Category: Damages

'Damages' premiere: Tom pays the ultimate price for success

Tate-Donovan-Damages-FX-Full Here we go again: Another riveting season of “Damages” has begun. I can’t tell you how excited I’ve been for its return. This year welcomes back legal dominatrix Patty (Glenn Close), her protégé/frenemy Ellen (Rose Byrne) and the man who rounds out their twisted triangle, Tom (Tate Donovan). With a new throng of stars joining them this season, this show definitely has one of the best casts in TV today.

This season’s spotlight case mirrors the story of our favorite poster boy for financial malfeasance in these tough economic times: Bernie Madoff. Like Madoff, Louis Tobin has pulled off a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme in which people were fooled into making bad investments with his company. Patty’s firm is in charge of finding the money. Martin Short plays the Tobins' lawyer, but we didn't see much of him in this episode. I'm pretty sure we'll be seeing plenty of him sparring with Close in later episodes.

Meanwhile, Ellen is working at the D.A.’s office and investigating some shifty drug dealers. Her new life seems totally disconnected from Patty’s, but it really isn’t. The D.A.’s office is prosecuting Tobin and clashing with Patty. Ellen inevitably crosses paths with Patty in the process.

As usual, there are more questions than answers. This season’s time jump between the present and six months in the future has definitely made some connections but very few explanations. So, I thought I would focus on the questions that were answered.
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TCA Press Tour: Martin Short and Lily Tomlin talk 'Damages'

FYI: Comedian Lily Tomlin is mildly obsessed with FX's legal drama "Damages." So much so, she's not averse to hounding the series' star Glenn Close at parties (without success; Close said she "never lets the secrets out") or executive producer Todd Kessler at photography shows for any info on the series.

"I was a fan for the show from day one," Tomlin said via satellite from Florida at the Television Critics Assn. panel promoting the show. "It's the only show I've ever run home to see no matter what."

Now the viewer will become a participant. Tomlin will appear in six episodes as the monetary matriarch Marilyn Tobin. The comedian joins a list of actors appearing this season, including Keith Carradine, Michael Gaston, Campbell Scott and Martin Short.

This season, Patty tries to recover millions of dollars lost in investor funds from Wall Street tycoon-con artist Louis Tobin (Len Cariou), who insists he's not hiding money. Short, who joins the drama as a series regular, plays the Tobin family's attorney Leonard Widmore.

Short's recent credits include "The Santa Clause 3" and "Jiminy Glick in Lalawood," and his addition to the legal drama's lineup might appear unusual. But he isn't concerned his comedic persona will be distracting to viewers.

"I think of myself as a character actor," Short said via satellite from New York. "And you play a character in a sincere fashion."

Still, for Emmy Award-winning Close, the presence of the comedians on set took a bit of getting used to.

"My first scene with Martin and Lily ... I'm deposing of Lily's character," Close said. "It was a very surreal experience, having watched them my whole career and loving them."

The third season premieres Jan. 25 at 10 p.m.

-- Yvonne Villarreal

FX orders two new drama series, adds one to cast of 'Damages'


FX has ordered two new drama series, "Terriers" and "Lights Out," for premiere next year.

The light drama "Terriers" stars Donal Logue and Michael Ramond-James as a former cop and his best friend who are endeavoring to start their own detective business. Project reunites FX with "The Shield" creator Shawn Ryan, who executive produces with "Terriers" creator Ted Griffin.

In "Lights Out," Holt McCallany will play an ex-heavyweight boxing champ struggling to reconnect with his family after retiring from the ring. Warren Leight, Justin Zackman, Phillip Noyce and Ross Fineman executive produce. 

"Terriers" will debut this summer, followed by "Lights Out" later in the year.

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'Damages' grows by four in third season

Martin Short and Campbell Scott are joining FX's "Damages" as series regulars, while Lily Tomlin and Keith Carradine are signing on as special guest stars for the third season of the legal drama, which begins production this week in New York.

Details about the characters the performers will play remains a mystery for now.

The series will reunite Tomlin and Carradine, who appeared together in "Nashville." Carradine won an Oscar for best song for "I'm Easy" from that film.

-- Greg Braxton

'Damages': The departed Uncle Pete speaks

Unclepete_2 Big revelations on tonight’s episode of “Damages”: Seems like the bearded man is large and in charge now. Frobisher has put Ellen back in his crosshairs. Ellen’s having hallucinations of dead fiancé David.

And then there’s Uncle Pete. Poor, dead Uncle Pete. Turns out Patty’s Uncle Pete was really her uncle. Turns out he loved Patty, even more than he loved himself.

But did Patty really love Uncle Pete? Do you think she was behind his death? How heartless can she really be? Either way, it seams like she may be in for some comeuppance: In the final scene, there was Mrs. Uncle Pete, finding that box of evidence against Patty. And there she was handing it over to Ellen. And wham! We finally find out that it is in fact Patty Ellen’s been waving that gun at since the first episode of this season.

