Here’s the thing about fixing problems for a living: It’s kind of great because everybody has problems, and rich people have a lot of money to spend on making those problems go away. Here’s the other thing, though: Those problems never really go away. Ray Donovan’s job is literally dealing with one mishap after another; just as one thing is swept under the rug, another comes crawling out.
Ray managed to help Hector with that cop in last week’s season premiere, but “Marisol” begins with yet another problem. Hector’s half-sister, Marisol, is set to make a TV appearance on the day of Hector’s big title fight, where she’s supposed to tell the entire nation everything about their past. Hector, of course, doesn’t want his sexual relationship with his half-sister getting out, so he puts in another call to Ray.
Ray shows up at Hector’s hotel and gets the details on what’s happening. Hector has been given a press release to read about Marisol’s past, but he’s hoping to avoid throwing her under the bus. He just wants it all to go away. He pleads with Ray, saying that if anyone understands a history of sexual abuse — a 25-year-old Marisol started having sex with Hector when he was only 13, shortly after he was abused by priests — it’s him.
Ray agrees to help Hector and enlists Lena to aid him. Lena works her way into the TV station where Marisol is awaiting her on-air segment, and lures her away by claiming she needs to do a mic check. When Marisol sees Ray standing at the elevator, she punches Lena in the face and takes off through the stairwell. It isn’t long before Ray catches up with her, though, and Lena uses a taser to subdue her.
With Marisol captured, Ray takes her to a meeting with Hector, a lawyer, and, for some reason, Sugar Ray Leonard. They offer her $25,000 a month to keep her mouth shut and to stay away from Hector, but she wants none of it. She wants to continue her relationship with Hector. Needless to say, no agreement is reached, leaving Ray to stash Marisol away in a safe house for now, with Lena given the duty of watching over her.
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Back at Donovan’s Fite Club, everyone is getting into some sort of trouble. Bunchy is getting roasted by his wife for never wanting to have sex with her while she’s pregnant, and Abby gets her purse stolen outside the club. Terry chases the kid down but gets a beating for it. Either Terry can’t swing like he used to, or this kid’s got something.
Things aren’t all bad for Terry, though. When they file a police report about the stolen purse, the female officer who takes the report gives him her card with a flirtatious smile. Abby is beyond pumped to see the interaction, but Terry seems mostly indifferent — this is Terry, after all, and “indifferent” is his status quo.
NEXT: Fight Night
Remember earlier, when I said the problems never go away? Well, on top of this whole Marisol business, Ray has to deal with the fact that Muncie has Mickey in her possession and is set on questioning him until he rats on Ray for the Minassian murders. Ray goes to see Muncie and says he can get Belikov instead, which is who she really wants; he just needs one day to get it done.
That leads Ray to concoct an insane plan. He kidnaps Belikov and tells Avi to bring him the weapons used to murder the Minassians. Avi refuses, realizing it’s a dumb idea, but he has no choice when Ray texts him a picture of him and Belikov hanging out in Avi’s mother’s garage. Ray is nothing if not persuasive! Avi brings the weapons and things go smoothly, with Ray forcing Belikov’s fingerprints onto the guns.
Ray gives Muncie the call and they organize an exchange. Muncie gets Belikov on eight counts of homicide — rather than some small, petty crime — and Ray gets his father out of trouble. Mickey is grateful, but says he would never rat on Ray. That doesn’t stop Ray from putting his father on the first bus back to Nevada, though.
Ultimately, Ray also ends up fixing the Marisol situation. He gets her to read a statement on air, saying she’s going to rehab and is sorry for the trouble she’s caused Hector. But is the weight of what Ray and Hector have done too much to bear? It just might be. As Father Romero chastises Ray for his behavior, Hector completely falls apart during his title fight and gets dropped. Both men are reckoning with their actions, and it’s clearly weighing on them.
However, there’s another boxing story potentially underway. After Abby and Bunchy hit up a sex store to buy his wife a dildo (you know, because of the always-wanting-sex thing), they come back to the Fite Club to see that Terry has found Abby’s purse. He saw a young girl carrying it in the street and brought her to the club with it.
They force the girl to call the kid who originally stole the purse — and when he shows up at the gym, he gives Abby everything back in exchange for letting his friend go. As the kid goes to leave, Terry reaches out to him. He asks if he lives on the street, and tells the kid he has one hell of a punch and should consider coming to the gym for some training and guidance. Then Terry gives him a ticket to the fight and says the kid should go learn something.
There’s probably a lot more chaos to come this season, but for now, that one moment of empathy lingers. Good on you, Terry.