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February 27, 2009

"Damages" Recap: "A Pretty Girl In A Leotard" (2/11/09)

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Glenn Close I know I'm behind on my "Damages" recaps, but they are coming, I promise. I hope to be caught up by next week's episode.  I took a little break after the craziness of award season, but now I'm back.

This week we get the full throttle return of Katie Connor.  It was she and One Night Stand Greg who put events into motion last season that eventually led to the death of poor, dear David.  And in case you forgot, Katie was also David's sister.

We're at Ellen's apartment when Katie arrives.  She, Ellen and Katie's new boyfriend Mark are going to the movies.  Mark is meeting them at the theatre. 

After sitting down and refusing Ellen's offer of a drink Katie gives Ellen an envelope with the security deposit for the apartment she and David shared.  Ellen's surprised because she thought the apartment had another month to go on the lease. 

Katie tells her that her parents have packed up the apartment and everything is ready to be moved.  Ellen considers going back one last time to say goodbye. She often feels it's the only thing she has left of David.  That and a throbbing rage to avenge his murder. 

Katie strongly advises her not to go back.  For once, Katie and I agree.

Opening credits.

The latest in a long list of FOX plugs continues as in the next scene we see Patty is a guest on Greta Van Susteren's show on FOX News Channel.  Next week I expect Michael to be watching "Rescue Me" as he works on his college essay.  And Ellen taking in an episode of "House" while waiting for her FBI posse.  And better yet, Tommyhawk and little Megan checking in on those wild and wacky singers on "American Idol."

Back to Greta and Patty, Greta cracks a joke about how Patty was able to get past security with her ax.  You know, the one she wants to grind.

Greta, why don't you leave the jokes to the comedians?

Patty doesn't care how bad the joke is because she's busy bad mouthing Walter Kendrick.  He's a "corporate thug" and makes Arthur Frobisher look like Barney with money.  She explains about aerosite and how it's toxic and poisoning people.  The Evil Empire did a study that said it was safe but an independent consultant did a study contradicting that and now his wife is dead.

Christinnnnnnne!

Greta's sufficiently appalled asking if Patty is suggesting Kendrick is responsible for murder. 

Patty's like, I'm not implying anything.  "I'm stating it outright."  Hee, hee.  Love her!

Kendrick and Claire are having drinks and talking over Patty's little announcement on TV.  Kendrick thinks she's a "madwoman."  Claire thinks she needs to have her ass sued.  After all, now she's a celebrity because of the Frobisher case and people listen to her. 

At the mention of Frobisher, Kendrick goes into a rant about how he's a waste of space who fell into money, and he was an idiot to do his shady stock trades with "the whole world watching."  Claire's like, could you focus please!  Patty's pissed 'cause they humiliated her in court and now they have to shut her up.  Kendrick suggests a cease and desist but Claire dismisses that and points out the Evil Empire's stock price is going in the toilet.

Kendrick still doesn't want to sue because it'll just keep the story in the public eye.  If they ignore Patty, the story will go away.  Claire's like, yeah right.  She accused you of murder, not jaywalking.

Flashback seven weeks.

Kendrick's in the back seat of a car and talking to Chappy on the phone.  He wants to know if Chappy took care of "everything."  Chappy hasn't.  Kendrick swears.  We're on a closeup of Chappy, but he's wearing plastic gloves and it looks like he's in Danny's kitchen.  He also appears to be looking at something on the floor.

Christinnnnne!

Chappy asks Kendrick what he wants him to do.  We don't hear Kendrick's answer, but we see Chappy listening on the phone and he says, "Okay."

Kendrick hangs up the phone.

Flash forward to Kendrick and Claire still in the bar.  Claire repeats they should sue, but it's of course Kendrick's decision. 

Over at Hewes, Inc. Tommyhawk is questioning Patty.  Is she sure that the Evil Empire killed Christine?  Patty's like, of course not...but I wanted to make this personal.  She then tells Tommy to put together a complete background on Claire Maddox, 'cause she wants to know all about who she's dealing with.

