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January 31, 2009

"Damages" Recap: "I Knew Your Pig" (1/21/09)

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D20080728_079_R1Last week we ended with Danny Purcell and Claire Maddox in a car in the pouring rain. 

This week we open in the same place.  It's still raining and Danny and Claire are still talking in riddles.

It's like one of those plays you go to where no one looks at each other and every character talks in short stilted bursts.

"Did you kill your wife?"  Claire asks.

"I had nothing to do with this."

"Did she find out about us?"


Cut to flashes of Christine and Danny arguing in their kitchen after the party. 

"No."

I think someone's fibbing.


"Someone leaked your report." 

"I did."

"Who is responsible for this?" 

"Who do you think?"

"Is Glenn Close still as hot as you remember?"

Oops...that was my question, not Claire's.

Back to the world of Patty Hewes, Tommyhawk and Patty are meeting in her apartment about Ultima National Resources, this season's Evil Empire.

The company's been sued more than two hundred times in the past thirty years but they only lost one case.  That one they didn't even bother to appeal because the payout was $100 million---two days profit for the company. 

See, these are the kinds of companies that need to be taxed within an inch of their lives.  Just sayin'.

Tommyhawk still wants to know what all the corporate intrigue has to do with defending Danny.  And by the way, is there anything in the Patty/Danny history he needs to know about?

"If there was I'd tell you," Patty says.

Opening credits.

Ellen is at her apartment getting dressed in front of Agent Mario and Agent Glenn.  Anybody else have issues with this?  I know they're FBI and everything, but dressing in front of them?  In her bedroom?

They're all pondering why Tommyhawk didn't go through with the payoff of Agent Monique.  Ellen says Tommy's conscience got the better of him.  Now excuse me.  When did he tell her that?  Last week he told Ellen he turned down Agent Monique.

It doesn't matter though because the agents want Ellen to lay low until they're sure Patty doesn't know what they're up to.  Ellen insists Patty doesn't know a thing because she's too obsessed with Purcell.  That's why Ellen wants to dig up dirt on Purcell.

The agents want Ellen to back off.  Don't call us, we'll call you.

Tommy meets with Danny in his hotel room.  Danny's injecting what he says is insulin when Tommy walks in.  I say, "what he says is insulin" because Danny hasn't inspired a lot of trust.

Giving Danny a rundown of exactly how Christine died---strangulation, no sexual assault---Tommy tells Danny Patty is on the way to prep him for Detective Huntley.

At Hewes, Inc., Ellen approaches Patty and asks to sit in on Danny's interrogation.  After all she doesn't have any experience with criminal law.  Patty's like, Danny wouldn't like having an attorney he's barely met sitting in on the discussion of his dead wife and by the way Ellen, "I'm not running a law school."  Hee hee.

We're now in a police station interrogation room.  We know this because of the two NYPD signs on the walls and the general scummy-looking, municipally-run nature of the room.  In attendance are Patty, Danny and Detective Huntley. The top cop is asking Danny about the two break-ins:  the first one when his office was tossed and the second one when Christine was killed.

Detective Huntley maintains this kind of "I'm so terribly puzzled" expression throughout and the interrogation goes something like this:

Detective Huntley:  Was it possible the break-ins were done by the same person and ain't it strange nothing was stolen?

Danny:  Don't know why nothing was stolen and it could have been the same person.

Detective Huntley:  Hmmm.  Two break-ins in one week.  Could someone have targeted the wrong house?

Patty:  Ain't that up to you guys?

Detective Huntley:  Still kind of strange, ain't it?  Nothing stolen?

Danny:  Well since there was barely enough time to kill her, I guess that's why nothing was stolen.

Detective Huntley closes the book of mug shots in front of Danny and asks if he can take out some crime scene photos.  Patty protests but Danny agrees to it.

Huntley lays out a series of photos showing poor, dead Christine lying on the kitchen floor.  There are closeups and wide shots.  Patty puts her hand on Danny's shoulder as Danny does his "grieving husband" act.  He takes off his glasses, he puts on his glasses.

Christinnnnnnne.......!

Detective Huntley:  Anything here out of place?

Danny:  No.  Those are the clothes she wore to the gala.

Flashback to Danny introducing Patty and Christine at the gala.

