Ray Donovan Season IV – Ep 9 – “Goodbye Beautiful”: A Review

Posted: 08/24/2016 in Uncategorized


Another solid run that moves meteorically toward the season finale, “Goodbye Beautiful” delivered. We knew the Russians were not far removed and that the consequences or Ray’s (Liev Schrieber) actions would come to bear. There were unquestionably some cool moments and twists with this episode. My opening volley offered, on to my review.

I’ll start with the lesser, sub arc involving Terry (Eddie Marsan). First and foremost, Eddie Marsan is easily one of the greatest actors around today. His beautiful and powerful depiction of a man of declining health wanting to establish a legacy before he’s done is exceptionally depicted. He doesn’t oversell his battle with Parkinson’s. Any moment he is in is always very watchable. In this run, Hector Campos (Ismael Cruz-Cordova) honors his word to Ray and invites him to share in the publicity of his comeback, acknowledging Terry as part of his training team. The toxic and needs to be written out yesterday character, Marisol (Lisa Bonet), acts up and causes an incident outside Terry’s gym which involves the police and is meant to take the shine off Campos’ comeback as she rankles at his financial offer to get rid of her via Daryll (Pooch Hall). The only good that comes of this arc is that Terry asks the police officer (Tara Buck) called to the scene; whom he met several eps back when Abby’s purse was stolen, out and she agrees to meet him for a drink. It is only a little moment but as with all things Terry Donovan, it is earned and one hopes he gets at least some measure of happiness however fleeting.

There are two main arcs with this run. The first involves Ray and Abby (Paula Malcolmson) . The second is a seemingly light-ish road trip affair with Mickey (Jon Voigt), Bunchy (Dash Mihok) and his wife, Teresa (Alyssa Diaz). As with all things touched by the elder Donovan, matters go very far afield. Mickey offers to drive to Vegas to get his girl, Sylvie (Paula Jai Parker), and upon arrival at Bill Primm’s (Ted Levine), reveals that the altruistic aspect he demonstrated last week runs only skin deep. With his wife still coming out of her drug laden haze, Bunchy does what he does best – agrees to help his father. Mickey’s “15 minutes” becomes the debacle we know it will be. The equipment fails as he tries to break into the safe. A direct confrontation in the home of anyone wealthy or corrupt never ends well. We still feel bad however as bad things inevitably occur. This is the mark of this show about ne’er do wells and criminals. At heart, they are still decent people or at the very least people with a kernel of decency. The only good that comes from Mickey’s attempt to obtain what he deems as his, since Primm cashed in on the insurance of the ‘lost money,’ is the re-awakening of Teresa. As is always the case with Mickey, there are casualties incurred, though his “hostage” taking technique featuring his “screw loose” son talking with Primm’s “Nana” was darkly funny.

Ray’s previous elimination of Belikov (Pascha D. Lychnikoff) brings about a connection that has a horrible payoff.  We meet this season’s big bad, namely Sonia Novitsky’s (Embeth Davitz) uncle and uber boss, Dmitri (Raymond Barry). We learn early on that Dmitri has proof Ray murdered Belikov and we see Sonia’s fearful reaction as she speaks with him agreeing to a meet. When she picks up her daughter early from school, we know she is running. Her destination and Abby’s later multiple reactions make for an interesting hour. She counsels Ray as to what not to do and offers her support in every respect as the Donovans essentially prepare for war. Lena (Katherine Moennig) earns MVP status via her master plan to deal with Sonia’s shadow, Vlad(Richard Brake). Ray frets, Lena assures, and Avi (Steven Bauer) wisely states afterward “she is stronger than both of us”.

Everything the fixer puts in play works seamlessly though Sonia’s council of running should he encounter her uncle directly, along with the revelation that he killed her father earlier on,  provides a harbinger of what’s to come. Things fall apart and the assurance of asses glued to seats for ep 10 is fact.

“Goodbye Beautiful” very much had a tone of near finality to it. Next week could easily play out to be the finale were it not for the fact there are still two more eps afterward. With bated breath, I declare RD simply outstanding and well worth your while.


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