Mark Clark reviews the seventh episode of Ray Donovan season 4…
Anyone worried that the Primm Casino cash going awol meant that former FBI honcho Cochrane was out of the plot picture can rest easy – Hank Azaria’s serio-comic creation is back, and laying down some tracks for his EP. Well, everybody’s gotta have a dream you know.
Hector Campos’ dream is to get back his title, and he seems to think that Donovan’s Fite Club is the best place to start. His troubled sister Marisol getting kicked out of rehab may or may not prove to be a spanner in the works.
The Armenians’ dream is to get revenge for the slaughter of their brethren and compatriots, and now that Mickey’s confessed, all it takes is a wad of cash and the hired hitman hoodlum getting himself thrown in jail.
In a strange and long time coming twist, Ray’s dream is simply to help his Father get out of jail. And that’s where crooner Cochrane comes in. Instead of putting the twist on DA Holt to spring the now dead Belikov, it’s time to free Mickey. Where Ray is going to get all of Cochrane’s usual payoff is another problem entirely. Still, handing Cochrane $1,000,000 just when he has to pay his studio fees has to count for something.
First off Ray needs to get Mickey into protective custody – by getting him put in a ‘special wing for gay people’. Cochrane will help with that too, but only for some extra moolah. Even if he does think he and Ray are the ‘instruments for each others’ enlightenment’.
At prison visit time Ray lays down the plan. Mickey has to memorise the Q&A that will get him moved out of general population. Mickey teases he knows it all anyway; he did 20 years at Walpole – he’s got the gay thing down. Which is a good thing as it doesn’t take long for Mickey to come face to face with his potential assassin, serving him some delicious prison mulch at chowtime. But Mickey’s no fool so it’s straight to the guard and the start of his gay wing persona shtick. Ray tells Bunchy and Terry they need to back it up. Bunchy is pretty sure the concept isn’t totally alien to Mickey – those 20 years at Walpole and all.
In the bigger plan Cochrane brings Ray something fresh from the FBI basement. A ten year old missing persons case that should get Holt’s career making saliva going. Fiona Miller, actress from sitcom ‘Norman Saves The World’ didn’t just disappear, she was actually killed by the show’s star Sherman Radley after his special attention was rebuffed. Helpfully Cochrane has proof, as in the murder weapon in his pocket. But the body? Only Hollywood agent Nick Lowell knows who arranged for that to vanish. Ray just happens to know him, to Cochrane’s non-surprise. He knows ‘every douchebag in town’.
Cochrane will speak to Holt, but first he wants Ray to know he didn’t start out wrong, he had good intentions. Ray was born a scumbag, Cochrane just got… worn down. He seems to be genuinely enjoying himself, and I find myself half hoping that things go so screwy that the Ray/Cochrane double-act has to go on the Ray Donovan version of Midnight Run.
Cochrane gives Holt the Sherman Radley for Mickey swap deal, while Ray and Avi spy from Ray’s office. Holt needs a push but finally agrees – it’s a fame making case. Avi doesn’t trust Cochrane one inch; Ray tells him not to worry.
No worry with Mickey’s sexual orientation interview either, he’s a born performer. Bunchy and Terry on the other hand give comically unconvincing affirmations of Mickey’s homosexuality; ‘Yeah he’s gay. Gay with men’. Seems to work though.
Ray goes to see Lowell (nice to see a Hollywood fixer dealing with actual Hollywood for once). Lowell’s a typical agent slimeball, therefore greedy, and Ray dangles the potential signing of his long running client and actor hotshot, Tommy Wheeler, as bait. He just has to meet at Ray’s apartment…
Back in the joint the Armenian’s hitman makes his first attempt on Mickey with the old poison in the soup ploy. Fortunately for Mickey greed also saves his neck as his old boy cellmate pinches his lunch.
At Ray’s, Lowell meets Wheeler but he also meets Cochrane. He’s no rollover though and in no mood for revealing who took care of Miller’s body, or taking their threats. He does take Ray’s punch though, and a nap on the floor. We also discover, with a shot of the coffee table, that Ray has a penchant for Michael Crichton. Who knew.
Lowell wakes to a Guantanamo nightmare as he’s tied down for a spot of water boarding. He’s a surprisingly tough nut, and even Wheeler ends up watching half intrigued, half horrified, but he does crack. The problem is the name he gives. It’s Ezra Miller, Ray’s old and dead partner. Ray knows that if Ezra didn’t use him for this, then he must have used ‘The Texan’.
Staking out The Texan’s place Ray sees a now seemingly creaky, old man, while Lena stakes out the studio shoot of Radley’s inconceivably popular sitcom, and the sight of double crossing Cochrane heading for Radley’s trailer.
Cochrane strikes a deal with Radley. He’ll make Ray disappear and move the body, for five million (he really likes that number). Radley agrees; the body is in storage at his closed down crab restaurant in Inglewood.
With Mickey’s celly gone to the morgue, his new room mate is none other than hitman number 1. But Mickey is channeling the luck of the Irish as he gets his transfer just as his new nemesis is practising with his homemade garrot.
Radley turns up The Texan’s place, angry as all hell. Seems the double-crossing may not just be Cochrane’s preserve. A while later at dusk, great stetson in place, The Texan heads out and Ray follows. He also turns out to be the great Stacy Keach (Ray Donovan’s casting director should get a special Emmy).
At the defunct ‘Crab Bag’ Cochrane finds nothing, but The Texan is there to find him. Ray watches from his car and tries to warn him, but stubborn Cochrane pays no mind. Ray still needs some answers so one gun from the trunk and a couple of gunshots later, and he’s heading towards the door.
Inside, Cochrane has managed to get shot but he’s also wounded The Texan, who confirms that the body is actually there, hidden behind a dry-wall in nefarious body storage du jour. Ray tells Cochrane to tell Holt where the body is.
As Ray passes by The Texan, slumped on the floor with two bleeding bullet holes, there’s a look between them. For The Texan it’s cold resignation, for Ray it’s a look of there but for grace of God go I. Or maybe it’s disdain. Or both.