Damages: Season 1, Episode 1

Get Me a Lawyer (24 Jul. 2007)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
8.5
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Hot-shot, high-stakes, New York City attorney Patty Hewes hires a new associate, the bright, ambitious, but somewhat naive Ellen Parsons, to help her as she tries to ruin billionaire Arthur... See full summary »

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Title: Get Me a Lawyer (24 Jul 2007)

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Felicia Marquand (as Marlyne Afflack)
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Martin Cutler (as Robin Thomas)
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Storyline

Hot-shot, high-stakes, New York City attorney Patty Hewes hires a new associate, the bright, ambitious, but somewhat naive Ellen Parsons, to help her as she tries to ruin billionaire Arthur Frobisher. Hewes represents a group of employees who are suing Frobisher in a class-action suit after he sold his company, leaving the employees financially devastated. Ellen is unaware that her best friend, Katie Connor, and the younger sister of her fiancé David, is working for Frobisher who is financing her new restaurant opening. Flashing forward eight weeks in the future: David Connor is found murdered, and Ellen, wandering the streets covered in blood, becomes the prime suspect. Written by Anonymous

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24 July 2007 (USA)  »

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The envelope and liquor license that Katie places on the counter behind her, move back and forth down the counter between shots, changing position. See more »

Quotes

Martin Cutler: If you were a man I'd kick the living dog-shit out of you.
Patty Hewes: If you were a man I'd be worried.
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References Deal or No Deal (2005) See more »

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Feels like Home
Performed by Phontaine
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John Grisham on the small screen
21 September 2008 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

Glenn Close sure knows how to pick her TV roles: after receiving Emmy nominations for her guest appearance on Will & Grace in 2002 and her one-season stay on The Shield in 2005, she scored once again by sticking with The Shield's network, basic-cable F/X (the same that's behind Nip/Tuck), and accepting one of her best roles ever, that of ruthless lawyer Patricia "Patty" Hewes, star of the juicy legal drama Damages.

Starting as it intends to go on, the series kicks off with a bloodied woman ending up in a police station. She refuses to reveal anything about herself, leaving the investigators with the ungrateful task of figuring things out. At this point, a flashback takes us six months back in time, and that's when the real story, the John Grisham-like narrative, begins.

The woman is Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne), a promising up-and-coming lawyer who has just graduated and receives an offer from Patty's firm, Hewes & Associates. After two interviews, she is hired, and Patty's right-hand man Tom Shayes (Tate Donovan) introduces her to their newest case: they are going after Arthur Frobisher (Ted Danson), a businessman suspected of defrauding his employees and causing them to lose everything they had. He is defended by the more than qualified Ray Fiske (Zeljiko Ivanek), but Patty is tougher than her looks would suggest and will stop at nothing to win the case.

The first episode of Damages rests heavily on two elements: the plot and the central performance. As far as the first is concerned, there is little to complain about, given co-creator Todd A. Kessler used to work on The Sopranos. More specifically, he contributed to the second season of the mafia masterpiece, i.e. the storyline involving the FBI's attempts to build a case against Tony Soprano. Therefore he knows how the intrigue should present itself and serves up a mouth-watering course of mystery and conspiracy. If there's anything to nag about, it would be the apparent lack of immediate coherence between the time shifts (they make more sense in later episodes) and the fact that there is a little too much going on for a single chapter, even one that is 54 minutes long.

Which leaves us with Close. Quite simply put: she's perfect - cunning, determined and merciless, pretty much an update of her Oscar-nominated effort in Dangerous Liaisons. She dominates the entire show, even though it must be said everyone else does an above-average job, with stuff worth writing home about coming from Ivanek and Danson: one gives a new meaning to the adjective "oily" (just listen to his voice), the other shakes off his beloved Sam Malone smirk and gives a truly chilling performance as the program's main villain.

Created by a Sopranos writer, starring Glenn Close and Ted Danson, plays out like a televised John Grisham novel. In other words: watch it.


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