Ray Donovan Season 3 Episode 11 Review: Poker

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Ed Cochran lives to annoy another day.

After watching Ray Donovan Season 3 Episode 11, it appears the Varick murder investigation will be over with Finney taking the fall (he was, after all, the killer!), despite his desire to throw Ray under the bus with the help of new pal Ed Cochran.

Unfortunately, all of the things we found wrong with the way Avi cleaned up after Varick's death weren't red herrings to set up someone, but really done in the course of business. That was utterly surprising. 

Now I find myself picking apart the way Ray is allowing Mickey to get away with remaining in town. These situations don't necessarily make a lot of sense these days, so let's take a look at what's happening on Ray Donovan.

Stumbling - Ray Donovan

Will this be the last time anybody leaves a murder weapon neatly wrapped and placed front and center upon a shelf in U Store It (or whatever it was called), the most non-secure storage facility in Los Angeles? Please say yes.

I can't be the only one both shocked and disappointed to learn that wasn't a part of some plan, whether to "frame" Finney for the murder he actually committed or something else. Once I really thought about it, it was so out of character and poorly constructed, I refused to believe they really "hid" the murder weapon in that capacity.

Sure, it worked out in the end, but it was all cut very close, including Avi getting the body in broad daylight. Did that raise alarms for anybody else? The police knew where it was and were supposedly on the lookout for it. Why didn't Avi wait until nightfall to dig it up? Traipsing in there with a utility van and digging seemed ever so risky. 

The whole "get the poker out of the air vent and fling it down several stories to Avi" thing was impressive to watch, but not very realistic, either. No, Ray Donovan isn't gritty realism, but when the cops are thatclose​ to the door, how the hell would they not notice Avi down there? 

Speaking of Avi, I realize I said early on that this case is probably wrapped up, but the photos of Avi entering Mexico as Varick might still come up again. Ray is a fixer, after all, and surely the cops will realize he fixed the situation for Finney. How does Ray get out of those investigations anyway? Fiction, I suppose. Once you start picking the nits, it gets hard to stop. 

It seemed obvious that Paige would side with Ray so she could take over the family business, but since Ray tossed the hat out the window, does that mean the team is gone? Perhaps there would be too much bad publicity to keep that ball in the air. 

Onto Tricky Mickey. This was another story that just didn't sit well with me. Frankly, his antics haven't worked during Ray Donovan Season 3

It might have seemed like a cute idea in theory for Mickey to use the conservatorship papers to pull a fast one on Ray so he could stay in town, but it made no sense for Ray to so easily roll over. It was almost like a sitcom moment from an episode of "That Darn Mickey."

Under what circumstances wouldn't those (granted, sort of idiot) kids, Bunchy and Daryll, believe Ray if he told them the only way he could get their father out testifying against the police was to say he was incompetent? It's not as if he doesn't do that stuff for a living and hasn't done similar things for other family members for years. 

Yes, the series won't be the same without Jon Voight, but find another avenue for his character to take already. Some growth is in order. Mickey's plan was to move to Reno and get involved with more hookers and blow? That's embarrassing. Every time his kids or grandkids fall for his misadventures, it makes all of them look pathetic, and this series has proven to have a stronger heart than that. Or, at least it once did.

Haven't they all been taken in enough times by Mickey to know when they're being taken for a ride? Yes, unless the writing tells them to behave otherwise. 

The plotline of Ray Donovan Season 3 Episode 12, "Exsuscito," says Abby and Terry tell Ray what's really going on with Bridget. Aha! But will they chat about what's really going on with them, too? At least I called it that Abby would end up being the one to make the first move on Terry, cheeky woman. She just needed him to say she was beautiful. That was easy.

Mr. Donellen is one frakked up man. I'm honestly not sure he really "wants" Bridget, but rather he's just falling easily into it because she keeps putting it out there. Some men are just that stupid. Sorry, guys. It's TV. Women are stupid, too. The whole conversation at the door was achingly uncomfortable. 

Regardless of Donellen, Bridget is going through a very ugly stage. The way she's treating Terry is atrocious. If Ray heard her effing this and effing that, he might just be tempted to backhand her. I still can't believe she hasn't been sent to counseling. Witnessing a murder, terrible grades, a school fight and crushing on a teacher? She needs help.

Will Bridget's story be the lion's share of the finale, or will there be more going on with the Finney family? What crazy antics will Mickey be getting into? Might his kids finally realize he's a mess and not impaired? The trailer makes it look like Ray's going to try to right himself with God. That should to be pretty powerful stuff. We'll be here to run it down.

In the meantime, share your thoughts about how the Varick storyline wrapped up. Disappointed in the sloppy fixer tactics? How about Mickey? Ready to see him grow up? Should Bridget get counseling? You're up!

Poker Review

Editor Rating: 3.7 / 5.0
  • 3.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (33 Votes)

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.

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Ray Donovan Season 3 Episode 11 Quotes

Ray's just like my old man was with my mom. Too caught up with his own bullshit to realize how beautiful she was.


Terry: It's like Fatal Attraction. I bet she wasn't wearin' any panties.
Abby: [laughs] That was Basic Instinct.