TV Show Review

TV Review: RAY DONOVAN: Season 3, Episode 9: The Octopus [Showtime]

Alyssa Diaz Dash Mihok The Strain The Octopus

Showtime’s Ray Donovan The Octopus TV Show Review. Ray Donovan: Season 3, Episode 9: The Octopus re-introduced an old antagonist of Ray Donovan, one the viewer thought was vanquished for good. Seeing this character turn around to accept a file was a shock but a great one. This was a turn of events that will bear tremendous fruit for a particular story-line this season.

The viewer may have wondered what happened to this person after such a public disgracing last season. Obviously with this person’s skill set and background, they were eventually able to find corporate employment.

Though this person pulled themselves out of the gutter, they didn’t do so emotionally. Their bravado and power-swagger were gone. This was a person trying to make the best out of a bad situation and broken life.

When Ray Donovan (Liev Schreiber)’s photograph landed in his lap at the end of the episode, former FBI Special Agent Ed Cochran (Hank Azaria) was thunderstruck for two reasons: 1.) that Ray Donovan had turned up in his life again, and 2.) that Ray was part of such a massive business deal (3%).

Like Ray going to jail last season (which was never going to happen), I knew Ray Donovan‘s writers wouldn’t let him become super-rich. If Ray became super-rich, he wouldn’t have to fix people’s problems anymore, which is the central premise of the show. The writers have recently begun a strategy of dangling a life-changing event in front of Ray and then extinguishing it by season’s end. It happened at the end of last season and if history is prologue, it may very well happen again at the end of this season.

Cochran knows on an intimate level that Ray is a bad guy. Now he is in a position to exact revenge from a position of complete safety. Ray doesn’t even know that Cochran is ‘in play.” He may not find out until it’s too late.

Cochran can’t sink the NFL deal without proof of something. The missing person within the deal will be his means to that end (Cochran will say the breaks should be put on the deal until the person that is on “vacation” turns up). He will investigate the whereabouts of the missing person like the years of his FBI training and government work taught him to. I predict Cochran will use that missing person to blow Ray’s deal, his dreams, and bright future out of the water, just like Ray did to him at the end of last season.

Inside of his narcissism bubble, Mickey Donovan (Jon Voight) saw himself as a criminal entrepreneur. Surrounded by law enforcement personnel in The Octopus, he was confronted by what he had turned himself into: “A piece of s**t pimp. Though a pimp, Mickey was not on the same page as human traffickers, but he was certainly in the same book (a fact that never occurred to him until this episode).

It was surprising to see the deep hole that Mickey had sunk into get deeper, big enough to potentially swallow him whole. The Armenian revelation in The Octopus i.e. their other business was that dark. How deep into that “business” will Ray Donovan delve until it moves onto a different subject?

The subject that won’t be quickly glossed over will be the one brewing between Mr. Donellen (Aaron Staton) and Bridget Donovan (Kerris Dorsey). Donellen is a lonely fool. How many high school teachers have lost their jobs in the last ten years for fooling around with a student? Donellen is aware of them and the consequences yet blithely ventured into that forbidden territory anyway.

This scenario can only end badly. Not as badly as a similar scenario ended last season on Shameless, but badly. The relationship will eventually be discovered (probably by Bridget’s mom), the teacher will be fired, and/or Ray will step in. Ray Donovan is a drama series. Because of that, this situation has to reach the light of day (why else engineer it?). A teacher in a relationship with a student is ‘dramatic,’ especially with a high-end fixer being the parent of one of the people involved. Ray Donovan‘s writers are not going to let the drama created by that relationship being revealed slip through their fingers.

Ray won’t kill Donellen. If Ray was going to kill anyone, it would have been Marvin Gaye Washington after he tried to force a sexual act on Bridget. If Ray restrained himself in that case (I don’t know how he summoned the strength to do that), he will restrain himself with the teacher. A punch to the gut will probably do it.

Bunchy Donovan (Dash Mihok)’s growing happiness may be the high point of the season. Long ago, Ray found someone that understood him and accepted him for what he was (for better or worse). Bunchy has now found the same. Teresa (Alyssa Diaz) balances Bunchy, counteracting his emotional and mental deficiencies, stabilizing him. Seeing Ray admit that he was wrong about Teresa was a hard pill for him to swallow. He was big enough to admit his error in judgement out loud though, in front of an audience. That took gumption.

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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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