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Ray Donovan: 5 Questions following the season 4 finale

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To start things off this article contains SPOILERS for the Ray Donovan season four finale, plus some tidbits from the season as a whole. So if you have not seen the latest season, especially the twelfth episode, then turn around and come back later. Ok now that that is done, let’s get to it shall we?

Season four of the Showtime hit show Ray Donovan has aired, capping off a season that saw Ray go head to head with the Russians and the FBI. After Abby asks Mickey to sell off the painting that was above Bridget’s bed, Mickey takes the painting to several pawn shops. Eventually, after a very thorough examining of the painting, it is discovered the painting was being used to ship drugs.

It was this newfound information that helps Ray realize he can take care of his FBI problem, as well as the giving him an idea to help take down the Russians. Ray tells Hector he does not have to throw the fight, which he ends up winning. Once it goes past the point of the expected knockout, Dmitri knows Ray has screwed him over, and walks out on the fight. His driver has been ambushed by Daryll and Avi, and Avi ends up killing Dmitri and his driver.

This put the storyline with the Russians to rest, and the FBI arc was taken care of when Ray called Barnes to come discover all of the drugs that were hidden in Dmitri’s art. But while many of the key storylines were wrapped up nicely, there are still plenty of questions for fans to ponder over the coming months. So let’s get right to it.

How much longer does Terry have?

Terry has appeared to be on death’s doorstep each and every season of Ray Donovan. With every passing season, his condition appears to get a little worse, and I enter each season with the expectation that it could be Terry’s last. Then in the second to last episode of season four, Terry collapsed in the locker room of the gym unexpectedly. Thankfully Darryl was there to lend some help, but we never really got any followup to the scene. The next time we saw Terry he was back to going about business as usual. So was this scene to set up his arc for season five, which will see an even larger decline in his condition?

I tend to lean towards yes, given the scene had no real purpose for the remainder of the fourth season. Season four closed with a big moment in Terry’s life, as he has become the trainer of a World Championship boxer. When you reach a big time high for a character, it does not necessarily mean a new low is coming, but it surely is an option. Given the show has not really killed off any of the core characters to this point, one would imagine given the nature of the show it will happen sooner or later. And Terry is the easiest option to go with.

So will Terry be able to make another full season? Or will his death become an important story-line in season five?

Is Abby’s cancer gone?

The season four finale opened with a very odd dream sequence. Ray was in a church, sitting across from his family. It was a funeral, and Abby was in the casket. When Ray wakes up and eventually finds Abby in bed with Dog, she tells him that her cancer is going away! Great news right! Well not so fast. The Donovan family is known for lying, so it would certainly not surprise me to learn Abby was telling a fib so Ray would stop worrying about her.

And even if if were going away, and Abby was telling the truth, it could still come back. Cancer is a tricky subject, and it is not something that is a given to disappear for good. So it is possible it is gone for the time being, but we can not rule out its return. The dream sequence put Abby in her death bed, and that could certainly be seen as a bit of foreshadowing. It is also possible that scene had a larger symbolic meaning that this writer did not pick up on as well.

So my guess will be season five will see Abby acting as if nothing is wrong, with the possible subtle hints here and there that there is still an issue. Then the arc will be brought back up later down the road, towards the end of the series’ run.

Where is Bridget’s story-line going?

All season the show was drawing connections between Ray’s daughter Bridget and his sister Bridget. In season one we learned Ray’s sister had committed suicide, and that has become a very important part of his backstory. And the name connection is not the only one the two Bridget’s share. Since the start of the show they have been pointing out similarities between the two, which I have always taken as a bit of foreshadowing. This entire season, the Bridget dots kept getting connected.

Now she is hoping on a plane and headed east as she has been accepted to NYU. Going out to New York, on her own could spell some serious trouble for the Donovan daughter. As she went up the escalator with her back to her father, it was clear this was a tough moment for her. She began to cry and was certainly feeling the emotions of leaving her family. When she gets to New York, she is not going to have anyone to fall back on. She does not have her father to fall back on if something goes wrong. So is Bridget destined to face a dark future?

I think a death of Bridget would set Ray off a cliff. So I think all of this foreshadowing will eventually lead to a very dark moment where Bridget comes out on top. It is certainly an arc worth saving for the shows final run. Which begs the question, what type of path will she take before we get there?

Has Ray and Mickey’s officially been repaired?

The show began in season one with Ray hating Mickey’s guts. But as the seasons have gone on, that relationship has grown. Mickey is still going to be Mickey at times and get himself in trouble. But Ray is seeing now that family does hold some importance to his father, despite his actions from years back. In particular, this season saw Mickey do several things for the benefit of the Donovan family. He gave himself up to the police to help save Ray. He went to Vegas to place a very important bet when Ray was not able to. And most importantly, in the season finale, it was Mickey who made the big discovery that allowed Ray to put his plan into action.

Mickey has become a part of Rays trusted family circle it would appear. But is the relationship going to be perfect? Most likely not. But it certainly is going to be a lot more positive going forward. But how much trust will Ray be able to place in his father? They still share a very shattered past. Their relationship going forward will certainly depend on Ray’s ability to forget the past. The two have shown they can work well with one another when they are on the same page. So here is to hoping we get to see more interactions between the father-son duo.

Where does Ray go from here?

This season closes with very few loose ends. The Russians have been defeated. The FBI should be off of Ray’s back. So the bottom-line is, no one has a reason to come after Ray at this moment. This means Ray can get back to his normal everyday type of problems. Sure, his everyday type of problems are not like many others given his line of work, but at least he does not have to look over his shoulder. Or does he? A new season will bring new issues, but there is no clear cut direction as of right now.

So is Ray’s slate really clean? One would think so, and it very well might be right now. But how long before something else comes popping up? Will something from this past season that seemed minor end up coming back to bite Ray? Or maybe even something from an earlier season. That is the beauty of a show like this, as anything can come back from the past to haunt our favorite characters. We just do not know if season five will take that approach, or if we will be introduced to something that is entirely new.

Now begins the wait until the Summer of 2017. Ray Donovan will return for a fifth season, and it is expected that it will premiere in July of 2017.

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at [email protected]