This was my understanding of how the season finale went down:
From the beginning Patty has been reluctant to bribe the judge because she knew the FBI was monitoring her. When she said that they had “one long shot” left before they had to resort bribing the judge, she goes to Finn Garraty.
However my impression is that she wasn’t really banking on Garraty agreeing to testify for her, she just wanted to scare him with the information she had with the hope that Garraty would put pressure on Kendrick and Pell. This worked and it could have gone another way, which is why she called it a “long shot.”
Once Kendrick beat up Garraty’s hooker girlfriend Patty most likely heard about it. The hooker and Patty still had a relationship and the hooker was still technically working for Patty all the way through the end (even though this hadn’t been mentioned in a few episodes.) Once Patty found out the hooker was beaten up, and why, Patty knew that Pell and Kendrick had had a falling out with Garraty. Since Patty knew Garraty could fully implicate Pell in manipulating the energy market Patty knew Pell would be willing to talk.
During the meeting with Pell I think Patty was still deciding on what course of action to pursue. She recorded the conversation to use against Pell, but at the same time she never denies that she is planning to bribe a judge. At that point the recorded conversation could definitely go either, Patty could still be fucked by it if she came forward to the authorities. I don’t believe she was working with Tom at all at this point, or was even thinking about the option of Tom’s sister.
She decided to make a truce of sorts with Pell in order to take down Kendrick. I think it fits her profile, she hates powerful men who destroy the weak, Kendrick was doing that to the people in West Virginia. Pell was a backdoor power broker who didn’t directly have anything to do with the poisonings, she probably wanted him too because of his energy market manipulations and also because she knew Pell was using Phil against her earlier in the season. I think after the meeting with Pell though, she had decided on taking out Kendrick and Ellen.
I’m fairly confident Patty knew that Ellen was the FBI informant all along. There was a scene at the beginning of the episode where Patty asks Ellen to file paperwork that Judge Oliver will need to make his decision. When Ellen asks what option do they have other than bribing the Judge Patty tells her “Trust in our case and the system.” That is totally out of character for Patty, for one Patty knows that if the “system” worked properly her evidence would be totally inadmissible and secondly Patty knows that Oliver is corrupt and will never rule in their favor without a bribe. Patty is doing this to test Ellen, Ellen continues to pursue the bribery angle and her actions to me make it very obvious she has a huge personal stake in seeing the bribe go through. I think this was all the confirmation Patty needed that Ellen was the informant (and she got full confirmation in her meeting with Pell), I think that when Pell told her she required very little persuading to turn on her that is when Patty committed to ruining Ellen along with Kendrick.
When Patty went to Ellen’s she was still planning on the deal with Pell. Then Finn Garraty stabs her on the elevator as she’s going up to Ellen’s apartment. I actually had to watch this scene twice to realize that Patty was stabbed before going into Ellen’s apartment. What confirmed it for me is Fisk (the hallucination) is talking to Ellen about how she needs to “go into that room and tell the truth” and further on it shows Patty leaving room 1910 and bleeding profusely. If you rewatch the scene when Patty first goes into Ellen’s room you’ll notice she is sort of keeping her hand at her midsection throughout, and that she has a pained look on her face. Throughout the season I thought the pained look was her emotional reaction to Ellen’s allegations, and her own guilt about attempting to have Ellen killed. While it may have been partly that, it was more the fact that she had been stabbed. Why would she go through the conversation with Ellen as she was bleeding to death? Because Patty does have some level of conscience, she always felt extremely guilty about Fisk’s suicide. Fisk makes it clear to Patty there are “some things worse than death” so Patty decides not to seek immediate medical attention but instead to go into Ellen’s room and seek redemption of a sort.
At some point during this Patty has contacted Tom and told him everything thus far. It may have been before she went into Ellen’s room, probably in the form of a quick cell phone call since Patty didn’t have a lot of time. How Tom’s sister gets involved so quickly is questionable. My opinion is Tom was already pursuing action against the FBI investigation as it was. I do not think it was planned all along between Patty and Tom. For example I think Tom’s firing was “real” this season, his attempt to get into the office for example seemed genuine–and if it wasn’t, whose benefit was that for? No one was there to see it other than the security guard.
So Tom’s sister was already involved on some level, Tom knew the FBI investigation was corrupt because he knew he never made the payoff so he knew at the very least that the FBI was fabricating evidence. Patty gave him and his sister what was needed to seal things up. Patty probably then spun it through Tom’s sister that the payoff to the judge was “faked” to draw out the corrupt FBI agent–it wasn’t a “real” payoff. In truth until Patty was stabbed and had her “come to Jesus” moment with Fisk the payoff was in fact part of Patty’s plan to legitimately take down Ellen and Kendrick. The stabbing made her realize she needed to confront her past wrongs with Ellen and put aside her outrage at Ellen’s betrayal.
How involved Patty was in the final scheming is hard to say, since it all happened after she was stabbed I think we have to assume of course that Tom was already independently going after the FBI investigation with his sister. It’s possible also that Patty communicated with Tom through Wes, on the stretcher in the hospital. It’s possible that Tom was the one who did some of the “spinning” (like telling his sister they should play the bribe as part of their “sting” of the FBI agent and not a real bribe), Tom probably would not have spared Ellen on his own initiative, though. Tom is crafty enough to get the minutiae of the plan down without Patty’s help, and most likely when Patty got her recording of the Pell conversation to Tom (either through Wes or some other means) Tom knew what to do from there.
I’m not sure what Ellen’s job offer is; I have a feeling Ellen will spend most of season three believing Wes is the one who killed David and that he was working for Frobisher. Eventually Ellen will find out that Wes is a police officer or former police officer, it’ll definitely come out that there is a warrant out for Wes. Wes most likely did something legitimately wrong to get under Messer’s thumb in the first place, Messer had legitimate dirt on Wes. To Ellen Messer is a “good cop” and was going after corruption in his department as well as trying to find David’s killer. There is all kinds of evidence that Ellen will find to link Wes to Messer’s killing, working for Frobisher and et cetera. So everything will logically point to Wes being a plant and to Wes being the one who killed David, the one who killed Messer. Wes was legitimately involved in shady dealings from the beginning of Season 2 so there’s going to just be a ton of stuff that will come out to make him look bad. Probably at the end of Season 3 the truth will come out about him and maybe him and Ellen will have a reconciliation.
I don’t know what’s going to happen with Frobisher next season. The problem I have is I don’t hate Frobisher that much. I don’t even really view him as being the one truly behind David’s killing. Yes, Frobisher paid Messer, yes Frobisher made the “final decision.” But Frobisher had to be pulled to that decision every step of the way by Messer. Messer was actually never even supposed to have one on one contact with Frobisher, but he broke through the middle man and spoke with Frobisher directly to convince Frobisher that he had to kill Katie. While I think Frobisher is a scumbag he’s almost like a stupid pawn that Messer lead along for a ride. I had a lot more dislike for Messer than Frobisher.