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Old 09-13-2012, 02:44 PM   #1
Rob Helmerichs
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Damages 9/12/12 "But You Don't Do That Anymore" (series finalé)

Hmmmm, not too satisfied with that. Ellen went way too far over the line (getting Rutger assassinated, throwing Chris's buddy under the bus...and how did she not see that dilemma coming when she sent Chris to McLaren in the first place?), and then...just came back? I don't think they really set her up to be willing to go that far this season, and I don't think getting over those kinds of decisions are something that should come that easily.

And the fake-out with her lying on the alley ground...given the show's history of fake-outs in the flash-forwards there was nothing surprising about it, and it seemed even more contrived than in the past.

It ended up being a kind of typical season (after the first, when all this stuff was fresh), and I would like to have seen something a little...more.

Oh, well, it was a very good show that settled into being an OK show, which is more than most shows manage for this long.
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Old 09-13-2012, 06:35 PM   #2
Schmye Bubbula
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I can't take Rob to task on anything he says, but the final act's wrap-up nevertheless left me satisfied as I reflected afterwards. That looong last scene of Patty's face — alone & bitter after having lost everyone in her life — was a fitting ending, at least in my mind. No other season ever lived up to the first, but I stuck through it all and glad I did. Here's a nice post interview with the show's creators.
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Old 09-13-2012, 07:55 PM   #3
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Yeah, I think Patty's arc was a lot better and more satisfying than Ellen's (which, as I said, I just didn't buy at all, especially the abruptness of the developments in this episode). And if I had spent five years thinking I was watching Patty's story, I would have been a lot more satisfied.
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Old 09-14-2012, 12:20 PM   #4
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I may have missed something, but what happened with Ellen and her parents? In the last episode there was the confrontation in Ellen's apartment, with her pulling the gun on her father. He left, saying, "This is NOT over!" They just left it at that? What did that whole subplot have to do with anything else, other than stress for Ellen?

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Old 09-14-2012, 12:35 PM   #5
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That whole plot-line seemed half-baked (i.e., unfinished). There was a very low-key theme of women and their relationships running through the season...mothers, fathers, daughters, sisters, bosses, employees, mentors, boyfriends...that seemed to be almost instinctive, like the writers felt they were onto something but never quite figured out what.

As it is, I suppose the fact that Ellen and Patty both came from the same kind of abusive families says something...there were times in the season where each described her childhood relationship with her parents in almost identical terms. If the whole series was about whether Ellen would become Patty (and I think it was), then one thing we learned this season was that she had a big head-start before the show ever began.
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Old 09-14-2012, 02:06 PM   #6
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I didn't enjoy this season as much as past seasons, but it was still good enough for me to watch within a few days of the original air date. I was happy that the writers decided to show that Ellen stopped going down the same path as Patty, that she saw how miserable and alone Patty was and didn't want to be that way herself. For a while I thought she was going to continue down that road and end up in the same place as Patty.

I'm sad to see the show go and glad I caught on to it.
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Old 09-14-2012, 05:34 PM   #7
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So this is the final season? If I had known that I wouldn't have been so sure that Ellen was still alive every time they showed her "dead" on the ground. The acting on this show is so good that it overcomes the occasional bogus story line.
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Old 09-15-2012, 04:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
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I may have missed something, but what happened with Ellen and her parents?
Funny but I thought it was so odd not to resolve that in the final episode that FIRST I thought the big reveal was going to be her Dad killed her - and then SECOND - I thought the scene in the drug store was going to be her and her Mom working there together - LOL

So yeah OK.

It was OK.

As for being faked out - yup - they got me again.
I thought there would be no coming back from that frozen eyes she's dead shot of Ellen's face they have been going to for weeks...

I was kindof hoping one of them would have pushed the other off the dock into the lake - that would have been fun.

As for the final shot of Patty's face.
Very well done.
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:59 AM   #9
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Hmmmm, not too satisfied with that. Ellen went way too far over the line (getting Rutger assassinated, throwing Chris's buddy under the bus...and how did she not see that dilemma coming when she sent Chris to McLaren in the first place?), and then...just came back? I don't think they really set her up to be willing to go that far this season, and I don't think getting over those kinds of decisions are something that should come that easily.
Yeah-- I thought this season was more off than others as well. In the end, I really grew to despise the frequent dream sequences. I'd rather have more of the two-time-frame jumping than all those dreams.

The only thing I really got out of the series is that Patty's self-inflicted miscarraige to choose career over family is still heavy on her mind. She feels she has made the 'wrong' decision and goes out every day trying to prove herself wrong. Somehow by replacing her own lost child with Ellen she could feel somewhat vindicated that there are others whow would do the same. In season 1 she tried to kill this new 'daughter' as well, and they made it clear that she was troubled by that choice.

In the end, Ellen led a strikingly similar life to Patty. She learned to think like Patty, manipulate like Patty-- she was well on her way to being the next Patty in all but the one key life-changer. All the effort Patty put into Ellen to shape her in her own mold to justify her own life was for nothting. Ellen chose the other path, and appeared happier than Patty had ever been in her life.

But what drew me into the series I think was N people with M agendas all trying to gain an advantage, yet being outsmarted by those who would hold them acountable. There was some of this involved with the case this season, but the ratio of those events to the Patty/Ellen story were way out of whack. I'd say the meat of the season was 70-30 in favor of the Patty/Ellen story. I'd have preferred it be 70-30 in favor of them tracking down and revealing what really went on with the whistle blower story. It just felt like they revealed all of that with flashback and it felt like Patty/Ellen really had no clue what was really going on with the whole case. Either Patty or Ellen should have discovered that the suicide was in fact murder and there should have been some desire to hold someone responsible for that. It was not clear to me that either Patty or Ellen knew who really leaked the private info, or that she was murdered-- nor did they seem to care.
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:21 AM   #10
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Can anyone think of any other series in which every character so consistently lied to every other character?
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Old 09-17-2012, 08:43 PM   #11
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Can anyone think of any other series in which every character so consistently lied to every other character?
Lost?

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Old 09-18-2012, 09:12 AM   #12
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Whoa. This show was still on? Totally forgot about it. Maybe I'll look for it by alternate means.
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Old 09-18-2012, 01:33 PM   #13
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I'd have preferred it be 70-30 in favor of them tracking down and revealing what really went on with the whistle blower story. It just felt like they revealed all of that with flashback and it felt like Patty/Ellen really had no clue what was really going on with the whole case. Either Patty or Ellen should have discovered that the suicide was in fact murder and there should have been some desire to hold someone responsible for that. It was not clear to me that either Patty or Ellen knew who really leaked the private info, or that she was murdered-- nor did they seem to care.
Which they so quickly were able to gloss over with the fact that Rutger had "left the country" (did Patty know he was actually dead when she told everybody that or were they able to use the fact that he was desperately looking for a flight to somehow fake it that he did leave?) so the trial wasn't going to continue. Patty & her client gave up awfully easily at that point; was that just Patty acknowledging that Ellen had taken the bait so her work there was done?

The long shot before the credits was awfully uncomfortable. But it was more satisfying when she had her fantasy of Ellen thanking her for everything she'd done for her, then the realization that she didn't and likely never will! ha
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