Tag Archives: Season Two Episode Twelve

Tyrant: This Is Justice

Photo Courtesy Of FX
Photo Courtesy Of FX

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The FX Original Series “Tyrant,” ended its second campaign much like it’s first, with a bait-and-switch ending that caught this viewer completely by surprise. The mythical Middle-Eastern nation of Abbudin, emerged from its victory against the Caliphate Army with the citizens wanting reform and change and for most of the episode, it appeared their wishes would become reality. However fragile alliances fell apart, altering the situation and leading to the shocking conclusion of the season.

Abbudin’s President Jamal Al Fayeed, opened the episode addressing his citizens on Television, filled with pride over the country’s victory over the Caliphate Army. Jamal told his people that Abu Omar had fled Abbudin and that his forces captured rebel-leader Ihab Rashid. However back in Ma’an, Red Hand member Halima watches the address with disgust, when Sammy Al Fayeed walks in and Halima asks if Sammy’s heard what his uncle’s telling the world.

She tells Sammy that Abbudin won’t truly achieve victory until Jamal leaves the Presidency and she wants his help in overthrowing the government. Sammy tells her he won’t be part of the continued fight, as he and his family are heading back to California. Halima tells him that she’s jealous, then says she felt unabashed joy when the Red Hand helped defeat the Caliphate. Sammy tells her not to give up hope, that his father’s still alive which means that the movement for a free Abbudin still exists.

Elsewhere in Ma’an, Barry meets with Rami and Colonel Solomon and asks for a vehicle and some official papers so he can get Sammy back to the capital and Molly. Rami tells him he’ll take care of it, then asks his uncle if he’d heard from Jamal. Barry asks if the General has and he says indirectly, the Arab League contacted him and they want Jamal to resign the Presidency and asked if Rami and Solomon would help quell any civil-unrest. Barry responds that the Arab League has a tough task ahead of them to get his brother to voluntarily step-down. Rami tells his uncle that the ICC has information from someone inside the palace, that Jamal ordered the gas attack on Ma’an. He’s unaware of whom the unnamed source is.

If there’s any doubt in the viewer’s mind who that source is, we find out that it’s Jamal’s wife Leila. She and Colonel Mahmoud are meeting with three representatives of the Arab League and she promises to give a sworn confession that Jamal ordered the bombing, in exchange for her son Ahmed having a role in the new government. After some haggling between the two sides, a bargain’s struck.

On their way back to the capital, Barry and Sammy stop for a visit to Daliyah’s village. Sammy asks his father exactly what’s the nature of his relationship with Daliyah and Barry explains they literally saved each other’s lives and because of that, they’ll have a lifelong bond even if he never sees her again.

Daliyah tells Barry that she’s marrying Ahmos’ younger brother, so that her son Hani has a father. She gives him a present, some prayer beads to remember her by. She asks if when he becomes an old man will he still remember the summer he spent with a Bedouin woman. There are deep feelings between the two, but circumstances keep them from expressing them to each other. Sammy and Barry say goodbye to Hani and Daliyah and head to the hotel where Molly’s staying.

At that same moment, Molly’s trying to decide what dress to wear to welcome back her husband after a year’s absence, when the phone rings. Our Old Friend CIA Agent Lea Exley’s on the other end of the phone and informs Molly she’s not only in Abbudin, but she’s two floors above her at the same hotel. She asks if Molly can come to her room so they can meet.

There’s little small-talk between the two women, as Molly asks Lea what she’s doing in Abbudin and the CIA Agent explains that the United States would like to see Barry take over as the new President of Abbudin. She goes on that Barry had strong support from the people previously, but once it got revealed that he lead the Red Hand under the name Khalil, he became a folk-hero. Molly doesn’t seem too taken with the United States strategy, but says she’ll pass the message on to her husband.

We then witness a very poignant reunion as Barry and Sammy return to Molly. She tells her husband she can’t believe this is really happening and the two hug each other. Sammy’s eyes mist-up when he sees the love between his parents and that they’re now a family again.

