Campbell Scott, Damages

Damages continues its riveting third season with an episode that does things a little differently.

Damages: Tate Donovan reacts to the season premiere's shocking twist

"We're doing something we've never done before in the series: The entire episode takes place in one night," co-creator and executive producer Todd Kessler tells TVGuide.com. That's right: There will be none of the show's trademark flash-forward timeline jumps.

"The unity of time — how that helps the thriller storytelling and the ride — we've just never done it before, and we really think it's one of our best episodes we've ever done," Kessler says.

The episode focuses on Monday's cliff-hanger: An off-the-wagon Joe Tobin (Campbell Scott) confronts his father's mistress, Danielle, (Madchen Amick) and accidentally runs over her while backing out of the driveway. As luck would have it, Patty Hewes (Glenn Close) is also looking for Danielle, who, before being rendered unconscious by the accident, was planning to skip the country to avoid being subpoenaed in the Ponzi scheme investigation.

Damages: Does Leonard Winstone have a secret agenda?

"We pick up right after [Joe] hit her with the car, and we move forward in that night as Patty and Tom [Tate Donovan] are trying to figure out where she is and prevent her from getting on an airplane to leave the country. And Joe and Winstone [Martin Short] are trying to deal with this crisis of Danielle having been hit by a car."

Kessler also says the hints dropped last week about Tom's relationship with Ellen (Rose Byrne) will begin to come to light. "It's something we're very excited about, because it's also taking the show to a place we haven't gone before," he says. "What is actually happening between them and how that's presented and how that puzzle comes together, we think, is going to be very exciting to follow."

Damages: Ellen and Patty are on a (new) collision course

But are the two actually romantically linked, as hinted by Ellen's conversation with Tom's wife? Donovan is very coy. "They get involved in something that gets them both in a lot of [trouble]," he says. "That's about as succinctly as I can put it."

Kessler, however, hints that everything is not as it seems. "The bond between Tom and Ellen in many ways is very strong," he says. "It's really following up on the seeds that were planted from the very beginning of these two characters and how their lives are entwined and how their relationship has evolved. I know I'm being intentionally cryptic, because I don't want to ruin the story, but we really think it's going to deliver."

What do you think happens between Tom and Ellen?