The Dark Days of <i>Ray Donovan</i>: How We Got To Season 3

Ray Donovan has always been a dark show, but after a tumultuous season two finale and a violent start to the third season, it’s fair to say that the show is at its darkest, and not just for Ray.

Ray Donovan has always been a dark show, but after a tumultuous season two finale and a violent start to the third season, it’s fair to say that the show is at its darkest, and not just for Ray (Liev Schrieber). All of the characters are wrestling with their demons, haunted by the consequences of the storylines from season two. Here’s a look at some of the most important storylines from Ray Donovan season two, and how they relate to the current season.

The Murder of Kate McPherson

Arguably the most pivotal moment of season two took place when Avi (Steven Bauer) murdered Kate McPherson (Vinessa Shaw), Ray’s lover but also his potential downfall. The dogged reporter was intent on figuring out what Ray and his associates were up to, and as Ray tried to warn her, she dug way too deep. Although Ray was not involved in the murder itself, he carries the guilt with him into season three nonetheless.

Mickey’s Fatherly Love

Mickey Donovan (Jon Voight) just can’t do right by his sons (or his grandson, for that matter). At the end of season two, Mickey got the brilliant idea to rob a marijuana dispensary. Things didn’t go according to plan however, and Terry (Eddie Marsan) ended up taking the fall. Terry was just trying to get the hell outta dodge with his lady, but season three finds him sitting in a jail cell. If that wasn’t enough, Conor (Devon Bagby) nearly lost his life in an explosion when Mickey left him in charge of Shorty (Steph DuVall), who accidentally combined a full tank of oxygen with a lit stove.

Rather than making it up to his own sons, however, Mickey has taken a liking to a little girl in his apartment complex named Audrey (Shree Crooks), as well as her mother, a prostitute (Fairuza Balk). His protection, of course, takes the form of murder when he kills the man who has been abusing Audrey’s mother by drugging him with Xanax and drowning him in the pool. Fatherly love, the Donovan way.

The Murders of Marvin and Cookie

Speaking of fatherly love, Ray ended season two showing some of his own by killing Cookie (Omar Dorsey), the man who shot his daughter Bridget’s (Kerris Dorsey) boyfriend, Marvin (Octavius J. Johnson). Ray may not have been Marvin’s biggest fan, but to viewers his death was quite a blow. No one is mourning the loss of Cookie, as now Bridget doesn't have to spend her life looking over her shoulder. But Bridget still pines for Marvin, and his death hangs over her like a dark cloud in season 3.

Abby’s Quest for Love

Ray is great at his job as a fixer, but despite his moments of (questionable, at best) familial loyalty, he’s never been the best husband or father. Emotionally distant, unavailable, and unfaithful, Ray’s approach to home-life is really just to treat it like a place to hang his suits. It’s only natural that his wife Abby (Paula Malcomson) would look elsewhere for husbandly affection. In season two, she took up with a cop named Jim, who seemed like the strong, loyal, law-abiding man of her dreams. However, when Jim wimped out on Abby's request to kill Cookie, Abby kicked him to the curb. Abby is now determined to win back Ray's affection, but Ray is unable to shake the fact that he got cheated on (probably because he’s used to being the one doing the cheating). We find their relationship as unstable as ever at the start of season three.

The plot is sure to take many new twists and turns, and to say that the future of the Donovan family is uncertain would be a radical understatement. You'll just have to keep watching…Tune in to Ray Donovan on SHOWTIME Sundays at 9/8 Central to see how the drama unfolds.

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