Jamal walks into his bedroom and sees Leila getting ready for bed and says he didn’t see her at all that day. He tells her he got a call from some representatives of the Arab League and he’s meeting with them the next day. He tells his wife that they likely want to congratulate him for his victory over the Caliphate and then tells Leila to come to bed. We see the guilt in Leila’s eyes as Jamal walks away.

Back at the hotel, Molly walks in while Barry’s praying by the side of their bed. She’s surprised to see him praying and he asks her if it bothers her. She says that she also found religion when she thought he died and had gone back to church. She then says the prayer beads that Barry’s clutching are beautiful and they look like Rosary beads. Barry responds perhaps they’re not that different after all.

Molly tells Barry about her meeting with Lea Exley and he responds that he’s got no interest in being part of another coup. He says that he doesn’t believe that Abbudin’s solution would be for him to succeed Jamal as President of their country.

Ahmed and Nusrat have their first conversation since she told him that Leila pressured her into asking her husband to annul their marriage. Ahmed says that he’s thinking about staying in Abbudin, to help direct the nation’s future and tells his wife he wants her to stay by his side. He tells her he’s not pressuring her and believes what ever decision she makes will be the right one for her.

Jamal, Mahmoud and Ahmed meet with the three representatives of the Arab League and the President’s presented with an arrest warrant, for crimes against his people. The spokesman for the trio tells Jamal that they have an unimpeachable source whose ready to sign a sworn statement that the President ordered the chemical attack on Ma’an. He says that if Jamal voluntarily steps down, his sentence will be far more lenient and he could perhaps avoid going to prison. Jamal kicks the three out of the palace, angry that this is his reward for saving his country.

Barry’s alone in the hotel room, when there’s a knock on the door. He opens it to see Jamal and his bodyguard standing outside. Jamal says he couldn’t wait a minute longer to see his brother, then kisses him on the cheek and hugs him. Barry starts to hug back, but then pushes his brother away. Jamal closes the door, leaving the bodyguard in the hallway and asks why Barry doesn’t seem pleased to see him?

Barry glares at him and replies to his brother that he killed his mother and he’s not sure he can ever forgive him for that. The President says he needs his brother’s forgiveness and that it was an accident, he then says he wants to make amends for all his terrible deeds and to all the people he hurt. Barry responds that he doesn’t think Jamal has enough years left to accomplish that.

The President then begs his brother to become his partner and together they’ll lead Abbudin. Barry says they don’t agree on anything, but Jamal says that he’ll allow his brother to call the shots. He says his dream since they were children was for them to run the country together. Barry says he can’t see working with Jamal and his brother asks him to think it over and then leaves the hotel room.

Later that afternoon, Molly and Barry are talking when Sammy comes into their room and says he just got off the phone with Halima. He then tells his parents that there’s a crowd of 5,000 people in the capital’s square holding pictures of Barry and chanting his name over and over. The three of them take a taxi to the square to see the situation first-hand.

The square’s got an overflow crowd and they are chanting Bassam, Bassam in unison when the taxi arrives in the square and the crowd’s excitement reaches a fever pitch when they realize he’s arrived. He tells Molly and Sammy to wait in the cab, then he gets out and one of the organizer’s leads Barry to the stage to address the crowd. When he climbs on the stage he sees Daliyah in the crowd, she’s towards the front of the throng but moves backwards when Barry grabs the megaphone.

He looks upon the crowd and thanks them for their courage for showing up. He then says if their battle against the Caliphate proved anything, it’s that no one person’s greater than the nation of Abbudin, including his brother and himself. He tells the crowd that this is their victory and their day, he tells them to keep their fight going until elections are called for. He says that’s the correct path for Abbudin, not the continuation of a dynasty. The crowd’s silent for a moment when he finishes his speech then starts chanting his name again, he sees Daliyah in the crowd smiling.

