Damages Series 3 (7): “You didn’t replace me”

Damages was unaccountably deferred for a week in the schedules.  (Maybe they worried we might think a conniving amoral lawyer resembled too closely one D Cameron – zing! Take that botoxed Etonman.  That’s worth another 4 points off your poll ratings.)

The fortnight has at least allowed my fevered brain to sift the tangled threads of narrative. Sadly for Mrs Bold it has merely made everything fade.  I spent most of the first 15 minutes in clarificatory mode.  And in Damages there is both back story and front story to get clear. Thank Zeus for iPlayer.

Now DA-based Ellen P is showing she has learned well from Patty the ancient skills of MindFuck.  Simulataneously a) setting up unwitting new laywer Alex for a fall in the eyes of Patty, b) strengthening her apparent friendship with Alex and c) showing Patty how she’d done it all in the same single move:  padewan no longer, she is clearly ready to be a Jedi Master.  As she herself says to the languid Glenn Close:  “You hired someone.  You didn’t replace me.” 

The frenetic plotting pace also let up a tad, allowing us to enjoy more reflective shots of fading lawyer Martin Short in crumpled deadpan mode. Watching him visit an old people’s home to find his intended visitee 5 months dead, then tracking down the person who’d sorted out the effects, you knew it had to be his long lost (and now dead) mom and down-at-heel  pop – but the bitter and vicious paternal rejection scene was cutting. 

Turns out Mr Short is not whom he seems to be (then again, who is in an average Damages episode).  He’s previously a petty grifter.  The Tobins to whom he is more like family won’t like that:  “A man with a criminal past? That’s our dad’s role in the plot – loser.  And dad managed to purloin billions:  petty grifting doesn’t cut it.”

And why can’t England have grifters – such a great word.  (We merely have conmen.  Including those who bankroll unnamed UK parties with their own Caribbean islands to hide their loot away in.  Zi-iing.  I’m on fire here.)

But this does bring us back on plot, since Tommy spent the episode drifting around Antigua (which I think they will find is pronounced An-tee-ga, but in which the Yanks persist in pronouncing the U and rhyming it with jaguar.  The native people don’t help any, merely referring to it as “the island” as if we’re in some James Bond movie – and not the good ones, the ones with Roger Moore which were still close enough to the 60s to be racist, but with the rubbish style from the 70s.  But I digress). 

Tommy drifted around trying to trace the money – and pretty much found it straight away.  Rather too easily.  Turns out the secretive Mr Zedeck has friends. Friends of the kind that have “influence” on the island. Friends that don’t come cheap. And I’m sure we shall see what their price is next time round.

Favourite moment:  Lily Tomlin as widowed mother Tobin half-cut at 10 in the morning, getting a sable coat out of a package and being told there was indeed lots of Tobin cash secretly stashed away.  The slow dawning smile on her face was 10 seconds plus of quality acting.

Biggest complaint:  just don’t get me started on George Osborne  (I’m done).

More Damages posts here

Posted by arialbold

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