Wednesday, October 31, 2018

What I’m Watching: Ray Donovan (Season Premiere)

Ray Donovan: Season 6, Episode 1 “Staten Island, Part One” (B+)

I didn’t realize that this show was coming back until I saw a billboard for it a couple weeks ago. I’ve always respected this series and thought that its ensemble was underrated, with only Liev Schreiber and Jon Voight singled out for accolades, but I do feel strongly that season five dragged on a bit and didn’t need to play Abby’s death out over the course of an entire year the way that it did. A reboot of sorts is a great way to kick this show’s latest season off, and this feels like the freshest kind of start. Of course Ray would try to beat up the cop, played by Domenick Lombardozzi from “Entourage,” who saved him after he jumped. I like that he refused to simply accept that he had been released, thanks to some strings being pulled by Sam, and tracked Ray down to understand his motive. Ray moving in with him is an interesting twist, and now he’s getting back to being a fixer, a term others use but he never would, in a more subdued way than before, buried under a grizzled beard and even more reserved attitude. Lola Glaudini’s Anita Novak seems like a worthwhile client, one who, as clients of Ray’s tend to do, is now in way over her head after accidentally killing the man who taped her. I’ve always found Lena to be extremely underfeatured on this show, and I like that she angrily reflected on Ray never saying thank you before he called back and shocked her by actually thanking her for once. Mickey making some sort of disgusting concoction to make himself sick seems like just another big scheme, and I don’t think that he wants to be part of this mess that Darryl is now observing with real lions so that Jai can be the king of the concrete jungle. We barely saw any of the rest of the Donovan clan in this hour aside from Mickey finding out that he only has custody one day now and Bridget seeming to do pretty well with Smitty. I’m optimistic about what this season could be, and I hope the bicoastal focus will work well.

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