Damages – Season 4
Damages has already reached its fourth season on DVD and we’re starting to notice it. Not that the series is truly getting worse, but the whole thing with the flashbacks and -forwards is starting to lose its purpose and it isn’t helping the show.
In this fourth season we see Patty Hewes might not have gotten entirely over the death of her former partner Tom Shayes, but that doesn’t stop her from continueing her work in her own way. Ellen Parsons in the meantime is trying to stand on her own feet and has found a case against a private security firm, under the lead of Howard T. Ericksson (John Goodman), who’s conducted illegal missions in Afghanistan. As these were done under command of the CIA, however, the bureau she works for feels the case is too risky to go forward with and as such Ellen feels forced to again reach out to her former mentor, Patty. Patty’s help, however, isn’t without consequences and as such the life of Ellen’s friend Chris Sanchez, who worked for Ericksson’s company, gets in jeopardy.
As said Damages again has its typical use of flashbacks and -forwards, but unlike in previous seasons the importance of these is minimal and it also looks as if the makers have included it to keep the specific feel of the show rather than using it to keep tension high. The suggestions these scenes bring forth aren’t all too credible and after a couple of episodes you already gather what they’re trying to make you believe but you’re no longer fooled (which was the case in previous seasons).
What remains is the lawyer drama that gets uplifted a bit by the story surrounding a corrupt CIA agent and the security firm to which Ellen aims her crosshairs. As such not bad, but not at the same level as previous seasons. Hopefully season 5 gets back to the high standard the show used to have (which is very possibly seeing the happenings surrounding Patty’s son!).
Image and sound of the show are again of good quality. The flashbacks and -forwards of course look grainy and all but pretty, but that’s intentional. The parts that play in the current time are very sharp, beautifully filmed and even have an artistic view from time to time. Also the sound is decent, but not really special.
Qua extras there’s some deleted scenes, outtakes, and two featurettes; “A Case for War” and “The Evolution of Patty Hewes”. In the first cast & crew give some more background on the storyline and characters from season 4, while the latter has Glenn Close dissecting her own character of Patty Hewes for 7 minutes.