It’s Bridget Donovan’s 18th birthday on RAY DONOVAN, but the real milestone comes the night before: Abby Donovan’s first kill. As the entire Donovan family is swept into the consequences of Ray’s sins, he realizes that he may finally have to reveal how far he’s fallen.
This week brings a welcome, more immediate crisis for Ray to deal with, after the slow setup of the past two episodes. Eagerly waiting for Bridget to stay over for the night, Abby is stunned when she sees Bridget hooking up with her middle-aged boyfriend Jacob Waller in the driveway. Earlier that day, Detective Muncie had a shocking moment of her own, as she freed dozens of captive women being held by Ivan Belikov, the mobster Ray captured for her in exchange for Micky’s freedom.
Abby argues with Ray about Bridget’s untraditional relationship, but their conversation is interrupted when an unknown man breaks into the house and attacks Ray. It seems Ray is about to go down when a shot rings out, the intruder falls dead, and Abby is left holding the smoking gun. Ray barely has time to get Abby, Connor and Bridget to a safe house while he sorts out the repercussions.
Meanwhile, Mickey pays a visit to his former roommates, Wokova and Ed, with a scheme to take down the casino that fired him. Sadly his scheme consists mainly of using a friend of Ed’s to cut the power and a pair of night vision goggles to snatch a cash-filled horseshoe in the dark. But Mickey’s a lover not a fighter, and he won’t pull it off without the help of Silvie, the casino singer who previously stole his heart.
Ray turns to Detective Muncie for help, but it seems she’s not destined to be the big baddie of season 4 when he finds her murdered in her own kitchen. Ray finagles an interview with Belikov in jail, asking him to call off the hunt, but the mobster isn’t much more useful than Muncie. “Your elbow is close, yet you cannot bite it,” Belikov teases, as he exposes himself to Ray. Clearly, he’s protecting a bigger fish.
Terri and Daryll nervously wait out the crisis at the boxing gym, reminiscing about movies and memories. At the safe house aka motel, Abby comes clean to Bridget about the murder. Bridget is horrified, but unaware of an even bigger secret that Ray discovers on his own, Jacob Waller is Belikov’s lawyer, and both are connected to the real mastermind, “art dealer” Sonia Kovitsky.
Ray confronts Sonia at her child’s soccer match but gets a cool reception. She’s winning, why bargain? In desperation, Ray makes Sonia an offer she can’t refuse – he’ll break Belikov out of jail, in a week, and recoup all of her financial losses from Muncie’s crackdown, if she leaves his family alone.
Just to remind us they’re still in the picture, we get a quick scene of Bunchie and Teresa working out their marital problems with yelling, pushing and a sex toy. Ray has a momentary scare when Abby goes missing, but after a panicked search finds her brooding in a convenience store. Ray tells her a half truth, he paid off the Russians with every cent he had, but keeps the Belikov plan to himself. Still, Abby is moved by his sacrifice, enough to reveal her cancer diagnosis, and for now, they seem to be on common, if uneven, ground.
At Primm’s, Mickey’s simplistic plan goes well except for one little thing, Wokova and Ed, who double cross him and jet off with the prize. Stunned, Mickey leaves a tearful Sylvie behind and heads off into the desert. But there’s a ray of hope, technically a text message of hope, Teresa unexpectedly went into labor, Bunchie rushed her to the hospital, and Mickey now has a new grandchild: Maria Donovan.
With that one exception, the future seems dire for the Donovans, which is great for the show overall. Ray’s at his best when there’s a problem to solve, and this episode finally delivered one that could mean his salvation, or his serious undoing.
Season 4, Episode 3 (S04E03)
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