Ray Donovan Season Four Finale: Rattus Rattus (Review)

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Ray Donovan must be one of the best shows on television for pulling a save out of what seems to be thin air. The season four finale “Rattus Rattus” seemed to have Ray painted into a corner with no way out.

After a few short twists and turns however, it is Mickey who inadvertently saves the day.

The episode starts with Ray having a dream. Abby has died and  the entire Donovan clan  are at her funeral.  As Father Romero (Leland Orser) presides over the service, Sonia is massaging Ray’s crotch. 

Romero then starts talking about a new app that saved him 10 minutes in his journey. “10 f**king minutes Ray,” he crows.

Donovan wakes up.

There is a lot going in in this last episode.  Avi is recuperating in the hospital. Barnes clears out the office and gets all of Ray’s files.  Sonia tells Donovan what the FBI agent offered her to rat Ray out. He has promised safe passage and a new identity for her daughter.

Donavan tells Sonia that Frank Barnes is “a lying sack of sh*t.” It turns out that the federal agent is also stupid. He sends Sonia to her death.  It is Barnes’ plan to have Ray and Kovitzky convince the Russian mobster that she is an asset.

The former art dealer ends up nn a metal morgue tray with a bullet in her head. Mickey wants to ride on Ray’s deal with Hector and hits Abby up for money. She shows him the painting; Girl With Guitar and tells him to sell it and use the money to place the bet.

Frank insists that Ray wear a wire to the fight. Mickey gets contact from the pawnshop and while the man looks at the painting, Mick finds that the back of the thing is full of drugs.

After the discovery of the smuggled drugs and Sonia’s death, Ray calls the family together. They orchestrate the take down of Dimitri and his goons.

Amidst all these plans, Hector wants to fight for real and Father Romero comes to see Ray. Bunchy tells Terry about Ray forcing Hector to throw the fight.

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Ismael Cruz Cordova as Hector Campos and Victor Ortiz as Whittaker

Terry confronts Ray about Hector murdering Marisol and then promises that he will put something in Hector’s eyes to keep him from backing out.

Abby reveals to Ray that her treatments are working and the cancer is disappearing. Bridget gets accepted to NYU and flies off to New York. Donavan takes her to the airport.

Ray sits with Dimitri at the fight after giving back the wired shirt to Barnes. Hector does not go down in the sixth round. Ray has told him to win and Dmitri is furious. Campos wins the fight.

With all the precision of a “Godfather” hit the Russian mobster and his men are taken out. Avi and Daryl partner up to grab Dimitri and his chauffeur. Bunchy and Mick take out the muscle at the Russian’s house.

Ray and Lena take out the replacement for Belikov and then call Barnes. When the FBI agent arrives, the new “Ivan” lays on the floor, not moving, and Lena has taken all the drugs from the paintings.

The Donovan’s are celebrating Hector’s win and Terry gives an impassioned speech. Ray arrives and speaks with Hector. Abby meets her husband outside the gym and they kiss. She goes up the stairs and after a moment Ray follows.

Once again Ray Donovan proves that above all else, this show is about family.  Even though it looked like Ray was either going to be killed by Dimitri or get sent to prison or  be forced to join a witness protection program, Mickey turned the tide by discovering those drugs.

This finale allowed Donovan to slow down from that frantic pace he has maintained from the first episode.  The family stepped up to the mark and saved the day allowing Ray to concentrate on getting out from under the Russian mob.

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Ray and Dimitri

Memorable moments  of the episode included Avi kicking the crap out of Dimitri’s driver.  Sonia’s body in the morgue and the shooting of all the Russian mobsters. (Avi keeping Daryl from being involved was particularly touching.)

Lena and Ray taking out the “New” Belikov was also brilliant.

This was a brilliant end to a frantic season for Schreiber’s character. While the show’s only Emmy went to Hank Azaria  this Showtime production is definitely the cream of the crop.

CAST:

Guest starring Raymond J. Barry as Dimitri, Michael McGrady  as Frank Barnes, Ismael Cruz Cordova as Hector and Embeth Davidtz as Sonia Kovitzky.

Ray Donovan: Chinese Algebra – Harder Than (Recap/Review)

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In the middle of Ray Donovan this week, Jack Raleigh (Jake Hoffman) tells Mickey that he has some stuff that “will make you harder than Chinese algebra.” The phrase can also be applied to Donovan’s quest to save his family and Avi from Dimitri. It has been particularly “harder than.”

