In a series of this sort it is hard to keep it going. Yeah, the lead character is beyond cool and his life is very different from the one most of us live but after a while the cool factor wears off and things become repetitive. We need something to keep us interested and invested. This Showtime series has managed that over three seasons and season four proves that the idea well has not grown dry yet. The new twist that this season centers around is how previously Ray Donovan (played by Liev Schreiber) managed somehow to keep his work life and personal/family life separated. That totally goes awry when his father Mickey (played by Jon Voight) puts a spoke in that wheel.
Normally Ray is having to “fix” the lives of Hollywood stars, wealthy people or athletes. These people tend to get in a lot of trouble and keeps him busy along with rich. Now, because his father Mickey has ratted on the Armenians and then the Russian mob, Ray is forced to mop up his own life as well as his family’s.
After recovering from the gunshot wound he sustained in the shootout with the Armenians, aided by boxer Hector Campos (played by Ismael Cruz Cordova) and Father Romero (played by Leland Orser), Ray now has to deal with art dealer Sonia Kovitzky (played by Embeth Davidtz) and the Russian mob.
While trying to keep the Russians from killing him and his entire family, Ray also has to deal with Hector and his relationship with his drug addict half-sister Marisol (played by Lisa Bonet). Hector is trying to either retain or regain his world championship title while trying to keep a handle on his sister. Ray is trying to keep Marisol from telling their story on television and the whole situation from imploding.
Within the rest of the Donovan family things are not exactly going smoothly either. Abby is going through a health crisis. Bridget (played by Kerris Dorsey) is trying to figure out her relationship with her father and her boyfriend. Conor (played by Devon Bagby) is dealing with growing up and trying to prove his is tough guy like his father. Bunchy (played by Dash Mihok) has his hands full with his new baby and a wife (played by Alyssa Diaz) suffering from mental illness. Terry (played by Eddie Marsan) is attempting to keep his life on the up and up and focusing on boxing. Mickey has got himself into trouble once again. This time in Vegas.
The strength of the series has always been that it asks brainpower of its audience not spoon feeding us all the answers. We are expected to keep up and figure some things out on our own. There is plenty that goes unspoken on an intellectual and emotional level.
It also portrays a rather realistic family. Ok, so we all don’t have a father who is a fixer or live in a huge house in Hollywood, but many have rather messed up families. Families in which the father is removed from things on a day to day basis. Grandfathers who are always getting in trouble. Teenage daughters who test their boundaries. Teenage sons who go overboard in their attempts to be a man. Uncles who are sick. Uncles who have addiction problems. A mother with cancer. This is the family in Ray Donovan and it is not unlike ours in some respects. We can relate to what they are going through as a family.
-Character Profiles: Ray Donovan + Mickey Donovan