Moving on from the death of a loved one is no easy task, and it's clear the death of Abby sent a ripple effect through all of the characters pushing them in fresh and exciting directions.
On Ray Donovan Season 5 Episode 3, Ray continued to help Natalie James after the big revelation that she murdered her husband, Rob.
It was another solid outing for this Showtime drama series.
Let's just get one thing out of the way: Bravo to the producers and the promotional department over at Showtime. The reveal that Rob was alive was executed fantastically.
It seemed like Ray was going over to the house to inspect and even clean up the crime scene, but my jaw legit hit the floor when Rob emerged from the shadows and stabbed Ray with the scissors.
It came out of nowhere, and it set the tone for what was a surprising hour of the series. With Rob, it's difficult to assess what was going through his head when he leaked the pictures.
Did he somehow know that Ray flaked on a cancer-stricken Abby to bone his wife? That would give some method to his madness in the grand scheme of things.
But maybe, like Natalie, he knew the relationship had been dead for years, and perhaps his reaction to Ray showing up with the dog gave us our biggest insight into their relationship.
The only time the pair were really happy and in love was when they were high on a beach, taking explicit pictures of each other.
That says a lot about the state of their relationship if that was, indeed, the only time they felt close to one another. Maybe Natalie stayed in the marriage for longer than she should have because of her lifestyle.
Being a celebrity and splitting up can open a can of worms with all of the crazy rumors that swirl. It's a sad state of affairs, but that's what happens.
The storyline could have been very easily tied up in the first few moments, but having it carry the bulk of the episode made Natalie seem like a more integral part of the show, and I'm not opposed to that.
Lili Simmons is mesmerizing as Natalie, and considering she has a season-long arc, we will likely be seeing a whole lot more of her.
However, it would be best if she was not a love interest for Ray. It was bad enough they slept together while Abby was dying.
Rob: Who the fuck are you?
Ray has a lot of issues. Throughout the last four seasons, we have watched his demeanor change at the drop of a hat, and that's part of the reason why Ray Donovan Season 5 has been fascinating so far.
Abby was always there as his support system. Even though he would go out, screw around and do a whole lot of downright terrible things, she would always be at home waiting for him whenever he decided to return.
Now, she's not there. She's dead, and he nobody to answer to. With that sense of freedom, it's almost like he feels more tied down than ever.
Are we to assume that it's stemming from the guilt of the crap he put her through or even the way he handled the news that she was dying?
Ray watching an ill-looking Abby play a game with the kids was rather telling. He had been with Abby for 21 years, so he was probably reminiscing about all the fun they had.
Ray: I, uh, I passed. Seventy-three.
Ray: Can I go?
Therapist: The night you were arrested. Is that the day your wife died?
Therapist: Did your brother say something to you insensitive?
Therapist: Then maybe you can explain to me why you attacked him.
Ray: A misunderstanding.
Therapist: Just a misunderstanding. Nothing else?
Therapist: This type of counseling doesn't work for everybody, but you already know that, right?
Ray: No, I just...
Therapist: It doesn't work because most people don't have a reason to make it work. You know, you're not a nineteen-year-old punk with a drug problem. You have a home. A family. Some success. You have kids that need you more than ever. You didn't beat your own brother repeatedly and trash your own restaurant over a misunderstanding.
However, he knew the good times were going to end, and she died that very moment. It must have been horrible to watch her condition deteriorate and all Abby wanted was to play games as a family and spend every last minute together.
Unfortunately, that's not Ray's style, and that's why he and his whiskey took the dog for a walk, and that's how he formally met up with Natalie.
The big speech from the therapist close to the end of the hour proved that Ray needed to find a reason to be a better man.
But with his son and daughter out of town and the rest of his family doing their own thing, he was likely wondering what he could do to become a better man.
That will be one one of the bigger questions as time goes on, but one that I'm excited to see answered.
There's a certain sense of finality to a lot of the storylines this season, and it makes me wonder if the rumors that this is the show's last hurrah are correct.
Ending the show after recovering from the mess of Ray Donovan Season 4 would be a good time to do it, and ending on a high would be the best way to go about it.
Maureen leaving Terry was going to happen sooner rather than later. It was only a matter of time before Todd opened up about the whole prostitute in Nevada thing.
Going into a marriage with secrets is not a good idea, and Maureen was absolutely right to be mad. Without hearing the context of the what happened, what was she supposed to do?
The moment she heard her husband's name and the word prostitute, her mind probably went into overdrive as she wondered how he could betray her in such a way.
Terry: Tell my wife I want to speak to her.
Todd: She's not going to want to...
Terry: Now, you fucking prick!
Obviously, we know what really happened because of Ray Donovan Season 5 Episode 2, but Maureen knowing that Ray and Abby knew about the incident the whole time was a bitter pill to swallow.
How was she supposed to feel? She connected with the whole family in a good way. It's one thing to hear that your significant other has been lying to you, but it's amplified when you realize that everyone else has been in on the secret the whole time.
Time will tell whether Maureen takes Terry back, but the odds are most certainly not in Terry's favor at this stage.
Other tidbits from the episode:
- Frank turning to Mickey instead of Ray was a bit nonsensical. It's obvious Ray will find out the truth about Avi before long, and it will only put Ray and Mickey at odds again. Do we really need them to be on the outs?
- Lena finally got something to do aside from sitting in the office. More Lena is always a good thing, so keep her out on the field from here on out.
- Please let Conor stay at the military college, for, like, the rest of the series. The teen angst is part of what made me loathe the show.
- Bunchy has always wondered about his purpose in the world, so it's good that he's doing something that will make both him and his family proud.
- Poor Mickey. He learned the hard way that it's not easy to become a bigwig screenwriter in Hollywood.
- Where is Susan Sarandon? For someone that was heavily featured on the official trailer for the season, she's had one scene.
Okay, Ray Donovan Fanatics. What do you think of all the crazy developments?
Hit the comments!
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Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.