Detective Huntley:  Nothing out of the ordinary at all?

Danny:  Well now that you mention it she was wearing an heirloom ruby ring that night and it's not on her hand in the photo.

Detective Huntley:  So they stole the ruby but left the diamond?  This is a huge development.

Danny doesn't take kindly to the Huntley's sarcastic tone.

Danny:  Listen you scum sucking jerk, if you think I did this just come out and say it so we know where we stand.  Otherwise go find that ring and you'll find my wife's killer.

Christinnnnnne....!

Huntley's like, okay I know you're the grieving widower.  You're innocent.  A strange intruder came in and killed your wife.  But by the way...if you never laid hands on your wife, what's this restraining order and domestic abuse complaint about from three years ago?

Danny's like, you can't use those against me, they were sealed by court order.  Uh Danny...I kinda think you're missing the point here.

Patty however is not and tells Danny to shut the hell up.   Danny, however being Danny yells at her to stop managing him.  Patty's like, you don't want your lame ass in jail, you better shut up now.

Huntley's like, uh you guys need a minute?  Heh.

Patty storms into her office at Hewes, Inc. and is demanding Tommyhawk tell her how they missed a restraining order.  Tommy says because it was just like Danny said, sealed in family court.

As someone who understands liars quite well, Patty is certain Danny's lying about everything.  Tommy's like, and tell me again why we're not dumping his butt on the first criminal defense attorney we find?  After all, we can go after the Evil Empire ourselves. 

Even Patty looks a little tempted but she reasons that Danny knows a lot more than he's saying and to make a good case against the Evil Empire they're going to need someone like him on the inside.

Meanwhile Ellen is researching a ten year old case involving Patty and Purcell.  She's reading transcripts of the case and we flashback to Patty in a conference room, surrounded by attorneys and questioning Purcell.  The case involves a company called IBC Global that Danny worked for at the time.  The company says that their product, I'll call it Toixc A was safe at 100 parts per million. 

"Who wrote that letter to your daughter's day care provider?"  Patty asks.

Ellen's phone rings and who is it?  Why, it's Katie.  Dear, dead David's sister.  Ellen was so engrossed in digging up dirt on Danny she forgot she was supposed to meet Katie for drinks.  Or did she?  Ellen apologizes but doesn't seem all that enthusiastic about making the date.

Tommy's at Ellen's office door and overhears the last part of the conversation.  When she hangs up, he wants to know who Ellen was blowing off.   When he finds out was Katie he suggests Ellen might enjoy going out with her.  Ellen's like, yeah, yeah maybe, but tell me about Danny, Patty and the IBC Global case.

Tommy says it was before his time and as far as Purcell is concerned,  "If there's anything we need to know Patty will tell us when she's ready."

Outside in Central Park, Goodwin is getting in a vigorous run.  He runs right into Claire Maddox who tracked him down there.  Claire's on a fishing expedition, questioning him about what Goodwin has gotten the Evil Empire into.  Also does he have anything to do with Christine's murder?

Goodwin chuckles, "Take a look at the grieving widower."  He goes on that though Danny is "brilliant, he's unstable.  He has a violent temper and his marriage was a wreck."

Claire says that she only met Danny once or twice but that her main concern is protecting Mr. Kendrick's interests.

As soon as Claire leaves, Goodwin's on the phone with Mr. Kendrick himself telling him about Claire's visit.  Kendrick tells Goodwin not to worry about her but he wants the Danny issue taken care of.  Goodwin says the Danny issue has been taken care of.  Kendrick is pleased by that and tells Goodwin to get himself down to West Virginia.

Cut to West Virginia where Kendrick appears to be and he tells his driver to increase security at their coal facilities. 

At Hewes, Inc. Ellen gets off the elevator and sees Danny waiting for Patty.  She goes over and re-introduces herself, says she's sorry about his wife and escorts him to Patty's office. 

What she doesn't do is ask, "So what do you know that I can use against Patty?"  But I'm sure she wants to.

In Patty's office, Patty tells Danny he's a stinkin' liar and she doesn't believe a word he says.  He's going to have to prove to her he's telling the truth before she goes one step further.

"How?"  Danny asks.

