Let the power of pop music set you free.
That's one of the lessons from Ray Donovan Season 3 Episode 10, as it was that special power, as well as Ray's extensive contacts thanks to his fixer work and a little legal maneuvering, that ultimately freed Mickey from the stranglehold of the Armenian gang.
As we barrel into the Ray Donovan Season 3 finale, it was nice to have at least one story tied up, because there are others that are building to a crescendo.
First up, let's chat about Bridget and Mr. Donellen. Dude made a terrible mistake. As if it wasn't bad enough that he thought messing around with drugs and a student was a brilliant idea, he didn't even bother to Google the student with whom he was carousing? Utter and astronomical fail, Mr. Donellen!
It's difficult to imagine how this story is going to wrap up. It was worrisome before Abby got wind of any of it, but Donellen pulling out the "Bridget is obsessed with me" card and blaming it all on her was not only cliche but pathetic.
I'm not pleased that the story took this turn at all, as there was an opportunity to do something different and examine an adult relationship between a student and a teacher who truly found common ground in their grief. God forbid anybody think that avenue could be explored and done in an interesting fashion.
Instead it turned seedy and ugly and very ABC Family. Donellen is in big trouble now that he's thrown Bridget under the bus. In the meantime, it's also brought Abby and Terry closer in exactly the way everyone feared. Yet, I'm not sure Terry will be the instigator. When Abby leaned her head back toward Terry and took his hand, I felt myself blanch. Neither of these stories are working for me. They're too easy.
Ironically, Abby is angry at Ray for his sexcapades at a time when he's the least promiscuous that we've ever seen him. He has been practically celibate in comparison to other seasons. Paige has continually tempted him, but from what we've seen, he's only given in once and has been otherwise standoffish with her. He certainly doesn't win husband of the year, but he's progressing.
I said earlier this season that I didn't imagine the NFL deal would actually go through. Bringing Ed Cochran in on the vetting process appears to be the fly in that ointment. Even with an official green light to the announcement phase, it's unlikely it will happen with his vendetta against Ray.
They had to bring back someone who has such a deep hatred for Ray to upset the apple cart, but I was not pleased with the turn of story because it was, ultimately, lazy. I cannot think of any reason the murder weapon wasn't wiped clean and returned to its rightful place in the rack next to the fireplace. What in the hell is it doing in Avi's storage unit? Does he keep souvenirs? They didn't crack the sink off the wall that Finney washed up in to keep that as evidence. It makes no sense to me.
At the very least, they would have thought to replace the missing piece. Someone, eventually, was going to notice the missing poker. Ray Donovan Season 3 Episode 11 is named "Poker," for goodness sakes. I'm looking forward to the explanation as to why it was taken, because at this point, nothing other than the need to stop the deal and bring back Ed to create story works.
The only thing I can think of is that Avi is going to go down for killing Varick. He killed Kate. He took a dick pic on Cochran's work computer (why leave photographic evidence pointing directly to him that's as good as a fingerprint?), his face is on Varick's passport, and he has the poker in his possession. It doesn't look good.
Would Ray let it Avi take the fall? We haven't seen Ray forgive Avi for Kate's death yet. I'm open to it. The series is coming back, and Ray Donovan isn't going to be phoning it in from a prison cell, of that I'm certain. The odds on billionaire Finney being caught even though he cracked the poker down onto Varick's skull are relatively slim. But somebody will likely pay.
[*Note: I write these before seeing any previews. If I had seen previews for what's ahead, I would have rewritten the few paragraphs above!]
While all of that was going down, Ray managed to free Mickey from the Minassians thanks to Hasmig the Armenian pop singer. It seemed like a stretch, but I don't like pop music, so popping a few selfies on the wall with a celebrity wouldn't hold much weight for me. Oh, I'm not forgetting the fact Ray is Mick's guardian, either. That was inspired.
The banter between Ray and Mickey was hilarious. Thanks to the F-bombs, I'm not putting them into the review because I don't want to edit them, but they can be found on the Ray Donovan quotes page. Father and son have been separated too long, robbing us of their witticisms. It's obvious the joy Jon Voight and Liev Schrieber get playing off each other.
We should see a bit more of it as the final two installments play out since Mickey acquiesced to Ray's suggestion he leave Los Angeles. While Mickey is going to throw himself a goodbye party and all of that good stuff, does anybody think he'll be gone for long if he leaves at all? There is such a love/hate thing going on that until they get it all sorted, they'll never be able to get along without each other.
Surely something will come up that will keep Mickey nearby. As long as Ray remains in charge, he may not even mind. I'd like to see fewer Mickey shenanigans and more of his time devoted to bingo (as Ray suggested) just so the entire family would be able to deal with all of their history. Now that the priest business is wiped up, isn't that the next step?
The NFL deal is likely to end roughly, wrapping up with the death of Varick so neither of those, nor the Finney family are in play for Ray Donovan Season 4. What are your thoughts? Are Abby and Terry going to go there and will Donellen pay a terrible price for his lie about Bridget? Worried for Avi? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.