‘Ray Donovan’ Recap: “Housewarming”

By August 5, 2013

Ray and Mickey vie for Worst Father of the Year award, and FBI agent Van Miller ties Ezra in the hallucinations department. Meanwhile, the show’s most sympathetic character tries to burn down his own house.

Ray and Avi have a way of dealing with problems…and that way is blackmail. Even the FBI isn’t above them; Ray makes that clear when he throws another agent into the water and demands to know about Miller. Later, Avi slips LSD into Miller’s coffee, causing him to have a complete meltdown, replete with hallucinations of a monkey washing up in the men’s room.

Ray and Abby forbid their children from attending Mickey and Bunchy’s housewarming party. Still, Abby takes Mickey up on his invitation to come over and help them decorate the rundown new house. Terry, after seeing Frances with her family, is reluctant to invite her to the party. Meanwhile, Mickey suggests hookers and, in an effort to be the most enabling, insensitive father of the century, brings liquor into his alcoholic son’s home.

Ezra wanders out of the hospital before he can have surgery on his brain tumor. Ray finds him holding another man’s dog; he’s looking for something to leave his mistress in case he dies. Ray convinces him to return to the hospital.

The cop in Ray’s pocket pulls Miller over for reckless driving, and video tapes the entire incident. He takes Miller back home, where the FBI agent crawls under a desk in his basement. Ray and Avi find him there, and cut off a lock of his hair to use as proof that he used LSD. Surely, they think, that will deter him.

Not so fast. Miller calls Ray that night, and gives him a big ‘screw you’ – and really, it’s hard to blame him.

Marvin convinces Bridget and Connor to go to their uncle’s party, where Mickey gives his grandson a bottle of liquor and sends Bunchy upstairs with a young woman. Half-way through a blowjob, Bunchy freaks out and imagines the priest who molested him going down on him instead. The woman yells at him for stopping her, and, having a complete meltdown, Bunchy sets fire to his room.

Terry calls Ray to inform him that the kids are there, and, furious, Ray comes at Mickey with a gun, even as his children look on, terrified. And then – because threatening your children’s (admittedly evil) grandfather with mortal violence in front of them isn’t bad enough – Ray violently yanks on his son’s arm and demands he go with him. Terry offers to drive them instead, winning kudos for being one of the few nice people on this entire show.

Later, Ray returns to see Ezra, and they agree that Mickey has to be taken care of. And by “taken care of,” Ezra means he needs to be killed. Ray isn’t prepared to murder his own father…but he doesn’t argue that someone else should.

By the end of the episode, I was ready for Dexter Morgan to come down from Miami and take out half the cast. What about the rest of you? Is “Ray Donovan” a little too dark? Are any of the characters sympathetic enough to root for?