Damages: Season 3 (2): “Figure it out, Tommy”

Damages is taking a risk in season three, seemingly hinging its action around Tom Shayes (Tate Donovan), who has not been the brightest light in the Damages starry array.  Tommy is certainly the fulcrum around which episode two pivots.

The key moment is actually a great use of silence and stillness – set between rapid scenes where the dialogue never lets up for a second – as Tommy gazes shocked at a mystery file handed to him by a fellow Hewes associate.  The moment seems to last forever as he stares into the abyss.

Turns out that he has all his stock invested with a broker who then secretly placed that investment in Tobin’s now collapsed ponzi scheme.  His family’s future (and his cousins’ and his parents’ and his friends’ – as he angrily tells his wife) is wholly tied up in it.  Never heard of a balanced portfolio? For a smart lawyer he sure is dumb.

It shows the power of the scene that you empathise fully as you envisage his destroyed future stretching ahead of him – and only then remember, oh yes, he’s going to be found dead in the dumpster in 6 months anyway.  Such are the twisty-turny joys of Damages.

The acting coaches must have got to work on Tate Donovan since he now has way more than two facial expressions – somewhere upwards of six I counted in this scene alone.  Way to go.  By the end of the series he’ll be up to … oh wait.  He’ll just have the one.

Patty Hewes for once takes a bit of a back seat in this episode, but provides a diverting subplot romp with soon to be ex-husband Phil.  Toying with him mercilessly through the divorce proceedings, which is fun to watch.  And even stooping low enough to use their dog’s apparent illness as leverage.  Dumb employees and dumb animals, she’ll use anyone to get what she wants.

Speaking of which, Phil and dog were seen playfully engaged with a stick-throwing stick-thin woman with a who seemed to bear an uncanny resemblance to Jilly Goolden. Mmm, I’m getting plums.

Thankfully, the holier than thou – “I only want to do the right thing” – Tobin fils is turning out to be not so dull after all.  Having been crossed by Patty, he is now more than happy to ask his disgraced dad for the cash he has stashed away, and demand full deniability at the same time.

He’s also revealed to be a recovering alcoholic – falling off the wagon with a nice quart of vodka – and as a kind of anti-superman who removes his glasses when drunk to rather wetly confront his dad’s floozy.  And then proceeds to inadvertently run her over as he leaves.  Given that she was outside looking for her missing cat at the time, I can’t help wondering if maybe Patty’s dog something to do with it.

Best line of the day was “Girls have secrets, men have honour” delivered by homeless guy under arrest who’s implicated in Tommy’s dumpstering.

Main complaint?  Not enough Martin Short.

Posted by arialbold

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One response to “Damages: Season 3 (2): “Figure it out, Tommy”

  1. inkface

    One of the most unnerving use of actors-you-know-vaguely-from-something-else-years-ago in Damages is Patty’s soon to be divorced husband Phil Gray, the actor Michael Nouri. Last seen (by me anyway) as Nick in Flashdance, looking on bemused as Jennifer Beals carries out a strange act of undressing under a baggy 80s jumper.