While Ray works with Lena to save Avi, Hector finally snaps -- with deadly consequences
The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!
It’s been the theme of this season of Ray Donovan. We’ve been told over and over again that the Russians are coming after Ray and his family — and that Dmitri, the latest Russian to arrive in town, is perhaps the most dangerous of them all. So once again, the whole Donovan clan is forced to hole up together, this time in Ray’s house.
Look, Ray Donovan has a bit of a problem when it comes to filling out its seasons. The Russian threat is perfectly fine, and it’s a good extension of last year’s Minassians story line, but an episode like “Lake Hollywood” feels redundant at this point. We already witnessed the “Donovans in hiding while Ray tried to fix everything” plot earlier this season. Now we’re doing it again? That’s some shoddy long-term planning.
Anyway, with Avi in the custody of Dmitri, Ray and Lena head out to save their friend — and their strategy is actually fairly ingenious. The two of them (and Darryl) drive to Sonia Kovitsky’s art gallery, where they see Waller and two bodyguards loading up a truck with expensive art.
Ray heads inside the gallery with a baseball bat and takes a big ol’ Yasiel-Puig swing at Waller’s gut. He orders him to bring his men inside, and considering he doesn’t want another Louisville to the stomach, Waller obliges. This allows Lena and Darryl to take off with the truck full of art, giving Ray his bargaining chip. He tells Waller to let Dmitri know he’ll get his art back when Avi is safe.
After pulling off their heist, Ray heads to the Fite Club to get Terry to shut it down. He wants him at the house with everyone else, but Terry refuses. For the first time in maybe forever, Terry is taking control of his own life. He’s already falling for Maureen, and the Hector Campos fight could really boost his career — so there’s no way he’s closing down the gym. Sometimes, Ray Donovan has a tendency to see things through only Ray’s eyes, so it’s nice to see an episode where Terry asserts himself, demonstrating that Ray isn’t the only Donovan trying to escape his past and live a good life.
Here’s the thing about Hector and his relationship with Marisol, though: it’s a ticking time bomb. Hector’s skipping out on training and constantly fighting with his half-sister-turned-lover. Terry’s doing everything he can to keep him on track, but it’s nearly impossible. So when Hector decides to head out for a while, Terry tries to give him some space, which may not be such a good idea.
Hector goes to see Marisol, and she thinks she finally has him fully on her side. She draws a bath and begins to undress him, but Hector knows he can’t do this anymore. He takes a drastic step to put an end to their affair: He drowns Marisol in the tub. Hector killing Marisol is perhaps the logical conclusion of this story, but it’s also a little anticlimactic. Perhaps the final few episodes will provide a little more dramatic tension and purpose, what with Terry showing up at the scene and Ray eventually agreeing to help… If help is what he has in mind, that is.
NEXT: Butch, whose mob boss is this?
Alright, back to Ray’s plan to save Avi.
After stealing the art and leaving Lena with the truck in a secure location, Ray meets with Dmitri. The man doesn’t exactly agree to keep Avi safe, but he does tell Ray he wants to meet Butch Kramer, the Hollywood action star Ray previously helped out of a jam.
This is where things get a little messy (and a little sluggish and uninteresting, if we’re being honest). Ray is playing all sides here. He’s hoping to please/con Dmitri and also blackmail Waller with the truth about the forgeries — which his boss knows nothing about — all while trying to keep his family safe.
The Donovans are toxic, though. They’re fundamentally broken. A collection of scenes in “Lake Hollywood” clearly illustrate this fact. There’s Abby reminiscing about her “first time” with Ray, which includes a line about Abby wanting to “slit his throat” because the moment is as good as life will get for them. (Oh, and she’s clearly hiding some relevant information about her cancer after she gets a call from the doctor.) Then there’s Bunchy and Teresa, who are actively trying to get away from the family but just can’t muster up the courage. And, of course, we can’t forget about Mickey, who’s broken up about the death of Silvie and shooting Bill Primm in the face. What a mess…
Their turmoil seems poised to only worsen. Ray gets Butch to Dmitri’s party that night, but it doesn’t go down how Ray imagined. Dmitri purports to be a big fan of Butch and his movies, but turns on him at the party. He wants to prove Butch isn’t such a tough guy, so he tells him to fight his bodyguard. Butch does, for some reason, and gets his ass kicked. Then Dmitri takes Ray inside and shows him Waller, all beat up in the bathroom, before shooting Waller in the head. There might be a point to this whole ridiculous scene — other than establishing Dmitri as a cold-blooded killer — but maybe not.
Like I said, “Lake Hollywood” is kind of a dull episode. There’s a lot of setup as we approach the season finale, but at the same time, not much happens outside of Hector killing Marisol. However, that death should lead somewhere. After all, though Ray tells Hector he isn’t going to help him cover up the murder, he comes back to the house and sends Hector away while he collects a bunch of Marisol’s stuff and dumps her body. Does Ray have some ulterior motives here? Or is he genuinely helping Hector? And what about Avi? How’s he doing?
There are still a lot of questions. Ray Donovan has two more episodes to provide some answers. Stay tuned.