Season 2 | Episode 4 | “S U C K” | Aired August 3, 2014
Channeling Big Lebowski in a small way, Tiny (Craig Ricci Shaynak)—Sully’s former henchman—makes his second-eason debut in a supermarket. He attempts to shoplift Oscar Meyer deli meat and rotisserie chicken. It’s his girth more than the security guard’s efforts that impede his efforts. Welcome back, Tiny. Could he get any more ridiculous?
Last time we saw Tenacious Female Reporter and Ray, they were fishing out information from one another over drinks. Now, Tenacious Female Reporter seems to be on top of the Donovan mystery (or on top of the mystery that is Ray Donovan). They spend the night together—more connected than Ray has been with Abbie in a long time.
The next morning, Ray leaves TFR in his apartment and heads home. “Just because we f—ed doesn’t mean I won’t do my job,” she says before he leaves. Her tenacity is undeterred! Switching modes like he changes custom tailored shirts, Ray jumps back into guilt-ridden-husband mode and calls Deb to put in a full-asking-price offer on the house in Trousdale.
Cochran calls in his favorite fixer to deal with the Tiny problem. It turns out Tiny was arrested and mouthed off to a detective about being at the marina when Sully was killed. Cochran wants Tiny to “disappear.” Ray insists that’s not what he does, but he’ll take care of it.
Abbie sits at home, practicing the accent of Southern California pretension. She’s obviously more affected from her encounter with Judy Hoffman Neighbor Hi than she wants to accept. Bridget is confused; Conor doesn’t care to notice. Abbie has adopted a hands-off approach to parenting to stress how little her kids (not to mention her husband) pay attention to her. “F— that s—, I want an egg,” Conor responds to the prospect of eating cereal for breakfast. Don’t get between C-money and his eggs!
Ray finally returns home. He barely acknowledges his family before taking a shower. Abbie joins him, thanking him for bidding on her dream home. Rebuffing her advances, Ray mumbles something about being late for a thing. He leaves her alone in the shower with her thoughts, as per usual.
Tenacious Female Reporter sticks to her guns, finally catching up with Mickey as he picks up his measly pay. Thanks to Ray, Ronald swoops in to collect Mickey before he can blab. In order to ensure the Donovan patriarch’s continued silence, Ronald drops off Mickey at the Fite Club.
He looks for his boys, managing to find only Terry sulking in his office watching sheep-filled videos of the Emerald Isle. He’s convinced that he’s leaving California for Ireland. Just as Mickey shifts Terry’s moving news to himself, Daryll walks into the office. He’s not happy to see Mickey; having returned to chauffeuring, he’s faster than any of the other Donovans to write Mickey off after his father has scorned him.
Ray picks up Tiny from the police station. Tiny explains that he hasn’t returned to Boston because Sully’s mom has 15 people out there who’ll kill him. He’s also apparently too stupid to figure out how to go anywhere else. Ray doesn’t take this explanation lightly—Avi and Ray rough up Tiny in nondescript motel room. “What’s the first thing you learn when you’re five years old on Dorchester Street?!” screams Ray at a whimpering Tiny. “You don’t f—in’ talk to the cops!”
Does Ray ever do one thing at a time? He sets Avi at the motel to monitor Tiny, tasks Lena with scrounging up a new-life-in-the-Maldives starter pack for Tiny, works on sending Deb a $1 million down payment on the house and troubleshoots his issues with Ezra.
He finally agrees to shake down June Wilson for the $5 million she drunkenly agreed to donate to Ezra’s hospital. This time, he wants 20 percent—perfect for a down payment on a home in Trousdale. Armed with Ezra’s tailored extortion weaponry, Ray reluctantly visits June. She is quick to write another $5 million check and pour another drink. Ezra helped her hide away her daughter Allison, who seems to have Down’s syndrome, so that she could continue her acting career.
Meanwhile, Abbie is kicking butt and taking names at the gun range. She just embarrassed herself at Dr. Data’s office after suspecting Ray is sleeping with someone else. She catches the eye of a stranger (Brian Geraghty, aka Boardwalk Empire‘s Agent Knox, now rocking a goatee … and no longer in 1920s New Jersey). They flirt, even after she mentions her husband. As they leave, he hands her his card “in case she’s ever in danger”—he’s Jim Hallern, an LAPD detective. Uh oh, Abbie, he may be cute, but you don’t talk to the cops!
Tiny, not realizing what good fortune he has to hide out in the Maldives, refuses to leave L,A. Time is up for Ray—or, more accurately, for Tiny. Later that night, Ray brings Tiny a chicken and Jack Daniel’s for dinner. Ray leaves Tiny under the auspices of buying ice cream. Unbeknownst to Tiny, he just ate his last meal sans ice cream.
With no one left to turn to, Mickey calls TFR, agreeing to give her a story for a price. He takes out a VHS of Sean Walker’s Black Mass, but this is no moment of nostalgia. Inside the container are small labeled tapes. Before he can do anything with his mysterious tapes, two Men in Black swoop in and take him away with no explanation.
Ray convinces TFR to stay at his “cold” apartment for safety from the bad guy who wants to hurt her—in this case, Cochran. Surprise, surprise, it looks like their relationship will continue.
Armed with a gun and silence, Frank enters the motel room to dispose of Tiny. Frank nicks him in the head as he exits the bathroom. Tiny storms past Frank and the door, managing to get to the top of the outside stairs before he takes a deadly blow to the head. Tiny’s body barrels down the motel stairs and lands on top of a civilian motel guest. The motel guest yells in confusion and anguish as Tiny’s body not only pins him down, but breaks his leg. Frank delivers another head shot into the guest. You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.
Cochran receives the news of Frank’s goof while entertaining his guests, the Volcheks, played by Andrea Bogart and Remember the Titans‘ Kip Pardue. He seems calm and unconcerned. That is, until he aggressively gropes Mrs. Volchek while they’re alone in the kitchen. They return to the dining table and continue their awkward game of Scrabble. Holly’s next word is “S U C K,” hence the title. What’s the deal with Holly and Cochran? Their extreme “normalcy” hides a rotten and sinister core. Or they’re just really weird.
- I hope Bunchy’s blossoming relationship with Patty (Heather McComb) doesn’t end in heartbreak and despair—even though of course it will.
- Bunchy: “What’s your lifestyle?” Clifford (Aaron Fernando): “I don’t know what that means.” Adorable.
- Shorty, played by the incomparable Stephan Duvall, reminds me of an older Bill Hader.
- Shorty has the best outlook on life: “I like everybody … makes life easier.”
- Is Jim the Cop, as he’s referred to as on IMDb, the cop who arrested Tiny?
- Where is Mickey’s dolphin hallucination going? Is it the harbinger of doom that it seems?
- What are on Mickey’s secret tapes?
- The “Behind the Fix” first webisode is cute, but is it necessary?
- Number of f-bombs dropped: 50!
Ray Donovan, rated TV-MA, airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on Showtime.