After a slow start, I found myself falling in love with Season One of FX’s Legal drama Damages, it fell off the rails in Season Two, what will Season Three be like? Generally speaking, I hate most Legal Dramas, but Damages was different, it wasn’t so much about the individual cases it was about what lengths chief Legal Eagle Patty Hewes (Glenn Close) will go and who she will step on to win a case. The irony is she wins her cases without ever going to court. Do they even have a courtroom set on this show? The show’s use of flashbacks worked well and was appropriate for Season One because we didn’t know who any of these people were, so telling us how they got to that point seemed appropriate. In Season Two the flashbacks were unnecessary. In Season Three they are now doing “Flash Forwards,” now it feels forced and gimmicky.
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Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne) is no longer obsessing over Hewes and what happened to her fiancé (I forgot how all of that wrapped up at the end of Season Two) she’s now working for the District Attorney’s office and fending off advances from a sleazy lawyer. Based on one of the Flash Forwards, we know that she’s going to have an affair with Tom and is one of the suspects in his death.
After taking on Billionaire Arthur Frobisher (Ted Danson) in the first season and having personal battles in the 2nd season, this time she’s been appointed by the court to get back billions from Louis Tobin (Len Cariou) the Bernie Madoff style financier who stole over $70 Billion. The first two episodes of this season is annoying in its adherence to the Bernie story. I mean there’s “ripped from the headlines,” and just blatant rip off. Almost everything we read about the Bernie Madoff case is here – the apartment being seized, the mystery of where the missing money is, the family’s assets being frozen, the confession, etc. The difference between real life and television is Hewes is on the case so you know there’s going to be some fireworks.
I can’t say that I’m hooked on Season 3 yet, but Damages always takes about 4 or 5 episodes to really suck you in. This season’s cast is already miles better than last season. Martin Short is appropriately slimy as the Tobin’s Lawyer you just know he’s going to double cross that family and steal the missing money. Lily Tomlin is good as the family matriarch, not sure where her character is going yet and I like Campbell Scott as the conflicted son who wants to do what’s right, but he also has to protect his family. This show would be a lot better if they just got rid of the stupid Flash Forwards and if they use it, I wish they’d wait until the 3rd or 4th Episode in. Give us time to get into the story before you give everything away.
Damages airs on FX Channel, Mondays at 10pm.
Final Grade B-
EM Review by
Originally posted 01.25.2010