After the three return to the hotel, Barry tells Molly he’s going for a walk to clear his head, but in reality he calls Daliyah and meets with her. She lied to Barry and instead of marrying Ahmos’ brother, she’s moved to the capital and living with her cousins. She chastises Barry for coming there, saying they already said goodbye twice before, Barry asks her why they have to say goodbye at all? Daliyah responds that his place’s leading Abbudin with his children and Molly by his side. When he replies that’s not in his plans, she asks him to do it for her, he started this battle and now he has to finish it.

Jamal’s in his office in the palace, watching Barry’s speech on TV, when Leila walks in and the President says his brother betrayed him once again. Leila tells him to stop it, that it’s over then shows him the signed statement from her stating that Jamal gave the order to use chemical weapons in Ma’an. He shakes his head and replies first my brother and now you, she responds that he left them no choice.

There’s another knock on Barry’s hotel room door, this time it’s Colonel Mahmoud. He tells Barry that Jamal wants to see him, he doesn’t know the reason why.

Barry arrives at the palace and Jamal says you abandoned me again, Barry responds he hasn’t abandoned him, he’ll be there for his brother when ever he needs him. He says he’ll even stand next to him in court, but they can’t make a private deal that circumvents history. The people Jamal betrayed won’t stand for it.

The President tells his brother he’ll sign the confession that he ordered the chemical attack, however for the record Tariq ordered the attack behind Jamal’s back. He signs the confession and tells Barry that this is what he wanted his whole life, Jamal’s job and his power, but the younger brother says that isn’t true. Jamal says he hopes his brother’s happy now, Barry replies he feels freedom because he fulfilled a promise to a member of the Red Hand.

As Barry leaves Jamal’s office he finds Leila in the hallway and she asks what’s going on? He replies that it’s over and he shows her the signed confession. She says this is the last thing she wanted to happen, but now that it has, she feels like a weight’s been lifted from her chest.

Rami and Nusrat talk and he reveals what’s going on, that Jamal’s stepped down and Barry’s taking over as President. She’s numb from disbelief, saying she never thought this day would come.

However as Halima said to Sammy earlier in the episode, things are never simple in Abbudin. Mahmoud meets with his nephew, who plays him a recording of a phone-call between Leila and the spokesman for the Arab League. He tells Leila that the ICC has refused to grant Mahmoud immunity from prosecution, Leila screams I gave him my word and you gave him your word. The spokesman doesn’t know what to say and Leila responds you’ve forced my hand. She withdraws the signed confession, leaving the Arab League without any proof that Jamal ordered the chemical attack.

Barry talks with Molly and Sammy and says he thinks that he needs to lead the transition, Sammy stops him and says that he and Molly already decided not to leave Abbudin. Molly takes her husband’s hand and says this is our fight as well.

The palace’s filled with diplomats and media, for Jamal’s address announcing his resignation. Rami meets with his uncle and we can see the excitement in his face. Jamal comes into the room and starts addressing the nation, telling his people about the warrant from the Arab League and their promise for leniency if he resigns his Presidency. However he says that the Arab League has no proof of their charges and he’s got documents clearing him, as he’s got the signed orders by Tariq authorizing the attack behind Jamal’s back.

He says that he won’t be forced from office by outsiders, the so-called international community, or traitors in Abbudin. Suddenly we hear gunfire, it’s coming from behind Jamal and the bullets are fired at him, two in his back and one in the back of his head. When he falls to the ground, we see that Nusrat shot her father-in-law, she’s quickly subdued and taken away by security.

Barry runs over to his brother and tries to staunch the bleeding, however Leila says to him to let him go and let it end. Barry looks up at her with shock in his eyes and says, but he’s my brother. Leila says this is justice and we see Jamal still conscious on the floor with a pool of blood under him as the screen fades to black.

