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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Who shot Patty Hewes? And other burning "Damages'' questions

A couple of notches above ''24'' on the intelligence and unpredictability scale and not as confusing and frustrating as ''Lost,'' ''Damages'' is the cream of the crop of the complicated serial dramas. The best description I've run across so far: ''the New York Times crossword puzzle of TV shows.'' It's challenging, smart and unbelievably addictive (get your hands on Season 1 and see how long it takes you to burn through it). And Glenn Close as the lead is so good she's scary, or is that she's so scary that makes her so good?

Either way, we're down to the second-to-the-last episode tonight on FX. Only two hours to go and so many questions:

Who shot Patty Hewes? Or, did anyone shoot Patty Hewes? She's all bloodied and distressed as she stumbles into the elevator in Ellen's hotel in the flash-forward scene writers have been taunting us with all season. Now the dirty FBI special agent dude told someone on his cell phone: ''My informant (Ellen?) just shot Patty Hewes.'' We've seen a vengeful Ellen pointing a gun at someone. We've seen a tearful and scared Patty. We've heard gunshots. But, if memory serves, we have yet to see Patty and Ellen both in the same frame during that exchange. Since nothing is as it seems on ''Damages,'' the smart money is on an entirely different scenario than the one writers have set us up to buy into.

Plus, we know ''Damages'' is back for a third season (thank you, cable gods), and there's no way they could have the show without Close's ruthless Patty. Then again, Arthur Frobisher got shot last season and came back this season, but now he hangs out at meditative retreats and has lost his edge.

What’s really up with Wes? We obviously know he's not the nice guy Ellen met at her grief counseling support group. He was hired by the Weird Bearded Guy Killer to keep tabs on Ellen and has now been told to take her out because she knows too much. On one hand, he seems conflicted about doing her harm. On the other hand, did you see his personal arsenal of weapons? Creepy.

Could he be the person Ellen is actually pointing the gun at in the flash-forward scene? He's the one who taught her how to shoot to kill, and if she ends up killing him … ooooh, good irony.

What the hell did Tom Shayes do to tick off Patty enough to get him fired? A fast-forward from a couple of episodes back shows Tom no longer being allowed back in Hewes & Associates, even though he has info he says Patty needs to hear. You could make the argument that Tate Donovan's character is the least ruthless of any on the show, so how did he go from being solid, dependable, second-fiddle Tom to getting canned? High expectations for a nasty-good twist here. Remember, his wife is pregnant, and the guy adores his family.

Where art thou, Arthur Frobisher? If there’s one gripe about Season 2, it's the lack of air time for Ted Danson’s wonderfully narcissistic Frobisher. Get him back in the game! The other gripe, of course, is no Ray Fiske, but he's still dead from Season 1. Doesn't mean we don’t miss him though.

What’s going to be the fallout from Patty’s husband’s affair? Payback is a you know what – and then some -- wherever Patty Hewes is concerned. We can't wait to see how she makes her hubby pay. Somehow, her annoying son with the annoying hair and the cougar girlfriend is sure to make matters worse.

What was in the box that Ellen's fiancé sent to her just before he was killed? It's wrapped all pretty like a gift, so even it's just something skimpy from Victoria's Secret and has nothing to do with anything, would she please just open it already? It's called closure, Ellen. Besides, it's bugging us.

What's the liquor budget for that show anyway? There's not many scenes that don't go down without someone drinking expensive booze (never on the rocks) or wine. It would make for a brutal drinking game for ''Damages'' watchers: Every time someone on ''Damages'' drinks, you drink. Patty might have the stomach for that, but we don't.

-- Kendra Meinert,



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