Aug 16 2015

Ray Donovan – “Swing Vote” Retrospective. Major Changes are Afoot.


Ray Donovan S3 logoSeason 3, Episode 6

Airdate: Sunday, August 16, 2015 at 9:00 pm ET/PT on Showtime



He abused my brother Ray, too. Ray was there. I shot him in the stomach; Ray shot him in the head, and I don’t regret it for a fuckin’ second. Not anymore.” – Bunchy

In last week’s episode, “Handshake Deal,” Ray (Liev Schreiber) gave Paige (special guest star Katie Holmes) the phone containing incriminating evidence against Governor Verona (guest star Skip Sudduth) in exchange for a piece of the NFL team she’s trying to buy. With election day around the corner, Ray must now ensure Verona’s victory in order to secure his and Paige’s ownership of the team. In the meantime, Mickey (Jon Voight) learns a valuable lesson at the hands of Mrs. Minassian (guest star Grace Zabriskie) and her grandson Davros (guest star Nikola Kent). At home, Abby (Paula Malcomson) tries to reconnect with Ray while Bunchy (Dash Mihok) shares his feelings for Teresa (guest star Alyssa Diaz) with his support group. In addition, so much more happens in “Swing Vote,” it made my head spin—in a good way.

Abby sizes up the Finneys at the election party.

Abby sizes up the Finneys at the election party.

It’s sad watching the heartfelt conversation between Ray and Abby about the state of their marriage in the beginning of “Swing Vote.” I shouldn’t use the word ‘conversation,’ though, considering Ray doesn’t utter a word. He would do well to remember Abby’s not the only spouse who cheated. Just when I thought this story arc would go on forever, writer Michael Tolkin thankfully switches things up. It makes me happy when Ray finally sees the light because let’s face it, he and Abby are not only good together, they’re meant for each other. It’s nice to see the Donovans on friendly terms again. With the results of the gubernatorial election, though, things might not work out the way Ray plans.

“Swing Vote” sees the return of both Avi (Steven Bauer) and Lee Drexler (guest star Peter Jacobson). While I’m happy to see Avi, knowing Drexler is handling the contract between Ray and Paige makes me uncomfortable. I don’t trust Drexler; the man is a weasel. The only one he looks out for is himself. Avi, on the other hand, only wants what’s best for Ray. Bauer does a great job expressing Avi’s heartfelt words; let’s hope Ray listens. I know Ray is a man of few words but a grunt now and then sure would go a long way. Although, the Cheshire cat grin on his face when he leaves Drexler’s office speaks volumes…until he gets Finney’s (special guest star Ian McShane) phone call. Good thing Lena (Katherine Moennig) is at Ray’s disposal.

Paige and Zack strike a deal that doesn't sit well with her father.

Paige and Zack strike a deal that doesn’t sit well with her father.

It is fascinating to watch the dynamic between Paige and her father once team owner Zack Davis (guest star David Cubitt) throws a monkey wrench into the works. What the hell did Finney do that makes him treat Paige like a second class citizen? There’s something strange going on among Paige, her husband Varick (Jason Butler Harner), and Finney. All of that and more is revealed in “Swing Vote,” but I’m not going to spoil it for those who haven’t seen the episode yet. It’s the kind of familial secret no one ever wants to come to light, especially for such a high-powered family. Let’s just say, I never would have figured it out on my own. It is completely opposite of how McShane depicts Finney. Speaking of McShane’s character portrayal, he more than knocks it out of the park in both this scene and the one following the election. The way he projects makes it seem like he is seven feet tall and definitely not someone to be taken lightly.

So far this season, I haven’t been able to figure out what Father Romero (Leland Orser) wants from Bunchy. That changes in “Swing Vote” once Romero confides the specific details of a past event to Bunchy. Romero acts like Bunchy’s best friend although he’s anything but. He definitely has an ulterior motive that will cause Bunchy a lot of pain should he ever figure it out. One can only hope that somehow, Ray will get involved and stop Romero before the inevitable dangerous consequences.

Road trip!

Road trip!

I wasn’t sure Bunchy traveling to California to talk to Teresa was a good thing to do. After all, she left to be with her family and continue her career as a Luchadora. Asking someone to choose between their professional and personal lives is a serious request. Watching Bunchy pleading with Teresa brought a tear to my eye. Mihok does a wonderful job conveying Bunchy’s feelings when he expresses his hopes and dreams for a future with Teresa. Kinky past aside, I’m rooting for Bunchy; I love a happy ending.

Terry knows he can always count on Potato Pie.

Terry knows he can always count on Potato Pie.

I thought once Terry (Eddie Marsan) was released from prison in “Ding,” he was done with the Aryans. That doesn’t appear to be the case considering what he finds on his desk at the Fite Club. I understand Terry’s anxiety but what he asks Potato Pie (William Stanford Davis) could have serious consequences. Marsan is an expert at his craft, especially during a scene where Terry sits in a corner, shaking, while holding a baseball bat. If I didn’t know better, I’d think Marsan was afflicted with Parkinson’s in real life. Unfortunately, I fear this plot point isn’t going to end well. Remember, it’s not over until it’s over, as we learn from the final scene of “Swing Vote.”

I thought the lesson the Minassians teach George (guest star Gev Kalian), a “business associate” who’s late with his payments, would have been more violent. After all, Mickey’s been around the block a time or two. Still, he understands how important it is to keep Ginger (Fairuza Balk) and the rest of the prostitutes working, especially with the threat from motel owner Mrs. Rosenblatt (guest star Jeanette O’Connor). While Mickey’s way of handling things always has a criminal element, Daryll’s (Pooch Hall) solution is brilliant—if Terry agrees. I just hope Mickey doesn’t foil the plan, which is something he often does when he thinks his way is best.


“Swing Vote” focuses, for the most part, on Terry and Bunchy’s story arcs, both of which are captivating. But the episode also shakes things up in a major way for Ray both personally and professionally. Given what happens, it will be interesting to see what’s next for Ray and the Finney family. It would seem as though their relationship is finished after Finney loses it with Ray. With Avi and Lena back in the picture, I hope Ray will resume doing business with them. I’m tired of seeing him act like a whipped dog; I want my fierce Hollywood fixer back!



What did you think of “Swing Vote?” Do you think the Aryans are truly out to get Terry? And how about Bunchy and Teresa—will their relationship succeed? Leave me a comment below or tweet me @SeasideTV. Let’s discuss!

Stay up-to-date with the series on the official Ray Donovan website:

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Follow the series on Twitter @SHO_RayDonovan. And follow cast mates Liev Schreiber (Ray) @LievSchreiber, Pooch Hall (Daryll) @iam_POOCHHALL, Dash Mihok (Bunchy) @dizmihok, Devon Bagby (Conor) @DevonBagby, Kerris Dorsey (Bridget) @kerrisdorsey, Steven Bauer (Avi) @thestevenbauer, Kate Moennig (Lena) @katemoennig, and Eddie Marsan (Terry) @eddiemarsan.

Photos courtesy of Michael Desmond © 2015 Showtime Network, a wholly owned subsidiary of CBS Corporation. All Rights Reserved.



© 2015, Linda. All rights reserved.


Love TV, movies, and books--mostly mysteries, with a good love story thrown in every now and then. I have four adopted dogs who I adore. I love trying new recipes, and enjoy eating what I make. English language perfectionist. Reading in bed, Italian food, warm weather, the beach, all types of games = favs!

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