On July 13 at 10 p.m. EST, the New York City-set Damages returns for its fourth season only on DIRECTV, uncut and commercial-free. Glenn Close (Reversal of Fortune, The Big Chill) and Rose Byrne (Bridesmaids, X-Men: First Class) return to the Emmy Award-winning legal thriller/drama as attorneys Patty Hewes and Ellen Parsons, respectively.
The first three seasons built the relationship between the ethically challenged Hewes and the morally conflicted Parsons as they took on high profile civil cases at Hewes & Associates (later Hewes, Shayes, & Associates) along with Hewes’ number two, Tom Shayes (Tate Donovan (Friends, The O.C.)). Each year began at the “end” of a mystery and spent the subsequent episodes explaining how the characters got to that point with flashbacks and new information regarding the “current” investigation. The show obtained critical acclaim for this story-telling method, its focus of one major case per season (although with plenty of twists and complexities), and the ways storylines threaded throughout the entire series, with the impact of cases seen on parties after the final judgment had been decreed.
Season 1 featured Ellen Parsons, a new and bright-eyed law school graduate accepting an offer from renowned attorney Patty Hewes. Together, they sought to take down businessman Arthur Frobisher (Ted Danson (Cheers, Bored to Death)) on behalf of his employees, whom he swindled through insider trading. As Hewes and Parsons delved deeper into the case, they encountered betrayal and danger, including the murder of Parson’s fiancé and the attempted murder of Parsons herself. The season won Emmy Awards for Close as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series and Zeljko Ivanek (Homicide: Life on the Streets, Big Love) as Frobisher’s distraught attorney Ray Fiske, as well as for Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series.
Season 2 started with Parsons acting undercover for the government to bring down Hewes, but the primary case of the season revolved around Daniel Purcell (William Hurt, Altered States, Broadcast News) accused of killing his wife. Although not a criminal attorney, Hewes agreed to help her friend prove his innocence. As the case unraveled, a larger conspiracy emerged involving energy companies and stock fraud. The season also starred Timothy Olyphant (Justified, Deadwood), Marcia Gay Harden (The Mist, Pollock), and Saturday Night Live‘s Darrell Hammond turning in a remarkably good performance as Deacon, a “The Wolf”-type clean up character. Glenn Close received her second Emmy award for her portrayal of Patty Hewes.
Returning to the field of financial misdoings, in Season 3 the characters investigated the aftermath of the collapse of a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme developed by Louis Tobin (Len Cariou (Blue Bloods, 1408)). Believing that the Tobins had money stashed away, Hewes (wanting to re-distribute whatever she could to those he ruined) goes against the Tobin family including son Joe (Campbell Scott (Rodger Dodger, Royal Pains)) and wife Marilyn (Lily Tomlin ( I Heart Huckabees, Short Cuts)). Martin Short (The Three Amigos, Saturday Night Live) earned an Emmy nomination for his dramatic performance as Leonard Winstone, the family attorney whom Louis treated as a son (possibly more so than Joe).
As season 4 begins, Parsons has spent the past two years at a new law firm, Nye, Everett and Polk, but she misses the thrill and importance that comes with working on epic cases at Hewes & Associates. When a high school friend (Chris Sanchez played by Chris Messina (Greenberg, Vicky Cristina Barcelona)) reveals to Parsons about his experience working with High Star Security Corporation, a major private security firm operating in the Middle East, she learns about possible illicit actions performed by the company. After Nye, Everett and Polk rejects her bid to develop a case against High Star, Parsons turns to Patty Hewes with this opportunity. Continuing its tradition of impressive casting, this season of Damages includes Dylan Baker (Happiness, the Raimi Spider-Man trilogy) as an employee of High Star Security Corporation and John Goodman (coming back to television after his role on the first season of Treme) as its CEO.
To learn more about Damages, visit its official page at http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/content/damages or on Twitter @pattyhewes and @ellenparsons. Damages was created by Glenn Kessler, Todd A. Kessler, and Daniel Zelman.