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'Damages' last night: Ted Danson, Frankenstein's monster with white hair

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It’s been a helluva good season of Damages so far, don’t you think? All it was missing, really, was that white-haired prince of darkness, Ted Danson as Arthur Frobisher. And here he was this week, the new-new-new Frobisher, who’s experienced an “epiphany,” an “environmental enlightenment.” The former self-described “greedy monster” is now preaching the gospel of “wind” power, and he’s not just talking about his own grinning gabbiness. No, in Damages‘ ever-clever reconfiguration of the real world into its furtive fiction, Frobisher is pushing a T. Boone Pickens-like wind-farm plan to meet our energy needs.

In a delightful twist, Frobisher never even shared a scene with Glenn Close’s Patty Hewes or even overlapped into one of Damages‘ current plot-lines. No, Arthur was busy wooing investors and celebrities to his noble cause, handing out copies of his newly published memoir, My Long and Windy Road (hah!), and cozying up to a comedy-movie superstar, Terry Brooke, played with a raffish moustache and scruffy stubble by Craig Bierko.

When Bierko/Brooke suggested that Frobisher play himself in a movie, Danson/Frobisher took a funny poke at his own appearance: “On camera, I look like Frankenstein.” Yes, but a very handsome version, Mr. Frobisher: Boris Karloff as a dashing star, without the bolts in the neck.

As far as the show’s main story goes: Those three-months-future flash-forwards — it’s gotten so I regret ever complaining about their profusion at the start of the season — I now look forward (so to speak) to more scenes with Tom Noonan’s always wonderfully off-beat cop and more of the puzzle pieces fall into place. (You just knew Martin Short’s terrifically malevolent lawyer Lenny Winstone was going to be a bad guy, but he’s exceeded all expectations for squirrelly behavior.)

And I think every little showdown between Patty and her son Michael’s girlfriend Jill is pure sadistic pleasure. Increasingly, Damages is a mosaic of excellent moments that’s cohering to form a big picture of avarice, agony, and evil.

Are you enjoying Damages this season? Were you as glad as I was to see the return of Ted Danson?

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