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DAMAGES (article first published : 2008-01-27)

Damages, starring the legendary Glenn Close (start on M-Net on January 15 at 21h30) delves deep into the intrigue swirling around an ambitious new lawyer who signs on with a high profile litigator who will stop at nothing to expose a ruthless billionaire’s stock market manipulation. Alongside Close, the series stars include Ted Danson, Rose Byrne, and Zeljko Ivanek.

Upon graduating from law school, Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne) is ready to put her newfound expertise to work in New York City. She’s invited to interview at Hewes & Associates, a high-profile firm led by Patty Hewes (Glenn Close), a relentless litigator with a keen instinct for truth and justice and the lawyer of choice for clients who are up against powerful corporate titans. Though she loses one lucrative offer after word gets out that she is being courted by Hewes, Ellen refuses to bow to Patty’s 24/7 schedule for an interview that would mean missing her sister’s wedding. However, impressed by how this new lawyer stuck to her guns, Patty shows up at the wedding to offer Ellen the job.

At Hewes & Associates, Ellen learns the ropes – and of the rigours of the job – from Patty’s trusted lieutenant, Tom Kent, before being put to work on a civil suit targeting Arthur Frobisher, a billionaire businessman accused of an illegal stock sale that saved his own fortune but bankrupted his employees. Ignoring efforts to settle out of court by the tycoon’s cunning lawyer, Ray Fiske, Patty senses the chance for a big win that will send a costly message to Frobisher, while satisfying her clients and making her richer.

The only problem is that not even a thorough Federal investigation into the sale could produce a shred of evidence that Frobisher had any knowledge of the questionable transaction. Still, aware of Patty’s track record, Frobisher decides to avoid the risk of going before a jury and entices a former custodian to convince the other plaintiffs to accept a $100,000,000 settlement in exchange for dropping the case. Faced with a mutiny once her clients vote to accept the money instead of going to trial, Patty explodes, firing Tom for failing to know that they had already agreed to settle for the right sum.

When Ellen discovers that her boyfriend David’s (Noah Bean) sister, Katie Connor, was working as Frobisher’s chef at the same time the stock sale took place, suddenly there’s a crack that could blow the case wide open. Because Frobisher is also an investor in her new restaurant, Katie is reluctant to go on record with anything that might jeopardize her new business venture – at least until he tries to intimidate her.

When the stunt backfires and Katie insists on going after whoever was responsible, even Frobisher, Ellen begins to suspect that she may be caught up in a complex conspiracy that Patty has purposely engineered in order to get Katie to testify. Failing to see just how on-target her suspicions are, she walks deeper into the trap that Patty has set for Frobisher – and for her. And with her world suddenly crumbling around her, Ellen turns to the police for help in unravelling the case as Patty redoubles her efforts to make sure that Frobisher pays for his sins.

Damages just received four nominations at the 2008 Golden Globes Awards: Best Television series: Drama; Glenn Close for Best Performance by an actress in a TV series – Drama; Rose Byrne for Best Performance by an actress in a supporting role in a series made for TV, and Ted Danson for Best Performance by an actor in a supporting role in a series made for TV.




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