Ray Donovan: Little Bill Primm’s Big Green Horseshoe (Review)


Ray Donovan this week in “Little Bill Primm’s Big Green Horseshoe” proves that being a dysfunctional family can save your life.  It is also a reminder that the show is, at the heart of it, all about family. The previous episode, “Marisol,” was also about the family condition, Hector’s and Ray’s.

The start of this episode has Muncie down at the docks releasing the captive women. The snack van driver, who watched them take Belikov (Pasha D. Lychnikoff)  away, is watching. Mickey is back in Primm, Nevada and he has just gotten a package.

Abby and  Ray  are in bed waiting for Bridget to come home. It is her 18th birthday.  A car pulls up outside the house and Abby goes out to welcome her daughter home. Bridget appears to be having sex with her teacher, Mr. Donellen (Aaron Statonin the front seat of his car.

Abby goes back in the house.

Mickey takes the package to Jerry’s house to show Ed. Mickey and Jerry  who now insists on being called “Wovoka”  have a conversation. The Native American tells Mick a story about a crooked tree. Mickey then shows Ed the box and tells him that this is the key to getting four million dollars.

Bridget and Abby get into a argument. Bridget mocks her mother’s accent and as she storms out of the house, the snack truck from the pier drives past. Abby and Ray talk about Donellen and they hear a door open. Thinking is it Bridget, Ray goes downstairs.

It is the Russian from the truck and he has a silenced pistol. The two struggle. As the gun goes off several times Abby gets her pistol from the safe. As the Russian gets ready to shoot Ray, she kills the assassin by shooting him in the back of the head.

Terry comes downstairs and Conor complains about the noise. Abby stares at the dead Russian on the kitchen floor. Ray calls Avi.

Mickey and Ed use the night vision headsets that Mickey got in the mail.  Donovan reveals how they will get the money by cutting the casino’s power off. Jerry/Wovoka (Apesanahkwat comes in and turns on the lights blinding both men.

Avi points out the Vory tattoo on the Russian’s neck.  The next morning the house is full of people trying to move the body. In the funniest scene in the episode,  Conor comes down and is completely oblivious to what is going on.

Devon Bagby as Conor Donovan

Ray tries to call Muncie but there is no answer. He then explains to Abby about the Minassian’s, the Russians and Terry getting shot. Ray then explains that they killed  the Armenian mob members tisane Mickey. Abby has a small meltdown.

Ray, Abby, and the dog, come to collect Bridget from Donellen’s house. The teacher announces he is in love with Bridget and she notices the dog. She decides to go with Ray and her mother.

Mickey sneaks into the casino to speak with Silvie  (Paula Jai Parker). The entire Donovan clan, sans Terry, hide out in a motel. Ray forces Daryll to go back to the gym to get Terry. Bunchy wants to go as well and Teresa (Alyssa Diaz) orders him back into their  motel room. 

Bridget and Abby argue again after the 18 year old says she is not having kids. “I’m not passing on our crazy genes to someone else.” Abby takes offense. Bridget leaves the room.

After tying to call Muncie several times, Ray goes to her house.  Before going in he tells Daryll to get Terry out of the gym. Donovan goes into Muncie’s house and finds her dead in the kitchen. The detective fought hard before she had her throat cut.

Abby finishes the conversation with Bridget and tells her about the man she killed at the house. Amusingly, Bridget thinks Ray killed the intruder and Abby saw it.  Bridget is understandably freaked out by her mother killing someone.

Ray visits Belikov in prison and the Russian refuses to help. The mob boss urinates on the visit room window while yelling that Ray is a dead man and that he is “f**ked.”

Terry and Daryll sit at the gym and talk movies.  (Eddie Marsan does a decent William Demarest impression.) The two brothers have a short bonding moment. Daryll then quotes Blazing Saddles: “Next man makes a move,  the n******* gets it.” Terry acts like he does not know the line and then both brothers finish the scene’s  dialogue together.

They hear a door and as they  prepare to start shooting Terry says, “Here we go.”  The door opening was the young potential boxer that Terry recruited. Daryll gets punched in the face.  Lena discovers that Belikov had multiple visits from Jacob Waller (Gabriel Mann); Sonia Kovitzky’s lawyer. 

Ray confronts Jacob in a parking garage and tortures the man until he gets what he wants. Waller tells him about Kovitzky.

Ray meets with her and they talk. He tells the art dealer that he knows Belikov works for her and that she put the hit out on his family. Ray asks for a week to get Ivan released. He also offers to  pay restitution for money lost. She tells him that Waller will sent him a bill.

Silvie  agrees to help Mickey and Ed. At the casino,  Ed’s helper, a odd local lad named Pinkie  (Travis Hammer), turns the power off and Mickey and Ed grab the green horseshoe while Primm and the casino patrons are blinded by the sudden dark.  Pinkie turns the lights back on too soon and Ed races out with the $4 million. 

Jon Voight as Mickey Donovan and J Larose as Ed

Mickey is left behind.

Teresa finally goads Bunchy into having sex and while they are mid-coitus, she begins having contractions. While the two newlyweds are having sex,  Ray has to chase down Abby and they have a talk.

Bunchy and Teresa go to the hospital and Mickey gives Silvie  the brush off.  The baby is born and Mickey gets a text with the baby’s name and weight; Maria Donovan 7 pounds 5 ounces. The proud grandfather holds the phone up to the night sky while ELO’s “Livin’  Thing ” plays.

“You’re beautiful,” Mick says repeatedly.

In “Little Bill Primm’s Big Green Horseshoe” things become deadly and if it were not for Ray and Abby waiting up for Bridget a member or two of the Donovan clan would have died.

Abby finally tells Ray about the cancer and Donovan is still having to make deals with crime lords, something that Kovitzky definitely seems to be.  The art dealer was a murderous wild card in this episode. She seems to be more dangerous than the Minassian’s and Belikov put together.

Somewhat like last season’s finale, Ray has lost almost everything he has worked for. He cleans out the safe to pay off Kovitzky and tells Abby that they have nothing left.  Abby seems to be handling her killing of the Russian hitman pretty well, better than Bridget at any rate and  Conor now knows what happened.

Terry and Daryll’s last stand moment in the gym was brilliant. Terry’s “here we go” felt almost like a homage to The Wild Bunch and “Let’s go.”  Things look to be heating up in this season and although, thus far, the body count is pretty low compared to last year.

Ray Donovan airs Sundays on Showtime.


Special Guests  – Ted Levine  as Bill Primm and Embeth Davidtz as Sonia Kovitzky.

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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