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Damages Looks To Boil A Bunny

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Before I begin, let me just remind everyone that we hurt most the ones we love…

I watch Damages every week, and every week it just baffles me more and more. Last night, it was implied that Lila, the girl that David (Noah Bean) is having a relationship with behind the back of Ellen (Rose Byrne), his fiancée, may be the murderer. I absolutely refuse to believe that. Sure, she could have done it, but how disappointing would it be plot-wise for her to be the murderer?

The show is centered around the Frobisher case; for the murder to be this extraneous thing committed by an uninvolved nut would be a hugely unsatisfactory solution. Why waste the audience's time showing how volatile Frobisher is and, for that matter, how willing everyone involved in the case is to do anything to win if they are all irrelevant? Rather, it seems as though the producers have made Lila into a nut not just to throw out a red herring to the audience, but to not-so-slyly give a little nudge-nudge, wink-wink too. After all, who watching last night didn't expect to see David enter his apartment to a little bunny stew, Fatal Attraction-style? And, who provided the boiled bunny in Fatal Attraction? That's right, Glenn Close, star of Damages.

So, it’s inconceivable to me that Lila could be the murderer. Sure, she is a liar, a thief, and clearly unstable, but to have her be the murderer would be unsatisfying to the audience for multiple reasons. Unless, of course, Lila is somehow tied to the Frobisher thing, which seems like just the sort of twist the producers would throw in to the show. That would bring up a multitude of problems though, including, but certainly not limited to, how she was able to make sure that David was the doctor who was assigned to the case that brought her to the hospital.

Leaving aside this stretch of a possibility, I’m left disappointed with the entire notion of using Lila as a red herring. Why spend so much time dangling this possibility before the audience if having it be true would ruin the show? Are they just out of ideas? Do they know where they want the season to end up but not how to get it there?

Let’s not forget I haven’t even mentioned Frobisher (Ted Danson) and his actions in last night’s episode. I think that Danson is giving a fantastic performance; he is, quite possibly, the best on the series. He may fly off the handle a little bit more than is plausible (was beating up the ghost writer actually necessary?), but if he’s some sort of psychopathic murderer, maybe not. Did he commit the murder (or pay someone to have it done)? Sure, that is sort of the straightforward solution to the crime, but I still think it is a good one. I think that Frobisher can be the culprit if the reasons for his doing it are more interesting than anything we have seen so far. It isn’t my favorite solution, but it works.

It works a heck of a lot better than Lila being responsible. Seriously, can we please either stop dangling that red herring or start explaining how she could be involved with Frobisher and set the whole thing up?

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About Josh Lasser

Josh has deftly segued from a life of being pre-med to film school to television production to writing about the media in general. And by 'deftly' he means with agonizing second thoughts and the formation of an ulcer.