Ray Donovan season finale recap: Can Ray save his family (and self)?

Ray Donovan season finale recap Season 3, Episode 12 “Exsuscito” (original air date Sept. 27, 2015): It was an emotionally draining close to the season.  The episode begins with the Finney family shit storm, following Paige’s (Katie Holmes) testimony against her father. Avi (Steven Bauer) secretly brings Paige to a penthouse where Ray (Liev Schreiber) is waiting; he advises her to stay there until things settle down. There are more helicopters outside the Finney house than when O.J. took his white Bronco down the 405, Paige tells him. “They love to see the mighty fall.”
Ray assures her that she did the right thing. She’s not convinced.

Ray Donovan recap season 3 episode 11“You know my father would have never killed Varick if you weren’t around,” she blames, explaining that Andrew Finney fell in love with the idea that there was always going to be someone around to save him from himself. Ray tells Paige that his girl (Lena) will check on her tomorrow. She pleads with him to stay, looking scared and alone. But he’s over this Finney family, and leaves.

Bridget’s (Kerris Dorsey) at the Santa Monica Pier and she’s on the phone telling someone (we think it’s her teacher Mr. Donellen) to hurry as she’s really scared. Abby’s looking for her.

Teresa (Alyssa Diaz) wakes Bunchy/Brendan (Dash Mikoh) in the middle of the night. She wants to play. The dominatrix slaps him a few times and tells him he better listen, and then satisfies him sexually. She instructs him to get ready, they are going out — apparently he needs to see something out in the woods. [Ray’s paranoia is starting to rub off on me, I’m thinking she’s going to kill Bunch in the woods.]

Only Terry (Eddie Marsan) is at home when Ray returns. Terry tells him that Abby (Paula Malcomson) is out looking for Bridget. Ray wants to know why. Raymond needs to sit down before Terry drops the details on Bridget being involved with her math teacher and using his prescription medication. Ray wants to know how long Terry has known about it. Ray’s pissed Terry didn’t tell him. “You’re not my kids’ father, Terry,” Ray scolds.

Terry explains how he and Abby thought they had it under control. Ray doesn’t like the “we” reference Terry keeps using when referring to Terry and Abby, and begins to paint a picture in his head. “Go on Terry, do you have a little crush on my wife? I know you’re fucked up in the head but don’t get confused about that.” (Oh, please don’t let that awkward, icky kiss between Terry and Abby come up. It doesn’t.)

But Terry fights back telling him he’s not the one who is confused. “You’re the one who doesn’t get it. It’s a disgrace the way you treat her. You are out all night. You’re cheating on her like the old man.”

Abby walks in overhearing their argument and asks them to stop. Ray wants to know why she kept this from him.
“Because I knew you would go fucking nuts,” she rightfully admits.
“That’s not your decision to make,” Ray tells her. “She’s my fucking daughter.”
Abby knows how Ray handles things and wasn’t willing to risk it. Terry jumps to her defense, which aggravates Ray even more. “I want you to pack your shit and get the fuck out of here,” he tells Terry.

Ray proves Abby right and immediately goes to Mr. Donellen’s (Aaron Staton) house and breaks in. Terry tells Abby he was wrong for saying what he said to Ray. Abby’s glad he said it, but a text message from Bridget interrupts their conversation. Bridget’s text says she’s at Mickey’s (she’s not, though). Terry says he’ll get her, he doesn’t want Ray to think they are acting as a team. “Now when your husband comes back you are going to talk, and you are going to fix things.” Abby calls Ray to tell him that Bridget is at Mickey’s. She begs him to talk to Terry and to tell him he didn’t mean what he said, believing that Terry will pack his bags and never come back. Ray heads to Mickey’s, agreeing to talk to Terry.

At Mickey’s place, Daryll (Pooch Hall) is resting poolside when Michelle returns and gives back the keys to Mickey’s car. “I don’t know what I was thinking,” she tells him, and apologizes for running out and stealing the car. “My own mother even hates me.” Daryll’s pleased to see her return. Inside Mickey’s (Jon Voight) snorting coke off one of the hooker’s back. Bridget calls Mick and asks him to vouch for her and say that she’s with him. Mick knows that plan won’t work and tells her Ray will come looking for her there. Forget it, she tells him, and hangs up.

