Wednesday, August 10, 2016

What I’m Watching: Ray Donovan

Ray Donovan: Season 4, Episode 7 “Norman Saves the World” (B+)

It’s always fun to see an actor who is contending for an award for a previous appearance back on that same show in a similarly strong turn. After he just missed the mark for season two with a sixth place finish for my own awards, Hank Azaria earned an Emmy nomination for season three for playing the devious and downright reckless Ed Cochran, former FBI bigwig who now spends most of his time recording music. It’s hard to read Ed, who’s completely in it for himself and changes side on a whim. It didn’t take much to inspire him to start waterboarding the talent agent, played by Eric Balfour, who you can guarantee is going to take a good deal of abuse whenever he scores a guest spot or recurring gig on a show. The other notable guest star of the hour in a mostly silent role was Stacy Keach, recently of “Crowded” and “Prison Break,” among many others, as the Texan, the aging hitman who did not fare well against Ed even when he was the one with the advantage of surprise. Ray’s efforts to get Mickey transferred to the “gay wing” were amusing and relatively productive, despite Connor’s accidental sabotage of the operation. Mickey narrowly escaped assassination thanks to his hungry roommate, and for now it seems like he’ll be safe even if there’s no way that everything will stay neatly tied up like this for long, especially with the many unstable elements, like Hector and Marisol, in the extended Donovan family life.

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