Eddie Marsan

All posts tagged Eddie Marsan

Photo Courtesy Of Matt Squire BBC

Photo Courtesy Of Matt Squire BBC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Regular readers of these pages have likely realized this writer’s fascination with history and science-fiction/fantasy productions. So it’s little wonder that when the BBC announced that they were adapting “Jonathan Strange And Mr. Norrell,” as a seven part miniseries I was more than intrigued. After watching the finale of the story about a week ago, I can state that once again our cousins from across the pond, exceeded my highest expectations. The series now running here in the States on BBCA, is a story that will go down as a landmark production. Adapted from a 2004 novel by Susan Clarke, the alternative-history tale, that takes place in England in the early 1800’s, came to life on the small screen. The superb writing and brilliant acting, kept this viewer on the edge of my chair throughout the production.

The amazing cast will likely be unfamiliar to many American viewers, don’t let that dissuade you as their performances will quickly win you over. Bertie Carvel, a frequent actor on TV in England, has created a role for the ages in Jonathan Strange. With a hairstyle that evokes memories of Gene Wilder in the Mel Brooks classic movie “Young Frankenstein,” we watch Strange evolve over the story, from a young man lacking ambition to the greatest magician of his time. From a hopeless romantic that believed he and his beloved Arabella could exist on love alone, to the man who helped Lord Wellington defeat Napoleon.

Carvel dominates the screen each time he appears, causing the viewer to cheer when he succeeds and to share his sorrow, when he fears he’s lost the love of his life forever. That loss pushes Strange to seek out and pursue madness, in order to get her back safely. The actor hits each note perfectly whether he’s righting an English ship with the help of “Sand Horses,” as well as in his darkest moments of despair.

Eddie Marsan who sounds like a South Boston native in “Ray Donovan,” fills the role of the other character in the title, Gilbert Norrell, a middle-aged practicing magician who realizes his dabbling in the dark-arts is looked down upon by proper society. Norrell’s fame comes first and he tries to hang onto his sphere of influence, by any means necessary. Secretive and untrusting by nature, he tries to get Parliament to form a Court Of Magic, with him in charge.

Marc Warren once again portrays a character that you love to hate, following his spectacular performance as Rochefort, in the BBC series “The Musketeers.” Warren portrays The Gentleman, a Fairy, but rid your mind of any visions of Tinkerbell, or the Blue Fairy from Pinocchio. The Gentleman’s a dandy with a mane of snow-white hair and looks to gain a serious advantage with each mortal he bargains with.

Both female characters in the production are superb, with Alice Englert in the role of Lady Pole, whose brought back from the dead in a deal between Norrell and The Gentleman. It results in a horrific situation, with the young woman spending her sleeping hours in the court of The Gentleman. She’s spirited away each night to a ball, dancing with other guests of the Gentleman.

Charlotte Riley portrays Arabella Strange, a strong and independent woman, whose deeply in love with her husband. Jonathan and Belle want nothing more than to leave London and spend the rest of their days at Jonathan’s family’s estate. But a call to duty by the War Department and The Gentleman’s obsession with Belle, throws those plans to the wind.

Two standout performances by two wonderful actors must be mentioned. Enzo Cilenti as Norrell’s assistant Childermass, is simply brilliant. It takes a while to determine the character’s intent, but after a while the viewer realizes that Childermass may have more clarity than any of the other characters. While Norrell’s too self-centered to realize the gifts that Childermass possesses, Strange realizes how special he is and asks him to serve as Jonathan’s pupil. But Childermass passes on the offer, saying he wouldn’t be an agreeable student.

Paul Kaye plays Vinculus, a street magician, part beggar and part madman, who foretells the coming of the Raven King back to England. Vinculus informs Jonathan Strange that his fate’s to be a magician and starts Strange on his journey by selling him two spells. Strange performs them both successfully, causing him to choose a career as a practicing magician and getting Belle to marry him now that he’s chosen a career.

Ariyon Bakare gives the Pole family butler Stephen Black, an air of nobility even when life stops making sense. Born on a slave ship from Africa to England, The Gentleman shows Stephen the moment he took his first breath and his mother took her last. The Gentleman and Vinculus tell Stephen he’s destined to become a King.

Then there are the two glad-handers that attach themselves to Norrell, the moment he arrives in London. Vincent Franklin plays the unctuous Mr.  Christopher Drawlight, who quickly becomes Norrell’s biggest fan and biggest promoter, a fact he points out to Norrell as often as possible. He ends up in prison after pretending to be working as an agent for Strange and getting paid in advance.

John Heffernan in the part of Henry Lascelles, is the craftier and more despicable of the pair. Lascelles, writes a book about Norrell which sells quite well at first, but then tanks when Strange damns it in an article he published. From that point on Lascelles becomes obsessed with taking Jonathan down.

Our story takes place in an alternate-timeline, in an England, that’s looking to restore English Magic, after being absent for 300-years. The only remnants of this once proud profession, are little more than historians who laugh at the thought of casting spells. The tale begins in Yorkshire County, as a young man named Segundas becomes acquainted with a group know as “The Friends Of English Magic.”

He poses the question to the members, asking why English magician’s have become nothing more than glorified librarians. Needless to say that the members don’t take kindly to his question. The leader replies that’s like expecting Ornithologists to fly, rather than just study birds. He does find one sympathetic soul, a man named Mr. Honeyfoot who suggests Segundas contact the mysterious Mr. Norrell, a man whose rumored to have actually performed magic.

Segundas contacts Norrell through Childermass and they reach an agreement. If Gilbert can perform a feat that convinces “The Friends Of English Magic”  that Norrell is indeed a magician they will sing his praises far and wide. However if Norrell fails to convince them, he will stop claiming to be a magician.

Any doubts about Norrell vanish swiftly as “The Friends Of English Magic” watch stone statues come to life before their eyes. The statues talk and argue with each other, while in one part of the hall a choir takes to song. One of the statues grabs the leader of the society by his coat and starts yelling at him. When the statues return to their normal state, most of “The Friends Of English Magic” have fled the building in fright, only Segundas and Honeyfoot remain.

After gaining fame in Yorkshire County, Norrell tells Childermass that he wants magic restored to respectability in England. He says that he can help run the country with his talents, so they gather some books from Norrell’s extensive  library and head to London.

