Ray Donovan recap: Ray attempts to reconnect with son Conor

Ray Donovan tried his best to reconnect with son Conor, who was visiting post-basic training, when a kind, ember-haired stranger made Ray realize the truth.

This recap contains spoilers for Ray Donovan season 6, episode 5.

This week’s Ray Donovan episode shined the spotlight on Ray’s family and the lack of light they shine back on him. From the opening bell, Bridget shows up unexpectedly and tells Ray to stay out of their (her and Smitty’s) lives. All after Ray intervened last week to save her fiancee from his dealing troubles. Ray had tried to mentor Smitty to lie this time around about where he was for Bridget’s own good, only to be told he doesn’t like to lie to Bridget … To which Ray responded, “Did you tell her you were a dealer before you asked to marry her?” No sir. But does Ray get any thanks for keeping the relationship intact all this time from life saving surgery to protection? Nope.

Conor would arrive back from basic training before being shipped out. Ray noticed the alcohol on his breath, and when asking his son if he was okay, was greeted with immense anger. Even after Ray said he didn’t mean anything by it, the perceived damage by Conor was done. This would continue throughout the episode despite Ray’s best efforts. Ray tried to reconnect with Conor by inviting him out to Ellis Island after hearing how much it meant to Smitty with his father as a child during the ride to Bridget’s. Though reluctant, Conor would eventually agree to meet his father for the trip, only to stand him up.

It’s on the trip to Ellis Island that an Irish stranger named Annie with curly red locks would take an interest in Ray, commenting on how sad he looked. Annie had great chemistry with Ray, almost reminiscent of Abby. During their conversation post-boat trip, Ray commented about how so many Donovans never came back from the war. Annie put one and one together about Ray’s son being a marine and told him that’s what’s truly bothering him. She told Ray to take a photo of the names etched into the stone in front of him to show Conor, and just as Ray took the photo, she disappeared when he turned. Was Annie ever real? Or just another figment of his imagination like Abby?

Eddie Marsan as Terry Donovan and Liev Schreiber as Ray Donovan in RAY DONOVAN (Season 6, Episode 05, “Ellis Island”). – Photo: Jeff Neumann/SHOWTIME – Photo ID: RAYDONOVAN_605_261.R.jpg

Above: Ray and Terry met to talk about Bunchy, and Terry tells Ray he should have had Bunchy speak to him. That Bunchy has always been scared of Ray and he could have changed his mind if he had been given the opportunity. Ray suddenly notices the damage/swelling to Terry’s face and asks him what happened?

Terry tells Ray about the underground bare knuckle fist fight he was involved in, that the damage was done fair and square. Ray is beside himself, shocked and tries to get Terry to be rational, to remember he had brain surgery and what could happen to him. Terry rejects the notion of quitting, and Ray responds, “It’s your head.”

Dash Mihok as Bunchy Donovan and Jon Voight as Mickey Donovan in RAY DONOVAN (Season 6, Episode 05, “Ellis Island”). – Photo: Mark Schafer/SHOWTIME – Photo ID: RAYDONOVAN_605_3063.R.jpg

Above: Mickey’s gears were turning like always formulating an on-the-fly plan, in this case robbing a bus. The scenario Mickey imagines is the two of them robbing a tour bus for the rich with Mickey holding the bus up while Bunchy tells the bus to do what he says, that he has a daughter! Mickey says Bunchy can get off the bus afterwards, to which Bunchy replies it’s a stupid plan. Mickey tells his son he needs to stay positive, and there’s a key moment that happens after Bunchy buys his daughter ice cream.

Olivia and Sasha Kadri as Maria and Dash Mihok as Bunchy Donovan in RAY DONOVAN (Season 6, Episode 05, “Ellis Island”). – Photo: Mark Schafer/SHOWTIME – Photo ID: RAYDONOVAN_605_3846.R.jpg

Above: Bunchy arrives unexpectedly at Terry’s and gives him his daughter Maria to babysit for 48 hours, telling him if he doesn’t come back to call Teresa. It looks like Bunchy has decided to go along with Mickey’s plan after all. Mickey reassures Bunchy later on, “It’s good you gave her to Ter, now you mind can focus.”

Susan Sarandon as Sam Winslow in RAY DONOVAN (Season 6, Episode 05, “Ellis Island”). – Photo Credit: Mark Schafer/SHOWTIME – Photo ID: RAYDONOVAN_605_4537.R.jpg

Above: Sam Winslow was told by the current Mayor that he simply doesn’t want anything to do with her when she proposes a seemingly fair deal. Winslow had attempted to throw her candidate under the bus, telling the Mayor she’ll withdraw support from Anita Novak and give it to him in return for what she wants.

Winslow promised to put his name on every one of her billboards across the city and widespread support in her papers and television shows. The Mayor utterly rejects her efforts, particularly disgusted with how she used his driver to lie about him. Winslow walks out after being told he doesn’t want anything to do with her.

Alexandra Turshen as Justine and Katherine Moennig as Lena in RAY DONOVAN (Season 6, Episode 05, “Ellis Island”). – Photo: Jeff Neumann/SHOWTIME – Photo ID: RAYDONOVAN_605_97.R.jpg

Above: Ray has to come up with a quick plan to turn the election to Anita’s favor with an angry Sam Winslow demanding results after the meeting with the Mayor. He has Lena dress up girlfriend Justine (and unexpectedly Lena punches her) in order to make it look like she’s been assaulted. All to work an angle where it looks like Justine’s being accosted in broad daylight at Central Park (it’s actually Daryll) as smartphones from every angle capture video of her “injuries.”

Daryll gets his job back as producer replacing Stu Feldman despite Jay White’s desire not to work with him again post-kidnapping.

Liev Schreiber as Ray Donovan and Domenick Lombardozzi as Sean “Mac” McGrath in RAY DONOVAN (Season 6, Episode 05, “Ellis Island”). – Photo Credit: Jeff Neumann/SHOWTIME – Photo ID: RAYDONOVAN_605_170.R.jpg

Above: The move works as Anita jumps on TV to take advantage of the situation switching the polls in her favor. Ray, however, is distraught when he is unable to convince Conor to not go join the marines because he’s angry at him right now. Conor does not listen to his father or give him a chance and leaves the car. Ray has tears in his eyes when he’s unable to get Conor to not go.

He drives all the way to the bar in Long Island Mac frequents to tell Mac how he feels he’s failed as a father. Mac tries to assure Ray it’s not his fault, that there isn’t anything he could have done, and that a lot of the guys on the force were in the service; that’ll he be fine. Ray joins Mac and the others in letting off some steam “Hollywood style,” but instead of discharging firearms at abandoned cars, Ray drinks in the car instead and watches.

Anita visits Ray at his apartment to end the episode, impressed with how he’s fixed things for her again. The pair engage romantically for the first time before credits roll.

Check out FanSided’s interview with Jon Voight on season 6 of Ray Donovan at the Tribeca TV Festival prior to the premiere.