The season finale closes out not with a bang, but with a whimper. I love this show and I was really excited about this episode. But this had to be the most boring episode of the second season. Sure, there were a few deaths, but they were so inevitable that there was no surprise.
The highlight of this episode was not in the two major deaths (Kate and Cookie), but in the small moments with Ray (Liev Schreiber). This is some of the best acting I have ever seen from Liev (and I’ve seen most of his work). By the end of this season he has fully embraced Ray and is able to capture all the complexities of his personality. The way he sits there after hearing about Kate’s death. He doesn’t sob and go all melodramatic. The audience can just feel the pain radiating off him. And it’s the same during the closing scene as well. Ray has really lost something here, more than just a person or a lover. He’s lost the feeling of being truly known by another human being. The chance to start over again, to be open. And he realizes how much he has lost himself. He loved and connected with Kate in a way that he never will with Abby.
The best moment of the episode was the conversation between Ray and Ezra (Elliott Gould). The two best actors on the show are in conflict with each other. And for once, Ray can’t resort to violence. Even Ray wouldn’t beat up an old man. Ezra is Ray’s symbolic father, the father he wishes he had. But Ezra ordered Kate to be killed. Ezra knows Ray better than anyone else. I found Ezra’s speech to be powerful and everything Ray did not want to hear. Ezra tells Ray, “I’m sure you convinced yourself you were in love with [Kate]. It’s all gotten away from you.” Finally Ezra concludes with, “I love you. Avi loves you.” Ray’s face is priceless. I’m not sure if he can’t accept their love or if he can’t believe that such an act could be done out of love. Either way, it’s brilliant.
Overall I would say the second season of Ray Donovan was better than the first. The story telling just seemed a little sharper. Ray’s personality was explored in a deep, meaningful way. He wasn’t just the cool tough guy this time around. He was shown to be an authentic human being with inner struggles that cripple him emotionally. He wants to be a better man, but he has no idea how. He thought Kate could help him. Hopefully he’ll have better luck next season. I can’t wait to see what happens then. Over all rating for season 2: 9/10.
• What the heck happened with Terry(Eddie Marsan)? The first season he was so nice and loveable. Yeah, he was a creepy stalker sometimes, but hey, he still loved spaghetti! This season he is such a downer and thinks he is better than everyone else because he’s a Catholic. And he didn’t have a right to blame Mick for going to jail; Terry knew what he was doing, Mick didn’t force him to do the robbery. So annoying, Ray should’ve let Terry rot in jail.
• “Is this the guy Dad said you could fuck in your bed?” Conor’s reaction to seeing Jim. Maybe this kid is alright after all 😛
• Yes!!! The witch is dead!!! Thank you Avi!!! Bye bye annoying Kate, you will not be missed. (Well except for maybe by Ray).
• “Mickey, you don’t have anything ‘cause you’re a fucking asshole.” Finally, Daryl gets a backbone.
• I don’t really like Ashley, but I did feel sorry for her this episode. She looked so pathetic, I’m glad Ray got rid of Preachy Steve.
• Patty, Bunch’s almost girlfriend, tells him she can’t risk him being around her son. “If you’re that worried there must be a reason.” As much as I like Bunchy I’m with her on that. He’s never seemed right around kids, not even in the first season.
• “Shorty, did you see it?!” I loved Mickey’s reaction to winning the horse race.
• Aw, Ashley’s Protective Perv is dead. Kind of sad, but he was a stalker. Mixed emotions.
• Abby is a major problem for this show. For a while there I tried rooting for her, but now even I have to admit that she is pretty damn annoying. When Jim comes to the house to talk to her she says, “You don’t come here.” Wasn’t he at your house last episode? Why is there suddenly a problem with that, Ray doesn’t care. Abby is just a bitch to every man in her life and throws a total hissy fit when they don’t do what she wants. Like, did she really think Good Guy Jim was going to kill Cookie? She didn’t think for a second about how that would affect Jim. Why Jim is in love with her I have no idea.
Hopes for next season:
• If Terry doesn’t go to Ireland, hopefully they will make him likeable again. And maybe he can ditch his annoying girlfriend (although Brooke Smith is a good actress).
• There needs to be more Lena(Katherine Moennig)! She’s hilarious and just one of the best parts of the show. They need to use her more.
• I like Jim, but Abby should dump him and move on. She was never serious about him anyways.
• I want Claudette and Mick to be together again. I felt so sorry for Mick when she tells him she never wants to see him again.
• Are Ray and Abby going to break up? I kind of hope they do, I think it’s the only way for Ray to live more of an honest life.
• What will happen to Ezra and Ray? Is Ray out of a job now? And what about Ray and Avi? Avi’s pretty awesome and he only killed Kate to save Ray.
• Poor Bunchy. Will he ever be happy?