Photo Courtesy Of Suzanne Tenner/Showtime
WARNING: SPOILER ALERT
The most accurate analogy of the second season of the Showtime Original Series “Ray Donovan,” might be what’s known as “Fire Season,” in Southern California, that takes place annually during the late summer and early fall. Firefighters realize that as soon as they get one blaze extinguished, three more fires will spring up shortly. Without a chance to catch his breath after deluding a reporter from the Boston Globe, and avoiding an extended stay in Leavenworth, sharing a cell with his father Micky, Donovan’s running on all eight-cylinders, juggling chain saws and trying to avoid losing a limb.
There’s little if any happiness at Ray’s home, as his long-suffering wife Abby’s decided she’s finished tolerating her spouses long history of infidelity, actively pursuing an affair with LAPD Detective Jim Halloran, whom she met at the firing-range earlier this season. She’s texting the cop as we join her at the breakfast table and she’s soon joined by her son Connor, who excitedly asks his mother if she knows what tomorrow is and becomes disappointed when Abby vacantly responds that it’s Saturday. Daughter Bridget, heads for the refrigerator and as she passes the kitchen table, sees the diamond earing her boyfriend Marvin Gaye Washington, gave to her in the previous episode. After screaming at her mother that she violated her rights by searching her room, she tells Abby that Marvin gave her the earring because he loves her and her mother rolls her eyes in response.
Bridget responds by striking a nerve, telling Abby that she can’t understand her relationship with Washington, because she’s a victim. When her mother tries to deny it, Bridget responds that she hears her cry herself every night, just as Ray enters the kitchen. Donovan’s informed that his daughter’s seeing Marvin again, tries his best at being diplomatic, telling his daughter that Washington has lots of problems. His daughter replies that she has her own set of problems, including being setup by the LAPD, as two officers magically found an ounce of weed in her backpack that had not been there before they arrived, as a warning to Ray by Los Angeles FBI Bureau Director James Cochrane to stay in line. A story that Abby was not aware took place until Bridget just shared the information. She immediately blows up at her husband, for not telling her and then tells Ray that their daughter’s correct; she IS a victim. Seconds later the conversation ends, as the kids and Ray leave the house, while Abby stays in the kitchen and stews.
Micky’s sitting in his skid-row one room flat in his boxers and a tee-shirt, reading a porn magazine when there’s a knock on his door and Ray’s assistant Lena’s standing in the hallway. Donovan, thinks she’s looking for the heroin dealer that used to live in the apartment, but Lena stops him from closing the door on her, handing him an envelope and telling him it’s from Ray. The old man gets excited as a kid on Christmas morning, as this is the stipend Ray promised to give him in the previous episode, but his smile soon fades as he realizes there’s just three hundred dollars in the envelope. He soon grows less enthused, when Lena informs him the money’s for two weeks.
Ray’s driving when his cellphone rings and the older woman who launders money for him calls and tells him he can’t buy the house in Truesdale, because she can’t launder a million dollars in cash through Terry’s gym, which in reality’s a front for Donovan’s off the books income. She tells Donovan, that unless he starts receiving funds in check form, that he and his family won’t move to Abby’s dream-home.
Cochrane’s assistant Tom Volcheck, finishes his sixty laps at the gym he belongs to and lo and behold Lena’s just getting out of the pool herself. She asks the FBI agent if he’d like to join her in the sauna and after another woman that was with them left start kissing passionately. Lena excuses herself to go to the restroom and a minute later Ray, walks into the sauna and Volcheck realizes that Lena’s jammed the door shut, so he’s trapped inside with Donovan.
Ray’s aware that Cochrane and his wife Holly are wife swappers and Tom and his wife Megan got coerced into participating, or risk being reassigned to Montana. Volcheck admits hating the arrangement, sharing his beautiful wife with his boss, while obligated to have sex with Holly, a large matronly looking woman, in fact at their last gathering Tom shunned Holly’s advances. Ray convinces the agent that he needs to strike first before Cochrane grows tired of them and moves onto a new couple and Volcheck agrees to let Avi wire his house for sight and sound to catch the Director in the act.
Terry’s at his doctor’s for his latest checkup and after finishing their talk, Terry’s former lover and the doctor’s nurse Frances, comes into inject Terry with medication. Frances was ready to leave her abusive husband for Terry, until the first season finale, when she realized Ray killed the former Boston priest that molested Bunchy and him as children. Terry tells the nurse that he’s ready to reveal exactly what happened with the priest, but Frances cuts him off, telling him she didn’t want to hear it.
Things are looking up for Bunchy, as he gets a call from the mother of the little boy he built a bicycle for and gave it to them for free. She asks him if he liked to come over for dinner and he responds he would and he also wants to add one more part to the bike. The woman tells Bunchy, that her son’s sleeping over a friend’s house that night and it finally dawns on Bunchy, that he’s about to go on his first real date. After hanging up, he tells Terry about the date and that he’s nervous that if the woman wants to have sex, that he’ll be unable to perform. Terry tells Bunchy to wait in his office and soon return with the gym’s trainer Potato Pie, who gives Bunchy two Viagra, to help him get started.
Ray gets a call from his former client/lover Ashley, telling him that she’s fine but someone close to her desperately needs his services. He arrives at an indoor arena, that’s covered with signs announcing that author of “Fight For Your Life” and motivational speaker Steve Knight will have a five-hour self-help session in just a few minutes Ashley’s waiting outside the venue waiting for Donovan, thanks him for coming and brings him into Knight’s dressing room. After seeing his new-age routine fails to impress Ray, he shows Donovan the reason he requested his services, then opens a closet door to reveal a beaten and bound Latino arena worker and explains that he lost it. He tells Ray, that he’s madly in love with Ashley, he’s leaving his wife to marry her, costing him a small fortune to pacify his wife and that he needs for this situation to disappear. Knight’s told that it’s time to head to the stage, but Donovan follows him until just before they reach the curtain.
