Tuesday, August 16, 2016

What I’m Watching: Ray Donovan

Ray Donovan: Season 4, Episode 8 “The Texan” (B+)

It’s incredible to see just how quickly Ray can flip from trying to let loose and enjoy a rare casual moment with his son back to his usual way of dealing with things by threatening people. Seeing him flail his arms to Connor’s dance video game was strange, and the arrival of their angry neighbor meant that he had his arms around Connor’s throat just moments later. Driving him to a bad part of town and leaving him there momentarily to fend for himself was an effective way of scaring him straight, and the fact that he was mad at his father for scaring him like that shows just how well it worked. Abby’s side trip to the firing range was unconventional but a helpful complement to Ray’s stern response. Seeing the Texan as a future version of himself was harrowing, and his inability to recover from his wounds definitely stung. She barely had any lines, but I knew that I recognized the Texan’s daughter from somewhere. Eve Harlow had a starring role as Taylor Kravid on the abysmal “Heroes Reborn,” and this mostly silent role was a major improvement on that. Marisol speaking publicly on television about her relationship with her brother should have tanked Hector’s career right away, but Ray was able to fix it very quickly with a helpful assist from his half-brother and careful manipulation of Stu Feldman and the only man more despicable than him, Patrick St. Esprit’s Randall Dyckman. It was touching to see Bunchy fight so hard for Teresa and to rally against her brother when he said they were done with her, something that would never fly in the Donovan family. Terry bonding with Hector was an interesting and unexpected dynamic also, and seeing the two of them fight was a refreshing focus on supporting players.

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