Damages (season 5)

The fifth and final season of the legal drama series Damages premiered July 11, 2012 on the DirecTV owned Audience Network[1] concluding on September 12, 2012.[2] The season has 10 episodes, making a series total of 59 episodes. The fifth season was released on DVD in region 1 on July 16, 2013.[3]

Damages (season 5)
Damages S5.jpg
Region 1 DVD artwork
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes10
Original networkAudience Network
Original releaseJuly 11 (2012-07-11) –
September 12, 2012 (2012-09-12)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 4
List of Damages episodes

Cast and charactersEdit

Main castEdit

Recurring castEdit


No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
501"You Want to End This Once and For All?"Matthew PennTodd A. Kessler & Glenn Kessler & Daniel ZelmanJuly 11, 2012 (2012-07-11)

In the wake of the High Star case, Ellen launches her own firm and, according to Patty, is looking for a high profile case to help her make a name for herself. Simultaneously, Ellen is testifying against Patty in Michael's custody suit. Meanwhile, Naomi Walling (Jenna Elfman), a trader for the Princefield Investment Bank, approaches Channing McClaren (Ryan Phillippe), the founder of a website where confidential whistle-blowers can post information, intending to disclose illegal activity within her firm. McClaren, anticipating the need for legal protection, seeks Patty’s legal expertise, but she refuses to represent him and instead recommends Ellen. Later, Ellen meets with McClaren and wonders whether to take the job when she learns Patty recommended her. Promised anonymity, Naomi leaks the information against Princefield but somehow her personal emails disclosing her name and affairs with multiple high-ranking Wall Street traders are included in the encrypted leak. As a result, her life begins to fall apart. Naomi's daughter Rachel, a high school senior, seeks Patty’s help in suing McClaren for leaking the information but Naomi refuses to allow legal action. That same night, Naomi is murdered by two unknown men who stage the murder to look like she committed suicide by slashing her wrists in the bathtub. Naomi’s death is ruled a suicide and Patty files a wrongful death suit against Channing McClaren. Ellen's testimony in Michael's custody case is challenged by Patty, which presents Ellen with a hard choice: testify against Patty in the custody case or accept McClaren's offer and try a case against Patty. Ellen decides to take McClaren's case and convinces Michael to put the custody hearing on hold. Mentor and protégée prepare to face each other in court.

Three months later, Patty is arrested and questioned by the detectives who worked David Connor's murder. Ellen is shown unconscious in an alley.
512"Have You Met the Eel Yet?"Colin BuckseyHans TobeasonJuly 18, 2012 (2012-07-18)

Publicly stating that he did not intend to expose Naomi's private life, Channing McClaren is involved in a media frenzy. Patty and Ellen face each other in court, where Ellen suspects that the judge is favoring Patty. An enigmatic woman named Kate Franklin approaches Ellen and offers to be her new associate. However, Ellen discovers that Kate had worked for Patty twenty years ago, and as a loyalty test sends her to Patty, making demands she double the offer Ellen made. Patty falls into the trap and tries to hire Franklin. Having overheard a conversation at Patty's, Kate confirms Ellen's doubts about the judge, leading Ellen to hire Kate and blackmail the judge. At the same time, a private investigator working for Ellen finds evidence Naomi had met Channing, contradictory to Channing's statement. After the judge recuses himself from the case and a new one steps in, Ellen finds out that Patty had orchestrated everything: the judge was ruling in favor of Ellen, so Patty manipulated Ellen to believe the opposite, making room for a new, more favorable judge.