Cut to Danny in bed and Claire getting dressed.  Oh my, Claire's a throwback.  She wears nylons and uses a garter belt.  Can you even buy those anymore?  I love that about her.

Anyway, as Claire slides her nylons up her legs she asks Danny if he knows what Patty is up to.  He doesn't answer that, but he says she's furious with him and she's gonna take it out on the Evil Empire.  

And why didn't he tell her about his history with Patty, Claire wants to know.  After Danny gives the lame excuse that it didn't have anything to do with them, Claire wants to know what else he hasn't told her.

Oh, Claire honey, I'd say a whole lot.

Danny just lays there and says if he hasn't told her stuff it's for her own protection.  Claire's like, you ain't my Daddy, I don't need your protection.

Despite that answer, Danny still wants her to come out to the country house for the weekend.  Claire's like, nope.  And by the way, this'll be our last little tryst.  It was a mistake to crawl into your bed in the first place and now that it's gotten complicated, I have the perfect excuse to dump your ass.  See ya'.

She leans over, kisses him and then sashays out looking like a hooker who's worked all night.

Ellen gets a call at the office from Katie.  She was robbed.  Ellen promises to be right over.  We then see Katie in a police station, describing to a cop how some guy stole her bag.  When the cop goes off to get some forms, Katie glances around and sees two cops talking to each other.  All of a sudden she realizes she recognizes one of them.  He was the guy who followed her on the street around the time Frobisher was trying to get her to sign a confidentiality agreement

The cop is "Knife Guy" from the episode, "Jesus, Mary and Joe Cocker."

Just then the cop glances up and realizes Katie's recognized him.  In fact she's taking his picture with her cellphone.

Later at Ellen's Katie shows her the picture, and is in full freakout mode.  She thinks Knife Guy saw her and she's understandably scared.  Katie doesn't know what to do.  Ellen reassures her that she'll have the cop checked into and also find out if he traces back to Frobisher. 

Ellen meets with her FBI posse, tells them about Katie and asks for their help.  They're like, sorry Ellen, we're after Patty and Patty alone.  When Ellen asks them to do it as a favor, to her frustration, they say they're not authorized.

Who does Ellen go to next?  The same person I'd go.  Patty.

Patty's like, Ellen honey, "my resources are your resources."  Ellen thanks her.

Over by the waterfront, with the Williamsburg Bridge shining in the background, Knife Guy and Fuzzy the Killer are chatting.  Knife Guy is scared about Katie talking and though Fuzzy reassures him, he's worried about Ellen meeting with the Feds.  He tells Knife Guy to do nothing, keep quiet, and he'll handle everything.

Next up is a commercial break.  But it's not your usual commercial break because it's a scene in the show.  Can you spell, p-r-o-d-u-c-t  p-l-a-c-e-m-e-n-t?

Mr. Slick is in a Cadillac showroom being shown a brand new hybrid.  The salesman is rattling off the finer points of the car but all Mr. Slick asks is if it has a navigation system.  Of course it does, the salesman says.  Mr. Slick will take it.  Right now.  For cash.  In fact, "The car practically sells itself," he says.  Hee, hee.

Back to our show, it's a rainy night in New York and Mr. Slick parks his brand new Caddy on the street and walks away.

At Hewes, Inc. Patty and Ellen are talking about Kendrick's merger deal and how he overpaid for the company he bought.  They're thinking Kendrick must have a plan for making the money back.  Changing the subject Ellen asks if Patty's concerned about the Feds.

Patty says they'll have to keep their eyes open and their noses clean.  By the way, she adds, "You know what I'm in the mood for?"

Ellen's like, no.

"A fight."

Meanwhile Kendrick is at a modern art gallery looking at a painting.  It's one of those abstract ones that are supposed to be meaningful and which people pay ridiculous amounts of money for.  Mr. Slick arrives.  Kendrick tells him the merger's gone through.  After more chit chat, particularly about how Mr. Slick prefers paintings he can understand like ones with hounds and foxes, he hands the Caddy's keys over to Kendrick.

Continuing his cultural tour of New York City, we next see Kendrick during the intermission of a ballet.  When the trophy wife goes off to the ladies, who walks up to good old Walt, except good old Art.

