WARNING: SPOILER ALERT
Micky Donovan returns to Los Angeles in the second episode of the Showtime Original Series “Ray Donovan,” and nobody except L.A. FBI Bureau Director James Cochran seems pleased with the situation. At the top of the list of those dissatisfied with the unfolding development’s Hollywood fixer and Micky’s son Ray, well aware that where ever the elder Donovan is trouble soon follows. Ray brought his father back to Los Angeles from his slice of paradise in Mexico, at the behest of Cochran to talk about his role in the murder of former Public Enemy Number One Patrick “Sully” Sullivan.
We join father and son on a highway heading back to the states, in the middle of the night and Micky wakes up finding Ray’s handcuffed him to the passenger door. Looking up at the car’s moon-roof he sees the stars above and starts reminiscing to his son. He talks about the one summer during his four kids’ childhood when he wasn’t in prison, they rented a cottage in Wellfleet, Massachusetts. His wife wanted a lobster dinner, so Micky got three of them each weighing three pounds and put them in the bathtub while he and his wife ran some errands. When mom and dad returned home they found the bathtub empty, as daughter Bridget convinced her three brothers to set the crustaceans free in the ocean.
Jon Voight who portrays Micky and Liev Schreiber as Ray, are consummate actors with incredible chemistry between them. Ray very rarely laughs, but when he does it comes from deep in his belly and one of the brief moments that he’s able to forget about his inner-demons. Micky sees the reaction and hopes to bond with his son over the memories, however the bridge between them has suffered far too much damage to repair.
Cochran follow’s Ray’s suggestion that the FBI take credit for Sullivan’s death. He hosts a press conference and gives medals to two agents including Ray’s lackey Frank Barnes, for the mobster’s take-down. While the conference’s televised back in Boston, a reporter named Kate (Vinessa Shaw) for the Boston Globe thinks something’s a miss with the information that Cochran releases during the ceremony. The Bureau director tells reporters that they believed Sully had been in Los Angeles for the previous 6-8 months. The reporter bursts into her editor’s office telling him the Bureau is lying and for him to send her to Los Angeles for the story. The cliché that most procedurals would follow, would be telling the young woman that sounds like a great angle and bring us back an exclusive. Instead we get some realism as her editor reminds Kate that newspapers are barely surviving in 2014 and there’s no way he’s going to authorize her request. She responds that she’ll dig up compelling evidence to change his mind.
Micky and Ray walk into Cochran’s office and Micky hopes to win him over with jokes, but the Bureau director tells him the time for fun has ended. Micky will disavow all knowledge of how Sullivan died and he’s now on parole for the next five years, meaning he’s anchored to Los Angeles for that time. No Mexico for Micky and only more headaches for Ray. He tells Cochran to send his father back South of the border and the director responds that if Micky gets in trouble father and son will share a cell in Leavenworth.
Ray brings his father over to his brother Terry’s gym where Micky will be staying, but when they get upstairs the elder Donovan’s three other sons look less than pleased to see him back. He tells them that he’s now on parole and son Bunchy, wearing long pants comes over and hugs his father. Micky breaks out a bottle, but Bunchy is sober and now works at the bicycle shop.
Abby’s in her bedroom when Ray arrives home and the two start kissing, but her husband doesn’t want to stop there, he tries to take his wife forcefully. She says no twice and the third time slaps him across the face and says that his forceful sex makes her feel raped and of course Ray’s dumbfounded by that statement and heads to the shower. As he’s showering Abby walks in and asks him to talk to her about the priest she recently realized molested Ray as a child, but he remains silent and she storms out in frustration.
Getting out of the shower he sees a brochure for a house n the market in Truesdale, he calls Barnes and tells him he needs all the credit report for every parole officer in the city. He then calls his aide Lena and tells her to try to dig up any dirt she can on Cochran. He gets dressed and we see a very expensive watch collection, he pulls out one that’s impressive and puts it on his wrist. He drives over to the house in the brochure but as he arrives gets a call from Ezra Goodman telling him to get right to his office.
Ezra’s mistress Deb (Denise Crosby) embraces Donovan when he walks in the office and tells him she is now in charge of acquiring donations for the cancer center Ezra’s building as a tribute to his late wife Ruth. Goodman had surgery to remove a tumor on his brain last season and there are times when one of the most powerful agents in Hollywood, seems to slip in and out of reality. Ezra’s manic when he sees Ray and starts complaining of all the people who pledged money for the center but have yet to pony up to the table. He mentions a client June Wilson, once a huge star on-screen now in her early seventies had pledged $5 million, but now avoids his phone calls. Donovan tries to dissuade his employer, but eventually says he’ll talk with her.
Abby and Ray’s son Connor’s serving a five-day suspension from school at home when he gets a call from his grandfather. The boy’s excited to hear from Micky and tells him that he earned his suspension pushing another student down a flight of stairs from behind, something even Micky thinks wrong. He’s calling from the parole bureau and his officer calls for him so he says goodbye to Connor and greets his officer a woman named Lupita.