His name’s now familiar in London although they believe his magical feat involved Norrell cleaning all the laundry in his village. He meets with members of Parliament and his offer of service is quickly rebuffed. He wants to leave London and head back home, until he meets Drawlight and Lascelles. They inform him that Lord Pole’s fiancée died and he’s besides himself, if Norrell can bring her back from the dead Pole will become Norrell’s champion.

Gilbert realizes any attempts to bring the young woman back to the living would involve dark-magic, a force he stands against in principle and has refrained from trying to use it. However his ego and the thought of becoming England’s Magician, overrule his caution and his common sense. That’s when he summoned The Gentleman and soon magic was back in England. He makes a deal with The Gentleman, beginning a tragic existence for the new Lord and Lady Pole.

Strange learned of Norrell’s achievements and soon he and Arabella were on their way to London for Jonathan to become Gilbert’s student. Opposites in temperament, they also approached magic quite differently. Norrell acquired everything he knew from the pages of his books, while Strange had just one book that his wife bought him, the story of the Raven King.

Gilbert casts some spells that help England in their war with France, but he soon stops responding to calls for help, causing the military to turn to Jonathan for assistance. He impresses the military so much that his presence is requested on the front. Norrell starts perceiving Strange as an adversary rather than his ally, thanks in part to Drawlight and Lascelles and the two part company. However because Norrell summoned the Gentleman to our world, the Fairy has wreaked havoc first on the Pole family and then sets his sights on Arabella.

Through no fault of his own, Strange loses Arabella to The Gentleman. At first he believes she’s dead but eventually he discovers that she’s been enchanted and is a prisoner of The Gentleman. Soon thereafter, Parliament’s in a tizzy as sightings of magic and talk of the return of the Raven King has the country in an uproar. Will the Raven King overthrow the Royal Family and take the throne as the next King of England?

Although the story is ostensibly about magic “Jonathan Strange And Mr. Norrell,” is actually a love story, about the love between a man and his wife, about the love between friends, as well as about love of country and of magic. That’s the common thread that runs through all the parts of this tale, when it comes down to it, what will we do for love?

BBCA is running this series right now in the States and if you’ve yet to watch it, you’re doing yourself a major disservice. Start from the beginning and experience every moment of an epic story and some of the best of what Television has to offer.

The Story Continues Saturday Night on BBCA.

Photo: Suzanne Tenner/Showtime

Photo: Suzanne Tenner/Showtime

Warning: Spoiler Alert

As the season finale of the Showtime Original Series “Ray Donovan” concluded, the network announced that the show’s renewed for a third season and that wasn’t much of a surprise, given the way the episode and the season turned out. The “Fixer For The Stars” still stands, while those attempting to cross him either got mortified publicly or killed. The episode ended with Donovan sitting in his house, after pouring himself a drink, attempting to process all the information that took place over the last few months.

Donovan and Boston Globe reporter Kate McPherson got locked into an incredibly strange relationship, adversaries with a very deep emotional connection, which caused Ray to threaten anybody attempting to silence her, despite the fact she could send him to prison for a very long time. The book she plans to write’s an expose on  former Public Enemy Number One Patrick “Sully” Sullivan, that includes bad deeds done by Ray, his father Micky and a cover-up by the nominee as Federal Bureau Chief of the FBI James Cochrane. Her stories could also inflict damage and possibly criminal charges on the two attorneys’ that employ Donovan Ezra Goodman and Lee Drexler.

Near the end of the previous episode, Ezra sat down with Donovan’s right-hand man Avi and discussed the dangers that McPherson posed to Ray, his family and all his associates and put the matter in Avi’s hands to resolve. The resolution came quickly in the season finale, as Avi waited for the reporter to return to her apartment then put a bullet through her heart and one into her head, made sure he left no evidence and left the apartment.

Ray spent the previous evening as guests of the LAPD, after getting busted last week when he attacked Micky twice in front of a pack of uniformed officers. Lena posted bail and got her boss out, however she told Donovan that his brother Terry refused the bail and remains in jail after getting caught during Micky’s botched attempt at a big score, robbing the local Medical Marijuana Dispensary. Ray heads to the jail to talk with Terry and the older brother says that bail’s a promise that the person won’t flee, but he’s a flight risk so he’ll remain in custody. Ray tells his brother he’s just punishing himself for listening to their father and getting involved in the scheme. He infers that he can likely get a deal for Terry in which he wouldn’t serve time in jail.

He then tells his older brother that he may head to Leavenworth, due to McPherson’s book and if so he wants Terry to take charge of the family. Terry says he doesn’t want the responsibility, but his younger brother tells him that if Terry steps aside, Micky will step in to fill the void. He then tells his brother, when he gets sick of jail to call Lena and she’ll get him out.

Ray gets on the phone with Cookie Brown, who left ten voicemail messages on Donovan’s phone while he slept in the Graybar Hotel, Brown tells him he’s seen the tape of the shooting of Marvin and Rekon and the two have to sit down and talk. Ray tells him he’ll stop by Cookie’s house a bit later.

The two remaining members of the “Over The Hill Gang,” that messed up the robbery of the dispensary, Micky and his son Daryl, finally split open the safe and find there’s just $20 thousand, when they were expecting close to a million. Daryl’s finally had it with his father and says he wants nothing to do with him. But Micky sweet-talks his son, telling him he can have the entire twenty grand. He then tells Daryl that they should head to Palm Springs to talk to Daryl’s stepfather Alan, as he wants to apologize for the trouble they had the last time they got together.

Per usual Micky lied to his son about the reason to visit the man who married the mother of his son. The agent told Donovan when he first arrived in Southern California, that he’d pay Micky half a million dollars for him to go away. Donovan says he wants his money and Allen tells him to get lost, then insults his step-son.

Micky starts talking tougher and Alan tells him to come into the house and he’d write Donovan a check, then in an attempt at misguided machismo, attacks Micky with a tennis-racket. Micky soon gets the better of the matchup and flings the agent through his plate-glass doors and into his swimming pool. Daryl’s mother Claudette hears the commotion and finds Alan sputtering in the pool, telling his wife to call the cops. Micky tells her that if she does that Alan will get arrested as well. She tells Micky to leave and she never wants to see him again.

