Top attorney Patty Hewes (Glenn Close) and her protégée Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrnes) are back for the fourth season of “Damages,” premiering Wednesday at 10 p.m. on DirecTV. Joining the power duo this season, which focuses on the issue of private military contracting, are John Goodman, Dylan Baker and Chris Messina.

“Dan, Glen and I feel very lucky that each season — and this season is absolutely no exception — we’ve been joined by amazing actors who have wanted to jump off the edge of the cliff with us,” says co-creator Todd A. Kessler. “This season in particular was one where there was a mystery of the center of it and Dylan, John and Chris were all game for that exploration.”

Season four marks the return of Byrnes’ character to Patty's firm, Hewes & Associates, and Close was quick to offer praise for the move.

“I really missed it when Rosie was at the DA’s office,” Close says. “We missed her on the set. And even though she’s there just to borrow an office and use the resources, Patty has her, as she thinks, under her wing again. And the relationship is much more complex than it was initially.”

Originally canceled by FX, the show has found a new home on DirecTV and can thus make use of profanity and some extra violence that may not have been appropriate for FX. Damages is also a huge hit internationally, and regardless of its original cancellation in the US, Close was able to speculate as to why that may be.

“I’m just a good believer in good writing,” she says. “We don’t have the largest audience on television, but I’ve always been very impressed with how smart they are, and I think that’s a huge compliment.”

Goodman gave some details about his controversial character, the head of a security group providing the US with defense in Afghanistan.

“He thinks he’s a wonderful guy," Goodman says. “He’s extremely religious and patriotic. By his lights he’s doing God’s work on earth, by helping the United States of America.”

Despite being a departure from his comedic roles, Goodman says he’s happy to be part of the legal drama. “It was well written, well acted, very well cast and it was a lot of fun,” he says.

“The first couple of times that John and I had nude scenes, though,” Baker joked, “We felt that they were a little gratuitous.”

Follow Meredith Engel on Twitter @MeredithatMetro

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