The best laid plans of Ray and kin often go astray. The overarching irony of Ray Donovan is that for a fixer, Ray isn’t very good when it comes to his own family. The truth about him laundering money through the gym to help support Terry (as well as clean Ray’s money) ends up alienating Terry completely. The house in Trusdale meant nothing to Abby without Ray’s emotional support behind it, and she finally challenges his years of cheating on her. Ray was willing to allow Cookie Brown to take hold of Marvin’s life, so long as he moved him to South Beach to keep him away from Bridget. But that, too, turned sour quickly. Hit the jump for Ray’s other misdeeds, and how it all might get put back together again.
Ray’s life essentially boils down to herding cats, and it’s getting increasingly impossible for him to pretend like it’s working. His home life has fallen apart, his family is fractured like never before, his relationship with his work colleagues is in pieces, and his work life just led to two unnecessary deaths. It may be time for Ray to consider retirement.
In the meantime, “Sunny” was an another emotionally-charged hour that delved into some hard truths for Ray. The exchange between Abby and Ray — something that frightened Ari so much he was ready to kill Halloran rather than tell Ray about Abby’s infidelity — was a unique kind of exchange. Abby laid in wait for him, and refused to kowtow to his demands, telling him instead that all she wanted was for him to look at her, and let her help share his pain.
The exchange of jabs, both emotional and physical, helped shape a very genuine-feeling argument between the two. As soon as Ray said “fuck you,” he accidentally gave Abby a paper cut, which made him feel bad. When she tries to throw him out, even slapping at him while yelling, he grabs her and tries to kiss her. But this isn’t foreplay, Ray — Abby bites him, and it wakes him up to the reality that she means it. This isn’t about the cop, this isn’t about the house, or the loan. This is about Ray. And that, for him, is a dark prospect.
The past being what it is on Ray Donovan, it was only natural that Peggy Shaughnessy would show up and start berating Kate about her story. Her daughter Catherine is long dead, but Kate believed her to be in witness protection. And just like that, she begins to see through Ray’s lies, and the coverup about Sully. The question is though: why did she never listen to those tapes Mickey made for her, that Shorty supplied?
Mickey’s own past flared up after his meeting with a producer. Allen, Claudette’s husband, showed up to the producer’s party unexpectedly, and the ensuing fight left the status of Mickey’s move clear: DOA. But, some stolen silverware put Mickey at ease in the end, and back with his neighbor Shorty, just shooting the shit.
The most costly return from the past, though, was Lee Drexler. As a character, Lee is great fun, and a necessary foil for Ezra. But his immediate interference with Ray’s plans about Marvin led to both Marvin and Recon’s deaths. It was a shocking moment, particularly in how it will affect Bridget. Ray Donovan is a show that has violence, but it’s not a violent show. It uses violence to its best effects, making it really mean something when it happens. Recon’s murder might have been expected, but for Cookie to kill Marvin too was a statement not only to Ray, but to viewers. You think shit’s bad? It hasn’t even begun.
Episode Rating: A-
Musings and Miscellanea:
— I like that Lena took Abby’s side when it came to her finally getting some after years of Ray fucking around on her. But whereas Ray was only looking for casual sex, Abby is looking for emotional intimacy — far more dangerous. The fact that she says she loves Halloran is just as dark of a portend as Bridget saying it to Marvin.
— “Got some emotional motherfuckers working for you”- Cookie.
— “I’m doing something I like with someone I love, why can’t you understand that?” – Bridget. I thought at first that Abby and Bridget were both knowingly lying to each other (in other words, they both pretended like they believed each other’s BS, because it was just easier to stay with their men that way), but Abby actually believed her!
— No one telecommutes like Ray Donovan.
— I loved Lee’s wife trying to serve Cookie coffee. “This is a fucking home invasion!” The fact that Cookie spotted Lee’s facelift (and the fact that he got one) was also hilarious.
— “I’ve had music clients for 20 years, I understand black people, Ray. They’re all about the Benjamin’s” – Lee. Oh my …
— “These boys onscreen today couldn’t fuck a clit in a forest of clits!” – Producer.