Ray shows Hector that when it comes to negotiating he can be harder than Chinese algebra as well. After busting his hump to cover up the murder of Marisol,  he forces the boxer to take a fall in the upcoming fight.

The theme this season has been one of hustle and bustle. Donovan has been spinning a plethora of plates, keeping himself busier than a one-legged man in a can kicking contest. He has proven to be adept at thinking fast on his feet but it all comes tumbling down when Sonia makes a surprise appearance.

Donovan’s skill set includes fixing the “impossible” and initially his efforts seem to be paying off.  As usual Ray’s plans have  utilized every possible resource at his disposal. The $2 million from Mick’s heist in Nevada comes into play.

Despite Sonia’s warning; she tells Ray to run and not try to deal with Dimitri,  Donovan works to pay off the Russian mob boss with the proceeds of the bet. Hector thrown the fight will net $60 million.

Mickey heads to Vegas to place the bet for Ray. Unfortunately, Fat Eddie, the bookie Donovan set the deal up with, “does an Elvis” and dies. Mick asks his new friend; part-time stripper Sugar to help him out.

She introduces Mick to Raleigh. The high roller does not want to handle the bet and Mickey challenges him to a table tennis match. After years in prison, Mick is pro and he easily beats the disgruntled Raleigh.

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Mick as “Paul Newman.”

Back in LA Donovan is picked up by FBI agent Frank Barnes. He wants Ray to give up Dimitri and Sonia. Donovan refuses. The agent reminds him that he is “no longer in your pocket” and that the next time they meet it will be on opposing sides.

Bunchy decides to leave with Teresa and the baby. Abby asks them to take the Bridget and Conor with them. Teresa, who has recovered from her episode in record breaking time, agrees.

Terry and Daryll come to an understanding after Hector offers him the same job as Damon (Dominique Columbus). At first Daryll is furious at what he perceives as a slight. Later he confronts his half-brother who smooths things over.

As they talk, Terry suddenly slumps over.

Ray is still working at a feverish pace to make everything come together. Dimitri demands that Hector be brought to him.  Lena, Ray and Campos show up and the boxer states that he will be throwing the fight.

Mick comes back to LA and drops off the betting slips to Ray. He warns his son that lying to Terry will not end well for either of them. There are echoes of discontent already. Terry does not know that Hector killed Marisol and believes that Ray has muddied things up. “Made it something dirty,” Terry says.

Dimitri gets the betting slips and his art returned.  Avi, beaten to a pulp, is brought back to Ray. As Donovan takes his friend and associate to the hospital, Barnes shows back up with the police and takes Ray in.

It seems that Donovan’s act of mercy has blown up in his face. Sonia, who everyone urged Ray to kill, has turned rat.  She has snitched on everyone after Waller gave her up.

Previews of the season finale look terse. Barnes is still pressing for Ray to cooperate and it seems that the FBI agent may be up to no good. Donovan is seen appealing to the entire family for help.

As an über villain, Dimitri may just be the scariest mob leader ever.  He is slightly insane and a micromanager to boot. This Russian crime czar is almost omnipresent.

While it seems that Ray just wants the man off his back, and off his family’s,  he could also be working to make Dimitri an ally.  This is, after all, how Donovan works. He will never rat the mobster out and his actions will give him an “in” with Dimitri.

The season finale should be real edge of the seat stuff. Hector’s fight could throw everything off. (Pun intended.)

Ray Donovan airs Sundays on Showtime and the finale is next week on September 18.

CAST:

Guest starring Raymond J. Barry as Dimitri, Michael McGrady  as Frank Barnes and Ismael Cruz Cordova as Hector. 

Ray Donovan: Lake Hollywood – Hector’s Lament (Review)

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The body count continues to rise this week and it seems likely that Avi has joined the number of deceased that are dotted across Ray Donovan’s landscape. The bloodbath in Nevada last week has not been matched in “Lake Hollywood,” but things have gotten seriously out of hand in Los Angeles.  Is Ray smart enough to defeat the Russian mob?

Donovan makes the first move, a pre-emptive strike as it were, by taking the art. He tells Waller that if Avi is hurt, Dmitri will never see his art again. Terry wakes up with the cop the morning after and Marisol continues to bother Hector.

Ray circles the wagons, getting everyone, bar Terry, at the house.  Daryll helps out as does Lena, they steal the art, and only Bridget seems to be left out of the loop. Ray gets Bunchy to move Teresa to the house.

