Sorry I’ve been absent from blogging lately, but as we all know, life happens. I haven’t been watching too much lately (other than speeding through some Sopranos which is for a future post), but I did manage to see Guy Ritchie’s film adaptation of The Man from Uncle.
The premise of the film is right up my alley: two cold war spies, one American and one Russian, team up to take on some generic bad guys. The film ended up being fairly average overall. The plot was okay and the film was never boring. But it was also never exciting. I really enjoyed the chemistry between the three leads and that’s why I hope there will be a sequel. Armie Hammer is brilliant even if his Russian accent isn’t always perfect. Henry Cavill looks beautiful and he displays a lot of charisma, something that he wasn’t able to show in Man of Steel. The two men bounce off each other quite well and carry the film. Alicia Vikander is good as per usual, but she is nowhere near as good as she was in Ex Machina. She is serviceable, but other than some scenes with Armie she doesn’t elevate the film at all. The worst part of the movie: the editing. At times it was very bizarre and the flashbacks to five seconds before hand seemed unnecessary. The Man from Uncle gets 6.5/10.
Ray Donovan: Season 3 So Far…
I haven’t been posting about Ray Donovan because it’s been so…dull. Things have picked up a little with the last few episodes. But I recently re-watched season 2. It was a great season because by about the third or fourth episode the stakes felt very high. So everything that happened was exciting and felt vital. Season 3 got to about episode 7 or 8 before it became mildly exciting. The characters all seem to be spinning their wheels. Other than Bunchy and his new bride, Teresa. Bunchy has evolved into a stronger character that I really wasn’t expecting. And I love the way Teresa talks to Ray and stands up for Bunchy. The last episode, “The Octopus,” was touching as Ray gave Bunchy away to Teresa (figuratively, not literally). The episode was also good because there were no Finneys. Katie Holmes, and yes, even the wonderful Ian McShane, have been very disappointing.
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.
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.
• 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?”
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.
• WTF WAS CONOR DOING?! FUCKING HIS BED?! WTF?!?!
• 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.
No, no, I kid. I am definitely behind on my Ray Donovan viewing, so I doubt I’ll be all caught up by July 12th, when the third season premieres. But I’m giving it my best. I’m also trying out a new theme, so let me know what you think.
These two episodes focus largely on the two Bridgets in Ray’s life: his daughter and his dead sister, who still looms large in Ray’s mind. Young Bridget is engaging in a Romeo and Juliet-esque relationship with Marvin. Ray believes that Marvin is dangerous and a bad influence. And it turns out he’s right when Marvin grabs Bridget and forcefully demands a blowjob since, and I quote, “My moms got murdered ‘cause of the money your dad gave her to buy me. So pipe me, bitch.” Luckily Bridget runs away, more scared than anything. Ray retaliates by grabbing Marvin and driving away with him. Bridget is understandably upset by this since last episode Ray nearly shot Mickey in front of her. Bridget thinks there is a good possibility that Ray will kill Marvin. Ray does stick a gun in Marvin’s mouth, but he doesn’t pull the trigger. Instead he takes him back to his former home in Compton and leaves Marvin there.
Around this time it is also Ray’s sister’s birthday. That combined with his recent trip to Boston mean that his sister weighs heavy on Ray’s mind. Why did she kill herself? Was it in some way Mickey’s fault? Did Ray fail her? Could he have somehow saved her from herself? These are all the questions that go through Ray’s mind. His sister is the Bridget that Ray feels he failed, the one he lost. So he is determined to not fuck up with his daughter. But his heavy handed parenting inevitably alienates him from his daughter. She screams that she hates him and that he’s an animal.
But by the end of the episode the two reconcile in a very sweet moment. Ray reveals that he believes his sister killed herself because she was pregnant and that Ray is only trying to protect his daughter from a similar incident. In one of my favorite moments from the show the father and daughter sing Cat Stevens’s “If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out.” As the show progresses Ray’s relationship with his daughter becomes extremely integral to understanding Ray, so this moment becomes very important.
• Ray heads to Boston to find the ever elusive Sully (played by the wonderful James Woods). Ray runs the gauntlet (i.e. getting beaten up, told repeatedly that Sully is dead, confronting Sully’s mom) until he finally meets with the man. Ray offers Sully an escape from the US (and hiding) in exchange for killing Mickey. Sully accepts the offer.
• “Amen motherfucker.” Sean’s awesome Priest action film Black Mass that Mickey was a ‘consultant’ on.
• Mickey successfully blackmails Sean: Mickey’s silence in exchange for a screenplay deal and basically whatever Mickey wants.
• Abby tells Marvin that she is there for him and he can talk to her in the aftermath of his mother’s death. But it turns out she really just wants info on Ray. She can be so sleazy, it is such a low moment for her.
• Re-Konn, Marvin’s adopted dad, seems like a pretty good guy, if somewhat misguided. To cheer Marvin up, Re-Konn decides its Marvin’s “new birthday,” the beginning of his new life.
• Marvin and Bridget make an interesting duet of “Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone.”
• Abby and Deb (Ezra’s mistress), get drunk and go shopping. Abby has the genius idea of stealing some hideous shoes. Inevitably Abby gets caught and Ray bails her out.
• Ray torches a house and tortures Bunchy’s realtor until he gets Bunchy’s money back. Ray doesn’t give it to Bunchy though, instead keeping it safe so that Bunchy doesn’t fuck it up again. As Ray says, “I’ve always taken care of you Bunchy, and I always will.”
• In order to “reclaim her body” after the blowjob incident Bridget gets her belly button pierced (against Ray’s rules).