Ray shows up at Cookie’s house in the midst of a birthday party for Brown’s son. After getting frisked, he’s ushered in to see Brown and we soon realize that Cookie’s indeed seen the tape, as he mentions that Bridget’s on it and asks what she said to the police. Ray told Brown his daughter told the police the truth, Rekon was getting high and she didn’t like his driving, so she asked to get let out a couple of blocks before the incident occurred. Cookie says to Donovan that he’s glad that both of their children will grow up with their fathers alive. Ray tells Cookie he’ll be back later with the million dollars that the Gang Lord gave him.

Back at the office, Ashley’s waiting for him and she’s quite distraught. She says that she thinks he might be following her and suddenly her fiancée Steve Knight walks into the office. Knight starts talking about Ashley’s stalker Bob’s been lurking about and this time he struck Ashley. Ray asks her who actually assaulted her Knight or Bob, when Lena walks into his office and says she needs to talk to him immediately.

They head into her office and Lena shuts the door and tells Ray he should sit down, but Donovan blows her off and just tells her to spit it out. She takes a deep breath before telling Ray that somebody murdered  Kate McPherson earlier that day, shot down in her apartment. Donovan gets the wind knocked out of him and has to sit down, then tells Lena to get rid of Ashley and Knight which she does. Ray goes into his safe gives a video to Lena and tells her to bring it to Stalkerrazzi, a sleazy celebrity gossip site, immediately.

Ray drives to Tom Cochrane’s office, barges through the door and starts assaulting the Los Angeles FBI Bureau Chief with a hammer, two agents enter the office immediately with guns drawn. Cochrane tells the agents he’s fine and to allow the two of them some privacy. As soon as they leave, Donovan accuses Cochrane of setting up Kate’s murder and the director replied he wasn’t involved, he’s too busy heading for Washington. Donovan spits out that Cochrane’s not going to Washington and storms from the office. Cochrane yells after him asking if Donovan’s threatening him.

Abby gets a call from her boyfriend LAPD Detective Jim Halloran, asking her to drop by his house. He apologizes for not being able to set-up Cookie, but he tells her he can offer her and her children protection if they’d move in with him. Although the dwelling’s half the size of the house she lives in, she’s overcome with gratitude at the offer.

Daryl and Micky are driving south down the highway when Micky’s cellphone rings and it’s his parole officer Ronald Keith on the other end. Keith was part of the gang for the heist, but bailed and turned them in when he got informed by the facility’s security guard that the safe held very little money. Keith and Donovan swear at each other over the phone, but before Keith hangs up Micky hears the trumpet from a racetrack. He and Daryl turn around to give Keith some payback.

If Cochrane didn’t arrange Kate’s murder, Ray realizes that Ezra sent Avi to Boston to kill her, one of the reasons he and Lena have gotten his voice-mail all day. Donovan walks into Goodman’s office and Ezra, admits immediately that he sent Avi to kill McPherson. He tells Donovan, that he’s lost himself, forgotten who he is and Ezra had to step up for everybody’s good and clean up the mess. Ray then picks up the phone and calls the police, alerting them that a body’s buried in the building’s foundation. The body belonged to the Catholic Priest that raped Bunchy and Ray when they were children and Donovan killed in a fit of anger last season. The adverse publicity that finding the body will cause will the death of Goodman’s dream, a cancer center dedicated to his late wife.

Daryl and Micky show up at the track and see Keith shortly thereafter, chase him down to the men’s room and take turns pummeling the stuffing out of him. Keith, says he can make it up to them, he has a sure thing in the next race with 7-1 odds, they put the twenty grand on that and they can walk away with a nice jackpot. Daryl wants no part of it, but ever the con-man, Micky wants to go down and look at the horses.

Keith’s horse’s number one, but as number seven walks past Micky, he hears the voice of Linda, the woman Sully murdered for being in the wrong place at the wrong time last year. In the season opener, the voice came from a dolphin in the ocean with him in Mexico, telling him he’s not a sailor but a Captain. In the middle of the season, the dolphin on Shorty’s Miami Dolphin’s cap told Micky, that she was wrong he’s just a sailor after all. However when he heard the voice from the horse she said she’s in a better place now, that she forgave him and he’s indeed a Captain. Micky asks Daryl what’s the name of the seven horse and of course it’s Captain. The pair put the wad on the horse and Keith puts all his money on it as well.

Although, I truly expected the opposite Lady Luck rode with the trio and Micky ended up with a million dollars. He heads to Terry’s gym just as Terry’s getting back after having a change of heart of staying in jail. Mickey goes into his office and tells Terry that he won a million bucks and starts to give Terry his share, but Terry glares at him when he tries to short him, because he wasn’t at the track. Terry responded that he was in jail instead then tells Micky to leave the gym and never return.

Ray heads back to Cookie’s with the gym bag carrying the million in cash, the two bodyguards pat Donovan down, but don’t check the bag. Ray enters the office and Cookie’s sitting at his desk and a pistol’s sitting in front of him. Ray asks if Cookie’s going to shoot him and Cookie tells him he’s not sure, he’d like to live without looking over his shoulder all the time. Ray, tells him he can relate and starts taking the money out of the bag and stacking it on the desk, Cookie tells him he trusts him but Ray keeps piling the money on the desk. Ray then asks Brown how he can be sure Bridget’s safe and Cookie responds, he can’t. Ray replies I thought so and grabs the pistol in the gym bag shooting Cookie first in the heart and then between the eyes.

The two bodyguards enter, but Ray gets the drop on both and they give up their weapons. Donovan puts the guns on the desk and tells the two guys there’s a million in cash on the desk, if they split it it’s 500 grand each, or one gets a million. Ray leaves the house and at the ten count, we hear one pistol fire.

Donovan gets a call from Ashley, pleading that he come to her and Steve’s apartment immediately. Steve’s sitting outside on the steps when Ray arrives then follows him up to the apartment. Ashley points to the ground below and we see the corpse of her stalker Bob in a heap on the beach. She tells Ray, that he tried to stop Steve from beating her and Steve killed him by throwing him off the balcony. Steve’s clearly insane and Donovan talks him into lying in the trunk of his car until the police arrive. Ray leaves and tells Ashley to tell the police everything.

