Abby's pretty stressed out by Mickey's continued presence, but as a passive-aggressive way of getting back at Ray for spending too many nights in LA, it has its advantages. Irritated by Ray's busy schedule, Abby decides to take Mickey and the kids to Malibu, then to the Donovan Fite Club -- a whole day for the entire family (minus Ray) to get closer and closer. Over the course of the afternoon, Mickey gets to dole out excellent sexual advice to young Conor, form a strong funny bond with Bridget, and work his way right into Abby's heart.
And, frankly, show a nuanced portrait of a man who is very interested in rebuilding some kind of life after twenty years along, but then that's the rub: What Ray believes – and what nobody else will -- is that this is all somehow a massive conspiracy to fuck with him. Not that he's wrong, just that there might be more to it: When Sean Walker (Johnathon Schaech), an actor tied to the original murder that sent Mickey away, gets a midnight visit from poor Other Brother Darryl.
Elliott Gould's Ezra Goodman gets to show more charming sides to himself this week in a spell of lucidity, but we're still left wondering what it is, exactly, between him and Ray in the first place: They don't seem to speak the same language, regardless of this rich history they keep talking about. Anyway, in response to these offenses, Ray lets Avi talk him down from shooting the bastard himself to merely sending back a message literally stapled to Darryl's chest.
It's not all bummers this week, however: Action Tommy's in rehab when he receives a blackmail video of himself going down on the charismatically ratchet Chloe, for whom his feelings are a bit stronger than he first let on. Eventually Ray must intervene in the scheme, so he tapes the girl's confession and roughs her up at home... and then, in his Ray Donovan fashion, uses the sex tape to extort enough money out of that horrible Stu Feldman to pay for Chloe's sexual reassignment, without Tommy (or Lee Drexler) being any wiser. And that's nothing compared to the joy that spreads across Ray's face when he confirms the identity of the priest Mickey murdered.
Did you like it? I think I liked it a little more. You could barely see Austin Nichols's face last week, so it was hard to get a line on what was going on with him, but this well-meaning, occasionally cocksucking schlemiel we saw this week seems pretty LA-realistic. Abby's pinched mean affect got to spread out and be beautiful for a lot of the episode, now that she is talking about other things besides real estate and prep school. Things between the brothers are going from "complicated" to "overwhelming," as Mickey supplants Ray's authority role... and best of all, Lena got to leave the office and interact with other actors, which -- considering Katherine Moennig is pretty much entirely famous for generating nuclear chemistry with everyone she comes into contact with -- seems like probably a good idea.
Next Week: Mickey works his magic on Bunchy and Terry, and I guess retaliates for the attack on Darryl, and maybe strikes a deal with the FBI. Ray involves himself in the urban music demographic of Calabasas, which should go off great. Ezra holds a fundraiser for his dead wife, but seems like he's still pretty obsessed with his whole moronic full-disclosure idea.
Mickey Donovan got out of jail early, screwing up several of Ray's plans, and killed a priest. Tommy Wheeler went into rehab as a PR move to deflect from his sexuality he's still working out. Ex-Disney star Ashley Rucker has a penchant for old guys and doing yoga on her deck, both of which hobbies have vastly complicated Ray's relationships with his wife. Mickey has a fourth son, Daryll, who everybody but Ray knew about. And worst of all, Abby has been in contact with her father-in-law for some time now, meaning that when he comes knocking, she'll let him in -- just at the time when Ray's spending his nights at his other apartment with no way of knowing about this.
Ray wakes up at his other apartment after a long night of drinking and weird Marilyn Monroe hallucinations, still with blood on his beautifully tailored shirt from beating (to death?) Ashley's green-painted masturbating stalker.
Abby is also waking up, back home. Everybody is even grimmer and bleaker than usual. Downstairs, Mickey has lost no time making a mess of things. One wonders if he'll ever get over feeling his post-jail oats and calm down: It's entirely possible that this is just how Mickey rolls. Abby wonders briefly if maybe Ray was telling the truth about the total trainwreck his father represents.
Ray gets Lena to check out the Boston scene, to see if maybe Mickey was right and the Da Vinci Code is actually after him for murdering a priest. She doesn't ask questions, which is just one of the many things he likes about her.
Out on the Donovan deck, Mickey is teaching Conor profane doggerel about smashing birds to death, which Conor thinks is just great. Abby is unable to deal with anything, and just sort of mutely watches Mickey run the shit: Making scrambled eggs, saying weird poems, bugging her about Ray's whereabouts, and the constant chatter. She battles her hangover and attempts in vain to be magnanimous about Mickey overtaking their home. Conor nearly starts crying when she tells him they can't take off school to run around being weird with Grandpa, but she's just too exhausted to deal.
Nurse Frances, the absolutely tip-top lovely lady played by our beloved Brooke Smith, does home visits to tend to Terry's Parkinson's. She has a deft hand and a friendly way about her, but Terry is so used to being down on himself that he doesn't even notice she's into him. Shirtless, Terry the boxing trainer seems much less like the quiet sweet underdog one, and more like he carries all that Donovan violence inside his strength like a bomb. His body is beautiful and poised, like a ball of rubber bands ready to explode; Ray can't even get him to answer Frances's banter. He is ashamed of the wrong things: Ray thinks he's adorable, they both do. He is.