Damages Review: "Don't Throw That at the Chicken"
Tom Shayes is dead and someone killed him. But this is why it's been an outstanding season of Damages so far:
That's not even the most fascinating storyline on the show!
Granted, that might have something to do with the fact that Tom has always seemed like a very nice, loyal guy - but has never really been fleshed out enough for us to care a lot about him. But it also has a lot to do with everything else going on.
Even the smaller plot developments are keeping us interested. On "Don't Throw That at the Chicken," we met with Michael for the first time in awhile and came away with nothing but questions: Why is he lying to his mother? Is there an actual agenda here, or does he just like being dishonest to a woman he knows is so manipulative?
That's a constant, fascinating theme of the season: by now, everyone knows about Patty. They understand she's always thinking six moves ahead and is always up to something. It's fun to watch this constant chess match between characters.
The detectives have a strategy when interviewing her; Louis Tobin thinks he can remain cool in the face of interrogation; Ellen believes she's moved beyond Patty's control and has almost turned the tables on her former boss.
We assume, of course, that Patty will come out on top in these high-stakes games, but will she? At some point, the woman will face defeat - and that point appeared to have arrived at the conclusion of the episode.
Then again, we've watched Damages for long enough to spot a likely red herring and to wait before jumping to any conclusions about Patty's involvement in Tom's death.
But the main reason why this has been such an enjoyable season? Two words: The Tobins.
Louis' suicide wasn't hard to see coming... but what's in that envelope? We'd have to assume it's the location of the family's money, which Louis never actually planned to deliver to Patty. He just somehow knew - or planned on having those shady goons ensure? - that Joe would eventually come over.
Campbell Scott has done an outstanding job as this morally grey father, husband and son. We've been shocked and impressed that the show is dedicating so much time to his private life, as the writers are aware that Patty is only as interesting as her nemesis.
After all, there was one significant reason why season one was so much better than season two: Arthur Frobisher.
Joe Tobin is not on his level, but that's because he's a different kind of enemy. He doesn't have an evil agenda, he doesn't even have an agenda at all. But he's a a loyal family man, and that might give him motivation to do... anything.
What did you think of this week's episode?