Thursday, January 8, 2009

Lying about Damages

Damages came back last night to FX, and so far it's just about as powerful, brooding and complex as the first season, which is to say, top notch television.

The essence of Damages is that you never know, completely, who is telling the truth, and that pertains, especially, to Patty Hewes, and her seconds in command, and in and out favorites, Ellen and Tom. It seemed at the end of last season that Patty put out a hit on Ellen, to remove a possible witness to Patty's wheelings and dealings, and Tom was sort of Ellen's friend.

Ellen's belief that Patty tried to have her killed motivates Ellen this season - in particular, her working with the FBI to bring Patty down. We did see loyal, old Uncle Pete tell Patty on the phone last season that "it's done," and given the circumstances, and what we know of Patty's ruthlessness, this statement certainly seemed like a strong indication, if not proof, that Patty had instructed Pete to get rid of Ellen.

But I can't help wondering - what if not? In the premiere episode of this season, Ellen goes to see Patty, but we see only part of the conversation. Ellen tells the FBI afterward that all Patty told Ellen was more of Patty's "bullshit" ... but do we know all of what Patty really told Ellen? Is it possible Ellen is now working with Patty?

As in the first season, there are teasers to the future - in the case of last night's episode, to someone Ellen is talking to, and eventually shoots. We're supposed to think this is Patty ... But let's say it's someone else?

I'm thinking Tom might be a possibility ... he's as much a part of the lying web of Damages as anyone else.

Meanwhile, Ted Danson is back as Frobisher (he wasn't killed, and Ellen's out to get him), and William Hurt is on the show as a complex new client, and together with Glenn Close as Patty, Rose Byrne as Ellen, and Tate Donovan as Tom we've got one smack in the mouth show. Though I'll miss Zeljko Ivanek's Ray - well, at least he's on True Blood now...

3-min podcast review of Damages 2.1

See also Damages 1-10

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