Damages: Season 1, Episode 13

Because I Know Patty (23 Oct. 2007)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
8.8
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Ratings: 8.8/10 from 275 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 1 critic

The season comes to its shocking conclusion.

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David Connor (credit only)
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District Attorney
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Felicia Marquand (as Marlyne Afflack)
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Storyline

The season comes to its shocking conclusion.

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Release Date:

23 October 2007 (USA)  »

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When Arthur Frobisher is getting in his SUV after talking with Larry Popler, we can see the reflection of the mike and the boom on the SUV. See more »

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Payback
Performed by James Brown
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User Reviews

Season 1: Twisty and engaging drama series with a good structure and performances
12 May 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Damages was one of those that I dismissed almost as I was hearing about it. The world is full of US crime dramas with their star names and glossy presentation and I figured that I didn't need another one whether it focused round a ruthless lawyer or not. I'm not sure why I felt this way but I think it was because I had it in my head that this was another "case a week" thing with a colourful lead character. I was mistaken in this because Damages actually has a narrative that carries across the whole season and requires you to pay attention to the various twists and turns as it goes. In this way the show is much better than I had expected and I found myself quite engaged in the various characters and plot devices that are scattered around.

It does have an element of gloss to it though and, although it doesn't present itself in a music-video way, it does rely on forward motion and slick presentation in a way that does prevent it being heavily grounded in reality. This problem never really gets exposed though because I was held by the story itself. On paper it is not as good as it is in reality because the manner of delivery really helps make it work. By partially knowing one aspect of the "end" of the story, the viewer is already being drawn into it and aware of the stakes involved before the first episode has even played out. It is a common tactic but there is a reason why it is employed – because it works. The layering of the plot across the characters also helps things – this is not a show that is placed solely on one character (Patty) but rather there is much of interest across at least 5 or 6 main characters.

The cast give it the final bump it needs to stand out and engage. The two star names are what got it initial attention but to mention them for their presence alone is to ignore that the cast are generally very good. Close is very good at delivering her treacherous character with an air of duplicity but also the sense that she could strike at any time. She is a good actress and she makes this work, making for a fascinating central character. Byrne has the harder job but the narrative (and structure) helps her out by giving her a central role rather than her just being the "fresh eyes" that help the viewer be introduced to her world. She is also very good though and rises to the demands of the plot well. Danson is somewhat of a surprise because, although his character is built on easy charm, he brings out the reality of his character as well, with a tough edge and an inability to shake off his past decisions. Donovan is solid in the midst of all this, with a good presence even if the material gives him less to do than others. Ivanek again shows why he gets such regular work by producing a great character that appears to be in a "supporting" role but yet managed to engage me with his performance (as well as the aspects of his character). The rest of the cast are, at worst, solid but most of them convince in their characters.

Overall season 1 of Damages is an engaging legal thriller that is driven forward by the narrative structure, a twisty plot, good performances and lots of stuff going on in each episode. It isn't built on reality but the strengths carry it through and make it engaging and worth seeing.


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