Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Damages Season 3, Episode 10

As the latest episode of Damages came to an end, the “What’s Coming Next Week” desperately tried to remind us that we’ve only got three episodes left until the Finale.

I’m guessing this was kept just a little vague, in case it was the Finale-finale, and not just the season finale.

And a couple things struck me, at that moment.

First, we may be down to the last three episodes of “Damages,” ever. I find myself hoping that the last three episodes of the show are going to bring it to a solid close.

At the moment, I can’t see how it’s going to get there.

Which leads me to my second point: I might be worrying about that just be because this episode never really felt like it was going anywhere. With just three episodes to go, the show tossed us a bunch of subplots that are going to have to resolve, pulling time away from other things we actually want to know about.

To lay it all out:

1. Rose talked to a few people and tried to figure out what to do with her drug-dealing sister. It seems that sissy didn’t just sell drugs the one time, and now Ellen is going to leave her to twist in the wind. (I recognize that this is probably meant to show us that Ellen’s life is a bundle of stress and possibly lies, but none of this really made me feel sympathetic towards her.)

2. Even more bothersome for a show with only three episodes left, a whole lot of time was devoted to Ellen dreaming about someone from her past. Neither her mother nor her sister will reveal the true nature of the person Ellen is dreaming about, and the episode ends with Ellen making a 100-mile trek to track down a character who doesn’t affect the main plot in any way, and who has only been introduced just now.

3. Tessa was the big player this week, getting money from Joe, talking to Tom, who claimed her mother was murdered, then talking to Rose who first claimed mom wasn’t murdered and then said she was. Which leads to Tessa going to talk to Patty… except she gets stopped by Gates first. (Also in there, Ellen’s co-worker, Nick, sells Ellen out to Gates for working with Patty. And not having lunch with him.) Oh, and Patty is now guessing that Tessa is taking money out of the Caribbean, not putting it in.

4. Tobin’s wife wants to go to Africa with the charity she always goes with, but Stewart, who sits on the board, shuts her down.

5. And finally, Winstone’s dad comes to town and we learn that Winstone comes from a family of grifters. And dad wants some of Tobin’s money.

Now, let me ask a question: How much of that information is important to the final outcome of the show?

I suppose that the answer could be that it’s all important, and when the dust settles in three weeks we’ll have answers galore and I’ll be nodding my head and going, “Oh, I see now.”

But I suspect it’s more likely that the writers got into plotting the season and realized far too late that they just didn’t have enough story to fill 13 hours.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say again that “Damages” tends to wrap up all the loose ends during the last two episodes of the season, and I’m looking forward to that. But I also kind of want to skip next week, since I suspect it’s going to be more throat-clearing and red herrings as the show treads more water before the big finish.

Here’s hoping I’m wrong.

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