McCLAREN & ASSOCIATES: McClaren finds out that Samurai $even, the hacker to tried to get him to pay for more Princefield documents, was killed. He’s not happy to learn that Ellen and his team worked behind his back to purchase the documents from the rival hacker. After reading the files that cost Samurai his life, McClaren sets out to find more information. He meets with Davies, Naomi Walling’s ex-coworker. The man doesn’t have much information to give, but does tell McClaren the name of the man who was giving his his company all the stock tips that they used for insider trading.
The twist? The man who was giving the tips is the same man who Simon has been meeting with behind McClaren’s back, the mysterious benefactor that has been seen all season. When Simon finds out who the benefactor really is, he’s furious, and confronts him. The benefactor, however, isn’t ruffled, and demands that Simon keep any secrets they’ve discovered about him under lock and key.
That’s just another weight of pressure to add to Simon, who showed major signs of fraying in this episode. He is obviously jealous for the first time of all the attention that McClaren gets. He even tries to come onto Gitta, telling her that she’s sleeping with the wrong man, that he’s really the brains of the website. Simon tells her that the website was his idea, and that he just needed a guy like McClaren, who has the right face and attitude, to sell it. His intense jealousy and hiding so many truths from McClaren made him the most interesting character of the episode.
Also, the Princefield controversy might not be the McClaren team’s only project for long. Chris Sanchez has been meeting with several military people and has potentially uncovered a scandal involving sending soldiers with PTSD back out into active duty. He asks Ellen to meet with McClaren, but she tells him that without any documents or evidence, McClaren can’t do anything. Chris then meets with a military tech guy who says he can get his hands on videos. Will this land Chris in more trouble, and could it be a huge hit for McClaren’s site?
SNOW DAY: Beyond the background stories, the wrongful death case is still moving forward thanks to Patty and Ellen working together to make sure it happened. The judge has pulled some strings and made it so they are both able to fly to Maine in order to interview man who can give them information about the Princefield servers, the ones the SEC confiscated. The interview is over rather quickly, and all the expert is able to tell them is that Naomi’s computer was most definitely hacked, but someone with considerable skill had to be the one to do it. Someone like McClaren could pull it off, but someone like Samurai $even could also manage it.
With this underwhelming evidence, both ladies try to head back to New York, but the place is snowed over, making their flights delayed. Stranded, Ellen and Patty have to make due with all the sudden free time. Ellen tries to keep her distance from Patty, who spends the entire time trying to get Ellen to interact with her — offering food, asking her about her family, etc. She even goes out of her way to break into the airport bar just so Ellen can have a drink. Finally worn down, Ellen decides to chat with Patty.
The scenes had eerie similarities to the intense season 2 standoff between the two women, when Ellen threatened Patty at gunpoint to tell her the truth about her mysterious attack. They discuss many things — their families, for one. Patty speaks briefly about her father and how terrible he was, noting that maybe their shared familial issues are what draw them together. Ellen doesn’t want to talk about fate, but Patty persists. It’s a great scene, one that showcases just how impossible their relationship has been for all these years. They push, they pull, but they always seem to end up tangled in each other’s lives.
Then, despite the snow outside, things heat up. Patty asks Ellen what she plans to tell the judge at the trial for custody over Catherine. Ellen is confused, because Patty should know what she plans to tell the court — that Patty tried to have her killed. The scene reaches its climax when Patty tells Ellen she’s absolutely shocked that she believes Patty tried to have her killed, stating that her confession under the gun was a lie, and that she would have said anything in that moment to make Ellen back off. Patty is pretty convincing — is she attempting a quasi gas-lighting scenario — trying to convince Ellen she’s crazy? Or does Patty truly have nothing to sorry for? Patty even has supposed “ideas” of who really tried to kill Ellen, including Frobisher and Uncle Pete (acting to protect Patty).
When it’s announced that their planes are clear for takeoff, neither Ellen nor the audience seem to know what to believe anymore. More than likely, Patty is just playing another game of manipulation. However, there’s always that possibility that things have never been what we thought to be true.
It wouldn’t be the first time Damages has played mind games with reality — in fact, it flourishes when doing just that. This, however, would be the longest running trick for the show. It’s the core issue for all of the drama between Ellen and Patty, and it has been called into question at the last minute. With only three more episodes, it’s officially getting into intense territory.
Has Patty changed the game? Or do you believe she’s just as guilty as she ever was?