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Damages Review: "It's Not My Birthday"

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A week after singing the praises of the Tobin family on Damages, we met yet another fascinating member of this troubled unit.

On "It's Not My Birthday," viewers got to know Carol Tobin far better than ever before. This is a woman deeply devoted to her father, seemingly blind to the crimes he committed. She actually said she wishes his investors were underground instead of him.

It was difficult to not guess this was going someplace dangerous and interesting, especially after Joe revealed to her sister than their father killed himself. Does that mean we saw her murder of Danielle coming? No, that was a shocking moment. But we've had a feeling all along that Carol was someone worth keeping an eye on.

She's also one of the only characters on the show who doesn't hide her feelings or agenda. Does anyone really believe Lenny was clueless about Lou's hidden money? Or that Marilyn is simply an ignorant, grieving widow?

After watching Patty operate on a higher, manipulative plane than everyone around her for two seasons, it's been great to see other characters cause us to wonder what they know, what they're gonna do about it and how this will all play out.

Tom

We know, of course, how it will all play out for Tom. Poor, poor Tom.

Did Stuart Zedeck's associate murder him? Damages loves to throw red herrings at its viewers, but the quick shots of that man in leather gloves while sitting outside Danielle's apartment, and then of a man with the same gloves on tossing Tom's body into a dumpster, appeared to be a clue.

Other notes and observations from a terrific episode:
  • Loved the quick glance into Lenny's "love" life. When he told his lady friend that he'd done this "many times," we somehow doubt he meant pay for sex.
  • Nice to see Josh back... we guess. Hard to tell where this is going.
  • But it is nice to see Ellen smiling and seemingly in control, isn't it? Rose Byrne was the weak link of the cast when she was a pouty associate working for Patty, but she's stepped up her game this season, causing us to wonder just how happy Ellen really is in her new life.
  • It's hard to say if we feel bad for Alex that she may soon be "owned" by Patty, or if we take pleasure in imaging her confident smile being replaced by the sheer terror of working for Hewes? We're sort of leaning toward the latter.

What did everyone else think of the episode?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (16 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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