• The brothers Donovan mourn their sister’s death over whiskey shots and Shakespeare. This is in contrast to Mickey, who doesn’t even remember his dead daughter’s birthday. He does cry about it near the end, somewhat redeeming himself. Just a little.
• Mickey meets some blonde chick at a spa. She’s only attracted to him because she thinks he’s some big shot. Mickey is disappointed that she can’t twerk. Mickey asks for a blow job and the woman causally remarks, “You’d have to put a gun to my head.” Being the romantic guy that he is, Mick obliges, holding a gun to her and saying, “Suck it.” The woman freaks out, Mickey feels bad. As she storms off he tells her, “You think I could stick my dick in you?! With your white ass and fake tits?!?!”
• Frances shows up at Terry’s with a black eye. So, naturally, he goes and beats up her husband because “you don’t hit women.” Despite this chivalry, Terry breaks up with Frances since he can’t commit ‘adultery.’
• Lena is engaged in a “mid-life crisis, fuck a lesbian thing.” Lena does not have feelings. Lena punches out the woman who suddenly dumped her. LENA WINS EVERYTHING.
• Interestingly, Terry and Bunchy reminisce about dislocating their sister’s shoulders (kind of creepy, especially how funny they think it is). But Ray is confused, all this time he had thought it had been Mickey. Maybe Mickey isn’t as bad as Ray thinks?
• Ray gets drunk and is feeling in love with Abby, “I love you Abbs, I’ll buy you whatever you want.”
“What I want, you can’t give me…emotional honesty.”
• Terry goes to Church to confess his sins. The priest is very understanding and tells Terry that he is too hard on yourself. He also says, “You know Terry, everyone needs love.”
• Bunchy waits outside the Church for Terry. While sitting there he sees a bunch of boys with a priest. Bunchy looks quite shocked, is he having another flashback to his past?
• One of my favorite Ray quotes: “Some things in life you can’t take back, some things change you forever.”
This is one of my favorite episodes of Ray Donovan. Last episode Bunchy bought a house. So this episode he decides to throw a housewarming party. The party is about as pathetic and disastrous as you would expect.
Terry is there with Frances, his secretly married to someone else girlfriend. Mickey hires some hookers (of course). And even though they are banned from going to the house Conner, Bridget, and her boyfriend Marvin show up.
There are three absolutely great moments in this episode. One of them is a quiet yet powerful moment between Bunchy and Abby. Abby sneaks over to his new house to help Bunchy decorate. We see now more than ever how much of a man-child Bunchy is. He sits in his new room like a little boy while his ‘mother’ makes his bed, etc. Bunchy reveals his insecurities, fretting that he bought the house and Ray must be mad at him. He also goes on to talk about the sexual abuse he endured from his priest. The moment is touching and very sad as Bunchy blames himself for what happened to him; Terry broke the priest’s hand when he tried to molest him, why didn’t Bunchy retaliate too? Abbey tells him “That’s what monsters do. They make you think you want something you don’t want.” This emotional moment makes Bunchy’s breakdown later on at the party all the more powerful and effective. Mickey encourages Bunchy to ‘christen’ his new house with one of the hookers. The hooker gives Bunchy a blowjob, but as he looks down at her head he suddenly has a flashback to his priest. Bunchy freaks out, she freaks out. Drunk and high on coke, Bunchy lights his Boston Red Sox poster on fire in an attempt to burn away his memories. All he really accomplishes though is ending the party and ruining his new room. This episode makes Bunchy’s pain more palpable and real to the audience than it was before.
My favorite moment of the episode comes during the aftermath of the party. Ray has been at the hospital, waiting for Ezra to get through his brain tumor surgery. Terry calls Ray, telling about him about the fire and that his kids are there. Ray flips out quite dramatically and wonderfully. Liev is exceptional throughout the episode, but especially here, showcasing Ray’s anger, pain, and reluctance to pull the trigger. Ray storms up to Mickey, pistol whipping him and nearly shooing him in the head as Ray’s kids look on. I love watching the emotions Ray goes through, especially when he sees that he’s scared the shit out of his kids. Terry is also great here, as the calming voice of reason (although he should’ve known better than to phone Ray like that).
Lastly it is a ‘trip’ to watch Van Miller, FBI Guy, unwittingly ingesting some LSD and hallucinating seeing a monkey in a suit. It’s Ray’s way of gaining evidence to blackmail Van with, to get him to stop investigating Ray. But it turns out Van isn’t going to be that easy to deal with.
• Ray has an FBI connection named Frank. Funny enough, Ray isn’t afraid to drop kick him into the water since, as always, Ray has info to blackmail him with.
• Abby to Ray: “I just don’t get you anymore.” Ray’s answer is to stalk off in silence.
• Ezra escapes the hospital just before his surgery. Not totally implausible. Ray suddenly finding him on a random street? COMPLETELY implausible. Like wtf, the first place he looks he finds him?
• Terry continues on with Frances, acting as though he doesn’t know she has a secret family.
• Mickey shows this interesting dynamic of wanting to appear cool to his grandkids and putting them in dangerous situations, but at the same time he is fiercely protective of them.
• Bunchy’s roughhousing with Conner feels incredibly inappropriate, showing that he doesn’t know how to act with a young boy. Fortunately Mickey quickly puts an end to it before Bunchy can finish his “Father Nelson” joke. You know it’s bad when even Mickey’s like, ‘whoa, too far.’
• Ray tells Ezra about their FBI problem. Since they can’t make Van go away, Ezra concludes that Mickey has to be killed. In a wonderful moment of vulnerability, Ray replies, “It’s not that simple. He’s still my father.”
