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Ray Donovan: Suck

Photo: Suzanne Tenner/Showtime
Photo: Suzanne Tenner/Showtime

Warning: Spoiler Alert

What does the most powerful “Fixer In Hollywood,” do when he sees his life and career breaking down in front of him? That became the central question in the fourth episode of the Showtime Original Series “Ray Donovan,” as the title character found the walls of the life he built for he and his family on the West Coast start to rumble. Donovan’s been used to calling all the shots, but this season his life’s in turmoil due to Los Angeles FBI Bureau Chief James Cochrane making him dance like a circus monkey to avoid sharing a prison cell in Leavenworth with his father Micky.

Ray and Boston Globe reporter Kate McPherson were getting tanked in a Los Angeles bar as the previous episode  concluded and as we joined them this week, they are having sex in a hotel room. Donovan wakes up early and steps outside the room, watching the sunrise and attempting to come up with a way to keep McPherson away from Micky, whom she wants to interview about his relationship with former Public Enemy Number One Patrick “Sully” Sullivan and the way he died. The reporter doesn’t believe the story released by the Bureau that Sully got shot and killed by a FBI Agent, as she’s discovered inconsistencies in their story.

As he re-enters the room Kate and he talk and she tells him that just because they had sex, it won’t stop her from pursuing her story. Ray asks if they can see each other again and Kate declines, saying she doesn’t think it would be a wise decision. He expresses his disappointment and leaves the room and when he gets into his car calls Deb Goldman to inform her to make a bid on the house in Truesdale that Abby’s crazy about.

We see a familiar figure in the next scene as Sully’s former henchman Tiny’s in a grocery store staring at a cold cuts display, when he grabs two packages and stuffs them in his pockets and starts to walk out of the store. Tiny may have made it out of the store with the luncheon meat, but he got greedy when he became transfixed by rotisserie chickens and attempts to stuff one in his jacket. As he turns around he stands face to face with a cop who asks Tiny what he’s hiding and the food falls to the floor. Tiny picks up the chicken and attempts to run out of the store, but the obese man makes it about 50-yards into the parking lot when he gives up.

Cochrane in the kitchen with his wife answers his cell phone and breaks into a swearing jag until his wife, acting more like his mother chastises him for his language. He apologizes to his wife then asks the person on the other end of the phone where Donovan’s at? Ray soon arrives at a diner, where he meets the agent he owns on the Bureau’s staff Frank Barnes, who accompanies Donovan to the table where the Bureau Director’s having breakfast. Cochrane’s a little man in a big man’s position and he brings all the pettiness and insecurities of a little man to his job and he’s relishing ordering Donovan; a man who could rip him in half with his bare hands, around like a lap-dog.

The Director tells Ray that Tiny got arrested and started talking to the cops about the night Sully got killed on the docks, Cochrane tells Donovan he’s got 24-hours to eliminate the problem and Ray responds he’ll take care of it. Then just to show Donovan, he can’t sneeze without him being aware, Cochrane asks him about the night before with Kate McPherson.

Ray drives home, but calls Micky’s parole officer Ronald Keith and tells him that he needs to get Mickey out of his apartment and away from McPherson. Just as the reporter introduces herself to Micky, Keith pulls him away for a urinalysis and sends the Globe reporter on her way. When Keith gets the elder Donovan in his car, he calls Ray and puts his father on the line. Ray tells Micky not to talk to McPherson, or he’ll end up in prison and the old man says he’ll stay away from her if he can go visit his sons at Terry’s gym.

Ray arrives home and Abby asks him where he’d been all night and he responds working, but tells her that they’ve made a bid on the house. He then goes to take a shower and she joins him in there, but he rebuffs her attempts at love-making, telling her he has to see Ezra. She doesn’t believe his excuse and remains in the shower crying as he gets dressed.

Donovan drives to go bail-out Tiny, when his phone rings and Deb tells him their offer’s been accepted by the owners of the house and he needs to give them a million dollar deposit the next day and Ray tells her he’ll get the money. He then calls Ezra, whose avoiding Donovan’s calls and gets the secretary who tells him the agent’s still tied up in meetings. He picks up Tiny and brings him to the same motel that he hid Sully, when Ray hired the mobster to kill Micky last season.

When they enter the room, Avi’s already inside and slugs Tiny in the gut, causing the big man to start pleading for his life. Through two seasons, we have watched Ray Donovan go through a myriads of moods, but not until this episode did the South-Boston native, just lose it and scream, every vein protruding from his neck and head and his eyes on fire. He sissy-slaps Tiny and reminds him the rule they all learned at the age of five on Dorchester St. in Southie’s never talk to the cops. The big man tells Donovan he panicked, he can’t go to prison or back to Southie as everyone believes he set Sully up. Donovan takes his picture with his cell phone and tells Avi to keep Tiny in the room, then he drives over to Lena’s gives her the picture of Tiny and tells her he needs, a passport, a one-way-ticket to the Maldives Islands and 15 grand in cash in two-hours.

Mickey heads over to Terry’s gym and sees Daryl and Terry, but neither are happy to see him. Terry’s watching a video of Ireland and tells Micky he’s moving there and the old man tells him if he wasn’t on parole he’d join him. Daryl’s finally seen through all the smoke and mirrors that his father has dazzled him with over the years and realizes the old man is beyond redemption. Micky starts talking with a young boxer at the gym, about possibly managing him, then asks the kid if he’d take a dive. Terry storms out of his office and tells Micky to leave and never return.

