Sep 06 2015

Ray Donovan – “The Octopus” Retrospective. Love Conquers All.


Season 3, Episode 9

Airdate: Sunday, September 6, 2015 at 9:00 pm ET/PT on Showtime



Yeah, sure. Go ahead, Mick. Do what you always do. Make a run for it.” – Ray

What a lovely toast, Abby!

What a lovely toast, Abby!

While everyone is busy celebrating Bunchy’s (Dash Mihok) engagement and impending wedding to Teresa (Alyssa Diaz), Mickey (Jon Voight) finds himself in a tight spot with the police. An old rival arrives on the scene, making it look like the time might be ripe for revenge. Happy times and not-so-happy times are ahead for the Donovan family in “The Octopus.”

A large part of “The Octopus” deals with Bunchy—his relationship with Teresa, his feelings about the way his big brother Ray (Liev Schreiber) treats him, and his new job with his father, Mickey. It’s almost as if Bunchy becomes the man he was always meant to be right before your eyes in this episode, and it made my heart swell with pride as if I were Bunchy’s mother. Major kudos to Mihok for his portrayal of Bunchy not only in “The Octopus,” but throughout this entire season.

With Ivan and Mrs. Minassian (Grace Zabriskie) looking at me like that, I'd be scared too.

With Ivan and Mrs. Minassian (Grace Zabriskie) looking at me like that, I’d be scared too.

Speaking of Mickey, after being forced to go to the police station after his car was blown up in last week’s episode, “Tulip,” he isn’t so willing to become a C.I. for the cops after learning what Det. Muncie (Michael Hyatt), the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and the task force on human trafficking want him to do. It could very well get him killed but he doesn’t really have a choice. I don’t blame Mickey for being scared; running a sting on the Minassians could be very dangerous. I knew once Mickey took off for parts unknown, there would be hell to pay. And there certainly is.

Ray being Ray, he can’t let Bunchy marry Teresa, nor will he give Bunchy the money he won from his lawsuit against the Archdiocese without first having Avi (Steven Bauer) and Lena (Katherine Moennig) run a background check on Teresa and her family. But before Ray can explain his reason for doing this, Detective Muncie arrests Bunchy, on his wedding day no less, on “17 counts of pimping and pandering.” It’s up to Ray to save the day. He has to find Mickey, get him to the police station to take Bunchy’s place, and then get Bunchy to the chapel on time. Talk about a time crunch!

One of the more poignant moments of “The Octopus” is the very emotional jailhouse scene between Bunchy and Ray. When Ray can’t understand why Bunchy began working for Mickey, knowing it was illegal, Bunchy explains why. While he isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, I understand Bunchy’s motive. But Ray doesn’t comprehend how important this is for Bunchy. Or is it because Ray just can’t let go? After all, he’s been the de facto head of the family, watching over both Bunchy and Terry (Eddie Marsan)—something Mickey has never been capable of doing.

I'm loving Abby and Terry's new relationship.

I’m loving Abby and Terry’s new relationship.

I didn’t much care for Abby last season but she seems to have changed for the better in season three. She’s convinced Ray to buy the bar in Boston for her brother and sister; she’s become a better mother to Bridget (Kerris Dorsey) and Conor (Devon Bagby); and now, she’s becoming the friend and confidant Terry needs. The way she comforts him after a nightmare that has an extremely embarrassing consequence is wonderful. It is refreshing to see this kinder, gentler side of Abby. She is just what Terry needs when his Parkinson’s gets out of hand. An otherwise disgusting moment during a shopping trip is turned into one of pure enjoyment when Terry starts singing and dancing to “That’s the Way I Like It,” by K.C. and the Sunshine Band, and Abby joins in.

