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Ray Donovan's hands are tied at the most inopportune time

Season 2 | Episode 11 | “Rodef” | Aired Sept 21, 2014

Marvin and Re-Kon’s memorial service is more like a red-carpet event, as Cookie Brown rolls up to fans’ screams of adoration. Bridget watches the service coverage at home, too depressed to attend school.

Ray has more pressing issues than his traumatized daughter. He has Harriet sign a shell commercial property, ostensibly called ABC Corporation (for Abby, Bridget, and Conor), over to Abby, in case his family needs funds after Ray is imprisoned. When Ray hands Abby the papers, she asks why he may go to prison. Why wouldn’t he go to prison?

For once, he gives her some truth: Tenacious Female Reporter is primed to print that he paid Sully to kill Mickey. “Can’t you stop her?” Abby asks after a brief pause. This is the Abby I like, the fiercely-loyal-to-her-family-regardless-of-personal-issues Abby, not the Sephora-makeover-because-I-am-so-sad Abby. Nonetheless, she rejects the offer, sick of Ray’s way of “taking care of things.”

After Volcheck’s shocking suicide, Cochran’s way of taking care of things involves dismissing Frank and feeding the press news of Volcheck’s growing depression. Except that sweeping Volcheck under the rug would just be too easy. Cochran’s press conference is cut short when his wife blubbers, “Tommy wasn’t depressed. He was just … a sweet boy.” Cochran ends the conference, escorting his sobbing wife out of the room, as Mrs. Volcheck stands in place, her composure faltering. Cochran may have been wrong when he prophesied the Donovans were going to take him down—it may be Donna/Holly.

Thanks to TFR, even Frank isn’t taken care of completely; he admits Mickey killed Sully. TFR is a problem for everyone—Cochran, Ezra, Avi, and even Abby—but Ray is adamant that no harm will come to her. According to Ezra, she is a Rodef, and as such, she must be killed before she can “destroy” all of them. His lecture on Jewish law doesn’t work on “Raymond,” but it might on former Mossad agent Avi, who is concerned with Ray’s recent behavior.

Lena, also increasingly concerned with Ray, puts pressure on TMZ Stalkerazzi for news on the tape of Marvin and Re-Kon’s murders. But that’s not enough for Ray. He’s short with her, yet hands her money as insurance before his possibly imminent imprisonment. Like Avi and Abby before her, Lena rejects Ray’s buyout and attitude.

Eventually Ray does obtain the video from amateur stalkerazzi, a.k.a. a teenager and his greedy, dumb parent; $20,000 later, Ray watches the iPhone video, confirming that it shows Bridget leaving the scene of the murder. He tells Cookie he’ll meet him in half an hour to deliver the tape. What else does he plan to deliver to Cookie?

It was obvious that the heist would not go as planned, but oh, it goes so horribly wrong. Shorty isn’t doing well, relying on his oxygen full-time. Worse yet, Shorty’s oxygen supply is low since his latest delivery is late. Mickey suggests he sit out the heist and will work on the safe once they steal it. 

Conor surprises Mickey with a visit, mere hours before his “little job.” For the purposes of the episode’s narrative and little else, Mickey tells Conor to stay put in his studio until he returns—only to visit Shorty if he gets bored. This leads to some sweet albeit strange scenes between Conor and Shorty. The young Donovan bluntly asks him personal questions, and the ex-con gives him blunts and sincere answers.

All goes semi-smoothly at the heist until the security guard awakes and cries for help. Mickey sends Ronald to “shut him up.” Before he can reapply duct tape, the guard boasts that the armored truck came that morning to clear out the safe’s money, explaining the pharmacy just started using a new company with a different pickup schedule. Spooked, Ronald calls Ray with an offer to put away Mickey for good (plus $100,000). Ray gives him the green light, not knowing two of his brothers are also in danger of getting pinched too.

Still waiting on Ronald, Terry checks inside the pharmacy. The security guard confirms the crooked parole officer has betrayed them. With a swift kick, the guard locks Terry inside the office along with him. Terry tries and fails to free himself. With police sirens in the distance, Terry urges Mickey to leave him. Mickey and Daryll speed away from the scene, down two partners but up an uncracked safe. Mickey returns to his apartment building to pick up Shorty.

Let’s just say oxygen, gas, and blunts don’t mix. Shorty is killed instantly, and Conor breaks his arm, luckily having left Shorty’s studio before the explosion. Daryll hightails it as soon as he sees the blast, now down all partners and still hauling a stolen, uncracked safe. Mickey stays with Conor, who awaits Ray’s arrival.

Surprised to see Mickey walking free, and even more surprised to hear Terry has been apprehended due to his father’s “little job” gone wrong, Conor clocks his father in front of a gaggle of police, firefighters, and paramedics. As per usual, Ray projects all his built-up anger and guilt onto Mickey. He’s subsequently arrested. Unable to escort Conor to the hospital, deliver Cookie the tape, and who knows what else, or take care of TFR once and for all, Ray fails to fix his problems—his hands tied or, in this case, cuffed.

With only one episode left in the season, all signs seem to point to TFR’s death. I’m still not so sure. Her death, by Ray’s hand, by Avi’s hand, or by anyone seems too clichéd and expected. Then again, she is Tenacious Female Reporter who got too close to her story and may pay the price for it. Yeah, she’s definitely done for.

Stray Bullets

  • Daryll’s sudden involvement in the robbery after all the aggravation he endured because of Mickey almost gave me whiplash.
  • Important answer to an important mystery: Pink’s Rosie O’Donnell is a nine-inch stretch hot dog with mustard, onions, chili, and sauerkraut.
  • It’s cute that the voiceovers on E!’s memorial service coverage sound like actual broadcast news reporters, and not like Giuliana Rancic and Ryan Seacrest.
  • I have a feeling Frank is the real winner in this entire mess. He received early retirement and a full pension, continues to indulge his rampant alcoholism, and gets to live out his remaining days on his boat with his fluffy dog.
  • “Watch your f—ing mouth” is Ray’s way of telling his son not to curse. Do as I say…
  • Jim the Cop is really bad at being a dirty cop.
  • I can listen to Elliot Gould exclaim in Yiddish all day.
  • I genuinely laughed out loud at Shorty’s Vietnam joke. I’ll miss his additions to the Ray Donovan world.
  • Number of f-bombs dropped: 35.

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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