Well, well, after five years, we’re now at the final season of Damages. And you know what, it promises to be the best season yet. Everyone’s favorite dynamic and relationship on this series deals with the intricacies and complexities between Ellen (Rose Byrne) and Patty (Glenn Close), and the writers have cleverly manipulated this season for both of our leading ladies to go against each other, one on one, both personally and professionally (where it really counts). And, apparently, by series’ end Ellen will have paid the ultimate price.

That’s right, in the flash forward, it appears that Ellen has fallen from a building and wound up dead stories below. Now, this being Damages, not everything is at it seems. Then again, this being Damages, Ellen could very well be dead. Either way, I think Michael’s quote from last season — which went a little like, “Everyone in your life either leaves you or ends up dead” — is quite fitting. The sad truth is that no matter how much Ellen tries to separate herself from Patty, she just cannot seem to do it. Sure, she wants to go head to head with her, but ultimately it’s to prove her worth to Patty…not just to beat her. She has some sort of sick addiction with pleasing her, masquerading as ruining her life. Why not just go to the police, even if it won’t accomplish much? Ellen should heed her own advice, lest she wants to end up familyless and alone (as she pointed out last season). In the end, however, she could very well find that sticking with Patty in any capacity means receiving your eternal reward.

Ellen decides to take a case, by forgoing her character witness against Patty, given to her by Channing McClaren (Ryan Phillipe), who runs a WikiLeakes-esque organiation. He was given information that a huge financial bank was practicing insider trading, given to him by employee of said financiers Naomi Walling (Jenna Elfman). However, the day the insider trading secrets go public, so do Naomi’s personal emails — not only airing all of her dirty laundry, but thereby confirming she was the leak and ruining her career and reputation. McClaren wants Ellen to defend him for an oncoming lawsuit and Patty wants to sue McClaren on Naomi’s behalf…there’s just one little problem: Naomi’s not interested.

Seeing that Jenna Elfman was all over the marketing for this season (and I’m sure we see her in flashbacks) allowed for the huge shocker that she was actually killed off in the first episode, staged to look like a suicideBut who killed her — was it Patty, who wanted the case and would be able to move forward if she died?; was it McClaren, who perhaps stupidly thought shutting her up would end the suit?; or was it her former boss, wanting revenge for ruining him? Aside from the flash forward mystery, and the fact that McClaren doesn’t know how her personal files were leaked, this is one of the most intriguing whodunits thus far. In fact, this may be the most mysterious season yet, while still feeling traditional Damages style.

Coupled with the main attraction, the tension between Patty and Ellen, season 5 looks off to a fantastic start. And, just personally, the season-long case is the most interesting one of the series (as opposed to season 4’s High Star case that got a bit muddled).

There’s no other way to say this: a lot of this season will obviously rely on whether or not Hewes versus Parsons will live up to everything fans want it to be and whether or not the WikiLeaks case can help be a launchpad for it, but color me hopeful — because I’m very  excited and intrigued, indeed.

Note: From now on, Lindsay will be doing the Damages reviews. I was asked to fill in for the premiere. Can’t wait to read her take on things!