Abby, Conor and Bridget are home watching TV, when a news bulletin interrupts the program to announce that Cooke Brown was found shot to death in his home. Abby looks so happy she’s about to burst.

As Tom Cochrane leaves his office to head home from the night he hears moaning coming from his secretary’s computer, she’s watching the now viral tape of the Cochranes and the Volchecks involved in wife-swapping.

Ray enters his house pours a drink and sits in the dark in his living room. Abby’s upstairs in her bed with both kids, she goes down to see her husband, but asks if he’s alright when she sees the expression on his face.

Ray Donovan will return next summer for Season Three on Showtime.

 

Photo Courtesy Of Showtime

Photo Courtesy Of Showtime

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Last week the walls looked like they were crumbling in on “Ray Donovan,” his family and associates. Tonight’s the season finale of the second season of the Showtime Original series and although the “Fixer For The Stars,” barely escaped death last season, a stint in Leavenworth’s a distinct possibility, not only for Ray, but for his father Micky and possibly the two attorneys that employ him.

Boston Globe reporter Kate McPherson’s story about Donovan’s connections and his past in South Boston, could tear Ray’s world apart. Mickey’s in trouble as well, as the heist of a medical marijuana facility he and the “Over The Hill Gang,” tried to pull off went awry, with Ray’s older brother Terry in police custody.

Donovan’s also involved in two major problems on the home-front, the first keeping his daughter safe from Gang Lord Cookie Brown, who killed her boyfriend and his guardian gangland style, while she was in the back seat of the car. The other’s his wife Abby’s affair with a Los Angeles Police Department Detective Jim Halloran, is their marriage finally over?

Join Jeff Sack tonight after the episode for the recap, insight and commentary on the episode and the season.

 

Photo Courtesy Of Suzanne Tenner/Showtime

Photo Courtesy Of Suzanne Tenner/Showtime

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.

Photo Courtesy Of Suzanne Tenner/Showtime

Photo Courtesy Of Suzanne Tenner/Showtime

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Boston Globe reporter Kate McPherson’s back in Los Angeles, armed with enough information to sink the career of Los Angeles FBI Bureau Director James Cochrane and put Ray Donovan and his associates behind bars for an extended stay, in the tenth episode of the second season of the Showtime Original Series “Ray Donovan.” Donovan’s unaware of the impending danger when he wakes up on the couch of his client Steve Knight, after an evening of heavy drinking.  Ray’s tongue loosened by the alcohol, told Knight about the death of his daughter Bridget’s boyfriend Marvin and that his wife Abby was sleeping with another man.

Hearing Knight repeat his words back to him, embarrasses Donovan, who says he drank way too much. The motivational speaker and author tells Ray not to retreat into his shell, that it’s healthy for men to share their problems with other men. Knight’s girlfriend Ashley, wishes their guest a good morning, then kisses her boyfriend before leaving their beach house. Just after she leaves, Steve spies Ashley’s stalker Bob on the beach below, jumps off his deck and runs after him.

Bob’s an easy catch as he has a badly damaged leg and Knight tackles him and starts wailing on his face. Ray arrives seconds later and pulls his client off the stalker, telling him to leave. Bob tells Ray that Steve beats Ashley and he’s trying to protect her. Donovan screams at him to leave and then Knight commends him for his mercy. Ray asks if what Bob said was true and his client responded what goes on sexually between Ashley and he’s not Bob’s business. Donovan responds that if Knight ever beats Ashley again, he’ll kill him and Steve tries to brush off the threat by imploring Ray to swim with him, but he refuses.

Back at the Donovan house, Abby’s asleep on the living room couch, as we see Cookie Brown entering the house walking past Abby, goes upstairs and she hears a gunshot. She jumps up from the couch, running upstairs and screaming for Bridget, who’s sound asleep in her own bed, Cookie entering the house just a nightmare. She apologizes to her daughter and leaves the room.

Ray’s in the car driving to Ezra and Lee’s law firm when he gets a call from Kate, telling him he’s a liar and then swearing at him. He asks where she is and she swears again and hangs up the phone. Donovan calls Avi, tells her McPherson’s in town and to track her down. Avi advises his boss to stay away from the reporter, but Donovan basically tells him to do what he’s told.

Although Ray and Avi can’t find Kate, we soon do as she arrives at Micky’s apartment building to ask him questions. The elder Donovan doesn’t cooperate, but he starts to slip up as he starts to tell him Ray paid Sully two million dollars to kill him, but stops at Ray paid Sully. She tries to find out what his son paid Sully for, but he tells her to talk to Ray.

Donovan arrives at the law firm and Ezra, Lee and Cookie are there, Ezra tells Ray they just gave him the rights to Rekon’s catalog and Marvin’s sessions and he’s now a client. Cookie asks if he’s now entitled to use Ray’s services and when informed he is, asks for a moment alone with Donovan. After the attorneys depart, Cookie tells Donovan, that there are rumors on the street there’s video footage of the murder of Rekon and Marvin and he wants Ray to find the tape. The fixer tells Cookie it will cost a lot to acquire if it exists and Brown responds he’s willing to pay any price to find out who killed Marvin and for the killer to receive punishment. Ray, well aware that Cookie shot both Rekon and Marvin looks confused and Brown asks him if all’s cool between them. Donovan quickly recovers and says he’ll start the search.

Abby goes to the station house of her lover Detective Jim Halloran and the two go out back of the station to kiss and talk. She tells Halloran she needs his help, she wants him to hurt Cookie, to keep him from killing Bridget. The detective’s shocked by her request and tells her if she wants Cookie punished to have Bridget report what she saw. Abby tells Jim that if he refuses her, their relationship’s over, he thinks a few seconds then walks away. She chastises him telling him to man-up, that stops him for a second, before walking off in disgust.

Cochrane gets a phone call from the President asking him to take over as new National Director of the FBI. He and his wife are ecstatic, his lifetime goal of becoming Bureau Director now within sight. He heads to the office and swamped with congratulatory presents and cards. His assistant director Tom Volcheck goes to his office and Cochrane’s secretary tries to intercept him but he walks right past her into the director’s office. Another agent’s talking with Cochrane, but he tells Volcheck the agent’s about to leave.

