SPOILER ALERT: The following story contains plot details from Damages Season 3 premiere as well as coming episodes.
For Damages' Tom Shayes (Tate Donovan), the Season 3 premiere was the best of times and the worst of times.
After making Tom a partner in Season 1, Patty (Glenn Close) finally puts Tom's name on the door. But just as the new Hewes & Shayes sign is being installed, one of the show's trademark flash-forwards reveals that in six months Tom will be murdered.
Donovan, who last season laughed off the notion that Tom might someday be bumped off, tells TVGuide.com he has mixed feelings about the twist. "[Co-creator and executive producer Todd Kessler] called me up and told me the story and asked me what I thought," Donovan recalls. "And I said, 'Man, that is a great story. I just wish I wasn't playing the character of Tom Shayes.' I love this job. It's a great, well-written show and I get to direct. It's the best gig ever. So, it's a bummer."
Damages has never been afraid of killing off beloved characters. (See also: Ray Fiske, Uncle Pete.) Kessler says Tom's death was just a necessary storytelling device.
"We always knew the price of success in the world of Patty Hewes meant someone near to her could lose their life," Kessler says. "There's always the questioning whether this is the right moment to tell that story, but it's also an approach to storytelling that ... allows the audience to realize that you need to sit forward as you watch this show because anything can happen. It's very important that the audience has the sense to expect the unexpected. For Patty to lose her right hand, we believe that to be a great story."
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