‘Ray Donovan’ Season Finale: Exsuscito (Recap and Review)

RayDonovan_312_717.R

The season three finale of Ray Donovan starts with Avi bringing Paige to Ray’s apartment and Donovan telling Finney’s daughter that he will drop back by “tomorrow.” Paige responds by saying that her father has more helicopters around his house than OJ had covering his 405 white Bronco run.

As Ray goes to leave Paige asks him if he is sure he cannot stay. Donovan says nothing and leaves. Bridget pulls out all stops to get Donellen. Abby goes to the teacher’s house looking for her daughter but no one is home. She is terrified that Ray will kill the math teacher when he finds out about Bridget’s obsession.

Theresa and Bunchy have a midnight treat and go out and Terry tells Ray about Bridget while Abby looks for her.  The brothers get into an argument with Terry accusing Ray of acting like Mickey. Abby comes back, without Bridget and the three of them have a blazing row.

Abby gets a text saying that their daughter is with Mickey and Terry goes to collect her while Ray heads to Donellen’s house. Mrs. Minassian learns of Mickey’s deal with the police. Bridget calls Mickey, who is playing a coke game with the hookers and while she is talking with her grandfather, Donellen shows up at the hotel room.

She tries to get her math teacher to run away with her or to at least stay in the room with her. Theresa takes Bunchy out to the woods to give him some news and the couple have the only real comedic moment in this heavy duty finale.

“This is where I lost my virginity,” she tells Bunchy. There is a slight pause and he replies, “I didn’t know Mexican’s hiked.” With a look that could be instantly lethal, Theresa says:

“I’m gonna pretend you didn’t just f**king say that.”

Terry shows up at Mick’s and asks about Bridget. Mick reveals that she called asking him to cover for her. As he tries to call her back, Ray pulls up outside the El Dorado apartments.  As Mick hangs up, telling Terry that “she’s not answering,” two of Minassian’s thugs begin shooting through the windows with automatic weapons.

Apparently the agreement made by Hasmig in One Night in Yerevan was not enough to save Mick from retaliation.  After the men shoot Terry and Daryll’s “girlfriend,” they leave ducking bullets from Ray, the episode turns into a smaller version of The Wild Bunch. While not quite as  vastly outnumbered as Pike’s gang in the Peckinpah classic, Ray and Avi set out to take on Minassian’s thugs.

Mickey has the same idea and shows up as well. Avi is not pleased.

“Always in the middle of everything this f**king guy!”

Ray’s father goes in gun blazing and the two men join him. There is an intense firefight and on the Armenian side, Mrs. Minassian (Grace Zabriskie) is the last “man” standing. She pours out threats saying that they will eradicate the entire Donovan bloodline. She finishes with curses:

“F**k you, and f**k you and f**k…”

Her rant is cut short by Mick who grabs the mafia leader and slits her throat. As Minassian’s body hits the floor, Mick mutters, “And f**k you.”

During the shootout Ray is shot.  Ray and Mick drive off together. Lena tracks down Bridget and her teacher.  Ray and Mick arrive and after telling Lena to take Mickey to the hospital, Ray heads to the room where Bridget is with Donellen. Ray beats the teacher and tells him if he goes near Bridget again he will cut off his “f**king hands.”

RayDonovan_ep312_469.R
Ray goes off to room 215.

Terry is in hospital and Ray goes to see him after Bridget tells him he is suffocating her. Ray tells his brother that he was right about the way he treats the family. Fearful that Terry is dying, Ray goes to see Father Romero.

Abby sits with Terry in the hospital singing  to the unconscious man as Mickey drives to Reno and Bridget packs her guitar and a few clothes and leaves the house. She walks out leaving the door open behind her.

After telling the priest that he thinks Terry is dying, Romero heads to the confessional. Back at the hospital Terry goes into cardiac arrest as Ray confesses to the priest.  Ray tells Romero that he killed Father O’Connor. After an emotional catharsis where Donovan tells all, the priest drives him back to Los Angeles.

