Oh. My. God.
Did anyone else scream explosively at their television in the closing minutes of Ray Donovan Season 2 Episode 10?
The shocking turn of events on this series never ceases to amaze me. I'm wondering if half of Ray Donovan Season 3 won't be set inside a prison for all the bad decisions that are being made.
Cookie plays up his new relationship with Ezra and Lee, even suggesting to Ray that he will do whatever he can to get justice for Re-Kon and Marvin. Of course, that was just a tiny blip that will likely lead to a far more serious situation involving the killer.
I really wish we had more background on Detective Jim Halloran. It's impossible to understand why he would be interested in Abby. I'm sorry, but I see nothing appealing about her character from a dude's perspective and wanting to have an affair, especially since he knows who her husband is and what he's about.
Of course, that could be why he's with Abby, but we don't have that information yet. What we do have is a detective who has just agreed to go off the rails and either frame or kill Cookie Brown because his lover is afraid her daughter will be another victim and threatened to end the affair if he doesn't "Be a man!"
Is Abby a piece of work or what? She seems to hate Ray and his business, what little she knows of it. So much so that she wouldn't trust his own daughter's fate to his care. But now she wants to make the man she turned to because he was different into the image of her husband.
It's got to go all wrong somehow, but I'm hesitant to even try to theorize just how badly. Combined with the other stories on the table, it seem's they're all skidding into some horrific crash of events that's going to leave everybody bloody and battered -- probably quite literally.
Both Terry and Ronald the parole officer managed to get themselves ensnared in Mickey's cockamamie scheme to rob a pot store. Really? Two men who are in over their heads, sure, suddenly lose their sanity and put their futures into the hands of a man recently released from prison?
Who will be killed in that scenario? Yes, Terry is down on his luck and perhaps not feeling very manly, but what about criminal activity does he think Frances will be excited about? The part where he is a criminal or the part where he gets caught and goes to prison? Ugh. Freight train to disaster right there.
Kate's return makes Mickey just angry enough that he almost tells her what Ray did -- paying Sully to kill him. That's alright though, because she's one smart cookie and pretty much put it all together. It's impossible for Ray to stay away from her because she's everything Abby isn't' -- perceptive and intelligent especially.
Ray has little difficulty telling Kate the truth about things because she can figure them out anyway. He tried to stop her from making the connection from an abusive priest to his own childhood, but when sex didn't shut her up, his hand around her throat did.
Will she run for long or to someone who will make matters worse for Ray? I don't think so. She's as drawn to him as he is to her. They're opposite sides of the same coin. One creates the news and the other writes about it. They have a lot of respect for each other and she'll know that poking him like that, especially while he was inside her, was an incredibly poor move.
That doesn't condone what Ray did by any means, but only shows that Kate's own life and investigations have given her street smarts that will probably allow her to look past that infraction to the man who was hurting inside as much as he was trying to squeeze the truth back down her throat.
And, finally, Volcheck. That poor bastard. It was so obvious he was a good man. He genuinely hoped that he would be going to Washington with Cochran or at least that he would be named as one of the candidates to replace him. He had been the good little boy and done what his boss wanted, right down to foursomes.
But he, too, was in over his head. Volcheck thought he was playing the game when instead he was being played. As soon as word of the promotion hit, he was tossed aside. Ray's decision to use the video evidence collected from Volcheck's house to keep Cochran away from him turned Cochran into an even angrier beast.
Volcheck loved his wife and it killed him to use his marriage as a way to get in with Cochran. We'll never know exactly what made a man like him do that. We do know that when Cochran decided to send him to the timber wolves, Volcheck couldn't let him be vetted.
Without knowing if he could count on Ray, or anyone, to help him out, he created a scandal so incredible that it would knock Cochran back down to the junior leagues. That's what Volcheck did by taking his own life. He hoped to spare another agent and his wife from becoming the Volchecks and did his best to keep the country from being soiled by Cochran's reign as Director of the FBI. There's no way that's going to happen now.
But -- that might be just enough for Cochran to want to slam every Donovan family member to hell and back, risking the video going viral. I can still hear that gunshot ringing.
The only person in Ray's life that he's opened up to was Steve Knight. Knight is a strange, hairy man, but he's not all bad for Ray. Ray chose to go to the beach and try to cleanse himself of the day's events, which probably kept him from finding Abby with Jim. That's a win, right?
I'm going to say it -- Ray Donovan is the best series on Sunday nights this summer. The depressing Leftovers, equally dismal Masters of Sex and other "quality" programming just doesn't pack the emotional wallop we're getting from Ray Donovan. It's heart-pounding entertainment that compels you to come back for more.
It's time for Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan and the writers and directors of this fine series to see a little love from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Some Emmy love, please!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.