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We Try to Predict This Season’s Damages’ Twists After One Episode

Last night's season premiere of Damages set several story lines in motion: Ellen's return to Patty's orbit; their case against a private defense contractor; and the sad, twisted backstory of PTSD-suffering former soldier for hire Chris Sanchez. The shift to DirecTV doesn't seem to have changed the show too much (except for the additional cursing), which means the series' essential truths remain: Every character has a far darker underbelly than you'd expect, every story takes a hairpin turn at some point, and whenever you think Patty's shown the depths of her soullessness, think again. After three seasons of such trickery, Damages has become a little more predictable just in that we know to assume that nothing is as it seems, which is why we can make these (possibly wrong) predictions:

Whoever's Getting Tortured, It's Not Chris Sanchez
We're supposed to think it's Sanchez, or at least wonder if it is, which on Damages guarantees that it's not. Whom might it be? We can rule out John Goodman's character Howard Erickson, based on physique, but it could be anyone else. Evil sidekick Jerry (Dylan Baker)? Maybe even Julie White's Congresswoman Chase, who's probably more deeply enmeshed in this case than she seems?

Ellen's Jeremy Renner–Lite Boyfriend Will Probably Get Murdered
Dating Ellen is dangerous business! Plus, Ellen obviously wants to smooch Sanchez. Either Sean (Bailey Chase) is secretly tied to private-defense firm High Star (à la season two's love interest Wes), or he's going to be collateral damage (à la season one's David). Maybe it's him getting tortured ...

Sanchez's Dog Is Totally Going to Die
Either the dog or Patty's granddaughter won't make it to the end of the season alive, because the show hates any objects of affection or tenderness (see: everyone anyone on this show has ever loved). A dead kid seems like a bit much, and even if the show has gone the slain-pooch route before, sleep with one dog eye open, Guari.

John Goodman Is Evil
He's a bad guy at the outset, which means he's probably going to seem like he's being redeemed partway through the season. But he will then reverse that reversal and go back to being evil, because on Damages, many of the good guys are secretly bad guys, and all the bad guys are really bad.

Patty Knows Jerry Is Bugging Ellen
Patty knows stuff! That's her major M.O. She knows way more things than she lets on. And as much as she has a weird blind spot when it comes to Ellen, you have to get up pretty early in the perfectly attired morning to pull one over on Patty Hewes.

Photo: David M. Russell/Sony Pictures Television