• So, who wants Mickey dead more than Ray? Who can be the one to pull the trigger? How about that guy Mickey stole $500,000 from? Hmm…..
Episode MVP is a real toss up between Liev and Dash Mihok (Bunchy)…. I’m going with Liev, only because his last scene with Ezra was so great and subtle.
This episode of Ray Donovan feels kind of like a filler one. There is some great acting from Liev Schreiber and some really funny moments. But otherwise it just serves to slowly progress the story. It’s necessary, but as a result it isn’t a stand out episode.
Since the beginning of the series we have seen Ezra struggling with his sanity. It seemed lie Alzheimer’s at first, but this episode it revealed to actually be a brain tumor. This isn’t a big shock or loss to the audience, Ezra hasn’t had very many scenes. But this revelation is huge for Ray. Ezra is probably the most important figure in Ray’s life. Ezra is Ray’s true father figure, not Mickey. Mickey has only brought Ray down while Ezra supports Ray and has helped become a success in Hollywood.
So Ray is devastated by this news. And his reaction to the news is really interesting. Ray is a quiet, withdrawn man who rarely shows emotion. Immediately after hearing the news Ray gets shit faced. Then he goes and fucks Ashley. Bat shit crazy Ashley. Of all the girls he picks the one who handcuffs herself to his towel rack. Oh well, I guess she was immediately available. Anyways, Ray has to be in a bad way if he chooses to fuck her. The way they screw is also kind of interesting, it’s from behind and very aggressive, seemingly all about Ray. After this Ray drunkenly staggers into his apartment. As he stares at Marvin Gaye’s blood splattered adoption papers he breaks down, sobbing relentlessly. The Abby, the bitch from hell, appears asking, “Who the fuck are ya Ray?” It’s the question that plagues Ray throughout the series. Tidbits:
• Terry and Frances are sleeping together now. Also Terry is a “sex god.”
• Bunchy cashes in his $1.4 million cheque from the Catholic Church. All he wants is $50 and a bike. Mickey wants enough money to get some hookers.
• Mickey-ism #1: “Last time I was in a bank I had a stocking on my face.”
• Ashley shows up at Ray’s apartment, telling him, “I’m not leaving here until you fuck me.” She then handcuffs herself to the towel rack in his bathroom and flushes the key down the toilet. Ray’s just like fuck, let her be crazy, I got shit to do and leaves.
• Abby has a little chat with a fellow yoga goer who is concerned because Abby is always crying in class. Yoga Girl observes that “Men are naturally really secretive animals” (has she met Ray???) Abby ends up telling her, “You’re a nosy cunt.”
• The Hollywood divorce that Ray and Lee are helping reach a settlement is pretty funny. I imagine that’s actually how it goes down in real life. One barely used penis pump and all.
• Prisoner Ashley is bored so she tries shaving her legs only to cut herself. She is so bored she tries to write her name in blood on the mirror, but gives up. Ashley proceeds to put on Ray’s deodorant. Craaaaazy.
• Abby’s talk with yoga girl has got her thinking…. She goes and checks out Ray’s ‘cave’ i.e. his office and his apartment.
• Mickey is the Golem of the episode’s title. I’m not sure what Golem means exactly, but judging by how Ezra freaks out it’s not good.
• Mickey and Ezra talk about how Ezra and Ray sent Mickey to jail. It’s a surprisingly decent, calm conversation. Mickey tells Ezra, “My son, he’s my son, he did what he thought he had to do. But you, you’re a piece of shit.”
• Marvin’s (remember him? The neighbor?) mom never sent in the signed adoption papers. Ray investigates and finds that she’s been shot, but she did manage to sign the papers.
• Sex God (Terry) is being brushed off by Frances. But why? Oh, it’s only because SHE’S MARRIED AND HAS A SON. Poor Terry.
• Bunchy decides to buy a house. A shitty one. In the middle of the night. Because he is a functioning, independent adult, goddammit!
• Avi and Ray track down Van’s (FBI Guy) address. They sneak in and find that he’s extremely fond of action figures and has Ray’s picture on the wall, along with Ezra’s, Lee’s and Mickey’s. Nothing creepy there at all.
• Since Ray and Abby are too busy with their own shit, their kids decide to have a little party with Marvin. Marvin and Bridget make out and Conner pukes all over Ray’s watches. Fun times.
• Lena is given the task of getting rid of Ashley before Abby shows up at Ray’s apartment (having handcuffed girls in your apartment would be a no no). When Ashley sees Lena she says, “You’re hot.” Damn right she is!
• Ashley: “You can’t hit me, I have epilepsy.” Lena punches her anyways.
Episode MVP is Liev Schreiber he does some incredible work here, especially at the end.
This episode Ray decides to take a break from his job. Well, actually Abby forces him to go to family day at Bel-Air academy, a private school she wants their children to attend. Somewhat predictably the day ends up being a disaster and Ray can’t escape his work. But it isn’t Ray that spoils the day, it’s his son, Conner. Conner seems to have inherited his father’s violent streak.
The Black Cadillac of the title is actually Mickey’s old car. It’s symbolic of the past and his relationship with it. Mickey takes a trip to Palm Springs with Bunchy and Daryll. Mickey wants to catch up with Daryll’s mother, Claudette. Mickey thinks that he can just show up 20 years later and take Claudette back, even though she is now happily married to someone else. Claudette and Mickey have a special bond. Mickey stole half a million dollars for her back in the day from some gangsters. He got in trouble for it. Mickey loved Claudette fiercely and he still does. Claudette is grateful to Mickey, she saved his old Cadillac for him, and she still cares for him. But Mickey learns that “things have changed” and he can’t have his old life back. It’s a notion that the audience knows long before Mickey does, but it still has quite the emotional impact. Even though Mickey can be a total asshole he genuinely cares for Claudette and to see him rejected is truly heartbreaking. Tidbits:
• Ray has a very disturbing nightmare at the beginning of the episode. It involves Mickey fucking both Ray’s ex-girlfriend and Abby. It is jarring and will emotionally scar you for LIFE.
