Ray Donovan: Fish and Bird – Execution (Review)


After the comedy of errors last week that left Ray Donovan and Mickey empty handed, and Mick turning himself in for the Minassian’s, “Fish and Bird” turns very dark for Ray. It starts with his running errands for Kovitzky and ends with Ray getting drunk and two deaths.

Ray is having issues with Mickey taking the rap for the murders. As MIckey is processed into   County, Ray cleans the blood out of the van.  He tells Abby about Mick and she tells him about her treatment; medically induced menopause.

Taking off her top and bra, she tells Ray to “F**k me like you used to.” Upstairs, Conor gets sexually aroused by topless women shooting automatic weapons.

Bunchy and Maria at his brother’s house  and when Ray lets him in he sees Belikov’s driver, Vlad.  The man tries to intimidate Ray who punches him and takes his gun. Vlad leaves.

At Kovitzky’s Donovan learns that until Belikov gets the charges dropped he is expected to keep paying his installments. Ray tells the art dealer that he cannot pay. She tells him that sweat will do. Donovan has to pick up a piece of art from the port for Kovitzky.

Ray  goes to the warehouse and meets the “string girl” (the one the security guard is masturbating to at the start of the episode). The girl is named Lilya (Alisa Vilenaand she is a gift for Belikov. Donovan picks up the Kovacs painting that will  be auctioned.

Bunchy reveals that Teresa has postpartum depression and that she has been gone a month.  As Abby starts her treatment Bunchy tells his support group that Ray has been drinking and is upset about Mickey going to jail.

Mickey confesses to Jackson Evans and Ray  escorts Kovitzky’s charity event. At the auction Ray bumps into  Ashley Rucker (Ambyr Childers) who is upset she has no sex pictures on the Internet. 

Ray works out that Sonia Kovitzky has cancer and that she is dying.  Donovan is tasked to take a forged version of  the painting to Stu Feldman. Belikov is released  from County.

While picking up the forgery, Ray bumps into Lilya again.  She is still playing with the string and her English has improved. Donovan plays Cat’s Cradle with the girl while waiting for the painting.

Bunchy asks if Abby is ill and she lies.  Donovan drops off the forgery to Stu Feldman (Josh Pais) who has just finished shooting a sex tape for Ashley his wife. He introduces Ray to her partner in the film, who is standing naked clutching a cell phone. 

Feldman wants Ray to leak the tape and he refuses.

Kovitzky tells Donovan to take money to Belikov and apologize to him.  Sonia then takes Ray into a room; a panoramic art viewing room. In what turns into a seduction, she reveals that she has already had a mastectomy.  Sonia then takes Ray hand and places it on her scarred breast. “Am I beautiful” she asks. Ray answers that she is.

Donovan  attends Maria’s christening and becomes his niece’s godfather. After the ceremony Ray gets drunk and upsets Bunchy.  Damon, who was invited by Terry, splits a bottle with Conor. Later the two take out the gun from Abby’s safe.

Ray delivers the money to Ivan. The Russian mobster tells Ray that he needs his help and that Donovan will be paid.  Belikov reveals that a sex party  with Lilya resulted in the girl having her neck broken. He asks Ray to help him ship the body to Moscow.

Conor shoots a neighbor’s bouncy castle as  Damon watches.  Ray drives the girl’s body and Belikov to the port.  The Russian tells Ray that he will protect Mickey in prison.  A drunken Bunchy tells Abby he knows about the cancer and he gets upset with her.

Belikov tells Ray to put Lilya’s body in a crate and seal it up.  He grabs Ivan by the throat and head butts him twice. Yelling at Ivan to look at him, he shoots Belikov with his own gun;  executing  him for Lilya’s murder.  He then seals the dead Russian in the crate.  Unfortunately Belikov’s death means no protection for Micky.

Kovitzky calls Ray as he drives the dead string girl to the local morgue.  He leaves the cross and rosary beads with her body.

Ray Donovan this season has been dark, action packed and full of death.  This episode was  very grim and the death of Belikov was brutal and sudden.  The splash of blood on Ray’s face was shocking, as was the death of the Russian girl.

The string playing girl seemed to be a nod to the village scene in The Wild Bunch, where the Gorch brothers play Cat’s Cradle with a local girl.  Sadly,  this young lady meets a horrible end unlike the one in Peckinpah’s film.

Earlier  in the episode, Ray’s Learning of Sonia’s cancer affects him deeply. The scene in the viewing room was intense and moving. This episode should garner a gong or two come Emmy time.

Ray Donovan airs Sundays on Showtime. Tune in and see how Mickey fairs in County with no protection.


Guest starring Richard Brake as Vlad, Pasha D. Lychnikoff as Ivan Belikov and Dominique Columbus as Damon. 

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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