Damages season 2 finale tonight on F/X. Probable spoilers

Tonight is the 90 minute season finale of the F/X show Damages. Let’s recap:

Ellen is working with the FBI to build a case against Patty.

Claire Maddox tried to oust Kendrick as chairman of UNR and has been fired.

Tom was about to offer $60,000 to a “plaintiff” (actually an FBI agent) but got last-minute orders from Patty to not make the payoff. Now Ellen is using that against him to get him to cooperate in the FBI case.

Uncle Pete, who actually was behind the attempt to kill Ellen, is compromised by the FBI and pressured to bring down Patty. He attempts suicide but survives, then is killed in the hospital by the man who attempted to carry out Ellen’s murder.

Ellen slips evidence to Patty that her husband is cheating on her. She was willing to forgive that. What she could not forgive was that Phil bought UNR stock, setting up a conflict of interest for Patty.

Daniel Purcell lied under oath about the toxicity of aracite. Now, feeling remorseful, he has helped Patty crack the code on Kendrick’s insider trading.

Patty planned to use Tom to bribe a judge to accept the stolen codes as evidence, but Ellen got Tom to refuse so that Patty would turn to Ellen to do the bribing. Patty fires Tom as a result.

Purcell has gone to police headquarters to confess to the murder of his wife. Unknown to him, she survived, however, and Kendrick’s enforcer finished the deed.

Wes is under orders from the man who had Ellen’s fiance killed to now kill Ellen, yet hasn’t gone through with it.

Patty’s son Michael (who is also the son of Daniel Purcell) is shacking up with a woman 21 years his senior.

And it is revealed that the person whom Ellen shoots is Patty. (Not a spoiler, as this has already been revealed in a couple of past episodes.)

Let’s see how this all shakes out.

Dave Pell (played by Clarke Peters, aka Cool Lester Smoove) is the puppet master, it seems: he got the FBI to launch the investigation of Patty, he convinced Patty’s husband to buy UNR stock and got him offered the Energy Secretary job, he was in on the deal with Kendrick to fix energy prices with trader Finn Garrity (did I forget anything?). Patty just got wind that Pell was behind all this. Will she be able to bring him down before Ellen caps her?

So, was that convenient or what?

Just like last season, I’m left going, huh? So Patty was behind the whole FBI thing? How was she not charged with anything? I admit I sorta fell asleep before the end, rewound it and was half asleep for the rest, but could someone explain that outcome to me using small words?

AIUI, Tom Shayes obviously knew the FBI was corrupt in his case, so he approached his sis, the US Attorney, and also informed Patty. Patty thus knew about Ellen as informant. Tom got his sis to give Patty a chance to show the investigation as corrupt, so Patty taped the meeting with Bell. Then when the FBI agent took orders from Bell on phone, the sis had enough to show the investigation as corrupt. Voila! And after the judge bribery, Shayes et sis appear just in time to get Ellen off the hook. Patty was only in on the setup after Tom informed her (off camera).

That’s the only way I can make sense of it. Kludged, if you ask me, but not that bad in all.

Patty tried to get Ellen arrested, right? But Tom saved her from that? I’m glad he did that for her, though I wonder why he would.

Nothing ever happened with that creepy bearded cop Messer, did it?

There’s also no clear set up for next year’s show. How will Ellen be back? If anything, she has more reason that ever to want to get back at Patty.

Are we the only two people on the SDMB who watch the show, II Gyan II?

Besides taking a bullet to the back of the head, you mean?

At that point, Ellen & Tom were working together. That’s why Patty asked Ellen to “trust me” at the handoff.

err… make that Patty & Tom.

Oh crap, I totally missed that. See, I just need to rewatch the whole thing, because apparently I slept through some really key points. If anyone in the history of the show deserved a bullet to the back of the head, it was that guy. Season finale of Damages: not a show to doze through.

So I guess three of us watch this show. That’s too bad, since I think it’s a damn good show.

I watch it as well-- pretty good. I read somewhere that there were three seasons planned, but it’s difficult to see where it could go. Loose ends might be what happened to Finn Garrety after stabbing Patty, the fact that Daniel didn’t kill his wife, what happens to Patty’s son, and what happens to Olyphant (can’t remember his character’s name). I also would expect Frobisher to show up again because of his brief scene, but that could have just been to end his story – I can’t remember, was Ellen still trying to prove Frobisher had her fiance killed?

Yes, which is why she hired the private investigator (remember the scene between him, Ellen, and the dead fiancee’s sister, in which he affirmed that bearded cop guy was a good guy). Which is also why she was hoping to meet up with bearded cop guy before Olyphant put a bullet in his head.

So, from Ellen’s point of view, she doesn’t know that bearded copy guy is dead, let alone that he was on his way to kill her, and still thinks he was on to something about her fiancee’s murder.

I’m guessing this storyline will continue into next season, and something will point to Olyphant as bearded cop guy’s killer, and she’ll start to believe that Olyphant is working for Frobisher. Which of course he was, but not anyomre.

I love this freaking show.

Of course, I forgot all about that scene (Boone from Earth: Final Conflict!!). Yes, this will probably be the main B-story for next season, with the main story being the next case Patty decides to take on. And yeah, I like the show a lot as well.

