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Ray Donovan Review: The Party's Over

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Thirteen candles for Conner! Yep, not only did Abby and Ray forget Conor's birthday completely, the cake was misspelled and there were only 13 candles on the cake. I counted several times.

It's hard to understand why Conor decides to have a family birthday party when he could have had just about anything coming from that sweet spot. Then again, Conor has a way of pissing off his friends.

So it was that Ray Donovan Season 2 Episode 7 showed the dysfunctional Donovan family at their absolute worst, with hints of how great things could be.

Conor's Birthday - Ray Donovan

Abby chose not to sleep with Jim, but did spend the night out. Since Bridget said Abby came home at 2 a.m., Abby apparently went to a hotel in the morning, just before she learned it was Conor's birthday.

Pretty much anything that could go wrong in the Donovan family went down on Conor's big day.

Conor insisted Mickey be invited, and Mick bought Claudette, with Daryll driving (Put on your cap!). Bunchy took one of his SNAP friends, who is gay and who later kissed Bunchy, making him question everything. Terry forced the conversation about selling Fite Club and moving to Ireland only to learn Ray had made him a criminal by laundering money through the business for years.

Considering how little business they actually do, how did Terry think it was making any money? I suppose you don't see what you don't want to see until it's too late to do anything about it. Frances still has to keep her mouth shut about the murder, as Terry was as involved as the rest of the Donovans.

Reminding us that Mickey lives with his head up his own ass, he danced the night away with Claudette like nobody was watching and gave his grandson a car that he had clearly already given to Daryll. It's difficult to understand how stupid Mickey can be sometimes, but that move was pretty obnoxious. At least (after it was destroyed by Daryll) Conor gave it back to Mick. He's only 14, after all. 

Bridget delivered the news about Abby during the party, and we got a scene (from Director Liev Schreiber) that looked like something out of a fun house. Cheating is just fine, as long as he's doing it. The thought of Abby stepping out on him literally shook his foundation.

Kudos to Schreiber for doing one of the best drunk impersonations I've seen in a long time; that hard stomping stumble you do when you're not quite certain your feet will take you where you want to go, but you're drunkenly determined to get there anyway. Very good stuff!.

After it all fell apart, Ray called Kate and asked her to come back (I knew he really liked her), Abby went to Jim and cried on his shoulder, Mick drove Claudette and Daryll home in the ruined car, Bridget left with Marvin and Conor, well, he just decided to enjoy himself.

Things didn't turn out too badly for Conor, after all. He got his family birthday, Ray gave him a gorgeous watch and when he thought he had the house to himself, he started drinking some champagne, eating cake with his fingers and listening to some tunes. 

Finally we got to see a true moment between Ray and Conor. First of all, exactly why everyone is always drunk but not one of them enjoys it is a mystery. Conor set the stage for things to be a little different. Pop on some RUN-DMC and Aerosmith, "Walk This Way" and, dammit, enjoy each other. Ray finally letting go and enjoying the moment with Conor by dancing their hearts out was one of my all time favorite Ray Donovan scenes. 

You just have to take life's little pleasures where you can get them, because it will always seem like the world is crumbling down around you if you let it. The party's over... or it's just begun.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (30 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is a staff writer and managing editor for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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Loved RD in S1 but S2 has been kinda meh for me until this ep. Way to stir it up and I agree about Liev doing drunk really believably. I have lost the ability to care about Abby and just want someone to knock Mick's head off his shoulders. I didn't think Conor's reaction after the crash and burn was very realistic but mostly I just really really really want to see more dancing Ray!

Modwild
@ Easton

I'm so annoyed with Abby. I kinda wish she'd have the affair and leave Ray. Conor did us all proud and I totally agree about dancing Ray!

Paula-duffy

The scene at the party when Conor's turned upside down in a family tradition of hitting the birthday boy's head on the floor, as crazy as it was, represented the only good times shared by the brothers and their father. Were they ever happy? Some of Jon Voight's best stuff as he oozed narcissism and charm while disco dancing with the "love of his life". Ray drunk dialing Kate was classic. http://tvruckus.com/2014/08/25...

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Kudos to Liev, this is the best episode of the season( so far). I enjoyed the fact that it centered on the family (not in a superficial way) and not on the FBI storyline. We were able to take a deeper look into the mechanics of this family. We know how well they stick together but they can throw some serious punches at one another as well.
I feel the timing was right for the blow up, things have been slowly building since the first season. Ray is not as in control as he appears. At some point seeds planted begin to bloom.
I can't wait to see where it goes from here. Everyone was so spot on. I loved the scene when they opened the door and Darryl was taking the bat to the car( this family has a thing for bats). The expressions on everyone's face was priceless.
All in all I am glad Conner was cool about it all instead of being traumatized.

Modwild
@ brh123

It's been a really rough season. I'm so glad they stepped back from the FBI storyline, too. I don't think I could have taken another hour of watching their butts pumping up and down. Just yuck. Conor has turned out to be a much stronger kid than I thought he would.

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@ Carissa Pavlica

LOL.. Yes Conner may be anchor of the family

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This is a summary not a review!

Modwild
@ A

Well, A, I'd say it's a bit of both. I'd love to read your thoughts on the hour.

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Spot on review, Carissa. Ray and Conners scene was the only sunshine, in a bit of a tragic episode
. Also liked Roys final comment to Abby, as he stumbled off about Conner wanting the whole family together. I still think that Abby's affair is being used as a set up by the young detective, to get at Ray. I know this is probably one of the most superficial comments, I could make and I apologies for it ,but after seeing Abby, sitting alone in the living room, as she called the young detective, I couldn't help but notice how old she looked. Given being married to Ray would probably cause premature aging in any woman, but I am trying to see what the attraction form the detective is.I know, pretty stupid comment on my part. I am sorry but think it adds to my suspicions of the detective motivation Did I miss something or did Roy actually call what's her name ,sorry name escapes me ,after party, and she turned him down?

Modwild
@ reality adictt

I'm done with Abby. There has been nothing to like about her since the show first aired, and then when it was revealed she had been having a relationship with Mickey all that time? I just lost any sense of caring for her. She's good for comic relief, like when she was at the house in Truesdale. Other than that, she can go.

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@ Carissa Pavlica

Exactly right about Abbey,she's horrible ! Absolutely Love the dancing scene between Ray and his son .......Wicked ! Abbey is so typical !

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@ reality adictt

I think the detective is setting Abby up as well. And honestly, as much as she now knows about how her lifestyle is funded, how can she not see it coming!

Ray Donovan Season 2 Episode 7 Quotes

Mickey: I got a good one for ya.
Bunchy: Dad, don't.
Stan: It's alright.
Mickey: What's the difference between acne and a priest? Acne waits until a boy's 14 to come on his face.

I love our relationship, Ray. It just keeps getting better and better.

Steve
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