When they are alone Tom asks him if he plan’s to bring him to Washington and Cochrane tells him that’s not in his plans. He then asks if he could appoint him as his replacement in Los Angeles and the director turns nasty, asking him why he believes he’s qualified to assume the post. Volcheck stammers out that Cochrane’s his mentor and mentions how close both couples are (referring to their wife-swapping escapades.) Cochrane asks his assistant if he’s attempting to blackmail him and Volcheck answers no, then leaves the office.

Micky and his pal Shorty are planning to rob the safe at the local marijuana dispensary, as it’s a cash only business and the dispensary can’t get a bank to allow them to deposit their funds in. For that he’ll need his Parole Officer Ronald Keith’s cooperation, to turn his anklet that tracks his whereabouts for the night. He asks Keith what it would take to cooperate and offers him five grand. Keith asks him where he can get that kind of money and Donovan responds he’d pay him the day after he turned it off. The Parole Officer says he should send him back to jail, but Micky asks if he could give him the money upfront would he cooperate. Keith glares at Donovan but doesn’t respond, which Micky interprets as a yes.

Shorty and Micky head to Terry’s gym and after introducing his friend to his son, asks if he can borrow five grand and Terry refuses. He then talks to his son Daryl first asking for a loan then offering to include him in on the heist and he could walk away with 100 grand. Daryl tells his father he’s crazy and leaves the gym. Mickey and Shorty are about to leave as well, when Terry says he can get the money but he wants in on the heist so he can buy a business in Ireland, then he and Frances can become citizens there.

Ray’s phone rings and Cochrane’s on the other end telling him to get to his office immediately. Ray responds he’s in the process of tracking down Kate, but the director says he won’t talk about it on the phone. When Donovan arrives Cochrane plays a recording of a phone call with her editor at the Globe. She tells him she’s about to expose the President’s choice for FBI Director and may even solve the Sean Walker murder. Cochrane shuts off the recording and tells Ray he’s going to eliminate her. Donovan responds he can’t let him do that and Cochrane asks if he has a death wish, because if necessary he’ll kill Donovan as well. He then says that he’s about to undergo a vetting process by the Senate Judiciary Committee and McPherson will screw everything up. Ray tells him he’s wrong, pulls out his cellphone and shows the director the footage of the Cochranes and Volchecks wife swapping. He then tells the director if anything happens to him or Kate, the video will go viral.

Keith returns to Micky’s apartment and the old man gives him $2500, saying he’ll get he second half the day after he turns it off. Keith asks him what he’s planning and Donovan tells him no questions. The Parole Officer then asks what he can do to earn more than five grand and Micky’s gang’s set, Shorty, their friend the local hooker, Terry and Keith.

Cochrane bursts into Volcheck’s office and tells him he’s being transferred to Bismarck, North Dakota for betraying him and that Tom’s beautiful wife will never follow him up there. Cochrane leaves and Volcheck falls apart at his desk.

Abby’s back at the house and is about to take her pistol out of its safety case when she hears Ray’s in the house, she puts the gun away before he walks into their bedroom. She tells her husband they have to leave, to move back to Boston to protect Bridget from Cookie Brown. Donovan tells her she’s ridiculous and he’d never allow her or their kids to get harmed. His phone rings and Avi tells him that he’s located Kate.

Of all the people in his life, there’s nobody more protective and more concerned about Ray’s well-being than Avi. Born in Israel and most likely a former Mossad agent, he thinks of Donovan more as his younger brother than his boss. When Donovan arrives he tells his boss that he should stay away from McPherson, that he’s obsessed with her and it’s bringing him down. He’s so off his game that Abby’s sleeping with Halloran and Ray explodes and pops Avi in the mouth. As he tries to keep his composure and ride out the pain, Donovan tells him he doesn’t realize that if McPherson publishes her story they’ll all soon be in prison.

Abby’s in the living room when she receives a text from Halloran asking if she’s okay, she responds she is and he replies he’s right outside. For some reason she grabs her pistol and tucks into her waistband at her back. She opens the door and Halloran tells her he’ll grant he request. The two end up making it in his car in her driveway, like a couple of teenagers.

Kate comes back to her motel room from a burger run and finds Ray standing outside her door. She opens the door, leaves it open and he follows her in. She asks if he’s there to kill her, and he responds she’s got to drop her story or her life’s in danger from Cochrane. She asks him questions which he bats away at first, but then decides to tell her the truth. Sean Walker was high on Micky’s dope and playing with Micky’s gun when he accidentally shot Ray’s and Sully’s girlfriend Coleen. Ray framed his father because he believed he was responsible for giving Sean the dope and the gun.

She then reveals she knows that the family priest molested Bunchy and asks if Terry got molested as well and Donovan tells her to leave Terry out of it. She then asks Ray if he got molested and Donovan starts kissing her passionately and shortly their having some pretty passionate sex. As they both start getting excited, she asks him again if he got molested and he tells her to shut up. She asks him again and Ray starts strangling her and looking like he’s going to kill her. Her screams finally break the spell and she gets up sobbing and runs out of the room. Ray sits there with his head in his hands, realizing he might have just sealed his fate.

The Cochranes are having dinner with a young couple at a restaurant, when Volcheck walks up to their table and points a pistol at James’ head. Cochrane’s wife pleads with Volcheck not to shoot him and a second later shoots himself in the temple, taking his life and probably any chance of Cochrane’s confirmation.

Ray drives to Steve and Ashley’s beach house and looks out at the ocean in the darkness. He then strips naked and jumps into the ocean swimming as hard as he can. Soon we hear Knight’s voice applauding his actions.

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

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.

Photo:  Suzanne Tenner/Showtime

Photo: Suzanne Tenner/Showtime

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The Donovan family’s moving up in status, as the title character of the Showtime Original Series “Ray Donovan,” agreed in the previous episode to move his family to the toney suburb Truesdale and in the third episode, he committed to do his best to get daughter Bridget into the prestigious Bel-Air Academy. However the Hollywood “Fixer For The Stars,” has a lot on his plate, including keeping Los Angeles FBI Bureau Director James Cochrane off his tail, and Ray’s father Micky out of trouble; which is a fulltime job itself.

