Tuned In

Damages 2: Twice the Damage!

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Has the Tuned In community embraced Damages? I had considered giving it Watch status this summer but last week’s post drew an underwhelming response, so maybe the show doesn’t merit it. Or maybe it’s me.

Anyway, brief, mildly spoiler-y thoughts on episode 2, because it’s been a while since I screened it. I was a bit skeptical about Ted Danson playing the villain (or the possible villain, or one of the villains…), but I was impressed with his performance, and with how they’ve written the character. Arthur Frobisher, it seems, is not so much evil as weak, vacillating on whether or not to make Katie “go away”–he wants to be offended at the suggestion, but he’s not strong enough to stick with it; he wants to pull the trigger, but he’s not strong enough to stick with that decision either. He seems like a plausible-deniability guy–a man who likes to ask, “Who will rid me of this turbulent priest?” and wait for others to magically disappear his problems.

As for Patty, this episode made her harder to nail down than the first, where Close ended in a state of pure Cruella DeVil-itude, tossing poor Saffron’s doggie leash into the sea. She’s still brutal, but she may just have the right motivations. I’m also interested to see how the storyline with her son plays out. I didn’t have room to fit this in my column on women antiheroes, but I wonder if a show about a male high-stakes litigator would show him going over the family credit-card statements and handling child-care issues. (Vic Mackey on The Shield has to wrestle with getting care for his autistic child and so on, but he’s not exactly at the pay grade where he can hire the problem out.) Yet the show also acknowledges Patty’s status by having her husband offer to deal with their son, saying “Your plate is full”–although, as with everything on this show, there may be more going on there than it appears.

As for Ellen–she’s still too much of a nonentity to me, but I do like how the show is continuing with the theme of her working-class background and how that affects her outlook. Oh, also: I haven’t seen future episodes, but does anyone else think the apartment Patty set Ellen up in is bugged?

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