As Ray reclines in the car, The Vampyre of Time and Memory by Queens of Stone Age plays. As the credit’s roll, the city looms in the windscreen of the car.

As finale’s go, this one was not only action packed, it was blood soaked and full of enough angst to sink a battleship.  If Liev Schreiber does not get a gong come Emmy time, something is wrong with the voting system. His performance in the confessional was award winning.  Schreiber manages to evoke emotions so raw and powerful that viewers needed a box of tissue just to get through the scene. 

Eddie Marsan is another who should be getting a nod as well as Kerris Dorsey. Jon Voight manages to impress and proves that he is not getting older but better, if that can be imagined, since the Oscar winning performer is always on top form.

Grace Zabriskie’s Armenian mafia mother was truly out of this world and her “going out” performance was thrillingly done. One could quite imagine Grace’s Mrs. Minassian carrying out her threats from beyond the grave.

Ray Donovan finishes season three with Andrew Finney being turned in by daughter Paige, who is feeling a bit guilty for backing Ray. Bridget has departed for parts unknown and Mickey leaves for Reno after an angry Daryll severs ties with his father. Terry is still alive and it looks like Abby is more than a bit attached to Ray’s brother. Bunchy is going to be a father and Ray is still carrying a bullet.

RayDonovan_312_857.R
Daryll breaks ties with Mickey.

Exsuscito,  which translates to awake or awaken, ends a season where it seemed that Ray was about to become very wealthy after the deal he made with Paige Finney. As the third season ends,  it appears that all bets are off.  Ray Donovan  in its third outing was a brilliant roller coaster ride that should satisfy fans until season four starts in 2016.

What a ride.

Ray Donovan: Poker – It is All in the Smile (Review)

RayDonovan_311_268.R-2Last week in Ray Donovan “Ray Ray” got Mickey out of a jam with both the police and the Armenian mafia and Ed Cochran found the poker. This week’s episode proves that in the case of the Hollywood fixer, it is all in the smile. Such as the small one glimpsed on Liev Schreiber’s face as his character turns away from Hank Azaria’s former FBI agent. The smile shows that regardless of just how much sh*t Donovan seems to be in, he is going to come out on top.

As Paige (Katie Holmes) says, Ray is addicted to the fight and this is why he is so good at it. On a sidenote, what sort of neighborhood must Cochran live in where a gun is fired, and the victim screams out in pain, and no one notices or calls the police. Poor Ed has definitely  fallen on hard times since his viral video and fall from FBI grace…

Bridget is still chasing after her teacher and Terry tries to help out.  Mick manages to talk his way out of doing the Reno relocation and Bunchy is back from his honeymoon. Terry and Abby share a kiss and Andrew Finney folded when Ed Cochran shows up with that poker. Although Finney does try, albeit not very hard, to not implicate Donovan, Ed insists. Later Andrew pressures Paige to back his lie that Ray murdered Varick and initially, she agrees.

Cochran has been a busy little beaver. Calling the police, planting evidence at Ray’s apartment and when Ray pays a visit to Ed’s place, the Dybek investigator proves he has not learned his lesson from dealing with Donovan before. Before the visit, Avi has to go out and dig up the late Strauss from his Santa Clarita grave.  The murder weapon that Ed got from Avi’s lock up must be retrieved.

Shot in the leg, tied up and threatened with a baseball bat, Ed finally caves in and tells Ray where the poker is. The rest of the episode deals with Bridget trying to make contact with her teacher, Terry and Abby getting ever closer to doing more than sharing a kiss and Paige shifter allegiances.

In the case of Paige, she may have made a tactical error in backing Donovan and tossing daddy to the police. As Andrew says he has a lot of favors owed to him. However, this is Hollywood; a town that will kick you when you’re down. Finney seems to have forgotten that.