The Blacklist: Cult Compound Massacre And Finding Fitch’s Safe

Photo Courtesy Of NBC
Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The NBC series “The Blacklist,” would never qualify as light viewing. Nor could it qualify as a family show for anybody other than the Manson Family, however this week’s installment’s one of the creepiest episodes since the show began airing. Once again the show combined two storylines, one concerning the fate of a religious cult, the other revolving around Red’s search for Alan Fitch’s safe, containing information on the Fulcrum. Add to that the ever-increasing disdain, FBI Agent Elizabeth Keen has for Raymond Reddington and you get the ingredients of this episode’s plot.

We start things off in a church as the Reverend a man named Justin Kenyon, gives a sermon to his congregation. It is a strange tale of two daughters of the only man left in their land. In order to reproduce and keep their society going, each daughter got their father drunk and had sex with him and both daughters conceived. Suddenly Kenyon steps from behind the pulpit, as a woman takes his place, presiding over Kenyon’s marriage to a young-girl who looks no older than ten. Suddenly one of the windows of the church breaks and a canister of some sort of gas is thrown into the room. The congregants try to escape but the church doors are blocked by a scythe, holding the double doors together.

Task Force Director Harold Cooper’s driving with his wife, asking what she wants to have for lunch, but eating’s not on Mrs. Cooper’s mind. She wants Harold to enter a clinical trial, which is his best chance to beat the disease that could claim his life. She tells him whether he gains weight or goes bald doesn’t matter to her, as long as he’s alive. Cooper tells his wife he’ll call the doctor once he gets to the office.

Red meets Liz at the DMV, as he’s keeping tabs on his associate “The Tracker,” a tiny misshapen bald little man with coke-bottle glasses. (For fans of “Fringe,” he played the guy who owned the store that Peter Bishop got rare books from.) Reddington tells Keen that he’s a loathsome little man, but he can find anybody, anywhere. He then tells Liz that Justin Kenyon disappeared about a week ago and the religious cult leader’s used his land to hide shipping containers for a vast array of criminals, hailing from around the planet. The shipping containers contain all matters of contraband, from drugs to rocket launchers and their owners are getting nervous.

Cooper’s informed and attempts to get clearance to search the compound from the Assistant Attorney General, but she denies the request. She tells Cooper that Kenyon has the three best Civil-Rights attorneys in the country on retainer and the government’s struck out twice trying to prosecute him. She questions Red’s information and tells Harold no-dice.

We see Red in “The Tracker’s” office and the little man refuses to assist Raymond until Reddington loses his composure. He then asks whose the subject and Red tells him it’s Alan Fitch, the former Assistant Director of the NSC, killed by terrorists earlier this season. He says’ he’s looking for a safe of Fitch’s located in St. Petersburg, on the second floor of some building. “The Tracker,” says he’ll be in touch.

A graphic tells us we’re on Interstate 65 in Huntsville Alabama, as two state police officers check on a van with Tennessee plates pulled over on the side of the highway. Dispatch informs them the plates were stolen off a Jeep and the two officers approach the van. The first cop lowers his gun as he starts to tell his partner it’s only a…. The van blows up, killing both officers and the vehicle’s occupant.

Cooper gets a call from his doctor and leaves Tech-Wizard Aram, to take the call privately. Harold’s face reflects his fading hopes, as his physician tells him he didn’t qualify for the trial experiment. He tells his doctor there’s nothing to apologize for, then hangs up, calls his wife to share the bad news.

The Tracker’s” located Fitch’s safe, but he insists on accompanying Red to Russia on Raymond’s private jet, or he’ll keep the information to himself. Red rejects the terms outright, but “The Tracker,” plays on Raymond’s sympathy, saying he’s never traveled outside the State’s and he thinks he and Reddington would have fun. Red gives in and the little man says he’ll pack a suitcase and to pick him up at 5:30 pm.

The van bombing get’s traced back to Kenyon’s compound and Cooper gets the search warrant he requested. He sends Ressler and Keen to search the property, while assigning Samar Navabi to keep tabs on another van that’s headed to DC.

