Sunday, March 29, 2009

Damages Season 2 Episode 12 ~ Look What I Dug Up This Time

"He that loves the law will get his fill of it." ~ Scottish Proverb

Thoroughly enjoyed Damages Season 2 Episode 12 "Look What I Dug Up This Time", but i do have a few of bones of contention. When Purcell yellow lab Tillie---and who the hell names a male pet Tillie---digs something up in the backyard, Daniel flashes back to when he burned and buried that something [a remote control]. The time line given for the burial is 51 months prior. This time line is also applicable to the death of Purcell's wife. 51 months---that's 4 years and 3 months that have preceded. Now i don't mean to be a nit-picker---well in point of fact i guess i do---it didn't seem that that much time had passed in the action. i know that others have had beef with some of Damages' time lines in previous seasons and episodes, but i was not in that camp until S2.12. The pain of his widowed status feels much more recent than 4 years. i mean, i know everyone mourns in their own way and time, but as far as the empathy meter for this character goes, if anything it feels more like 51 weeks. There is nothing comedic about Daniel Purcell but whenever i see him i am reminded of the Seinfeld episode when Jerry polls the staff at the coffee shop to see whose romantic status scores more points---his broken engagement or George being a widower [sort of], and it turns out that George's status "is testing through the roof". It's a bit of a sick commentary, but let's face it in many cases, society sees widowers as hot. i've always enjoyed his performances, but i don't know what it is exactly about William Hurt---i'm usually not partial to blondes, but there is just something about him that i find extremely sexy and masculine. Particularly as Daniel Purcell. It's subtle, but whatever he's pulling out of his bag of tricks, it's working for me.

Uht-oh, better change that to was working for me, because as the action progressed in S2.12 we learn that the remote that Daniel burned and buried was one that Christine the missus [played by Paige Turco] hurled at his noggin after she told him she was going to call the EPA about Ultima National Resource's polluting. Daniel was like 'aw HELL NO!', bonk went the remote, and he went a little nuts and strangled her. He thought he'd killed her and in his panic, he didn't check for a pulse or to see if she was still breathing. Instead he called for the UNR clean-up man and i don't mean the toxic waste kind. Lo and behold when he gets to the Purcell home the missus is indeed alive if only barely, but alive. That's a problem. One that he solves by giving her [an off screen] coup de gras. So all this time when the fans have been thinking 'poor widower Daniel', he's been hiding a guilty conscience. O.K. technically he didn't kill his wife, but he thinks he did. The UNR scoundrels have enough dirty laundry in their basket, so they figure if Daniel thinks he did her in, they're not going to inform him otherwise. In this ep, Daniel can't take the guilt any longer, and goes to the police to confess. The scene just before he enters the police station is worth it's weight in gold. Even though i'm angry with him, i still have a soft spot for the guy, and when he's on the phone with UNR head Walter Kendrick, and spouting philosophy about the 9 circles of Hell, i thought 'oh dear, he's gonna do something desperate, he's gonna blow his brains out'. In addition to Mr.Hurt's performance, i applaud the director and the writers for not opting for high velocity lead poisoning, since another character had done that in season 1. Not that that plot device couldn't work again, it's just a fresher approach that it wasn't chosen.

Same compliment for the scene with Ellen in the woods with Wes [Timothy Olyphant]. i thought she was going to be bumped off like Drea De Matteo's Adriana from The Sopranos. Nope, and i was glad of it.

Back to my bones of contention: why would Tom Shayes, a partner in Hewes & Associates law firm, say one word to the FBI without his attorney present. i know the man comes off as a doofus but he is a lawyer. O.K. he's a litigator, but still, he knows better than to say anything without representation. But he doesn't acknowledge that right until he's been blabbing for all the time it took to be taken downtown and sitting in an interrogation room for several minutes. Alright he's a little distracted, because before he was taken into custody he found out his wife was going into labor, but this is not their first pregnancy, and he's smarter than that. When he is presented with a lawyer by the FBI BTW, it's Ellen. Does he have the presence of mind to say, 'um, thanks but no i'll wait until my lawyer or whomever else i can get down here to represent me who practices criminal defense before i talk'. Nope, he does not, and i was not happy about that.

Glenn Close's Patty on the other hand makes me happy. Always. Even when she is being a monster, which of course is almost always. Poor Patty, she forgot her own advice that she gave Ellen when she was courting her to join the firm. The gist of it being, no matter how relentlessly you pursue your goals as a lawyer, take care not to lose yourself as a woman, and take the time to take care of your man. i'm not excusing her husband Phil's infidelity, and i'm angry that the character doesn't seem to get that it's not the cheating per se that Patty's pissed about, but the fact that she's having her nose publicly rubbed in it. She might be able to forgive him but for the sloppiness of it all. But i do think her forgetting her words of advice to Ellen went a long way to pushing him closer to choosing to cheat. Or as my hubby tex put it "who wouldn't cheat on Patty---there is nothing feminine about her and she's such a bitch". i know i know, but it's so true, and you know it too. Lest there be any misunderstanding, these comments are referring to the fictional Ms. Hewes, not Ms. Close.

Can't hardly wait for Damages Season 2 Episode 13 Season Finale. It will run for 90 minutes so set your recording device of choice accordingly. No joke, Damages Season 2 Finale will air Wednesday April 1, 2009 on FX at 10:00pm [please check your local listings].

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