This week on RAY DONOVAN, a beloved member of Team Donovan is in jeopardy and the gloves are off. With a direct ultimatum from Sonia’s uncle, give up Sonia or Avi will be killed, Ray has no intention of complying. But first, he needs to find something valuable enough to offer as an alternative.
With Avi temporarily out of the picture, Ray and Lena join forces with Daryll. Lena was sadly sidelined for most of this season but the past few episodes have really given her a chance to shine. At Sonia’s art gallery, Ray distracts Jacob Waller while Lena and Daryll steal a truckload of priceless art. Ray convinces Waller’s goons to let him go, on the warning that if they shoot him, they’ll never get their valuables back.
If Ray Donovan was a college course it would be called “The Art of Coercion.” We’ve seen a lot of action this season, but the real climax always comes down to whether or not Ray can convince people to act against their own self-interest. It’s refreshing to see this dynamic resurface this week, lest the series fall into the old trap of modern gangster drama. Ray’s deal-making abilities are what make him unique as a character, so here’s hoping they can save him too.
It’s a little funny to see the romantic subplot once again rest on Terry’s shoulders. After a drinks date that apparently ended well, Terry wakes up in bed with his police officer crush. He tries to take things to the next level, confessing his troubled criminal history. She’s on the right side of the law, so she needs to know what she’s getting herself into. At the gym, Terry has his hands full trying to keep Hector in line. Marisol continues to distract her brother as he prepares for an upcoming fight.
Let’s talk about the Donovan’s house in quiet Calabasas. It seems to be some kind of impenetrable fortress, with Russian mobsters constantly staked outside. Abby spots a new visitor outside her window, prompting the weekly cry of “all hands on deck.” Bunchie, Mickey, Teresa and Lena head over to protect Abby and the kids, who seem all to used to this sort of thing.
If anyone should be hiding it’s Bunchie, but instead Ray finds him fast asleep with Teresa and a bag full of cash. Ray pulls the grim details out of Bunchie and a distraught Mickey Donovan. The Bill Primm drama is far from over, but right now it’s on the back burner.
Ray tries to get Terry to go into hiding too, but Terry has too much on the line. Hector’s love life continues to disintegrate when his wife and daughter arrive at the gym. She is heading to Canada, breaking up the family, and he’s devastated. Terry tries to intervene, but he can’t stop Hector from storming out.
Ray has had several enemies this season, but thus far we have yet to meet the Big Bad. At first, it seemed to be Sonia Kovitsky, but then it was revealed that her Uncle Dmitri was the real puppet master. As Ray and Dmitri come face to face, it does feel a little anticlimactic. He’s a wiry, white-haired man, snacking on lobster and watching Hollywood B movies. But he does have a quiet air of command as he asks to meet one of Ray’s former clients, actor Butch Kramer.
Meanwhile, Hector has been missing for hours and Terry decides to go out after him. Sadly he’s not in time to stop what happens next, a cringe-inducing almost-sex scene between Marisol and Hector. The moment is mercifully, but violently, ended when Hector drowns Marisol in the bathtub. When Terry shows up though, Hector says that Marisol committed suicide.
Terry believes him, but Ray knows better. Once they are alone, Hector breaks down. “I don’t want to spend the rest of my life in prison. I want to fight. I want to see my daughter.” The thing is, like Ray, we don’t think Hector deserves any of those things. And more importantly, we don’t care.
On probably the only positive note this episode, Terry’s police officer friend accepts his invite for a second date. Is this the beginning of something beautiful?
In more pressing concerns, all seems to go surprisingly smooth as Butch Kramer agrees to meet Dmitri at a small house party. Ray is ready to whisk his client away and get Avi back, but the Russian has one last request – and it’s a painful one. Annoyed that the actor starred in a somewhat anti-Russian film, Dmitri has one of his henchmen beat Butch Kramer to his knees.
But the real blood bath is inside, as Dmitri shoots Jacob Waller point blank. Ray had hoped Waller would moderate Dmitri’s anger, but it seems that Sonia was right – her uncle doesn’t have an OFF switch. It took ten episodes, but it seems that Ray has finally met his match, and this season’s arch nemesis, in Dmitri. With the man who can negotiate with anyone facing off against the man who won’t be reasoned with, it’s clear that there can only be one of them left standing in the end.
Season 4, Episode 10 (S04E10)
Ray Donovan airs Sundays at 9PM on Showtime
Heather 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