(S03E03) "Tonight's been educational." - Patty
Educational it was, both for Patty Hewes and viewers alike, as last night's 'Damages' proved that it can tell one helluva narrative without any of those pesky "six months from now" flashes. 'Flight's at 11:08' isn't the first episode to put the back and forth, past/present/future jumps on the back-burner, but it is the earliest it's happened in a season. Normally, those narrative devices don't fade away until the climactic moment later in the season when everything collides. What we got instead was a bit of different angle for 'Damages' as last night's episode was driven by the characters and not the over-arching plot.
(S03E02) "Yeah, sure. That's Tommy. He's a good egg. I helped him, he helped me." - The Homeless Man
The questions kept flying tonight on 'Damages' as details from last week's stunning revelation continued to unfold -- in six months time, Tom Shayes is a dead man and now we have a better idea as to why. The only problem with that? There are still eleven episodes left, and assuming this season plays out like the first two, we're gonna have to wait until the last possible second for answers. Fortunately for us, there's plenty of other plots playing out as well.
(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?
When Damages burst on to the TV scene in the summer of 2007, it turned everything upside down. Creators Glenn and Todd A. Kessler and Daniel Zelman took a tired television genre and re-invented it so well that it became hard to pigeonhole Damages in the very category that spawned it. It was so much more than a legal thriller and the drama's tense plotting and unique time shifting storytelling technique made the show worthy of scholarly debate -- blink and you'll miss something important.
Now entering its third season, Damages is prepped to turn the legal world on its head again when FX's superb thriller returns this Monday night, January 25, at 10 p.m. ET. Based on the first two episodes, Glenn Close and the rest of the top-notch cast make the same case that they did the previous two seasons -- this is must see, can't miss television.
(S02E13) "I've been having one helluva shitty month and someone is gonna pay." - Patty
Another great ending to another great season of television. The general consensus seems to be that season two of Damages far outpaced season one. They were pretty tied up for me - that was, until last night's finale. Just like the first season, by the time we got to the end, we'd already seen most of the episode because of all the flashbacks. Same goes this time around - season two's flash-forwards provided us with a pretty solid sense of what to expect. The beauty of Damages is that there was still about 20 minutes worth of plot holes that needed filling. Seeing it all play out, in order, was phenomenal.
Damages has lived up to the hype. After a jaw-dropping debut season that garnered Glenn Close an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her turn as Patty Hewes, the FX legal drama roared back in January amid speculation regarding whether or not the unique storytelling techniques used in season one could be re-created again. The result? Eight episodes into the new season and Damages is as thrilling as ever.
However, after learning that Patty is indeed the person being held at gunpoint in last week's final moments, it proved one thing - Patty isn't the only one in the hot seat. The creative team behind Damages should be sweating too.
I just can't get enough of Damages. Season two is right around the corner (it premieres on FX on Wednesday, January 7th at 10PM ET) and to generate some buzz, FX put together a conference call yesterday with Glenn Close, and Executive Producers/Co-Creators Glenn Kessler, Todd A. Kessler, and Daniel Zelman.
After I got off the call, I typed some thoughts while it was still fresh in my mind; there's a lot I want to talk about.
I've already seen the first two episodes (you can check out my early review here) and with that in mind, be aware that what follows after the jump is 100% spoilerish. Though some of it is general, if you don't want to know what happens as season two kicks off - this is your warning.
(S01E13) "I'm accused of murder and my mom bakes cookies. Sounds about right." - Ellen
Four or five episodes ago, you might have caught me saying that I was getting sick of Damages. It was getting slow and I was tired of all the questions. But with each week after that, things turned around and last night's finale definitely made up for any shortcomings this phenomenal season had. If FX doesn't renew this show, I'll be more disappointed than when Showtime canned Huff. All the big questions got answered. The ones we were left with won't drive you crazy. Plus, just as Tate Donovan promised us, we got one hell of a set-up for season two.
