When will you start putting your family first?


Ray Donovan’s fourth season is wrapping up and the situation is bleak even by Donovan standards. Despite the big score, Mickey barely appears and simply looks lost. Things are so out of hand, even Bunchie agrees that he needs to get away from his family, which may be the first good parenting decision he’s ever made. Ray’s stoicism doesn’t betray the desperation he must be feeling. He has no real plan anymore; all he can do is find some way of staying important enough that Dmitri won’t kill him.

While irritatingly not having a Russian accent, Dmitri (Raymond J. Berry) is easily the show’s best villain. He brings the same coiled menace he had in Justified and stands apart from the show’s previous villains. All of Ray’s former enemies could be reasoned with. They were willing to act out of self interest and put aside their distaste for Ray for a common goal. Not this time. Dmitri makes it clear in every scene that he is in charge and the moment somebody is no longer useful they are no longer alive. Let’s not forget he has killed his own brother and is trying to kill his niece.

I was surprised how much the episode focused on Terry. Like always, Terry (Eddie Marsan) shines whenever he’s on screen. He delivered a heart-wrenching monologue after his one night stand, though his timing wasn’t so good. The scene where he tried to comfort Hector’s distraught daughter was touching. It was also great to see him finally stand up to Ray and actually attempt to control Hector.

Sadly, Terry wasn’t able to do that. As I predicted several episodes ago, the Hector and Marisol story ended badly. Because of Marisol, Hector lost his family and that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Terry tried to keep Hector in the gym, sensing (like the audience) that no good would come from seeing Marisol. Terry was right; Marisol overestimated Hector’s love and was drowned by her brother/lover in the bath. Poor Terry arrived at the house too late to stop it.

Mickey appeared briefly, but the dialogue between he and Ray is worth mentioning. There was so much disgust on Ray’s face as he tried to comprehend what Mickey had done. It seemed like Mickey still wasn’t fully comprehending last episode’s Primm shootout. All he could muster was that it was “a situation” and he didn’t intend anything bad to happen. But as Ray put it, “something always does though.” Ray’s exit line really stuck with me. “When will you start putting your family first?” He’s right that Mickey constantly endangers his family for selfish reasons, but is Ray unaware of his own hypocrisy? His family are targets for the Russian mob because of Ray’s actions. Risking his family by killing Belikov and helping Sonia flee the country was in no way putting his family first.

The episode primarily focused on the fallout from Avi’s capture last episode. Since Ray put Sonia on a plane, he can’t exactly hand her over for Avi. Fortunately, the Russians are really bad at guarding their priceless art (seriously, only two idiotic security guards for a priceless art collection). The theft earned Ray a meeting with Dmitri. Rather than a trade or standoff like in previous seasons, Avi was never mentioned during their meeting. Instead, Dmitri wanted to meet some movie star from (what looked like and Expendables quality film) The Kremlin Bleeds.

The star looked like an even dumber Channing Tatum and Ray didn’t have much trouble getting him to meet Dmitri. This went about as well as expected. Dmitri humiliated the star because his movie offended him, but mostly to establish dominance over Ray. This was followed by Dmitri executing one of his lieutenants for failing to protect the art. It was clear that Ray was now in a hole he would never be able to dig out of. Dmitri summed it up nicely when he explained that Ray owed him more than he could ever pay.

But maybe Ray does have a plan. I still think he ends up in the witness protection program. However, the episode’s ending seemed to indicate that Ray has an idea. He disposes of Marisol’s body, after getting enough evidence to blackmail Hector when needed, then calls Dmitri claiming to pay off his debt. Maybe he can give Dmitri the four million from Mickey’s robbery? That would cause all sorts of family problems. Bunchy needs money to move away and Mickey would take some convincing. Also, Terry’s new girlfriend is a cop so I wouldn’t be surprised if she becomes involved in Marisol’s murder investigation.

Ray Donovan had an excellent tenth episode. The new villain raised the stakes for the Donovan clan. The Campos storyline was tied off for the moment. Marisol’s death was shocking, but not too surprising given her and Hector’s erratic behavior. There’s only two episodes left this season and I can’t wait to see how it ends.

Ray Donovan: Lake Hollywood Review
Awesome villainNo Conor!Campos storyline was resolved
Too little of MickeyAvi's still captured
95%Overall Score
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