As Ray finally starts to move on from Abby, Mickey and Bunchy get themselves into trouble

By Kyle Fowle
August 27, 2017 at 10:00 PM EDT
Michael Desmond/SHOWTIME
S5 E4
  • TV Show

This week’s episode of Ray Donovan, “Sold,” boasts a cold open that is, at first glance, a little puzzling. Two young men cruise down the street in their beat-up car, listening to heavy metal while taking turns taking hits off a vaporizer. Eventually they pull into a parking lot shared by a bank and a sub shop. “Let’s do this,” one of them says as he pulls on a ski mask and they both head into the sub shop.

Before long, both men have the customers and employees locked in a supply room. It’s clear they want money and that they’re willing to do just about anything to get it, but two questions remain: Do they want more than that, and what does this have to do with this season of Ray Donovan? The ambiguity of the cold open brings an immediate change of atmosphere to “Sold,” adding some mystery to the relatively straightforward current-day plot.

As we check back in with the Donovan crew, Mickey isn’t exactly helping himself out when it comes to getting his move script greenlit. Near the beginning of this episode, he seems to think that the best way to get his movie made is to show up at the office of the ACA agent who ripped his script to shreds, Marty, and bribe him. Mickey is kind of old school like that. When Marty refuses the money, Mickey does the only other thing he knows how to do: He slaps him around and tells him to make the damn movie already.

Of course, Mickey’s ploy is unsuccessful, and all he’s left with is Darryl coming to pick him up from the security office. What he doesn’t realize at that time is that this ill-advised trip to Marty’s office will actually end up working in his favor later on. All he has to do is help clean up a very, very big mess, and suddenly Mickey may be on his way to screenwriting stardom.

Before we get to all of that though, it’d be prudent to check in on Bunchy and Terry, two men struggling to move on while their romantic lives are in turmoil. With Teresa off on tour and Maureen not anywhere close to forgiving Terry for his indiscretions, the two brothers have little going for them, so they pour all of their energy into other parts of their lives, hoping to find something meaningful to latch onto.

For Bunchy, that means suppressing his reservations and taking a shot on the storage unit deal. All he needs to do is head home and snag his settlement money, get to the bank, and then make the deal happen. Who knows if the deal is any good, but this is Bunchy’s way of trying to support his family. He’s crippled with doubt after failing his Lucha audition, and now he’s scrambling to prove himself. He’s hoping a million-dollar deal will do just that.

Terry’s distraction comes in the form of Damon. Terry is focused on training Damon for his next fight, but he’s also trying to be a guiding hand in his life, so when Damon’s father shows up out of the blue, Terry isn’t so sure that Damon should be interacting with him. The kid says his father just got out of prison and that he needs a little help getting on his feet, but Terry looks at Damon’s dad and sees someone who may be looking to use his son’s new fame and fortune for his own gain.

Whatever does happen, it’s good to see Ray Donovan trying to flesh out some stories for Terry and Bunchy. They’ve been relegated to the sidelines before, given stories that really only involve their romantic troubles. Now they’re being pushed in different directions, and that should create meaningful conflict down the road. (Recap continues on page 2)

While the rest of his family is spread out and about to get into trouble, Ray is finally starting to move on from Abby’s death. He’s packing up her clothes in boxes, patching up the hole in the wall in the lobby, and calling Deb to bring in interested buyers. It’s seems like Ray is finally coming to understand that Abby is gone for good and that no amount of holding on to the past will change that.

A flashback tells us that Ray has been like this for a long time. When he and Abby got the worst possible news from the oncologist, Ray refused to believe it. He told Abby that they would find another doctor, one who could truly fix her, before telling her to not give up. There’s a fine line between being motivational and being in denial, and Ray seems closer to the latter in this flashback. Even as Abby takes a baseball bat to the diner in the name of remodeling for her bar, Ray doesn’t seem to understand that this fighting spirit won’t change a thing.

Surprisingly enough, though, “Sold” isn’t really about Ray. Sure, he sells the house, makes a lot of progress in moving on from Abby, and has another mysterious meeting with Sam Winslow, but that’s only a small portion of the episode. In fact, much of our time is spent with Mickey, who’s found the most unorthodox way to get his foot in the door in Hollywood.

His opportunity comes when Darryl is called to an emergency at Jay White’s house. Once at the house, Darryl can’t stomach what needs to be done in order to make his rich and famous client happy, but thankfully, Mickey is there to take control. He surveys the scene: Apparently, while training for his next movie with his sensei, Hollywood superstar actor Jay White completely beheaded him. The Japanese man’s head lies on the floor while Darryl pukes and Jay cries.

With Darryl and Jay useless, Mickey takes over, getting the blood cleaned up and chopping the sensei’s body into numerous pieces. Then, he takes Jay out onto the water and gets him to dump the body parts overboard. The whole thing goes down rather smoothly, but as Mickey informs Jay, his services aren’t bundled with Darryl’s, so there’s still a price to pay. That price? Mickey wants Jay to attach himself to the movie and get it made.

As the episode comes to an end, Mickey and some of the other Donovans have a lot of other issues on their plates. Bunchy has the unfortunate luck of stopping for a sandwich before he deposits his million dollars — meaning he has a run-in with the thieves from the cold open and his bag of money is taken. Then there’s Bridget, who admits to Smitty that her father likely got him sick so that her mother could be included on the cancer trial. Ray Donovan: always hitting new moral lows.

Then there’s Mickey, who gets a visit from a livid FBI Agent Frank. Frank tells him that Mickey must kill Avi or everybody is going down for the murders of the Russians. In other words, just about every Donovan is in a difficult spot as “Sold” wraps up — everyone, that is, except for Ray. Ray has sold the house and is ready to move on. How long that closure lasts, though, is a question that will linger in the weeks to come.

Episode Recaps

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