Ray Donovan 1.08 “Bridget” Recapby Shilo Adams / August 18, 2013
After sending Avi to burn down Bunchy’s house, Ray talks to the Armenian realtor who sold it to his brother and threatens to damage more properties unless Bunchy gets his money back. But before Ray can leave the house, he has to deal with Bridget skipping school and getting her navel pierced without permission; Abby told her she could do it, as long as there was an adult present and she got to pick the place, and her therapist claimed that it would help her “reclaim her body” following the sexual assault. Now, it’s bleeding and looks to be infected, but Abby claims it’s inappropriate for Ray to be involved in things like this, since he’s the father.
He follows Bridget up to her room where she asks him if he killed Marvin after the two left the previous night. Ray only tells her to take the piercing out and that he did what he had to do with Marvin; once he leaves, she texts him to see where he is and it turns out that he’s staying at the house his mom was killed. Meanwhile, Mickey has been sent to a spa by Sean after complaining of back trouble. While working on the movie treatment, he meets a woman who’s interested in the work he was doing, a divorcee who managed to get a two-script commitment in her divorce from a prominent studio executive.
Ray makes it to the gym and begins to celebrate Bridget’s birthday on the 26th year since she killed herself. Terry does a brief reading from Shakespeare and the trio share a shot in their sister’s honor before Francis shows up in a pair of sunglasses, needing to talk to Terry. The man that he saw her with the other day? Her husband, who is responsible for the black eye she currently has. She claims to not love him and that she’s waiting for their 17-year-old kid to go off to college before leaving, but it doesn’t matter to Terry and she leaves. While he doesn’t want to be the “other man,” Terry does take issue with Francis’ husband hitting her and rushes off to go confront him with Ray and Bunchy, who grabs the bottle of liquor on the way out. In the car, they reminisce about other times they’ve gotten into fights and remember the time that Bridget almost got caught smoking in school and accidentally set her purse on fire.
Back at the Donovan house, Abby brings Bridget some comfort food and discovers that she ran away, leaving only a vulgar message on the mirror before she hopped on a bus to Marvin’s. Outside Francis’ home, Terry reminds Ray and Bunchy that he’s to go in there alone and confront her husband. However, the husband is outside and seemingly ready for Terry, as he gets in the first shot with the hose he was handling. The two exchanges blows and another man from the neighborhood gets involved trying to break things up, only to get punched in the face and kicked in the stomach several times by Bunchy. Things end, though, when Terry apologizes for being with Francis and claims that he’s not okay with hitting a lady before punching the husband one more time.
While Ray’s away from the office, Lena and Avi are tasked with shredding any and all documents that could bring about federal charges – or, basically, every document in their database. The subject turns to Lena’s complicated love life with a girlfriend who’s still married and refuses to leave her husband. Avi advises her to tell this woman how she feels and Lena admits that she’ll think it over. At the spa, Mickey and his new friend continue talking and he spills his life story, surprising her with the fact that he had a child with Claudette, who she knows quite well. She suggests that they could collaborate on a project.
Meanwhile, Abby is freaking out at not knowing where Bridget is, calling her daughter’s friends in hopes of finding her. Not helping matters is Ray calling her to check in; she claims that Bridget is fine and sleeping, adding to the pressure to find her. While Bridget gets off the bus at a Burger Palace and texts Marvin to let him know that she made it, Lena calmly walks into the office of her girlfriend, punches her in the face, and calmly walks back out. Back at the spa, Mickey and Linda agree to get a drink that evening at Mickey’s apartment. Once they get there, she flirts with him and he says that she’s too old for him but he would let her blow him. She says that she would have to have a gun to her head, so he walks to the dresser, pulls out his gun, and points it at her, ordering her on her knees. However, her comment wasn’t meant to lead him to think that she was into that and seeing the gun makes her immediately start crying. Despite Mickey’s apologies, she leaves and he lobs several insults at her as she does so.
Bridget arrives at Marvin’s and starts crying over being in the house where his mother died. He doesn’t seem too upset by it, saying that she put herself there, and the two look through old photo albums before he apologizes for what happened at Re-Kon’s. She asks whether Ray did anything to him and he says that the only thing her father did was put him back where he belongs, a place he plans to shoot a music video at in the near future. After finding condoms in his dresser, Bridget shows off her bellybutton piercing and claims to want to have sex, but he says no. He’s not even supposed to be touching her, let alone having sex with her, and he confesses that Ray put a gun in his mouth before leaving him at the house. Even when she claims to want to stay the night, he calls Abby and tells her where Bridget is.
