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'Damages' finale: Patty stands alone

Damages-finale-fx-patty In the season (and possibly the series) finale, “Damages” does a good job of wrapping up the season and other open questions from the series itself. There were parts that made me feel the producers had made some cheap teases throughout the season that ended up being throwaway details in the finale. If the series does get picked up, I hope the producers try to keep their flash forwards relevant to the mysteries at hand. After all, they don’t want to lose those of us who have been willing to play along this long. As a whole, though, the episode was a good one.

Joe in the bathroom with the toilet
We’d known Tom was dying since the first episode, and still we had no clue how. Now we know he fights to his last breath. I’m interested to hear what you think of his demise. Though I felt he fought valiantly, at the same time, he went against Patty’s orders to abort mission and deceived Ellen about it. In the end, Joe Tobin reached him and drowned him in, of all places, the toilet bowl. How terrible was the sight of Tom’s body sticking out of a toilet bowl? Is that where you end up if you don’t listen to Patty?

Lenny is off to con another day
Leonard Winstone, as we noticed last week, has an interesting code of ethics. First, he saved Tom’s life (and gave him a fighting chance) from Zedeck’s henchman. Then, after apparently being strangled to death, he coughs back to life and into the protective arms of the hobo. We last see him boarding a plane, no doubt embarking on yet another new life and identity.  Do you think by trying to save Tom’s life and turning the evidence in on the Tobins that he earned his free pass?

The Tobins’ worst Thanksgiving ever

Karma was working overtime for the Tobins this week too. After Marilyn revealed that Louis started the Ponzi scheme after Joe made some promises regarding investments that he couldn’t back up, Joe basically disowned his mother. In a bid to make up for the secrets she had kept for years and especially since that fateful Thanksgiving night, Marilyn tried to turn herself in to Patty. When Patty wouldn’t bite, the fish did. She threw herself into the East River (making her the body we saw going off the bridge in the season’s earlier flash forward).

I thought it was fitting that Joe’s stupid mistakes and egotistical moves this season landed him in the actual role of ultimately killing Tom and then paying for it at the hands of Patty later.

Ellen gets closure
Ellen has had quite an episode. Not only did she lose one of her closest friends, but also she finally learned the truth behind her fiancé’s murder, and it led her right back to Frobisher. We all knew that Frobisher’s storyline would have to be pulled back into the show’s web at some point, but did you think it would be wrapped up as easily as it was? I’m still not sure if I cared about Frobisher’s storyline at all, no matter how enjoyable Ted Danson was in the role.

After learning of Wes’ association with the bearded cop, Ellen met up with him again. When he offered to provide the evidence to lock Frobisher up, though, Ellen declined. She knew that it would mean Wes would have to turn himself in, as well. It seemed that Wes’ own guilt got the better of him, and he did it anyway. Justified?

The roots of Patty’s ambition
And, finally, there’s Patty. Ultimately, she got herself on track again after all that had clouded her mind this season. The scene that opened the episode and unraveled throughout, one of a young Patty, pregnant, petting a horse at a farm owned by Julian (who we now know was always a figment of her imagination) seemed to be the defining moment of Patty's life. We learned that during law school she was at a crossroads. Her choices? Stay in town and marry the man who got her pregnant or leave as a single mother and try to get her career started anyway. Her obstetrician gave her the answer when he ordered bed rest due to complications of her pregnancy. Instead, she walked far out of town to Julian’s farm and basically forced herself to miscarry. It would define the strength of her ambition.

In this episode, she sent her son’s pregnant cougar girlfriend to jail for statutory rape after finding out that she didn’t leave as she had said she would. We then find out that an angry Michael was the one who hit her after stealing Tom’s car from Ellen. She ended up keeping that detail from the police. After putting Joe Tobin in jail and recovering the Tobin money, we met up with Patty and Ellen at Patty’s favorite pier. When Ellen asked her if it was all worth it, Patty looked back on her losses and didn’t answer.

If this episode were to serve as the series finale, are you satisfied with it?

-- Jethro Nededog (Follow me on Twitter @TheRealJethro)


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Photo: Glenn Close as Patty Hewes on "Damages." Credit: Timothy White / FX
Comments () | Archives (19)

i hope it's not the series finale but if it is, I would be satisfied. as horrible as it was to see tom die by drowning in a toilet, that scene was also the most shocking and satisfying outcomes of the episode. i had guessed michael to be the one to hit patty mid season but marilyn jumping off the bridge shocked me too. the only scene i didn't buy was wes not shooting forbischer and turning himself in with him, don't think that would have happened-----love patty and ellen---they're the best!

