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146 of 152 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still the Best Drama on TV
While neutral about the season 3 (I thought it was too short and disjointed), I found season 4 to be just as smart, suspenseful, superbly plotted, and expertly acted as ever. It's the best season since its debut, and still one of the most relevant-to-the-times dramas on television.

Our heroine Ellen and anti-heroine Patty take on High Star, a private defense...
Published on September 17, 2011 by Reed

versus
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Totally Implausable
Ok...we all understand that the show has to work off stereotypes. The bad characters have to be Christians, business people, Republicans, etc. but they are not even doing a creative job of it.They are just slapping them into one composite character and depend on the politics of viewers carrying the rest. Additionally the whole season turns on The COMPLETELY wacky...
Published on October 22, 2012 by Former Damages Fan


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146 of 152 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still the Best Drama on TV, September 17, 2011
This review is from: Damages: Season 4 (DVD)
While neutral about the season 3 (I thought it was too short and disjointed), I found season 4 to be just as smart, suspenseful, superbly plotted, and expertly acted as ever. It's the best season since its debut, and still one of the most relevant-to-the-times dramas on television.

Our heroine Ellen and anti-heroine Patty take on High Star, a private defense contractor integral in illegal interrogation and extraction activities in Afghanistan. One botched mission serves as platform for a lawsuit. The true purpose of that mission is an underlying mystery known to only one character, which is revealed bit by bit. This is not your typical wartime terrorism, and solving this mystery is essential to the plot so trust that the battlefield flashbacks are relevant and not just filler. Because the CIA is in bed with High Star, it's also not your typical corporate corruption. The stakes to protect the guilty are the highest and most dangerous they've ever been. Ellen and Patty are warned and then threatened to stay away, and of course that makes them all the more hungry to continue.

In a heartbreaking performance, Chris Messina plays Chris Sanchez, a vet and High Star combat employee suffering from acute PTSD and racked with guilt after leading said botched mission. He's an old friend of Ellen's and she convinces him to sue High Star for wrongful deaths - partly in the name of justice, but equally to feed her ambition. But her firm of record is not so ambitious -- so unable to win it without Patty, Ellen goes back to the lair, literally.

John Goodman is well cast as the CEO of High Star. As a staunch Christian, he seemingly struggles reconciling his job and his faith. But through intense prayer (and because his back is up against the wall) he ends up justifying more and more manipulative, illegal and often violent acts as "patriotism" and "God's will". This character is indeed a right-wing stereotype -- he likes to hunt and read from his giant bible -- but it's an accurate portrayal of how "for the good of national security" is misused to feed monetary greed, justify betrayal and commit any heinous act under the sun.

Stereotypes aside, season 4 delivers an accurate dramatization of what happens when private industry leads military actions -- corporate greed always trump everything. Since Patty has a reputation for stomping out corporate greed and now dares to challenge the government, tactics to protect the guilty involve murder, torture, international terrorism, kidnapping and the power of one very clever, resourceful and unscrupulous CIA agent. Because he is always one step ahead, has bottomless resources, and will resort to anything, you wonder how the two lawyers stand a chance of winning this time.

This rogue CIA agent, while as evil as they come, is also multi-dimensional enough to be a different kind of villain. A jaded, reluctant patriot, he's hiding a secret which makes him at times sympathetic. This delicate balance is a genius portrayal by underrated actor Dylan Baker, who should win many awards. At first the "reason behind it all" as revealed through the CIA agent seemed weak enough to be a bit anti-climatic. I can see people saying "all *that* for that?" But it's more important to focus on how a simple mission spiralled out of control and how desperation to cover it up ruined so many lives.

Plus this season makes full use of suspenseful foreshadowing, the show's signature technique. Each episode delivers flash-forward glimpses of a violent and bloody act that's come, revealing a little bit more each episode. You think you know how it may go down, but there are plot twists up until the last minute where all is revealed. So the payoff delivers.

A subplot involves Patty, her toddler granddaughter, and her estranged son Michael. And of course there's the usual cross-manipulative, love-hate relationship between Patty and Ellen that, by the end, reaches an ugly impasse. I had to laugh a yet another last meeting by the water to reflect -- where we know Patty will continue her relentless pursuit of success at the expense of any and all meaningful relationships, while Ellen will continue to fight against following in her footsteps despite the fact that she's cut from the same cloth.

