Warning: Spoiler Alert
All the ends are starting to fray. The plates that have spun on sticks for years are wobbling, all the illusion’s fading away and reality’s looking stark and ugly. Next week’s installment of the Showtime Original Series “Ray Donovan’s” billed as the season finale, could it also end up as the final episode of the series? Donovan starts the season’s penultimate episode preparing for a long prison-stint, trying to get all his affairs in order, so his wife and children remain financially stable. By the end of the episode, the “S.S. Donovan” started sinking in the ocean off of Southern California, riddled with too many leaks to repair and Ray’s whole world appeared ready to explode.
Season one of the series, dealt with a family formerly of South Boston, who came to Los Angeles as Donovan got a job with a prestigious law firm, as the firm’s “Fixer,” in charge of making nasty situations and sometime nasty people disappear. Ray lived with his wife Abby and teenage children Bridget and Conor, while his older brother Terry, a washed-up former boxer runs a gym nearby, Donovan’s younger brother Bunchy a 12-year-old trapped in a man’s body also lives in the area. Things were running smoothly, until the boys’ father Micky got released from Federal Prison in Walpole, Massachusetts and moved to Los Angeles hoping to reunite with his sons.
The reunion fell far short of joyous and the elder Donovan started creating problems for all of his sons, especially Ray, fearing his father would quickly destroy what he spent the last few years working hard to put together. Ray complicated things last season when he hired former Public Enemy Number One Patrick “Sully” Sullivan, to kill Micky for $2 million. Sully double-crossed Ray and would have killed him if Micky didn’t shoot the longtime underworld figure first.
Most of season two revolves around cleaning up all the messes created in the first season, but other events have added to the chaos surrounding the family. Two storylines created this season figured prominently in this episode, the murder of Marvin Gaye Washington, Bridget’s boyfriend by recently released convict Cookie Brown and the heist of a safe at a marijuana dispensary, by Micky, his pal Shorty and their rag-tag crew. That team consists of Terry, Micky’s illegitimate son Daryl and the elder Donovan’s probation officer Ronald Keith.
Donovan starts the episode preparing for prison, as he’s certain the information conveyed in Boston Globe reporter Kate McPherson’s story will put him and his father behind bars. Los Angeles FBI Bureau Director James Cochran, nominated in the previous episode to become the next Director of the Bureau, wants McPherson killed to silence her, as he story could destroy his career. Cochran sets up a meeting with Donovan’s boss Ezra Goodman, telling him that for all their careers, McPherson needs to disappear permanently. Goodman agrees with Cochran and asks why the LA Bureau Director can’t eliminated her and Cochrane explains that Ray’s got him in a compromising situation. Ezra tells the Fed that he’ll talk to Donovan and looks forward to having a powerful friend in Washington.
Things aren’t going well for Micky’s “Over The Hill Gang,” as Shorty dying of lung cancer finds himself short on his supply of oxygen-tanks, the day of the robbery. In his state he can’t go anywhere, so Micky improvises and will bring the safe to Shorty, via the truck they’ve picked up for the job. Micky’s trying on his ski-mask for the robbery, when his grandson Conor walks into the apartment without knocking. Micky snaps at the boy, but then tells him he’s got business to attend to and asks Conor to wait at the apartment until he gets back.
Ray drives to Ezra’s office and the attorney asks Donovan to sit and talk. He asks Ray if he’s familiar with the Jewish principle called “Rodef” and Donovan replies he hasn’t. Goodman tells his employee that a “Rodef’s” purpose’s to destroy another person, the “Rodef” needs a warning to cease and desist, however if the “Rodef” doesn’t stop, Jewish law requires killing them. Ezra then tells Ray that Kate’s the “Rodef” and must get killed to save them all.
Donovan’s clearly sick of playing games and makes no attempt to fake cordiality with his boss. He tells Goodman that the body of a Catholic Priest’s buried in the cancer center’s foundation, that Ezra’s building as a tribute to his late wife. Ray tells his boss anything happens to Kate and that body resurfaces.
After Donovan leaves the office he gets a call from Lena telling him that the tape of Marvin’s murder could surface soon and tells her boss that Cookie’s waiting to meet with Ray, outside a hamburger shack called Pink’s. Donovan tells Brown that a meeting’s been setup to recover the video but Cookie can’t attend the meeting. Brown protests, but Ray convinces him to trust him and do his job. Brown reluctantly agrees and Donovan leaves Cookie’s car with a gym bag filled with cash.
