Abby Donovan knew that if she was dying, she was going to do so on her own terms.
We finally got all the details about Abby's death on Ray Donovan Season 5 Episode 8, and it resulted in a poignant hour of this Showtime drama.
From the get-go, it was evident this was going to be the episode Abby decided to end her life. Losing out on a place in the clinical trial was the final straw for her. She knew things were going to get worse and as a mother and a wife, she did not want her family to see her like that.
On top of that, she wanted to be the one to have the final say on when she died. Opening the bar and meeting up with her nearest and dearest for one last gathering felt like the perfect time for her use the End of Life Option Act and get the drugs.
It was silly of Ray to think Abby would not have a backup plan if Ray lashed out about the prospect of losing her. Instead, he felt like he had to do something. That's the type of man Ray is.
His plan to go to New York and make Smitty ill was completely selfish, but he wanted to save his wife. He had watched her condition worsen for months and could not sit back and accept her grim prognosis.
He loved Abby and knew he would not be able to cope with the aftermath of her death if he did not try and find a way to keep her around while they both grew old.
I have to give credit to Bridget. She could have easily called Ray and shut down Abby's plan to end her life.
She handled the whole situation with a great deal of maturity and part of the reason for that was that she knew her mother was ready to end things on her own terms before cancer could claim her life.
She likely knew it was going to put her on the outs with her father, but at the same time, she knew Ray would not allow Abby to end things without a fight.
The big finish with Ray lashing out at his whole family was expected because of the way Ray Donovan Season 5 has been constructed. The show has been jumping through time in its attempt to tell a coherent story.
Instead of being engaging, it's resulted in a season that has been inconsistent. It's difficult to speculate on what will happen next because we've already witnessed Ray's failed attempts to move on.
What shocked me the most was the way he turned on everyone in the bar. He's lucky his outburst did not result in any fatal injuries, or he would have very likely been convicted of murder.
It was difficult to like Ray during this episode primarily because of his denial. Everyone has different ways of coping with death. In a matter of scenes, Ray upped and hot-footed it to New York to inject Smitty with meningitis.
The doctor put up a good fight when Ray showed up on her doorstep, and in all honesty, it would not have made sense for her to blow her cover to a man who appeared on her doorstep.
He could have been working for the DEA. How was she to know he was the real deal? Avi was the man who was orchestrating the whole thing, but he got himself arrested before anything could be done.
It's crazy how much of an excellent character Avi was before this storyline. The character has been destroyed forever, and there's absolutely no way I could ever get on board with caring for him again.
Making the hasty decision to throw him under the bus in favor of advancing the plot wasn't organic. I can't help but wonder which character is next.
Despite some significant issues with the periphery storylines, "Horses" was still a beautiful hour of this Showtime drama series. The directing and acting were on point. The montage of all the places Abby should be was a stroke of genius.
It was a powerful swan song for Abby that put her in control and as one of the best characters on the show, it was worth it. Now that we've caught up to the death, it's time for the show to go on without Paula Malcomson.
These final episodes will be the real test about whether Ray Donovan can go on without the influence of the glue that held the family together for so long. Personally, I don't think the show is long for this world.
The storylines are drying up, and this feels more like the end. It's difficult to imagine the show being successfully reinvigorated in a way that would make another run worthwhile. Stranger things have happened, so I'll reserve judgment until we see how the rest of the season plays out.
Over to you, Ray Donovan Fanatics. What do you think of the state of the show right now? Is it time to move on from Abby for good?
Hit the comments.
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Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.