The third season of Ray Donovan has been building rather strangely. There’s been very little tension in the story, and there’s been no central focus. Ray has had many enemies this season, from Finney to Cochran and even his own family. It’s been a scattered affair, and much to my surprise, it all comes to an end tonight; after last week’s episode I legitimately thought there were two more to go because the narrative didn’t seem to be building toward anything meaningful.
Alas, here we are! And what is this final confrontation that Ray Donovan has in store for us? A showdown between the Donovans and the Minassians. That’s right, this whole season, with all of its major players, comes down to a shootout between the Donovans and the totally underdeveloped, narratively inconsequential mob who have been in maybe four or five episodes this season. But more on this underwhelming development later! And sorry, Ian McShane. You deserved better.
Before the Minassians become a problem, it’s the Donovan family that’s really the threat to every single character’s sanity. They’re a mess right now, with Bridget trying to get Mr. Donellen to run away with her, Terry getting even closer to Abby emotionally, and Mickey snorting coke off of, um… derrieres is probably a term he’d use. He’s a classy dude.
Bridget is in the most immediate trouble, even if she doesn’t know it. It’s not that Mr. Donellen is going to hurt her or anything, but rather that by trying to be with him, she’s bringing him into the path of her father. Bridget is sitting alone in a hotel room waiting for Mr. Donellen to arrive; you don’t have to think too hard about how Ray will react to that.
To Mr. Donellen’s credit, he eventually comes to his senses. When he shows up at the hotel he hears Bridget out. The two go for a walk, buy some jewelry, and then head back to the hotel to make illegal love. By the time Bridget’s shirt comes off though, Mr. Donellen has changed his mind. He breaks down and sobs about how much he misses his wife, and Bridget does what she can to console him.
He’s only consoled for so long though because shortly after, Ray breaks the door down and lays a beating on him. He drags Bridget out of the room and drives away with her. This only makes Bridget angrier. She’s sick of her father’s absence, his lack of love, and his propensity for violence and anger. She leaves the car and walks away, and by episode’s end she has her stuff packed and is ready to run away.
It’s the breaking point for Ray, the capper to a very long day spent fighting with and against his family. If Bridget disowning him is the final straw, his time with Mickey is the goddamn bushel.
When Mickey decides he’s not leaving town, instead staying with Darryl and having parties with coke and sex workers, he brings everyone into danger. The Minassians are still out to get him, and it’s not like Mickey’s changed his address. That leaves him vulnerable, and when two of the Minassians come to his apartment and fire automatic weapons through the window, it’s those closest to him that get hurt. Darryl loses Michelle, who returned just in time to be shot, and Terry gets hit in the gut, his life in the balance as Ray shows up and transports him to the hospital. That’s two seasons in a row, Mickey, where you’ve really messed things up. Terry needs to keep his distance from now on.
NEXT: 36 years of sins[pagebreak]
If there’s one bit of good news for the Donovans in the finale, it’s that Bunchy and Teresa are having a baby. Teresa takes great pains to make the announcement perfect and yet all Bunchy can do is stare. Obviously, Teresa gets mad and asks Bunchy why he’s being so indifferent. Is it her? Definitely not, he says.
More than anything, he’s just scared. He’s worried about how what happened to him as a kid is still affecting him and how it will impact him as a father. Luckily he has Teresa by his side, who’s always supportive and assures him that he’s not beyond repair, and that the two of them will figure things out.
While Terry’s in the hospital and hopefully coming out of surgery alive, Ray gets Avi to go with him to the Minassian’s home base. They’re ready to ambush them and take some lives and finally end this. That is, until they see Mickey strolling in with a gun ready for his own vengeance.
Ray and Avi head in as quickly as possible, Mickey already in a shootout and clearly outnumbered. It isn’t long before Ray and Avi get control though, killing everyone except for Mrs. Minassian. As she hurls threats at Ray about how this isn’t over, Mickey grabs her and slits her throat as Ray watches. This is Ray Donovan’s day.
With a fresh bullet wound, the image of his father murdering an elderly woman, and a verbal lashing from Bridget all behind him, Ray heads to the only place he can think to go for comfort. He goes to see Father Romero, partly because Terry asked for a priest before he went into surgery, but mostly so he can try and get his life back in order.
Romero agrees to see him and walks him to the confessional. Once inside, Ray breaks down. He admits to killing his and Bunchy’s abuser, but also to so much more. He admits that he cared for the man, that he felt special when he was around him. It’s Ray finally dealing with his trauma, but judging by the collapse of his family, and his literal collapse, it may be too little too late.
As the season comes to a close, the entire family is fractured. Mickey is headed to Nevada, a passed out Ray is being driven somewhere by Romero, Bridget is running away from home, and Abby is the only one by Terry’s side when he wakes up, a little hurt but definitely alive. With another season already ordered, it’ll be interesting to see how Ray Donovan deals with the splintering of the Donovan family that took place in tonight’s finale.