'Damages': I can haz cheezburger?

Timothyolyphant_damages_s2_240 I was a little puzzled when the previouslys for this week's Damages took us back to the bearded cop who killed David at Frobisher's behest last season. I now know why, but I'm still puzzled.

These spoilers don't look very good in a skirt.

I'm going to try to keep things (relatively) brief this week, because the episode was one that showed us a lot of fragmentary things for which we don't yet have enough information to know how they fit in. So let's start with the reason for my LOLCats headline, which is ...

Wes: Pretty much everyone here had Wes pegged as shady almost from the moment he first appeared on screen, but tonight's episode gave us our first glimpse at just how shady. The answer to that, it would seem, is "blocks out all light." Seeing him make a cryptic phone call after giving Ellen a firearms lesson and hop into the car with the guy who's been tailing her did not, frankly, move the surprise meter that much. His actions to that point seemed pretty much in keeping with the type of guy we suspected him to be.

But then, right before the end of the episode, we see David's killer at a murder scene, working the case and asking a uniform if she has his cheeseburger. His name is Detective Messer, and after collecting his burger he walks over to Wes, who's all, Oh hai! I haz picturz for U. (And here end the LOLCats references.) There's no good explanation, yet, for why these two would be discussing Ellen's meetings with the FBI, because as far as we know Messer is still on the Frobisher payroll, and it sure looks like Wes has a beef with the rich man, given the myriad Frobisher clippings that decorate his gun armoire.

To top it all off, the episode's final scenes are of a five-months-later Wes packing a bag o' firepower and heading off to crash with Ellen, and then a daylight shot of blood spatter and a bullet hole in the windshield of a car, after which Wes exits the back seat. Summing up, then: Wes extremely dangerous; tangled up with David's murderer; motive unknown.

Glennclose_damages_s2_240 Moving on to the UNR case: Patty explains to Ellen during a spa session that she chooses cases based on how much they enrage her, and she's good and mad now that Daniel and UNR have monkeyed with her case. UNR is looking to complete a merger, and Patty makes it her new crusade to stop it. Things are looking good with the federal authorities until Lester Freamon scares the regulator into playing ball (Clarke Peters is getting a ton of work since The Wire ended, which makes me very happy -- and yes, I'm aware his character here is named Dave).

Dave also, however, flags down Patty's husband and tells him that Patty better keep her eyes peeled, because someone in the government is after her (or at least that's the message Phil relays to Patty later at home). We know, of course, that the FBI is investigating Patty, but Phil's more concerned that someone like UNR's Kendrick is pulling the strings. The upshot, though, is that Patty becomes even more vigilant and untrusting than usual.

Uncle Pete reassures her that he's not the type of guy to leave loose ends, and indeed we later see him paying the guy who tried to kill Ellen a hefty sum to go away for "seven or eight months." He also tells her that she really, really shouldn't trust Ellen. Good judge of character, Pete is, because ...

Ellen and the FBI have hopped back into their quest to nail Patty. Ellen doesn't get anything of use -- aside from some painful flashbacks to the last time she was in Patty's apartment -- at a party for Tom's 10 years at the firm (Tate Donovan directed the episode and was thus not on camera much at all), but she does start to feel Patty's growing mistrust of her -- especially when Patty brings up the infant-mortality case again.

Ellen doesn't know that Patty has Uncle Pete digging up dirt on the supposed plaintiff in the case, and that he's found out the real Monique Bryant isn't the woman who came into the Hewes and Associates offices. But she makes a pretty brilliant play by admitting that the FBI has approached her (and fudging the timeline) and arguing that they want the same things while at the same time planting the idea that the feds might approach someone else at the firm. Nice bit of misdirection, that.

Finally, I want to deal briefly with Purcell and what, for me, was the night's other big head-scratcher. We saw a little more of the argument he had with Christine before she was killed, and it turns out she had a bigger conscience than he did and was threatening to blow the whistle on UNR if he wouldn't. Creepy Darrell Hammond also shows up again, this time before her death, to tell Daniel what to do ("It'll all be over in 20 minutes").

So the mechanics of that night are becoming clearer, but I still have a very hard time accepting that Daniel, for all his bad acts and possible romantic involvement with Claire Maddox, would willingly take part in his wife's murder. We're going to need an explanation of the kind of corner Daniel painted himself into pretty soon, I think, because it seems like the show wants us to be at least a little sympathetic toward Daniel, and having him conspire to murder his wife probably isn't the way to do it.

OK, so maybe not so brief after all. But don't let that stop you from sharing your thoughts on the meaning of Wes' meeting with Messer, Patty's paranoia or Daniel's complicity in his wife's death. And what's up with Phil having an affair?