Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Damages Season 3, Episode 9

So we’ve got four episodes to go, and sakes alive, the ratings are bad. B A D bad. At its best this season, “Damages” managed to grab all of one-fifth of the audience that “Justified,” a wholly new show got the very next night.

At this point, I can see them offering to bring the show back if they can make it cheaper, but and that might be why Tom got offed this season. With him gone, the cost of a recurring character is dropped, and with a few less extras and a few more scenes in sets that are already built, they can maybe shave some cash off the price tag.

I’m probably over-thinking this.

And I haven’t talked about the plot, yet.

Well, I’m still not going to, because even though some chess pieces moved, not a whole lot happened. Even a few “shocking” moments mostly filled in information the audience could have worked out for themselves.

Let’s talk for a second about why the ratings are low.

Two things:

First, the show refuses to dumb itself down at all for the people too slow to follow along. I don’t say that as a bad thing. I say that because I realized while watching today that while the entire season focuses on a Ponzi scheme, no one onscreen has ever once explained what a Ponzi scheme is.

It’s hard to attract viewers who have to run to Wikipedia to know what the thrust of the whole story is.


We’ve pretty much lost our last loveable character. Tom. He’s gone. Or rather, he will be in a few short weeks, and really, if the only person you can really like is about to go bye-bye, how many people are going to stick around to watch him go?

Recently, I’ve been watching “The Wire,” which in a lot of ways has a similar feel to “Damages.” And the difference between the two shows is, you really do get attached to the (extremely flawed) characters on “The Wire.” They make mistakes, they hamstring their lives sometimes, but more than anything, they want to do the right thing.

The right way.

Patty wants the right thing, but doesn’t care how it happens. And Ellen, who used to be our eyes and ears, is now in bed with a person who tried to kill her. Literally. Hired a man to kill her.

And these are our people.

What did our people bring us this week?

Patty and Michael talked, and Michael told her a bunch of things she already knew.

Patty made a hole in her hall.

Tom and Patty talked to Tobin’s daughter, but didn’t get much out of her they didn’t already know, except that Danielle’s daughter was with Danielle on Thanksgiving.

Winstone went to Danielle on Thanksgiving and got the boots and the cell phone we already saw him stick in the Dumpster.

Oh yes! And Arthur keeps moving forward with his movie, which culminated in Arthur having the movie people meet Patty. Patty, in turn took Arthur to task for all the damage he did to the people in his former company.

Did I miss anything?

Like I said last week, I think at this point we’re just waiting for the last two revelation-packed episodes, at which point this show will wander off into the sunset.

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