What does it all mean? (After all, there will definitely be another season of “Damages” on the way.) We turn to the departed Uncle Pete himself, actor Tom Aldredge, who most of you will recognize as Carmella’s dad on "The Sopranos," for his take and a final goodbye:

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'Damages' preview: Ted Danson reveals Frobisher is about to turn

ForbisherSpoiler alert: Do not read further if you want to go into tonight's episode of "Damages" completely in the dark. (Just come back and read afterward!)

Of course, we all saw this coming.

"Damages" tycoon Arthur Frobisher isn't long for his born-again, staff-holding ways. Without blowing exactly what happens, Ted Danson chats about Frobisher's change of heart in tonight's episode, finding the humor in Patty's nemesis and getting lost in the maze that is "Damages."

Well, that didn't take long. Frobisher's going to kick the religion and go back to his old ways, isn't he?
It's kind of perfect that way though, isn't it? I do love that he found religion this year, he went all Eastern, but it's also the narcisist finding religion. It's like the addict who has all of a sudden found God but really hasn't done the work.

I love that he cries a lot this year, too. He's a crier.

Was crying in the script?
No, actually. I thought it was appropriate. I talked to people who had major heart surgery or who had come back from the brink and they said their emotions were just on their sleeve, they couldn't control it. I thought to myself, "Well, that'd be fun for this guy."

Last season he was all intensity. This time, he does provide a little comic relief.
All my career, I've kind of gravitated toward, been amused by, and empathized with those kind of wounded people who don't really see themselves fully. I find it kind of sad, tragic, but also kind of funny. I think Sam Malone obviously was very funny, but there was also a sadness to him. Frobisher is definitely sad, but there's something also very funny about him. He's the narcisist who thinks he's got the world by the tail but doesn't realize there's this 100-ton monster standing behind him in the form of Patty. He's so over his head, but he doesn't get it because he's such a narcisist. I think it's hilarious. And I love playing that kind of stuff. It's sad, it's human and there's still something dark and funny about it. 

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'Damages': Is this picture getting clearer?

04_timothy_332In tonight's episode-ending shocker, we find out that Wes is in cahoots with the Frobisher-employed corrupt cop who killed Ellen's fiance. That doesn't yet make sense to me -- like so much else in this season -- because it doesn't jive with Wes' Frobisher hate shrine/gun storage closet. (Is it a hate shrine? Those newspaper clippings weren't positive.) Maybe Wes is just duping the corrupt cop into thinking he's duping Ellen so he can get closer to Frobisher. Why? Not sure yet.

In the final scene, a bullet is fired in a car, leaving a shattered and bloody back windshield. Then, Wes gets out of the car. Could Ted Danson be inside?

Was I this turned around last season? Probably. But it really feels like everyone this season is living a double -- nay, a triple -- life, from Claire Maddox to Patty's own husband. Next thing you know, those two feds Ellen has been dealing with will show up for a secret rendezvous with Uncle Pete, too. (Because even he's got secrets he's keeping from Patty.)

At least the bad guys are still just bad. In the first season, Frobisher was a pretty straightforward bad man. He'd done a bad thing, tried to cover it up, and sent out his heavies to silence and/or murder the people who made him sweat. This year, that's UNR and this Kendrick fellow who dresses like a woman for his buds but can't take a joke.

There are two things I'm now clear on ... I think.

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'Damages': Did Daniel Purcell kill his wife?

HurtIf you're trying to keep track of alliances on "Damages," don't. Not yet. Ties are still being revealed. Everyone is double-crossing everyone. Triple-crossing in some cases.

Take Daniel Purcell. You think he's all crushed over poor Christine, but nooooooo. He was cheating on his wife. He had physically assaulted her. He does have a rotten temper. And he is lying to Patty Hewes.

Is Patty really not holding any of the strings this time? That can't be right. Or can it?

One thing at a time, much was revealed about dear Daniel tonight. What is his deal? His real deal? Help me (in vain) piece it together, gentlereader. Here's the little we know so far:

  • Daniel and Patty used to be a thing. And it must have been hot because 10 years ago during Patty's first big case, he threw his testimony so she'd win. Soon after, Patty rewarded him with the news that they shared a son -- we knew it! -- and he was not happy about it.

  • Daniel had physically assaulted his wife, an incident that had been sealed in family court until the investigating detective somehow managed to unseal it. The revalation caused Daniel's temper to flare.
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'Damages': Patty can't catch a break!

Damages My, how the tables have turned. Last season, Patty masterminded a most-twisted plan to win her case against Arthur Frobisher. She hired Ellen, rigged witnesses, even killed a pet puppy, and nearly the entire time, she was on top. This season, Patty's world has gone topsy-turvy.

Starting from the beginning: It's going down in room 1910. Whatever Ellen's up to with her whiskey and her pistol, it's happening in room 1910.

The song that's playing is Ray Charles' "Just For A Thrill." The lyrics might be telling? A sample: Just for a thrill / You were my pride and joy / But to you, I was merely a toy / A plaything, that you could toss around at will / Just for a thrill / You made my life one sad song / Just for a thrill / You just led me, led me along

Six months earlier ... Patty is crying, again, in the bathroom of Daniel Purcell's house. Is she coming undone? What exactly is her connection to him? Is he the father of her stillborn child? Moving on. Patty had only just met his now-dead wife, so those tears aren't for her. Daniel tells the cops that he saw the man who did it, a Nordic type apparently. Remember "The Firm"? Those Nordics will get you every time. The ominous company man who tried to give Daniel a way out in the first episode -- character's name is Middleman (Brett Collins) -- pulls up in a car outside the house. He's up to no good.

