With the second season of the legal thriller Damages
, the creators, writers, cast, and crew have accomplished a minor miracle by producing 13 episodes that match--and, at times, surpass--the level of nail-biting drama and suspense that made the show's freshman season one of the best in 21st-century television. The core cast is back for this round--which is something of a surprise, given that novice lawyer Rose Byrne is convinced that her legal-eagle boss (Glenn Close) is responsible for the murder of her fiancé. The story neatly weaves together a murder mystery involving an old flame (William Hurt) of Close's, Byrne's collaboration with federal agents (led by Mario Van Peebles, who also directs the season's fourth episode, "Hey! Mr. Pibb!"), and Hurt's involvement in an environmental scandal that implicates a major corporation. The threads come together in impressive fashion, and the quality of the writing and direction is matched at every turn by the cast, which also includes Marcia Gay Harden as Close's opposing council; Tate Donovan as Byrne's saintly confidante; Ted Danson, who reprises his winning turn as disgraced billionaire Arthur Frobisher; Saturday Night Live
's Darrell Hammond as an unnerving killer; and a trio of HBO vets--Deadwood
's Timothy Olyphant and The Wire
's John Dornan and Clarke Peters--as a shady love interest for Byrne and a pair of malevolent corporate apparatchiks. If the third season of Damages
achieves the level of quality of season 2 and its predecessor, it will be the neatest hat trick on TV since The Sopranos
The three-disc set of Damages' second season features a healthy selection of extras for series devotees to enjoy. Writers and creators Glenn Dessler, Daniel Zelman, and Todd Kessler are featured on commentary tracks for four episodes, and they're joined by members of the cast on each: Byrne (who may surprise some with her Australian accent) and a wry Olyphant on season opener "I Lied, Too"; Danson on "They Had to Tweeze That Out of My Kidney"; Donovan on "Look What He Dug Up This Time"; and Close on "Trust Me." The creative team is also front and center for Season Two: Post Mortem, which is informative for those wondering how the producers and writers work with the show's nonlinear format; the cast is the focal point for Character Profiles, which features short bios and chats with the main players. A battery of deleted scenes round out the set's supplemental features. --Paul Gaita
Seven Emmy Nominations For This Season Of The Award-Winning Show! After Her Unprecedented Victory Over Billionaire Arthur Frobisher (Ted Danson), Patty Hewes (Glenn Close) Has The Legal World At Her Feet. Just As She'S Pondering Her Next Move, Daniel Purcell (William Hurt), A Man From Patty'S Mysterious Past, Storms Back Into Her Life, Catapulting Patty Into A New Legal Challenge. What Starts As A Domestic Murder Case, Escalates Into The Highest Reaches Of Government As Patty Unearths A Vast Conspiracy. At The Same Time, Ellen (Rose Byrne) Is On A Mission To Take Down Patty. She'S Agreed To Act As An Informant For The Fbi, Assisting Them In Their Criminal Investigation Of Patty And The Firm. As Patty Unravels The Mystery Surrounding Daniel Purcell, She Must Also Negotiate The Perilous Minefield Both Inside And Outside Her Office.