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Damages “But You Don’t Do That Anymore” 

Photo Credit: DirecTV

A surprising and unexpected death. A career change. A deathbed chat. A betrayal. A surprising capitulation. An admission. What a ride. The moment that affected me the most was Patty’s bedside chat with her father. I’m going to have to agree with him that he made Patty the person she is today. All that abuse turned Patty into the win-at-all costs person she’d become. Not only does she go after the bully, but she doesn’t think her job is done until they’re humiliated, disgraced, and broke. Unfortunately a lot of innocent people get hurt along the way, but that’s collateral damage Patty can usually handle. Only this time her son pays the ultimate price.

I was surprised when Patty was willing to meet Michael “half way” and agree to a 50/50 split on custody of Catherine. Patty never negotiates and she never settles. I think she genuinely thought she was making her son a reasonable offer. To completely give Catherine up would have been a type of surrender – an admission of failure – and we all know Patty doesn’t do that. With everything she’d done to him, I think Michael made the right choice in trying to get his daughter back. The fact that he was going to expose Patty’s attempt on Ellen’s life and her attempt to cover it up would be damning. But that fact that he wanted to hurt her even more reinforced just how much damage Patty did to him. I cannot imagine having a mother like that; I worry about Catherine.

I’m glad Ellen got away from her and that life. I always liked her drive and her desire to win but when the moral and ethical lines started blurring, I started getting nervous. I knew Ellen would cross some lines to have her day in court, but she compromised her principles just a little too much for me. Someone needed to hand Patty a major defeat in court – if not in life – but maybe Ellen wasn’t the one to do it. She put her case ahead of her health and her relationship. She put her need to beat Patty before the man she loved and her unborn child and it almost cost her everything.

That brings us to Rutger Simon. He knew what Herreshoff and Torben were capable of. I’m shocked he thought he’d come out of all this alive, especially after flipping for Patty. These are powerful men that are willing to do anything to keep their secrets private. I know he wanted to get rid of McClaren and just go back to being a journalist, but at what cost?

Some of the supporting cast

It was really nice to see Noah Bean‘s David Connor return. I loved that he was trying to talk some sense into Ellen. I kind of wish she’d listened.

Janet McTeer‘s Kate Franklin ended up being such an interesting character. Who knew Patty could have a sister and that they’d be so different.

Jenna Elfman‘s Naomi Walling wasn’t willing to go down without a fight. I like that she figured out who was really behind the leak of her personal emails even though it ended up costing her her life.

Ryan Phillippe‘s Channing McClaren kind of humanized people who break the law to get the truth out there. I think it was smart to make him unlikeable. And even smarter to actually make him innocent of this particular crime.


  • I was really looking forward to Patty and Ellen facing off in court so I have to admit that was a bit of a letdown. And for Patty to admit in front of the judge that she didn’t have a case? I know that was for Ellen’s benefit, but I just can’t believe she’s admit defeat in front of anyone.
  • Ellen betrayed Chris and they still ended up together? I’m not sure what she did to “make it up to him,” but I really can’t believe he forgave her. I don’t care if there was a kid involved.

Overall, I thought this was a very fitting end to the series. I loved the flash forward, especially Patty’s daydream/hallucination about her conversation with Ellen. That woman really is damaged. But I don’t think we’d want her any other way.

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  1. Gary


    I\’m extremely conflicted about the ending. I\’ve loved this show from the beginning, and feel this finale was in many ways a cop out.

    1. No big showdown between Patty and Ellen.
    2. Ellen gets played YET AGAIN by Patty (Re: Simon),
    3. Patty gets off by not only not going to prison for her role in the attack on Ellen and the death of David, but also she gets full custody of her granddaughter with the sad death of Michael.
    4. The whole thing with the cops this season turned out to be nothing at all, in the end. They bring Patty in and say \”she\’s missing, she was going to testify against you\”, Patty says some things, and that\’s it? They\’ve repeated the same dialogue all year leading up to this finale and nothing came of it.

    The acting was excellent as usual, I kept saying \”oh no. OH NO. OHHHHHHH NOOOOOOOOOOO!\” when the Michael scene was happening. I really liked that character and was so glad that he came back last season, and had a big role in this season and last after being a bit player early on.

    I just felt let down by a good deal. I thought the show could have benefitted by being perhaps two episodes, or a full 90 minutes (after commercials are removed). As it is it was 1hr and 10 minutes, give or take, and several moments I felt like they were rushing. No moment of Chris discovering Ellen\’s betrayal, none of that, it was basically \”oh yeah, you moved your stuff out sometime in the past.\”

    I didn\’t HATE the finale, despite it probably seeming like it, I was just really disappointed. I\’ll watch it again and might like it better, but…right now I\’m disappointed.

  2. melissa

    i thought the same thing about ellen and chris, but if you remember what she did for him at the end of season 4, and how he kind of blew her off…well this was kind of reversal

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