Frobisher reminds Kendrick they've met before and Kendrick is like, yeah, and I was hoping we wouldn't ever meet again.  Nonetheless, Frobisher continues chatting like they're old friends. 

Frobisher says, "Ballet, I could never get into it.  Even the dancers, which is kind of odd you know.  You would think, what could go wrong with a pretty girl in a leotard but that body type does nothing for me.  I like 'em a little meatier."

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to this week's episode title. 

Then Frobisher asks Kendrick if his girlfriend dragged him to the ballet.  Kendrick's like, no you uncouth, half-wit, I like Balanchine.  In fact "the only reason I come to this craphole of a city is the culture." 

Hey, Mr. Snooty Pants Kendrick, as a native New Yorker, I resent that remark.

Kendrick and Frobisher then chat about the merger.  Frobisher congratulates Kendrick and in the next breath sympathizes with him about the Evil Empire's tanking stock price.  Kendrick just waves that off as part of the price of doing business.

Still all sympathy and smiles, Frobisher warns Kendrick to stay away from Patty 'cause if you "get in the ring with her, she'll cut off your balls and jam 'em down your throat.  My advice? When she straps one on, bend over, bite down hard and just take it."

Gotta love Frobisher's way with words.

With that, he's off to watch more pretty girls in leotards.

Kendrick takes out his cellphone and when he's connected says, "Claire, it's me.  Sue the bitch!"

Now tell me Patty wasn't behind that little chance meeting between Frobisher and Kendrick.  First of all Frobisher wanted to stay out of the public eye.  No way he went off to the ballet without marching orders from Patty.  Just sayin'.

Speaking of the she-devil, Patty and Tommyhawk are in her office talking about Claire Maddox.  In a nutshell, she's been with Kendrick for eighteen years and she's the only female attorney in his company. 
There are also plenty of rumors that their relationship once went beyond the professional.

Tommy's still unclear about Patty calling Kendrick a murderer on national TV.  Patty's like, I want their stock price to tank.

In walks a young man who hands Patty an envelope.  "Patty Hewes, you've been served."

Patty opens it and tells Tommy it's a defamation suit for $200 million.  Patty smiles and appears thrilled. 

Ellen evidently decided she needed to see the old apartment after all because that's where we see her next.  The apartment's bare except for packed boxes.  Ellen strolls around the apartment sadly, picking up a picture of she and David, remembering him leaving for work, remembering the two of them in bed.  

As she gets to the bathroom, she remembers poor, dear David's body all bloody and dead in the tub where she found him.  She closes the bathroom door and is startled by someone at the front door.  He's the head of the co-op board and has a package for her that came weeks before.   He hands over a little shopping bag with a wrapped box inside.

After the co-op guy leaves, Ellen takes the package out of the bag.  There's a card attached and she opens it.  It's from David promising once the Frobisher case is over to "take you away somewhere with palm trees.  Love David."

Ah David, he was a good one.

Ellen starts to cry.

Meanwhile Patty, Claire, Kendrick and Tommy are at some kind of mediation meeting.  There's a guy there who looks like he's trying to get the two sides to settle the lawsuit.

Patty and Kendrick say almost nothing in this scene, but simply stare at each other throughout.  Patty with a small smile on her face.

Tommy says since Patty's statements about Kendrick ordering Christine's murder were true, there's no basis for a lawsuit.

Claire dismisses that and reminds the mediator that Kendrick was never accused or even questioned by the police.  This is an obvious stunt to defame her client.

Tommy and Claire go back and forth, neither giving an inch and finally Claire threatens to shove a $200 million bill up his client's ass if Tommy can't prove his case.

I gotta say, this scene reminded me that Tommyhawk is more than just Patty's flunky.  He's actually a pretty good lawyer.  You go, Tommyhawk.

Over beer and Chinese food, Ellen and Patty discuss how David used to do most of the cooking for he and Ellen, and how Patty isn't neglecting her hubby, 'cause he's out of town.  Then they kick around ideas about what the Evil Empire might really be up to.

