PTR Senior Staff Writer
Well, that was tidy.
A whole lot tidier than last season's finale.
And whilst some might be disappointed/let down/not nearly as gripped to their seat as they were, say, at the jaw dropper season one ending, last night's finale of Damages worked for me.
I still don't know of any other show on television that consistently keeps so many irons burning in the fire - irons of which you need to keep track, not random B-storylines that comes in mid-season then disappear ne'er to be seen or heard from again - yet also see them smolder so beautifully until the very end of the season.
Less episodes on cable, sure. More time to make more of an impact with each ep and NOT have a lull, perhaps.
But as far as Damages is concerned, it is just really clever writing.
And continually evolving characters that get more complex as the layers slowly and methodically get revealed to us with each passing episode of each passing season.
All of which are brilliantly woven together in one flowing tapestry - from the most minor of threads to the most obvious frays.
There is a reason Glenn Close won the Emmy.
And we should just give it to her again this year.
Her showdown with Rose Byrne ... I'm one for NOT being over the top; I am a firm believer in less is more. I think I could actually feel Patty's gut churning via that ONE expression only Glenn Close seems to have. Not to mention we saw Patty torn down a bit this season in a way that was perhaps only hinted at in the first season.
Sure, she flipped out on Ray's suicide, ordered Ellen killed, couldn't quite cope with what she had done. But this season, we saw what happens when people actually get to her, and it allowed us to start sourcing deeper into what makes her tick.
Rose Byrne is just so perfectly balanced against the intensity of Glenn Close that it's a cryptic match made in heaven. I still love how they've left Ellen so open-ended, and that she still seems to potentially have the upper-hand on Patty - or, at the very least, she is STILL the one Patty can't quite contain.
Ellen's closure was so necessary. I personally didn't want to see vengeful Ellen for too much longer. That said, I DO like seeing the outsmart-outwit Ellen. Like, Patty's one true rival. And we are left wondering where she will stand next season. There is no see-you-at-work-Monday this go around.
And how about EVERYBODY getting busted?
Now THAT I dig.
And I attribute that to the way the show slowed down it's storytelling approach this season so that if you missed an ep (or two), you weren't SOL in trying to catch back up. This, as we recall, was one of its main criticisms in the first season - it was, like, "too hard" to watch if you weren't there from episode one. Well, they gave you plenty of chances to get refreshed this season, and they reminded you of the key points of the various threads in the tapestry without completely sacrificing the flashforward/flashback storytelling format.
I, for one, liked seeing the bad guys get their due. And that Patty figured it all out just in the nick of time - even having to reach back out to newly-fired Tom when she realized she might have been one upp'd. This kind of tidying worked for me as it leaves me focused on what makes this show tick.
Patty v. Ellen.
And it won't require a whole thesis to pick back up next season, either.
That said, there is a lot of personal baggage that may prove perfect for exploration NEXT season - Patty's divorce; her throwing out of son Michael after learning he never applied to college; her
I'm not sorry to see Kendrick go, and given Arthur Frobisher is still around ... well, we may also have round three of Patty v. Frobie.
Finn Garrity is still on the loose - and a self-proclaimed whack job. Since he was the one who stabbed Patty in the elevator in a last ditch effort to try and save himself as Patty was on her way to the now infamous showdown with Ellen, it won't surprise me if he returns. After all, that IS the twist on the whole Patty-staggers-out-of-Ellen's-apartment sequence.
Creepy detective Rick is DEAD - yay!
And what will become of Daniel Purcell in prison?
I think I'll affectionately start referring to the third season as that which contain the ghosts of Patty.
There are plenty of skeletons in her closet.
And less people to keep them there.
Which will have me right back front and center for the third season premiere.
To catch up on the Who, What, Where, When, Why and How of the show, head on over to the official Damages Web site. You can also download full episodes of the show over at iTunes.