Ray Donovan excels is having a fluidity of time; past and present meld together, and either one can change the other (or one’s perspective on it at least). The past is alive and the present fully beholden to it. “Bridget” was full of parallels, not only between Bridget 1.0 and Bridget 2.0, but among the other storylines as well, like Lena and Terry’s lover quarrels and Sully and Mickey’s attempts at some action. It was a reflective hour that was emotional, but not in the dark way that “Happy Birthday” was. The secret ingredient to such a heavy drama series is humor, and another highlight of “Bridget” was that is showed Mickey doesn’t have to be the only person to bring the fun. Hit the jump for more.
The strongest parts of Ray Donovan have always been when the brothers gather, and their memorializing their fallen sister’s birthday was, as Bridget 2.0 put it, “beautiful,” while also being the catalyst for them to spend some brotherly time together in a way we haven’t yet seen. If Ray laughing is a rare thing, Terry laughing is like a unicorn sighting. Yet there they were together in the car with Bunchy on the way to go beat up Frances’ husband (another hilarious interaction) laughing about Bridget 1.0 setting her bag on fire accidentally when she was at school.
One of Ray’s major vendettas against Mickey is his perception that Mickey ruined Bunchy and lead to Bridget’s death. Bunchy admitted in the car that the kid he had his brothers beat up didn’t steal his lunch money that time, he had stolen money Bunchy had made selling his father’s coke. Bridget killed herself because she was high — on Mickey’s drugs, too? — and pregnant, but the abuses Ray thought were perpetrated by his father (the dislocation of her shoulders) turned out to be Terry and Bunchy fighting over which of them she should play with.
What’s interesting of course is that Ray’s job and choices have had an effect on his family in a way he only now seems to be realizing. Abby wants to know what else he’s been doing behind her back, and wants to talk about how his influence has lead Conor to do things like whack a kid on the back of the head. Bridget, too, is rebelling against her family, which isn’t atypical for a girl her age, but it’s compounded by her father’s relationship (and threatening) of Marvin. The difference this time though is that the way Ray handled things left an impression on Marvin where he rebuffed Bridget’s advances and called Abby to get her — something that Bridget 1.0 didn’t have the advantage of.
The show also had a few callbacks within the episode itself. Terry punches his lover’s husband in the face, and Lena punches her lover (who also has a husband) in the face, which was a way to bring Lena thematically into the episode. Ray’s Fix of the Week was also related to family as he tortured the Armenian to get Bunchy’s money back on the house.
Both Mickey and Ray think that what they do is for the best of the family, but both get push back (Bunchy balks at Ray’s control, for instance). They are two alphas fighting over the same pack, who have a lot more in common than they think. In a surprisingly tender moment, the close of the episode found Mickey sobbing over Bridget’s death. There’s still more to be unravelled there, but it seems to be leading to some kind of confrontation between Ray and Mickey that might end with Ray turning on Sully instead of his father. While at this point that still seems a long way off, there was the faintest glimmer in “Bridget” that more talking and less putting of guns to heads might actually lead to some good for this family.
Episode Rating: A
Musings and Miscellanea:
— Like Terry, I thought that Frances had been grooming him / manipulating him to take out her husband, but was she sincere in the fact that she loved Terry and did plan to leave her husband? Lena’s story is an example of how that rarely happens.
— Who else was nervous when Bunchy watched the priest touch (innocently?) that child? I thought he would attack him or lose it, but he just wandered away after Terry’s botched confessional (it seems that some priests are more in the therapist field than the condemnation one these days).
— I love Abby threatening Bridget that she wouldn’t let her have an abortion, “You’re going to have that baby, and ruin your life!”
— Mickey was orbiting off on his own this week with Rosanna Arquette. I couldn’t believe when he said she was too old for him to have sex with, but he’d consent to a blowjob. This guy is such a piece of work. Everything about those scenes was brilliant, though: her getting a two script deal from her divorce, knowing Claudette, Mickey asking if she twerks, and his confusion about her non-sex game comment.
— Bridget on the Road to Compton …
— “I’m the black Obi Wan. Strike me down, I come back twice as good” – Marvin
— Mickey and Sully both demanded oral sex, but only one knew how to actually get it.
— Something about Ray repeatedly tasing the real estate agent was hilarious.
— I like Kate Moennig, but the show doesn’t know what to do with Lena.
— Who else was surprised to find Terry quoting Shakespeare?
— Liev Schreiber shirtless. Amen.
— “I love the way you fuck, it speaks right to my own issues” – Abby was really on fire this week.
— Could not have loved the Cat Stevens singalong with Ray and Bridget any more (a personal favorite).