Last season, FX’s legal thriller series “Damages” began with Rose Byrne’s Ellen exiting a ritzy elevator, bloodied and dazed and wearing nothing but an overcoat. Season two begins tonight at 10 ET, and opens, once again, with Ellen. But this time, she’s firmly in control, playing the role of predator instead of prey.
Who is she talking to as she looks straight into the camera? What is she demanding? And how serious is her threat? As with last season on “Damages,” we’ll just have to wait and see. This is a series that unpeels and reveals its secrets slowly – but boy, is it worth it.
Series star Glenn Close, who plays Ellen’s employer, steely lawyer Patty Hewes, won an Emmy last year for her role here. So did Zeljvo Ivanek, for his supporting role as the ill-fated attorney of Ted Danson’s scheming tycoon Arthur Frobisher. Danson didn’t win an Emmy, but deserved one. As Patty’s principal adversary, he was that good.
This season, Close’s season-long new co-star is William Hurt, another inspired blast from the actress’ past. Just as Danson starred opposite her in “Something about Amelia,” William Hurt played opposite her in “The Big Chill.” The first time they share a scene on “Damages,” there’s a crackle in the air, like when Forest Whitaker showed up opposite Michael Chiklis on FX’s “The Shield.” It’s like watching two heavyweight boxers enter the ring, with the same fierce determination.
This is going to be fun.
Also fun: Other new cast additions this season include Marcia Gay Harden, as a crafty attorney, and Timothy Olyphant, as a member of Ellen’s therapy group. In the first three hours, all of these performers sparkle, and surprise, as “Damages” serves up one twist after another that will have you gasping with surprise – and waiting impatiently but expectantly for the next week’s episode.
Welcome back, “Damages.” 2009 is looking a little brighter already.
Watch a preview clip of tonight’s premiere: