Damages 1.13 Because I Know Patty (2007, TV) – 7/10

Damages 1.13 Because I Know Patty (2007)

Ellen demands Patty exercise her influence to get all charges dropped against her and she agrees that when that’s done she’ll hand over Greg’s video.

7/10

Perhaps I’m hyper-sensitive to ladies losing their trousers but where do Ellen’s trousers disappear to while she is in Patty’s elevator? Overall, this is a satisfying conclusion to this season though some loose ends haven’t really been tied up: why have we gone back to the events of 1972 (presumably, something to do with the real reason Hewes is so against Frobisher), what’s Frobisher’s field all about and what was Michael Hewes up to? There is a brilliantly harsh scene where Larry Poplar gets payment for his dealings with Frobisher (though that does lead to an ‘American’ scene a bit later, it’s a wonder anyone is alive in that country). The writers reserve a final twist to lead us into a confirmed second series and have largely done a nice job of getting across the show’s theme of trusting no-one by delivering convincing and interesting twists and reversals. Almost nothing silly or lazy happened during the entire season. Very impressive. The show’s real strength has, however, come from Glenn Close and, particularly, Ted Danson. He gave Arthur Frobisher a convincing combination of human weakness, charm, selfishness and abuse of power. I sure hope he figures in the next season. Lead actress Rose Byrne has been good enough, occasionally excellent, but hasn’t left an indelible impression.

This Damages episode contains bad language and graphic gun violence, violence.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.

Damages 1.12 There’s No ‘We’ Anymore (2007, TV) – 7/10

Damages 1.12 There’s No ‘We’ Anymore (2007)

Tom finally gets hold of Patty who returns when she hears that Ellen has accused her of trying to have her killed. Katie passes Gregory’s videotape to David and seals his doom.

7/10

Now this episode spends a lot of time replaying the snippets of the night of David’s murder with all the missing bits added and there isn’t really anything given here that we don’t already know and had surmised from the events of the previous episode. However, they weren’t kidding when they told Ellen (and us) to “trust no-one” and that leads us into a final must-watch episode which surely cannot conclude this story completely. Here’s hoping that the writers manage to provide a satisfactory climax but I anticipate a cliffhanger for a potential season two.

This Damages episode contains bad language and graphic substance abuse and gory and unpleasant scenes and sensuality.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.

Damages 1.11 I Hate These People (2007, TV) – 7/10

Damages 1.11 I Hate These People (2007)

Despite being drop-kicked out of Hewes & Associates, Ellen isn’t surprised when Patty shows up and offers her her job back. Ellen doesn’t want it but offers to approach Moore on their behalf for the good of the case. Moore can’t give them Frobisher directly but gives them Fiske and his dealings with Gregory Malina. Eight days later, Patty sees a drop of blood on her shoe.

7/10

Great finish to the episode (the shoe) though the return of Fiske is clumsily telegraphed by the director. Close’s (brief) reaction feels utterly genuine and this has been a good episode for her and her character. This is an interestingly low-key episode despite several things that should be causing serious stress such as stalking, home invasion and blackmail. Only present-day Patty gets super-stressed when spotting the blood on her shoe and one of those omni-present American police cars. Seeing Ellen and David coming through the Patty Hewes and Lila Di Meo experience with trust and love feels impressively reminiscent of crime masterpiece The Godfather and Michael Corleone’s inexorable but unwanted descent into evil. Here we know that Ellen and David’s relationship is doomed (though we are not certain by whose hand; current bet has to be stalker Lila Di Meo) but they are current extricating themselves from the situation and doing all the right things. Just two days and two episodes to go.

This Damages episode contains bad language, mild swear words and unpleasant scenes and homosexual sensuality.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.

Damages 1.10 Sort of Like a Family (2007, TV) – 8/10

Damages 1.10 Sort of Like a Family (2007)

With Greg Malina’s death Ellen is now superfluous to Patty’s requirements though the immediate task for Patty’s team is Frobisher’s deposition. A month later, Tom can’t get hold of Patty and no-one knows where she is. Ellen asks Tom to post her bail so that she can sort things out herself and he takes a closer look around Patty’s apparently pristine apartment.

