TV Show Review

TV Review: RAY DONOVAN: Season 3, Episode 4: Breakfast of Champions [Showtime]

Liev Schreiber Katie Holmes Jason Butler Harner Ray Donovan Breakfast of Champions

Showtime’s Ray Donovan Breakfast of Champions TV Show Review. Ray Donovan: Season 3, Episode 4: Breakfast of Champions deepened one new character to the series while exploring the past of and expanding upon a character that had been with the show since its beginning.

The viewer may have wondered what would attract a woman-in-film back to her TV roots. Until Breakfast of Champions, the viewer didn’t know. After this episode, the viewer knew. Paige Finney (Katie Holmes) is a woman with a vision, a vision for the future of her city and state.

Paige’s vision had been a closely guarded secret, to be sprung on her father Malcolm Finney (Ian McShane) precisely at the right time when all the right elements and leverages were in place. It was a last minute decision in Breakfast of Champions, concerning the family’s movie studio, that made her make a rash but necessary disclosure. Before she made the disclosure, she knew (I surmise) that her father would try to take control of her idea, make it his own, and make it his legacy (which was why she had never told him of it up until that point). Paige knew her father’s personality all too well. She also knew that her father would use Ray Donovan (Liev Schreiber) against her to soothe and to be forceful with her, to keep her in-line (so she wouldn’t derail her ‘appropriated’ vision out of spite) for his, I mean her, master plan. She saw all of this coming when she made her phone call to Ray. Malcolm saw all of this coming before Paige did, which was why he reminded Ray of where his loyalty lay and who owns his business and his services (before Paige could plant any seeds in Ray’s skull). It’s going to be interesting to see where this goes, especially when Ray’s conscience comes into play. If he steps out of line, however, his brother Terry Donovan (Eddie Marsan) may very well end up back in prison where the Brotherhood is waiting for him.

Abbey Donovan (Paula Malcomson) is one of least developed characters in Ray Donovan even-though she is the central figure in the main character’s life. Breakfast of Champions finally explored part of her past and her side of the family. The writer of this section of the episode used her past, her family, and the world she left behind as lens to examine her current world and situation with Ray. Abbey’s disapproving, condescending sister Margaret (Karina Logue) forced Abbey to look at the choices she had made, her dependency on Ray, and the possibility of moving forward in her life without him.

Through the fulcrum of her Boston visit and talking to what can be considered a younger version of herself, the viewer found out that Abbey escaped Boston through Ray. Abbey could have easily ended up trapped in the same neighborhood (and the same house) she grew up in like her sister and her brother if Ray had never entered her life.

Ray Donovan has been demoted to the fixer of the mundane because his buyout by the Finneys. He looked miserable as the paid-for lackey of the Finney clan, jumping at their beck, calls, and whims. Watching Ray go off the reservation though and show compassion saved these scenes. It surprised more than a few people on-screen when did so, as Ray did things that would have gotten a normal employee fired (perhaps that is subconsciously what he wanted).

Mickey Donovan (Jon Voight)’s two declarations to Terry during Breakfast of Champions (a.) about his ‘business,’ b.) the “shakes” commitment) were laughable, though touching in a cartoon sort of way.

Terry Donovan balked when Mickey announced that his new business’ main benefactor would be Terry (did Mickey really believe his own words?), that Mickey was building his business, cocaine and prostitutes, for Terry, like a nest egg. Mickey Donovan’s statement was the first example in Breakfast of Champions of how his warped mind worked.

The second example was when Mickey’s said he wouldn’t leave when Terry’s Parkinson Disease shakes “get really bad.” Terry is Mickey’s son. He is supposed to be there for him, not be selfish, or leave to spare himself the sight and pain of Terry’s deeper descent into his disease. Perhaps Mickey is finally learning to be a real father but it looked like he wanted a thank you or some acknowledgement of the sentiment he was expressing. He was saying he would be there instead of showing Terry by being there.

It was almost like Mickey was saying it to himself, telling himself not to run when the going got tough. If that was why he said what he said to Terry, than it was worth it. Is Mickey Donovan becoming the man his children needed in their youth? We will have to wait and see.

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About the author

Rollo Tomasi

A Political Science and MBA grad who started FilmBook during an eCommerce B-School course in 2008. Cinema and TV addict. Former writer at Empire Movies, Blogcritics, and Alternative Film Guide. In addition to writing for FilmBook, he also edits the copy published on the website, manages its writing staff, manages the back-end operations, site finances, its social network accounts, and works with publicists, actors, and companies on press coverage and promotions. He has also created ProMovieBlogger.com and Trending Awards.com.

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