Both literally and figuratively, Abby’s memory is still haunting Ray. He can move to New York and try to start a new life all he wants, but until he deals with her death (and his own childhood trauma), Ray is going to be a haunted man. At the end of last week’s episode, he found himself wandering around New York, hallucinating and eventually choking a police officer. That’s brought him to a psychiatric hospital, which is where he starts tonight’s episode, “Dream On.” Again, Abby is present. As Ray sleeps off his adventurous night, he sees her as he falls into the East River.
When he wakes up, there’s a doctor by his side (played by the great Alan Alda). The two chat, sharing stories about their dead wives, the doctor trying his best to get Ray to open up about the night he just had and some of the problems he’s been living with. Ray does try, describing how he gets overwhelmed, “like I can’t breathe…like I’m drowning.” But he stops there, refusing to dig any deeper.
All Ray knows is that he has to get out. He doesn’t think he belongs in a psychiatric unit, despite an order to spend 72 hours there. So, when Bridget gets a call and comes to check on him, he immediately pivots to hatching a plan to escape. He tells her to call Mac and tell him where he is. Despite just blowing up at her father and laying out what a toxic presence he is in her life, Bridget does just that. She calls Mac and tells him where Ray is, which leads to Mac calling in a favor and getting Ray released early. The doctor isn’t too happy about it, but as he says, therapy is best when the patient is willing and open-minded, not forced into treatment. He gives Ray his card and tells him to call him when he’s ready.
What Ray doesn’t anticipate is Bridget also calling Lena. Of course, Lena wants nothing to do with Ray at the moment, but she shows up for Bridget. She begins to tell her some truths about her father, but then Ray walks out of the hospital and things get awkward. “Tell her the truth for once,” she says, but Ray refuses. So, Lena does it for him, telling Bridget about Ray’s suicide attempt (that he insists wasn’t a suicide attempt). This revelation allows Bridget to see her father in a new light, as someone who’s “sick,” as she says. To be honest, it feels like a bit of a cop-out after last week’s emotional speech that laid bare Ray’s toxicity. Ray Donovan having its cake and eating it too.
Anyways, while Ray sets to work taking down Ferrati so that he and Mac can be free of all that, Mickey, Bunchy, and Terry have their own little adventure. While Daryll spends some time with Sandy recording R&B vocals mixed with scripture (I’m not joking), Mickey and Bunchy convince Terry to drop out of the underground fight tournament, with Bunchy taking his place instead. It’s a move that doesn’t end well, as Bunchy ends up losing in the finals, and we’re all left wondering what the point of this B-plot could be. Is it to show how desperate these men are? That point’s been driven home quite a few times by now.
Back to Ray. He meets with Ferrati in the Mayor’s abandoned bowling alley that he uses as a lair of corruption, and tells him about his problems with Internal Affairs. Ferrati knows that he has a problem, so he’s been sidelining some of the prison business, worried that there’s a rat inside his operation. Ray just confirms what he already knows, but he also adds that he can take care of the problem. He says he can find out who the rat is, and all he wants in exchange is for the FBI to lay off their hunt for Bunchy. Seems easy enough.
Ray takes this plan to Emerson, laying out how he’ll wear a wire and get Ferrati on tape. Emerson is hesitant to trust Ray, but he sees no other option with Ferrati essentially winding down his criminal behavior. It’s now or never for IA. So, Ray wires up and, with Emerson’s help, concocts a story about a local judge being the one who’s been giving up information on the Mayor. When Ray uses a tidbit of information that only the judge and Ferrati would know about, the Mayor buys his story. Knowing that Ray is no longer working for Winslow, he asks him to kill the judge. With that on tape, Ray is convinced that this is the end of his entanglement with IA, Mac, and Ferrati.
Ray goes to his surveillance guy for a copy of the wire transmission, and with that in hand he rolls out to meet Mac. The thing is, Officer Radulovic spots Emerson during Ray’s meeting with Ferrati. He knows something is up, and he’s eager to rid the operation of its rat so that Ferrati’s prison racket can pick up again, and he can get his kickbacks. So, once again, Ray thinks he has everything tidied up, only to see it all comes crashing down around him.
When he gets to Mac’s place, Radulovic is there waiting for him. Emerson sits on the couch, a bloody mess. “I trusted you!” shouts Mac, having clearly sided with Radulovic to save himself, exposing Ray rather than himself as the rat. As the episode ends, Ray’s getting beat down one more time this season, and it looks like the cops and Ferrati finally have his number. Oh, and Mickey is waiting in his apartment with a loaded gun. Things aren’t looking good for Ray Donovan.