Navabi and an FBI SWAT team locate the van, and Samar says they can stand down, as the vehicle’s occupant’s only a kid. As she says the phrase, she realizes that’s what the Alabama State Trooper was saying jus prior to the explosion. She tells the team to stay put and approaches the van. Sitting in the driver’s seat’s a grime-covered eight-year-old boy, with his finger on the trigger of the bomb inside the van. Samar tells the child he’s too far away from the he other agents to harm them, only she and the boy would get killed by the blast, then talks him out of the vehicle.

Ressler, Keen and the local sheriff lead an FBI SWAT Team in a raid on the compound, they get to the church and find all the congregants dead. All the children of the cult are missing, save for one little girl named Amy. The sheriff, the two agents and the girl get into the sheriff’s vehicle, Liz notices Amy staring out the window and she asks the girl what she’s looking at. Amy replies Watchers and when Liz repeats the phrase, Amy puts her finger to her lips and says it’s supposed to be a secret. As the vehicle drives off we see a young man running through the woods.

In St. Petersburg after “The Tracker,” has them search the wrong apartment, they find Fitch’s safe. When it’s opened the only thing inside it’s a business card containing only an international phone number. Red gives the card to Dembe and tells his trusted friend to get the number to one of Raymond’s underlings.

Aram tells Samar and Cooper, that 53-bodies were found in the church, not one shot was fired. All the victims, were, pummeled, stomped, stabbed or strangled to death. He also tells them that a former cult member named Dawn Weston says the little boy that Samar talked out of the van is her son.

Navabi interviews Weston and she tells her the problems that went on in the cult, Kenyon’s decree was that each man was to have three wives, but when the women started giving birth, they produced far more boys than girls. So Justin invented the walkabout,  taking eight to ten year-old boys out into the woods in the winter and leaving them to die. His only explanation was there were too may boys.

She goes into the room her son’s contained in, sitting in a chair, rocking back and forth repeating the same phrase endlessly. Dawn enters the room and asks her son if he knows who she is and he says he doesn’t. Weston starts to cry, which must have evoked a memory for the child as he cried Mama and got up and hugged her.

Turns out the figure running in the woods had a rifle and shot out the sheriff’s tires causing the vehicle to smash into a tree. Liz and Amy, sitting in the back seat are unharmed, the sheriff’s banged up but she tells Liz, Ressler’s pinned. We see that a small tree crashed through the windshield, wedging Donald into his seat. Liz says she’s going to look for help and tells the sheriff to watch out for Amy.

Harold gets a visit from an old friend whose about to become the new Director of the FBI and he wants to promote Cooper on his first day on the job. Cooper thanks him but says he has health problems, then tells his friend that he was rejected as a candidate for a trial treatment, that would have been his best chance to beat his illness.

The sheriff hears noises and pulls her gun, but gets attacked from behind. A group of teenagers surround the vehicle, pulling Ressler and Amy out and kidnapping them both. Donald’s dragged by a chain attached to a motorcycle to the groups hideout, hitting every rock and stick in his path.

Turns out this group of teens are led by David Kenyon, Justin’s son and the first boy cast out into the woods. David adapted to the elements and helped many other boys survive as well, building them into an army. David told his followers that Justin’s a phony, so they wiped out the adults and tortured the elder Kenyon to death, Liz finds him upstairs with branches sticking out of his mouth and eye sockets.

Red and Dembe go to visit an Asian woman named Ruth, whose henchmen are torturing some guy. Raymond says he needs her undivided attention for a few minutes and she has her men take her prisoner outside. Reddington then asks her for the coordinates for the three Hellfire missiles she’s got hidden on the Kenyon compound.

Red calls Navabi and says he’s activated the cameras on the missiles and he sees the teens hunkered down in their hideout, then gives Samar the coordinates of their location. Navabi gets a SWAT Team to meet her to take down the teens, and rescue the two agents and the children.

Liz gets captured as well and asks to talk to David, whose interrogating Ressler and just about to strike the agent, when he’s told Keen wants to talk to him. She asks where Ressler’s at and the younger Kenyon wheels her partner into the room. Liz slips her bonds on her hands and grabs a rifle, taking control, seconds before the SWAT Team storms the hideout.