Bunchy tells Ray about Mick’s homicidal rampage in Nevada.  Mickey talks to Ray who is not happy about his killing Little Bill. Mick is still upset about the death of Silvie and Ray is unmoved. Mickey tags along with Bunchy and Teresa in the move  to Calabasas.

Sonia has gone off the grid and despite Ray having all his art, Dimitri has Donovan running around in circles. He insists that the action star Butch Kramer be brought to him.  Dimitri ignores Ray’s requests to see Avi.

At the gym, Hector’s wife  Jessica (Audra Griffisand daughter show up.  Jessica  tells him that she and  Stella  (Mattea Quinare going to Montreal. Hector is beyond distraught. He tells Terry that he will back in an hour.

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Terry attempts to distract Stella

Ray gives Waller the receipts for all the art Sonia’s gallery sold. He tells the lawyer he knows about the forgeries. Waller promises to work on Dimitri although, he says,  it will do no good.

Hector goes to see Marisol and tells her about Jessica and Stella.  She is not impressed. He tells her she smells of jail and Marisol goes to run a bath.  At the Donovan house, Mickey and Abby share a moment as one of Dimitri’s men watches the house.

As Terry leaves the gym to get Hector from Marisol’s house, the boxer drowns  his half-sister in the bathtub. When Terry arrives, Campos tells him she died by overdosing in the tub.

The murder of Marisol is sudden, shocking and disturbing.  It is not, however, overly surprising. Marisol knew which buttons to push and her self destructive streak caused her to destroy her half-brother.

Terry calls Ray.

Ray tells Terry to leave Hector at Marisol’s house. Campos admits he killed his sister and Ray says, “I know.” Donovan leaves.  Terry is shaken by the death and returns to the gym.

Donovan gets Butch to see Dimitri. Ray attends the mobster’s party and Kramer is already there. The Russian mob  boss asks Butch to go outside and he has a bodyguard beat the star up. (Dmitri is upset at Kramer’s latest film, “The Kremlin Bleeds” where his character killed 111 Russians.)

Dimitri may be a little bit insane.

After his bodyguard beats Kramer to the ground Dimitri takes Ray to a room where they are keeping an injured Waller.  The mobster tells Ray that the lawyer tried to intercede on his behalf and then shoots him in the forehead. Dimitri then thanks Donovan for bringing Butch to the party.

Ray heads back to help Hector. First, he takes Marisol’s phone and takes a picture of Hector sitting in front of his dead sister’s body. Donovan does this for insurance. He then takes Marisol’s body and dumps it in Lake Hollywood. Just prior to this, he sends Hector a text from her phone; a suicide text.

Ray calls Dimitri and tells him that he has what he owes the Russian mobster.

It seems pretty obvious that Avi is dead. Despite Ray asking repeatedly,  Dimitri has not produced him alive or dead.  After watching the mobster in action it fits that he killed Avi right after the phone call where he told Ray to deliver Sonia.

There are two episodes left in this season and it seems that Donovan is outnumbered and outflanked by Dimitri.  Previews of the next episode makes things seem quite fraught. Donovan seems to be on top of it, but can he really beat the mobster and save his entire family?

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Raymond J. Barry as Dmitri

Ray manages to maintain that look of tired confidence  that shows he believes  he will outwit the Russian.  On a sidenote,  one wonders if Lena will make good her threat  and kill Dimitri if Avi really is dead.  The body count in this episode was two, Waller and Marisol. A bit of a comedown after last week’s murderous activities.

There is a lot up in the air in this episode. So far the only thing that has been solved is Hector’s lament. She has been put in the lake, a not-so “lady of the lake,” as it were.

Ray Donovan airs Sundays on Showtime. There are two episodes left, do not miss them as this season looks to be even more intense than season three.

CAST:

Guest starring Raymond J. Barry as Dimitri,  Jack Kesy as Butch and Ismael Cruz Cordova as Hector. 

Ray Donovan: Goodbye Beautiful – Bloodbath (Recap & Review)

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Ray Donovan “Goodbye Beautiful” racks up a huge body count. Before the end of the episode there are four corpses littering the landscape, turing this installment into a bloodbath.  There are Six if one counts Little Bill, who we do not see die and Avi who  is a good as dead since Ray cannot deliver what is needed to save him.

In Russia, they receive the crate with Belikov’s body.  Understandably upset, the Russian mobster sends a picture to Sonia and tells her he is on his way.  Sonia speaks with Waller (Gabriel Mann), her lawyer, and Vlad  (Richard Brake). 

The two men have footage showing Ray, carrying the dead girl, and  Belikov entering the port facility and Ray leaving, carrying the dead girl.  Vlad explains that he had to kill  a customs official to get the footage.

