Ray Donovan: Season 3, Episodes 1 and 2; The Kalamazoo and Ding


Congrats to Liev on his first Emmy nomination for Ray Donovan!

The first episode of this season worried me a bit, so I was waiting to post anything until the second episode, when I got a better feel for where the show is going this season.
I’m a little worried because I think Ann Biderman, the show’s creator, did a great job as showrunner for the first two seasons. She had a distinct vision and certain things about Ray, LA, and the Catholic Church molestation scandal that she wanted to explore. But apparently she went over budget both seasons, so Showtime fired her and brought on a new showrunner for season 3. I’m worried that as a result the show is becoming boring and mediocre as there is now a severe lack of creative energy that drove the first two seasons.
The worst thing about The Kalamazoo (episode 1) is that it is boring! What a terrible sin for a television show to commit. I’m a huge Ray Donovan fan and it really hurts me to say that. But I could anticipate all the beats of the episode before it even aired. Ezra dies. Ray’s separated from Abby. Ray hates Avi. It was all so predictable. Other than Abby rescuing that beautiful dog, that was somewhat surprising. Ray has virtually nothing to do, but look morose. And Ian McShane and Katie Holmes also had nothing to do. A very lackluster season opener.

Surprisingly my favorite moment so far.
Surprisingly my favorite moment so far.

Episode 2, Ding, was a mild improvement. The episode is largely about the characters enjoying punishment, self-inflicted or otherwise. Ray gets beat up, Terry gets stabbed, Bunchy gets verbally abused. Bunchy and his budding, abusive relationship with the Luchadora is very funny. I don’t know how believable it is, but it’s a nice twist for the character. Paige (Katie Holmes) and her duplicity was also a nice twist. As much as I love this show, the female characters have always been a major problem. They’re all bitchy and unlikeable. Paige is both these things, but I think there’s potential for her to be a great character. So far Katie Holmes is doing a great job. Superficial critique, but OMG I was shocked by how terrible her teeth look. Fix that shit Katie!
These two episodes of Ray Donovan get a 6/10.

Eddie Marsan as Terry Donovan.
Eddie Marsan as Terry Donovan.

• Mickey is a hero/pimp. Sounds about right.
• Terry in jail. How long can he survive?
• Andrew Finney (Ian McShane): “Kafka said in man’s struggle with the world, bet on the world. Do you agree?”
Ray: “No.”
Finney: “People like us, you bet on the man.”

• Ray’s coping method (screwing random chicks) hasn’t changed.
• Mickey is babysitter to bratty, Shirley Temple wannabe, Audrey (the daughter of a prostitute).
• In Terry’s absence, Bunchy is now manager of the gym. WTF, Bunchy can’t even hold down a job, now we’re supposed to believe he’s managing a business?
• Bridget is very upset that Ray isn’t around and blames her mother. Both Ray and Abby are being really shitty parents.
• Creepy Priest is creepy. He’s spying on the Donovans, trying to figure out what happened to the dead priest.
• Episode 1 ends unoriginally with the song “Hotel California.”
• SNAP meetings are taking place at the gym?! Bunchy is leading them?! WTF is going on here????????
• Ray: “I don’t call cops, Abbs, that’s your thing.” BURN!
• Avi has started his own business, wants Lena to be his partner.
• Damn, I like this Luchadora, she has a wicked attitude.

• Abby feeds her dog off of Ray’s diner plate. That simple action speaks volumes.

One thought on “Ray Donovan: Season 3, Episodes 1 and 2; The Kalamazoo and Ding

  1. What the Kafka wrote was ‘In the struggle between yourself and the world, second the world.’, but they gave it a twist to fit the script. So it goes.

    Liked by 1 person

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