Cut to Danny being given a lie detector test.  Heh.  That Patty doesn't play around...but we knew that didn't we?

Mr. Lie Detector is asking Danny about the Evil Empire.  Then he asks him if Danny killed his wife.

Flashback to Danny and Christine having that same argument in the kitchen. 

Danny says, no he didn't kill his wife.  Patty watches intently from another room.

"Do you really believe your wife's ruby ring was stolen?"

"Yes."

Cut to Mr. Lie Detector giving a piece of paper to Patty.  She wants to know how Danny did.  Mr. Lie Detector gestures to the paper and says she can see for herself.

All of a sudden we leave New York and we're on a farm in Bloomsfield, West Virginia.  A guy goes up to a farm pen and sees a dead pig.  He writes something down in a notebook just as the farm mistress Mrs. Endwhistle---gotta love that name---demands to know what he's doing on her property.

The guy introduces himself as Josh Reston.  He says he knew her pig.  Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the title of this week's episode.

Josh says he saw the sow when she won a prize at a local fair.  He starts asking Mrs. Endwhistle about other livestock deaths and whether she thinks contamination from the coal plant might be the cause.

Mrs. Endwhistle may be a farmer, but she ain't no dummy.  She pegs him as a reporter and tells him to get off her property before she calls the sheriff.  We get the distinct impression Mrs. Endwhistle is afraid of retaliation if she talks too much as we get one last glance at the dead pig. 

Ellen's meeting with Uncle Hollis Nigh in a cushy drinking/smoking lounge in Manhattan.  She wants him to dish about the Danny/Patty relationship.  Seventeen years ago Purcell was an expert witness for Patty and helped her win a case.  Then ten years ago Purcell and Patty were on opposite sides of a case and Patty demolished Danny's testimony.  It seems Uncle Nigh was part of the legal team representing Purcell's company, IBC Global. 

After reading the transcripts Ellen thinks Danny might have been in cahoots with Patty to throw the case and she wants Nigh to spill.  At first he's reluctant to answer Ellen's questions but after she reminds him he's the one who got her caught up with the FBI and that he owes her, he opens up.

Flashback to Patty and Purcell and the team of attorneys.  Again Patty asks Danny who wrote the letter to his kid, Erica's nursery school and what was in it.  Danny admits he wrote the letter telling the school to move because they're property was on land that had 30 parts per million of Toxic A in it. 

Patty pounces saying IBC says less than 100 parts per million is safe and you're saying less than 30 parts per million is safe, so how much is really safe?

Flash forward to Uncle Nigh telling Ellen he suspected Patty might have paid Purcell off to lose the case since it was Patty's first with her own firm and "losing was not an option for her."

"Is it ever?"  Ellen says.

Uncle Nigh says if he could have proved Patty did it, he would have nailed her long ago.  So to speak.

Back at Ellen's apartment, she's on the phone leaving a message for her errant FBI handlers.  She's left five messages about the Patty/Purcell history and she hasn't received one return call.  Now she's pissed and warns them if she doesn't hear back from them, they're done.

At Patty's apartment, long lost hubby, What's His Name is finally home from his world travels.  He, Patty and Danny's son Michael are about to have dinner.  Michael is serving and it seems he also cooked.  They're eating at one of those kitchen islands with bar stools that you only see in expensive Manhattan apartments and editions of Metropolitan Life. 

Michael asks who Danny Purcell is and Patty says he's someone she once used as an expert witness.  And once as a quickie in the back of a bailiffs office.

Michael's take on Purcell:  "He totally killed her."  He goes on to say how creepy he thought Purcell was and advises Patty to steer clear.   What's His Name compliments Michael on his superior cooking skills as Patty gives her son a wary look.

In the wilds of West Virginia, Reporter Josh is tramping through the forest.  He's on the cellphone leaving a voicemail for Danny since Danny's sitting in a park in New York and ignoring the ringing phone.   

"I need you to call me back," Josh says.  "Things are getting worse down here." 

Back in the park, Patty shows up.  She's looking quite sharp in a pink and brown stripped blouse and sleek brown skirt.  The brown color reminds me of the signature color of Henri Bendel.   She tells Danny his lie detector test was inconclusive and Danny thinks that's funny.