Ray Donovan season finale recapMr. Donellen shows up at the hotel where Bridget is. He’s concerned. Bridget tells him that her father found out about them and that he’s a dangerous guy, she thinks they need to leave Los Angeles. When she realizes that’s not going to happen, she suggests he at least stay at the hotel. “In a hotel room? Like that’s going to calm everyone down,” he reasons. Instead he suggests they go for a walk.

It’s the middle of the night and Teresa and Bunchy arrive at the forest. Teresa claims the spot as having sentimental value to her and asks her man to follow her down the dark path. The end of the path overlooks a picturesque Los Angeles skyline, where she surprises him with the news that she is pregnant. Bunchy is Bunchy and doesn’t know what to say or do. So he asks disappointingly how it happened. Teresa is not happy with his reaction – I’m thinking she’s going to launch him right off the hillside. “Say something good,” she demands. He stands speechless. “I can’t fucking believe you and she walks off.”

Terry beats Ray to Mickey’s place. Bridget isn’t there. Mick tries to help out and calls her thinking he can arrange a meeting place to help but she doesn’t answer. Terry glances out the window and sees the Minassians charging with guns and yells for them all to get down. They unload several rounds into his apartment. Ray’s first arriving to witness the chaos believing Bridget was inside with Mickey. He runs in screaming for Bridget. It’s a bit of a blood bath as Michelle was shot and Daryl is on the floor holding her dead body. Mickey is holding Terry, he’s been shot too. Bridget is nowhere near. Mickey provides some foreshadowing). Ray orders Terry to stay awake and keep his eyes open. “Get me a priest,” Terry whispers.

Ray doesn’t think he needs a priest, instead he tells Terry to keep his eyes open as he’s whisked away on a gurney.Ray Donovan season finale

Terry’s experienced some massive hyper something — essentially he’s lost most of the blood in his body. One of the two arteries in his abdomen has erupted, so things aren’t looking good. As the surgeon starts to inform of the surgical plan, Ray’s vision becomes blurred and he appears as if he’s going to pass out. He’s no longer in control. He sees a picture of the Virgin Mary on the wall in the background. Ray walks outside and vomits. Avi calls and informs him about one of the Minassians being busted at the dock during the sex trafficking sting Mickey was involved with, and that he believes the entire Donovan family may be in trouble. Abby arrives at the hospital, she blames herself. “I sent him over there … I got too close to him … Am I responsible for this?”

Ray sees Mickey in the ER waiting room and tells Abby: “You’re the last person who is responsible for this.” Inside the ER, Abby asks Mickey what happened. Mickey says it was a gang war, wrong place/wrong time. Ray knows the truth. “We both know who that bullet was meant for,” Ray tells him.

Once Abby leaves, Mickey tells Ray that the Minassians aren’t going to stop. “We need to do something.”
“Let me make something absolutely fucking clear to you,” Ray says. “WE are not doing anything.” Ray leaves claiming he needs to take care of something.

On their walk, Mr. Donellen reviews the situation to Bridget. “Your father wants to kill me. I’m going to lose my job and my teaching credentials, maybe have to register as a sex offender —because apparently, no matter what exactly happened, I’m guilty.” Bridget has a suggestion: “If they are going to blame you for being with me, why not just be with me?” She locks her hand with his.

Mickey returns to the apartment complex to a grieving Daryll. “You all right kiddo,” he asks. He dismisses Mickey. Mickey’s there to change his clothes and grab his gun. At Ray’s office, Avi and Ray are amassing and loading their weapons preparing for what looks like a serious war with the Minassians.

It’s morning and Ray and Avi are waiting outside the Minassians’ restaurant. Once they arrive, Avi reviews the plans. Avi’s taking the side door and once Ray hears him shooting he is to enter and finish them off. As they finalize things, they see Mickey walk up to the restaurant and shoot the Minassians’ door guard. Avi can’t believe Mickey’s screwing up their plans again. They can’t leave him alone so they join in, guns blazing. Ray’s shot in the lower stomach. Mrs. Minassian manages to survive and walks toward Ray as he’s lying on the ground, his gun aimed and ready to finish her. “You think this is over?” Mrs. Minassian asks. “You think you can kill my boys and it stops? This will never stop. You are dead. All of you are dead. Your children are dead. Fuck you.” But Mickey grabs her from behind and slits her throat, and is ditto on the sentiments. Ray, Avi and Mickey stagger out.

