Ray Donovan: Octopus (Review) [UPDATE]


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[UPDATE] The hip-hop song that plays out the show, credited to “Diz and the Fam” is actually “Bunchy” aka Dash Mihok and his band. The song can be picked up at iTunes for the staggering low price of .99 cents and YouTube also has the song available to listen to. Seriously? Is there anything this chap cannot do?

Last week Ray Donovan was all about the Finney family’s little peccadilloes, one of which comes back to  roost this week along with the return of Ed “F**k her harder Eddie” Cochran (Hank Azaria). It seems fitting that after all that sweat and digging from last week, the NFL deal has hit a snag because of a minority shareholder, the late Varick Strauss.

Things have changed for Cochran. From highflying FBI agent to faceless, despised (“He smells like Lubriderm.”) investigator trapped in a petition filled office.  Presumably the FBI was not overly thrilled with Cochran’s viral video, not to mention his wife swapping activities, and cut short Ed’s status as fair-haired boy in the bureau.

Bunchy is getting married, Terry is fitting in at Ray’s place and with his family, Mickey is in over his head and apart from Varick causing problems from beyond the grave, the Finney’s this week are absent from Donovan’s life this week.  Abby proves that she is not adverse to using the “F**king”  ‘C’ word in a public place and Ray lets his little brother go.

Just after Abby lets rip at a  judgmental and bigmouthed old lady in the supermarket, Terry shows that he can lighten up, singing and dancing, with Abs, to KC and the Sunshine Band.  Mickey is initially a no show at the cops sting operation and as a result Bunch is arrested in his father’s place.

By the end of the episode Theresa makes a beautiful bride, Ray makes a pretty good best man speech and Mickey asks Ray for help. This week was almost all about family Donovan, despite the teaser plot thread dealing with Varick Strauss and the re-emergence of Ed Cochran.

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Ray’s best man toast…

*Sidenote*Sad/amusing moment of the show has to be the little scene where Ed pulls out his sealed sandwich, with the note “Affirmation” attached to it, and looking into his small mirror, Cochran chants a little mantra. “Affirmation” is obviously all about self and  reminding the former FBI agent that he is “worthwhile human being” with a “healthy attitude towards sex.”  

It has to be said that this episode was a little lackluster compared to last week’s tour-de-force of Tulip. Still, the focus on Mickey, Terry, and Brendan with his issues was a nice change of pace from the usual murder and mayhem that runs through the Donovan verse. Still, after Mickey reluctantly helps the local police detective Sheila Muncie (Michael Hyatt) he may well wind up in a desert hole, placed there by the Armenian mafia. 

Octopus proves that in Ray Donovan’s world there is no such thing as an easy day. Even little brother Bunchy’s wedding turns into a problem. When Mickey gives Muncie the slip, she arrests Bunchy in place of his father. Daryll is given a break as he was not in the apartment when the cops came knocking. Ray was there and he sorts things out after talking to  the detective and promising to bring Mick in.

On top of Ray being busier than a one-armed piccolo player, Mickey tries to do a runner after getting Ginger (Fairuza Balk) to drop off his money.  After Ray drops by, the Donovan patriarch then goes to  the police. He agrees to see Mrs. Minassian (Grace Zabriskie) who not only offers up the kidnapped girls for sale, but lets Mick take the pictures (with their price tags across the bottom) out of the meeting. 

Bridget finally gets Mr. Donellen to admit he has feelings for her and Abby realizes her daughter is high on Oxy. Terry offers to keep an eye on her. Mickey manages to make it to the “after party” (as Daryll puts it) and he tries to congratulate Brendan.  Later he tries to get Ray’s help.  Mickey leaves, alone and seemingly dejected at the end of the evening..

Ray Donovan is all about dysfunctional family. It is fitting that when Muncie’s men come and arrest Bunchy that he and Ray are in the middle of a shouting match.  The Donovan’s, like the absent Finney’s, are a flawed bunch.

Mickey, who is a lifetime criminal, has managed to mess up his kid’s lives and Ray is the only one who was/is tough enough and skilled enough to keep out of his father’s shadow.  This episode showed us the hard facts about a number of things. Hookers, in the Donovan verse ,do not have a “heart of gold” they have a heart bent on making money.

Terry’s Parkinson’s is getting worse and underneath all that tough guy bluster, he is frightened. Daryll is a romantic and Abby has enough heart for everyone. Abs nabbed the moment of the episode award twice.  One moment hugging Terry and telling him to breathe after his panic attack and shortly after verbally castigating the idiot woman in the supermarket. As followup to her previous actions, at the wedding, she then gets the usually grumpy Terry to dance with her.

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Terry and Abby prepare to dance…

Bunchy looks to have found the perfect mate and Mickey has let himself down badly. His decision to fight Mrs. Minassian’s goons has put him in place to become a pawn for the police. It is oddly fitting that as the wedding ceremony takes place  Mickey’s incriminating footage is being looked at by the police  while Ave Maria airs in the background. Considering that this song is  associated with the video game franchise of Hitman this appears to be a foreshadowing of sorts for Mickey.

After Mick asks Ray for help, he asks Lena to look into Minassian, which may just be a good sign. Just as, to Ed Cochran, Ray being a minority share holder in the Strauss case must be a sign as well. But is it a sign of redemption or something else? “F**k me,” says Ed when he sees Ray’s name and the copy of his drivers license.  The episode is played out with Diz and the Fam’s The Evil That Men Do, which seems to signpost  that things are about to get a lot darker for the Donovan’s.

Ray Donovan airs Sundays on Showtime and is addictive drama for the discerning viewer.

 

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, http://MikesFilmTalk.com Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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