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‘Ray Donovan’ Breakdown: “Viagra”

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No lie lives forever…but SPOILERS do…

Season Two, Episode Six: “Viagra”

Written by Brett Johnson; Directed by John Dahl

A good portion of this week’s episode pays more attention to the supporting characters in Ray’s life, which is a little refreshing considering we hadn’t really seen much of the other Donovan boys in a while.

Quick Breakdown

Infidelity is fucking rampant, man.

Our first glimpse of “Viagra” shows ASAC Volcheck sitting shirtless in a lounge chair equally engrossed and vacant by the sight and sound of his wife as she enjoys Cochran’s “company.” (In case you didn’t catch on, they’re getting in on in front of him. On the bright side, he’s not cheating after all. Well, maybe.) Enter Mrs. Cochran stage right. (Call me Captain Hindsight, but I kind of saw this coming.) She decides to join in on the fun, too, which kind of makes it even more awkward, especially when Volcheck doesn’t seem too interested in being with her.

The following morning, the Donovan family commences in a royal meltdown. Abby has found the diamond earring Marvin gave Bridget, setting off a tongue lashing from both women about love and how neither of them understands. “You’re a victim,” Bridget says. “You don’t think we hear you crying yourself to sleep every night?” Ray soon walks into the room, telling Bridget to watch how she talks to her mother. Cue total, hormonal, teenage rage. Bridget unloads on her parents about therapy and the obvious divorce that she believes to be looming somewhere in the near future, before dropping the bomb about the marijuana that was planted on her by the police and storming off to the beach. And once again, Ray’s home life is crumbling around him.

Ray seems constantly caught in this power struggle between work and home. There is no balance; no counterweight. Whichever side he decides to give his time to, it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that the other side is going to go to shit. I believe he’s beginning to realize that. While his issues with Cochran have been put to rest — at least temporarily — he’s still determined to dig up something about the ongoing “affair.” (Having some leverage over Cochran would allow him to focus on his personal issues for a little while and still leave him ahead if anything should go awry.) So, what’s the play here? Send in Lena to “seduce” Volcheck. (Ha!) Surprisingly, the plan works, and Ray eventually gets the OK to tap Volcheck’s house to monitor his and his wife Megan’s next rendezvous with the Cochrans.

Ray’s phone never stops ringing. This time it’s Ashley. She apparently has a new “guy friend,” and he needs help. (Go figure.) Steve Knight, self-help author and overall douche-extraordinaire (seriously, Ashley has the worst taste in guys) has beat up a waiter (in case you needed confirmation of douche-level, there it is) and he needs it to go away. To help ensure that the process is expedited, Knight has bound and gagged the waiter and locked him in a closet at the expo center where he’s about to give a presentation. (Barf). Ray agrees to help him…for a price.

Meanwhile, both Terry and Bunchy have love lives that look to be in bloom. Frances is back in Terry’s bed, and Bunchy has a dinner date Patty (the bicycle kid’s mom). While the relationship between Terry and Frances is somewhat tumultuous, the fact that we’re even seeing them in scenes together that don’t involve Terry lurking from shadows is kind of nice. He opens up to her about what happened with the priest and how his brothers were raped as children. “I can’t condone murder,” Frances tells him as she gets dressed and leaves. Of course, Terry is persistent and obviously kind of crazy, so this spurs him to propose to her and ask her to move to Ireland with him. (See, kind of crazy.)

Bunchy, on the other hand, is dealing with a different issue: his sexual anorexia. Patty made sure to inform Bunchy that her son was gone to a friend’s house for the night and that they would be alone. Terry and Potato Pie help him out with a pep talk and a dose of Viagra. “Sense something good’s going to happen between you and your lady, take it,” Potato Pie tells him. As it turns out, something good does start to happen, and Bunchy excuses himself to the bathroom. Determined to fight his demons, he takes the pill. Not even 10 seconds later, Clifford returns home. He had an accident at his friend’s house. (Man, Bunchy just can’t catch a break. Total bummer.)

Just as last week, the Donovan household is the backdrop for the closing scene, though it’s a completely different dynamic than what we saw last week. There is no family spending time around the dinner table — instead, it’s just Conor and Bridget sitting alone after midnight. It’s officially Conor’s 14th birthday, and both his parents are preoccupied elsewhere: Abby is with “Jim the Cop” (as IMDB lists him), and Ashley has shown up at Ray’s office in a trenchcoat — not much else underneath. Happy birthday, kid.

Rating

B

Aside from the jaw-dropping opening scene, there wasn’t much going on this week. I believe this episode was intended to just let viewers know where everyone stood at the moment, which was well done.

Stray Bullets…

Discussing Ireland’s potato famine: “Isn’t Ireland on an island?” asks Bunchy. “I don’t see why they couldn’t have just gone fishing.”

Mickey and his neighbor mull over the idea of dropping in the ceiling of a medical marijuana dispensary and robbing the place blind. (Dispensaries usually hold a large amount of cash since marijuana is still considered illegal at the national level, so banks won’t take the money.) They later light-heartedly discuss getting married so Mickey can collect the benefits when his neighbor’s cancer finally does him in.

What happens after taking that little blue pill Bunchy was given? “Pop goes the weasel,” says Potato Pie.

Abby continues to keep digging that hole with “Jim the Cop” deeper and deeper. Once Ray find out (because he will find out), all hell is going to break loose.

Bridget still hasn’t been seen anywhere near Bel-Air Academy. Did Stu come through or not?

Oh, and remember that note Mickey’s neighbor dropped into Kate’s purse? I want to know more about that.

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