Ray Donovan – Season IV – Ep. 5: “Get Even Before Leavin'”: A Review

Posted: 07/27/2016 in Uncategorized
Jon Voight as Mickey Donovan in RAY DONOVAN (Season 4, Episode 05). - Photo:  Michael Desmond/SHOWTIME - Photo ID:  RayDonovan_405_67.R

Jon Voight as Mickey Donovan in RAY DONOVAN (Season 4, Episode 05). – Photo: Michael Desmond/SHOWTIME – Photo ID: RayDonovan_405_67.R

Well, after the last two incandescent runs, this was a bit of a downer ep – across the board. While there were some highlights, a feeling of doom and futility permeated this run.  My opening opinion presented, on to my review for a better breakdown of ep. 5.

This season’s themes have been heavy and now include post partum depression. While I don’t share the vitriol of some Pro-Biderman era fans, I have to admit, this show is getting harder to watch in spots. I will quickly run through Bunchy’s (Dash Mihok) troubles. I understand he is a goof but even as dim as he is depicted he has to know his wife, Teresa (Alyssa Diaz), isn’t just “tired”. She leaves him with her newborn and his later attempt to bring her back while terrifically acted was just unpleasant and grim. This plot line needs an intercession or an outcome unfair to both parties will occur. So much energy has been spent in bringing Teresa and her own baggage into the Donovan fold. She is a self-possessed woman. She deserves support both character wise and story wise.

The Bridget (Kerris Dorsey) romance with Greg Donellen (Aron Stanford) is resolved somewhat trope-ishly and seems like a ham fisted manner of bringing her back to the family fold. Her moments with Terry (Eddie Marsan) and Bunchy however are well acted. Terry’s moments with his protégé work as helping this young man become somebody is his mission and keeps him motivated. Daryll’s (Pooch Hall) later moments with Hector Campos (Ismael Cruz-Cordova) show the former champ is capable of giving back and lean toward the positive. Citing my last week comments, I am at a loss why Ray wouldn’t simply ask Hector for the money he needs to pay off the Russians/Ms. Novitzky (Embeth Davitz). The Ray and Mickey’s (Jon Voigt) excellent heist adventure didn’t really deliver.

Avi’s (Steven Bauer) interactions with Connor (Devon Bagby) take a dark turn as he loses a bet and gives “C-Money” an instructional on how to use a gun. This action is mitigated by a site “visit” by a Russian subordinate of Novitiski’s dropping off flowers to Abby to wish her “good health” adding to the grim tone. Abby’s decision to consider an alternative to a double mastectomy is understandable but potentially catastrophic. Connor’s getting at Abby’s gun is juxtaposed with Bridget’s return to the house. A feeling of foreboding, namely that this fantastically impulse driven and stupid character will harm either himself or someone else in the Donovan home cannot be ignored.

The Primm trip does yield some cool moments between father and son. Mickey is just such an eff up. His every move is toxic and his lineage to Connor is incontestable. Ray scouts the casino learning there is a bounty on the stolen money. Mickey’s suspecting he was betrayed by Ed (J. Larose) is confirmed. Every instruction Ray gives him he simply cannot adhere to. Mickey Donovan is id unleashed. The “piss Jah” segment is funny. There are plenty laugh out loud moments as Mickey leaves said jar on the dash with his food. Ray advises him to stay put and not be seen as there is essentially a bounty on him. “Do you think I’m stupid, Ray?” is gamely retorted with “you went inside to grab some food, then used a jar in the car…” The discussion between both men about Bunchy being “touched” was funny and humanized both characters. The play to lure Ed, Mickey’s former partner in crime, out to tow their van was well done. Ray cuts through all bs with one shot and they make their way to Pinky (Travis Hammer). Mickey again undermines their efforts by reaching out to Sylvie (Paula Jai Parker) his lounge singer lover. An earlier segment in which Mickey asks Ray how he knew she was the one he was with earns a simple look which hilariously speaks volumes. Again, Mickey effs up overall and the end result is a trip for naught.

Mickey’s moments with Ray in which he discusses his shortcomings as a father are mingled with some truth, namely the old man’s “fatherhood is a puzzle” declaration. He does strike a nerve when he questions Ray’s own relationship with his son, Connor. The two are unquestionably opposite sides of the same coin and without Ezra Gold’s (Elliot Gould) intervention, who can truly say how Ray would have turned out. Mickey’s ultimate sacrifice play can easily be undone due to the earlier declaration of his mental state last season, but we shall see how it plays out. This sequence also calls into question Ray’s masterstroke of brokering an arrangement with Ed Cochrane (Hank Azaria).

Ep. 5 was assuredly a mixed bag. There were some high points, but for the most part, this was a muddled effort. It was assuredly well worth your time but far from outstanding.



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