‘Ray Donovan’ Breakdown: “Walk This Way”

No lie lives forever…but SPOILERS do…

Season Two, Episode Seven: “Walk This Way”

Written by Ann Biderman; Directed by Liev Schreiber

When the Donovan clan parties, everyone wins. Well, except for them.

Quick Breakdown

So it’s Conor’s birthday. Surely his parents have something planned, right? A party, cake, something? Nah, that’s too parent-y. Both Abby and Ray have been far too consumed with themselves lately — the birthday could’ve easily passed by unbeknownst to either of them had Ray not walked by Conor’s room to overhear a video chat between Conor and Tommy Wheeler, who wished him a happy birthday with the help of several topless females. When someone as fucked up as Tommy Wheeler remembers your kid’s birthday and you don’t, it’s time to reevaluate yourself as a parent. (SMH, guys. SMDH.)

After several attempts, Ray finally gets Abby on the phone. She’s a little preoccupied with “Jim the Cop” but manages to pull herself away to go get a birthday cake. In the meantime, Ray is leaving the day’s events to Conor, allowing him to decide what he wants to do for his birthday. Being the one-dimensional character that he is, Conor demands a party involving all the Donovan brothers and, of course, Mickey.

Now that the scene for the ultimate family meltdown has been set, let’s wrap up a few loose ends so we can focus on the fun part:

  • Remember Bob, the guy that stalked Ashley in the first season until Ray nearly beat him to death with a baseball bat? He’s returned. Steve Knight (ugh) and Ashley call up Ray to take care of him again. This time, it just ends with a broken camera instead of bones.
  • Speaking of people we haven’t seen in a while, that guy from Bunchy’s support group shows up again this week. The two are having coffee together, discussing the plight that is Bunchy’s love life before Bunchy invites him to Conor’s party later that night. (I made a quesi-prediction in the first episode of the season about this guy, and it seems that I was right. But we’ll get back to that).
  • Terry looks into selling the gym to finance moving to Ireland with Frances. Turns out that Ray is the majority owner, meaning that there’s not much he can do at the moment.
  • Bridget is still running blindly into the void that is her relationship with Marvin. Her plans to spend the day in the “recording studio” are quickly thwarted when Ray shows up to find Marvin and his entourage waiting to pick her up. Ray has first brush with Cookie Brown, who tells him he has some business to discuss with Lee Drexler and Ray, too. (This particular story arc could get really interesting.)

OK, here we go. Abby and Ray have an exchange prior to everyone arriving that highlights their distrust in one another, leaving them both in the perfect mood to be surrounded by family and booze. Another problem is that much of the family has brought along a plus-one. Terry and Frances, Bunchy and Stan, Mickey and Claudette — that last pairing is especially volatile considering the grudge that Ray, Terry, and Bunchy hold against Mickey for cheating on and leaving their mother for Claudette. But, for the sake of Conor, they all hold their tongues surprisingly well.

It doesn’t take long for Terry to pull Ray aside to discuss his plans to sell the gym. The conversation is pretty one-sided. Ray is somewhere near drunk, and Terry has no plans of backing down. Refusing to deal with the issue at the moment, Ray tells him they’ll talk about it another time.

Later, Bunchy finds Stan out on the patio standing by himself. The two talk about family. Apparently, Stan’s family shunned him after his molestation ordeal became public. In an obviously vulnerable state, Stan decides to make his move. (Here it is, folks) He moves in, grabs Bunchy’s face, and firmly guides their lips together. What’s worse is Ray sees the whole thing from inside, prompting a laugh-inducing conversation between the two. “I’m not a fucking gay,” Bunchy exclaims. “Relax; it’s just a kiss,” Ray responds, holding back a smile.

Leave it to Mickey to spark the flame underneath this extremely fragile family gathering. His Cadillac — the one that Claudette took care of for him during the 20 years he was in prison, the same one that Daryll learned how to drive in — becomes his gift to Conor. Daryll’s shock is immediately apparent.

RD Pic

Though Mickey may have lit the flame, Ray’s the one that stoked it, making an offhand comment to Mickey about Claudette before yelling at him to get out of his house. “This is why we’re moving to Ireland,” Terry says to Frances. “You’re not going anywhere,” Ray cuts in. “And you’re not selling that fucking gym either.”

Mickey retaliates, telling everyone why Terry can’t sell the gym. Of course, we all already knew, but the rest of the family was unaware that it’s how Ray launders all his money. A verbal war begins between Ray and Terry, with both parties saying some pretty shitty things. It only gets better when Terry storms off to leave and finds Daryll outside taking a bat to Conor’s new car. The rest of the family joins Terry on the porch, and all soon disburse, going their separate ways.

Abby calls up “Jim the Cop” and makes her way back to the hotel to meet him, Bridget runs off with Marvin and Ray calls up Kate (face palm), telling her to fly back out to Los Angeles. (Man, I don’t know if I even have anything witty to say about this anymore. What a dumb decision on his part.)

For the third week in a row, the Donovan household is the setting for the ending scene. Conor and Ray are alone in the home — both drunk — when Conor puts on Aerosmith and Run DMC’s “Walk This Ray.” The two meet in the living room to goofily dance their way to the closing credits. Hmm…not a terrible party after all.



I’ve said this before, but damn, what an episode. It’ll be hard to top the Donovan family meltdown this season. All that tension and angst finally came to a head and made for some great television. I want to see shit like this on a weekly basis from this show.

Stray Bullets…

Mickey tells another one of his off-color priest jokes, simultaneously insulting Stan, Bunchy and Ray in the process: “What’s the difference between acne and priest? Acne waits for a boy to be 14 before it comes on his face.”

It’s hard to make out, but when Abby sneaks away to have a cigarette and checks her phone, the text from “Jim the Cop” reads “Hope your son’s having a great birthday. Talk soon?”

The conversation Ray and Bridget have in her room about relationships is monumental: “Didn’t you ever love somebody that was right for you?” Bridget asks. “Yeah, I did,” Ray answers. “She’s dead.”

“Conor wanted the family. Conor got the family,” Ray says to Abby while raising a glass after the party.

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