Body Number One. 

Sonia tells  the men to leave things with her. She begins gathering her things to run. She gets money from her safe and collects her daughter from school. Kovitzky then heads to Ray’s house.

Abby answer the doorbell and discovers the art dealer outside with Katya (Mila Brener).  Ray tells Abby when she calls that he is on his way.  On the way home he spies Vlad watching the house.  Once Ray  arrives, he tells Sonia he will help her to get out. 

Avi and Lena turn up to help. Avi insists that Kovitzky should be killed. He then  agrees to take care of Waller. Lena realizes that she looks a lot like Sonia. She dresses in the other woman’s clothes and will lead Vlad away.  Lena tells Ray she will find a secluded spot and kill Sonia’s driver.

Body Number Two.

In Nevada Mickey shops for a ring for Silvie in a pawnshop. He buys a nine millimeter with a silence and an electric guitar.  He, Bunchy and Teresa head to Little Bill’s house where Silvie is in bed with Primm.

They arrive with a plasma cutter and the gun. Teresa stays in the car and Silvie shows the two men were the safe is. Mickey starts to cut open the safe with the plasma cutter.

It stops before the job is finished.  Mick sends Bunchy to watch Algoma (Emma Vicera) while he grabs Little Bill. Primm refuses to give up the combination to the safe. As Mick starts slapping Bill around, Larry (Chris Coppola) arrives and Bill tells him to shoot Silvie. 

He does. Mickey is shocked and Teresa comes with the Bridget’s guitar and hits Larry in the head knocking him out. Mick shoots Larry several times and Bill gives up the combination to the safe.

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Ted Levine as Little Bill and Paula Jai Parker as Sylvie Starr

Later, Primm begs Mickey not to kill Algoma. It is safe to assume that Mick does kill Little Bill.

Bodies three, four and five. 

Ray agrees to help get Sonia and Katya out of the country as Avi goes to kill Waller. Kovitzky asks Donovan, as she boards the private jet, why he did not kill her, it would have been easier, she says.

Avi goes to kill the lawyer and is surrounded by Dimitri and his Russian mobsters. As Waller watches, Avi is beaten bloody.  Ray gets a call from the gangster and he can hear Avi saying he screwed up. Dimitri (Raymond J. Barry) tells Ray to bring him Sonia or Avi will die.  Ray cannot deliver Kovitzky as she has left the country.

Body number six?

Leaving aside a body count that almost equals the Minassian massacre, Marisol (Lisa Bonet) flips out when Daryll shows up with a check from Hector (Ismael Cruz Cordova). Daryll passes on the message that her brother wants her to leave. 

Grabbing some keepsakes and pictures, Marisol puts them in a carryon bag. She take this and sets fire to the thing at the gym.  Terry, who just posed with Hector for photographs puts out the fire. Marisol is arrested and Terry gets a date with the female cop he met earlier.

In this episode Abby refuses to  scurry off and hide now that danger is at the front door. Ray agrees to let her stay. Teresa comes out of her depression enough to help Mickey, although not quickly enough to save Silvie. Later Mick thanks Teresa for her help.

After all the trouble Mick went through to get the $4 million, he no longer wants it. He has been destroyed by Silvie’s death. Mickey tells Bunchy that he and Teresa can have it all.

This episode of Ray Donovan plunges Ray right up to his neck with Russian gangsters after him and his family. Things have gotten very violent very fast. “Goodbye Beautiful” is the bloodiest (in terms of body count) and darkest of season four so far.

With Mickey broken and Avi as good as dead, Ray will have to rely on Lena, Terry, Bunchy and Abby to help fight off the Russian mob.

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Jon Voight as Mickey Donovan

Speaking of Lena; how cold and deadly is this woman. One shot; pow, right between the eyes and Vlad was already taking aim. Impressive to the nth degree. Avi is right, she is tougher than either he or Ray.

Sonia has escaped Dimitri’s wrath and Waller obviously sold his boss out, which may not help him now that she is out of reach.  Ray will have to dig deep to fight off this latest threat.

Ray Donovan airs Sundays on Showtime.  Do not miss this cracking drama as the body count rises and Ray gets tougher.

CAST:

Guest starring Embeth Davidtz  –  Sonia Kovitzky, Paula Jai Parker as Silvie and Ted Levine as Little Bill Primm

Ray Donovan: The Texan – Xbox and Hector (Recap and Review)

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Ray Donovan “The Texan” picks up where last week’s episode ended. Cochran and The Texan are in the same hospital. Ray  pays Ed off and then visits with The Texan.  Mickey is out of County, Marisol is out of control and Hector starts losing it.