• Marvin still isn’t in school.
• Mickey is supposed to get arrested for the priest murder today. Ray has Avi stalk him to make sure it actually goes down.
• Palm Springs road trip!
• Ray is pressured by Abby to attend this family day crap because she is so set on being part of upper class society. I find it funny that Abby so fiercely desires this when most of the show is about critiquing the superficial upper class of Hollywood.
• Mickey-ism #1: “Great kids come from great fucks.” i.e. Daryll. Bunchy, not so much, “Your mother was a great cook.”
• The sibling rivalry between Bunchy and Daryll is hilarious. It’s like they’re ten year olds, living out the childhood they didn’t have together. Teasing each other, making fun of each other, Bunchy throwing Daryll into a pool… It’s really touching as well because by the end of the episode they have bonded and come to like each other.
• Bunchy’s opinion on the song Daryll made when he was 16: “You dropped out of school for this shit?”’
• Marvin when he sees Ray: “Hey Mr. Donovan, you buy me yet?”
• Terry’s getting ready for spaghetti night with his nurse, Francis. His buddy, Potato Pie (seriously), gives him this golden advice: “You can’t get pussy from shit from a jar. You gotta make it from scratch.”
• Mickey brings Alan, Claudette’s husband, the gift of a small cactus. Alan already has a huge cactus. Symbolic phallic imagery? Alan is rich and has Claudette. Mickey is…. An ex-con who just got out of jail.
• Stu Feldman is at the family day gathering, wearing a wonderfully hideous shirt. His son attends the school and gives Conner a tour. Stu wants Ray to handle Ashley for him, but Ray gets to tell him he’s “not working today.”
• Alan is a dickhead.
• Mickey suddenly encourages Bunchy’s sobriety in order to get more cognac for himself.
• Daryll slings back his cognac. Alan forcefully admonishes him to “Sip it DOWN.”
• To try to look cool, Conner tells the kids at school that he’s friends with Tommy Wheeler, the action movie star. Stu’s kid shits all over this by saying Tommy “is a degenerate pervert” and “He only wants to suck your dick.” Conner is PISSED and everyone laughs at him. Thus later on, Conner whacks Stu’s kid in the head with a foot ball tee.
• Alan is willing to pay back to Mickey the money he stole for Claudette if he promises to stay away from her. But Mickey replies, “It isn’t the money I’m after…” [Enter Claudette]
• Lena’s job seems to be listening to people have sex all day. Except this time the people find one of the microphones. Ray has to sneak out of family day to handle it. But he ends up getting scratched on the face by a “Bel-Air cougar.”
• Stu awkwardly apologizes to Abby while Ray is off fighting cougars (the human kind). He says Ray and Ashley never fucked. Then they sit in awkward silence.
• Claudette gives Mickey back his “other beautiful black baby,” his black Cadillac. They dance and reminisce about old times. Then Mickey plants a kiss on her. But Claudette denies him.
• Mickey, Daryll, and Bunchy go out for dinner. They gleefully enjoy the cognac Bunchy stole from Alan. It’s a hilarious bonding moment.
• Van (FBI Guy) tells Mickey that in order for Mickey to stay out of jail he will have to turn in Ezra, Lee, and Ray to the FBI. This is Mickey’s big chance to get revenge on Ray for putting him jail.
• The spaghetti dinner is awkward because of course, its Terry we’re talking about here.
• Mickey is eager to go to the Buggy Whip bar, not knowing it’s a gay bar. And he doesn’t even care! Mick just wants to dance and snort some coke! He’s free, and happy.
• This episode’s song: “Now that we found love” by Third World.
“It’s motherfucking Ray Donovan in my motherfucking house. Hell ya!” “Hell ya, you the man!”
The first two episodes of Ray Donovan were mostly about introducing the main characters and their conflicts. With this third episode the characters are being fleshed out more, so the drama becomes more compelling. The bad influence of Mickey, Ray’s dad, is starting to spread through the show now like a cancer. He seemed kind of likeable and charismatic the first two episodes. He is funny and able to charm everyone around him, except for of course, Ray. But in Twerk his jokes become offensive and obscene. It is also more evident the effect of being in jail for twenty years has had on Mickey. He is from the old school, with a very backwards mentality. Now the audience, and some of the characters, can see a little glimpse of why Ray hates Mickey so much. Mickey is loud and offensive, has to be the center of attention. Ray is quiet, respectful, and prefers to stay in the background.
The most interesting scene in the episode, at least to me, may seem like a relatively minor one at first. But I think it speaks volumes about Ray and Mickey. It starts with Ray walking into the fight club to get Bunchy as they have a meeting with a lawyer. Mickey is there watching Terry and Daryll box. #1: Mickey’s negative influence on Bunchy is taking hold here. Bunchy is trying to avoid Ray because Mickey is poisoning their relationship. #2 The second Mickey sees Ray enter the club he immediately jumps up and becomes coaching Daryll on, although before he had been sitting around eating Chinese food. Mickey wants Ray to notice him and to specifically notice him being a father to Daryll. But Mickey fucks up. He eggs on Daryll too much, to the point of Daryll injuring Terry. This shows that Mickey is stuck in the past (before Terry got Parkinsons) and also that Mickey doesn’t know HOW to be a father. #3 This is when Ray steps in and intervenes, telling Daryll to stop fighting. This scenes shows how Ray is the responsible, mature one and that he has been more of a father to his brothers than Mickey ever has. By the end of the scene Mickey has only accomplished looking like a complete jack ass. It’s a small, beautiful moment.
