Over the last two weeks I’ve been binge watching the previous 3 seasons of Ray Donovan, now I’m all caught up and ready to start reviewing season 4 week by week. I’m 2 episodes behind so today I’m going to review episodes 1 & 2 in preparation for tonight’s.
As this is my first time discussing Ray Donovan, I’ll give you my overall thoughts on the show. The first season, I really enjoyed. I liked getting to know all the characters and it felt very focused, all building towards the conflict between Ray and Mickey. The second didn’t seem to have one thread going through the whole season and therefore felt a bit messy but I still liked the season. Then Season 3 picked back up and I enjoyed it almost as much as the first. The Finney family was a great story and Ian McShane is welcome anytime, in anything ever!
Girl with Guitar – Episode 1
We ended last season with an emotional confession scene and then season 4 started with Ray at one of Bunchy’s SNAP meetings. So is Ray Donovon changing his ways? Well sort of, kinda, maybe… not really. He definitely seems like a nicer person to be around but he’s still up to his shenanigans. I’d like to see the Donovan family come together more this season because we’ve seen them at each others throats for a long time now but I don’t know if I can deal with another episode of the “rebellious” Bridget.
If Ray’s family is going to reconcile, then maybe Abby’s breast cancer will be a factor that bring them together. I don’t think the show is going to kill Abby but it could be a heartbreaking path to take, if the one thing Ray can’t fix is cancer. I didn’t really like the Abby character at first because she seemed like such an obvious clone of Carmela from The Sopranos but I’ve come around on the character and I’ve started to appreciate Paula Malcomson’s performance (but she still ain’t no Edie Falco).
So Mickey has left LA but just like Ray, his shenanigans never end. At first when I saw him in his cowboy get up, I thought I was watching a sequel to Midnight Cowboy. There were some funny moments with Micky in this episode and now that Detective Sheila Muncie has found him, it’s going to be interesting to see how he plays into the big picture of this season.
The final thing I want to mention is the new character Hector Campos. I don’t know if he’s going to be more like Tommy Wheeler and just come in and out throughout the show or if this is going to be the main storyline for season 4. I’m unfamiliar with the actor playing Hector but he seemed pretty good in this episode and this kind of story will fit perfectly in the Ray Donovan world.
Marisol – Episode 2
The thread throughout this episode and pretty much the entire show is everything Ray is doing and then the other side characters break off and have their own separate stories. The story surrounding Ray so far this season I’m enjoying. This show has never shied away from controversial and sometimes uncomfortable sexual content and themes. There have been many different sexual relationships (good and bad) explored throughout the show and now with the introduction of an incest relationship, they’ve pretty much covered the entire spectrum. Lisa Bonet and Ismael Cruz Cordova who play Marisol and Hector, so far are playing their roles very well but it’s going to be interesting to see how they handle this subject matter as the season goes on.
Back in season 2 there was a brief moment when I really started to dislike Terry. I never liked the nurse he was with and they were primarily together a lot in that season. He won me back in season 3 and so far I’m really liking him this season. There’s a lot of great acting on this show and Eddie Marsan has be one of the actors who is just excellent in every scene. Terry’s Parkinson’s is getting worse, he’s becoming a drunk, getting beat up by a kid and Marsan is selling it all with such incredible realism. I’m worried he’s going to start seeing the cop, which is just the stupidest thing he possibly could do and the Terry from season 2 will return.
Another theme that runs through this show is faith and I just can’t get behind Father Romero at all. He probably would help Ray but for the shows sake, Ray needs to get as far away from Romero as he can. I think this relationship between Ray and Romero is going to play a huge role this season and Ray is going to learn a lot more about himself and his faith, so we’ll just have to see where it goes.
Finally, Mickey came back to LA and then left again. He’s planning on setting up a heist so maybe he will retreat back to Ray once things go wrong (because they always do with Mickey) but right now I can’t see where he’s going to play into the season they’re setting up. There was a hint that the Armenian Mafia isn’t finished with the Donovans so he could be brought back into the fold that way too.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the first two episodes back although they are repeating similar aspects they’ve played out before. Now that I’m all caught up on the show I’m going to start doing full reviews on each episode so as soon as I see this weeks, I’ll have my review out for episode 3.