We join Ray, his wife Abby, Bridget and the principal of her high school as the episode opens and the school official has exciting news to share with Bridget’s parents. She took the entrance exam for the Academy and scored in the upper percentile making her a prime candidate academically for the private school. However, being Hollywood one needs to have a benefactor go to bat for your family to get your child in the exclusive school and the contact that could help the Donovan family, Producer Stu Feldman, (Josh Pais) has blocked previous efforts due to his immense dislike of Ray. Donovan promises Abby, that he’ll try to make amends with the producer and gets in his car to head there.

As Ray drives to the producer’s house, his phone rings and Cochrane’s on the other and demanding that Ray get to his office immediately. or terrify his family when a SWAT Team knocks down their front door to take Ray away in chains. Although the local Bureau Director is far from being a physically imposing figure, he refuses to exhibit fear and talks down to everybody. Ray doesn’t react well to such treatment and calmly tells Cochrane as he enters the office, that if he ever threatens his family again, Donovan will kill him. Cochrane shows no reaction to the threat, instead starts talking about an outside threat, who’s out to prove that former Public Enemy Number One Patrick “Sully” Sullivan wasn’t killed by the FBI.

That “outside threat,” that Cochrane refers to as the “Boston Globe’s Lois Lane,” is Globe reporter Katherine McPherson, who strong-armed her editor in the previous episode to let her fly to the West Coast after Cochrane’s televised ceremony when he presented medals to the two agents credited with taking Sully out. McPherson checked sources close to Sullivan in Boston, and noticed discrepancies from the FBI account to what her sources told her.  She asks to speak to the agent that shot Sullivan and Cochrane refuses, she then asks about Micky Donovan and Cochrane tells her he has no knowledge of anyone by that name. Ray tells the Bureau Director to relax and he calls his chief aide Avi to watch the reporter and to keep her away from Micky.

Micky’s new parole officer Ronald Keith, has gotten him a job washing dishes and slicing carrots on the morning shift of a greasy-spoon on the wrong side of town. He tells his supervisor he’s taking a break and then heads outside to wear the other workers gathered, passing around a joint. Micky’s tempted but tells his fellow employees he’s on parole and being tested, but one of the guys tells him that he just needs a prescription for medical marijuana. Keith walks over to the group and tells the other guy, that Micky can’t go that route and realizing Keith’s a parole officer, scatter.

He puts an ankle bracelet on Micky and tells the ex-convict that he’s only allowed to go to his home and his job or the bracelet will shock Micky and alert Keith. Just then Micky gets a call on his cell phone and his former girlfriend and mother of his youngest son Daryl, Claudette’s on the other end. She tells Micky that she needs to see him and Donovan responds that he’ll meet her at a fancy restaurant at 6:00 pm. Keith tells Micky that if his bracelet signal shows up there, the old man’s heading back to the joint. He tells Micky to have her meet him at his apartment, but he tells the officer that he’s too embarrassed for her to see him like that.

Ray arrives at Feldman’s office and the producer’s befuddled why Donovan’s there. He asks his assistant whether they had a scheduled meeting and when told that he doesn’t, hesitantly invites him into his office. Feldman and Donovan have a history from the first season of the series, as the producer hired Ray to tail his mistress and they ended up in bed together. The Producer invited Ray and family to a party at the producer’s, arranged to bury the hatchet, Feldman told Abby about her husband’s affair and told her Bridget would be black-balled from Bel Air Academy. Donovan got revenge by breaking the producer’s hand and this meeting’s the first time they have seen each other since.

Donovan asks for Stu to help get Bridget into the academy and Feldman starts complaining about his mistress, she’s started a recording career and chopped off all her hair ala Miley Cyrus and the producer’s desire waned when she altered her look. He tells Ray that he’s obsessed with bedding a porn-starlet, whose know as the “Meryl Streep of Porn,” according to him. He’s made financial offers but keeps getting refused, he tells Donovan if he can arrange to grant his request he’ll assure Bridget gets into Bel-Air Academy.

Avi calls Ray and tells him that McPherson, showed up at Terry’s gym and Donovan tells his right hand man to make sure she doesn’t get away. Avi pushes her car ahead in the street-side parking spot, then puts his car behind her so close she would be boxed in. The reporter goes upstairs to talk to Terry and tells him she’s writing a book about Sully and heard Micky’s named mentioned as a close associate and she wants to talk to him. The oldest Donovan brother says his father’s not at the gym and he’s unsure of his whereabouts. She thanks him, heads to the car and finds she’s trapped.

Ray heads over to talk with the porn producer about Stu paying for a night with the actress he fancies, when the producer informs Ray that actress is his wife and she’s not a prostitute. She only has sex with other professionals of the industry and requires a detailed health check. Donovan walks out with an autographed picture of the actress and a definitive NO, from the producer. He then heads to Feldman to give him the picture and the response and Feldman, insults Ray and tells him that he hopes Bridget enjoys public school. He says he knows the way to get his fantasy fulfilled.

Donovan pulls up to Terry’s gym and sees the reporter seething out front, wondering how long she’ll remain trapped. Ray plays dumb and asks if he can help, when she explains the situation he tells her that his brother owns the gym and most likely somebody inside has boxed her in. She asks if he’s a Donovan and he responds he is as they head upstairs. After a charade, they find Avi in the shower and he apologizes and tells the reporter he’s moving his car.

Micky’s back at his apartment trying to remove the ankle-bracelet with a plastic knife when a fellow tenant of the building walks into his apartment’s open door. The man introduces himself to Donovan, he’s Shorty, another ex-con who got released when he contracted lung cancer as the state didn’t want to pay for his treatments. He tells Micky he’s got some tools and comes back with a screwdriver, which Donovan uses to break the bracelet, Shorty says he’ll wear it with some duct tape wrapped around it, so Keith will believe Donovan’s home. They realize the plan’s not going to work when the parole officer arrives seconds later, having been signaled that Micky removed the device.

Keith tells Micky that he’s got one last chance, if the ex-con spits on the sidewalk he’s heading back to prison. Micky notices Keith’s fancy watch and recognizes it as one of Ray’s. He asked Keith where did he get it and the officer responds that he bought it at the Gem And Loan Pawn Shop in Beverly Hills. When Micky inquires about the price, Keith responds that the question session’s over. Micky then asked if Keith had to pay with more than money for the time-piece, such as a piece of his soul and Keith silently walks out.