We love this show and thought the ending was great.
As far as where it will go next season, our tip is that Ellen will work for the DA and will spend 99.9% of her time trying to bring down Patty and get that final revenge.

Glenn Close is such a wonderful bitch in this show. She was recently on the Graham Norton show and was actually very funny in real life.

I don’t know – I believed her when she said she’d rather have Patty out there than in jail. It seemed like having Patty admit what she did, even if it was just to her, was enough to get her to move on.

I think the Ellen-works-for-the-authorities-against-Patty got played out this season. Next season I can see them forming a very uneasy, very awkward alliance.

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.

If you got that from watching the show, you are a far, far better television viewer than I am. I remain totally confused about what transpired, and will skip season three despite my admiration of Glenn Close and [Ellen], who I think are terrific.

Well, my first reaction when the U.S. Marshals arrested the corrupt FBI agent was “umm, wtf.” That reaction was in my head through the very end of the episode. So I rewatched it, and the above extremely complicated explanation is what “made sense” to me. My first reaction to the finale was that it was kind of deus ex machina that didn’t really make much sense, but on rewatch I think I liked it. I’ve enjoyed the series thus far and will probably watch season three.

I’m another viewer.

I completely missed season one. I had never heard of the show until I read a Stephen King article right before season two started, where he said Damages was one of the best shows on television. I decided to check it out.

It was confusing at first, but soon figured out most of what happened in the first season. I became intrigued with the twists and turns, as well as the terrific acting of Glenn Close. (I don’t know where FX gets the money to pay all the big name actors on the show – the cast was a pleasant surprise.)

I am a fan of LOST, so the red herrings and surprises were right up my alley. I like the jumps forward and back in time to show certain scenes. For some reason I never noticed SDMB threads for this show. Perhaps because there really are very few people watching?

Anyway, I was really confused at first about the timing of the stabbing. Finally, as credits were rolling, it hit me that Patty sat through the whole showdown with Ellen after having a knife thrust into her gut.

And with all due respect Martin Hyde, I don’t think Patty’s scheming all occured after she was stabbed – way too much had to occur way too quickly.

But, it was an enjoyable ride. Count me in as a season three viewer.

Everything made sense to me and while I admit to having to up my suspension of disbelief a little more than usual, I still thought it was plausible. Mostly.

The problem I have is with Tom - when did Patty pull him into the fold?

It’s been a week since I watched it so please bear with me and correct me if I’m wrong about the timing of everything.

We see Tom utterly P.O.ed in the foyer at Hewes and Ass. - obviously he and Patty hadn’t chatted at that point and I think Tom was probably there because he and his US Attorney sister were investigating the FBI investigation.

Okay, so the next time Tommy Boy pops up, Ellen asks him for a gun and he complies. That seems a little messed up to me. Why the devil would Tom want to arm Ellen? My theory is that he wanted to find out what other cards Ellen had in play. She indicated to him throughout the episode that she hadn’t told him everything, perhaps he was gathering more info and felt that cooperation was the only course of action.

Okay, so I guess I can get behind Tom giving Ellen a gun whether or not he’d already talked to Patty, it makes sense that he’d tried to placate Ellen for info.

What doesn’t make sense: Either Tom didn’t warn Patty about the gun - she looked a little surprised, though that could have just been fear/stab wound. OR Tom told Patty but she just assumed that it would all work out.

WTF!? Am I missing something here? Is it a stupid nit pick? I guess maybe Patty really is that ballsy if she would visit Ellen knowing that Ellen was armed.

My other nitpick about Tom is Ellen’s arrest or lack thereof. I honestly thought that Patty was going to take Ellen down right up until Ellen showed her the “Feds are watching” sign. Yeah sure, she may have wanted to clear the air post-stabbage but she was going to have Ellen clapped in irons regardless. Was there any motivation for Patty to save Ellen from arrest prior to the events in 1910?

I’m sure Patty wanted to put the hurt on Ellen in her meeting with Pell…maybe she changed her mind before/when she made the plan with Tom?

I’ve heard some people saying that they thought Patty going into room 1910 was unnecessary or that the bribe was unnecessary. I submit that the bribe was important and Ellen was really the only one left to do it. Even though she had the thumbdrive of info about Aricite to get Kendrick, she had no way of hitting back at Pell and the Feds without a corroborating witness. The tape of her meeting with Pell probably wouldn’t hold up in court. Patty needed a way to leverage the remaining FBI agent to ensure that nothing collected during the corrupt investigation could be used against her later.

So, okay, I’m on board, the bribe needed to go through and in order to get revenge and to make sure she was in the clear FBI-wise, Patty needed to get Ellen to bribe the judge.

I would say that Tom and Patty had to have agreed ahead of time to keep Ellen out of jail, I don’t thing Patty was in any shape to call anyone after her meeting with Ellen.

But why, why, why was there apparently a plan in place w/ Tom to save Ellen? When Patty enters room 1910 she is operating under the knowledge that Ellen is an FBI informant and she most likely knows through Tom that Ellen has a gun.

It seems more interesting to me if Patty changed her mind about having Ellen arrested after Ellen warned her about the Feds but I can’t rationalize the logistics. The alternative is that the plan was always to save Ellen - that works logistics-wise but I don’t understand the motivation.

Any thoughts? No one else in my family likes this show so I’m hungry to discuss it.