shrewdly in­vests its sea­son of mys­tery in Mad­off-in­spired scan­dal

Cape Breton Post - - TV LISTINGS -

NEW YORK Mad­off.

Af­ter two sea­sons plumb­ing other ar­eas of sin and cor­po­rate cor­rup­tion, the new sea­son of FX’s le­gal thriller Dam­ages (air­ing in Canada on Show­case) stands to make a killing in in­vest­ment ripoffs.

Why not? A Bernie Mad­off­s­cope Ponzi scheme de­stroys peo­ple while driv­ing some of them to de­stroy oth­ers. It ex­poses dread­ful se­crets: Some peo­ple dis­cover they’re not rich, but broke, while oth­ers are re­vealed to be morally bank­rupt.

This be­comes a per­fect show­case for drama, es­pe­cially through the dark lens of Dam­ages. Its

(AP) — Thank Bernie Mad­off-in­spired story line is guar­an­tee­ing view­ers a rich pay­off.

The 13-hour sea­son airs its third episode Mon­day, and al­ready it’s de­liv­er­ing div­i­dends.

We al­ready know that high­stakes lit­i­ga­tor Patty Hewes (se­ries star Glenn Close) is mount­ing a class-action law­suit on be­half of the vic­tims of fi­nancier Louis Tobin, whose fund every­one in New York wanted to get in, and who bilked his in­vestors for bil­lions of dol­lars.

We know that Patty’s one-time pro­tege, Ellen Par­sons, has left Hewes&As­so­ci­ates for a job in the New York district at­tor­ney’s of­fice, where she, too, will have Tobin in her sights.

But we know that Ellen (co-star Rose Byrne) will re-ig­nite her com­pli­cated, even toxic, re­la­tion­ship with Patty, who, af­ter months with no con­tact, sends Ellen a peace of­fer­ing — a $3,000 Chanel hand­bag — that leaves her per­plexed. And dis­turbingly pleased.

We know that Tom Shayes, Patty’s loyal law-firm lieu­tenant who is help­ing her build the case against Tobin, has been granted part­ner sta­tus by Patty in her firm.

Shock­ingly, we also know that Shayes (Tate Dono­van, an orig­i­nal cast mem­ber) will be dead six months from now. We’ve seen the body, re­cov­ered by de­tec­tives from a river­side trash con­tainer. And we know bad things led up to it: He, too, was one of Tobin’s in­vestors. Shayes, his wife and their ex­tended fam­ily — all of whom trusted in Tobin’s Mi­das touch — lost ev­ery­thing.

Also loom­ing ahead: Some­one seems to be try­ing to kill Patty. How does all this add up? Dam­ages, which from its start was a jagged thriller mixed with a plush melo­drama, has some­times seemed a tease in how it parcels out clues to what’s go­ing on. But the truth is, the an­swers come thick and fast. The chal­lenge for a viewer — and it’s thor­oughly plea­sur­able, once you’re hooked — is to puz­zle out what the “an­swers” mean.

Dam­ages has al­ways been sly in its use of flash­backs and flash-for­wards. This sea­son, tem­po­ral po­lar­i­ties jockey be­tween the hereand-now and what the show’s ti­tle card iden­ti­fies as “6 MONTHS LATER.”

So, OK, the nar­ra­tive is a bit frag­mented, tog­gling back and forth a few times per episode. For ex­am­ple, the sea­son pre­miere’s fi­nal mo­ments deftly jux­ta­posed the sight of Shayes’ corpse in a body bag (“6 MONTHS LATER”) with his proud su­per­vi­sion at the of­fice, in the present, as work­men hang the law firm’s new shin­gle: “Hewes Shayes As­so­ci­ates.”

“Per­fect,” he de­clares, looking on with sat­is­fac­tion.

Dizzy­ing? Just keep your eyes on the screen. Ad­dic­tive? Just you wait.

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