Damages Season 5, Episode 7 Recap: The Storm’s Moving In

August 23, 2012

Our insider, Josh Payne, brings you a detailed recap of every new episode plus extra background info only a Damages writer would know!

This episode begins with Rutger Simon, Channing McClaren’s lieutenant. Rutger enters the McClarenTruth carriage house to find McClaren and Gitta Novak having sex. Rutger watches for a moment, his expression sour, then he leaves. Later, Gitta urges McClaren to pay more attention to the publicity he receives. When he reviews a documentary about McClarenTruth, he learns the hacker Samurai Seven was recently killed in an explosion.

Patty and Ellen both want to depose Dr. Lee Collins, a computer science expert who the SEC has hired to analyze Princefield’s servers. For efficiency’s sake, Judge Gearheart orders them to travel to the Maine University where Dr. Collins works and depose him at the same time.

Chris Sanchez, who counsels military personnel returning from battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan, gets a lead from one of his group members. The soldier tells him the military routinely prescribes antidepressants to servicemen suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. What’s more, they are often diagnosed via Internet chat sessions and sent back into combat without ever meeting a doctor in person. The soldier gives Chris contact information for a serviceman who experienced this treatment.

Channing meets with Beth Kim, Samurai Seven’s girlfriend. She still doesn’t know how Samurai Seven died. Beth tells Channing that Ellen, Gitta, and Patty all met with Samurai Seven and agreed to buy information from him. This is news to Channing. Beth doesn’t know what the information is, but it’s obvious someone didn’t want Samurai Seven to sell it. He gives Beth some money and tells her to be careful.

Rutger Simon meets with the Hungarian Mystery Man in the back of a limousine. Rutger tells him that Patty bought information about Princefield and Ellen gained access to it in discovery. Concerned, the Hungarian Mystery Man asks what it was. Rutger explains that Princefield was conducting its own investigation into Naomi Walling long before she began speaking to McClaren, and that Princefield’s CEO Bennett Herreshoff turned over the results of the investigation to the SEC.

After speaking with a soldier about returning to the battlefield while taking antidepressants, Chris asks Ellen if he can give this story to McClaren. Ellen explains that Chris would need to give McClaren information, not simply a lead. McClaren doesn’t steal information; he only posts what whistleblowers give him. So Chris would need to break the law to get the information to McClaren.

In Maine, Dr. Collins tells Patty and Ellen that the information posted on the McClarenTruth Web site was hacked from Naomi Walling’s laptop. He also confirms that Channing McClaren and Samurai Seven would both have been able to pull off this hack, meaning there’s still no definitive proof of who did it. Dr. Collins advises Patty and Ellen that a snowstorm is moving in and they should leave as soon as possible. A short time later, Ellen learns her flight has been cancelled and Patty offers her a seat on her private plane. Ellen declines.

McClaren returns to the carriage house, irate that Rutger and Gitta disobeyed him. Rutger argues that as the business manager of McClarenTruth he sometimes has to insulate McClaren from certain decisions. McClaren demands to see the information they got from Samurai Seven. Rutger hands it to McClaren, who tells Rutger and Gitta they’ll be fired if they ever go behind his back again.

At the airport, Ellen discovers all the commercial flights have been cancelled in light of the growing snowstorm. Just as she agrees to join Patty on her private plane, Gitta calls Ellen to tell her about McClaren’s tantrum.

In a Manhattan bar, McClaren meets Bruce Davies—Naomi Walling’s old boss—to see what he knows. When McClaren tells Davies that Bennett Herreshoff, Princefied’s CEO, was investigating both him and Naomi Walling, Davies is infuriated. He explains that Herreshoff knew he and Naomi were involved in insider trading; that was the whole point of Fund 23. But Herreshoff is insulated—no paper trail leads to him, so Davies argues that Herreshoff wouldn’t have had a motive to kill Samurai Seven. Davies writes down the name of the man who gave him the stock tips that led to the insider trading.

Hours tick by in the Maine airport. Patty and Ellen are bored out of their minds. The pilot tells the women that takeoff will be delayed several more hours because of a frozen fuel line. Ellen checks in with Kate Franklin, who helped Ellen’s mother Denise move into a new apartment in the city.

Meanwhile, Rutger Simon has dinner with his daughter Miranda. We learn Rutger’s ex-wife is now with another man and Rutger hasn’t seen Miranda much in the past few years. Miranda calls McClaren a lightweight, arguing that Rutger is the true journalist behind McClarenTruth. Though Rutger defends the Web site, it’s clear he knows he’s the brain behind it.

Chris meets with an Army video technician, who tells Chris all of the Internet-chat diagnoses of post-traumatic stress disorder and the associated prescriptions were all recorded.

A drunk Rutger returns to the carriage house, where he makes an offensive pass at Gitta. When she rejects him, Rutger says she’s been with the wrong man this whole time. He claims the idea behind McClarenThruth was all Rutger’s, and he only needed Channing as a poster boy.

Speaking of drunk, Patty breaks into a small bar at the airport so she and Ellen can tie one on while they wait for their plane.

Later, McClaren returns to tell Rutger the name of the man Bruce Davies said provided insider-trading tips to Princefield—Helmut Torben. When McClaren pulls his photo up on the computer we see it’s the Hungarian Mystery Man. Rutger lies, saying he’s never heard of him. Slipping out later that night, Rutger confronts Torben about the insider trading. An infuriated Rutger tells Torben that McClarenTruth would be destroyed if it’s revealed that the site was funded in part by the profits of insider trading. Torben agrees, instructing Rutger to make sure it never comes to light.

Now after midnight in the airport, Patty and Ellen, both tipsy, begin talking about their fathers, noting that both were bullies. Patty says her father ran off when she was 13 and lies, saying she never saw him again. Patty goes on to say that, despite their differences, she and Ellen have a lot in common, which may explain how they found each other in the first place. Ellen bristles at the suggestion that their relationship was born by anything other than Patty’s plotting to get Katie Conner, Ellen’s late fiancé’s sister, as a witness in the Frobisher case. Their conversation devolves to the point where Ellen says the only reason they’re still in each other’s orbit is because Patty manufactured the McClaren case to prevent Ellen from testifying against her in the custody case against her son, Michael.

Patty toys with Ellen, asking her what is the worst thing she knows about Patty, then suggesting the blackmail of Ray Fiske, which led to his suicide. Patty tells Ellen mentioning Ray Fiske’s suicide would implicate Ellen, since she was a party to the blackmail. Enraged, Ellen calls Patty “crazy,” reminding her that she admitted to trying to have Ellen killed. Patty denies it, reminding Ellen that she had Patty at gunpoint (in Season 2) when Patty made the admission. Patty claims she said what she thought Ellen needed to hear in order to let her go, but that it was not a real admission. Ellen challenges her, asking who else could be responsible. Patty suggests Uncle Pete, who was sometimes overzealous in his attempts to protect Patty, may have ordered the attempt on Ellen’s life. Patty then apologizes that Ellen’s been suffering under the assumption that Patty ordered her murder.

The pilot tells Patty and Ellen the plane is ready to go. But Ellen is so unnerved by this conversation that she declines to fly with Patty.

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