8/10

“You may be the only one I can trust” says Frobisher to his lawyer, Fiske. However, the theme of the show is “trust no-one.” It’s another great scene for Ted Danson who delivers a really sweet and gracious compliment to his lawyer despite, presumably, being guilty of stealing the life-savings of over 5,000 people to the tune of $1.4 billion. I still feel that that isn’t what this series is going to be about, it’s going to be personal; it always is. Meanwhile, we finally get the Ted Danson / Glenn Close face-off and, you know what, Danson comes out ahead, no question.

This Damages episode contains bad language, mild swear words and violence, gory and unpleasant scenes and a sex scene.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.

Damages 1.09 Do You Regret What We Did? (2007, TV) – 7/10

Damages 1.09 Do You Regret What We Did? (2007)

David is reapproached by Lila and she also decides to tell Ellen about their ‘affair.’ George Moore gives Ellen some information that may tip the balance of power in Patty’s favour. Greg seeks forgiveness from Katie. Frobisher prepares for a likely deposition by Patty. Six weeks later, Tom is unable to find Patty.

7/10

So what did Ellen and Patty do? We’re not told this week but it seems Ellen has had more to do with her own fate that she has let on so far. Ted Danson singing reminds me of the classic Cheers scene where he raps in his job as an “I On Sports” newsreader (YouTube 1:35 mark: “g-g-groy-n in-ju-ry.” Awesome!). Close’s scary scene is one where she is apoplectic with grief or shock or something. It’s impressively disturbing. Danson and Close also get to meet, sort of, and that’s as fun as expected as she meets his charm head-on with a description of what she wants without swearing or bad language and all the stronger for it.

This Damages episode contains mild swear words, bad language, adult dialogue and violence and a sex scene.

Classified 12 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 12 years and over.

Damages 1.08 Blame the Victim (2007, TV) – 6/10

Damages 1.08 Blame the Victim (2007)

Larry Poplar returns to Frobisher when he loses his current job washing cars and asks for some of the promised remuneration. However, his dealings with Frobisher are suspected and may give Patty fresh ammunition. Ellen’s parents arrive with news of a car accident they are being sued over while, three months later, Ellen recalls her last words with David were in a relationship-ending argument.

6/10

Glad to see Ted Danson back. He really is superb as Arthur Frobisher combining humanity and sincerity with a sinister acceptance of nastiness that he convinces himself he requires but rarely explicitly requests. The identity of Peter Riegert’s shadowy presence is revealed this week and, well, I’m more confused than ever. One hopes that the writers do have a plan as the show is becoming dangerously convoluted. I certainly have the feeling that they are in control given the two slowly converging timelines being portrayed but we’ve seen this kind of spiralling complexity before (with the like of Alias and Smallville) and it usually comes back to bite them. Close’s great scene this week is one where she terrifies not just one man, but his immediate family and all his descendants for the next one hundred years. Not bad.

This Damages episode contains mild swear words and gory and unpleasant scenes.

Classified 12 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 12 years and over.

Damages 1.07 We Are Not Animals (2007, TV) – 6/10

Damages 1.07 We Are Not Animals (2007)

The deposition of Gregory Malina is the focus of Patty Hewes & Associates but her mind is also focused on her son Michael. Ellen and Tom are having trust issues but three-and-a-half months later she turns to him after being arrested for murder as ‘the only one she can trust.’

6/10

Now you know when a character says to another “You’re the only one I can trust” that the opposite is true. Patty told Ellen “Trust no-one.” So, has Damages revealed the true bad guy in this episode? No, as it turns out, as he is still a puppet for Patty, as expected. What is also interesting is the way that Ellen didn’t seem terribly surprised or devastated that David was murdered. However, there’s not much to this episode outside of the prologue and coda, everyone appears to be treading water and there’s no Ted Danson. Close’s big moment is a superb explosion of impotent rage after the scheduled deposition of Gregory Malina and Ellen taking her workplace stress home with her was nicely observed and well performed.

This Damages episode contains mild swear words and graphic gun violence, strong melee violence, gory and unpleasant scenes.

Classified 12 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 12 years and over.