One thing I wanted to mention about Ray Donovan last time, but forgot is the great music. Often times near the end music plays to a montage of where the characters are now. It’s always one of my favorite parts. The music is classic 60s/70s music. I love it because the songs always seem like something Ray would listen to or that he grew up with. This week’s montage was all about sex: Ray and Abby fiercely getting it on, Bunchy and Mickey hanging out with hookers, and Bridget and her new ‘friend’ Marvin sending each other pictures. The song is “No One’s Gonna Love You” by Nicole Willis & The Soul Investigators. Tidbits:
• Ray finally returns home after five days. Only to pack his bags and immediately leave.
• Abby is understandable pissed by this and by Ray trying to buy her off. She epically throws her shoe at him screeching, “You’re gonna treat me like a whore?! I’m your fucking WIFE!”
• Noisy neighbors are still noisy.
• Bridget got a B- on her family tree project because it was ‘vague.’ Of course, she’s Ray Donovan’s daughter!
• The shoe thing has pissed Ray off, so he’s gonna take out his anger on the noisy neighbors. He kicks in the door, unplugs the speakers. But he’s motherfucking Ray Donovan so it’s all good.
• Turns out that conveniently the neighbor has a problem. You see, he’s a rapper named Re-Kon who wants to adopt young Marvin, a kid around Bridget’s age. Marvin is a talented singer, but he needs to be emancipated from his crack head mother. Ray is enlisted to help Re-Kon out.
• Ray asks Marvin, “Where’s your father?”
“Lucky you.” Ahahaha.
• Apparently Marvin “don’t need no school, I’m gonna be a fucking millionaire.” Your bad grammar says otherwise, Marvin.
• Just as Ray is finally driving away, Abby comes back out screaming about the laundry. Oh shit… Ray just drives off.
• According to Mickey Bunchy has “no real porn” and this is a serious problem.
• I like the small touch of Bunchy stirring his coffee with a fork handle.
• Avi is in Boston investigating that priest Mickey murdered back in episode 1.
• Lena’s girl fling calls her, “I’m lonely.”
• Abby is so pissed she donates Ray’s suits to a church. Well, that solves the laundry problem!
• Mickey to Daryll: “Your mother hits harder than that!”
• Mickey-ism #1: “I could cry thinking about that sweet black ass of hers.”
• Abby “goes to yoga, not church.”
• Avi pays off Mickey’s driver to go to the police and identify Mickey as the priest murderer.
• Mickey-ism #2: Parkinsons “makes jerking off easier.”
• Terry’s nurse: “You know, I used to be a hooker before I was a nurse.” The joke goes way over Terry’s head as most jokes do.
• Mickey’s Father Nelson joke really is terrible.
• Mickey-ism #3 “Smile and the world smiles with ya. Cry and you cry alone.”
• Remember when Ray was smiling at the end of last episode? It’s because Mickey fucked up and killed the wrong priest. He wanted to kill the guy that molested Bunchy, but got his brother instead. Mickey is shocked but recovers with, “So what? Didn’t fuck my boy, fucked someone else’s.”
• Mickey is going with Bunchy to his support group because “that’s what fathers are for.”
• Lee is thrilled to sign Re-Kon. Apparently the guy is always in trouble with the police, so easy to make money defending him. Apparently it even warrants “the best hand job” of Ray’s life.
• Ray: “We’re buying kids now, Lee?”
Lee: “We’ve done worse.”
• Ok, Mickey’s pedophile joke is bad, but funny.
• Ray pays for Terry’s nurse visit. Instead of paying him back, Ray wants Terry to ask her out.
• Abby breaks down during her yoga session, “I’m a terrible person.”
• Mickey’s visit to the support group is a disaster. Case in point: “I could use some oral rape right now.”
• Bridget meets Marvin Gaye (pause) Washington (aka the neighbor).
• Ray offers Marvin’s mom money for her to let him go. It’s a hard decision for her, but she knows she can’t raise a child.
• Abby takes back Ray’s suits. The priest is very nice, but the bitchy old lady who won’t let them go is hilarious. Abby donates the money Ray had given her.
• Mickey goes to the library…. To look up twerking, “I’m an ass man.”
• Bunchy receives his settlement of $1.4 million. Ray wants to have control of his money, in order to protect Bunchy from himself (and Mickey). But Bunchy refuses the help.
• Mickey reads Moby Dick lol.
• An FBI agents visits Mickey at the library. Apparently Mickey got out of jail early because he ratted out a bunch of guys (but not this mysterious Sully…). FBI guy also knows about the priest murder. He does nothing, just gives Mickey money and says he’ll be in touch. ????
• Ezra has a big party for his new foundation. Ray sends a limo for Abby, again, impressing her with money. This time she falls for it.
• Ezra’s mistress gets hilariously drunk, bad mouthing Ezra’s widow in front of everyone.
• Ezra freaks out and starts speaking Yiddish when he sees Mickey in the crowd.
• Terry and the nurse have the most awkward meeting at a diner. It is filled with lines like, “I’m a clean man.” And, “You like spaghetti?” That’s how he asks her out. It’s hilarious and Terry’s grin is so sweet.
• So Mickey should be going back to prison soon…
• Mickey got hookers for him and Bunchy.
• Abby: “I’m still fucking mad at you, Ray.” *proceeds to have hot, steamy sex with him* (can’t blame her).
