It’s official. Season 5 of Ray Donovan has officially come to a close. The season was teeter-totter all year long. Some good, some bad, some excellent, some trash. Some potentially great arcs never materialized and others grew on you and surprised you. While this season has been billed as the darkest season of Ray Donovan yet, I have to respectfully disagree. While Ray might have hit his lowest points in the series thus far and other family members who were previously viewed as the innocent one’s committed acts that were at once unthinkable, there remained, at least for me an underlying silliness about the whole season. While it was certainly hard to lose Abby, and watching someone battle cancer for the better part of a season is by no means humorous. The show somehow still managed to feel like a mockery of its former self and several times drifted into soap opera-like silliness. Liev Schreiber is arguably the best working actor on television and even in bad stuff, he elevates the content to a level that few could dream of, but he’s not the problem here. The core issue with Season 5 was the fact that it treated inevitabilities like plot and the plot like an inevitability. Meaning that we really truly never got the core of what this season wanted to be. In Season 3 we had the Finney arc and in Season 1 one we had Ray dealing with the return of his father. Now, the case could be made that this season was about Ray coping and dealing with the loss of Abby but that is a major reach in my opinion. If that was the case then why were there at least 5 different storylines that were introduced at one point or another seemed like they were going to be THE story but were ultimately resolved in less than a few episodes. Most glaringly when Daryl and Mickey killed the head of the LA bureau of the FBI. The way that situation was handled was the most disappointing part of Season 5 in my opinion. The whole resolution and situation leading to the resolution with Bridget were completely and utterly forced and unfortunately kind of sum up this season as a whole.
As we learned in the season finale and reports leading up to the finale, the show has moved to New York for the foreseeable future. Normally, shows don’t switch locations that have been widely synonymous with the show’s history unless the show is beginning to reach for ideas but hopefully the change of setting will allow them to perhaps mildly reboot the show and give it a new sense of purpose. Because unfortunately, I believe the show truly needs to in order to stay relevant moving forward.
Ray Donovan will return for Season 6 on Showtime in 2018.
On a side note, I’d like to personally thank everyone who has read and kept up with this recap over the course of the season. It’s a been a journey and I hope that you’ve enjoyed it as much as I’ve enjoyed doing it.