Kendrick pulls up in a car next to Chappy who's standing on the street at night.  Reaching out the car window Kendrick gives Chappy a piece of paper with numbers on it and says for him to use the keys he gave him.

The next day Katie and Ellen are walking near Bryant Park.  Katie's upset Ellen told Patty about Knife Guy and even more upset that Ellen hasn't found out anything.  Ellen says she'll have some information soon.  Katie sees that something else is bothering Ellen and asks what's up.  Ellen admits she went to the apartment and tells Katie about the wedding present David sent her.  In fact she's got it in her bag and it's still unwrapped.  She can't bring herself to open it.

Cut to Claire and Kendrick talking as they leave an office building.  Claire thinks she's figured out Patty's ultimate plan.  Because the Evil Empire's stock is plummeting, Patty's going to sue them for mismanagement.  All she needs is a shareholder to act as a plaintiff.  Kendrick says he's reassured the stockholders and they're all fine.  Besides, he doesn't want to settle.  Claire warns Kendrick if he doesn't settle, he's giving Patty more time to find a plaintiff.

Kendrick's like, you want to come to dinner tonight?  He's meeting friends and he wants Claire to join them. Claire says, no, she wants him to give her an answer about the lawsuit.  Kendrick says if she comes to dinner, he'll give her an answer by dessert.

Katie is outside the internal affairs division of the police department smoking a cigarette.  After a couple of minutes she puts out the cigarette and goes inside.   Fuzzy the Killer watches as she does. 

Flash forward four months later and Fuzzy is watching Ellen go into her apartment building.  We see the elevator numbers go from 17, to 18, to 19.  That's where Fuzzy gets out.  He goes to Ellen's apartment door and with a key card, lets himself in.

Back in the present, Claire is working some major cleavage as she joins Kendrick and his group of friends for dinner.  Kendrick has her sit next to one particular guy, Mitch.  For you "All My Children" fans, Mitch is played by Erica Kane's brother, Mark.  Heh.

The only other woman at the table is Kendrick's trophy wife and Claire orders a dirty vodka martini.  Extra olive. 

Anyway, Mitch is bitching about how all the business of the world is going to Asia and Claire--gotta love her--makes a crack about no one being more endangered than the "American Caucasian male."  Kendrick excuses himself and goes off somewhere.

The waiter comes over with Mitch's Manhattan and Mitch says he ordered an old fashioned. The waiter starts to protest but Claire confirms that Mitch ordered an old fashioned.  Mitch grumbles something about crappy waiters.

On that note, Claire decides she needs to stretch her nylon covered legs.  Mitch wants to know if she wants some company and Claire's like, yeah, about as much as you'd like a kick in the balls. 

At the bar, Kendrick is waiting for her.  She says, "I'd have worn a shorter skirt if I'd known I was getting pimped out."

Evidently Kendrick thinks Mitch and Claire would be perfect together.  Mitch is a widower so he's not just looking for a roll in the hay and besides, he owns his own island.  "Give the guy a chance," Kendrick says.

Claire's like, fine if you'll give me an answer about the settlement.  Kendrick tells her to go ahead and settle.

At Ellen's apartment, Katie is telling Ellen about filing a complaint with internal affairs.  Ellen's appalled because obviously they can't trust the police.  Katie doesn't care.  Ellen said she would handle it and she hasn't.  In response, Ellen takes out a file on the cop.  His name is Eliot, he's been in trouble before and someone in the police department is protecting him.

Katie's like, that's great, let's get him arrested.  Ellen's like, so far, there's nothing to arrest him for.  If they want to get Eliot, aka, Knife Guy, Patty's the way to do it.

At that Katie goes off.  "What is it with you and that woman?"  After all if Ellen had never gone to work for Patty, dear, dead David would be dear, live David. 

Eh, hello?  Katie?  If you had never slept with One Night Stand Greg, dear, dead David would also be dear live David.

Ellen's obviously hurt and says she blames herself more than anyone else could blame her.  Even then, Katie doesn't back off so Ellen finally throws some crap back in her face by reminding her the life choices she's made have been pretty lousy, so who is she to talk?  There's stuff going on that's too complicated for Katie's little pea brain to handle so let Ellen take care of it and back the hell off.