• FBI guy is shown in his Spartan office. He must have OCD. He has a wall full of pictures, some crossed off. There’s Ezra, Lee, Mickey and of course…. Ray.
That wonderful episode title comes straight from Mickey (not very surprising). It has been way too long since I wrote my last Ray Donovan review. I am going to try to pick up the pace because I would like to be all caught up before the third season airs in July.
In this second episode Ray’s responsibilities, both personal and work related, are beginning to pile up. Also some characters that were only briefly seen in the first episode are fleshed out a little more here. Ray’s work related problems come in the form of two actors, Sean Walker (Johnathon Schaech) is a movie star with a somewhat complicated connection to Ray’s past. Sean bluntly says something to Ray along the lines of “I shot your girlfriend in the head, high on Mickey’s coke.” I have to admit it comes across as terrible writing and makes no sense at the moment it is said. As the season continues it will be explained a little better and become more integral to the plot. Mickey sends Sean an intimidating message and Ray must appease and comfort Sean because of it.
The other actor with a problem for Ray is Tommy Wheeler (Austin Nichols), the actor from the first episode who had been caught with a transvestite. This time around Tommy is being blackmailed with a video of himself giving a transvestite a blowjob. This is one of my favorite subplots on the show because I really like Chloe (Alex Saxon), the transvestite. The acting is great, plus Chloe makes for one hot chick (great make-up and costuming). It also reveals some key things about Ray. Chloe is blackmailing Tommy because she needs money for a sex change. This doesn’t faze Ray at all. He’s not surprised, he’s seen it all, and he’s not going to judge anyone. He is even sympathetic of Chloe’s situation. But Ray still has a client to protect. So Ray breaks in, somewhat violently, to Chloe’s apartment and forcefully takes all copies of the sex tape. He is quite physically rough, nearly choking Chloe. But Ray also shows genuine sympathy for Chloe. He tells her to stop prostituting and doing drugs because it will kill her, he’s seen it before. He leaves Chloe devastated and embarrassed. But at the end of the episode Ray sends Lena over to Chloe’s with enough money for the sex change surgery. Chloe’s gratitude is very touching and that good side of Ray that the audience loves is revealed. He is a sympathetic and admirable character even if he can also be extremely violent and even despicable at times.
Personally Ray has to deal with Mickey and his hold on his family this episode. Last episode Abby and Ray had a fight, Ray was cheating on her, so Abby is justified in her anger. Abby allowed Mickey to hang out with her and the kids for the night. And this episode she takes Mickey and the kids for a trip to Malibu, just in an attempt to get back at Ray. Ray loses control when he finds out, and is only stopped from killing Mickey then and there by Avi. It seems a little over dramatic a reaction on Ray’s part, but we still don’t know why he hates Mickey s much, so we can’t judge him at this point. So far Mickey doesn’t seem too bad. He admits to Abby that he was a “terrible father,” but he feels he has done his time and that everyone should move on. But that’s the one thing Ray is incapable of at this point.
• “Great guns you got there.” Terry’s nurse blatantly hits on him. Terry is extremely uncomfortable upon hearing this. Ray grins and encourages Terry to ask her out. But will he be able to overcome his crippling shyness?
• Conner blackmails Abby into taking the family to Malibu. This combined with his fighting in the first episode show that he takes after his dad.
• “Give him the best blowjob OF HIS LIFE!” Lee’s role on the show seems to just be screaming obscenities.
• Mickey’s wise advice to his grandson: “A mouth is a mouth, but don’t let anyone fuck you in the ass, that’s how you get sick.” Wow, what a great grandfather! Such sound advice!
• Stu Feldman and Ashley make a little appearance. Stu tries to act all superior to Ray, but of course he fails. His inferiority complex is always hilarious. Stu is still with Ashley because his wife left him.
• Stu: “Jesus, that guy can really suck cocks. He should give my wife lessons.”
• Stu: “[Ray’s] hot, isn’t he? Find out who his trainer is!”
• Daryll is shown doing some of Mickey’s dirty work. The fact that he is now family doesn’t spare him from a beat down by Avi. It’s funny that Daryll is a boxer, but Avi so easily kicks his ass.
• Mickey and Bunchy are yet again bonding while doing drugs together.
• Ray sees the picture of the priest Mickey killed last episode. And Ray smiles. Why? What is so funny about it? We’ll find out next episode!
This is my 100th post!!! Somehow it feels very appropriate. I’m switching up my Deadwood viewing with a little of Showtime’s motherfucking Ray Donovan! The two shows have a little more in common than you might initially think. Deadwood focuses heavily on the formation of civilizations and societies. Ray critiques the society of Hollywood, its superficiality and its hypocrisy. But that isn’t the main thrust of the show. It’s real focus is on the concept of masculinity, what it means to be a ‘good’ man. It’s something the protagonist, none other than Ray Donovan (as played by the luscious Liev Schreiber) struggles with constantly as well as with some other demons. It really is similar to Seth Bullock on Deadwood. Both characters are quiet, lone wolfs. They have an inherent sense of what is right and a strong desire to do justice and to protect others. Both men also have a deep seated anger within them that they sometimes fail at controlling. The big difference between Ray and Seth is that they operate on opposite sides of the law.
Two other things the shows have in common are 1) Paula Malcomson (Trixie on Deadwood, Abby on Ray). Paula is much much better on Deadwood, but that is more so because of the writing on the show and Trixie is a much more sympathetic character. Abby with her Boston accent and Carmela-lite attitude (Sopranos reference) really makes the audience want to strangle her sometimes. But Paula as an actress is always great. And #2 is…. MOTHERFUCKING IAN MCSHANE!!!! YES!! The third season of Ray Donovan airs this summer and Ian will be joining the cast!!! I am so excited!! But then Katie Holmes is going to be too which is very disappointing. So my feelings are pretty level at the moment.
