‘Ray Donovan’ Breakdown: “Uber Ray”

No lie lives forever…but SPOILERS do…

Season Two, Episode Two: “Uber Ray”

Written by Ann Biderman & David Hollander; Directed by Michael Uppendahl

Ray may not drive for Uber, but there’s no doubt he’s über when it comes to getting stuff done. Yes, I just stated the obvious, but that’s all that needs to be said.

Quick Breakdown

The Upsidedown’s “If You Are Hell Girl” fills the silence inside Ray’s Mercedes as it rips across the dark desert landscape chasing daylight. Mickey wakes up in the passenger seat to find himself handcuffed to the door and, after taking note of all the stars, tells a surprisingly humanizing anecdote of an old Donovan family vacation.

Mickey’s narrative portrays him as a man who really loves his family, which is a concept that is sometimes hard to grasp considering what we’ve seen out of him. He and Ray have had many scenes like this: Mickey tries to connect with Ray; Ray doesn’t let him within arm’s reach. We already know that Ray killed Mickey off in his mind long ago — so does Mickey — yet he continues to try anyway.

It’s very possible that Mickey wants to be a good father, but he’s already become who he is going to be as a person, and it seems he has accepted it — perhaps just a little bit regretfully. Then again, he could simply be fishing for sympathy (all bets are on the latter).

The stroll down memory lane ends with Mickey saying, “Wasn’t all bad, Ray.” And, as usual, Ray reminds him that he isn’t the person he likes to think he is.

Back in Los Angeles, Cochran holds a press conference to announce the death of Sully, who was the FBI’s most wanted. He says Sully was believed to be in L.A. for “six to nine months,” which spurrs a young Boston Globe reporter, Kate McPherson, watching from the other side of the country, to call his bluff — or, “bullshit,” as she calls it — and demand her editor fly her out to there to investigate. We haven’t ever seen this character before. Who knows where she came from or what she knows, but the fact that she was so quick to write Cochran off as a liar has to mean she knows something we don’t.

Before meeting with Cochran, Mickey informs Ray he knows where he buried the priest that was killed back in season one, and if things go wrong for him, he’ll rat Ray out. The problem is that Ray won’t be the only one to go down for the murder — all the Donovan boys will. If Mickey has any desire to be a good father, he has his chance right here. All he has to do is play along. For now, it seems that he will, agreeing to be put on a five-year parole. Of course, that’s in lieu of life in prison, so the redeeming nature of his decision becomes slightly moot. It doesn’t help matters much that if Mickey messes up, he’s off to jail. Ray, too.

Ray takes Mickey back to Donovan’s Fite Club, where he is reunited with his sons in a less-than-lackluster manner. They each hold a lot of contempt for him as of late. After all, he cost Terry a relationship, Bunchy a house and Daryll a total ass-whoopin’. Needless to say, the mood is pretty grim.

And that feeling carries over to the next scene as Ray, once again, attempts to force himself on his wife. For the first time ever, she refuses; slapping him and telling him she feels “raped.” He appears to be taken aback. Of all people to feel that way, how could it be his wife? (Just a quick PSA: There’s a common misconception in society that just because our spouses say “I do” to, you know, spending the rest of their lives with us then that means we are entitled to do what we want with them. However, that’s not the case. Forcing unwanted sexual intercourse on anyone, including a spouse, is rape.)

Afterward, she goes to talk to him while he showers, telling him, among other (uncomfortable) things, that until he faces his molestation and is able to open up about it, the two of them will never be able to move forward.

Meanwhile, back in Boston, overzealous Kate is trying to dig up anything she can find that will convince her editor to send her out to L.A. Who does she find? Sully’s mom. While I would like to believe that this further validates my suspicion of her, it probably wouldn’t be too hard to find an old lady at a nursing home, even if her son was America’s Most Wanted. But why her? Obviously the case she wants to work on involves Sully, so it’s only logical to go to the person that would know the most about him. She’s probably just grasping at straws to get tangible “proof” for her editor. It seems she already knows enough to get that trip approved but doesn’t want to show her cards right now.

Ray Donovan Ep 2

In L.A., Ray is working harder than ever, juggling the tasks of getting Mickey a new parole officer (one that will work for them and not the other way around), digging up some sort of dirt on Cochran and the ever-unsuccessful responsibility of making his wife happy. (She wants a new home in Truesdale.)

As it turns out, that last one may be the hardest one for Ray to fix. Abby falls asleep at her yoga class and is woken by her instructor after everyone else disperses. She comes onto him, leading to a make-out session; she then runs away, and after a cigarette and some retail therapy (lingerie), she is “alive” again.

Remember how Terry had been stalking Frances in his spare time? Well, he’s still doing that. This time though, she’s at Ray’s office. She came to talk to Ray. She thinks Ray is behind Terry’s behavior to keep her quiet about the priest. He isn’t, but damn do a lot of people know about this dead priest. To be so good at fixing things, Ray sure mucked this thing up — which will probably come back to bite him in the ass eventually. Terry tries to confront Frances as she leaves the building, and she not-so-politely tells him to leave her alone. With all his misplace anger, Terry decides to storm Ray’s office and lands a solid right hook to the side of Ray’s head. He thinks Ray is threatening her, but he’s just looking out for the brothers. If one falls, they all fall and Frances is the weak link in the whole debacle.

Kate is still at it in Boston, finding Sully’s mother-in-law. She tells Kate that she talked to her daughter about a month ago and that her and Sully were in New Mexico on their way to California. Kate presents her editor with the information, which he doesn’t believe to be enough to justify the trip, so she goes anyway. Prediction: she’s going to be trouble for the whole L.A. cast.

Ray meets with a parole officer, who, after a little coaxing and even more bribing, takes on Mickey’s case, finding him a terrible apartment and a job that remains a mystery for now. Judging from the looks of that apartment alone, I find it hard to believe Mickey is able to comply for too long under the circumstances.

So far, all that Ray and Lena’s surveillance has turned up on Cochran is that he likes to dress in black leather vests and play music in a shitty cover band. (Come to think of it, he totally looks like the kind of guy who would be doing that. Totally.)

On the bright side, his marriage is beginning to blossom for the moment. Abby meets him at her Truesdale dream house, which he has decided to purchase. And for once, she initiates the love-making. It’s amazing what a brand new house and a little infidelity can do for a marriage. Who knew?



This would’ve been a solid “B” rating, but the episode ended with “Night Moves” — my favorite Bob Seger song — so that punched it up a bit. Overall, this episode felt a little busy. There was a lot going on. I trimmed a lot of stuff out because there was so much to process, but it was definitely a good set-up episode for next week, where I believe we will see a lot of tension begin to really rise.

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