With Paige and Ray working out a lucrative deal last week, “Swing Vote” turns its attention to the actual process of the Finneys buying an NFL team, and the implications of Ray having made a deal behind Finney’s back. Plus, Abby’s back home now, so there’s the whole issue of his marriage to deal with.
Despite the potentially dangerous situation Ray’s getting himself into, he might be the safest Donovan right now. After a great first day on the job, Mickey and Darryl are really starting to struggle in the hookers-and-coke business. More than that, they’ve struck a deal with a particularly violent and volatile group of people. That’s made clear when Mickey joins Mrs. Minassian (played by Twin Peaks‘ Grace Zabriskiem, who’s always a welcome presence on my TV screen) on a trip to visit one of her other clients.
They meet up at a strip club called Xposed, where a client is struggling to pay his rent while also paying off Mrs. Minassian. She uses the client as an example of what will happen to Mickey if he strays or gets behind on his payments, having one of her henchmen beat up the strip club owner.
Mrs. Minassian and her violent ways aren’t the only problems facing Mickey in “Swing Vote.” Ginger and her daughter are being threatened with eviction, and the building superintendent tells her that if she doesn’t move she’ll call Child Protective Services. That means that Mickey will lose the glue holding his operation together, so he needs a solution as soon as possible.
That’s where Darryl comes in. He tells Mickey that if Ginger just needs a legitimate job as a front for her real job, then Mickey should add her to the books at the Fite Club. Mickey’s blown away by his son’s ingenuity. Darryl’s less surprised that he can fix his dad’s problems. As he says, “include me in the problems and I’ll include you in the solutions.”
While Mickey has a temporary fix for his problem, Terry is facing bigger problems. When he comes to the gym for work in the morning, he finds a weight sitting on his desk. It’s just like the one he killed the Aryan inmate with, and when he sees a hulking white dude leaving the gym and talking on his phone he can’t help but think that the Aryans are still after him.
He spends the rest of the day locked in the Fite Club with the lights off, a gun in his hand and ready to fire when the Aryans come for him. It’s all for naught though; the only ones who show up are Ray and Mickey much later in the evening. He initially fires on Mickey before Ray talks him down, and then the three joke around about it.
Mickey jokes that Ray would have loved for him to get shot, and then they all joke about his shaky aim due to his Parkinson’s. It’s crude, but that’s when the Donovans are at their best; their love takes the form of insults. Plus, the weight may not have been a threat. There’s a good chance Bunchy was just using it as a paperweight.
NEXT: A luchador, a chaplain, and a Donovan walk into a Denny’s[pagebreak]
Bunchy is in slightly less immediate danger, but he’s still potentially out of his depth. After another meeting with his support group at the Fite Club, Terry and the chaplain Romero spend some time connecting. Bunchy talks about losing Teresa and how he’s not sure what he’ll do now. Romero convinces him that he needs to tell her what he feels and that they should take a road trip to Bakersfield to make it happen.
Bunchy reluctantly agrees and what follows is a very strange road trip. Bunchy finds Teresa and puts his heart on the line, but she rebukes him and says that she’s not leaving her family. Bunchy replies by telling her that he’s heading to the Denny’s down the road, so she can find him there when she changes her mind.
Once at the Denny’s, Bunchy tells Romero about how he killed his abuser, perhaps feeling like he has to share after Romero detailed his own horrific attack on his abuser. There’s a good chance that Romero isn’t exactly who he says he is, so the fact that Bunchy admits to murder, and implicates Ray in the process, will surely set off a chain of events that affect the rest of the season.
Bunchy has no time to dwell on that though as Teresa makes her way back to Bunchy and agrees to head back home with him. That’s good for Bunchy for now, but it might not be long before the death of his abuser catches up with him.
As if all that weren’t dysfunctional enough, Ray takes Abby to the Governor’s election party, where everyone, including the Finneys, is gathered to see if Verona will be re-elected. All of this is happening while Bridget smokes pot while volunteering at her school’s polling station, where she bonds with her teacher over the death of their significant others and generally tries to forget the ridiculous family she’s a part of.
Back at the party, Verona loses the election, which means that Paige won’t be getting her football team because the Governor was the only one who would be able to bring a stadium deal to the city. That also means that Ray won’t be getting his 3 percent and that everything he told Abby about trying to go straight and make a better life for his family is suddenly an empty promise.
Even worse, Finney finds out about Ray’s deal. It’s a deal that Ray made despite the fact that Finney hired him exclusively, and did so after saving Terry from murder in prison. Ray admits the he gave the phone to Paige in exchange for the 3 percent. What he doesn’t admit is that he also asked Paige what was in the envelope she gave to her dad in order to win (or blackmail) his approval for the NFL deal.
In typical, ridiculous Ray Donovan fashion, the envelope contains a love letter from Finney to Paige’s husband, who’s also Finney’s assistant. It’s official: We finally have a family that’s more twisted and dysfunctional than the Donovans.