No,I wasn,t satisfied.Tom the weakling living in his fathers shadow and drunk most of his life,may have someone killed,but murdering Tom?...Please!Ellen,working for the DA has a crime confessed to her and let,s it go? Tom,s blood on Ellens purse and she walks out of the police station?Why did the mother go to Patty? Why did she kill herself? Where is the Tom,s sister.Where is Zedick?...The cop turns himself and Frobisher....Please! Very unlikely scenarios...a big let down!

Great finale and could stand as the series finale...not that i'd want that...def. want to see the next season to see how her relationship with her son progresses....and to see what ellen choose for her new beginning...Tom's death was a bit shocking...almost as shocking as Joe actually confessing to it...but guess he was sober by then...i think it was a good idea to leave lenny's story open in a Frobisher sort of way....hopefully he'll pop back up in later season though ted Danson's story line was stretched a bit in this season just to have him locked up and ellen finally able to put the truth to rest...i would've chosen more patty/ellen dynamic to emphasize her moving on with life and left Frobisher back in Season 2...Patty's refusal to answer at the show's end was best part...could serve as finale but would love to see more of this intelligent stylish drama

It was a big let down. A waste of time. I can't believe I watched the whole season for this. It's time to cancel Damages. I can't watch another season like this one.

Mostly I was OK with the series finale. I agree, there were some flashforward points that turned out to be - what? - just flash forwards for no real payoff? Like Tom calling home and saying 'I love you - take the girls and go'.

If this were the last show - I wouldn't feel too bad about it. Patty will keep fighting the bullies. Ellen will always work with Patty in some capacity (since Ellen is the daughter Patty never had - and Patty & Ellen both hate bullies).

I hated seeing Tom sticking out of that toilet! I guess some people just end up dieing with no dignity - period.

But - there's been enough left open that I'd welcome the show back if that happens. Wonder if we'll see more of Zedeck (I really thought he'd play more into the finale - instead of just his henchman) or Lenny. Will Patty keep hallucinating?

So whatever became of the box Ellen never opened that came from David, her fiance, after his death?!?

I thought it was great as usual! I LOVE this show!

However, I also found 1 or 2 cheap teases in the flash forwards. Mainly, when Ellen told the police officer that Tom and her were starting their own law firm. I wish that had been addressed, even if it was Tom telling her "if the police find out that we met, tell them we are starting a law firm to throw them off our tracks." Also, there was a scene where Ellen went to Deb, Tom's wife, and said "does anyone know about Tom and me?" I would have liked that addressed as well because I don't see how she even knew about Tom and Ellen's deal with Winstone.

I wonder if they ran out of time and were not able to address these in the finale or if they were always intended as red herrings with no payoff.

In many ways it was satisfying, but I want a more horrible ending for Patty, who deserves to be called the c-word more than any leading character in television history. Glenn Close was almost too good in the role. She made Patty so completely loathsome that I wanted a devastating conclusion for her. Instead we just leave her very, very sad. Not enough.

I also want a more satisfying revenge for Michael and Jill against Patty. I think at least Patty is going to have to pull back on the Jill prosecution if she hopes to have any relationship at all with Michael.

"Do you think by trying to save Tom’s life and turning the evidence in on the Tobins that he earned his free pass? "

An emphatic yes.

In a weird way, I think Leonard Winstone was the most honorable of all the characters -- and I am not just talking about the Tobins; I am talking about the self-interested lawyers too.

I really enjoyed the season and mostly enjoyed the finale but it's starting to leave a taste funny the more I think about it.

It's clear now that the Frobisher story was just filler and a means to close that thread. It never really fit in. I was so glad to see Ted Danson return to the show but his story arc didn't contribute, it was like a webisode edited in. Kept waiting for it to pay off.

I wanted more of Detective Huntley’s investigation – in the first few episodes that was wonderful stuff, but it more or less just went away, even in the last episode. I think it would have been more enjoyable to have had that worked into the story more than bringing back Frobisher.

Not really sure (yet) what motivated Patty to drop the deal with Winstone. Was it the dreams? Marilyn Tobin pleading? Must have missed what brought that about. It derailed the story. Then of course Tom deciding to go with it anyway, deceiving Ellen. I guess we can attribute that to the stress, but it seemed out of character and I’m surprised Ellen fell for it.