We find out Daniel is diabetic. Write that down. He's dazed, he's confused, he puts up a fight with the cop, wanting to go after his wife's killer, not realizing he's pretty much the primary suspect in her murder. This reminds me of "The Fugitive," in a good way.

Back at the office, Ellen asks Patty if maybe Daniel could have murdered his wife. Patty says anything is possible, which is too true on "Damages," right? Ellen pushes the infant-mortality case some more. The FBI thinks that maybe Tom should take the case, that way they can use him to help hang Patty. Ellen says to go for it. (Tate Donovan says, "Yay! Material!")

Ellen reads in the newspaper that Arthur Frobisher is out of the hospital and confesses to Wes that she is kicking herself for not plugging the bearded one when she had the chance. Wes reveals that he knows exactly who she is and what her MO is. So is she now in the market for a gun? Nope. Just a roll in zee hay! Me? I still think he's cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.

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'Damages': Who is Ellen pointing that gun at?

Patty_2Talk about anxiety. The first season of “Damages” gave us such whiplash (albeit the kind we were grateful for) that it was hard to imagine the next season could include as many time-jumping twists and turns in a way that didn't seem contrived.

Could the show still surprise us? This time around, Ellen’s agenda is clear -- Take down Patty Hewes! -- and watching Patty with anything less than an upper-hand might not satisfy fans of Patty as puppet master. Giving us a weaker, less diabolical attorney? It's practically blasphemous.

Happily, the premiere overdelivered, and I second the review of Mary McNamara, who said the second season "promises to be even better than the first." If like me you were worried about a softened Patty, have no fear. She might be a little shaken by the ghost of Ray Fiske, but she still had the nerve to tell Ellen, whom she tried to have bumped off, that she was like the daughter Patty never had. Ho ho ho, so evil.

That said, it’s never too early to start talking theories, and there’s already much to discuss. Here's the season’s first round of Burning Questions. (They will pop up during those weeks in which I’m truly confounded by the show's tangled web of intrigues.)

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Review: 'Damages'

Can the second season of FX's delicious 'Damages' possibly surpass the first? Yes.


Clear your evening schedule, put the cellphone on silent and get those kids to bed early; “Damages” is back, so focus, people, focus. Exhibit A in the struggling sub-genre of Shut-That-Laptop-and-Pay-Attention television, FX's fledgling drama premiered last season with a plot so convoluted you needed a crib sheet and relationship with time based, apparently, on someone's favorite acid trip.

It was terrific, of course, with Glenn Close as the seductive and duplicitous ace lawyer Patty Hewes stalking debauched CEO Arthur Frobisher (Ted Danson), who bilked his employees of their jobs and pensions while drawing doe-eyed neophyte Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne) into a web of lies that left Ellen's fiancé dead and Ellen running, half-naked and covered in blood, through the streets of New York.

Close and Danson guaranteed critical attention and "Damages" delivered; it opened big and played like a top-notch psycho-thriller feature film, only it was better because it lasted for months instead of hours. Emmy nominations all around, with Zeljko Ivanek winning best supporting actor in a drama for his portrayal of Ray Fiske, Patty's poor doomed opponent in the Frobisher case.

So how on Earth do you top, or even follow, that? By bringing back everyone involved (including, marvelously, the dead characters) and a bunch of their powerhouse friends to answer that age-old question: What do you do when you believe your boss has tried to kill you?

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FX announces return of 'Nip/Tuck' and 'Damages'

Niptuck Ooh la la! FX's sexy, crazy, intricate, crazy, complicated, crazy, funny (did we say crazy?) plastic surgeon drama, "Nip/Tuck," will return Jan. 6 to complete its fifth season. But wait, that's not all: FX also announced today the return of "Damages," the sexy, intricate, complicated and, yes, a little crazy, legal thriller, "Damages." That series, which earned Glenn Close and Zeljko Ivanek Emmys this fall, returns Jan. 7 for its second season.

In the remaining part of "Nip/Tuck's" fifth season, Sean McNamara (Dylan Walsh) tries to rebuild his life — AGAIN — after being brutally attacked — AGAIN. Sean and Christian's (Julian McMahon) medical practice undergoes a crisis AGAIN and Christian vows to settle down with one woman. Really?

"Damages" will pick up with Patty Hewes' (Glenn Close) pondering her next move after her unprecedented victory over Arthur Frobisher (Ted Danson). But little does she know that a man from her past, Daniel Purcell (William Hurt), will catapult her into a new legal challenge as Ellen (Rose Byrne) continues to assist the FBI with its criminal investigation of Patty and her firm.

Midseason is shaping up to be a TV fanatic free-for-all. We are already getting worried about the capacity of our DVRs.

— Maria Elena Fernandez

(Photo courtesy FX)


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