Feldman has the porn starlet and her husband meet him at one of his sets, and the couple gush over the facility. He introduces himself as an actor in the industry and provides them his health information, then tells the husband he’s going to shoot their scene with a hand-held camera, which the producer says he likes the concept.

Stu is actually having sex with this woman in front of her husband filming her with a hand-held camera, when his passion overcomes him and he puts down the camera, tipping the wife off that he’s a phony and calls over her husband, who socks the Sleazeball in the head while still in the act. The husband demands to know what’s going on and Feldman tells him he’s the biggest producer in Hollywood and  the husband kicks the producer in the skull knocking him unconscious.

Back at the gym, Ray’s trying to charm the reporter and steer her away from talking with his father. He says Micky’s old and fragile, he did bad stuff but paid his debt to society by serving his sentence in a maximum security prison. Micky just wants to live out his days in peace and he’s forgotten most of the past. Although McPherson acts amenable, she’s not buying anything that Donovan’s telling her, she says goodbye and heads for her friend’s apartment where she’s staying while in Los Angeles.

Back in his car, Ray’s phone rings and Feldman’s on the other end, tied to a chair as the husband stands menacingly above him. He tells Donovan to go to the safe in his office and get $200 thousand to pay the couple. He tells Ray that if he comes with the money he will guarantee that Bridget gets into Bel-Air Academy.

McPherson’s watching a Sean Walker marathon with her friend on TV at her friend’s apartment and as the credits roll, a name catches her eye; Consultant: Micky Donovan. She then calls the parole office saying that Micky applied for a job at her coffee shop and she couldn’t make out his address and phone number to contact him.

Ray and his other assistant Lena, arrive at the porn producer’s house with the money in a satchel. He and Donovan go to another room to count the money, when it’s verified he’ll release Stu. As the husband starts counting the money, Ray tells him that he doesn’t want the money as it would reflect badly on his wife and himself. He asks Ray, what he suggests and the camera goes black. Feldman and Lena are in the car when Ray climbs into the driver’s seat and tells Stu they are heading to his studio.

The next scene takes place back at the studio filming a scene as box-office megastar Tommy Wheeler’s (Austin Nichols) filming the climactic scene of his next big movie with the porn-starlet as the woman he rescues. The mainstream exposure she’ll receive is worth far more than the money, which Ray has kept and is getting laundered so he can use it to pay for the new house and Bridget’s school.

Once again Ray’s phone rings and this time it’s Keith telling him that someone at the parole office gave McPherson, Micky’s address and phone number and she’s headed their as they speak. They concoct a plan to get Micky to the restaurant to meet Claudette while Ray waits for the reporter outside Micky’s apartment. When she arrives he tells her his father not coming back that night and offers to buy her a drink.

Mickey and Claudette meet at the restaurant, and she tells Micky that she had to sign a sworn statement earlier at the Beverly Hills Police station that she was with Donovan on the night Sully murdered Sean Walker, as Micky was with Sully when he killed the movie star. He tells Claudette that he didn’t kill Walker and asks her to stick with the story.

Ray and Katherine are pretty loaded at the bar and he tells her that she reminds him of Bridget, because she’s so bright. The reporter then rambles on drunkenly how she knows that Cochrane and Ray are hiding thing from her that she’ll eventually find out Ray tells her that if Sully was with them he would look at her and say “Katherine McPherson, you’re a PISSAH!” McPherson responded in kind and they both laughed as the episode concluded.

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

Photo Courtesy Of Showtime Network

Photo Courtesy Of Showtime Network

WARNING: SPOILER ALERT

The first season finale of the Showtime Original Series “Ray Donovan,” was wall-to wall non-stop action and intertwining plots and the season opener for season two followed suit. Donovan (Liev Schreiber), the former boy from South Boston, who became the ultimate “Fixer For The Stars,” in Hollywood finds himself putting out lots of brush fires, while trying to keep what could become a raging inferno, contained. Some issues emanate from last season, although new flare-ups spring up throughout the first hour.

Our first image of the new season finds Donovan sleeping on a plush cabana lounge-chair in a suit with a blood stained white shirt on a beautiful beach, when woken by a shovel full of dirt gets dumped on his torso. We realize it’s a dream as he finds himself looking up at the sky from the bottom of a grave. He wakes up out of breath and shaken, then takes his wife Abby (Paula Malcomson) sexually even though she’s sound asleep as he begins. He completes the act and then rolls away from her on the bed, the anguish visible in Abby’s eyes.

We shift to the Donovan’s kitchen and Abby tells her teenage children Connor (Devon Bagby) and Bridget (Kerris Dorsey) that she and Ray have some private business they have to attend to, however Ray tells his wife that he wants to drive the kids to school first and will meet up with her. He gives his daughter the keys to the car although she has yet to get her license and explains to his kids that he and Abby are going to see a counselor. The kids ask questions about their parent’s marriage, but Ray assures them everything is fine.

Ray and Abby are in the counselor’s office and start discussing their difficulties. Abby starts off by taking responsibility for the events of the past year, by inviting Ray’s estranged father Micky (Jon Voight) to their home when he got released from a Boston area prison, without telling her husband and letting him develop relationships with their children. The counselor thanks Abby for her honesty and then goes to town on Ray, lambasting him for his problems with violence. He brings up incidents that his children witnessed and asks Donovan if they can negotiate a contract stating Ray will not show violence to his daughter and son. Donovan agrees to the counselor’s request, but his cell-phone rings and he has to leave the session.

Abby remains and the conversation gets more intimate, as they discuss her sex-life with her husband and she immediately becomes defensive. The counselor then brings up that Ray recently revealed to her that a priest molested him as a child  and tells her that until he husband comes to peace with that, their marriage will be in danger. She tells the counselor she regrets sharing that with him and leaves the office.

Ray’s call is from a client, an NFL player who tells Donovan he’s in deep trouble and the fixer has to get to his home immediately. Ray drives up to see the player’s tiny children huddled together outside the house and we hear two women in conversation, one extremely angry and the other terribly scared. The player appears and tells Donovan that his wife came home early from his weekend trip and caught him in bed with another woman. Just as he tells Ray that there are no guns in his bedroom, we hear a shot and Donovan bursts open the door to find the woman in the bed with a shoulder wound and the player’s wife shaking with anger. She tells him that she can’t deal with her husband’s antics any longer and Donovan tells her that the player’s rotten and she should shoot him. The reverse psychology works and she sits down and gives Ray the weapon.

