'Damages' exclusive: The scoop behind tonight's shocking twist!

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?
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?
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
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?
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


Comments (61 total) Add your comment
Page: 1 2 3 4
  • Will

    Yep. Jaw still on floor

  • Angela

    holy crap, i love this show.

    • Reality

      I saw it coming from the minute the cops went into the apartment.

      • jenn

        I suspected it when Patty told him she was going to put his name on the door. Because there’s no way that would last.

  • madcatjo


    • Tommy

      Or third.

  • curt

    loved the plot twist–Damages keeps getting better & better with each season. I’m already hooked again.

  • Collette

    OMG is right. My mouth was hanging open.

  • Mason

    I was literally yelling at the TV. I frickin’ love this show.

  • keith

    oh. my. god.

  • piscesguy

    an amazing hour of television!!!!!! this is the best show on tv. i nearly fell out of my chair when I saw Tom in the body bag . . . .wtf is up with the handbag being found at the scene too . . . I love how this show has so many clues and tricks.

    • kim in kentucky

      the purse AND Tom’s cell phone!

  • Dave

    Jaw on the floor. I still can’t believe it. Damages is so juicy and fun and filled with excellent drama, I’m so glad it’s back on. I can’t wait to see how this season pans out.

    • tvfan

      OMG — this keeps getting better

  • Michael

    I just couldn’t believe it when I saw it. I called it a second before I saw his face but then 1/2 second afterward I though “they can’t do that.” But this is Damages. They can do anything. Absolutely fantastic! If it is in fact a trick of some sort I know this show can make it unbelievable and compelling, that’s just the type of show Damages is.

  • Cunegonde

    absolutely flabbergasted by the revelation of tom’s death. but the show has always given us such twists and i like the fact that even a main character can die. hope this season lives up to this premise (i.e. tom’s death). way to go!

  • PHD

    this show is so under appreciated and follows the shield, nip/tuck and rescue me for FX dramatic excellence

  • psb1962


  • one love

    I soooo called it as they were panning up the body bag!! But was so sad for Tom! I think Patty is behind it (why she was so willing to put his name on the door after 11 years–because she knew it wouldn’t be there long!!). Love Damages!!

    • Dave

      Never underestimate what Patty Hewes is capable of!

  • Jay

    This show is too good for words. I love it. Loved tonight’s episode, love the entire show.

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