In the future timeline, Ellen is shown meeting someone before her alleged fall. Meanwhile, the police allow Patty to make a phone call and she calls the missing Ellen, whose phone is lying beside her in the alley as an obscure figure looks down at her from the rooftop.
523"Failure is Failure"Jean de SegonzacArthur PhillipsJuly 25, 2012 (2012-07-25)
Ellen confronts Channing about the video in the hotel corridor where he allegedly meets Naomi. He confesses that he has met with Naomi twice. Once in Rome and the second time in the hotel room briefly before her suicide. He claims that they only discussed the arrangements of their agreement without anything happening between them. As a result Ellen deposes Rachel Walling who gives her a different story. Namely her mother had met Channing twice, but they had sex the first time while the second he tried to rape her. As a proof she has Channing's damaged cigarette box which he had thrown in the wall while threatening her mother. After days of seeming defeat, Ellen questions Rachel about the last phone call she had with her mother. Rachel says that her mother called and they talked briefly about their mutual love and they said their goodbyes. However, Ellen, through the phone records proving that the last phone call lasted only two seconds, proves that Rachel may be lying about everything she claims she knows about her mother. After successfully deposing Rachel, Ellen celebrates with Chris only to be interrupted by her grieving mother. At the end the new associate of Ellen's, Kate Franklin, appears at Patty's apartment telling Patty that "he" is dying and that Patty should finally contact him. Leaving the identity of the man or Kate's relationship with Patty unknown.
534"I Love You, Mommy"Marcos SiegaJason WilbornAugust 1, 2012 (2012-08-01)
Patty arrives in her office to find her granddaughter Catherine sitting at her desk. When Catherine refuses to move Patty lashes out at her, only to see Catherine replaced by Ellen. It's the same dream Patty had earlier. But this time Ellen says, "I love you, Mommy." Waking from her dream, Patty finds herself on the couch in her apartment. Patty meets an old friend Roger Kastle (Michael Gaston), who tells her she's on the short list for the Supreme Court. When the SEC blocks Patty's access to Princefield's computer servers, Patty goes to the media saying that McClaren sexually assaulted Naomi Walling. Incensed, Ellen schedules a hearing with Judge Gearheart who in turn issues a gag order on both women. When Ellen complains that Patty manipulated the situation, Judge Gearheart takes offense and tells her the order stands. Ellen learns her mother, Denise, left her abusive husband Gary. Patty hires a new associate Jake Stahl who has a specialty in cyber law. A hacker known as Samurai Seven contacts Patty and Ellen, offering to sell them information about Princefield. During a late-night drop, Patty gets the Princefield information. Ellen arrives later, after Patty's gone. Just as the hacker's about to give her the information, he's murdered. As Patty reads through the hacker's trove of data on Princefield she falls asleep and again dreams of Ellen. This time their exchange is more chilling and Patty flashes back to Ellen struggling for her life with the assassin.
545"There's Something Wrong With Me"Tate DonovanHans TobeasonAugust 8, 2012 (2012-08-08)
Ellen dreams of her attack only to wake up in her office. Patty arrives in Ellen's office for a meeting. After Patty fishes for a minute, Ellen bluffs that she bought the Princefield information from the hacker and Patty doesn't let on that she actually does have it. While Ellen works to track down the hacker, Patty learns that Princefield's CEO has been cooperating with the SEC's investigation. The SEC official acknowledges he has recordings of Naomi Walling's communications. Patty threatens him to find any records of Naomi's communications with McClaren or Patty will issue a press release indication the SEC knew about the insider trading but failed to act on it. Ellen schedules a meeting with Judge Gearheart, where Beth Kim provides evidence that Patty bought the information. Patty hands over the information. Ellen has another nightmare only to bolt awake in her office. Patty visits her dying father in the nursing home. The old man offers to put Patty in his will. She declines and tells him never to contact her again.
556"I Need to Win"Daniel ZelmanJosh PayneAugust 15, 2012 (2012-08-15)

Ellen continues to have disturbing dreams about her late fiancé. Later, she thinks that she sees the hitman who tried to kill her years ago. Her trauma counselor advises her to drop the case. In separate interviews with Patty and Ellen, Thomas Weld, who had stayed in the room next to Naomi Walling's, says he did not hear an argument from Naomi's room, which does not help Patty's case. Ellen pushes further by promises not to expose Weld, discovering he was carrying on an affair at the hotel. Naomi's daughter Rachel is confronted by Naomi's former boss, which causes her to consider dropping the case. Later she's approached directly by McClaren who convinces her to listen to his side of the story. In his retelling, McClaren is less aggressive. Instead, McClaren is awkward and his extremely poor social skills create a misunderstanding. Despite his actions quite clearly constituting a sexual assault, he was trying to be seductive and persistent, not aggressive. He accepts full responsibility and Rachel tells Patty to accept the settlement. Until this point, McClaren left Ellen unaware that he'd made a settlement offer, so Ellen is taken by surprise. Meanwhile, Kate lets Ellen know she still has some prior business with Patty. During Richard Weld's deposition, Patty confronts him with new evidence, at which Weld admits he heard McClaren berating and threatening Naomi. His vivid description is compelling. When Rachel sees the tape, she immediately rejects the settlement offer. It is revealed Weld's testimony was the result of blackmail by Ellen with Patty's support: both want to sabotage the settlement to bring the case goes to court. Ellen blackmailed the witness to make him provide the damning testimony; Patty agreed that the testimony will never be used in court.