Patty gets understandably pissy and insists she's only trying to help him.   Danny however thinks it's all about Patty's need to uncover a big conspiracy.  He then surprisingly tells her the truth.  We think.

He says though he didn't kill Christine, he does know more than he's telling her about the Evil Empire, but he won't spill because he knows as soon as he does Patty's protection will go away.  All she cares about is the case and as soon as she has what she needs, he'll toss her aside.

He does know her quite well, doesn't he?

Patty makes a pretense of being surprised he thinks that and when he confirms it, she starts to leave.  "I'll call a good defense attorney for you.  We're done."

Ellen's working in her office at Hewes, Inc. when Michael comes in.  He's applying for colleges and wants her to read his application essay.  "Be brutal with me I can handle it."  Ellen agrees.

In the wilds of what look like Queens or the Bronx, Purcell gets into a taxi.  Claire's already in the cab.  The cab driver is Arab and I find it particularly funny that he's on his cellphone. 

Danny's like, I thought we weren't going to see each other and Claire's like, I couldn't stay away because if I did there would be less chance for someone to catch us at our illicit meetings.  She's also worried about Goodwin and tells Danny he can't trust him.  She's certain Danny's going to get pegged for Christine's murder and she wants him to get his kid and leave the country.

Patty's in her office at Hewes, Inc. and Ellen comes in and lays it out.  "I don't understand why we're defending Purcell."

Patty's like, if you've got questions, just ask 'em.  Ellen wants the poop from seventeen years ago.  Patty tells her she used Danny as an expert witness seventeen years ago and before she knew it she couldn't help herself.  Then seven years later they had the falling out when they were on opposite sides of the Global case.  Ellen points out how quickly it seemed Danny caved during that case.  Patty asks if Ellen's implying she paid Danny off?  Patty says she didn't.

Flashback ten years ago and Patty's giving Danny a yellow envelope.

Back at Ellen's apartment she's meeting with her FBI handlers and telling them about when Patty and Danny first met:  nine months before Patty's son Michael was born.  Patty's never mentioned who Michael's father is but Ellen's ready to put money on Danny as the lucky sperm donor.

Flashback to Patty and Danny in a park sitting on a bench.  In the yellow envelope are pictures of a seven year old Michael.  Danny didn't know about him and grudgingly thanks Patty for telling him.  But he knows the timing has everything to do with him throwing the case for her.  Patty denies it, but Danny's pissed that the case is the only reason he told her.

Flash forward to Tommy coming in to tell Patty that Detective Huntley called.  They arrested Danny at JFK trying to get on a plane. 

Down in the wilds of West Virginia, Reporter Josh is cutting through a chain link fence that has a "No Trespassing" sign on it and he gets some water samples from some kind of runoff pipe. 

Somewhere on Riker's Island Patty is visiting Danny in jail.  She chides him that the police were watching him so why the heck did he think he was going to get anywhere?  Danny says he needed to get away.  Patty's like, I can't help you unless you talk.  This is your last chance.  She starts to get up and  Danny caves, "Represent me and I'll tell you everything. "

Patty whips out retainer papers she just happens to have with her and they both sign.  Danny says there's a reporter in West Virginia Patty needs to meet.

Cut to said reporter and he returns to his jeep to find a flattened tire.  Before you can say ambush, two burly guys knock him to the ground, take his camera and then chat about how they need to get the camera to Mr. Kendrick.

Tommyhawk and Malcolm---that's Patty's PI's name---and Patty are in her office.  Tommy wants to know how the cops knew Purcell was leaving.  Patty says Malcolm saw Danny packing and on her orders alerted the cops.  Tommy's surprised though why I don't know. 

Patty continues that she decided Danny would loosen up about what he knew if he found himself in the slammer.  She's certain Christine was wearing the ruby ring the night she was murdered.

Flashback to Patty shaking hands with Christine at the gala and we see the ring on Christine's finger.

Cut to Danny saying if you find that ring, you'll find his wife's killer. 

Cut to a point of view shot of a druggie-looking guy walking into a pawn shop and pawning...wait for it...a ruby ring.  He gets some cash for it and then walks out.

The last few shots are done very dramatically, cutting back and forth to black to show us how important this moment is. 

Okay, we'll see.

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