After a genuinely absurd Ray Donovan Season 4, the show is back for another season that is very different from the ones that came before it.
Ray Donovan Season 5 Episode 1 took place in two different timelines, and it was a surprisingly good way to reinvigorate the series, but it came at an enormous cost.
Abby is dead, and the family is struggling to move on in the aftermath. For far too long, Ray has been one of the most self-loathing characters on television, and that won't be ending anytime soon.
Although Abby's death was a huge shock, it seemed like it was going to be revealed that she died as a result of cancer. I did not expect her to die in the aftermath of a car crash.
The sad thing about all of it was that everything seemed totally fine, and then poor Bridget found her dead in her bedroom. My best conclusion is that it was a result of the bump to her head.
Ray has never actually accepted any help for the things that happened to him in the past, and the best foot forward would have been for him to get the help he desperately needed to sort out his life once and for all.
One would think that the death of his wife would be a catalyst for change, but it was surprising to find that the therapy was court ordered. With the time jump, it's difficult for us to fill in the blanks right now.
What we do know is that there was a family gathering and Bridget called the cops. Ray must have gone off the deep end, and it's hardly surprising. He likely drank himself into oblivion to numb the pain of losing his wife.
The man probably feels somewhat guilty for what happened. He's not been a great husband, to say the least. He's cheated on Abby and disappeared for days at a time.
Manager: You got a B in your health inspection.
Manager: That manager you got, he's serving people sandwiches on moldy bread. You gotta dump him.
Ray: Abby hired him.
That's the type of thing that's coming back to haunt him now that his wife is no longer in the land of the living. I guess keeping the bar is a tribute to his late wife, and even though it's bleeding $20,000 on a monthly basis, Ray is going to keep it running for as long as he can.
It was her wish before she died when the scantily-clad woman appeared in the middle of the road. There's also the house. It seems like Ray wants to get rid of it, but he's struggling to say goodbye.
He did let Mickey move in, and that was something Abby requested during her final car journey. However, Ray's reservations about it were understandable. The dude is all over the place, and you can never really tell what he's up to.
Manager: What you doing, Mick?
Mickey: Writing a screenplay. It's going to be a killer.
Manager: Writing? I didn't even know you could read.
Mickey: And I didn't know gas stations sold women's clothes.
For now, he's harmless and writing a screenplay to fill his days, but it's only a matter of time before he returns to a life of crime. That's what always seems to happen for this family.
Then there's Terry. When we last left him, he was navigating a new relationship with Maureen while continuing to run the club. I can't get over the fact that just as he was about to get married his past would come back to haunt him.
For the most part, Maureen and Terry get along very well, but Maureen's family are not entirely fond of Terry. It just sucks that the brother felt the need to poke into Terry's past and the Nevada incident came up.
Terry's default was to assume the wedding was off, but I'm sure there's going to be some warring between the two families before any vows are exchanged.
If anyone deserves happiness, it's Terry, so I'm hoping he manages to weather this storm and walk down the aisle.
I'm happy the kids are on the periphery because we've had our fair share of drama from them over the years. Connor being in the military is a good move to advance his plot.
Bridget, however? I have no idea what she's up to. She found her mother's body, so she's bound to be scarred by that. I want to learn more about what happened in the hospital with Caleb from Quantico, though.
All things considered, "Abby" was a fantastic hour of television. I was dreading the return of the show, but somehow, it's back to being a show I look forward to on a weekly basis.
Other tidbits from the episode:
- Bunchy's plot was a bit all over the place. I could not get on board with it because it just seemed thrown in there purely to throw a spanner in the works for his relationship with Teresa.
- Susan Sarandon's debut was not as great as I had hoped, but she did not get much time to shine on this transitional episode.
- What's going on with Avi? Are he and Ray on the outs?
- Terry needs to smack Maureen's brother at the wedding if it goes ahead. That dude was not nice.
Remember you can watch Ray Donovan online right here via TV Fanatic. Get caught up now via TV Fanatic.
What did you think of Abby's death? Do you like the series more now?
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Note: Ray Donovan Season 5 Episode 2 airs August 13 on Showtime.
Paul Dailly is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.