The other woman is a contestant on an American Idol type of show and scheduled to perform that evening. Donovan stops his car in front of a park and tells her she can compete and possibly win, or live in infamy as the other-woman shot by the player’s wife and grabs a pistol out of the car and tells the woman to get out. He then fires the gun at a tree right behind her and tells her to tell the police she got mugged in the park and drives away, leaving the woman alone and crying. Seconds later, Donovan’s aide Lena shows up, comforts the woman and calls 911, she then tells the woman she’s a fan, but if she doesn’t stick to the story she got mugged, Lena will shoot her again.

Connor is at school and showing a girl a video of Marvin Gaye Washington (Octavius J. Johnson) who’s blowing up YouTube with his latest rap video. Connor tells the girl Marvin’s his sister’s boyfriend and he’s been over their house a lot when some other kid calls him out as a liar and knocks the phone out of Connor’s hand and breaks on the ground. Connor retaliates by pushing the other kid who falls down a flight of cement stairs fracturing his collar-bone.

Ray and Abby meet with the principal and told their son will serve a five-day suspension and he fears the other boy’s parents might sue the school and press for a criminal investigation. As the three get to the parking-lot, Abby screams at her son while Ray reassures him that they will both apologize to the boy and his family that night and rectify the situation. Donovan gets back in his car and the phone rings with a devastating call from Ray’s lackey on the FBI Frank Barnes (Michael McGrady). Turns out the office director’s (Hank Azaria) back at the bureau and found inconsistencies from the ballistic tests on former Public Enemy Number One Patrick “Sully” Sullivan, killed by Micky in last season’s finale. Their tale has unraveled and the director wants to question Ray.

Donovan drives to the bureau office and Frank tells him that the director knows that Sully was working for Ray and wants to question Donovan about his murder. Ray, shows Barnes total disdain and barges into the director’s office and introduces himself. The director informs him he knows exactly who Ray is and describes in a very uncomplimentary fashion. He starts questioning Donovan who responds that the director really doesn’t want to know the answers. Frustrated the director grabs his phone telling Donovan he would soon be behind bars when Ray tells him that he paid Sully $2 million to kill Micky and the director puts down the phone and kicks Barnes out of his office. Ray then tells him that Micky killed Sully and the director responds he wants to talk to the elder Donovan. Ray replies his father has left town but that doesn’t satisfy the director.

Ray drives to his brother Terry’s (Eddie Marsan) gym and asks his older sibling where their father is, Terry replies he’s in Mexico but doesn’t know anymore. As he starts to leave the gym he sees his younger brother Bunchy, (Dash Mihok) molested by the same priest and became traumatized, trapped as an adolescent in a man’s body. Bunchy is wearing a dress shirt and tie although he’s wearing shorts as he doesn’t own any long pants, after his session with other victims of molestation he has an interview for a job in a bicycle shop. Ray get’s back in the car and calls his half-brother Daryl, (Pooch Hall) the product of Mickey and his Black former girlfriend. When he asks Daryl where Mickey is, he swears at Ray and tells him he has no clue.

Daryl was lying to his half-brother as he is heading to Rosalito, Mexico to fight in a match Micky had arranged. Micky’s shacked up with a Mexican hooker, drinking tequila from the bottle and smoking a joint in a beach-side shack. He tells the woman he is going for a swim and she tells him not too as he’s far too intoxicated. When the old man starts swimming, he hallucinates seeing a talking dolphin who implores Micky to swim with her. When Micky says he’s tired the dolphin responds that he’s not a sailor, he’s a captain. The mammal disappears and Linda (Rosanna Arquette) his companion that got murdered by Sully takes her place. Linda blames Micky for leaving her in a very dark place but he blames Sully for her fate. She vanishes and Mickey swims to shore.

Ezra Goldman the Hollywood agent that’s Ray’s employer gets a visit from the local FBI director and calls Donovan in a panic telling him to get there immediately. The director asks questions about Ray, but Ezra tells him that Donovan’s also a client so he can’t divulge any information. Ray shows up then and the director tells Ray he’s got 24-hours to bring him Micky, Donovan responds that the director should forget about the real incident and award his two agents citations for taking out Public Enemy Number One.

Daryl arrives in Rosalito and Micky gets his son to pick up his outstanding balance with his landlord, and Daryl gives the man 500 dollars. He then asks his father about his opponent and Micky tells him he hasn’t seen him but how big could a Mexican boxer be? Daryl finds out soon after that his opponent is basically a wall with a face, a gigantic man, bald and glaring. Daryl gets one good punch in, but his opponent pulverizes him leaving him bloody and hazy on the canvas, but he sees Micky collecting money as he bet against his son.

Bridget is getting driven home from school by a female friend when a cruiser pulls the girls over. They tell the driver she made a right-turn without signaling, but it becomes quickly apparent that their real interest is in Bridget. The cops ask her name and whether her backpack was on the car’s rear seat and when she responds it is, they tell her to leave the vehicle. Ray’s phone rings and he sees the calls from his daughter, she’s crying on her end and then one of the cops takes the phone. He tells Ray they caught his daughter with an ounce of weed, but because she seems like a good kid they’ll let her off with a warning. Donovan responds that the cop should tell the director he got the message.

Ray tracks down Terry and once again asks his brother where Micky is but he refuses to tell him. Ray then tells his brother that he’s in deep trouble and his world will come crashing down if he can’t find their father. Micky is the King of the Cantina, flush with money from betting against his son and buying drinks for the house. Daryl is angrily sitting by himself eating and watching Micky party, until he confronts his father about how he could set up his own son. Micky offers Daryl half of the winnings, which he refuses at first, but then grabs it and goes out to the parking lot and calls Ray giving his half-brother Micky’s location.

Micky and the hooker are dancing to La Bamba when she says that she’s not a sailor but a captain, shocking the elder Donovan by saying what the dolphin had said to him earlier. Ray enters and tells Micky they are heading home but his father wants to stay and the men in the Cantina show that they are ready to take on Ray to keep Micky there. Ray then changes the song on the jukebox, walks out to his car, opens his trunk and takes off his shirt and grabs a bat. The screen goes dark as we hear broken glass and the woman’s screams.

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