Comedy moment of the evening award goes to Jon Voight as Mickey. His realization that the power of attorney (based upon Mick having Alzheimer’s) could become an asset with his other children was classic. Twisting things around and committing a lot, he convinces not only Bunchy, his new wife, and Daryll but he gets Conor on his side.

RayDonovan_311_2280.R
Mickey breaking the “terrible” news to the clan…

Later, he and Ray have a confrontation that ends with Mickey’s nose bleeding. He is victorious in his wounding, he has outsmarted Ray Ray but his son is not pleased.

Amazingly, Ed Cochran survives his encounter with Ray.  Avi and Lena put  Varick’s  body, along with that poker,  in a dumpster right next to the Finney property. Lina douses the whole mess with gasoline and sets  fire to the lot (so close that Andrew can look over the fence at the conflagration). Paige goes to the police, just as her father asks her to.

Ray catches Paige before she gives the statement corroborating her father’s version of events and talks her into telling the truth.

A brilliant episode that shows that Schreiber’s Donovan is at his best when running full pelt at a problem.  There are still issues with the whole Strauss scenario, regardless of who the police chose to believe. Avi’s face on the camera going into Mexico on Varick’s passport being the big one.

The other “comic” moment in the show was Michelle (Christy Williams) going out to get coffee and stealing all of Daryll’s money and Mickey’s car. The punch line? Daryll wakes and finds that she did indeed get the man a coffee. Leaving it outside the room with “sorry” written on the lid.  

This hooker may not have  a heart of gold, but Michelle  was not going to deprive Daryll of his morning caffeine fix. Just his transport and money…

It a great to see Pat Healy on the show and as usual, his delivery of character is just this side of excellent.  (Guest star moment award, the whole forcing at gunpoint routine was classic Healy.)

This penultimate episode of Ray Donovan is signposting a cliff hanger. Will Andrew Finney be carted off for murder? Will this whole ordeal kill the NFL deal, even though it’s already been approved? Will Ed Cochran rise again?  Some of this may be revealed next week on Showtime but until next Sunday, Poker leaves us with Ray and that baseball bat…and that little smile when Ed cracks…

RayDonovan_311_3900.R

Ray Donovan: One Night in Yerevan (Review)

RayDonovan_310_4707.R

You have to love a Ray Donovan episode that opens with a performer that looks as if she were based upon Hilary Duff’s character in the John Cusack film War Inc. The song that Hasmig (played by Sarah Shahi) starts to sing in the opening sequence is “When Thighs go Boom” surely a huge nod and wink to Duff’s Yonica Babyyeah’s song “Boom Boom, Bang Bang.”  Of course this whole thing could be a coincidence but…Really?? 

Of course all this is in prelude to Ray’s fixing Mickey’s problems with the Minassian’s and the Armenian mob. Donovan turns to Hasmig for help with Grace Zabriskie’s scary mob leader Mrs. Minassian. This quest to have Hasmig save his father leads to another cameo by the delightful Bronson Pinchot (who got noticed in a big way back in 1984 in his standout  role in the Eddie Murphy vehicle Beverly Hill’s Cop – “Hello, my name is Serge, how may I holp you?) as the misbehaving former weatherman Flip Brightman.

The payoff, to get Mickey free from the evil Armenian mob, is to let the singer perform her “One Night in Yerevan” song. Telling the story of her ancestors who were murdered in their villages by the Turks , or as she says, “It’s about the genocide,” no one will play her song, which is sung in Armenian. The price to save Mick is getting her song aired, hence the arrival of Brightman as plot device and cute cameo.

Eddie Marsan gets the line of the night with his character’s  response to Conor’s question about  Terry’s  improved gaming skills on Assassin’s Creed.

“Damn Uncle Terry! Have you been practicing while I’m at school”

“It’s the new medication kid…Moves the blood from my d*ck to my hands.”

