Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Damages Season 3, Episode 13

So that’s it.

For those keeping score at home, I started watching and blogging this show juuust before season three began, with a marathon run of each and every episode, complete with full-on blogs handing out every detail. 39 episodes later, we’re at what is most likely the end of the show, and you know what?

I’m okay with that.

“Damages” lived and died on a parlor trick – go back and forth in time, show details, then later, reveal the real, honest truth of what happened, and while it was fun for a season or two, I found myself watching this last episode with a sense of relief that about 90% of the storylines are concluded, hopefully for good.

Being tricked once or twice is fun, but after that? You need something to hang on to.

And as the show came to a conclusion, I didn’t feel like there was anything to hang on to.

Consider the final fates of all the characters:

Patty: Wanted to let the Tobin case rest after forever alienating her son. This leads to her thinking about her dead daughter – who is dead because she miscarried more-or-less on purpose. This also tied up the architect storyline, as it seems the guy was a delusion of some kind brought on by her contemplating her life.

I guess we’re supposed to feel sorry for Patty, or somehow get into her emotional realm because she finally realizes all the damage (heh) she’s done. But I just couldn’t. That might be on me. If you’ve got different thoughts, feel free to leave a comment.

Ellen: She’s now without a firm, thinking about what to do with her life. The murder of David is finally solved for her, and she can lay it to rest and really move on. But (you’re going get a lot of these, sorry) the fact that she’s still thinking about going back to work for the person who tried to have her killed? Really? And her whole subconscious, “You don’t like bullies?” thing from before?

It just doesn’t work. Patty is as much of a bully as any of these people, whether she’s seeking justice or not. So I’m just not feeling Ellen any more, either.

Tom: Not only is he dead, but the big “surprise” this week is that Joe killed him, and drowned him in his own toilet. Never mind that Tom had already been stabbed, and should really have called 911, or gone to a hospital.

It was a stupid series of decisions that led to his death, after years of him being smart and trying to be a good guy. That kind of hurt me.

Wes: I nice conclusion where he takes down Arthur and himself in one fell swoop, trying to make things right once and for all. Those scenes were crammed with info (more thoughts on that in a second) but it at least brought some major storylines to a conclusion.

The Tobins: Mom is evil. Joe is evil. Carol is missing. The family fell apart, and whatever sympathy you might want to have for them is super-hard to drum up.

I will give it up for the original Tobin, however who got into a financial mess trying to clean up his son’s life. The writers might have been trying to put a message there: Ellen let her sister twist in the wind because the sister needed to learn that people shouldn’t clean up your messes.

Had Tobin done that to Joe, none of this would have happened.

Michael: Stole the car and hit Patty. That relationship appears to be at an end, except he has no job, no money, and a baby on the way.

Which leads us to loose ends:

Arthur and Wes are both still alive, and I’m sure that if the show comes back those trials will reveal more. Carol is, of course, somewhere out there in the world, but she’s also a murderer.

And Patty, of course, still has quite a few things hanging over her head.

Having read a couple of articles and interviews with the creators of “Damages,” they say they have more ideas for the show, and that this show wasn’t any kind of a series finale. Are they telling the truth?

Well, I don’t know. Given the tone of the show, it’s hard to trust them.

Ultimately, I think they could have used another 30 minutes or so to play a few things out. The Arthur/Wes story could have used a stronger conclusion, the issues with Michael have just begun, and like I said, Carol being gone is troubling.

But there’s one character I forgot:

Winstone: Here’s the thing – maybe it was the way Martin Short played the guy, maybe it was how he was written, but this fellow was the hero of the season. He ran from his family, changed his identity, and then spent the rest of his life in the bosom of the Tobins.

And they betrayed him.

As he walked out of the show, money in hand, I had to admit: I was okay with it. It was clear that he had started over once, and he was going to start over again.

Was he a good guy?

That’s just the thing: On this show, he might have been the best guy we had.

I don’t know if “Damages” will continue, or if we’ve seen the last of this crew, but given the option, I’d kind of like to see more of Winstone.

So maybe it’s better to stop now.

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