Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Damages drowns in blood

    It began three years ago.  Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne) stumbled down a dark street, blood on her hands and clothes.  It was quickly renewed for not one, but two more installments.  Now, after a trio of breathtaking seasons, the series may be at an end.  Currently, FX is in talks with DirecTV to split the cost of continuing Damages, but whether that will happen is still up in the air.  Why does such a critically acclaimed, award winning show have to struggle so hard in the ratings?  Perhaps it is the serial nature of it.  But it's well worth the time.

     This year's major case centered around the Tobin family.  True to form, twists kept coming left and right in the final hour and a half finale.  After the suicide of Louis (Len Cariou) in an earlier episode, it was a bit of a surprise to watch his wife, Marilyn (Lily Tomlin) jump to her death.  Beautifully filmed, I didn't even see it happening until she hit the water with a splash.  But will Carol (Ana Reeder) get away with murder?  It appears so.  For now anyway.

     Speaking of getting away with murder, it was wonderful to see Frobisher (Ted Danson) finally get arrested for paying someone to murder Ellen's fiance two years ago.  I'm sad that Wes (Timothy Olyphant, who now his own FX series, Justified) had to go down, too, but it proved the kind of man he is, and that he loved Ellen.  It would be fantastic if they could get back together at some point in the future.  Despite their dark deeds, the bad guys on Damages are frequently shades of gray, and I almost felt sorry for Frobisher, since he turned his new leaf and all.  Almost.

     Turns out, Joe Tobin (Campbell Scott) was really the villain, and the man who murdered beloved character Tom Shayes (Tate Donovan).  Because of that bastard, if the show gets a fourth season, long time third-star Donovan will not be able to return.  Or maybe he will.  Dead characters frequently prop up on Damages, among them, Zeljko Ivanek's Ray Fisk, for which he won an Emmy.  Ray popped up as recently as this week to haunt the people left behind.  But not in a cheesy way.

     I would be remiss if I did not praise Martin Short for the brilliant way he handled the serious drama, as opposed to the comedy that I am used to from him.  Also, Glenn Close is a true star, and proved once again how she can handle entire ranges of emotions in just her eyes, without speaking a word.  Her character may be one who deserves to be taken down more than any other, but you still root for her and care for her.  This season's plot concerning her son, Michael (Zachary Booth) allowed her to show yet more layers to Patty Hewes.

     Please, FX.  Find the money.  Give Damages another season.  To do otherwise would be criminal. 

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