RayDonovan_310_0311.R
Terry to Conor: “It’s the new medication…”

Hank Azaria as the former FBI leader Ed Cochran gets the runners up prize for lines of the night. He gets not one but several.  After being told that his boss will flag his employee evaluation, Cochran mutters, “Then flag me…you f***ing b*tch.” The vitriol dripping from every word is priceless. That line is almost as good as Cochran’s trying to get Paige to stumble with his “Bermuda” reference in their little exchange.

“Boy, I bet your ex-husband’s gonna kick himself when word of your team reaches Bermuda, huh?”

“Belize.”

“Belize, right. Yeah.”

“Always get my “B” countries mixed up.”

RayDonovan_310_1705.R
Ed Cochran questioning many things, mostly about Ray Donovan…

Ray actually follows through with a vengeance on his promise to help his father out. Coming to Mick’s apartment, he flushes Daryll’s remaining coke and takes Mickey to see his lawyer.  Getting Mick declared “non compos mentis” and having Ray put “in charge” of his father, gets Mickey out of the enforced deal with the police. It also puts him completely at the mercy of Ray.

Later, the Armenian singing star stops Mrs. Minassian’s thugs from putting Mick in the hospital and/or killing Ray. But it is close. Grace Zabriskie rocks it as the old battle axe mob leader. Ray’s explanation of his father’s disability falls on deaf ears.

“He belongs to me.”

“Mrs. Minassian, I’m sure you can understand my father’s an older man.”

“Let him eat dog food. Let him sh*t his pants. I don’t care.”

“I own him”

“You want out? There is no out. ”

“This is so disappointing.”

All this while Mickey is being beaten and Ray has a stand off with another of Minassian’s men. Hasmig delivers, however, and Ray is identified as a “friend to the Armenians.” Mrs. Minassian orders pictures to be taken with scarcely a pause between emotions.

Cochran continues to find things in the NFL Finney file that adds up to something being wrong about Varick Strauss. For instance, the border photo of Avi as Strauss. As a stroke of genius, Ed fakes out the storage company clerk and gets a copy of the key  to Avi’s store room. Taking pictures of all the items in the lock up results in Cochran finding the poker, later in the episode that Andrew used to kill Varick.

RayDonovan_310_4959.R
Andrew Finney chooses to be awkward about the NFL questioning…

On top of all the things going on over at the Finney place, and Mickey’s issues with the police and the Armenian mob,  Bridget gets into hot water at school for breaking a classmates nose. Her budding romance with Donellen has caused problems. Abby finds the Oxy and confronts the teacher at his house. After heated words are exchanged, she tells the widower to leave her daughter alone.

Abby now has one over the teacher just as Ray has one over his father. He tells Mickey to leave L.A. or he will have him committed. Paige drops by to give presents to the Donovan family and Abby flips out. She knows something happened between Ray and Paige and she tells Donovan that Finney is not to come to their house.

The Armenians are busted down at the docks with the sex slaves, Cochran pays Andrew Finney an impromptu visit, poker in hand, and Flip Brightman introduces Hasmig to the audience on his show and she prepares to sing her Armenian genocide song.

)RayDonovan_310_3469.R-2
Flip Brightman introducing Hasmig.

By the end of the episode, Ray may have saved Mickey and the Finney’s may have gotten past the NFL questionnaire, but Donovan has Cochran on his and Andrew’s trail. The find of the poker and the mistake of Avi being seen crossing on Strauss’s passport, has left Ray open to problems with the former FBI man.

It now appears that Ray has it made. His three percent will make him and his family very rich. However, Paige hits the nail on the head when she asks Ray if he is now happy that he has everything he wanted. Donovan answers, after a short pause, that no he is not. Andrew Finney’s daughter pegged Ray correctly, he is addicted to the fight and does not care about the things that most men do.

It looks like Ed Cochran has foolishly decided to either blackmail Andrew Finney or to take on Ray Donovan for a round two battle. Hank Azaria rocks it as the former FBI agent and it is hoped that this character sticks around for a while. Grace Zabriskie is another guest star that one hopes is around a bit longer.