Kudos to Direct TV for picking-up the series after FX dropped it, so it can live on DVD. Prepare to be engrossed. You won't be disappointed.
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49 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Down in the dumps over Damages, September 18, 2011
This review is from: Damages: Season 4 (DVD)
I concur, Damages is the best! How could it be so off the radar? With all the junk on network tv, how could this gem of a program be regulated to Direct TV- whatever that is..please this program should be on a major network...wait, they don't know whats good...but cable channels like AMC or USA..come on , this is a great series!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitley one of the weaker seasons, but still one of the best TV shows, January 10, 2012
By 
Kcirtap (United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Damages: Season 4 (DVD)
Season 4 of Damages was more as a set up for the 5th and final season. Everything you loved about the previous 3 seasons (crazy plot twists, and great characterization) is still there. The only thing that I felt wrong with this season was that it seemed a little rushed. (The writers were cut 3 episodes with the move to DirectTV). Although the season is a little rushed, it's edgier and more realistic than the previous 3 seasons. The "R" rated language, they were allowed to get away with, definitely brought depth to some of the military characters. Damages has always been a gritty show, but now, it's even grittier and darker than ever. This season set up the final season perfectly,(SPOILER, setting up an Ellen vs Patty arc). I'm very excited to see where the Kessler bothers & Zelman are going to take us for the final act.
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33 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WELL, where the heck is it??????????, September 15, 2011
By 
MIKI "LI" (Long Island, New York) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Damages: Season 4 (DVD)
No release date yet????? It's been like months? Need my Damages fix. lol My order was automatically cancelled because it had been so long since I had ordered it and the release date was mentioned. Had to reorder?
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Send me the dvd now!, September 14, 2011
By 
Jason Birnbaum (ALLENTOWN, PA, US) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Damages: Season 4 (DVD)
Why did FX drop this series and allow it to migrate to direct tv? This is possibly the best show on television. I can't wait for the dvd to be released. I want to see it NOW.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Step Down From Former Glory, September 17, 2011
This review is from: Damages: Season 4 (DVD)
This was one of my favorite shows, along with The Good Wife, The Shield, The Wire, Breaking Bad, and so on, and each season only got better the first three times. I loved this show. But Season 4, while certainly entertaining enough to watch, had enough detracting factors to prevent any hearty 5-star rating from this reviewer. The first was the cast.

While John Goodman has never been my favorite actor, he wasn't terrible, but there were other weak links as well. The story for one, about a CIA rogue who working within the services of a defense contractor in Afghanistan, manages to get a group of American soldiers killed on an 'unauthorized' mission. The story becomes one of Ellen actually teaming up with Patty Hewes to take these guys on. Her interest in it revolves around a former male friend from college who was leader of the group that was killed there. Entirely too much time is spent with that actor (forget his name) and his flashbacks of Afghanistan and his buddies getting killed. His performance was also just tolerable. Likewise for the rogue CIA agent that got him embroiled in the mess. And then there's John Goodman to top it off. No, the cast, while having big names, were perhaps too familiar to pump a good sense of mystery into the story. And the story itself and the events that go down were often slightly weak or unplausable, like in the end where the captive boy is allowed to run around free and 'socialize' with the prisoner. Don't worry, I haven't given anything away. But those who've seen it should agree that that scene made no sense and was only allowed to be for the sake of plot contrivance. This was not great film-making or HBO style TV in comparison to previous seasons.

However, lest I rant too negative, a bad season of Damages is still better than a lot of what else is out there, and I was pulled through the season fairly quickly and without too much groaning for the most part. Close is still ferociosly Patty Hewes, though the element of she and Ellen sparing for their lives doesn't really exist in this season. However, we are clearly set up for that by the end of the last episode (note - only 10 episodes this season). Yes, if the end of this season is any indicator, there should be a good clash of the titans come Season 5, which I for one will be watching.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Saga Continues, August 23, 2012
By 
J. Smith Harrison, Jr. (Columbia, SC United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Damages: Season 4 (DVD)
A new season and new twists! This was not just a rehash of the previous seasons. New themes were introduced. The fourth season left us wanting for season 5.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Totally Implausable, October 22, 2012
This review is from: Damages: Season 4 (DVD)
Ok...we all understand that the show has to work off stereotypes. The bad characters have to be Christians, business people, Republicans, etc. but they are not even doing a creative job of it.They are just slapping them into one composite character and depend on the politics of viewers carrying the rest. Additionally the whole season turns on The COMPLETELY wacky assumption that the most profitable Fortune 500 Company would have gone through all this initial trouble in order to avoid paying a death benefit to three widows. This is idiotic on it's face. The conversation would go something like this: Chris: Pay out the death benefit or I will go to lawyers, Erickson:OK ...Instead we are to believe that the company would go to millions of dollars of expense and murder and torture and risk the DOD, CIA, Pentagon implosion, all in order to avoid paying death three benefits that are less than 1 Million dollars.....RIDICULOUS....the pattern of the show gets old and boring anyway, but at least they used to get the math roughly right.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best show, Damages forever, June 26, 2012
This review is from: Damages: Season 4 (DVD)
Damages is by far the best, most intelligent, creative and superbly acted show on TV. So sorry to see it go to Direct TV. As a nurse I would I would wait every week, even sneaking into empty pt rooms on my break to catch some scenes. Oh when Tom got killed I was freaked for another week. This show is always a step ahead of the viewer. And great kudos to Close and Brynnes for their superior performances. Great story line, everything, Sorry to see it go compared to the junk on TV now.
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21 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars bring damages back to regular tv, October 1, 2011
This review is from: Damages: Season 4 (DVD)
If any newtwork executives are reading this please bring Damages back to regular tv. How many people even subscribe to direct tv anymore? Damages is a great show and should be available to everyone.
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Damages: Season 4
Damages: Season 4 by Glenn Close (DVD - 2012)
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