Fatherhood is a riddle

Spoilers

Well that went about as well as expected. Any robbery involving Mickey is sure to end disastrously, no matter who’s involved. Even level-headed and professional Ray, can’t keep the robbery from ending badly. I hoped Ray would have learned from the last time Mickey attempted a robbery, which resulted in Terry’s imprisonment. But desperate times call for desperate measures. The Russians are a real problem and they are not going away. The Russians are the most interesting villains in the show’s history because they’re the first organization to be an actual threat to Ray. All of the past villains have been threats to various members of Ray’s family, such as Mickey or Terry. But Ray always seemed to have a solution, but not this time.

The overarching theme of the episode wasn’t the robbery but fatherhood. This episode examined fatherhood in a variety of ways. From the panicky feelings as a new father (Bunchie’s storyline), to being abused by a surrogate father figure (Bridget’s storyline), to a relationship so broken it can never be repaired (Mickey and Ray).

Theresa had run off after Bunchie refused to go back to Bakersfield, leaving him stranded with their infant daughter. This was the most relatable Bunchie’s ever been, because he looked like a struggling new father. He was no longer whiny, abused, or idiotic. You just felt sorry for him, as he tiredly explained waking up at every hour at night and changing diapers. Especially as a parent of a newborn, you feel for the poor guy. Though, when he finally tracks down Theresa, rightfully recognizing that the baby needed her mother, I was glad Theresa left. There’s your standard postpartum depression, which is general feelings of depression, fatigue, and not bonding with your baby. Then there’s severe postpartum anxiety, which includes disturbing thoughts. Theresa definitely fell in the latter category and I was genuinely concerned when Bunchie left the baby with Theresa as a final attempt to convince Theresa to come back to LA with him. I was as relieved as Bunchie when the baby was returned unharmed at the end of the episode.

Ray’s kids are back with mixed results. Conor remained as annoying as ever. He still doesn’t seem to understand the gravity of the family’s situation, even though he was in the house when the Russian assassin broke in a couple episodes ago! I wouldn’t be arguing with, swearing at, or making bets with the ex-Mossad guarding our house. I’d be doing whatever he said or asking for some training, not playing video games with him. Avi did resign himself to showing Conor the basics of a gun after the Russians sent a creepy warning.

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Bridget’s return was heartbreaking, as it was predictable. I had never bought into her romance with her high school teacher. Yes, he had a tragic backstory and said all the right words, but I never believed it. Speaking as a teacher, any one who uses their authority to take advantage of somebody is an automatic scumbag. Bridget was partially attracted to him because he was a caring father figure she doesn’t have at home, and he took advantage of that fact. And I was right, Bridget discovered this was not the first time he had slept with a student and Bridget’s heart was broken. Now, Bridget’s back home after Terry convinced her and I sincerely hope she’s not pregnant, though that wouldn’t surprise me as a end of the season plot point.

Abby’s storyline focused on her breast cancer worries and it’s only gotten worse for her. Two doctors have now confirmed that her best medical option is a double mastectomy. Abby is still outright refusing, and while I understand that decision, I still think you should always do what’s medically best. Metastasizing is a scary word, and I think it’d be smarter to completely eliminate that option at the price of a part of your body. Regardless, Abby chose to pursue alternative methods. I’m fairly confident that her cancer will metastasize and become a major arc at the end of this season.

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Finally, Ray and Mickey attempted to steal back the four million dollars Mickey originally stole from the Primm casino. Mickey wants the money to run away back to Boston with his current fling, while Ray needs to appease the Russians. The robbery itself was fairly straightforward and not that interesting. Find partner one, interrogate him to find partner two with the money, steal money from partner two. Yes there was a bit of a hitch at the final stage, but as Mickey so blithely put it, “All’s well that ends well.”

The Ray and Mickey scenes were really more about their relationship than the robbery. It was comical to watch Mickey consider this robbery as father-son bonding time, like a family road trip, and Ray’s utter disinterest in Mickey. No matter how much Mickey reminisces about Ray’s childhood and what he was like as an infant, Mickey will always be dead in Ray’s eyes. It was sad to watch Mickey keep trying to bond and Ray simply shut the down the conversation. I felt bad for Mickey, even though I don’t like him, but also for Ray. Ray doesn’t realize he is making all the same mistakes his father did. He and his kids have no relationship at this point. Last season proved that Terry is a better father figure than Ray, and all Ray does his damage his kids. Hopefully, Ray will eventually realize his mistakes and not end up an out-of-touch old man like Mickey.

The episode ending marked a clear shift in direction for the remainder of the season. Since the robbery ultimately failed, Mickey was forced to turn himself in and Ray has no money to give the Russians. I’m looking forward to seeing Mickey try and finagle his way out of prison. I wonder who he can possibly rat on at this point? It looks like Ray will regress and become the Russian’s errand boy, a role he absolutely despises. This episode, while not hugely eventful, explored the┬árelationships between fathers and sons and opened new doors for the remainder of the season.

Missed last week’s episode? You can catch up right here

Ray Donovan: Get Even Before Leavin' Review
Fatherhood discussionsBridget's returnTed Levine does something!
Conor's returnNot enough of TerryRobbery wasn't that interesting
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