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Damages: What's your angle?

So, Purcell’s wife is dead.  Purcell tells the police that he dropped off his wife earlier, came back, and a man rushed by him out of his home, slamming him against the door.  The police ask him if there’s anyone he knows who would want to hurt him.  Purcell says no.  His pants don’t immediately catch on fire.

But Patty knows he’s lying.  After all, Purcell was just telling her last week that he was afraid for his family due to some research he was doing.  What we know is that Purcell developed a toxic chemical but doesn’t know what it was used for.  A report was commissioned about this chemical, but its results were doctored – but Purcell’s name is still on it.  Purcell asks Patty to “Burn it, shred it, I don’t care” which Patty does not do, because, you know, she’s Patty, and why destroy something that might be useful later?

So Patty gives it to a “friend,” Earl Jacoby from the EPA, a shady dude who’s totally in the pocket of the oil companies.  Jacoby then gives it to someone else, a dude whose name I haven’t caught, so I’m calling him Stalker Guy because he’s been following the folks at the firm, including Ellen.  Stalker Guy then takes it to a woman named Claire Maddox, who we will later find out is the corporate counsel for Ultimate National Resources, the third largest oil company in the world.  Yup, that’s right, the world.

So Claire goes to a judge, hands him a motion for replevin, and the judge, who apparently hates Patty – which I can’t blame him for, cause if I were a judge, I’d HATE Patty – signs it without even bothering to read it, and next thing you know, like, 20 cops are storming Patty’s office to get the super secret research documents back.  Really, I’m pretty sure only two cops at most were needed for the strenuous task of picking up a box and carrying it down the elevator.  Patty reads the warrant, sees Claire Maddox’s name, and, just like that, Patty finds out who commissioned the report.  If, by just like that, I meant starting a chain of events that had to go through three different layers and 20 cops potentially rooting through all of Patty’s firm’s files to find out information I’m pretty sure could have been revealed by a 17-year -old computer geek with some spare time.

But enough about Patty.  Let’s talk about Hot Guy From Go.

Remember how in Go, Timothy Olyphant was a smartass, potentially violent drug dealer?  So, he’s the same here.  Only not a smartass or a drug dealer.  Instead, he’s some guy who is harboring some serious weaponry in a locked closet in his home.  Seriously, I spotted an automatic machine gun and maybe even a machete.  Plus, he is apparently a collector of Arthur Frobisher news articles, particularly ones surrounding the big plaintiff’s action that Ellen worked on.  Oh, and likely relevant to the storyline?  A little article taped to the door that reads “Medical Student slaying still unsolved.”  We also got a little flash to the future that indicates that Ellen starts sleeping with him later on.  But, gotta say, this had red herring written all over it.  Remember last season, when there was that crazy lady obsessed with David and we thought she might have something to do with his death, but instead she was just, well, a crazy lady?  Methinks that Hot Guy From Go is just a crazy hot guy.

We also learn this week that Tom Chase, Patty’s go-to guy, will give Ellen the gun she uses to shoot someone (twice) later on.  Tom Chase is played by Tate Donovan, and Donovan is the kind of actor whose existence I am totally aware of, yet who I immediately forget about the minute the camera is off him.  This quality works well for him here, because Tom Chase is the kind of eager to please, wracked with insecurities, thoroughly sleazy schmuck who you just know was a middle child who never felt he got enough attention.  Now, Tom just wants to please Patty.  As a result of these qualities he almost gives a “client”  $60,000 to retain her in an infant mortality case that has been planted in the firm’s hands by the FBI.  At the last minute Patty pulls him away, leaving the FBI frustrated, and Tom Chase still relevant to the plot.

We also learn he’s going to be a dad, but I don’t really think that that’s important, plot-wise.

In other news, we learn that Ellen does her badass deeds of the future in Room 1910, one of the FBI guys who is working with Ellen to bring Patty down is going through a crappy divorce, and, judging by the look on Purcell’s face when he meets Patty’s son briefly, Patty and Purcell definitely got it on at some point.  The episode closes with Patty’s reminder to Ellen that “Everyone is looking to play an angle.”  And in case you, the audience, forgets, we quickly flash to Purcell and Claire Maddox, in a car, in the rain, and they have clearly been getting it on.

And I don’t think Patty’s going to be happy about that particular angle.

Season 2, Episode 2: Burn it, Shred it, I don’t care.  (originally aired January 14, 2009)

For another take on this episode, check out Everyone Has an Angle by Kaitlyn Edsall.

For more on Damages, click here.

Wednesdays at 10pm E/P on FX

Photographs courtesy of FX and IMDbPro

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