Wednesday, October 24, 2007

‘Damages’ Final Verdict

By LillyKat
PTR Staff Writer

Arthur Frobisher – Game over.

Patty Hewes – Insert more coins to continue.

Ellen Parsons – High score winner!

Rarely have I ever watched a television show’s finale thinking I could also be watching the end to a mini-series. It is that good, and it ties up that many loose ends whilst leaving the door open for more.

Another series.

Another season.

I’ll take either.

For over three months, I have sounded like a broken record singing the praises of Damages – its writing, its acting, its production value. And in ending this first season (or perhaps for good), we were not disappointed.

I will confess that because it was the finale, there was a certain sense of “knowing” that I had not previously experienced whilst watching the show. That is, I knew we were going to get closure, thus the recaps of most of how we ended up at the finale were things I had already seen. And since there were quite a few do-overs of key flashback scenes, it seemed to me that even if you might have missed an episode or two, you could – for the most part – get the gist of the finale without feeling too lost.

But without a doubt, Tate Donovan was right: we did get major closure with the major issues whilst setting the table for allowing the series to continue should it be renewed by FX for a second season.

Frobie ends up settling for 93% of his net worth.

Read: $2 billion.

Yes, $2 freakin’ billion.


The Enron folks should have been so lucky, eh?

Thank you notes should be sent to Gregory Malina, Ray Fiske and George Moore.

Too bad none of them are still alive.

Ah well. Their dirty work paved the way for an air tight case on Frobie - mostly Malina and Fiske’s damning in-cahoot-ness on insider trading and Moore’s secret quarterbacking to Frobie about the Securities and Exchange Commission’s report.

Frobisher: “I made a big mistake that I’m going to be paying for the rest of my life … I trusted too many people.”

Yes, but lest we never forget the whole creative accounting thing that Enron made world famous – using shell corporations to hide losses, reporting potential earnings as current earnings, thinking no one would ever a) notice or b) get caught.

So, it was kind of fitting to see disgruntled Frobie employee Larry (you know, the snitch who was working both ends to the middle) having to forfeit his right to the settlement whilst also being cut loose by Frobie.

As in, no pay for his snitching, either.

So, Larry goes postal.

Game over for Frobie.

Dead in the field of where he was already planning to build his next company.

As for Patty, she does get Ellen off fiancé doc David's murder charges, and so she gets the all important Gregory Malina videotaped testimony (which was poignantly hidden in the bottom of the Statue of Liberty bookend that was the murder weapon used to kill David. Awww, so sad.)

The tape ends up in the hands of the District Attorney, who is chomping at the bit to once again go after Frobie on 84,000 other charges of who knows what.

No body puts Frobie in a corner.

Except Patty Hewes.

And yet, in all of this, the one who comes out on top is Ellen.

Despite being in an almost-killed-by-your-boss-fiancé-is-dead-have-been-accused-of-murder-now-exonerated hangover.

She remains remarkably detached in this wrap-up, which makes her that much more interesting to watch. I am not sure I have sung enough praise for Rose Byrne, but she has more than held her own opposite Glenn Close (amongst the other fabulous cast members). There’s been a certain simple directness to her throughout this entire season. She has maintained a dignity, an ethicalness, a likeability. And even in the end, seemingly stripped to nothing, she still maintains a poise that you can’t help but think admirable.

So it is also rather fitting that, after everything, Patty is desperate to get Ellen to come back to work for her.

Patty: “I lied. I hired you to get to Katie … I’m ashamed of what I did. I hope you can forgive me some day … I have a lot of flaws. Come back Ellen. Give me second chance.”
Ellen: “I don’t believe in the law anymore. But I believe in justice. So I’ll come work for you again. On one condition: Let me use the firm’s resources to prove that Frobisher had David killed.”

Careful what you wish for.

Along with all that poise, dignity and good conscience, Ellen has learned way too many things in her tenure as Patty’s protégé-turned-prized-bait-turned-attempted-murder-victim-turned-potential-murder-suspect-turned-gutsy-we-will-do-this-my-way gal.

Bummer for Patty.

It seems the FBI has been investigating ol’ Patty on fraud, obstruction of justice and a whole lotta other stuff.

So, Ellen … do you want to fool Patty into thinking you will come back to work for her only to be spying for the Feds?

You know what they say: payback is a ...

See ya’ Monday, Patty.

And next season (we hope).


suekola44 said...

Loved your write-up!! Loved what happened to Larry the snitch and this entire season of Damages! Do you really think Fobie died out in that field or perhaps was he just wounded? What is your take on why Patty tried to have Ellen killed? I so agree with you about Rose Byrne. She was fabulous!I just can't imagine FX wouldn't give this awesome show another season.

LillyKat said...

You know, I never considered Frobie wasn't dead - good one, suekola! Perhaps he could've survived. Call it my inner-detective, but given he a) seemed to be shot in the lower abdomen, and b) no one was around, I feel fairly certain in saying he bled to death. Then again, stranger things have been known to happen. ;o) As for Patty trying to kill Ellen, I think it really is as simple as Ellen knew EVERYTHING and thus could be perceived as a threat to Patty's very carefully managed world. Also I think Ellen is Patty's match on just about every level, so, hey, eliminate the competition, right? I'm sure there are bazillion different theories out there, but to me, it's the basic one: Ellen knew too much and she could essentially bring Patty down. Here's hoping we get a second season to explore all this a bit more! :)