So the fact that the third season is coming near is why I have decided to re-watch Ray Donovan. The show is about Ray, a Hollywood fixer who takes care of celebrities and their (usually illegal) problems. But when Ray’s father, Mickey (Jon Voight), gets released from jail early Ray has some of his own problems to fix.
This show has been flying under the radar a bit which I think is a real shame as it is genuinely good. The first episode is a little unoriginal though to be honest. It has A LOT to cover. But as the show continues it just gets better and better. It’s an intelligent show that covers a variety of topics, some more originally than others, but it’s a fun watch. The acting is all around amazing, it’s a great cast. Liev is of course amazing, but Jon Voight steals nearly every scene he is in. He has a lot of fun playing Mickey and that definitely comes across effectively. Tidbits:
• The episode starts with Mickey being released from jail. And what’s the first thing he does? Murder a priest!
• This week’s problem situation involves a basketball player waking up next to a dead girl he had been partying with the night before. Understandably the guy is freaked out.
• But Ray’s reaction is: “Do you think you’re the first person I’ve dealt with woke up with a dead body…”
• Lena (played by the lovely Katherine Moennig), Ray’s assistant, reacts with “I hate it when that happens.”
• Ray is married to Abby (Paula Malcomson) and has two teenage kids, Conor and Bridget.
• Ray also has two brothers, Terry (Eddie Marsan) and Bunchy (Dash Mihok). As Bridget bluntly puts it, Terry has Parkinson’s and Bunchy was molested by a priest. This show isn’t always subtle.
• Abby has something up her ass (as she perpetually does) this episode it is her need to have Bridget go to a private school. So you betta get on it Raaaaay!! (That’s Abby’s nagging voice)
• Ray’s other Hollywood problem is Tommy Wheeler, a famous actor who was caught with a transvestite. This is a no no in Hollywood. Get caught doing drugs, waking up with a dead girl, and going to rehab are okay though, so Ray kills two birds with one stone by swapping Tommy with the basketball player.
• I want Lena’s style.
• Oh no wait, Ray has another problem, remember Abby and that private school? Well Ray has to do a favor for this movie producer guy, Stu Feldman, in order to get in a good word at a desirable school. The mission: stalk Stu’s girlfriend and find out if she is cheating on him. Even though Stu is married to someone else anyways. Good old Hollywood.
• The scene with Stu really highlights what sets Ray apart from other men. His silence, but also his inherent confidence in himself.
• Terry owns a boxing club.
• Man, there is A LOT going on this episode.
• Bunchy is an alcoholic. He also happens to be coming into his settlement from the Catholic Church to the tune of $1.4 million. Ray is obviously concerned.
• While Ray is on his stalking mission he discovers that the girl has ANOTHER stalker, a really creepy one. Ray’s instinct is to protect the girl, Ashley, thus blowing Stu’s cover.
• Long story short Ray and Ashley start making out and it’s sexy and all until OUT OF NOWHERE she has a FREAKING SEIZURE. WAY TO KILL THE MOOD. Apparently she has epilepsy.
• At least this freak occurrence prevents Ray from doing something he might have regretted. This continue to get weird as Ashley tells him “I love you” and calls him “Daddy.” Get out of there Ray!!!!!!!!
• Terry and Bunchy got in a fight, so protector Ray bails them out.
• Oh turns out Ray has a black half-brother!!! Ray is less than thrilled (Ugh, someone else to protect!)
• Meanwhile Mickey is having a good time, smoking a joint and dancing around with a prostitute.
• Ray threatens the creepy stalker by forcefully dying him green. I think it’s an old Boston mafia punishment. “If you come near her again, I’ll kill you.”
• Daaaaaaamn Liev can rock a suit.
• Ezra (Elliott Gould) is Ray’s mentor figure. But he is also another problem for Ray as he is beginning to suffer from dementia. Ezra even invites his mistress to his wife’s funeral!
• Meanwhile Mickey is on a plane leering and winking at a woman breastfeeding. The creepy bar has been raised.
• “No lie lives forever Raymond, it’s time to pay the piper!” This lie has something to do with why Mickey went to jail…
• Ashley becomes the stalker and stalks Abby. The creepy bar keeps going up.
• Ray’s reaction to the stalking? FUCKING ASHLEY. WHAT THE HELL RAY. If this was GTA Ray would have definitely failed his Stu mission and faded to black and white.
• Abby is suspicious of his cheating, tells Ray not to come home. It seems like this is a regular occurrence.
• Conor is getting into fights at school.
• Long story short, Ray and Abby attend a party that Stu also happens to be at. Stu informs Abby that Bridget will be banned from all private schools because “your husband fucked my girlfriend.”
• Ray doesn’t take this lightly and dramatically and awesomely breaks Stu’s wrist in a pool table.
• Ray reveals to Bridget that he had a sister, also named Bridget, who killed herself when she was a teenager. This still haunts Ray.
• Ray tells his daughter, “I’ll always protect you.” Their relationship is very important as the show goes on. Ray wants to be a better father than Mickey was.
• Ray explains his cheating ways to Abbey by saying “these women, I protect them and they get confused.” Sooooo that makes it okay?
• Ray warns Abby that Mickey is coming for them. “Don’t let the wolf in the gate.”
• Abby tells Ray, “You’re sick, Ray, you’ve got a hole in your heart.”
