The ultimate battle between Patty and Ellen is on! Each week, Josh Payne will give you an episode-by-episode breakdown of the developing conflict between the two women, but ultimately it’s up to you to decide who won each round. After watching Episode 8, who do you think is ahead? Vote at the bottom of this post.

After Patty’s masterful manipulation of Ellen in the prior episode, we wanted to follow up and see how Ellen responds to the gaslighting. To that end, we needed a sounding board for Ellen. A natural fit seemed to be her trauma counselor from Season 2, who Chris Sanchez is now seeing to talk about his PTSD. We wanted to hear Ellen’s reaction to the possibility that Patty did not order the hit on her in Season 1, and also her response to the possibility that Patty was lying, trying to manipulate her emotions in the airport. We often asked ourselves why Ellen would remain in Patty’s orbit after the attack. We gave part of the answer to the trauma counselor, who says Ellen’s search for the truth about that night has given Ellen’s life purpose all these years. The other half of that answer, of course, is that Ellen has always realized the quickest route to professional success would come through her association with Patty. One of the challenges in writing Ellen’s character has always been to balance her ambition with her humanity.

Patty also thinks about the attack in this episode, but her response is to look forward rather than backward. Recently, Patty’s friend Roger Kastle approached her, saying Washington power players were considering her for a position on the US Supreme Court. Patty had taken a cautious approach when first approached with this opportunity, concerned that her past actions would come to light. Now, looking past the McClaren case, Patty tells Roger she wants the Supreme Court nomination.

We also learn more about Patty’s personal history through her father Lyle’s interaction with Patty’s son, Michael, and Kate Franklin, Lyle’s lawyer. Years ago, after Lyle walked out on Patty and her mother, Patty sued her father for control of his land, which she still maintains. While meeting with Kate in his nursing home, Lyle falls unconscious and we learn Kate is also his daughter.

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