Two months in the future, the courtroom is being called to order on the trial's first day.
567"The Storm's Moving In"Tate DonovanTodd A. Kessler & Glenn Kessler & Daniel ZelmanAugust 22, 2012 (2012-08-22)

Channing learns about the death of Samurai Seven, the computer hacker. Meanwhile, Patty and Ellen travel to Maine University to depose Dr. Lee Collins, a computer science expert who analyzed Princefield's servers. Chris Sanchez, who now counsels military veterans, learns that the military routinely prescribes antidepressants to servicemen suffering from PTSD via web chat sessions and sends them back to combat without meeting a doctor in person. Chris wants Ellen to give this story to Channing. Channing meets with Beth Kim, Samurai Seven's girlfriend, where she tells him that Ellen, Gitta, and Patty met Samurai Seven behind Channing's back. Rutger Simon meets with a major funder of McClarenTruth and describes the information that Samurai Seven leaked and how both sides of the cases now have access to it. He explains that Princefield was conducting its own investigation into Naomi Walling long before she began speaking to McClaren, and that Princefield's CEO Bennett Herreshoff turned over the results of the investigation to the SEC. In Maine, Dr. Collins tells Patty and Ellen that Naomi's personal information was hacked from her laptop by someone with extensive expertise, possibly McClaren or Samurai Seven. A snowstorm arrives, prompting Patty to invite Ellen to board her private plane, an invitation that Ellen accepts. McClaren meets Naomi Walling's old boss, Bruce Davies, to see what he knows, explaining that Princefied's CEO Bennett Herreshoff was investigating both Davies and Naomi. In response, Davies explains that Herreshoff helped create Fund 23 with the express purpose of insider trading. Nothing leads back to the insulated Herreshoff, who had no motive to kill Samurai Seven. Davies writes down the name of the man who gave him the stock tips that led to the insider trading. Later, McClaren returns to tell Rutger the name of the man Bruce Davies gave: Helmut Torben, the donor Rutger had just met with.

At the airport, Patty comments that, despite their differences, she and Ellen have a lot in common. Ellen claims the only reason they're still in each other's lives is Patty manufactured the McClaren case to prevent Ellen from testifying. On the subject, Patty asks Ellen what is the worst thing she knows about Patty. Enraged, Ellen calls Patty "crazy", reminding her that she admitted to trying to have Ellen killed. Patty denies it, claiming that because Ellen had Patty at gunpoint during the admission, Patty only said what she thought Ellen needed to hear in order to let her go. Ellen is so unnerved by this conversation that she decides to wait for another flight.
578"I'm Afraid of What I'll Find"Ken GirottiHans TobeasonAugust 29, 2012 (2012-08-29)

Ellen continues private counseling while Patty continues to be courted for the Supreme Court. However, Patty is warned she must first deal with any existing improprieties, which reminds her of the attempted murder of Ellen. Gitta and McClaren go to Ellen with the information that Torben both assisted in Fund 23's insider trading and funds McClarenTruth. Michael discovers that his maternal grandfather, Lyle Hewes, is still alive and wishes the family land to go to Michael after his death. Lyle fails to convince Michael to drop the custody case. Later, Michael fails to convince Patty to release her portion and allow him to inherit the family land. After Ellen visits Uncle Pete's widow in her search for the man who was hired to kill her, the widow contacts the assassin, named Patrick, to warn him. Ellen gives a part of the blood stained business card (from season 1) to the detectives who worked the case of David's murder, asking them to test it for the DNA of her assassin. The press surrounding the case suddenly becomes positive when Chris Sanchez and McClarenTruth release the anonymous information on the soldiers with PTSD. Patty reveals to Ellen that she knows the identity of Torben and she demands the complete finances of McClarenTruth. Ellen finally learns the identity of her assassin—Patrick Scully, a petty criminal. Patty accepts the nomination for the Supreme Court.

Two weeks later, Patrick Scully is depicted on a roof looking down on Ellen's unconscious body. Scully also meets with Patty.
589"I Like Your Chair"Steve ShillTodd A. Kessler & Glenn Kessler & Daniel ZelmanSeptember 5, 2012 (2012-09-05)

With one week left before the trial, Patty arranges for the members of McClaren to be deposed, but strangely requests very little time to complete three depositions. Rutger pleads ignorance to Channing about his knowledge of funding from Torben.

Ellen assigns her PI to locate Patrick Scully. Patrick conducts his own espionage of Ellen's offices. He later breaks in with the intention of killing Ellen but is forced to leave due to complications. Patrick is eventually located by tricking him into confronting Ellen on the office rooftop. He is then blackmailed and forced at gunpoint into testifying against Patty in Michael's custody case. Patrick openly admits that Patty was the perpetrator of the attack on Ellen five years ago.

