WARNING: Stop reading if you have yet to watch tonight’s third season premiere of Damages. Everyone else, onward and downward…
Damages has performed some neat plot tricks over the years, but tonight’s climactic, flash-forwardy twist raised the OMG! bar to a whole new level. To recap: It was revealed that one of the show’s three core characters will end up (MAJOR SPOILER ALERT) in a body bag at the conclusion of the season! WTF? I got executive producers Todd A. Kessler and Glenn Kessler on the horn to answer that question and more.
Why’d you kill off Tom?
TODD A. KESSLER: The theme of the entire series being ‘What price success?,’ we had the idea back when we were writing the pilot that one of the central characters should [eventually] lose their life based on a case. We’ve been thrilled with Tate Donovan and the performance that he’s given the first two seasons, and really feel he’s an actor worthy of a great story and a great thrill ride. So we wanted to tell a story where one of the main characters loses their life, and we wanted it to be organic and not feel like a twist. I wrote and produced the second and third seasons of The Sopranos, and I wrote the episode where Pussy gets killed by Tony. It’s what makes cable a great venue; you can take chances and no one is safe character-wise. It really creates unpredictable storytelling.
Can you confirm that Tom is, in fact, dead?
GLENN KESSLER: We can certainly confirm that he’s in a dumpster and in a body bag at the end of the episode.
But this is Damages…
TODD: We do not believe the audience will feel manipulated at the end of the season when it’s revealed what has actually happened.
What was Tate’s reaction when you told him what you were doing this season?
GLENN: He told us he thought the story was incredible. He thought it was a fantastic plot twist. And he absolutely wishes he was not the guy playing it — only because he loved being part of the show. But he understands what our intentions are. We’re going to bring Tom front and center [this season]. There’s been a lot of maneuvering going on between Patty and Ellen in the last couple of seasons, and Tom has been Patty’s right-hand man, and he’s also been with Ellen and against Ellen. And this season we get to broaden that triangle.
Thoughts? Did you see the twist coming? Or is your jaw still on the floor? Sound off below! And click here to read TVGuide.com’s exclusive postmortem with Mr. Donovan.
PHOTO CREDIT: Timothy White/FX