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'Ray Donovan' is an 'Uber' fixer for everyone but himself

Season 2 | Episode 2 | “Uber Ray” | Aired July 20, 2014

After a brief dalliance in Mexico, Mickey is officially on his way back to L.A. Ray has made sure of that, wrangling Mickey into his car and handcuffing him to the door for good measure. Ignoring the absurdity of their situation, Mickey waxes nostalgic about the only summer vacation the Donovans spent together. Ray is having none of it. Mickey, defensive, calls Ray his judge. He’s right—if Ray doesn’t judge Mickey (and vice versa), who will?

Cochran’s wife, Holly, played by Twin Peaks alum Sherilyn Fenn, calms a nervous Cochran before his press conference. They’re an über—not to be confused with Uber—political power couple. During the press conference, Cochran spins Sully’s death into a heroic FBI success story—after six to eight months in L.A., Sully was found. In a shootout, Frank fired the killing shot. Back in Boston, a Tenacious Female Reporter calls out Cochran on his bull$#@% (literally) and immediately wants to fly out to L.A. to investigate.

Before Ray can hand Mickey over to Cochran, Mickey threatens to tell them where Ray buried the priest he killed. Ray reminds him that if he falls, all the brothers Donovan fall for their involvement. What do we know? Mickey loves his boys. What do we also know? Mickey loves himself more than anyone else. Ray’s counter-threat may not be strong enough if Mickey gets himself really into a bind.

Ray finally presents Mickey to Cochran. Cochran’s meteoric rise in the Bureau relies on Mickey and Ray staying quiet. He gives Mickey an ultimatum: parole for five years, or prison … forever. Ray tries to warn Cochran about how loose a cannon Mickey really is, but Cochran doesn’t care. If Mickey messes up, Ray goes to prison with him. Then the show will be renamed Orange Is the New Ray Donovan. Ray (and the camera) focuses pointedly on Cochran’s framed photo of Holly. Ray is prepared to “fix” his situation with Cochran every way he knows how.

Ray drops Mickey off at the Fite Club. As they enter, Ray warns, “If you go back to Mexico, you’ll end up dead.”

“Dead?” Mickey replies. “You’re … paranoid, Ray.” Prediction: Mickey ends up dead or mortally wounded by the season finale. It may seem premature—as Voight’s performance in the show is a major highlight—but I sense dark wings, dark words.

Tenacious Female Reporter is, in fact, Kate McPherson from the Boston Globe, although I think I prefer calling her “Tenacious Female Reporter.” She visits Sully’s mom at her new nursing home, who proceeds to tirade against Mickey. Then she visits the mother of Catherine, Sully’s girlfriend, getting the full scoop about Catherine and Sully’s road trip to California.

Back home, Ray has Frank look up parole officers in the area—he has a plan. He greets Abbie the same way he did in the premiere, forcefully and with another sort of plan. She fights him off, slapping him in the face to wake him up.

She finally confronts him on his less-than-consensual sexual advances and how she’s discussed with Dr. Finkel that it may be related to the confession he has yet to address again. Ray remains silent in the shower.

Stressed, Abbie falls asleep in yoga class. The instructor wakes her up after everyone else has left. She jumps him, they make out, and she runs away. That mini-make-out session, a cigarette and new lingerie seem to be Abbie’s method of cheering herself up.

Ray finds Frances in his office. She asks him if he made Terry stalk her as an intimidation tactic so she wouldn’t say anything about the priest.

“Tell Terry to leave me alone,” she declares before walking out. Meanwhile, Terry is waiting for her outside. She screams, “Leave me the f*(& alone, Terry!” Oh, Terry, ya done goofed. Frustrated and ready to project his anger, he clocks Ray looking for a fight. Ray is not giving him one.

Sullied with parole, Mickey uses Conor as a prop to soften his parole officer. It also gives him the chance to teach his grandson a lesson on feeling bad when you’ve doing something wrong … but not telling anyone about it.

Oh hai, Bunk! Wendell Pierce is no longer good po-lice from Baltimore. On Ray Donovan, he’s an ornery L.A. parole officer with financial issues—perfect to be bought and controlled by Ray. It just takes a Daytona watch to make Ronald Keith Ray’s favorite parole officer.

Ray returns to the Fite Club and finds Mickey and Conor practicing in the ring. Conor refuses to leave with Ray, going into C-money mode. Then Abbie shows up—C-money is back to Conor mode. She grabs him by the neck like a mother cat carrying her rogue kitten by the scruff.

Tenacious Female Reporter brings her intel back to her Exasperated Male Editor. He’s unconvinced and exasperated by her tenacity. Of course, she’s intent on continuing her investigation in L.A.

“I’m going Bob,” Kate says with tenacity.

“Kate,” Bob calls out as she walks out of his office. “You’re fired,” he adds to no one in particular, exasperated.

Ronald puts Mickey in a hole-in-the-wall apartment in a God-knows-where section of L.A. County and gives him a job doing God knows what.

As Mickey moves on down, Ray and Abbie are movin’ on up. Ray agrees to buy Abbie’s dream home in Truesdale. Abbie couldn’t be more relieved at this sign to Ray’s commitment to their marriage. She reveals her new lingerie and initiates (finally) consensual interaction. Despite fixing everything (at least for right now), Ray is the only person he can’t fix. Irony.

Stray Bullets

  • Where is the plotline with Ezra and Tasha Yar Deb going? Ezra can spout “Tikkun olam!” as much as he’d like; I’m still ambivalent by that whole subplot. Will we finally see the fearsome power Ezra has been alluded to wield?
  • I have nothing wrong with tenacious reporters of any gender (trust me, I wish I were a more tenacious reporter!), but I’m so sick of the Lois Lane trope. She’s not even interesting enough to be an awful person, like Zoe Barnes was. Over it.
  • Frank may be a hapless FBI agent, but at least he has a companion (albeit of the canine variety) that enjoys booze just as much as he does.
  • Cochran’s cover-band outfit was less Bob Seger and more Bruce Springsteen circa Born in the USA.
  • Bunchy got the job at the bike shop! Bunchy got long pants!
  • Conor and Tommy Wheeler FaceTiming can’t end well.
  • Why does Conor smile when he talks about pushing that kid down the stairs?
  • Number of F-bombs dropped: 26.

Ray Donovan, rated TV-MA, airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on Showtime.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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