(S01E12) "Ellen... I can trust you?" - Patty
I think the best word to describe this episode was safe. Was it bad? No. However, it wasn't outstanding either. Then again, there is something respectable about giving your viewers exactly what they've been expecting all along.
Of course, the inherent problem with a show set-up like Damages is that when you finally reach the pivotal episode when past and present collide, you're forced to re-watch all the scenes from past episodes. Seeing them in order is an added bonus, but Damages is like The Wire. Neither show treats viewers as being stupid and I think most people who watch this show had already pieced together the puzzle and were just waiting for those few remaining holes to be filled.
(S01E11) "You're a baptist, right Ray? Repent!" - Patty
This was the first episode this season since the pilot where I really felt a tense energy. It's definitely because we're getting closer to the point when the past catches up to the future. We went from eight days away, to six, to two in this episode and now I'm just waiting for the point when the toned down colors of the present suddenly change to indicate that we just crossed the line. For those that saw the previews for next week, it looks like that's coming up. This week gave us plenty to discuss though.
It might be a possibility after all. Despite enduring through weeks of abysmal ratings, Ausiello is reporting that FX may actually renew Damages for a full 13 episode second season.
For those of you that are scratching your heads, don't forget that this is the same network that plans to bring back Dirt after the new year. However, look at it this way -- Glenn Close along with Courtney Cox are the only two strong female leads currently in the FX original series line-up. So it's not surprising that FX brass would want to keep them around and develop their shows beyond one season.
(S01E10) "I'm so sick of your bullsh*t." - Ellen
And there it was. The moment that we weren't necessarily waiting for, but definitely were expecting. Ellen strikes back. She went from being timid to bold enough to tell off Patty -- the woman who made her that way. However, despite that and some other stellar moments in this episode, I'm officially frustrated with Damages. It really is one of the best things on TV right now, but it has also knocked off Lost as the biggest culprit in terms of the questions to answers ratio. The one silver lining is that it's a cable show and rather than wait a full 22, we'll hopefully get some results in the final three episodes over the course of October.
I'm not saying lay it all out. I still want a good finale... but give me something. It's no fun when a show of this caliber spends a whole hour doing nothing but confirming assumptions that we've had for weeks now.
(S01E09) "I want you to feel the disgust in your children's eyes when they look on you in shame." - Patty
Well, that certainly made up for the last few weeks. It's been slow to build, but I think that most of what's going to shape the rest of this season took form in last night's episode of Damages. Granted, a lot happened. Definitely a blink and you missed it kind of situation. But then again, that was one of the things that made me fall in love with the pilot in the first place. I'm actually starting to believe that the writers may be able to wrap this season up with a logical and satisfying ending.
(S01E08) "Patty Hughes has ears too! Maybe I'm talking to the wrong person." - Larry
Despite the minor complaints about this show that I think most people have been expressing, I tell you what -- it still holds your attention for the whole hour. I'm almost getting used to the fact that Damages has a tighter lipped writing staff than Lost does.
So what does that mean for this episode? Well... not much. One bombshell that I think we all knew was coming got let out of the bag and a few other little tidbits were let loose too. I think one of the most bothersome things for me is that new info doesn't come when you expect it. Stuff gets revealed in conversations that don't necessarily relate to the revelations. If anything, it keeps you on your toes as a viewer. I think I use my DVR remote to rewind scenes from this show more than anything else I've ever watched.
(S01E07) "Is this a hydrangea?" - Patty
This episode concerns me. Remember the promo for last week? It touted this as being the episode that reveals it all, clues you in, and suddenly adds clarity to the otherwise confusing plot we've been accustomed to so far. Did we get that? Sort of... but not really. Nothing Earth shattering was revealed and the stuff that was let out of the bag ended up creating only more questions. A lot of commenters have noted that this show is starting to feel like Lost for that exact reason. I love Lost. I'm thoroughly enjoying Damages too, but there comes a point when viewers need to be rewarded for their interest. This is a cable show. We've only got six episodes left, meaning that we've eclipsed the half-way point of the season. I'm just as confused as I was after the pilot.
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