Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Damages Season 3, Episode 11

For those of you clinging to the hope that “Damages” will rise up and live for a fourth season, the rumor around the campfire is that they’re trying to cut a deal with DirecTV. Basically, subscribers would get first crack at seeing it, and then it would be broadcast elsewhere.

“Friday Night Lights” cut a similar deal a couple of years ago, and it seems to have worked out.

As for the episode itself? I don’t know. I guess it says something that the scenes that interested me most revolved around Arthur, as his comedian buddy slowly started pulling the dark side out of Arthur. How much is Arthur going to reveal? Will it kill his movie?

And when are we going to hear back from that DA with the dirt on Arthur? The stuff that will completely destroy whatever he’s built in the meantime?

I suspect that might all be coming down the pike.

I guess we should get Ellen out of the way next. She went to the person she thought might be her birth mom, only it turns out that her mom really is her mom. It seems that things got “bad” at Ellen’s home back in the day, and the babysitter almost adopted Ellen. This sequence is followed by another where Ellen is put on suspension for working behind Gates’s back, and then she finally goes and talks to “David.” Or the David in her head, at any rate.

Her talk with David tried desperately to put all the bits together and convince the audience that Ellen and Patty both hate “bullies,” which is why Ellen still wants to work for Patty despite, you know, Patty trying to have Ellen killed. I’d love to say that it worked on me, and that all the parts fell into place for me, but mostly I was struck by how much I missed David, the only really nice person on the show.

Then there’s Patty, who fired Alex pretty much for not being Ellen. And Tom admitted that he screwed up with Tessa, and refused to apologize for it.

Finally, it’s time to talk about the Tobins. Turns out that Tessa is Joe’s daughter. Which doesn’t stop him from having her killed, primarily because his mom doesn’t tell him that Tessa is his daughter.

More surprising, to me, was not that Tessa was killed, but that Patty’s never-fail bodyguard/researcher also met a grisly end.

I’m not sure why these plot elements failed to engage me as much as Arthur’s story, but if I had to guess, I’d say it’s because I feel like I got ahead of them a long time ago. Tessa being Joe’s daughter didn’t feel like much of a shock, just because it felt like an obvious twist. Along the same lines, the fact that Ellen was almost adopted isn’t ever going to be all that important.

And Tom standing up to Patty? Eh. We already know that he’s resigning at some point in the near future, so it’s hard to be shocked.

I’m willing to concede that the problem might be me. TV shows thrive on formula, and the “Damages” formula is “everything we tell you is a lie.” The truth should come out in the next two weeks. Let’s see what they’ve got for us.

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