In the pilot episode of Damages, the new FX Network legal thriller, we’re introduced to the world of high-stakes litigation. At first, listening to lawyers throw million-dollar class-action settlement figures back and forth might seemed it bit dry. But those numbers are just a smoke-screen for what’s really going on in Damages.
High-power attorney Patty Hewes (played by Glenn Close) is heading up a class-action suit against Ted Danson‘s Arthur Frobisher, a billionaire business who’s scammed his employees’ pension fund Enron-style. We already found out at the end of the pilot that Patty will stop at nothing to win a case. Why? Perhaps because she cares for her clients, perhaps for the money, but mainly, it’s for the power. She’s power-hungry and pretty much insane at this point.
In this second episode we finally get an insight into Frobisher, and he’s definitely another character we just can’t figure out, but one thing we know for sure: he is really stressed out about this lawsuit and it has nothing to do with the money.
Enter Katie (Anastasia Griffith), a woman who could be Patty’s key witness in the Frobisher case, and Frobisher and his people know it. Doesn’t look too good for Katie, does it? That’s because it’s not. But who should she be more afraid of, Patty or Frobisher? My money’s on Patty.
Now, here’s where Damages gets a little tricky. The pilot episode showed Patty’s new junior associate Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne) at police headquarters covered in blood, too traumatized to speak to the police investigators, who must find out who this woman is and what happened to her. It’s between the brief clips of their investigation where we get the meat of the story, which occurred six months prior.
The second episode is more of the same. We see the police follow a few leads, there’s more blood, then back to the flashing back with Ellen working with Patty on the Frobisher case. There’s a big story to tell here with a lot of minor details. At times I wonder which of these minor details should I be paying attention to? It’s obvious by this episode that none of these characters is telling the truth, and it’s not likely they are going to any time soon.
While all of this intrigue can be frustrating, it’s also refreshing because no one is so predictable that you guess what’s going to happen next. You’re hoping each episode will wrap things up for you, but this is an on-going drama that keeps you guessing and so far, gives you something new to contemplate at the end.
Check out the tie-in Web site for the show at www.hewesassociates.com for the usual goodies like images, downloads, and videos. Also, there’s a “cross examiner” feature, which is a guide to the relationships between characters and a “clue finder” feature, which are clips from key sequences in the show that will provide clues (definitely check out that clue finder section!).
Download the pilot episode for free from iTunes HERE.