'Damages' (10PM ET Wednesday, DirecTV's Audience Network) is on a new network -- its fourth season will air only on DirecTV, not on FX -- but some things about the show never change.
Patty Hewes (Glenn Close) is still an expensively clad, unrelenting near-sociopath, and her former protege, Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne), still thinks she can imitate Patty's moves and not end up exactly like her. As always, there's a time puzzle that is introduced in the first episode of the season: We see events in the present day and a few months down the road, and eventually we'll see how those various occurrences weave together to form one narrative.
Some things do change on the show. Each season is anchored by a different ripped-from-the-headlines story, and -- this is big -- Ellen wears her hair down for much of the new season. Byrne's more confident performance is of a piece with Ellen's ever-so-slightly sassier hairstyle.
But the one enduring thing I like most about 'Damages' is that it's basically summer camp for character actors.