The yoga class Abby attends starts to disperse and she appears to have fallen asleep on the floor and her instructor puts his hand on her shoulder to wake her. She opens her eyes and asks him if he sees her and he replies that he does, but she repeats the question and then kisses him full on the mouth. As he starts to get aroused she seems to realize what she’s done and embarrassed bolts the scene. We watch her reactions driving home and she laughs nervously at first, but then we see the pride in her eyes that she controlled the situation. She buys some naughty lingerie on the ride home and tries it on.
Ray gets word from his top aide Avi on the parole officer that Ray wants to talk to. He heads into a casino and asks an attendant where the officer was and the man replies that he is the large Black man standing nearby. We watch as the Parole Officer sees the last of his money become the casino’s and sits at the bar, Ray joins him there shortly after. Donovan asks him if he had bad luck and the officer responds he doesn’t want to talk. Ray signals the bartender to give them each a drink and the officer repeats he’s not talking, but after a few rounds he tells Donovan his sorrows. His daughter’s getting married and wants a 15 thousand dollar wedding gown and he’s heartbroken because his plans of winning the money collapsed. Ray says that’s a large sum on a parole officer’s salary and the officer suddenly realizes that Donovan’s not some random nice guy. Ray puts an envelope stuffed with cash on the bar and stays silent.
Micky and his Parole officer Lupita are at the gym, as she inspects where he resides and Connor surprises him. He tells his grandson to go wait for him, but Lupita tells him the visit’s over. After she leaves Micky and the boy walk by the imposing flight of stairs that leads to the street and makes his grandson believe he’s going to throw him down the stairs from behind. Connor freaks but Micky did it to teach the boy a lesson. Connor tells his grandfather that he and Ray are going to the boy’s house to apologize but Micky says a Donovan’s sorry when they do wrong, but never apologize.
Back at the casino the officer tells Ray that he can get Micky transferred to his case-load but some of Donovan’s requests may prove too difficult, and Ray pulls the envelope from the bar and gets up to leave. But the officer tells him to sit back down and then admires Ray’s watch and Donovan gives it to him to close the deal.
Abby gets a text message alerting her that Connor has used his Uber Account (a car sharing service) to go to Terry’s gym and she calls Ray, who tells her he’ll head over and pick their son up. He climbs the stairs to see his father and son sparring in the ring, only to stop when Connor sees Ray. He tells his son that its time to go, but the boy disobeys his father and then starts spouting what Micky said about Donovan’s not apologizing. Ray actually smiles, but that quickly disappears as Abby comes in glaring at Micky and telling her son to go wait in the car. When Ray and his wife get to the street she screams at him for not telling her Micky’s back, that she’s sick of her husband’s lies. She says he’s making no attempts to save their marriage and Ray says he’s unaware it needed saving.
Inside a restaurant we see a very pretty older woman toying with a man half her age, she then sees Ray and tells the man to go have a smoke, he leaves the table and Ray comes over and kisses the woman then sits at the table. She’s the former box-office top attraction June Wilson (Ann-Margret.) She orders a glass of wine for Ray and herself then asks how much she pledged to Ezra’s center and nearly faints when she’s told its $5 million. She pulls out her checkbook and tells Ray she’ll have to sell her art collection and Ray says that’s ridiculous and he’ll handle Ezra, but we get a feeling of just how powerful Goodman is when she expresses fear of his wrath. Ray then rips up the check and tells her to enjoy dinner. The phone rings as he enters the car and Ezra says that he just spoke to June and she told him that Ray left without her donation, to which Donovan tells him she couldn’t afford it and asks Goodman if he wants Ray to beat her up and Ezra hangs up the phone overcome with frustration.
Micky’s sitting alone at Terry’s gym when his new Parole Officer comes in and the old man tells him the place’s closed, but seeing the man’s not moving he asks him if he can help him. The officer tells Micky that he’s now his Parole Officer and tells him to pack his bags that he can’t live in the gym as gambling goes on there. He then takes Micky to a skid-row dive and tells him that he starts his new job at 5:00 am.
Lena calls Ray, telling her boss she thinks she’s scored dirt on Cochran as he’s at LAX wearing a t-shirt, a biker vest, torn jeans and has a bandana in his back pocket. She quickly realizes she found nothing but the cover-band he fronts for at the bar at the airport. She watches him sing Bob Seeger’s Night Moves in front of an audience that’s indifferent.
Ray’s in his car and calls Abby at the house and asks her to meet him somewhere and she thinks he’s nuts. He tells her it will be worth her while and texts her the address. It’s the house in Truesdale and when Abby arrives he asks her if she wants the house and she’s ecstatic, it turns out she still has on the lingerie and proceeds to pleasure her husband.
The story will pick up again next Sunday night on Showtime.