Monday, October 2, 2017

Ray Donovan 5.8: Paging John Stuart Mill

Tonight's episode 5.8 of Ray Donovan was so terribly heartbreaking that I almost don't want to write about.  Maybe it's better that it just rest in peace, like Abby.

But I think there's a vitally important morale to this story, somewhere not that far beneath the surface, that needs to be said.  It's the cliche that where there's life, there's hope.  Words strung together become cliches because they contain some truth.

Ray, despite the horrible thing he did to that patient in New York, injecting him with meningitis so he would be disqualified from the trial, did indeed have the key to Abby's survival.  We saw on an earlier episode this season that the trial surgery worked on another patient.  I guess that's no guarantee that it would have worked on Abby, but we were shown the success with the other patient for a reason.

Ray's doing what he did to save Abby does not justify what he did to get Abby into the trial - the ends do not justify the means if the means cause someone else's death - but that doesn't negate the strong possibility that Ray may have saved her.

And that in turn means, I would say, that it's not only tragic that she took her life because it's tragic that she died, but it's also even more tragic because she took her life when perhaps she didn't have to.  Not that she would have wanted Ray to do what he did, or approved of it after he did it, but it must be said that, in light of what Ray accomplished back East, Abby may taken her life unnecessarily.

This is why I've always had mixed feelings about suicide being legal.  I'm a strong believer in adults doing whatever they please to themselves and their bodies, as long as that doesn't harm anyone else.  But like John Stuart Mill, who argued the same in the middle of the 19th century, I can't quite extend this to suicide.  Or, to put it otherwise, I think someone who prevents or tries to prevent someone from committing suicide is more likely than not to be doing the right thing.

But these are wrenching issues, personal as well as philosophical, and Ray Donovan deserves lots of credit for putting them out on there on our screens.


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See Ray Donovan 5.1: Big Change  ... Ray Donovan 5.4: How To Sell A Script ... Ray Donovan 5.7: Reckonings

See also Ray Donovan 4.1: Good to Be Back ... Ray Donovan 4.2: Settling In ... Ray Donovan 4.4: Bob Seger ... Ray Donovan 4.7: Easybeats ... Ray Donovan 4.9: The Ultimate Fix ... Ray Donovan Season 4 Finale: Roses

And see also Ray Donovan 3.1: New, Cloudy Ray ... Ray Donovan 3.2: Beat-downs ... Ray Donovan 3.7: Excommunication!

And 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
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