After last week’s action-packed event, RAY DONOVAN is back at the loom, weaving together a complex sequence of storylines that will undoubtedly pay off in the future. This time, though, we get a little satisfaction in the present, in a lighter episode that focuses on the Donovan brothers and their family dynamics.
Despite a brief reprieve, Ray’s situation is still precarious. At work, he tasks Lena to spy on the Los Angeles DA. Ray hopes to find a weakness to use as leverage to get Belikov out of prison, fulfilling his bargain with Sonia Kovitsky. Unfortunately the DA is squeaky clean, frustrating any attempts to make a deal with him on the side.
Also back in play is Hector Campos and his disturbing relationship with his sister Marisol, along with Mickey Donovan, who hitchhikes back to California to meet his new granddaughter.
On the Donovan homefront, Ray tries to persuade Abby to get treated for breast cancer. Abby insists the risk is minimal and she’ll take her chances. It’s supposed to be a noble choice, somehow, but the fact that Abby could be signing her own death warrant to save her boobs and hair seems a little conflicted. Rather than confront the problem, Ray sends in Lena, along with her “cancer doctor friend” to change Abby’s mind.
Bunchie asks Ray and Abby to be Maria’s godparents, surprising everyone and angering Teresa and Terry. Meanwhile, Ray’s still deep in a money crisis, after giving everything he had to pay off a debt with Kovitsky last week. When refinancing his apartment doesn’t work out, Ray goes back in time to visit Deb Goldman, but really he’s there to get something his old partner Ezra Goldman left behind: a tape with some incriminating evidence. Ray’s next stop is Ronnie Price (Dabney Coleman), a venerable actor with a dark secret, specifically murder, but Ray is willing to let it slide if Price can get the DA to drop the charges against Belikov.
Ray gets sidetracked when a crisis erupts, this time with Marisol and an overdosed Hector Campos. Ray manages to revive Hector, but the ensuing conversation with Marisol brings up an unexpected possibility: is Hector in love with Ray?
Mickey arrives in town with a job proposition for Daryll, who’s had more than enough of his dad’s schemes. Teresa similarly gives Mickey the cold shoulder, tempering Bunchy’s enthusiasm. Later, Teresa threatens to leave Bunchy if he doesn’t distance himself from his violent family.
Ray’s grand blackmail plan falls through when Price confesses everything to the DA. Ray seems to be out of options and Avi urges him to kill Sonia. Instead, Ray asks Sonia for more time, promising to turn himself in to the DA if he can’t get Belikov out. He goes to see an old friend, Ed Cochran, and asks for some dirt to temp the DA away from Belikov. Cochran agrees to provide a story so big it will make Belikov look irrelevant, for the low low price of two million dollars and RAY DONOVAN SINGING “WE’VE GOT TONIGHT” AT KARAOKE.
Mickey’s revived Primm horseshoe scheme picks up steam as tries to persuade Bunchy and Terry to join him. Even Ray catches wind and asks Avi to look into it.
One of the most understated but compelling storylines belongs to Terry, as he continues to struggle with Parkinson’s, and with his bachelor status in the face of his brothers’ semi-happy family lives. When he’s passed over for the role of Maria’s godfather, he takes it personally, but he also takes the opportunity to track down his old protege Damon. It’s nice to see him taking on a mentoring role again.
Lena’s “cancer doctor friend” is actually her ex-girlfriend, who luckily has the magic touch and convinces Abby to undergo treatment (full disclaimer, she lets Abby feel her prosthetic boobs and makes out with her).
You know Ray Donovan is at the end of his rope when he agrees to join Mickey on a fool’s crusade, to steal back the stolen money from Primm’s casino. It’s desperate, it’s hilarious, and it’s about to go down in Nevada. Stay tuned.
Season 4, Episode 4 (S04E04)
Ray Donovan airs Sundays at 9PM on Showtime
Heather makes things for TV by day and writes by night (also sometimes by day). She is a fan of all stories that reflect life, but it doesn’t hurt if they’re set on another planet or in another time.
Heather West | Contributor