Lily Tomlin, a renowned comedienne and self-proclaimed hardcore Damages fan, didn’t get many opportunities to laugh in her role as Marilyn Tobin. The news of Louis Tobin’s Ponzi scheme was trumpeted all over the media, her fortune was confiscated by law officials, and, finally, her guilt-ridden husband killed himself. And it only got worse as the third season progressed (Have you seen Season 3? Catch it online now). Josh Payne tells us more.

The matriarch of the Tobin Family, Marilyn tries to keep her family together in the wake of her husband’s Ponzi scheme and, later, his death. It is through Marilyn’s account of the season-long flashback that the truth of the Ponzi scheme is revealed. With Patty Hewes seeking to reclaim every dollar on behalf of the clients her husband swindled, Marilyn sees the rarefied New York lifestyle she’s enjoyed for decades crumble before her eyes. Throughout the season, Marilyn struggles to maintain a brave face and protect her son Joe and daughter Carol. But after Joe learns the truth he disowns Marilyn, who ultimately comes unglued and kills herself.

Lily Tomlin was another fan of the show from the first season, so much so that when she was at an art exhibit and bumped into Todd A. Kessler, one of Damages‘ creators and executive producers, she grilled him for information about upcoming plot twists. Todd kept Lily in mind and Season 3 offered the perfect chance to showcase her talent.

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