Ray Donovan airs Sundays on Showtime. Brilliantly done crime/drama’s are hard to come by, don’t miss this one. It is worth the time taken to watch it if for no other reason than for the show’s music. Playing out this week’s episode was Patrick Wilson’s Good Morning Mr. Wolf and really, it does  not get much better than this.

Ray Donovan: Octopus (Review) [UPDATE]

RayDonovan_309_0670.R

[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.

RayDonovan_309_0590.R
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.

RayDonovan_309_0191.R
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.

 

Ray Donovan: Tulip (recap and review)

RayDonovan_308_0454.R
It is hard to define just what made last night’s episode of Ray Donovan so pleasing. Tulip felt like a lot of things; a touch of Breaking Bad, for instance that opening with Ray in the desert breaking up that hard dry soil with a pickaxe and flashing back to this scenario throughout most of the episode, and a final  touch of musical genius. The music playing at the end of everyone’s day, Barbarossa’s Bloodline, overlapping Father Romero praying, Bridget laying her head on Donellen’s chest, Avi driving to Mexico, Terry asleep on the bed; clutching the family bible, Ray coming in seeing his brother and reading the note from the pedophile priest and Abby saying “Come to bed,” shows the masterful touch of director Michael Uppendahl.

Perhaps it has little to do with the dressing. The storyline, continuing from the previous weeks has Ray still juggling the football deal (and now Paige) along with the Bunchy problem, aka Father Romero and this newest episode has him karmically getting one over on Andrew Finney. Tulip feels a lot like “what comes around, goes around.” There is a message here, those who are patient get the brass ring, or if you are Ray Donovan, you jockey things around rather than wait. Ray is, after all, a fixer.

Andrew Finney gives his lover Varick the push after Paige serves him with divorce papers. Daryl’s cadillac goes up in flames, via a good sized explosion, and Ray gets Lena and “Helen Miller Game and Fish” lady to help set up Napier with vipers full of heroin.  The last bit is easily the funniest sequence of events in the season thus far.

After injecting the snakes with sedative, the vipers are put into a bag. Helen is to stand by while Lena inserts the bag of snakes into Napier’s golf bag. As the trio stand in the hanger Miller gets increasingly nervous as Ray briefs her on the part she is to play. Helen panics and grabs for the bag.  Yelling that she will give back all the money while holding on to the bag of snakes.  Lena punches Miller knocking her down. Laying on the floor, with the now open bag of vipers, Helen complains that Lena hit her. A lone viper slithers out and bites Miller on the leg.

*Sidenote* This sequence as completely laugh out loud funny. Stephanie Erb rocked it as the bribed official who “bottles it” (loses her nerve) and gets bitten, beaten and driven away. Sidesplitting does not even come close to describing this comic interlude.

The camera moves back to Ray, working that hard soil to dig what can only be a grave. This is, after all Ray Donovan, why else would the man be digging in the desert? Avi shows up in a small mini-van and he brings a shovel to help Ray. Back at the hanger we see Lena shoving Helen into the back of a car (with Miller complaining nonstop, she  clearly believes she is going to die) to be taken to the hospital. The question now is, did she make it or is this hole in the desert going to be Helen’s final resting place after that snake bite?

As the show moves through its paces, other characters become candidates for that hole.

RayDonovan_308_0116.R

Father Romero shows up at the Fite Club and tells Bunchy that he needs to speak with Ray. Bunch calls his brother and Ray immediately heads to the gym.  Meanwhile Varick has gone to see Andrew Finney after his former lover has fired him and booted him out of the company. Back at the club, there is a tense meeting with the cleric who asks Donovan to accompany him outside. As they head to an alley behind the gym Ray tells Brendan to clear the gym out and to lock it up.

