Miles better than season 2, not as good as season 1, the third and (apparently) final season of ‘Damages’ came to an end with this episode, in which just about all of the season’s mysteries got sorted out, together with an answer to the question about Patti and that mysterious tombstone from season 1. It could be argued that almost too much happened in this episode, particularly given that some of the other storylines this time round seemed oddly unnecessary: Ellen and the adoption? Her drug-dealing sister? The return of Arthur Frobisher and Wes Krulik (Timothy Olyphant doing a double shift that week with ‘Justified’, presumably)? The ghosts of Ray Fiske and whoever-the-hell-it-was Keith Carradine was playing?
Glenn Close continued to deliver as Patti; admittedly, she can’t see a piece of scenery without at least having a passing nibble at it, but she sure knows what she’s doing. Cameron Scott is always worth watching (in this and in ‘Royal Pains’, where he carries that show’s only real hint of menace and mystery). And arguably better than both was a remarkable and revelatory performance from Martin Short as enigmatic attorney Winstone. On the other hand, Rose Byrne’s blank style of acting seems to have mutated into a form of indifference; in the last couple of episodes, she was like a petulant teenager who couldn’t even be bothered to hold her sulky eyes open properly.
Still, this season was well-plotted and held my interest, the time-shifting narrative kicked off with a genuine shock which kept me watching, and I’ll be sorry to see ‘Damages’ go. Some sort of resurrection strikes me as possible, though, even if only as a mini-series or one-off; it’s a strong brand, and decent parts for women of a certain age don’t come along that often, sadly. For now, however, Hewes & Associates is closing its doors to new business.