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.