Friday, April 23, 2010

What I’m Watching: Damages (Season Finale)

Damages: Season 3, Episode 13 “The Next One’s Gonna Go In Your Throat” (B+)

Well, this season ender gives me confidence that twelve episodes of mysteries and hints can actually result in quite a thrilling and fulfilling finale. Everything gets resolved, including a few things that didn’t actually even need to be resolved, though they’re thrown in for good measure anyway. One example of that is the spontaneous return of Wes and his help in getting Frobisher to turn himself in and go to jail for the murder of David. It’s nice to see such frank, unfiltered honesty from Wes, and it’s nice that FX has its network Timothy Olyphant, now starring on “Justified” on Tuesday nights, so accessible and easy to recall back to drop by for just a moment. If only all characters on shows like “Lost” were willing to relinquish answers like this. I suppose it’s because Frobisher was a central character in season one that some closure needed to be given to his storyline. The major reveal that Patty purposely complicated her pregnancy in order to rid herself of a potentially life-ruining baby, as shown by the constant barrage of flashbacks over and over, is interesting because it shows both that Patty is even more cutthroat than ever thought beforehand, but also that she is continually plagued by what she did to get ahead. Ellen served her purpose in that sense, asking whether all she had done was worth it. Patty certainly doles out harsh punishment, and the imprisonment of Michael’s baby mama (for lack of a more polite term) was quite intense, even for her. The revelation that Michael was the one who hit her car isn’t too crucial of a shock, but the other surprises are. Tom really had a bad last day, stabbed multiple times by Zedeck’s right-hand man and then brutally drowned in a toilet by a vengeful Joe. The fierce scene beforehand between Joe and Marilyn was pretty incredible, and featured spectacular acting from both Lily Tomlin and Campbell Scott. I really hope they both earn Emmy nominations, and the same is true of this season’s best player, Martin Short. He really appears to have come out ahead in all this, orchestrating a side job with his father and getting away clean. At this point, the two main characters are exactly where they were at the end of last season, uncertain of whether they’ll collaborate in the future or if they even want to work together again. It’s a good place to leave off considering a fourth season may not in fact be happening, and this was far and away the best season this show has produced yet, and I can finally get behind it as one of the best dramas currently on the air (maybe not one of the top six, but close).

Season grade: B+
Season MVP: Martin Short

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