RAY DONOVAN Review: “Fish and Bird”

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The roadshow returns to Los Angeles this week, as Ray wraps up his conflict with the Russians. Mickey awaits charges in the county prison, Ray gets closer to Sonia Kovitsky, and Bunchie worries about the future of his extended family.

Returning home from the Nevada fiasco, Ray checks on Abby’s cancer prognosis. Abby has decided to undergo medically induced menopause, against Ray’s wishes, instead of doing a mastectomy. At the same time though, the couple seems as close as ever; Abby is the only person Ray can talk to about Mickey’s sacrifice. Abby eases Ray’s guilt, pointing out that Mickey’s troubles led to the shootout in the first place.

Single parenthood is not the life for Bunchie, so he and baby Maria move in with Ray, Abby and the kids until further notice. A slightly less welcome neighborhood addition is Kovitsky’s henchman Vlad, who has set up camp outside Ray’s house until Belikov is released from jail. Ray takes out his frustrations on Vlad, which gets him into hot water further up the chain, with Kovitsky. It’s then that we find out something really interesting: the Russians wanted to kill Ray for framing Belikov, but Kovitsky stopped them. In return for her forbearance, and in lieu of the bills he can no longer pay, Ray goes to work as an art smuggler for Kovitsky.

Episode 406

At his group therapy session, Bunchie is concerned over the state of the Donovan family. Theresa is gone, Abby is mysteriously preoccupied, and Ray seems to be deteriorating as well.

In the county jail, Mickey tries to convince the D.A. that he committed the Minassian murders, in order to get Belikov’s charges dropped. Beyond all reason, he pulls it off. Kovitsky delivers the good news to Ray en route to a charity event, but Ray is not impressed. In fact, he seems deeply disturbed by his recent encounter with Kovitsky’s sex trafficking network, so you can bet this temporary truce won’t last for long.

At the charity gala, Ray runs into old frenemies Stu and Ashley Feldman, a reminder of the good old days when the biggest crisis on Ray’s plate was a celebrity sex scandal. But the evening is also enlightening in that Ray discovers that Sonia Kovitsky has cancer.

On the morning of Maria’s baptism, Ray goes on a final errand for Sonia, picking up a forged painting from a dealer/sex trafficker’s mansion. There he reconnects with a young Russian girl, one of Belikov’s victims. Ray goes to close out his tab with Kovitsky, but signing off is not so easy when an attractive, intelligent Russian smuggler invites you for a private makeout session under priceless art. It isn’t clear how far they go, but they definitely go somewhere.

Ray is wracked with guilt during the baptism, and the after party is not much better as he, and Bunchie, drown their worries in alcohol. Abby confronts Ray about his attitude, but insists that he shouldn’t feel bad about Mickey turning himself in, or about Belikov being back on the streets.

A call from a jailed Mickey doesn’t make things much better and Ray breaks down in tears. Pile on the drama as Bridget serenades the Donovan family with an original song; she’s about the same age as the young Russian girl Ray can’t seem to forget. Meanwhile, Terry’s protege Damon finds a kindred spirit in Conor Donovan. When Conor flashes his stolen gun, the two decide to tear up the quiet streets of Calabasas together. Back at home, a drunk Bunchie finally breaks through Abby’s defenses and confirms that she has cancer.

Ambyr Childers as Ashley Lynn Prescott, Liev Schreiber as Ray Donovan and Embeth Davidtz as Sonia Kovitzky in RAY DONOVAN (Season 4, Episode 6). - Photo: Michael Desmond/SHOWTIME - Photo ID: RayDonovan_406_1376.R

At Sonia’s insistence, Ray goes back to the harem to apologize to Belikov with words and cash. But he’s horrified to find that Belikov needs his help, desperately, to dispose of the body of the young Russian girl: “Everybody in life has a story. Hers is a short story.”

Ray and Belikov drive to the docks, where Belikov instructs Ray to ship the girl’s body in a crate back to Moscow. At this point, Ray’s debt to the Russians is paid, his family is safe, and Belikov has promised to have someone watch over Mickey in prison. Naturally, Ray does the worst possible thing he can do in this situation, kills Belikov and stuffs him in the container instead.

In the middle of this episode several weeks pass, a time period that is narrated by Bunchie. During that time, Ray carries out Kovitsky’s surly business, while turning a blind eye to her side in sex trafficking. The montage approach means we don’t really get to see Ray feel the weight of Kovitsky’s crimes, and though Belikov’s death is satisfying, it doesn’t exactly seem earned. On the other hand, the quick and dirty approach may be the best after all. We’ve skipped ahead to the exciting half of Season 4, and the only place to go from here is all out war.

TB-TV-Grade-B+
Season 4, Episode 6 (S04E06)
Ray Donovan airs Sundays at 9PM on Showtime

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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.

Twitter: @Elianarra

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