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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Ray Donovan 3.1: A New, Cloudy Ray

Ray Donovan was back on Showtime Sunday night for its third season, in a show that was even more of a downer for Ray than usual.  Not that this is a bad or unappealing state for the narrative - indeed, the heart of Ray Donovan has always been occluded for one profound reason or another - but Season 3 three finds Ray on a new, lower plane.

Ezra's death - which made me unhappy, too - is certainly an apt occasion for Ray's darker mood.  But the background of that situation, which we saw come to a head at the end of the last season, is the deepest source of Ray's current view of his world.  Ezra wanted Kate killed, despite Ray's pleas and warnings.  Avi killed her, a betrayal in Ray's eyes in some ways even worse than Ezra's.  This one-two punch in the gut has left Ray without moorings.

Did he love Kate?  Possibly, probably not, but that's not the point.  He liked her enough to not want her killed, even though what she was doing was about to put him in serious danger of going to jail. The superficial explanation of why Ray didn't want Kate dead was that he cared for her so much that he was willing to risk his own freedom to keep her alive.  But I'd say the truer reason is that Ray had confidence in his ability to ride out the storm, someway, whatever Kate did.

And, if that was true, then Ezra's and Avi's betrayals were not just a slap at this feelings for Kate, or a simple case of their not following his commands, but a rebuke and contempt on their part for Ray's capacity to always fix things, including for himself.  At the very core of Ray's being is his belief in his almost omnipotent ability to set things right.

So this a different Ray we see at the beginning of this third season.  It will be fun to see how he copes with his new client, and a potential new adversary - the Church itself.

And I'll be back here next week with a new review.

See also Ray Donovan 2.1: Back in Business ... Ray Donovan 2.4: The Bad Guy ... Ray Donovan 2.5: Wool Over Eyes ... Ray Donovan 2.7: The Party from Hell ... Ray Donovan 2.10: Scorching ... Ray Donovan 2.11: Out of Control ... Ray Donovan Season 2 Finale: Most Happy Ending

And see also Ray Donovan Debuts with Originality and Flair ... Ray Donovan 1.2: His Assistants and his Family ... Ray Donovan 1.3: Mickey ... Ray Donovan 1.7 and Whitey Bulger ... Ray Donovan 1.8: Poetry and Death ... Ray Donovan Season 1 Finale: The Beginning of Redemption

  different kinds of crimes and fixes


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