Ray has found peace.
If not exactly peace of the heart, he has found peace of the soul after everything came rushing down around him on Ray Donovan Season 3 Episode 12.
There was an incredibly compelling final scene to the hour, but overall I'm not sure it lived up to the previous two season finales of the series. Let's take a look!
It was pretty difficult to miss the theme of fatherhood in this one, and I'm not sure that the case has been made for Ray playing the same game as his father. Sure, Bridget and Terry want to us to think that Ray is exactly the same man as Mickey Donovan, but their motivations are completely different, which sets them miles apart.
Prior to this hour, I've always been of the mind that the story, at some point, required Ray and Mickey to come to an understanding about their relationship. That disappeared with "Exuscito," partly because of the cleansing of the confessional and partly because Mickey became irredeemable after events that played out here.
When the series changed showrunners from Ann Biderman to David Hollander and Biderman remained on as a creative consultant, I didn't know if there would be much of a disruption to the storytelling. Looking back at Ray Donovan Season 3, I'm feeling it a bit. Mickey appears to be one of the casualties.
Mickey has become so stagnant as to have actually gone backwards in terms of character growth. He's lost his comedic appeal, and it's hard not to consider him pathetic. Why didn't he move out of the apartment where the Minassians knew he lived? That's a simple one on the part of the writers. Mickey was never so much of an idiot as to think he was completely invincible.
In seasons past, it wouldn't have been as easy to peg Michelle as toast at the hand of the Minassians, but as soon as she returned the car (seconds after a visual Minassian check-in), the writing was on the wall. It all made way for Daryll's not-so-emotional goodbye to Mickey.
If we don't see Daryll at all during Ray Donovan Season 4, it won't surprise me one bit. While there was barely a hint of Fite Club this season, Daryll was all but erased from any respectable inroads he had made into the Donovan family. He needs to find something better to do with his time than spending it with Mickey.
Mickey, meanwhile, became more embarrassing by snorting coke off of hooker's asses and and deciding to take on the Minassians by himself. He lives in a dream world. And when it's turned upside down, he just thinks of himself a little more, never of the implications on others. Ever.
It was surprising that the Bridget storyline (also a rather pitiful denouemont) got tied into the Minassian storyline by way of Terry being shot at Mickey's, but how else could they possibly? With Terry's life on the line, everything else took on an air of urgency. Even so, for Ray and Avi to think they needed no backup to take on the Minassians seemed ludicrous.
Nonetheless, with Mickey having killed Mrs. Minassian (which was his only saving grace for the hour), surely there are other Armenians out to get him. At what point does the brutal bunch stop "cutting the tree"? Hopefully this sad, sad attempt to make an arc for Mickey is over. He can stay in Nevada or play bingo in LA.
Nobody was right about Ray being onto Terry and Abby prior to their conversation about Bridget, and Ray's immediate reaction was to send Terry packing. Of course, that set up Terry's coming health crisis. But it also allowed for Ray to really hear what everyone was saying about the possibility he was becoming a little too much like his father in time for him to stop it before it became reality.
Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. It's been 36 years since my last confession.Ray
Liev Schreiber acted the hell out of his scenes with Father Romero in the confessional. Yes, the point could be made that he didn't need to go into a confessional to confess, but in this instance, he really did, because what he was confessing was so far beyond the ordinary sins of lying and taking the Lord's name in vain that he needed a private spot in which to break.
And break he did. At first, I found it rather annoying that Father Romero kept pushing Ray to divulge more than he wanted. It's a confessional. Since when do you have to share your motivations? Where's that rule when you're going to First Communion? But by pushing just a bit, Ray was able to really dig in there and share what he considered the worst part of himself with Father Romero, that bit he has seen every day and hates so much.
Ray, faith is the evidence of things not seen. You asked God for forgiveness. That has to be enough. The rest is out of your control. May God grant you pardon and peace. I absolve you of your sins. In the name of The Father and The Son and of The Holy Ghost.Father Romero
It was no surprise he only cared about Terry, of course, or that Terry would code just before Ray confessed and be alive after he was through. That was a little bit too predictable, but somehow worked in the heat of the moment.
It was an odd ending, overall, what with Terry waking and calling Abby's name as Ray passed out. Was there a message in that or was it nothing more than what we saw? Bridget running away? Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, honey. Find Mickey, he has a way with women and their rights. You'll get along great with grandpa as your mentor. Find out why daddy might have had a few issues. Surely, I jest.
The only outlier is the Bunchy/Teresa bit. She's one strange bird. If waking up your man in the middle of the night to pop on your wrestling mask for a quickie is sexy, well, don't sign me up. She's rather rude and crass once the wedding is over. Her romantic notion of a baby-on-the-way announcement by way of a hike and then placing his hand onto her breast was...interesting.
No wonder he's scared to death. It's probably not himself he's altogther worried about, but them as a couple trying to raise a baby. They both have issues, for sure.
The story could certainly tighten up a bit for Season 4. Somehow, we've managed to get to the end of Ray Donovan Season 3, but it doesn't feel complete. The arcs had beginnings, and almost petered out. What was the point of working with Finney? Will the business relationship with Paige continue? The Donellen arc ended with a short fist-fight and Bridget moving out? There was little satisfaction.
The best of the best was saved for Ray. It is, after all, his story. An emotional journey of the soul, and he's finally free.
Was that enough for you? Hit the comments, and let's talk about it!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA), enjoys mentoring writers, wine, and passionately discussing the nuances of television. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.