The Texan asks Ray to keep his daughter from learning just how “bleak” his work for Ezra was.  Ray meets Mickey at the jail and treats him to breakfast.  Teresa’s brother Marco has her committed and after Donovan plays an Xbox “Just Dance”  game with Conor, the neighbor comes to complain about Ray’s son shooting his bouncy castle.

Abby actually joins in as well before Marcioni stops by. Things get a bit physical between Conor and Ray before the teen gives up the gun. Mickey stops by the Fite Club and Terry expresses his admiration for Mickey’s actions.

Mick learns from Bunchy that Teresa left him and is now is in the asylum at Bakersfield. Initially Bunch feels that she is beyond saving. His father helps him to change his mind.  Ray takes Conor for a drive and talks to him about the gun.

At the Fite Club, Terry is not overly impressed with Hector’s sparring match. On the television in the gym, Hector, and the entire gym, see Marisol reveal that she and her brother are having sex. Campos leaves the ring and Terry is upset.

Ray and Conor drive to “skid row.”  Avi meets them there and brings a file full of pictures. They are of young men who died from gunshot wounds. Conor is not impressed and after talking back to Ray, he is ordered out of the car.

Donovan drives off leaving Conor with his gun in the middle of the street. He is surrounded by homeless people and hard-cases. Ray stops the car and Conor runs to get in. The teen is clearly terrified.

Terry calls Ray about Hector and Marisol.  Mickey  meets a patient at the Bakersfield facility and Bunchy explains that Teresa’s brother thought she was suicide risk. He goes to speak to his wife and she refuses to leave with him.

Ray talks to Hector who talks of killing himself. Campos has lost his rematch and Joxy Maguire (Cathal Pendred) will fight instead.  Terry asks his brother to fix things and Ray agrees. He tasks Daryll to help.

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Lena has to “ghost” the computer of  Stu Feldman (Josh Pais). Ray tells her to keep an eye out for porn. Abby and Conor talk and the teen  reveals that he feels like “a little prick from Calabasas.”

Lena  catches Stu watching “tranny porn” and masturbating.  She slaps a FBI hold on his computer and Stu bellows for someone to call Ray. Abby takes Conor to the shooting range. He apologizes for taking the gun and she tells Conor that she has cancer.

Ray forces Stu to play golf with Randall Dyckman. Daryll goes to Joxy’s bar and meets the Irish  replacement fighter.  While he is there Daryll  punches the Irishman in the face with the  brass knuckles.

Bunchy goes to Teresa’s  brother’s house to pick up part of her wrestling uniform. He learns that Teresa has been committed several times, her first time was at age 11.

Stu records his conversation with Randall. Ray then uses the footage to blackmail Dycker into replacing Joxy with Hector for the fight. He then stops by the gym to tell Hector the news.  Ray explains that Terry set the whole thing up and that Hector needs to make him a trainer.

Bunchy rescues Teresa from the mental hospital and then takes Mickey to Nevada to pick up his “woman.” Ray clears out Ezra’s safe and The Texan dies.

This episode saw Mickey welcomed back into the fold.  All his sons, except for Daryll,  are accepting him after he volunteered to do jail time to save the family.  Teresa actually looks like she can be saved from her postnatal depression.

“The Texan” has a good bit of humor. Ray’s smirking at Randall’s comment about his wife’s “p***y” and the Xbox dance game were both quite funny.

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Daryll’s punching Joxy to put him out of the fight could well rise up and bite him in the nether’s later on. The episode ended on a bit of a down note for  Ray. He  tells The Texan’s daughter (played by Eve Harlow) everything that her dad did was for her. 

Mickey got the line of the episode when he tells Bunchy about a poem by “easy comings.”  The show ends with Ray apologizing for being too hard on Conor. He explains that he and Conor’s mother are different from his son and Bridget. He finishes by saying that they are both trying hard to keep it that way.

A bit slow in terms of action, “The Texan” does move the Hector Campos story forward. Previews of next week’s episode show the Russians and the art dealer have not gone away and that things could turn really ugly for Ray and his family.

Ray Donovan airs Sundays on Showtime.  This is the best drama series on offer right now, do not miss it.

CAST:

Guest starring Stacey Keach as The Texan,  Alyssa Diaz as Teresa and Ismael Cruz Cordova as Hector Campos.