Glenn Kessler, <i>Damages</i> Glenn Kessler, Damages

Damages fans have been slowly putting together the pieces of Ellen's hostage-at-gunpoint flash-forward all season, and when the final piece falls into place, big changes are coming.

"There's gonna be some major, major upheaval in Patty's life, and Ellen has some coming in her life as well," cocreator Glenn Kessler says. "The ground is going to shift considerably. Many of the things we've proposed throughout the season certainly do get knotted up, and these women end the season on very different ground than they started."

But Kessler doesn't get to just write the twists and turns heading Ellen's way — he literally plays a role in them as FBI Special Agent L.J. Werner. Along with his partner Agent Randall Harrison (Mario Van Peebles), Werner has been working Ellen as an informant against her boss. But Patty may not be the only one with secrets to uncover.

For weeks, we've seen Werner and his partner repeatedly interrupted by inopportune phone calls from Werner's wife. But Kessler says those phone calls are much more than just a running gag. "As in much of Damages, nothing is what it seems," Kessler says. "In [Wednesday's] episode, the audience gets some answers as to what Agent Werner is actually up to and what his situation with his wife really is. That event kind of blows up, and it totally sends the season in a new direction."

The season has already had its share of jolts — none more shocking than the death of Hewes and Associates' mascot Uncle Pete. But the decision to send Uncle Pete to the morgue was not taken lightly.

"It was of great debate," Kessler says. "In terms of storytelling, he was a character that allowed us to get some insight into Patty, someone who was her one true confidante. Despite her protestations to trust no one, it certainly seemed like she trusted Uncle Pete. That's a big piece of the puzzle to lose as storytellers.

"But it was a funny thing to us," Kessler says of the fan reaction to Pete's death. "He's done some horrible things — he set up the dog's death in the pilot and is responsible for carrying out the hit on Ellen. And yet people felt badly that he was caught up in the FBI plot and was a casualty of it all. He evoked sympathy, which is terrific."

So will setbacks like Pete's death and Werner's personal issues be the final nail in the coffin of the FBI's rapidly dying case against Patty? "Patty's so well insulated," Kessler says. "The FBI thought they had this laundry list of evidence against her, but it turns out their case isn't as strong as they thought. But as the season ends, you'll see that what they're up to is a little more murky and nefarious than we originally thought."