Old Demons: Throughout the episode, Ellen struggles with memories, visions, and dreams of the night Noah was murdered and she was attacked. While investigating Naomi’s apartment, she has visions of Noah dead in the bathtub. Later, she has strange encounters on the street. One was a vision of her past self rushing by, bloody and frantic. Another happened when Ellen thought she spotted the man her attacked her headed into the subway, alive and well. Ellen makes some time to speak with her old group therapy leader, who suggests that maybe the McClaren case is just bad timing for her psyche. Chris Martinez gives Ellen the same advice. However, Ellen is not interested in dropping the McClaren case. She wants to make a name for herself, and she wants to beat Patty. We find out just how willing she is to fight the case by the end of the episode…
Common Ground: Though on opposing sides, Rachel Walling and Channing McClaren’s lives are equally miserable because of the lawsuit. Rachel is harassed on a daily basis by people online about her mother, and is even confronted menacingly in public by Davies (her mother’s old Princefield co-worker). Meanwhile, McClaren’s reputation as a truth seeker has been tarnished by the allegations against him, and his website is suffering for it. The information leaks have slowed, and McClaren is tired of it.
Against the wishes of their lawyers, McClaren and Rachel decide to meet. He starts things off by giving his version of events as to what happened in the hotel room between him and Rachel’s mother. While it isn’t as innocent he previously claimed, McClaren admits that he did try to initiate sex with Naomi. When she turned him down, he kept trying and became aggressive. She struggled, and it seems as though McClaren finally realized what he was doing. He explained to Rachel that sometimes he struggles with reading people correctly, and didn’t understand how afraid Naomi was in the moment.
This alludes back to the revelations of the previous episode, where McClaren’s probable autistic tendencies were explored, one of the typical symptoms being difficulties with properly interpreting social cues. He apologizes to Rachel for how her mother must have felt, and tells her he would like to settle the case for 3 million dollars.
Rachel tells Patty that she wants to take the money and end the case. However, as their clients were meeting and making deals behind their backs, both Ellen and Patty’s teams have located a new potential witness named Thomas. Thomas was in the room next door to Naomi and McClaren the night of all the controversy. While he couldn’t identify McClaren, he did see McClaren in his wig/hat disguise. Thomas claims, though, that he never heard a peep from the people next door.He seems to be a useless witness, especially after Rachel and McClaren decide to settle.
Neither Patty or Ellen is happy about the case ending out of court, both still wanting a fight. Patty demands that Ellen let her depose Thomas under oath. With 48 hours until the judge signs off on the settlement, it seems like a strange last minute decision. At the deposition, Thomas sticks to his story, at first. Then, Patty claims to have a statement from a hotel worker who stated that on the night in question, Thomas called the front desk to complain about the noises coming from the room next door. This sets Thomas off, and he loudly proclaims that he had been lying, and that he did hear distressing sounds from Naomi’s room — everything from screams, to cursing, the furniture thrown.
When Patty shows Rachel the testimony, the young woman changes her mind about settling. The major twist? It turns out that Ellen blackmailed Thomas into changing his story. She is that gung-ho about defeating Patty in a courtroom. The second twist comes when it is revealed that Patty was also in on it, promising Ellen not to use the testimony in court, so long as she could show it to Rachel. The women “want the same thing”. As usual, Patty and Ellen make a fierce team, even when on opposing sides.
The last scene of the episode features a flash forward to two months later, where it seems the trial is officially underway, essentially confirming that there will be a showdown between the two women after all this time.
Bring it on. What are your thoughts?