Thursday, January 22, 2009

'Damages' Changes Its Pace (for the better)

Watch 'Damages' Second Season on FXBy LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

It's hard to think that Damages could improve upon its humdinger of a first season.

After all, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

But tinkering can be OK.

We recall the first season was one giant jigsaw puzzle, with both past and present needing to be decoded and put back into place by the viewer in order to to figure out who was what, where, when and why. Die hards like yours truly loved this and couldn't get enough. But if you were a casual viewer and missed an episode (or two), you were in a world of hurt trying to catch up.

This season, the Damages folks have made the show much easier for all of us to follow WITHOUT sacrificing the intricacy of its ingenious storytelling.


By placing more emphasis on the present day whilst having the flashbacks be shorter snapshots that tie directly into the middle of the present day scene. Soooo, the "past" flashback plays more like a supplement - you don't actually need it, but it's really super helpful that it's there.

Case in point: this week's reveal that Patty had a son with Daniel Purcell, who also happened to have been a key witness in her first gi-normous case when she stepped out on her own.


Yes, that's right: Patty and Daniel = Michael.

And yet, had this been the first season, the reveal might have been more cryptic, involve more guess-work and head-scratching. I'm not sure the flashback sequences would've been placed so nicely in the middle of Ellen's confrontation of Patty (where she fesses up as to why she's just a little obsessed defending Purcell; after all, criminal law is not her thing).

Suffice it to say the slight modification in the way the show reveals its story is giving this season a very cohesive feel whilst maintaining the show's penchant for dealing us surprises and left curves.

And Daniel Purcell is just one surprise after another: he's the father of Patty's child; former key witness of Patty's first major case; out to possibly nail the energy company for whom he supposedly worked on contract running toxicity tests; might have murdered his wife (yes, no, maybe so, I don't know); having an affair with head counsel of aforementioned energy company ... did we forget anything?

And we thought we only needed to watch out for Ellen this season.


New episodes of Damages air Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX. To catch up on the Who, What, Where, When, Why and How of the show, head on over to the official Damages Web site.

No comments: