By Margaret Lyons
January 26, 2010 at 10:50 AM EST
  • TV Show

Talk about back with a vengeance: Last night’s Damages was the show in a nutshell. Shocking twists! Crazy subtext! Almost too-much time-jumping! And oh so very much mystery. Serious spoilers below.

First things first: Tom! Noooo! “Your Secrets Are Safe” didn’t have its explosive moment until the very last cut, but the image of a Laura Palmer-esque Tom Shayes getting zipped into a body bag still has my jaw on the floor. It was far and away the most exciting development of the night, even among other elements of real intrigue.

At the top of our mystery list of the season — just below what happened to Tom of course — is who hit Patty, and why was the car registered to Tom? How did Ellen’s bag wind up in the shopping cart, smeared with blood, and just a few feet away from Tom’s body? And how is this all connected to the Tobin case?

“It’s not a mask; what you see is what you get,” Patty purred at the top of the episode to one Julian Decker. It’s such a typical Damages line: So totally false, and yet Patty herself may very well believe it. Keith Carradine had some practice playing a charming, know-it-all silver fox on Dexter, and while Decker presumably has a darker, more sinister life than Agent Lundy, he’s still a welcome addition here. Patty is so tough the show sometimes struggles to find appropriate foils for her. To make early odds, Decker looked like someone who can hold his own with Patty.

And so did Lily Tomlin’s Marilyn Tobin. Her back-and-forth with Patty was brilliantly stuffed with subtext:

Marilyn: So you understand that men have their secrets.

Patty: Yes, but so do women. And I find that women are better at keeping them.

Damages‘s trademark time jumps were in full effect on the episode, but if anything were more distracting than intriguing. Still, a bang-up start to a new season, right, PopWatchers?

For more on the shocking ending, check out EW’s Michael Ausiello’s post-mortem with Damages‘ executive producers.

Image credit: Timothy White/FX

  • TV Show
  • 07/24/07
  • In Season
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