Typical of Mickey, he is too chicken shit to participate in the sting so he hides out in a motel where he enlists Ginger (Fairuza Balk) and her daughter Audrey’s (Shree Crooks) help to bring him all the cash and the passport he hid so he can leave town. He never once thinks of the consequences or the effects of his actions on others. But Ray knows Mickey all too well and quickly figures out he’s hiding at The Octopus Motel. For once, Ray convinces Mickey to think about someone other than himself—something I never thought I’d see Mickey do.

Mrs. Minassian handing over photos of “Ivan’s girls,” the girls Ivan Belikov (Ipalé) has forced into prostitution, to Mickey is one of the more promising story lines of “The Octopus.” After Mickey turns the photos over to the cops, he finally realizes how deep he’s in. Mickey is beyond pitiful when he asks Ray, “Can you help me? I need help…please.” Are we seeing a new side to Mickey? Or will he go back to being the douche bag he’s always been once this is over?

Ray’s toast at the wedding reception is a thing of beauty, especially when compared to his previous toast at the family dinner. I just loved seeing Ray smile so much. He finally acknowledges that it’s not necessary to watch over Bunchy like a hawk; that’s Teresa’s job now. Accepting that Teresa and Bunchy truly do love each other is another huge realization for Ray. After everything Bunchy has been through in his lifetime, it’s wonderful to see him get the happily ever after he deserves.

“The Octopus” sees the return of disgraced ex-FBI Chief Ed Cochran (guest star Hank Azaria), who was a major player throughout season two. The last time we saw Cochran, the FBI had fired him after seeing the tape of his sexual proclivities that Ray leaked in season two’s final episode, “The Captain.” Cochran now works for Dybek Investigative Services, a company hired to vet the Finney family for the NFL. It’s what Cochran sees in the paperwork his supervisor Iris Kim (Liz Burnette) gives him that makes me anxious to see next week’s episode. I can’t wait to find out whether he’s the same arrogant son-of-a-bitch we’re used to seeing, although it doesn’t seem so from the talk he gives himself at his desk. Then again, revenge really is a dish best served cold.

Other Observations

How stupid is Mr. Donellen (Aaron Staton)? Why does he think it’s ok to be “drug buddies” with Bridget? And why does he give in to Bridget’s demand to admit he’s attracted to her?

I don’t understand why writer Brett Johnson gives Daryll (Pooch Hall) a love interest in “The Octopus.” Daryll asking Michele (Christy Williams) to give up the life and be his girl is a plot point with no future.

Mickey certainly cleans up nicely in that expensive looking suit he sports for Bunchy’s wedding. And let’s not forget Teresa—she is just stunning in her wedding gown.



The power of love is front and center in “The Octopus” as Mickey realizes his love for Bunchy is more important than saving his own skin. Ray also comes to understand how much in love Teresa and Bunchy are and how important it is for Bunchy to be his own man. While “The Octopus” is mostly a filler episode, it is enjoyable to watch and perfectly sets up what I imagine the remainder of the season will deal with.


What did you think of “The Octopus?” 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:

LIKE Ray Donovan on Facebook at

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, Kate Moennig (Lena) @katemoennig, Steven Bauer (Avi) @thestevenbauer, and Eddie Marsan (Terry) @eddiemarsan.

Photos courtesy of Patrick Wymore ©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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1 comment

    • Danielle Linney on September 6, 2015 at 11:38 pm
    • Reply

    I’ve been watching Ray Donovan since S1E`and have really liked it a lot. It’s a bit more violent than I would normally watch but I think that Liev Schreiber (Ray) may be the hottest man alive today, so I can put up with it.

    What has me a little more troubled is all of the abuse that children have/are suffering at the hands of adults. Hiding it is not right but there have been (no less than( three major story lines with children being sexually abused and it is very creepy.

    I thought that the priest getting it for his role in abusing the children was pretty justified. But will the other sickos pay the same price? I don’t know but is it just me or do the writers have a fixation with the subject or are they running out of story lines? It seems they could do so much better with the character that they’ve developed over the first few seasons.

    Great read by the way. It brought back a couple of details that I’d forgotten so thank you for that!

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