The Armenian shows up at Ray’s office threatening to kill Avi, only for Ray to come from behind and tase him. Once he’s tied up, Ray tells the realtor that he took advantage of Bunchy and that he wants all of his brother’s money back – in cash. It takes several shocks to the stomach and a threatened one to the groin, but Ray gets him to agree to give the money back, which he won’t be allowed to leave until he does. Afterward, Ray goes to the gym for another toast and another reading in Bridget’s honor, as well as more reminiscing. This time, Ray learns that it wasn’t Mickey who dislocated Bridget’s shoulders; it was Terry and Bunchy, who were fighting over who should get to play with their sister. Also discussed is the time Bunchy cut Bridget’s pigtails and threw them behind the radiator so that his parents would pay more attention to him, resulting in his mother always complaining about the smell when the radiator turned on that winter.
During the car ride home, Abby asks Bridget if she had sex with Marvin, which she doesn’t answer. Bridget then launches into a tirade, calling Abby a racist housewife and Ray an animal; in response, Abby says that if Bridget did have sex with Marvin and got pregnant as a result, she wouldn’t take her for an abortion, thereby ruining her life. Meanwhile, Ray tells Bunchy that he got the money, but that they were going to go back to the old arrangement where Ray acts as his conservator. As Bunchy protests, Ray reminds him of all that he’s done and will continue to do to protect him.
Francis arrives to talk to Terry and she claims that she threw the first punch in the fight with her husband; Terry, though, doesn’t care and ends things. At the Donovan house, Ray walks in to find Abby laying on the couch with a glass of wine and she complains about Bridget, causing him to laugh and climb over the couch to lay with her. He offers to buy her anything she wants and she says that what she really wants is emotional honesty, bringing up the handcuff in the apartment and the way that he has sex with her. Even though he claims that there’s nothing to the handcuff, Abby says that she smelled the girl on him the night she came over to the apartment, causing him to leave without saying anything else.
Terry goes to Saint Teresa’s to confess his sins after three years of not going to church. However, the priest simply tells Terry that he’s being very hard on himself and that everybody needs love. Getting emotional, Terry quickly leaves and grabs Bunchy, who sat on the step and watched a van of children, including one handsy priest, enter the church. After the argument with Abby, Ray goes to see Bridget and confesses that the reason he’s so afraid for her is because of what happened to his sister, who was pregnant and on drugs when she killed herself. Sometimes, he says, things happen that you can’t take back. He climbs into bed with her and the two sing a song they used to sing when she was little, which causes her to fall asleep on his chest.
While he’s putting her to bed, the cops arrive to arrest Lena, Marvin gets high and shoots his music video, Avi leaves with the money from the Armenian, and Mickey gets upset over a picture of his daughters.
Additional thoughts and observations:
-Can we have a moment of silence for how good Liev Schreiber looked in the bathroom during the opening moments of the episode? Because oh my.
-Rosanna Arquette! I wish she was given more to do than help continue Mickey’s streak of being really gross (“you know how to twerk?”) and a waste of narrative time, but alas. I actually didn’t mind their storyline until he said that he would let her blow him and he took out the gun; once that happened, I checked out.
-Eighth episode in a row where I just want to give Bunchy a hug. Poor guy. Also eighth episode in a row where Bridget was the absolute worst. (In that way, Ray Donovan reminds me a lot of Homeland, in that the son is a goofy non-entity and the daughter is obnoxious but really well-acted.)
-Was it worth the waiting to find out that Bridget was pregnant when she killed herself and that’s why Ray’s so protective of his daughter? To me, it would only be worth it if we found out who the father was and whether that had an effect on her decision to end her life. I get a weird feeling that Mickey molested her, for some reason, and I kind of expect that other shoe to drop by the end of the season.
-It felt like Ray was given more dialogue this episode, which was a nice change of pace. Schreiber is too good an actor to put a muzzle on and seeing him in the last few minutes of the episode, particularly in finally interacting with Abby and softening up around Bridget, makes me hopeful that they’ll balance the hardness of his character with some type of vulnerability.
-Lena! Would that Ray Donovan does some housecleaning between seasons and gives her a more prominent role next season.
-Hearing about who Bridget was before her death was nice. Thus far, she had only been an idea, a name that motivated the Donovans, but you got a sense of the type of person she was through the memories shared by Ray, Bunch, and Terry. Hopefully the final stretch of the season will put all cards on the table like this episode did.
-The editing in the middle of the episode was very choppy, jumping from Bridget to Ray to Mickey too quickly. The show already has a lot going on that maybe some more extended scenes could make it an easier (and more compelling) watch.
-I know that this is a drama and things need to happen, but could we get Abby more like she was when Ray came home near the end of the episode? It seems like every single time they bring a moment of lightness, it has to be followed up by a repetitive argument or something heavy handed like the emotional honesty comment.
-Next week on Ray Donovan: Avi brings Sully to Los Angeles to meet with Ray, while Mickey works to get evidence against Sean Walker and Lena digs up Frank’s secrets.