Ray’s fed up with Ezra’s avoiding him, storms into the office suite and then into Goldman’s office and shows his anger at the way the agent’s treated him. Ezra tells Ray that he’s still angry at him, for failing to collect $5 million from former Queen of the Silver Screen June Wilson, that she pledged to the Ruth Goldman Cancer Center, that Ezra’s building in memory of his late wife. Ray tells Goldman that he did fail him and he will get the money from Wilson, but he’s keeping 20% and Ezra starts to sputter and asks what Donovan’s doing. He replies that it’s a reminder to the agent that Ray does all his dirty-work for him and that Ezra relies on him more than he’d care to admit.

June Wilson’s not looking as glamorous as she did a few weeks ago when Ray interrupted her meal at a Beverly Hills bistro with her boy-toy Carlo, a few weeks ago. Perhaps it’s too early in the day, or she’s due for a Botox injection, but her dour mood makes her look more frowsy. She reminds Ray, that she told him at their last meeting, that Ezra Goldman always demands all debts paid in full. She then hands Donovan a manila envelope and asks him to look at the contents, there’s a picture inside that looks like a photograph from the sixties of a young red-headed girl with Downs-Syndrome. June tells him the girl’s her daughter and she’s kept her hidden all these years with Ezra’s assistance and she will not allow the information to surface now and destroy her legacy. She writes Ray the check, then informs him that this will be the last time they ever socialize, Ray walks out the door looking embarrassed and ashamed.

Micky’s back at his apartment and his neighbor Shorty invites him into his room to talk and Shorty’s smoking his medical-grade marijuana, when Micky asks for a hit since he had been drug-tested that morning. Shorty’s also has an oxygen tank and he’s discovered that if you inhale the oxygen, just before hitting the joint, you get higher, Micky tries it and gets wasted. He starts to hallucinate that the dolphin on Shorty’s Miami Dolphins cap’s talking to him, in the same female voice he heard from the dolphin he encountered in Mexico. The dolphin tells Micky she was mistaken about him, that he’s just a sailor and not a captain. Micky screams back to the dolphin that he’s a captain not a sailor and Shorty tells him he never said that. The elder Donovan, collects himself and walks back to his apartment across the hall and closes the door behind him.

He then does some push ups as he still tries to collect his wits and rummages through his pocket for Kate McPherson’s card. He calls the Globe reporter and tells her he’s willing to talk for a price, she shuts him down and says she never pays for stories. Micky counters with, how about if it meant an eyewitness account from the docks the night Sully got killed? McPherson tells him she maybe able to work something out and will get back to him.

Ray heads back to the motel and tells Tiny that he’s about to embark on his new life, complete with new identity and passport, plane-fare and a home in the beautiful Maldives Islands and 15 grand in cash as a parting gift. Only problem is Tiny wants nothing to do with the plan and stupidly tries to escape through the bathroom window, which his neck wouldn’t squeeze through. Avi patches the big man’s wounds, then they attempt to drive Tiny to the airport. Tiny begs them to send him back to Boston, or better yet, allow Tiny to work for Ray. Donovan keeps repeating to the guy that he has no choice but to go there and Tiny rips up the passport and plane-ticket. They bring him back up to the room, when Cochrane calls telling Ray to meet him immediately.

Donovan pulls his car alongside the Director’s car and Cochrane asks him what’s the story with Tiny and as Ray starts to respond he informs him that he’s well aware of what’s going on and Barnes will take care of Tiny. He then plays a recording of the phone-call between Micky and McPherson and infers Ray best make sure that meeting never takes place. He heads back to the motel carrying a chicken and a bottle of red wine and tells Avi to leave, he’ll handle the situation. Avi realizes something’s wrong and tells his boss to take care. Ray gives Tiny the chicken and wine and the big man devours the meal and Donovan tells him he’ll get him ice-cream for dessert and leaves the room. He and Barnes exchange eye-contact in the parking lot, then Ray drives away.

He immediately calls Kate and tells her that she’ll put herself in serious jeopardy if she tries to contact Micky again and she wants to know what Donovan means. He responds that he can’t talk over the phone, but texts her an address and tells her to meet him there. As they hang up, two plain-clothes law-enforcement officials burst into Micky’s room and cuff him, then spirit him away.

Barnes heads into the motel room with weapon drawn and Tiny comes out of the bathroom and Barnes shoots him once in the abdomen, but Tiny charges at him like a wounded rhino, knocks Barnes down and runs out of the room. Barnes gets up and unloads on Tiny at the top of a stair case and the obese man falls down the stairs and onto an innocent bystander, pinning him to the ground. The Agent realizes what he has to do and shoots the innocent bystander between the eyes.

It’s scrabble night at the Cochrane’s and a young couple arrive for dinner and their favorite board-game. The husband appears uneasy in front of Cochrane and possibly frightened. As his wife is putting dinner on the table, Cochrane answers his phone and he briefly raises his eyebrows, then says thank you Frank and hangs up. The other woman and he are alone in the kitchen and the Director squeezes one of the woman’s breasts, eliciting no reaction from the other woman, as the head to the table to enjoy their casserole.

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

Ray Donovan: Uber Ray

Photo Courtesy Of Suzanne Tenner/Showtime
Photo Courtesy Of Suzanne Tenner/Showtime


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.