Ray tells the motivational speaker, that he doesn’t work for him and got put-off by the fact that Knight just assumed they had a deal. The author apologizes and asks Ray if he’d work for him and Donovan replies he will, but his services don’t come cheaply. Knight thanked him and told him that he would pay whatever it took to keep this man from ruining his career. He then heads onto the stage, shadow-boxing in front of the crowd, tells them to shut off all electronic devices and once that’s been done, he tells his audience it’s time to turn off the past.
There’s a knock on the door of Terry’s apartment and he’s shocked that it’s Frances, he says that he thought she didn’t want to hear anything from him and she affirms that. The two then passionately embrace and as they lie in bed she tells Terry that this was a one-time thing. She tells him she loves him, but she knows that Ray killed that priest, Terry responds that the priest raped both his brothers as children. Frances now understands why Donovan shot the priest, but tells her lover she can’t condone murder and leaves the apartment.
Bunchy’s night’s going far better than his brother’s as his new lady-friend is shampooing his hair in her kitchen sink and he’s in heaven. After she rinsed out all the soap, the two start kissing, then Bunchy asks to use the bathroom. It’s time to take his confidence booster, pulls the Viagra out of his pocket, then swallows one. Seconds later, he hears the sound of his girlfriend’s son, he wet himself at the sleepover and got sent home. Bunchy walks out to the hallway and sees mother and son and the boy tells him what happened. Bunchy tells the little boy that’s alright and soon the three of them are watching a cartoon on the living room couch and the boy lays his head on Bunchy’s lap.
Terry heads to the Irish Consulate in Los Angeles, trying to get approval for he and Frances to move there. The official mentions that he notices Terry’s got a preexisting condition and he tells Donovan, that some Americans move to Ireland to take advantage of their socialized medicine. Terry responds that he’s afflicted with Parkinson’s, but looks the man in the eye and tells him he’s not a freeloader. He then tells the man, his fiancée’s a nurse and he owns a boxing gym along with his brother. The official’s quite pleased to hear that and grants approval for Terry and Frances to emigrate there.
Micky and his neighbor Shorty are having a great time getting high and Shorty mentions the amount of cash that’s in the safe of the Marijuana dispensary he got his weed from, earlier that day. Because the Federal Government has yet to approve the sale of pot, for medicinal or recreational purposes, banks won’t allow the dispensaries to deposit their funds, as they could be charged with crimes from the Justice Department. Shorty, tells Micky that he could easily crack the safe, it’s an old model that he hadn’t seen since the seventies, as they jokingly discuss pulling a heist, Micky says they should pull the bars off the window like they did in the Old West. Shorty responds that the best way to enter would be through the roof and Micky agrees with the assessment.
Donovan says that Shorty should get a life-insurance policy, that Micky would pay for and be named beneficiary, but the old man laughs at him and tells him that no insurer would give him a policy. He says however that if Micky married him which is legal in California, he could receive Shorty’s pension after he passed, Donovan shakes his head and mutters about two men getting married. Shorty then asks Micky if he can ask him a question and when Donovan says yes, the other man gets down on one knee and with a straight face proposes to Micky. The two explode into laughter, but Donovan’s cellphone rings, Shorty picks it up talking in a high-pitched voice. The woman on the other end is a Paramount executive and Shorty tells her he’s with Warner Bros. Micky however, realizes the calls legit and the woman sets up a meeting, to listen to the ideas that Sean Walker was promoting before he got murdered by Sully last season.
Ray talks with the victim of Knight’s wrath and asks him what it will take for the man to walk away and remain silent. He settles on a deal to send the man home to Guatemala, where his wife and children live and he’ll receive 350 thousand dollars. Ray heads out of the dressing room, tells Knight he’s negotiated a deal and that the motivational speaker now has Donovan on retainer, at a price of 100 grand a month, which solves the check problem that the old woman told him about.
Terry rushes into his doctor’s office calling for Frances, who comes out and hustles Donovan into an examining room. He excitedly tells Frances that they can start a new life in Ireland and shows her the approved documents. Her head swimming, she tells Terry she needs time to think it over, when he drops to one knee, tells her she’s the love of his life and asks her to marry him.
Ray calls Abby’s cellphone, leaving a message apologizing for keeping her in the dark on Bridget and a bunch of other things. He tells her that he wants to meet her at a restaurant for dinner at 8:30, however she never hears the message as she’s at a bar with Detective Jim Halloran. After playing darts, Halloran tells Abby she’s beautiful and they share their first kiss.
Ironically, Ray heads back to his apartment in the city when his wife doesn’t arrive and the doorbell rings. Standing there in a patent-leather raincoat’s Ashley, who asks Donovan if he’s going to invite her in? When she enters the apartment, she removes the coat revealing she’s clad only in a black bra and black panties and walks to Ray’s bedroom. After a momentary look of indecision he follows her.
Back at the house, Connor asks Bridget what time it is and she replies, that it’s 12:03 am and Connor says fourteen; we realize why his feelings got hurt when Abby didn’t know what the next day was. Bridget wishes her brother a happy birthday and he responds with a melancholy smile.
The story will pick up again next Sunday night on Showtime.