Look out for that sh!t hitting the fan…
Now ladies and gentlemen; if you love stylish dramas and you are not watching Ray Donovan, what precisely is wrong with you? You may be able to tell that this is one of my favourite shows and I will slowly convince you why it should be yours too.
“If I Should Fall from Grace with God” opens with a drunken Terry attending confession; in order to help himself avoid the fate that the episode title dictates. He believes his soul is in trouble and he can no longer withhold this secret about Abby’s death that is plaguing him so. From this it’s evident that he probably helped her die in some sort of way; he exclaims to the vicar that her cancer ended up being too much for her to bear. Couple this with the fact that he bumps into a living success of the experimental surgery she was due to get; and this results in one heavy conscience.
Daryl Donovan finally gets a bit more of a structured story! Jay White offers him a role as a producer on ‘Four Leaf’; the Mickey Donovan masterpiece. This only being if he can convince Mickey to roll with the new, heavily edited version which now tells the story in 70’s Harlem. Do we have faith that Daryl can persuade him? Of course not, and he proves us right. As the younger brother, Daryl is always taken advantage of and the writers choose to exploit him again through a situation where he should easily be able to be in control; his characters weakness.
Meanwhile, Mickey has bigger things to worry about. After escaping the trunk of a speeding car, he finally reveals to Ray all about how Frank is forcing him to kill Avi; to cover up their illicit activities involving stealing and selling drugs. Mickey being Mickey, try’s to outsmart the situation; but ends up getting Bunchy arrested on a quadruple homicide charge that was another of Mickey’s screw-ups. Why has it taken Mick this long to get Ray involved? Because the actual father is trying to fulfil his role but yet again the real father of this family is Ray; the protector. “I wish it was me that was gone. I wish I could trade myself for all of ’em, everyone I hurt” Mickey proclaims.
Subplot 4 of 4 follows Bunchy in prison. Luck would have it, he comes face to face with the person who robbed him of $1 million a few episodes earlier. Although a few brief scenes, the development is set for a big storyline in future episodes; as they realise they both have been stitched up and will no doubt team up to take down the third party. Further confirmed as Bunchy bails out his new jailbird mate within the closing scene.
Re-wind back to the Frank – Ray – Avi bubble, Ray ends up making a deal with Frank that he will take care of Avi if Bunchy is released and Mickey is arrested on the homicide charge instead. Ray being the protector, is again sacrificing the troublemaker of his family and does this with no hesitation. However, he isn’t prepared to kill someone who has displayed true loyalty and decides to outsmart Frank. A special effects makeup artist sets up Avi with exploding blood bags; with Lena behind the camera, they shoot an iPhone movie of Avi’s death which ends up seemingly to convince Frank enough that the deed has been done.
Under the impression Ray has kept to his word, Frank meets Mickey to keep his side of the bargain. (who I should mention is oblivious Ray has done any of this and has Daryl secretly hiding in the car) As soon as Mickey leaves his gun on the front seat, I instantly knew what was about to come. There ensues a struggle when Mickey doesn’t go quietly, and Daryl thinking his dad is in trouble, proceeds forth to shoot Frank dead in the head. “He’s the head of the FBI” Yes sir, he was and now the Donovan’s have just killed him. Things look set for a dramatic turn and I’m excited for what’s next.
To round off the episode, Ray ends up sleeping with Natalie as a result of another of his depressive episodes; incurred from Abby’s death. After this, he finally goes to meet Terry at the bar where he tells Ray all about how the surgery worked for another patient and how everything is his fault because “I gave Abby the drugs”. It is such a quick succession of blows that Ray looks absolutely devastated and doesn’t know what to do. So does what he knows best; he punches Terry so hard he flies off the stool and is knocked out cold. The episode closes with a broken Ray being cracked even further.
I have loved this season so far. This episode is the first where it isn’t heavily reliant on Abby’s death; nor do we see her character at all in the flashbacks we had become used too. Although I did miss seeing them, it was replaced by the normalcy of a gripping storyline that Ray Donovan is known for. I think inter-twining the family drama was something that needed to happen because it can go slightly off track. However I can also critique that it does feel a little repetitive with the whole; Ray sorts out Mickeys troubles, then tries to get rid of Mickey but he somehow worms his way out of it every time; I’m intrigued to see where they take this ‘we just killed the head of the FBI’ storyline.
I freaking loved about this episode was how amazing Live Schreiber and Jon Voight were acting on screen together. They simply don’t get standalone scenes enough and I wish we saw more of just them two because they are so amazing to watch.
Although predictable; I think the new perspective on Abby’s death will chuck Rays character and the family into further chaos which is bad for them but extremely good for us as viewers. I must admit, the other subplots haven’t really got my attention just yet; but I’m pleased Daryl was the one to kill Frank because his act as trying to be the ‘good’ Donovan is merely an act and not convincing. But now they have turned him into a mini Ray, so I hope they do it justice.
Also, where the hell has Susan Sarandon been? She was marketed as a major guest star but she’s been in it so little I can’t even remember her name.. I predict that this whole FBI murder thing will have to be cleared up with her help so hopefully we see her more in the latter part of the season. Honestly, I do highly recommend you start watching this show if you are not already. Great acting and great storylines, what more could you want?
Ray Donovan continues Wednesday at 9pm on Sky Atlantic.