“You’re going down for the one fucking murder you didn’t commit.”
In “Poker” everything is getting a whole lot more complicated for Ray. Cochran breaks into his apartment and makes himself from popcorn while he sends the location of Strauss’s body to the police. After refusing to take a bribe from Finney, he tells the man that he knows exactly what it is that Cochran wants and hangs up on him.
Sure enough, Finney goes in to tell the police that after a disagreement with Strauss, he called Ray in to talk the other man into a financial settlement. He tells them that he walked in on Ray killing Strauss with the fire poker and only kept quiet until then because Ray threatened his family. Saying that, the police aren’t stupid enough to believe that Finney was an innocent party, thinking that maybe he paid Ray to kill his son-in-law.
Bunchy and Teresa come back from their honeymoon with a new truck to find Mickey organising his going away party. He’s apparently not just moving himself to Reno though, but all the girls too and wants to set up shop there again. Part of the draw seems to be that there’s no Armenian Mafia branches in Reno. Fresh off being robbed by Michelle though, Mickey didn’t account for Darryl point blank refusing to up and leave with him.
“I spent my whole life waiting for you to get out of prison and be my father,” he tells him and it’s obvious that it’s finally hitting home for Darryl that Mickey’s been nothing but a disappointment on that front.
Things finally come to a head with Abbie and Terry whilst they paint the very picture of domesticity cleaning the kitchen. They talk about Ray’s infidelity, with Terry comparing it to the situation between his mother and Mickey. He describes them both as “too caught up in their own bullshit to realise how beautiful she was.” Unsurprisingly, the pair kiss, with Terry quickly declaring that it didn’t happen.
Whilst Ray is talking to the police about his whereabouts the night of Strauss’s disappearance, Avi digs up the body. After Lena rings to inform Ray that the poker is now missing from Avi’s storage locker, Ray tosses Cochran’s apartment looking for it. He’s still there when Cochran comes home whistling and wastes no time shooting the ex-FBI head in the leg.
He and Avi tie Cochran to a chair and it only takes a few seconds and the threat of a baseball bat to have the man cracking. He tells them exactly where he hid the poker – in a heating vent in Ray’s apartment bedroom. Still, he looks pleased with himself when he informs Ray that it doesn’t matter anyway as the police have already been called and they’ll be on their way there now.
“You’re a fucking nobody.”
Despite Cochran’s confidence that Ray won’t be able to get away with it, Ray beats the police to his apartment by just long enough to grab the poker and drop it out the window to Lena. Confident as anything, Ray shrugs off any knowledge of Avi driving to Mexico under Strauss’s name when the police show him the surveillance footage picture. After all, he claims, the photo is grainy.
At Mickey’s going away party, Mickey tries to give Bunchy marital advice. He tells him that letting Teresa boss him around will only end in her leaving him for someone else, but Bunchy quickly lets him know that the way they speak to each other isn’t anything they don’t want or like. Bunchy tells him that they bought their new big truck because Teresa wants to fill it with kids. The fact he wouldn’t be around for this coupled with Connor asking Mickey not to leave drives Mickey into another one of his tasteless lies, desperate not to have to leave town.
He tells Bunchy, Teresa, Darryl and Connor that he has Alzheimer’s and that that is the real reason he is leaving. He claims that he doesn’t want to be a burden on them and that, “I’m afraid when it gets real bad, Ray’s gonna lock me up in a home somewhere.” Backed up by the paperwork declaring Ray power of attorney over Mickey on the grounds of Alzheimer’s that got him out of the sex trafficking operation, they all believe him. Immediately they all protest that they won’t let Ray lock him away.
“This is fucked up.” – Bunchy sums up the whole situation perfectly.
They ring Ray to insist that Mickey be allowed to stay in town. Bunchy tells him that it’s already been decided Mickey can stay with him and Teresa. With Mickey on the phone, Ray still isn’t backing down and tells him that Mickey still has to leave or else Ray will go and force him out himself. Meanwhile, Mickey acts like he’s hearing the exact opposite and announces that Ray’s letting him stay.
Bridget breaks house arrest after her suspension and goes to see Donellen. He informs her of the repercussions that their relationship could have, that he could go to jail and be put on a sex offenders list, but Bridget is insistent that she loves him. “I don’t want to ruin your life, I just want to be with you.” Donellen tells her that she has to leave, but not without Bridget reminding him that it’s only six months until she’s eighteen. He shuts the door just as a furious Abbie screeches to a stop and makes Bridget get in the car.
Back at home, Terry tries to talk to Bridget about what she’s doing. He tells her that she’s breaking Abbie’s heart, but Bridget simply counters with an accusation about why he should care so much about the state of her mother’s heart. She confesses her fear that Abbie will tell Ray about Donellen and that Ray will kill him. When Terry suggests that maybe he deserves it, she threatens that if anyone lays a hand on him, they’ll never hear from her again.
At the site of the new stadium, Ray has Strauss’s body and an unconscious Cochran in the back of the van. Avi suggests just incinerating them both, but before any decision is made Ray has to go to intercept Paige on her way to make a statement to the police.
“Who do you think is more powerful in this town, you or Andrew Finney?”
“Why don’t you go up there and find out?”
Ray informs Paige that he has both the body, the murder weapon and Cochran in his possession and so no matter what she says to the police, her father is going down for it either way. And that if she plays her cards right, she could even come out of this getting to keep the newly acquired football team.
Whilst Cochran wakes up in the back of the van next to a decomposing Strauss, Paige tells the police that she watched her father kill her husband with a fire poker. They don’t believe her when she tells them that it was because the pair were lovers, believing instead that Ray is threatening her to make this statement. Still, she reminds them that they are legally obligated to investigate a tip about the whereabouts of a body and that she knows exactly where Strauss’s is. She goes to see her father, who is still under the impression she gave the statement that he wanted her to, although, her sentimentality when speaking to him may tip him off slightly to the truth.
Ray, Lena and Avi dump Strauss’s body and the murder weapon in a bin behind Finney’s mansion, lighting the lot on fire. Whilst Paige pulls out of the drive, the police sirens can be heard closing in and Finney finally seems to understand exactly what is happening. They don’t kill Cochran like he suspects and instead cut him free outside Dybek with the reassurance that he has the rest of his life to look forwards to. If there is much of one left after his second entanglement with Ray Donovan.
Back at Mickey’s apartment, since he hasn’t left town, Ray goes to try and make him. They come to blows – or rather, blow – with Mickey trying to hit Ray with a bottle and Ray just easily punching him in the face. Mickey informs Ray that no one wants him to leave as he makes people feel good, whilst Ray only has the opposite effect. Mickey makes it clear though that Ray doesn’t have a single option that will have him coming out without the family hating him. Either he tells them he tricked Mickey into signing away his own rights or he’s heartless enough to lock Mickey away in a home for the mentally ill when he could be with family. Knowing when he’s beat, Ray walks way.
You can catch Ray Donovan’s season finale Sunday at 9pm.