Part 2: Todd and Nicole Continue to Geek Out on Showtime’s “Ray Donovan”

This post covers the last two episodes of Ray Donovan, and anticipates the Season Finale airing this Sunday, Sept. 18 on Showtime!

TODD: Nicole, what a couple of weeks — actually 3 — of Ray Donovan! First, the August 28 episode, “Lake Hollywood,” took us to some seriously dark places, with 3 key deaths, 2 of which I was not expecting. The the shuttling off of Sonia and her daughter still had Ray negotiating the Russian’s kidnapping and torture of Avi. Wanting so much more, Labor Day struck. Oy! The painful, episode hiatus brought on by Labor Day had me suffering pangs of withdrawal. But last night’s “Chinese Algebra” delivered in some big ways, and left me wanting in others. I’ll go into it more — but one thing is for sure: the Season Finale is shaping up to be legendary. What are your initial thoughts on the last 2 episodes?

NICOLE: I’ve got to say. I am feeling pretty good about my predictions right now. I am 6/7 (Marisol dies, Sonia returns and screws over Ray, Terry finds love, Waller dies, Avi survives, and that $4 million is really making a comeback) with the only remaining one being “Conor continues to be a human wrecking ball.” Despite my apparent prescience, I could barely watch this week’s episode the suspense was so unbearable. One thing that has surprised me is that Frank, the emasculated FBI agent from season 1, has apparently come into his own. This is a bit surprising considering he was always a bit of a doofus, but it adds a lot of anxiety for me. I am still worried Avi may not be out of the woods, and I am also worried about Terry. The show has gotten a lot of flack for not killing off main characters and mostly just roaring through seasonal expendables, so I am wondering if Season 4 marks a change. All that said, I think there is about a 70/30 chance that Hector will die. I am not sure he will be able to live with the sin of killing off his sister AND having to give up (as Ray has demanded) his world championship title. My gut says Hector’s time is up, but I might be being brazen with my predictions. Also, I am not sure what the heck is going on with Teresa. I feel like her story is not over yet, and the fact that Ray’s kids are with her and Bunchy makes me think they play a role in the finale. What am I going to do with all my spare time with this masterpiece is on hiatus!!!!

TODD: First of all – congrats on your prediction record. Mine were, it seems, less of a priority for the writers OR still a possibility. Moving on – I was thinking the same thing about Agent (Frank) Barnes, who seemed like the FBI’s most incompetent boob in Season 1! He seems to have Ray’s number now, and has done his homework. How can Ray outsmart him this time? Will Ed Cochran help, given the FBI threw him out on his ass? And funny isn’t it, that Sonia was so easily discovered in GRENADA of all places? I think her being back is dangerous stuff, given her huge commitment to self-preservation and protecting her daughter. She would gladly give up (or set up) Ray in a heartbeat despite his generosity toward her. Her uncle and the Russian Mob are just that scary. I hate to so casually sound like a heartless killer, but Avi is likely to be proven right – they should have knocked Sonia off somehow.

I’ve said it before and will again – Terry is the show’s most noble character, and I too, fear he’s going to lose out or get caught in the crossfire somehow again at season’s end. Hector is a huge mess, and I think you’re right – he either dies, or crosses Ray and beats the heck out of Hightower to regain his title (and some sense of self). And if that happens – all hell is going to break loose and everyone in the Donovan circle is in danger. But here’s the other thing: Mickey never told Ray that his usual bookie died and he made the bets with someone else. Is that going to come back and bite them somehow? And yes – is Teresa really coming out of her deep depression or is she still going to wreak havoc? She seemed awfully eager to take the kids with her and Bunchy. Hmmm. And finally for now – where is Father Romero?!?!

NICOLE: OK, so, Terry is amazing. But I do not think I can take a second Terry cliffhanger. I am worried he might legitimately die at the end of this season for a couple reasons: (1) he has hinted at living on borrowed time since he was shot last season; (2) why all of a sudden is he having chest pains/fainting spells the second to last episode; and (3) RD gets a ton of blowback for never killing off main characters. It has been almost two seasons since Ezra died. I think it is time for another death. And if it is anyone, it’s gotta be Terry.
I am also concerned about Teresa. Why wasn’t she in the preview for the finale? Where are the kids? I cannot imagine that she kills them, and that seems like a really weak cliffhanger, so maybe she just ends up taking baby Maria. Lastly, Ray says in the preview, “If I cannot trust the feds, I got nowhere else to turn but family.” This makes me think maybe Conor is not the human wrecking ball he has always been. This would be a major unprecedented shift for Conor, but he has been aspiring to help his dad so much this season I do not think it’s beyond the pale.