David slips out and gets into another van loaded with explosives and threatens to pull the trigger. Liz talks him out of it, saying David’s a far better man then his father, but one of Kenyon’s soldiers, kills his leader with a rifle blast, then gets killed by the FBI. Everybody’s safe and the missing children are all found.

Dembe tells Raymond that they couldn’t recognize the voice at the number on the card and gives Red a brand new phone to call the party. The man on the other end answers the phone by saying Yes, and Red tells him he’s calling on behalf of Alan Fitch. The man says you found the safe, and Red responds who the hell is this?

The previews for next week’s episode showed us a familiar face will return to the show.

Photo by: Nicole Rivelli/NBC
Photo by: Nicole Rivelli/NBC

The Story Continues Next Thursday Night at 9:00 pm on NBC.

Ray Donovan: Victory, But At What Cost?

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.


Ray Donovan: It’s All Blowing Up


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.

Graceland: Cliff Hanger Central

Photo by: Jeff Daly/USA Network
Photo by: Jeff Daly/USA Network

Warning: Spoiler Alert

With one episode remaining in the second season of the USA Network Original Series “Graceland,” the rope that FBI Agent Mike Warren, wanted to wrap-up the Solano Cartel and corrupt LAPD Detective Sid Markham with, started to fray, with each strand in danger the damage done to its, to hard to overcome. By the end of the penultimate episode, four of the six housemates were in danger of blowing their cover’s and risking their lives. What appeared as wrapping up loose ends at the beginning of the hour, turned into the least of the team’s worries by the end of the show.

We see Paul Briggs walking through the house in the first scene, likely after he finished walking home when Charlie left him in the middle of nowhere, during the previous episode. Charlie had possession of the audio-tape of the accidental shooting of FBI Agent Juan Badillo, by Briggs last season, as Badillo masqueraded as Mexican bandit Jangles, hoping that Briggs would incriminate himself. Badillo pulled his gun, they struggled over it and Badillo accidentally got shot and killed.

Paul knocked on Charlie’s bedroom door, but she refused to open it, choosing to talk through it instead. Briggs asked her after hearing the tape, didn’t she realize the shooting was accidental? She tells the father of the baby she’s carrying, that what bothers her is that he never confided in her over the past year and asks if he was keeping the information to keep her from being hurt and Briggs responds it was to protect himself, ending the conversation.

We move to the beach and we join Warren, Johnny and Jakes sitting in front of a bonfire. Warren starts counting his chickens before they hatch, as he brags that from tracking bus-lines, he’s about to take down the Solano Cartel and Markham. Dale responds that’s their job, but Johnny catches on realizing that Warren wants compliments from his housemates.

Johnny and Dale are marking money with dots to track it when Carlos Solano and Markham have the bills in their hands, when Paige walks into the house. Johnny asks if she’ll help mark the bills, but instead tells her two housemates, she believes Warren covered up the death of the Ukrainian woman Lena by Sulla and had burnt her body to get rid of the evidence, which is exactly what happened. Johnny doesn’t believe Arkin, but Jakes says it’s hard to predict how a person would react in a situation.

Warren and Charlie lead a tactical-team to Amber’s hideout, but they find she’s abandoned it and she ended up pulling the bullet out of her back that Briggs shot her with during the bank-robbery in the previous episode. After the rest of the team leaves, Charlie looks at an empty tank of CO2 Argon and decides to get it filled where Amber bought it, in hopes of tracking her down. She gets to the shop and the owner Duke, says he doesn’t remember selling the tank to her and she tells him she worked with Amber. She asks if Duke has any contact info on her and he says he doesn’t, but Charlie pulls out a pistol and threatens to shoot the chemical tanks blowing his shop up. Duke suddenly remembers he’s got an emergency contact number for Amber.

