Ray works to get Jay White back from an unhinged Mickey
Credit: Jeff Neumann/SHOWTIME

Tonight’s episode “Pudge” picks up in the immediate aftermath of the previous episode. Mickey’s kidnapped Jay, and a call to Ray has sent him to the set of Mister Lucky. When he arrives, Ray finds Daryll tied up and in a full panic. “Mickey’s in town! He kidnapped Jay!” he screams, to which Ray coolly replies “I know.” It’s almost as if Ray has been dealing with Mickey’s nonsense for decades and has become numb to his old tricks. Ray calls Mickey back and asks him what he wants and what his end game is. It’s simple: $3 million and three passports for himself, Bunchy, and Maria.

Back at Sandy’s house, Mickey is having a lot of fun messing with Jay. He’s constantly waving a gun in his face, and he spends a lot of time telling him about how he can’t believe his own son screwed him over. Apparently, Mickey is harboring a lot of resentment about his script being changed. It seems a little much if you ask me — even Bunchy tries to get Mickey to calm down about Mister Lucky and Four Leaf, to which his father replies “you know nothing about art” — but apparently that’s Mickey’s motivation. He’s completely unhinged, and it looks like he could kill Jay at any moment.

Ray doesn’t want to do it, but he has to go to Winslow for the money. She’s not happy about the situation, and initially thinks Ray is joking about Mickey kidnapping Jay, but she eventually hands over the ransom. “And Ray? After this, I’d put a bullet in your father’s head,” she says, and something tells me Ray’s not exactly against the idea. Being done with Mickey for good is something he’s wanted for a long time, and something he thought he finally had when he put Mickey in prison last season.

While Ray meets up with Lena to install a tracking device in the money, “Pudge” fills us in on a few other developing stories. First, there’s Mac, who’s running into some serious trouble with Internal Affairs, which is trouble Ray may not be able to help with. Mac meets with the agent looking into his behavior and realizes he’s basically busted for stealing drugs from the evidence lockup. There’s maybe a way out of this though, as the agent asks him to wear a police badge with a wire behind it. It looks like Internal Affairs wants Mac to collect evidence of other corruption within the police ranks.

Then there are two different stories of violence. The first sees Smitty panicking after an early morning phone call. He owes money to somebody, and that sends him scrambling to sell the drugs he has in his house just to make the payment. It turns out that Smitty has a bit of a past. What started out as stealing cars and selling drugs quickly turned into a lot more when he thought he was going to die from cancer. He took money from loan sharks and gave away drugs for free thinking there’d be no consequences. Now he’s alive and well and the people he screwed over are coming to collect, namely, a scary looking Albanian dude who roughs Smitty up in his apartment. It’s a storyline that doesn’t seem to matter in the larger scheme of things, but it does give us a great scene where Ray “settles” the debt by beating the hell out of the Albanians with his baseball bat, which prompts Smitty to ask Ray why he uses wood instead of aluminum. Hey, when loan sharks are breathing down your neck and you have to go to your father-in-law to get the mess cleaned up, it’s good to have a sense of humor.

Finally, that brings us to Terry. What’s to say? He’s decided that his life has been rather meaningless up until this point — don’t forget that he was basically super in love with Abby and he helped her die, so that’s probably not helping his emotional state — so he sets out on a new career path of competing in an underground fight club. In his first bout, he beats a guy named Polish Tony and earns the respect of those around him, including an Irish bartender. I guess this is Terry’s life now. It’s some midlife crisis, that’s for sure. (Recap continues on next page)

Alright, back to the main story of the episode. Ray puts together the $3 million with the tracking device and meets Bunchy in a bar. He tries to talk some sense into his brother, saying that running away with his daughter and a convicted felon is a step beyond anything criminal he’s ever done before. “If you take this money, you and him are the same to me,” says Ray. Bunchy does seem to regret having to do this, but he sees no other option. He doesn’t want to lose his daughter, and Mickey’s the only one who’s offered him a way out. He’s in too deep now, and he has no choice but to go through with Mickey’s plan.

Bunchy drops the money off at the house, and that means Mickey and Sandy are in the mood to celebrate. While they get wasted, Bunchy executes the final stage of the plan. He puts Jay in the trunk of a car and drops it off at a set location, where Ray picks him up later. Then he heads out to get the documents they need to get across the border, the ones organized by a friend of Sandy’s. The problem with all of this? It means Bunchy can’t keep an eye on Mickey and Sandy.

That ends up being bad news, because when Mickey finally passes out after drinking way too much, Sandy decides she doesn’t need these Donovan goofs. She sees the $3 million sitting on the table and decides to make a run for it. When Bunchy gets back to the house, Sandy and the money are gone, and so is any chance he had of getting out of this mess.

You have to assume that this isn’t going to end well. Not only is Bunchy at the end of his rope, making a disturbing, defeated call to Terry that sound a lot like a man making amends before he kills himself, but Ray is also going to need that money back so that he doesn’t owe Winslow. He’s going to need his father to go away once and for all, and he’s going to have to do it while making sure he’s still working with Winslow to get Novak elected and while potentially getting roped into whatever’s next for Mac. As the episode ends, Sandy is having the time of her life, driving down the highway, smoking a joint, and reveling in her newfound wealth. It’s a feeling that certainly can’t last; no good feeling ever does on Ray Donovan.

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