Ray Donovan Season 5 Episode 6 Review: Shelley Duvall

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Abby Donovan could have survived. 

That was the development that stuck with me after watching Ray Donovan Season 5 Episode 6, which emerged as one of the best episodes of the series in years. 

End of Days - Ray Donovan Season 5 Episode 6

Bridget has long been a problematic character on Ray Donovan. She always seems to find herself in some sort of trouble, and it's been difficult to feel sorry for her. But her arc on Ray Donovan Season 5 has been the strongest for her to date. 

She could have moved on with her life and let Smitty be in the dark about why he never got the treatment. He knew he was ill, but he did not know that it was part of an elaborate plan to allow Abby on the trial.

Revealing the truth to Smitty proved Bridget had turned a corner and had matured in a way that we never thought was possible. For the first time in the entire series, I actually look forward to catching up with Bridget, and that's a huge shocker.

If you watch Ray Donovan online, you will know that she has always had a strong bond with Terry. 

A Final Skate - Ray Donovan Season 5 Episode 6

So, it made sense for her to reach out to him. Terry getting high with Bridget and Smitty in the hospital room was very random, but the hospital clearly knew it helped Smitty feel better. 

Terry: Will you pray with me?
Bridget: I’ll pass.
Terry: I killed her.
Bridget: No you didn’t.
Terry: She would have lived.
Bridget: You don’t know that. She didn’t want the surgery.
Terry: She still would have lived.
Bridget: You don’t know that.

Why else would they allow it to go on? However, they must be breaking some sort of health and safety regulation because, even with the window open, it would be difficult not to trigger the alarm. 

The bit that got me right in the feels was when the girl in remission bumped into everyone in the corridor. That's when the realization that Abby could have lived set in.

Now, I have no idea why Terry is saying it's all his fault, but I can't wait to find out. When he began opening up to Bridget in the church, I started wondering if something else happened between Abby and Terry during the time jump, and we've yet to see it. 

It's difficult to imagine how Ray will react when he inevitably finds out that some of the other people on the trial are in remission. Will he blame himself for not pushing Abby harder into continuing with the treatment?

A Shocking Decision - Ray Donovan

It would make sense. We've witnessed his self-destructive instincts for several years now, and it would not be good character development if he suddenly changed now. 

We've witnessed him cheating on Abby with Natalie twice now, and that may be a subtle nod that Ray still feels guilty about it. Doing that while Abby was ill was a horrible, horrible thing to do. 

Abby: Wanna come play? Just play the game and forget about everything?
Ray: I’m gonna walk the dog.
Abby: With a bottle of fucking whiskey?
Ray: Let me walk the fucking dog, Abby.

But like I've said on several occasions, this man has self-destructive tendencies, and nobody really knows the true extent of the things he's been through in his life to turn him into this person. 

It was surprising that he did not throw Natalie out after thinking about sleeping with her. Throwing her out, however, would mean she needed to return to the movie, and that would be difficult considering she's pregnant. 

It was nice that Ray stood up for her to Landry. The man thought he could force Natalie into getting an abortion and returning to the movie. He was worried about how it would look if the truth came out. 

He was a married man with young children. It would destroy his whole career and family life, but he would have deserved it. It was great that Natalie stood up for herself and noted that she was the one in charge. 

I would not oppose to her becoming a more permanent fixture on the show because she's a fun addition and brings out another side to Ray. 

Susan Sarandon is turning in a phenomenal performance as Sam Winslow, but why did she have Ray make a deal with Tom if she was going to have him killed to get back the trophy?

Wouldn't it have made more sense for her to kill him from the get-go if she was going to make it look like a suicide? The only other thing that would make sense about it is that she wants to build trust with Ray. 

It took time, but she eventually sided with Ray and said that Natalie would not see Landry again on the set of the movie. She needs Ray for something, and the fact she's letting him choose the price makes me think she's going to turn out to be bad news. 

Sam Winslow Knows How to Win - Ray Donovan Season 5 Episode 6

There's an air of mystery that surrounds the character, and I can't wait to find out what she really wants with him. 

Did anyone else feel sorry for Bunchy having to spend his time in the slammer when he was innocent? Mickey should have made sure Frank was out of the equation before doing anything. 

Now, Mickey is in a car in the middle of nowhere, and he could be on his way to his death. There's no way the show will kill him off so soon after Abby, but still, he needs to stop getting himself in bizarre situations. 

He should have turned to Ray when Frank started blackmailing him in the first place. 

"Shelley Duvall" was a solid episode that brought the series back on track. There are a lot of exciting plots right now, but hopefully, the show manages to keep it together for the rest of the season. 

Over to you, Ray Donovan Fanatics. What did you think of the episode?

Sound off below!

Shelley Duvall Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (4 Votes)

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Ray Donovan Season 5 Episode 6 Quotes

Abby: You can't keep doing this babe, every time we get bad news.
Ray: Doing what?
Abby: You know what. Where we going this time?

Ray: You look like Marilyn Monroe?
Abby: Oh, yeah?
Ray: Hmm.
Abby: [Removes head scarf]: How about now?