Cut to Claire getting dressed again.  And slipping on those nylons again! 

"Can you zip me?" She asks an unseen friend.

Let's see, who's she with this time?  Oh, it's the waiter from the restaurant. 

Though he tries to be sociable after their hot and sweaty sex, once again, Claire is a love 'em and leave 'em kinda gal.  She glances around Waiter-Boy's tacky apartment like she's just seeing it for the first time and isn't happy with what she sees.  She also makes it clear after he offers her a cigarette that she only smokes one cigarette a day, and that one she smokes alone.

Just before she leaves, Waiter-Boy tells her that Mitch did order a Manhattan.  Heh.

Outside on the street, Claire lights up and takes a drag, looking just like a world weary Liz Taylor in "Butterfield 8."

I tell ya, if there is an ounce of joy in this woman, we have yet to see it. 

Somewhere on another street someone clicks the alarm for the Cadillac.  Chappy gets in and enters the navigational code Kendrick gave him.  Then he drives off.

We're back at Patty's lawsuit mediation.  There's Claire, Tommy, Patty, Kendrick and the mediator.  Tommy and Claire go back and forth until they agree that Patty will pay $5 million to Kendrick's favorite charity.  When Tommy asks what the charity is, Claire says, "The NRA."

Ha!  Fun-ny!

After a beat and two great reactions from Tommy and Patty, Kendrick chuckles and says Claire's kidding.   Kendrick's real charity is a West Virginia organization, Environment First.  Everybody signs on the dotted line and the deal is done.

Walking down the courthouse steps Patty's like, $5 million to charity?  "I feel good."  She and Tommy agree the only reason Kendrick settled was to stop his stock price from crashing and to keep Patty from finding a plaintiff.  Tommy smiles and says, "Too late."

Cut to that same young guy who served Patty earlier, but now he's serving Claire.  She opens up the paperwork and tells Kendrick, Patty is suing them on behalf of a major shareholder of the Evil Empire. 

Kendrick wants to know who.  Claire shows him the paper.

Patty walks into an office and greets...good old Art!  Surprise, surprise.........not.

Patty thanks him for his discretion because she doesn't want her associates knowing yet that he and Patty are working together.  One associate in particular I think.

Frobisher is his usual, petulant self.  "Look, I'll be your plaintiff, but we're not friends.  I don't like you.  I'm in this for me."

Patty says, "Understood."

At her apartment, Ellen is leaving a phone message for Katie.  She's apologizing and telling her they need to talk.  On the table is the still unopened wedding gift from poor, dead David. 

Ellen's cellphone rings and it's Patty.  Cut to Patty's apartment and Patty tells Ellen she found a plaintiff and is suing the Evil Empire.  She doesn't tell her it's Frobisher.  Details, details. 

Patty continues that if a judge doesn't throw the case out and she can get it to the discovery phase, she can find out what Kendrick is hiding. 

Then Patty asks how things are with Katie?  Ellen lies and says, fine.  She's hoping Knife Guy will lead back to Frobisher.

Speak of the devil, Knife Guy and Fuzzy the Killer are outside in a deserted alley talking about the internal affairs investigation.  Fuzzy tells Knife Guy to keep his shorts on, everything will be taken care of by his guy in the NYPD hierarchy. 

But, he says, they need to do what they should have done a long time ago.  Knife Guy agrees, mistakenly thinking that means bumping off Katie and Ellen. 

He finds out he's wrong when Fuzzy takes out a gun and plugs him.

Flashback to Fuzzy hitting David on the head with the ugly Statue of Liberty bookend.  Then later talking to Frobisher and telling him he has nothing to worry about.  David can't be traced back to him. 

Flash forward four months and we zoom in to the 1910 number outside Ellen's apartment.  We watch as Fuzzy walks in.  The shower is running and Ellen calls out, "Wes is that you?"

No, it's not Wes.

Fuzzy puts a silencer on his gun and walks toward the bathroom.

What is it with him and bathroom murders?

"Wes?"

And we're out.

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