Review: Damages - Your Secrets Are Safe (season premiere)
by Jonathan Toomey, posted Jan 26th 2010 12:55AM
(S03E01) "Do you think this could have been done to you on purpose?" - Det. Vic Huntley
Patty Hewes for the people? No way. In tonight's season three premiere of Damages, Patty (Glenn Close) may have been appointed by the government to recover billions of stolen assets from scheming financier Louis Tobin (Len Cariou), but let's be honest here -- this is Patty Hewes.
When her name is on the line, you better believe that's all that matters. She's set on finding all that money, but it's to make her look good and has nothing to do with the welfare of Tobin's thousands of victims. With a stellar record as of late (Frobisher and UNR), losing this battle would be a huge blow to Patty's public image. So, knowing all that, what do you think about Det. Huntley's question now? Could someone have tried to kill Patty on purpose?
It's been ten months since the UNR case wrapped up and Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne) bolted from Hewes & Associates for a public defender's position at the D.A.'s office. But as luck would have it, Ellen's new boss Curtis is determined to put Lou Tobin away immediately for his ponzi scheme crimes. The only problem with that? Patty needs Louis out of jail for as long as possible if she ever wants to find any money he may have hidden for his family. Talk about competing interests. Looks like Patty was right, though, because Ellen is back in the mix.
For the most part, tonight's premiere was a lot of set-up for what's to come in the season as a whole. We saw Ellen putting her law degree to some honorable use for once by trying to put away a drug dealer, but now that her boss knows she has ties to Patty, it's doubtful that she'll be doing anything other than work on the Tobin trial.
Much of the hour was spent introducing the Tobin clan, from Lou to his wife Marilyn (Lily Tomlin), son Joe (Campbell Scott) and daughter-in-law and Joe's wife, Rachel (Reiko Aylesworth). All of them claim to have no knowledge of what Lou did and have been subjected to endless public humiliation. Patty seems to think otherwise, though, and in an attempt to gain some leverage on an already queasy Joe (Campbell Scott is nailing his part of the conflicted son and reluctant new family patriarch), she has one of his father's victims pick a fight with him. Again, though, Patty says this is for the good of all the victims, and yes it is, but what's it really about? Patty's reputation, and that means doing whatever it takes. Ironically enough, probably the same mantra Louis Tobin followed for all those years.
The twists and turns were plentiful as Damages' signature time-shifting storytelling technique took us, and Patty, on quite the ride. In six months time, Patty is in a car accident where a mystery assailant drove right into her. She escaped with only a few bumps and bruises, but the fact remains -- someone tried to kill her.
The car was registered to Tom (Tate Donovan), which immediately sounds weird since six months prior, Patty finally made him a partner. But in the future, we saw Tom living in a tiny apartment with nothing more than a mattress, empty water bottles, and lots of documents all over the floor. Where was his wife and son and his townhouse spread? And ... who killed him? Huntley followed the homeless guy that was watching Tom's apartment, and Tom's body was found in a dumpster near where the homeless guy slept. What's the connection? Could it have anything to do with Roger's (Michael Gaston) assertion that this Tobin case is going to be bigger than any of them thought?
More observations and questions:
- When Patty looked in the car that hit her, there was a small Statue of Liberty on the passenger seat. It looked an awful lot like the bookend that killed David Connor, Ellen's murdered fiancee, in season one. Why would what be in Tom's car? Ellen claims to have forgiven Patty, but has she?
- On the Thanksgiving that Louis told his family the truth, he made a phone call. Joe supplied Patty with that number and when she called, the homeless guy who led the cops to Tom's body picked up. How did he get that phone and who was the original owner?
- Same goes for the purse that Patty gave Ellen -- how did the homeless guy have that and why was it covered in blood?
- What's Julian Decker's (Keith Carradine) connection to all this? Right now, he's just a guy hitting on Patty at the restaurant she frequents, but he surely has to have an interest in her beyond small talk. Is he really an architect as he says? That title has a lot of meanings...
[Watch clips of Damages at SlashControl.]