Briggs in his cover of LAPD officer Paul West, part of Markham’s task-force enters the detective’s office, as Sid had requested to speak privately with him. He tells Paul that he’s signing a new contract with the Solano Cartel and asks if the officer wants in, Briggs responds that he’s got a baby on the way, so he’s got to think about his financial future and accepts the offer. Markham tells him they leave first thing the next morning.

Dale and Johnny are in the Mojave Desert waiting for the Solano shipment to land on the American side of the border. The pallet drops perfectly and a crew starts to unload the contraband. Johnny and Dale ride with the crew to the drop-off spot and are given cash to present Carlos Solano in his house in Mexico. They arrive there to find Solano arguing with his daughter and Johnny’s girlfriend Lucia over money. He welcomes the pair as Lucia walks away and Solano produces the briefcase full of cash he’ll give to Markham, however it’s not the marked money they just brought with them. Johnny makes an excuse for him and Solano to see the horses out back, giving Dale a chance to switch the money.

Paige gets a phone call from immigration services, saying they have Lena in custody at LAX. Totally shocked she tells the official she’ll head over to the airport. However, it’s not Lena, but her younger sister Irena who came to the States to try to find her sister. She has a letter from Lena, but it’s postmark states it got mailed from Scottsdale, Arizona.

Mike’s summoned to the Los Angeles Bureau Office as Markham, has filed a complaint against Warren. Mike lies through his teeth when asked if the operation was to target Markham and instead tells his supervisor that the plant got created to trap Amber. Sid starts threatening Warren and the supervisor throws him out of the office, but as soon as the cop’s left the supervisor tells Warren he’s treading dangerous territory. Warren leaves the office and finds Sid waiting for him in the parking lot.

Markham’s good and goads the FBI agent enough that Warren attacks him, socking him in the gut then slashing the officer’s face. Markham head-butts Mike, but Warren gives better than he gets, standing up victoriously, until he realizes that the supervisor has witnessed the entire brawl.

Johnny meets with Lucia, tells her the motel he’s staying at and for her to meet him there the next morning and they’ll leave her family behind. She tells Johnny, she’s always fantasized about living in some distant land and that’s where they’ll head to.

Charlie hears from Amber, who tells Charlie that she wants to meet her downtown to give her half of the money from the robbery and she tells Warren. She’s not sure if Amber’s sincere, but tells Warren shell bust the bank robber either way. Mike’s heading to Mexico, so he can’t help but he tells her he’ll have backup arranged for her at the meeting spot. Charlie then gives Mike the audio-tape of Badillo and Briggs.

They sit down and listen to it and Warren says that it sounded like an accidental death and Badillo put himself in a dangerous situation. Charlie agrees that Badillo was foolish at best, but he wouldn’t have stalked Briggs if he hadn’t been skimming drugs and operating as Odin, a fact that she denied every time it got presented to her previously. She tells Mike she’s carrying Paul’s baby and she loves him so she can’t turn him in, so Warren has to. He tells her he has to arrest him as part of Markham’s crew and he’ll just hold onto him.

In the remaining moments of the episode everything unraveled. Somehow, Markham got finds Graceland, realizing that Warren lived there, however he didn’t realize his officer “Paul West” was a member of the house, he finds documentation that Warren has on him and grabs a pistol from a drawer.

There’s a knock on Johnny’s motel room door and he opens to see a smiling Lucia on the other side, after exchanging a kiss, she tells him they won’t have money concerns and produces the briefcase meant for Markham. Johnny’s beside himself, realizing one part of the plan’s now messed up.

Charlie’s the next to fall into trouble, as Amber set her up, ramming Charlie’s car with a pickup truck and then two men and Amber carrying an automatic weapon, pull the agent out of her car and into their silver SUV.

The episode ends with Briggs and the rest of Sid’s crew waiting for Markham to arrive. The detective makes a wise-crack to Briggs and as he’s about to enter his vehicle, he’s wearing an ear-to-ear grin.

Graceland can be seen Wednesday nights on the USA Network.