As soon as Donovan leaves the car we realize that Abby’s boyfriend LAPD Detective Jim Halloran’s following Brown’s car with another officer in a cruiser. After following for less than a quarter-mile, Halloran flashes the siren and lights, pulling the car over and telling the other officer they went through a red light. When Halloran approaches Brown’s vehicle, he puts his hand in his right pants pocket, checking to see if something’s there.
Halloran’s bracing for a confrontation approaching the car, he asks the driver for license and registration and Cookie asks him what’s going on. The detective tells the criminal that they ran a red light and when Brown protests, Halloran demands he get out of the car, but the other cop asks to speak to him privately. Cookie tells Halloran to listen to the other officer and then plays on the other cop’s sympathies. Jim realizing he’s not going to get away with anything shady, tells the driver to leave. After the car pulls away, the other cop asks Halloran what that was about and what’s he carrying in his pants pocket.
The heist gets underway, as Micky and Shorty’s friend the hooker, distracts the security guard with some oral gratification, while Micky and Terry slip in and disable the camera. She stalls the security guard just long enough as Micky pulls a pistol on the guy and Terry knocks him out. They handcuff him and put duct-tape over his mouth, while they grab his keys and let Keith and Daryl into the building. Micky freaks at first when he sees the safe isn’t in its usual location, but calms down when he finds it in a nearby hallway. Daryl, Terry and Micky will transport the safe from the warehouse to the truck while Keith keeps an eye outside, flashing his badge if anything goes wrong.
The security guard comes to while they are attempting to put the safe on a dolly to get it to the truck and yells loudly for help. Keith walks inside to shut him up, but the security guard tells him the safe’s empty, that the schedule had changed and the contents got removed the night before. The Parole Officer doesn’t believe him at first, but soon realizes he’s telling the truth. Keith shows his craftiness as he saves his own tail and gets Ray to pay him 100 grand if Ronald can put him back in prison for twenty-years on a felony rap. Donovan tells him to do it.
Ray drives to this Sleazeball website that specializes in Celebrity scandals and meets the teenage-boy who indeed captured the murder on his cell-phone. Although the website owner said the kid pressed for $2 million, he paid the kid and his father just 20 grand and the boy assured him that he made no copies of the recording.
Ray leaves the building, watching the footage of Cookie shooting Rekon and Marvin in their car execution style, unfortunately it also shows Bridget leaving the car spattered with blood and phoning her father. Donovan calls Brown and tells him he has the tape and asks where they can meet. When Cookie replies at his house, Ray says he’ll be there in half an hour. Whether Ray intended to kill Cookie upon his arrival, or negotiate his daughter’s safety was unclear and remained unanswered as Donovan received a call from Conor, the robbery went disastrously, leaving Terry trapped in the facility as the police are approaching due to Keith’s tipoff. He tells Micky for him and Daryl to get out and drive away.
They arrive at Micky’s apartment building to pickup Shorty who had his oxygen supply replenished and will crack the safe in the truck. Conor had been with Shorty for most of the evening but went across the hall to his grandfather’s apartment to take a nap. Shorty’s lighter didn’t work, he was out of matches and he wanted to relight his blunt. So he grabbed his oxygen tank, cranked up the propane for his stove to light his joint on the burner and the place exploded. Daryl still in the truck looked up and saw the explosion and drove away.
Micky already in the building started yelling for Conor, whom he found on the floor of his apartment under the door that had blown off the hinges, badly bruised with a broken arm. Micky, Conor and the hooker escape but we see that Shorty got killed instantly by the explosion.
Conor calls his father and tells him what’s going on, causing Ray to immediately change directions and head to Micky’s. When he gets there an EMT tells Donovan that Conor received a hair-line fracture and he’s about to transport him via ambulance to county hospital, but Ray tells him he wants to take his son to a better hospital, but allows the EMT to wrap it. While that’s going on he sees Micky and approaches him chewing him out for almost getting his grandson killed. Micky tells him they’ve got bigger problems, that Terry’s likely in jail now due to the botched robbery. Ray loses it and starts beating the stuffing out of his father until police intercede. They believe Ray’s calm and let him go, but he attacks Micky again, put cuffs on him and put him in the squad car, then transport him to the station house.
The story will pick up again next Sunday night on Showtime.