Category Archives: Season 2

Final Thoughts: Damages Season 2

Brilliant acting, brisk pacing, and intriguing twists defined the second season of Damages.  While there was nothing in this season to match the heights of the first, I’d still consider it an overall improvement.  Any way you look at it, this series continues to breathe new life into the legal drama. Continue reading

Trust Me

My chief complaint about this season of Damages has been its apparent scattershot nature; there have simply been too many plot threads crammed into the last twelve episodes.  The finale does not do a perfect job of tying all these disparate elements together, but it does ably bring the focus back on what’s really important and creates some needed thematic unity for the season.  Continue reading

Look What He Dug Up This Time

And that’s why they call him “Academy Award Winner William Hurt.”  I raved about Glenn Close’s performance last week and she’s even better here but Hurt still manages to steal the show.  The twist here is powerful stuff, whether or not you saw it coming and, coupled with the utter collapse of Patty’s personal life and Ellen going the full Machiavelli on Tom, it makes for one hell of an episode. Continue reading

London, of course

As its title suggests, this episode gives us a payoff for the “Phil the Philanderer” sub-plot.  Actually, this has been less a subplot than us anticipating Patty finding out since that first look at the other woman earlier in the season.  In many ways, this has been the smart way to go about things; this has never been the Phil and Ellen show and there’s been no time to properly explore the breakdown of their marriage.  I’m sure that Damages could’ve neatly dovetailed an infidelity narrative with all the intrigue going on elsewhere, but that would’ve taken away from the other plot threads and, more importantly, it wasn’t really necessary for a satisfying conclusion.  All we really cared about was Patty’s reaction  and “London, of course” gave us one to surprise and delight. Continue reading

Uh Oh, Out Come the Skeletons

Damages may thrive on intrigue, but this season is beginning to feel a little convoluted to me.  Don’t get me wrong, this episode was still thoroughly entertaining but as the series continues to pile on more and more layers it’s starting to strain credulity.  Continue reading

You Got Your Prom Date Pregnant

One of the chief strengths of Damages is how dynamic the series is.  This is readily apparent as its twists continually force us to reassess the characters and situations.  The obvious aim is to intrigue and occasionally shock the audience but this dynamism isn’t limited to big swerves.  There are plenty of small shifts in the way we see things and they help make the characters seem more like living, breathing people.  Continue reading

They Had to Tweeze That Out of My Kidney

Well, it seems that I owe the creators of Damages an apology.  Uncle’s Pete’s suicide may have been and emotionally empty payoff, but his suicide attempt proved to be fertile ground for telling a great story.  Not only did we learn enough about Pete’s character to really care about what happened to him, we found out exactly why he’s so important to Patty.  We knew he took care of her after her dad bailed, but actually seeing the bond between the two (both in flashbacks and the present) makes it relevant to the story.  Pete’s predicament is no longer just a superfluous subplot, but a moral crisis for Patty. Continue reading

New York Sucks

This episode does a fine job advancing the season-arc while stumbling a bit in terms of the one-hour payoffs.  Uncle Pete’s story is certainly well executed in itself and the conclusion is one of the most hardcore moments of geriatric badass to ever grace television but it just doesn’t resonate the way it should.  Continue reading

A Pretty Girl in a Leotard

One of the principal advantages of serialized drama is that the audience is conditioned not to expect immediate gratification.  The series can present events and characters that don’t necessarily work at first and have confidence that the audience will stick around for the payoff.  Shows build up credit with the audience by successfully paying off such suspect plots, thus allowing them to make even bolder choices the next time around.  That’s a very good thing for Damages as it requires all the credit this series has amassed in order for me to accept the return of Arthur Frobisher.  Continue reading

I agree, it wasn’t funny

After the intense focus on Patty and Daniel’s relationship last week, this episode felt a little scattershot as nearly all of the major and minor plot points were given some attention.  It actually does a good job keeping the various balls in the air, but these quick shifts make the season feel a little disjointed.  I really hope that Ellen’s revenge and the UNR case collide in some meaningful way before the series finale, because I’m finding it a bit hard to stay invested in both stories.  The revenge plot gets some interesting developments here, but I still found myself waiting more scenes about UNR. Continue reading