Ray Donovan recap: Ray's stuck between a rock and a hard place
When Ray was arrested at the end of last week’s episode, there was no chance it was going to be a normal, orderly arrest. The start of “The 1-3-2” confirms that, as Ray’s taken into the basement of the precinct and locked in a pitch black room, alone, where nobody but the cops can get to him. Bianchi and Radulovic, who are in Mayor Feratti’s pocket, leave him there overnight. When they visit the next morning, they lay out what they want Ray to do: stop going after Feratti and bury Novak in some way. Ray doesn’t budge though, even when Radulovic tases him over and over again.
While Mickey buys an overnight bus ticket to Buffalo, left by Bunchy to fend for himself, Terry and Bunchy are doing their best to recover from a night of heavy drinking. Terry seems to have provided his brother with that old Irish comfort after Teresa took Maria away from him. Now the two are hungover, and Bunchy says that he has no choice but to turn himself in to the FBI. He tells Terry he’s out of options — no wife, no kid, and he’s a wanted man. What else can he do? Terry doesn’t want him to give up just yet, so he bides time by convincing his brother to go with him on a road trip to Boston. One last visit home before he goes to prison.
Bunchy has always been the Donovan with some of the least compelling stories. Or maybe it’s that most of his stories leave him hapless and sad, and that doesn’t always make for good TV. Either way, this season’s “downfall of Bunchy” storyline is a lot more interesting, largely because it feels true to the character. Bunchy’s always been unable to make his own decisions. He easily gets wrapped up in what others want him to do. Teresa and Maria were maybe his way out of that, but when she cheated on him, he lost it. He went on the run with Mickey and now he feels trapped.
A day in Boston does little to actually help Bunchy, but it’s the best Terry can do. Daryll tags along since the movie he’s making has been put on hold while Jay White goes to rehab. The three of them visit the gravesite where Terry and Bunchy’s mother and sister are buried, get into a bar fight with some racists, and cap off the day with Bunchy letting out all his anger in church. It’s a moving scene, with Bunchy running down the cards God has dealt him, from abusive priests to a child he can no longer see, until he’s spent and ready to turn himself in. Daryll and Terry won’t let him, not just yet, but that doesn’t mean they have a plan. For now, they’re just killing time.
Back in New York, Mac finds a way to get Ray out of lockup. He tells Radulovic that Ray will work for them, that he’ll come up with something to get Novak out of the race. In return, Mac wants a seat at the table with Ferrati. He wants in on the corruption. Of course, Mac is just trying to save himself. Emerson tells him that he needs evidence on Ferrati the next time he sees Mac, otherwise, he’ll put him in cuffs.
The thing is, Ray isn’t exactly happy with what Mac’s done. Mac says he saved his life, that the cops would have killed him and his family, but that doesn’t mean Ray wants to betray Winslow. He calls Lena and asks her to bring him a gun when he sees cops parked outside Bridget’s place. Lena, being much smarter than he is, says that he can’t just go shooting cops. So, she stages a car explosion that distracts the cops and allows her to get Bridget out of the apartment and back to Ray’s place. “How far away do I have to go to get away from all this?” she says later when Ray returns home, livid that she’s been pulled into his world of violence yet again. (Recap continues on next page)
Ray seriously considers going up against the cops, but when he gets a call from Emerson and has a meeting with him, things change. Emerson lays out how this whole thing boils down to the Arthur Kill prison and the land it sits on. Ferrati makes millions of dollars in kickbacks from that prison, so he’s not about to let Winslow get hold of it. So if Novak’s knocked out of the race, Mac avoids going to prison, Ray stays alive, and somewhere down the road, Emerson gets to arrest Ferrati. A win for everybody. Ray’s hesitant, but Emerson also seems to know about the dead Samoan from earlier this season, so he has no choice but to cooperate.
So, he calls Mac and tells him to arrest a guy who’s just come out of prison. He tells him to lock him up for possession. Then, he calls Justine back to the hotel where they met previously. Once there, he tells her that she’s going to go on the nightly news and tell the truth about the attempted rape in the park, that it was all coordinated by Novak and her campaign. She doesn’t want to do it, but Ray has his leverage. The man Mac arrested is Justine’s brother, and if she does what Ray asks he’ll get him back out of prison.
Justine does as she’s told, which comes as a surprise to both Lena and Novak. Novak watches as her mayoral hopes and dreams are dashed, and Lena watches as she’s betrayed by Ray. Maybe he didn’t have a choice in the matter, but Lena feels like he kept her in the dark on this one because of her relationship with Justine, and she’s frustrated. She barely speaks to him when he comes back to the apartment. “I hope it was worth it,” she says.
Even with Novak tanking, it’s not enough for Ferrati. Radulovic tells Mac that the mayor wants Sam Winslow to take the fall for the fake rape, which means Ray needs to find a way to get that done. If Mac can coordinate that, then he’ll be part of the group. That might be easier said than done though. When Ray wakes up from a night of getting drunk, he finds a massive man sitting in his living room. “Who the f— are you?” he says, to which the man replies with a swift punch to the face, knocking Ray out. That’s the end of “The 1-3-2,” leaving us wondering who this man is, what he wants with Ray, and whether Winslow has anything to do with it.