom going to take that kind of treatment lying down?

We find out when Tom is dropping off cute little Megan at school and lawyer Martin Cutler (Robin Thomas) approaches him.  Martin is the lawyer from the pilot that Patty tricked into a settlement who then wanted to "kick the living dog-sh**t" out of her.  In a nutshell, he and his mobster-like, pin-stripe suit want Tom to come work for him and he's prepared to help little Megan get into that music school she has her heart set on.  In fact, he implies that he'll make sure she doesn't get in if Tom doesn't decide to play ball.

Cracks in the David/Ellen relationship start to crop up.  Their dueling beepers are not giving them much time together and there's a predatory patient's granddaughter who's very grateful to hot, young Doc David and wants to show her appreciation, if you know what I mean. 

One Night Stand Greg comes to Katie and says he knows who the guy is that got in the car with Frobisher.  His name is Luke Richards and he was a former assistant to Frobisher's broker.  After telling her this, he still insists that he's not going to get involved and she too should run for the hills if she knows what's good for her.

I found it very suspicious that Greg was telling Katie this because, why bother? You've been lying about knowing this guy all along, so why speak up now unless it's to jerk Katie around?

The next day after much soul searching, and flashbacks of the threats and the warnings, Conscientious Katie decides to identify Richards as the guy from the parking lot, based only on what Greg told her.  Her heart's in the right place here, but I think we all know this is going to come back to bite her with a capital "B."

When Patty sends Flunky Tom on one more flunky errand that he doesn't want to do, Tom calls Martin Cutler and is ready to make a deal.

Hired gun Roger Castle, at Patty's request puts Katie through a mock deposition to see how ready she is for the real thing.  Attending the mock deposition besides Roger are Patty and Ellen.  The bottom line. She ain't ready.  Roger picks her apart like a kid pulling the wings off a fly and what comes out, to Katie's horror?  Her abortion and her stint in drug rehab, things Ellen is stunned to find out about.

The best line is when Roger says to her "Wouldn't you characterize your life as one big blur of narcotics and intercourse?"

When Katie loses it Roger concludes, "Wow, she's not ready."  No kidding.

After a pep talk from Patty, Katie toughens up and is ready to go back for more.  You can tell she's trying to do the right thing and though she's scared, she's willing to do what it takes.

Flash forward to Katie seeing Ellen for the first time in months at the police station.  She never talks to her, just looks at her through the one way glass while Det. Rosario Ortiz (Maya Days) the lady cop who's been watching over Ellen, tells her that David and Ellen had broken their engagement.

Flashback to Katie's real deposition and we've arrived at the best scene in this episode.  Attending are Patty, Ellen, Fiske and a court reporter 'cause now we're on the record.  Katie's all calm and poised, and name rank and serial number, even when Fiske does his southern gentleman thing by saying, "If these next few questions make you blush Ms. Connor, I apologize."

Before he can even ask, Katie shoots back, "To screw."

Open mouthed Fiske says, "I'm sorry?"

Katie calmly says, "That's why I was in an empty parking lot in the middle of the night.  And later on the couch.  And then on the floor." Patty looks on like a pleased owner whose pet dog just did a fabulous trick.

Katie continues, asking Fiske, "Do you find cocaine is like Viagra?  Or are you more of a tantric breathing kind of a guy, like Sting?  If the past few answers make you blush Mr. Fiske, I apologize."  Oh snap.  First class acting, writing and everything else.

And I hope my linking to that tantric sex definition on Discovery Health doesn't have me receiving all kinds of X-rated spam.  The things I do for my blog, I tell you.

Anyway, the deposition continues.  The suspense builds as Fiske pins down Katie about exactly what date and exactly what time she saw Richards with Frobisher in the parking lot in Florida.  We know something's coming, but we don't know what.  Fiske then pulls the trigger showing Katie for the liar she is.  He has a picture of Richards at an ATM in Atlantic City, New Jersey at that very same time, hundreds of miles away.  Katie is stunned, Ellen is beside herself and Patty is suspiciously subdued.  Fiske's closing line to Patty after Katie runs out of the room, "You hear that Patty?  That's the sound of the zeros dropping off of Mr. Frobisher's revised offer."  Wow.  Once again, first class acting, writing and everything else.

After we recover during the commercials, the next thing we see is One Night Stand Greg overlooking a water view of New York at night, when an Old Guy with a prop baby in a stroller approaches him.  The Old Guy walks up to Greg and we discover from their conversation that Greg fed the Luke Richards info to Katie so that she would lie under oath and totally discredit herself as a witness.  Greg seems a bit sad by that, but the Old Guy reminds him that "they" own him and have for the five years since Florida.  Greg says something about how he didn't think Katie even remembered him, meaning the Old Guy.

Flashback to Florida and we find out what that means.  After hot sex and a sleeping pill, Katie's alone on the sofa in Greg's living room when Old Guy shows up and spots her.  Because Katie's so spaced out and it's dark, Old Guy thinks Katie sees him before he ducks out of the room, but in reality, she's so stoned and half asleep, she doesn't appear to see him at all.

Flunky Tom meets with Patty and tells her that Greg owned Frobisher stock and he cashed out right before the big bust at the Frobisher company.  I'm assuming this means that Frobisher gave Greg the heads up in exchange for his silence about what he saw in the parking lot, and Old Guy was going to Greg's house that night in Florida to cut that deal.  We also find out from Tom's conversation with Patty that Patty, bless her heart, knew about the Luke Richard's picture proving he was in Atlantic City all along.  She wanted the Katie deposition to go forward because now Fiske will get cocky and Frobisher will pull the settlement offer the disgruntled employees (DE's) wanted to vote for. That's what Patty wanted all along.  God, this woman must have chess pieces in her head instead of brain cells.  I can barely keep up with her.

Poor Katie confronts Greg and reams him out but good.  She threatens to call his wife, only to find out to her shock that he's not married at all.  She's royally pissed and let's Ellen have it as well, right before she packs up her little blue Volkswagen and skips town.  David's not too thrilled with Ellen either because he never wanted Katie involved in the first place.

Ellen apologizes to Patty, who makes Ellen think that the case is all but lost.  Shes all sympathetic and motherly telling Ellen she knows Ellen was hurt by Katie's.  Her lesson to Ellen?  "Trust. No. One."

Especially Patty, little Ellen.  Get out!  Get out now, before it's too late.

Of course Ellen doesn't listen to me and over a sad, slow, piano bar version of "Girls Just Want To Have Fun," we see a montage of Tom meeting Martin; granddaughter predator telling Doc David, I'm yours if you want me;  Ellen looking at Katie's empty and "For Lease" former restaurant space; And present day Ellen sitting by herself in that same police station holding cell, Katie staring into space outside, both of them wondering what the hell happened to their lives.

A little side note, the Death Pigeon has a cameo in this episode. Now you might say, how do I know it's the Death Pigeon and not just some generic New York pigeon?  I just know.  Anybody out there who can pick out the scene where he had his cameo will get a million dollars. Or an honorable mention, whichever is cheaper.



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