The lazy ending to Sonia would likely be her death. She’s a made woman anyway. Avi, Lena (and now apparently Abby) agree Ray should have killed her in the first place. Now Ray has a real problem with killing femme fatales, so I imagine someone else may do it. I am glad that we see one glimpse of Avi walking into the gym in the preview, which makes me feel like he is most likely safe.

I cannot wait to see what that Instagram star turns up to help save Ray and Mickey from both the Russian mob and the FBI.

Waiting with bated breath until Sunday.

TODD: Who is giving Ray Donovan any blowback at all? Lemme at ‘em!!  I hadn’t heard that criticism, but perhaps it IS time. Do you think the writers have held off, knowing these actors are amazing and the characters have become beloved? Perhaps one of the kids, then? (now I’m going Hollywood business side by suggesting) They likely don’t have as solid long-term contracts as the more familiar and established adult stars. If it IS Terry, I predict he does himself in by making a great physical sacrifice, like jumping in front of a bullet or other threat to a family member. Do you think that’s plausible?

As far as Ray and the ladies, didn’t he kill (persistent Boston Globe reporter) Kate McPherson in Season 2? Or did Avi do it because Ray wouldn’t?!?! If it’s the latter (memory escapes), I agree someone may do the deed. Avi, is, afterall … now free, though recovering. Maybe Avi talks Lena into doing it. But Ray has always protected her from the really messy stuff (Wow – what a fun little debate I just had with myself).

And what about Daryll? He was awfully “whinny” in “Chinese Algebra,” the most recent episode. He was really pissed about feeling like he wasn’t getting his due. Is he perhaps going to play a destructive role in either Hector’s fight? (somewhat likely) or with the family? (less likely). The big fight is sure to be the apex of the finale, and where things may go really haywire.

And again – where is Father Romero?! Do you think they just expect us to forget about him? Here’s what I just posted to Twitter, BTW: “.@LelandOrser, if you don’t show on Sunday, it’s going 2 B 1 of the strangest disappearing acts & waste of a gr8 character in TV history.” **

A mix of predictions and wish list for the Season 4 finale:

• Ed Cochran helps Ray with the FBI. Perhaps he has something on Frank?
• Terry dies by brave sacrifice (and don’t think Bunch and Maria’s 2nd child, if there is one, won’t be named Terry as a result!!)
• Maria isn’t done being depressed and may do something rash (unless that guitar smash to Bill Primm’s bodyguard really was the wake-up call)
• Abby’s cancer will live into next season to be resolved
• Crazy theory that makes no sense: Sonia maaay be revealed to be the true ring leader of the Russian mob, not her Uncle. Which is probably why they want to find her so badly. She’s played it like she was a tertiary character as a bluff? Again, I can’t think of anything that suggests this, which is why I’m saying what the hell and predicting it. If I’m right, tell me I won’t be the frickin’ man? 

I too, can hardly wait to find out.

NICOLE: OK, I am basically on the edge of my seat. For Terry, I think he is done sacrificing. I think Ray realizes that he owes his brother and that Terry dies (quasi-naturally) after Ray lets him go out in glory. And, he got shot last season, so we cannot have a repeat of last season’s finale.

So, without further ado — my predictions:

• Sonia dies, possibly at the hands of Lena, possibly at the hands of Avi. Per your last question, Avi killed Kate McPherson after Ray expressly forbade him — it was a major plot point in Season 3 where Ray would not speak to Avi.
• The falsity of the art comes back into play — not sure how but this would not be significant (i.e., the show would not make a point of showing that Sonia deals in fraudulent art) unless Ray can use it. Perhaps Ray finds someone who Dmitry double-crossed with the stolen items and harnesses that grudge to take out the Russians.
• Something bad happens to Teresa. Real bad. Donovan women (with the exception of Abby) rarely, if ever, make it through one season. I think there is going to be a big question mark over Maria’s future.
• Instagram boy (the substitute bookie) has a part to play in the big save. He was a fairly developed character, so I want to see what happens to him. I do not think he dies, but I expect he may have some role to play in the resolution.

Here’s to Ray Donovan making this Sunday night way better than just football!

TODD: Stay tuned, as next week, Nicole and I will weigh in on this Sunday’s Season Finale! Thanks for reading.

** Later Tuesday evening, the actor “Liked” my Tweet!

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