The camera heads back to that hole, which now has a body in the bottom of it and Ray takes the box of evidence that Romero was seen with earlier in the show. Is the body in that bag Romero? Ray tosses a book of burning matches into the hole that Avi has poured petrol in.

Back at the alley, Ray takes a gun out and points it at the priest. Father Romero pauses for a split second and then he recounts Ray’s backstory with his family tragedies. He explains, as he hands the box of evidence to Ray, that Donovan has suffered enough. “Excommunication, ” he says, “Is not a punishment. It is a rest.” Romero gets in his car and drives off.

Clearly the burning body is not that of Romero.

Back at Mansion Finney, Varick has accosted his former lover. Andrew tells the man it has been over for a long time. He kisses Varick and tells  him that he felt nothing. Paige’s soon to be ex husband starts goading Andrew until he gets angry and grabs a fireplace poker. Yelling that “I’m not f**king gay,” Finney  hits Varick killing him.

RayDonovan_308_0727.R
We now know who was in that bag…

Before Varick expires, he calls out to Andrew “Oh. Finn.” Back at the gym, Ray tells Brendan that everything is alright with Romero. Bunchy beats himself up, blaming himself and SNAP for whole thing. Ray tells him that the priest is not going to the police. Ray, somewhat predictably,  gets a call from Andrew Finney.

The remainder of the episode deals with Ray taking care of the Varick problem and getting Paige’s deal for the football stadium sorted.  Abby wins Terry over and he decides, seemingly, to stay with his brother’s family. Bridget goes to Donellen’s house and he is not pleased. The man is on a load of pain medication and not doing at all well. The Donovan girl has found what she wants.

Mickey ends up doing a deal with the cops after the Armenian’s bomb Daryll’s caddy.  Avi and Ray sort things out between the two of them while digging that hole and burying the burnt evidence.

RayDonovan_308_1379.R
Mickey celebrating with his boys before the caddy gets torched.

The tulip theme appears  throughout. Mickey gives Theresa tulips when he welcomes her to the Donovan family, there is a program on television about the flower in the scene where Varick sneaks into the Finney Mansion. At the pool side, just before the cadillac is destroyed, Mickey talks about tulips. He tells about a beautiful girl from Amsterdam who died of cancer. The tulips, like the flashbacks to the grave digging, is an underlying theme of this episode.

Oddly enough, everything works out for Ray and Paige. Donovan uses his new “Varick” leverage to force Andrew to give Paige what she wants, giving him the 3 percent back. Terry allows Abby to woo him into the room she prepared. At the end of a busy day, Terry lays on the bed and looks through the family bible. Abby asks if he is ready to leave and he says he wants to give Ray something.

Later Ray tells Paige that the football deal is back on. She is suspicious. Earlier, Ray had come to her house to get Varick’s passport. Paige was annoyed that the Napier problem was not solved. “It still needs to be fixed [sic],” Paige says. “The passport is the fix,” Ray tells her. At the end of the show she repeats this to Ray. Strangely, she is not overly happy that she has won.

RayDonovan_308_1977.R
Paige, the morning after…

Back at his house Ray finds Terry asleep on the bed and takes the bible. Looking inside he sees the note from the perverted Father Danny. Irony at its finest.

It looks like Ray may have problems with Paige, she too is addicted to the fight.

This episode had Andrew Finney’s daughter getting what she wanted all along, and it was not the football stadium deal, and Andrew himself now owes Ray a great deal.

Performances by Liev Schreiber, Ian McShane an Steven Bauer were all spot on, as was Kerris Dorsey as Bridget. Kudos to Stephanie Erb as the hapless Helen Miller. Her comedic timing was just perfect. 

 

Tulip, with its “back and forth” to that hole and the trotting out of suspects for that body bag was spot on. Add to that the other things on the periphery and it was Ray Donovan at its finest.

Ray Donovan airs Sundays on Showtime. This crime and drama show continues to entertain almost effortlessly. Miss this one and miss out.