As for him making it back to the apartment only to be drowned by Joe – I kept wondering how someone so bloody could have gotten so far in public without being stopped. Then Joe being able to easily drag a body to a dumpster in broad daylight. (I kept expecting him to call in a cleaner)

Then there's the odd 'Julian' story thread. You said - "who we now know was always a figment of her imagination" - Always? As in none of the scenes with him were real? Or the memories with him were imagined? That whole distraction never really paid off.

And the car wreck was caused by her kid? Sure we understand his motivation but how the hell did know to be at that intersection at that time? Very contrived writing, probably the least satisfying of this seasons mysteries.

It does feel like the writers thought this would be the final season. I’m inclined to let the show go at this point but if there is another season, I’ll watch.

I thought the finale was a huge disappointment, and that's how I feel about the entire season. It was predictable with no twists or insights at all. Even technical stuff like sound and editing was poorly done. And the writing... it was just lame. You've lost a pair of eyeballs for the next season. I feel cheated to have spent the time watching this show.

I give the finale a solid B. When a show starts employing "ghosts," I often feel it has run its due course, though I am willing to make an exception with Damages. I like putting myself in the writers' shoes and I saw both Ellen's final question and Patty's silent reaction coming so that made me feel good. I am also inclined to let the show go at this point but would of course love to see it come back. I won't be holding my breath needless to say.

If this is the last episode of Damages ever, I would be satisified with it. There was something about the last scene with Patty and Ellen on the dock that just...I don't know...gave me a sense of closure. BUT - even though FX said it won't be renewing it for a fourth season, they say that Sony is talking to DirecTV about picking up the show. Cross your fingers!!!!

I do have a few problems with the episode...1) What ever happens to Carol Tobin? I know she was a ditz, but was she arrested and imprisoned with her brother Joe? 2) What happens to Winstone's father? What did he do with Louis Tobin's envelope? 3) Speaking of the envelope, why was Patty's name crossed out and Ellen's name written under it?

Those are really my only problems. I was wondering about the importance of the Frobisher storyline throughout the season, but I'm glad justice finally caught up to him.

PLEASE, DirectTV, pick up Damages!!! There are people (LIKE ME!!!) who are diehard fans of the show and cannot live without it!!!

I agree with most of the comments here. The show just petered around this season and went out with a whimper.

More filler, empty stories and plot lines to nowhere. Also, count me out for next season if there even is one.

The more I think about this ,what happened to Ellens sister,the drug arrest,the baby,her trip to find her real mother who turned out to be her former babysitter? And did we need an architect to visit Patty,so she puts a whole in the wall and stares into it finding a horse?
This show remindes me of fashion advice I got from my mother,after your all dressed,look in a full length mirror and remove something.This show was terrific,but they screwed around with time travel,2 weeks ahead,4 months earlier,which takes away the mood they create,it takes you away from the story.The insert nonsence,such as Ellens family.The return of the very dead Frobisher attorney,as if this guy had a conscience.

It's good to read other viewer's comments. I found the whole Julian storyline/pay off disappointing. I don't much care for all the hallucinations, to begin with, but I can live with them if I know that's what they are. I enjoyed following that storyline and wanted to see what was behind the walls. I wanted to see more interaction between them. That it was all just like a metaphor was sad. More creative, yes, but sad.

I, too, was very disappointed with the finale, particularly with the manner of Tom Shayes' death. We're supposed to believe that Tom Shayes staggered back to his home bloody the entire while through the streets of New York instead of seeking medical attention? And his killer just happens to arrive the very same moment? Why couldn't Stuart Zedeck's henchman, Mr. Falco have killed Tom off?That would have been far more credible. But to have Leonard Winstone shoot him, and then Mr. Falco is jumping up and choking Winstone to death a few seconds later seemed absurd. And the way that manila envelope with the proof against the Tobins got passed around like a baton? Come on!!! This season felt very contrived and derivative of other films/television shows.

Oh! come on everybody. Why does every character's move have to answer something? Does everyone ALWAYS have a logical, sensible reaction to an event? Nope. That's why this a great show. I think the writers have a real handle on human nature and how we interact with each other. Lives can be real messy and some of us react in very nasty ways and some others seek redemption. Damages was very good at bringing together seemingly disjointed events to express various human emotions surrounding a dramatic plot design. Only criticism is that a little (dark) humor could be have been included. Otherwise, thanks and hoping for another season.

I wish there was more. What a fabulous show even if it is confusing at times. Why are there not more intelligent people watching such good drama? I hope it gets another season. The acting was fabulous but why would Wes want to go to prison as a cop killer? I thought the Frobisher stuff did end quickly. Loved the show and Glenn Close was amazing as was Lily Tomlin.


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