Monday, February 1, 2010

More Damages have arrived

     One of the best dramas on television, Damages, has just returned for a third season on FX.  There was much to like about the season premiere last Monday, including a new, lighter tone with welcome brighter colors.  That's not to say there isn't plenty of twisted stuff still going on.  In fact, one of my favorite characters, and one of only three principal actors in all three seasons, is shown dead in a body bag at the end of the episode.  Of course, much of Damages takes place in flashback, so the character will still be around for at least this year, if the person is actually dead, which I have my doubts about.  Either way, killer way to end the special no-commercial episode!

     As this season begins, ten months after the last, Ellen Parsons, (Rose Byrne) though she has forgiven her former boss, has moved on with her life and now works for the DA's office.  Meanwhile, the former boss, Patty Hewes (Glenn Close, who has deservedly won multiple awards for this role) is just getting around to allowing Ellen's office to be cleaned out, though she is certainly in a better mood than when we last left her.  She is even allowing longtime employee Tom Shayes (Tate Donovan, The OC) to add his name to the door of her firm.  Meanwhile, Tom has remained friendly with Ellen, and when Ellen suspects Patty secretly helped her with a client, the three are entwined further together.  If it wasn't Patty, who was it then?  One of these season's many mysteries, surely.

     The big case of season three deals with a Ponzi scheme of Madoff proportions.  The head criminal here is Louis Tobin (Len Cariou, Into the Storm), and both Patty and the DA are trying to bring him down.  Tobin's family is brilliantly cast, including Lily Tomlin (The West Wing, The Magic School Bus) as his wife and Reiko Aylesworth (24) as his daughter in law.  Joining the cast full time are Tobin's son Joe (Campbell Scott, Royal Pains) and family friend slash lawyer, Leonard Winstone (Martin Short, Primetime Glick, Father of the Bridge, Three Amigos).  Short, usually a comedian, plays this ore dramatic role well, and despite limited screen time in the first episode, he has managed to impress already.  Add to that the promised return of Frobisher, (Ted Danson, Bored to Death, Becker, Cheers) there will surely be no lack of star power.  Yet, unlike other shows, it never feels like stunt casting on Damages.

     This season's mystery will continue tonight and every Monday at 10pm on FX.

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