Patty conducts her depositions but expresses little real interest in the facts of the case, instead using this as a chance to confront Rutger about Torben's involvement in the organization as well as Rutger's involvement with Fund 23. Rutger once more pleads ignorance, but becomes privately stressed at this line of investigation. Channing becomes enraged at this and fires Rutger. Torben and Herreshoff privately express a willingness to eliminate Rutger if need be. Ellen later meets with Torben and proposes an arrangement to protect their interests in order to win the case. Rutger offers his services to Patty in an attempt to destroy Channing and secure funding for his own future ventures.

Ellen's mother begins to break down due to repeated physical and verbal harassment from her father. Ellen eventually confronts her father in her office, but despite requests to leave her mother alone, he refuses and Ellen eventually lashes out against him for his years of emotional abuse. He refuses and leaves in disgust. Later he violently confronts Ellen and her mother but Ellen forces her father to leave by pointing a gun at him.

Flashbacks show Naomi engaging in an affair with Channing back in Rome and reveal that Rutger expressed anger towards this on journalistic grounds. Rutger later colluded with Herreshoff to protect him from the worst parts of the Fund 23 fallout. In exchange he demands money and promises to reveal Naomi's private information in order to discredit Channing.

Ellen meets with Patty in her office. Ellen sits down in Patty's chair. Patty once more attempts to rattle Ellen by claiming ignorance of the attack five years ago, but Ellen expresses no real reaction. Patty strangely mentions, "Oh, I just had a premonition. This is the last time you'll ever set foot in this office."
5910"But You Don't Do That Anymore"Glenn KesslerTodd A. Kessler & Glenn Kessler & Daniel ZelmanSeptember 12, 2012 (2012-09-12)

Patty has a dream of her father Lyle confronting her about the death of her first daughter. In the nightmare a bloodied Ellen shoots Patty.

Michael becomes impatient for the custody case to begin, but Ellen assures him that they have the tools to beat Patty with their alliance with Patrick.

Patty and Ellen begin preparing for the trial, although Ellen is seemingly unaware that Rutger is also being secretly groomed by Patty to be the star witness against Channing.

Authorities begin to pressure Channing and Ellen regarding the military leak caused by Chris. Ellen and Chris meet with the soldier who supplied the initial information but he refuses to go public to protect Channing. Chris supports the soldier, although Ellen exposes the soldier in order to win her case against Patty and ends up alienating Chris in the process.

Patty takes delight in revealing that Rutger will her star witness, enraging Ellen. Ellen later meets with Torben and reveals this information. Herreshoff and Torben calmly meet with Rutger and although Rutger promises to testify simply to destroy Channing and nothing more, his former allies remain unconvinced.

Flashbacks reveal that Naomi confronted Rutger regarding the leak of her personal information and she threatens to reveal everything regarding Herreshoff that was "conveniently" left out of the Fund 23 leak. Torben is in favor of bribery, but Rutger encourages the plan to fake Naomi's suicide.

On the day of the trial, Patty attempts to call Rutger to the stand but discovers that he is missing. Patty is forced to admit in a full courtroom that with Rutger missing her case against Channing has completely fallen apart. Ellen and Channing celebrate this complete victory over Patty, although questions are raised as to the whereabouts of Rutger.

Ellen meets with police friends and reveals that she has located and successfully blackmailed Patrick. Patrick meets with Patty and explains his involvement with Ellen. Patty attempts to bribe him to keep him silent. It is then revealed that Patrick was wearing a wire in order to cement Patty's direct involvement in the attack five years ago on Ellen and to win Michael's custody case.

Patty agrees to meet with Lyle one last time. Although she is encouraged to forgive him by her half-sister Kate, Patty instead ridicules the severely weakened Lyle. She promises to sell his beloved land to the lowest bidder the moment he dies. Lyle becomes bitter and snarls "You hold tight to that hatred. It's all you have." Patty coldly replies "It's all I need". Lyle eventually apologizes for his abuse of Patty, but Patty refuses this and expresses how this abuse inspired her to devoting her life to tearing down powerful people who would abuse the weak.

In an effort to end their personal war, Patty offers Michael shared custody of Catherine. Michael smugly refuses, safe in the knowledge that with Ellen and Patrick he will easily win full custody.

Ellen meets with a doctor regarding her recurring fatigue and nausea. The doctor explains that Ellen is pregnant and that extreme rest is required in order to complete her pregnancy. Ellen refuses this advice and continues to push herself harder and harder. This culminates in her collapsing in a pool of blood on the street outside her office on the day of the custody case (creating the impression that Ellen was pushed off the rooftop).

