Ray Donovan: A Donovan Family Birthday

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Episode recaps

Photo Courtesy Of Suzanne Tenner/Showtime

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Conor Donovan turned 14-years-old and his parents, Ray and Abby were so caught up in their own lives, that they completely forgot about it, which maybe a Cardinal Sin for a parent. When the teenager’s asked what he wants for the occasion he tells his father, he wants a family birthday party, with his three uncles, Terry, Bunchy and Daryl, along with his grandfather Micky. Ray tells his son that it maybe a problem for Micky to come as he’s restricted by parole violations, but he’ll see what he can do.

Ray’s phone rings and his new client motivational speaker Steve Knight’s on the other end telling Donovan he requires his services immediately. Ray tries to beg off, saying it’s a day for family and Knight responds for 100 grand a month in salary, Knight’s part of his family as well. He drives to the author’s house and finds out that his girlfriend Ashley’s stalker has returned and is taking pictures of her from the beach below. Donovan thought that the pervert had learned his lesson after their previous two encounters. The first time Ray made the peeping-tom dye himself green from head to toe with permanent dye. The second time, Ray shattered the man’s arm and his ankle, permanent injuries that cost the man the ability to drive a car.

Ray goes down to the beach and confronts the man, who tells Donovan that his intentions are to protect Ashley, as Knight’s hurting her. Ray, takes the chip containing the photos out of the expensive camera, then smashes it on the rocks, then tells the guy to beat it. When he gets back to the house the motivational-speaker asks for the chip, but Donovan informs him that he’s holding onto it.

Getting back into his car he finally gets Abby on the line; she’s about to embark on an affair with LAPD Detective Jim Halloran and they’re just kissing in their motel room when she tells the cop she has to take the call and steps out of the room. Ray tells her that it’s Conor’s birthday and she lies and tells her husband she’s at the bakery picking up the cake. After hanging up, Halloran tries kissing her again but she freaks out and says she has to go to get a cake, leaving the cop confused and frustrated.

Terry and Frances go to see the older woman whose the accountant/money-launderer for his brother, to talk about selling the gym so he and Frances can move to Ireland. The woman tries her best stall-tactics on Terry, but they fail and finally she tells the couple that Ray has to sign off on any deal, as he’s the majority owner of the gym.

Bunchy’s having coffee with a guy named Stan, he met at his counseling program a couple of weeks before, who gave the impression he was coming onto him at their introduction. Bunchy tells him about his date with his new lady-friend and how it got interrupted by her son unexpectedly came home from his sleep-over at a friends. Stan seems to disparage the relationship, saying it’s just one date and how much responsibility it takes to raise a son. Bunchy responds he can handle it and then Stan complains how lonely he is and Bunchy invites him to Conor’s birthday party.

Micky calls Ray and tells him that Conor invited him to his party, but if his son wants him to stay away, he’ll tell his grandson he’s sick, however Ray grants permission to keep Conor happy. The old man tells Ray he’s bringing a date and his son responds it better not be a paid escort, Micky replies he’s bringing a classy lady.

It turns out that Micky’s date’s Claudette, Daryl’s mother and the woman Micky cheated on Ray’s mother as she was dying of cancer. Daryl’s driving Micky’s car, a vintage Cadillac in perfect shape. Claudette jokingly reminds her son about the time he took the car when he was just 12-years-old and drove all over Palm Springs. Her son laughs and replies he’s always loved this car.

Bridget tries to leave the house as her boyfriend and another man have arrived to pick her up, Donovan rushes out of his house and tells his daughter to go inside and for Marvin to leave. The man steps out of his car, it’s recently released Cookie Brown, the guy that Marvin’s guardian told him to stay away from. He attempts to shake Ray’s hand but Donovan just stares at him, Cookie tells Donovan to tell his boss Lee Drexler he has some business to discuss, apologizes for the confusion and he and Marvin drive away.  Bridget tells her father she hates him as they go back into the house.

Terry and Frances, Bunchy and Stan are already at the house and Terry gives Conor his gift, a set of monogrammed boxing gloves from Terry’s gym. He tells his nephew, they’ll soon become collectors items as the gym’s name will change once he sells it.  There’s a car horn honking outside and Conor runs out to hug his grandfather, then greets Daryl and gets introduced to Daryl’s mom Claudette. Ray’s not happy to see her, but fakes being courteous.

Ray’s drinking heavily and it’s effects start to show on him as he’s glassy-eyed and slurring his speech. He toasts Conor and Abby and then Abby breaks up the room when she says it took 22-hours to deliver him. A song comes on that Micky likes and starts dancing with Claudette, telling Ray he should dance with his wife. Instead he raises his glass to Abby and smiles, while she looks back at him coldly.

Stan’s alone on the back porch when Bunchy goes out to check on him. After some small-talk, Stan tries to kiss Bunchy and Donovan stops him telling him he’s not gay. After trying to explain himself, he leaves the party and Bunchy asks Ray if he saw what happened and Ray starts laughing and says he did. Bunchy tells him he’s not gay and Ray replies he believes him but keeps laughing. His younger brother tells him it’s not funny, that Stan, Ray and he are all messed up and Donovan tells Bunchy to lower his voice. He instead breaks his sobriety, pouring himself a tumbler of booze.

Micky quiets the room as he’s about to present Conor his birthday gift, then hands him the key to his car. Abby says that he’s only 14-years-old, but Ray says they’ll garage it until their son’s old enough. The boy and his grandfather get into the car and Conor starts it up and gets giddy; however he doesn’t realize his Uncle Daryl’s incredibly hurt and angry as Micky had always promised to give him the car.

Bridget’s spent the evening closed off in her room, when Ray goes into talk to her about her relationship with Marvin. He tells her that he’s forbidding her to see him, that he hangs with a dangerous crowd and she’ll end up getting hurt. His daughter asks if he had ever loved a girl who was bad for him and he responds, that he did and she’s dead. However, he says that may have been a blessing in disguise, as after she passed he got Abby back in his life and they produced Bridget and Conor. She asks her father if Abby’s the best thing that ever happened to him and he responds that’s true. Bridget then tells him that Abby didn’t get home until 2:00am the previous night, the information hits Donovan like a sledge-hammer and he staggers from the room. The camera’s tight on his face as he makes his way back to the living room and he’s so buzzed he looks almost cartoonish. He sees Abby and tells her he’s onto her and she asks him what he means.

He soon gets into a fight with Micky and tells him to leave immediately and Terry says to Frances that’s why they’re moving to Ireland. Ray explodes and tells Terry he’s not moving anywhere and that’s when Micky informs his oldest son that his brother uses the gym as a front to launder his money. The brothers exchange some angry and ugly words, until interrupted by the sound of breaking glass in the street. The family runs to the doorstep to see Daryl destroying the car with a baseball bat while screaming the car’s his. That breaks up the party, Claudette tells Micky she can’t see him for a while. Shortly afterwards, Abby heads back to the hotel room to meet Halloran, while Bridget gets picked up by Marvin and they drive off.

With just Conor and his dad at the house, he puts the Aerosmith/Run DMC version of “Walk This Way,” on the stereo. Ray walks into the kitchen to find Conor eating birthday cake, looks perturbed at first but then starts rocking out dancing to the song and Conor soon joins him.

 The story will pick up again next Sunday night on Showtime.

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