Thursday, April 2, 2009

Damages Concludes Season 2 with Great Acting and Surprises

Tip-top Season 2 finale for Damages on FX last night, with some excellent surprises.

We've been treated for the whole season to scenes of Ellen shooting Patty. At first, we didn't know it was Patty. But then we saw Patty was indeed the person Ellen was talking to, and, worse, waving a gun at. In the past few episodes, we've seen Patty staggering out of the apartment, bleeding ... and the FBI guy phoning in that Ellen had shot Patty.

But could Ellen really have killed Patty like this? She had motive - she was sure that Patty had tried to kill her last year. But would she shoot Patty, unprovoked, at point blank range?

Turns out, in a well-plotted and motivated twist, that Ellen didn't shoot Patty at all - she fired over her head. So why was Patty bleeding? She had been stabbed in the elevator on the way to see Patty, which also explains why she had looked so shaken during her ensuing conversation with Ellen.

Also surprising but well motivated and very satisfying was the way Wes (well played by Timothy Olyphant) not only walked away from killing Ellen, but became her defender, and even saved Patty's life (after the FBI guy left to bleed to death in the elevator on the way down, after Ellen had left).

So Damages can chalk up a second powerful season. With especially superb acting this year by William Hurt and John Doman - who was great as the Acting Commish on The Wire - speaking of which, it was good to see Clarke Peters (the incomparable Freamon on The Wire) play a political, ruthless bad guy this time on Damages.

Other special shoutouts - SNL's Darrell Hammond as the demented killing machine the Deacon - I hope he comes back next year. Ted Danson was great again as Frobisher, and Michael Nouri as Patty's husband (now thrown out, like just about everyone else in Patty's life). Rose Byrne was attractive as Ellen, but the character felt a little more limited in range than in the first season. (It may well that she won't be back in the 3rd season).

Glenn Close was incomparable this season, as she was last, and I'm looking forward to more of this in Season 3.

See also: Lying about Damages ... 2.2: A Good World of Hurt ... Damages 1-10

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