Alarmed by her disappearance, and assuming Patty's role, Ellen's police friends take Patty into custody. Ellen is discovered on the street and rushed to hospital.

Assuming Ellen will die, Patrick happily prepares to flee to escape the authorities, but an enraged Michael attempts to blackmail him to still force Patty's defeat in the custody case. Patrick murders Michael to cover his tracks and disappears.

Ellen and Patty meet one final time. Ellen gives over her evidence regarding Patrick and declares them even with Michael's death. Patty reveals that she intentionally won Rutger over to her side in order to force Ellen to do something drastic to win the McClaren case. Flashbacks reveal that after Ellen revealed Rutger's betrayal to Torben, she pushes drastic action to be done. Rutger is brutally murdered to prevent him testifying for Patty.

Patty expresses delight in this chain of events, celebrating that her master plan during the McClaren case was to force Ellen to become as brutal and ruthless as she is in order to mould the perfect adversary that she can face in cases for the rest of their careers. Ellen feels only horror and disgust and leaves Patty without a word.

Years later Ellen walks the streets with her young daughter and briefly encounters an older Patty. Ellen makes eye contact with Patty and leaves without a word, giving her a look of utter contempt. Ellen's daughter asks who Patty was, and Ellen explains she knew her from her days in law. Her daughter happily declares "But you don't do that anymore!" and the two happily leave to meet with Chris.

Seated in her limo, Patty imagines a different meeting with Ellen where Ellen is overwhelmed with love and gratitude for their years of knowing each other and happily introduces her daughter to a friendly and grateful Patty. Ellen and Patty smile to each other.

Back in reality, Patty gets one last look at Ellen and coldly orders her driver to change their destination from home to the office. Patty sits and broods in her limo in silence, completely alone.


For its first three seasons, Damages aired on the FX Network, but the series' ratings continued to decline, and on April 4, 2010, FX announced that they would not be renewing Damages for a fourth season, though by that time rumors of the series being picked up by DirecTV had already begun to circulate.[4][5] On July 19, 2010, DirecTV announced that it had officially picked up the series for a fourth and fifth season, each consisting of ten episodes.[6] It was confirmed in February 2012 that the fifth season would be final season of the series.[7]

As a tie-in to the season, DirecTV launched McClarenTruth.org, the website owned and operated by Ryan Phillippe's character. There, viewers are able to browse through several breaking stories and contact the editor on 1-855-GOTRUTH.[8]

As with previous seasons, season five is executive produced by creators Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler and Daniel Zelman. Mark A. Baker serves as a co-executive producer with Jason Wilborn and Greer Yeaton as co-producers, Lori Jo Nemhouser as producer and David Manson and Hans Tobeason as consulting producers.


Awards and nominationsEdit

For its fifth and final season, Glenn Close received her third Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress – Television Series Drama, after being absent the previous two years.[9]

Critical reviewsEdit

The fifth season premiere received positive reviews from television critics, and earned a 79 out of 100 based on 8 reviews on the aggregate review website Metacritic.[10]


  1. ^ ""Damages" Fifth and Final Season Heads Toward an Explosive Showdown This Summer" (Press release). DirecTV. April 18, 2012. Retrieved April 19, 2012.
  2. ^ "Shows A-Z - damages on directv". The Futon Critic. Retrieved May 26, 2011.
  3. ^ "Damages - Season 5". Amazon.com. Retrieved May 7, 2013.
  4. ^ McPherson, Sam (April 4, 2010). "FX Cancels 'Damages;' Small Chance of Rescue by DirecTV". TV Over Mind. Retrieved July 15, 2011.
  5. ^ Ausiello, Michael (April 2, 2011). "Exclusive: Will DirecTV rescue 'Damages'?". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 15, 2011.
  6. ^ Ausiello, Michael (July 19, 2010). "Scoop: DirecTV deal saves 'Damages' from cancellation!". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 15, 2011.
  7. ^ Munn, Patrick (February 10, 2012). "Exclusive: Damages To End After Season 5". TVWise. Retrieved February 10, 2012.
  8. ^ "McClarenTruth.org". Archived from the original on September 14, 2012. Retrieved July 12, 2012.
  9. ^ Mitovich, Matt Webb (December 13, 2012). "Golden Globes: Homeland, Game Change Lead Nominations; Nods for New Girl, Nashville, Smash". TVLine. Retrieved December 14, 2012.
  10. ^ "Damages: Season 5". Metacritic. Retrieved July 11, 2012.

External linksEdit