• Ray has a meeting with Mickey at the fight club. Threats are made. Ray leaves in anger.
• “If you can’t laugh, what are you going to do, cry all the time?” Mickey wants to forget the past, but the past was so traumatic for Ray he’ll never forgive or forget.
• Mickey does some cocaine with Bunchy, like any good father would.
• Creepy stalker still stalks Ashley. Ray beats him to pulp with a bat. “I warned you.” Ray seems sorry to have to inflict such violence on the guy.
• The episode ends with Abby letting the wolf in to meet the kids.
This episode gets 8/10. Give this show a chance if you haven’t already. It’s both fun and quite deep. Also Liev Schreiber and Jon Voight give some of their best performances.
Grab some more canned peaches because the season finale of Deadwood is about to get under way! This is one of my favorite episodes in the entire series. A lot of the conflicts and issues of the first season come to a head here. And the after math of it all is… very optimistic and uplifting. Which is surprising for a show that can be so dark and violent. Yet that’s what I love about it. Tidbits:
• The Reverend is shown to be even worse, to the point of not being to function anymore. 😥
• The Magistrate arrives in town and is a total asshole as was expected.
• Al is sighted eating a peach!
• Doc Cochrane gives Jewel the boot/brace she was begging for last episode.
• The Doc can’t nurse the Reverend 24/7 so some of the whores at the Gem take over. Seems appropriate for a man of the cloth.
• Leon (Cy’s henchman) is shown to start an argument with the Chinese over his laundry.
• Alma’s Dad, Otis, is not the nice guy I had hoped he was. He wants Alma to pay off his debts (apparently she has already done this for him once before). Alma freaks out at his persistence and runs to her hero, Bullock.
• Joanie and Charlie are basically BFFs now.
• Bullock is super pissed and goes on a Hulk like rampage. BULLOCK SMASH!
• Bullock beats Otis to a pulp in Cy’s saloon. Alma (and I) swoons. Bullock: “Leave this camp, and draw a map for anyone who wants to believe your fuckin’ lies. Anyone who wants to put your daughter or her holdings in jeopardy, you show ‘em how to get here. And you tell ‘em I’ll be waiting.”
• Leon again argues with the Chinese. One of the Chinese gets shot in the scuffle. Con Stapleton (the Sheriff) sides with Cy and Leon. Even Tom is super pissed that Con could be bought that easily (seriously, he didn’t even last one episode!).
• Bullock is still rampaging when he sees the injustice of it all. He seizes Tom’s sheriff badge and throws it in the mud only to pick it up a moment later. That moment reminds me a little of the Napoleon quote, “I saw the crown of France laying on the ground, so I picked it up with my sword.”
• The Magistrate and the General choose to stay at Cy’s saloon. Can’t say I blame them, EB is super annoying, why stay at his hotel if you don’t have to.
• Bullock goes over to the Gem and hints to Dan that he should kill Otis. Not such a white knight anymore is he?
• Al to Wu: “When did you start thinking every problem had a remedy? You come to camp for justice? Or to make your fucking way, Wu?”
• Adams is back in town. But is he on the side of good (Al) or evil (the Magistrate)?
• The Magistrate is easily bought off by Cy, but the General not so much. The General to Cy: “If I were sheriff I’d have you hanged.”
• Now Bullock wants the General to protect Otis? Did he have a change of heart or is he trying to set up Al? I’m pretty sure it’s the former. Bullock can’t help doing the right thing.
• Joanie gleefully brings Alma Otis’s teeth which she collected from the Bella Union floor. Joanie empathizes with Alma as she too had a controlling, manipulative father.
• Alma and Bullock finally get it on!!! YES! There’s so much chemistry going on between the two of them this episode. But eww at Alma’s hairy armpit. I know it’s historically accurate, but seeing it still makes me cringe.
• The Doc has an emotional breakdown scene. It’s a really powerful moment and the acting from Brad Dourif is superb. He prays to God, begging for the Reverend to be put out of his misery. This also leads into some PTSD flashback for him to the Civil War. “Jesus Christ, Just Please, God, take that Minister. What conceivable godly use is his protracted suffering to you? What conceivable godly use? What conceivable Godly use was the screaming of all those men? Did you, did you need to hear their death agonies to know your—your omnipotence?”
• Well, the Doc gets his wish, maybe not in the way he had expected. Al suffocates the Reverend in order to be compassionate and end his suffering. “You can go now, brother.” (a hint at Al’s own brother?) Al even cries a little afterward.
• Adams slits the throat of the Magistrate in front of Al. I guess we know what side he’s on now. Al also kills two birds here as the Magistrate happened to have the warrant for Al’s arrest on him.
• Jewel’s boot is a success, the Doc is plastered, so the two dance around together. It is a joyful moment, pure and simple. “I’m as nimble as a forest creature.”
• Bullock visits Al.
Bullock: “I’ll be the fucking sheriff.”
Al, gesturing to the badge: “On the tit.”
Bullock: “I know where it goes.”
• Bullock acknowledges to Al that he and Alma have a thing going on. Al is quite understanding and allows them to gaze at each other across the street like two star crossed lovers.
• Trixie and Al exchange a look. The episode ends with the happy exchanges between these two, Alma and Bullock, and Jewel and the Doc.
• Fuck(er)(ing): 36
• Tit: 3
• Cocksucker: 6
• Shit: 2
• Bag of shit: 2
This episode gets 5 out of 5 Hoopleheads.
Now then, what show should I watch next? Should I continue on with Deadwood? Should I go back and finish watching The White Queen? Or Should I watch a season of Ray Donovan? Leave a comment if you have a suggestion for me, I’m conflicted at the moment.