Ray Donovan season finale recapLena’s (Katherine Moennig) still looking for Bridget. Mr. Donellen and Bridget are back at the hotel room, bottle in hand, toasting to already being guilty. They embrace in a kiss. Bridget takes off her shirt but Donellen suddenly doesn’t want this. He breaks down crying and asks her to put her shirt back on, horrified at what he was about to do and confessing that he misses his wife terribly. Ray and Mickey arrive. Lena informs them they are in room 215. Ray burst into the room, gives Donellen a few blows to the face (pushing Bridget off of him) and warns that if he ever goes near his daughter again he will cut his hands off. He drags Bridget out of the hotel room. Bridget is disgusted, she hates her father.

Bunchy makes it out of the woods to find Teresa waiting. She doesn’t understand him. “Why don’t you want to have a baby with me?”
He’s honest, he has no idea how to be a father, but Teresa doesn’t care she doesn’t’ know either. “People do it,” she says. “We’ll figure it out.”
“Not people like me,” Bunch says. “I’m different. I’m fucked up.”
Teresa disagrees. “I got news for you Brendan. You’re not as fucked up as you think you are. That shit that happened in the past – fly away, bye-bye. It don’t touch who you are now. It don’t touch us.”
“I just don’t want to let you down,” Bunchy shares. She asks what his mother’s name was. It was Mary. If they have a girl, Teresa says they will name her Maria.

Ray finally stops to talk to Bridget in the hospital parking lot. He’s convinced she doesn’t understand thinks now but will when she’s older. Bridget sees things differently. “You don’t feel anything, do you? You say you love me but you don’t. You say you love mom but you don’t. It’s like you’re not even alive inside.”
“You think I don’t love you?” Ray asks. “You got to know I’d do anything for you.”
“You control. You don’t love,” she assess him so perfectly. “I’m suffocating being near you and I don’t want to live with that anymore.” She gets out of his car and walks away.

Ray reaches into his shirt (remember he was shot) and removes a bloodied bandage. He goes into the hospital to check on Terry. Ray kneels by his side and confesses, “What you said about me, how I treat the family — you were right. I don’t deserve them.” He looks at Terry’s tattoo of a cross on his arm and the picture of Mary on the wall. Next we see him driving in his car.

Mickey’s waiting outside the hospital when Daryll pulls up. Mickey tells him how they took care of the Minassians. He doesn’t care. He tells Mickey how badly he wanted to be his son – a Donovan — but his mom gave him his adopted father’s name. There’s a reason Michelle came back, he tells Mickey. “So that you can get in it and drive AWAY,” Daryll yells. “Just go.” Mickey’s destroyed everything good Daryll had going.

Ray Donovan season finaleAs Abby sings at Terry’s bedside, we see Mickey driving his car crossing the Nevada border, Bridget packing her guitar and leaving home, and Ray driving somewhere, clearly on his next mission.

Ray’s in the chapel where he tells Father Romero (Leland Orser) that his brother Terry needs a priest, he’s dying and he thinks he’s going to hell. “What do you think,” Romero asks. “I don’t know anymore,” Ray says. Romero opens the confessional door and goes in.

At the hospital, Terry crashes. They try to revive him.

Ray goes inside the confessional and recites: “Forgive me father for I have sinned. It’s been 36 years since my last confession. I’ve hurt people.”
Confess your sins, Romero tells him, looking for him to be specific.
“I killed Father O’Conner. I shot him in the head. He begged me for his life and I shot him.”
Ray DonovanRomero asks if Ray can accept Christ in his life. Ray tells him he doesn’t know how.
“Can you find the kingdom of God in your heart?”
“I can’t find anything,” Ray says desperately. “I did what you said. Now make it right. Please just make it right God for my brother.”
But Romero wants to know what Ray needs.
“I don’t care about me,” Ray gasps.
What follows is a gut-wrenching confession of a boy who simply loved and wanted to please a man he trusted. Ray tells Romero how Father O’Conner told him he was special. “He took me places. He bought me things.”
And no one else in your life was doing that, Romero said understandingly.
“He said I was special. That he saw something in me,” Ray weeps. “The things he did, after awhile I stopped fighting him.” He admits that he stopped because he cared for him.
Ray falls to the floor, in complete despair, confessing his nightmares. “I see pictures in my head every fucking day, every night, when I’m with my kids I see these fucking pictures.”
Trying to console him, Romero says these things should have never happened, he was just a boy.
But Ray’s voice changes. He doesn’t want his sympathy. He needs to know that Terry is going to be OK, that he’s not going to die. Romero can’t give him that.
“Faith is the evidence of things not scene,” Romero professes. “You asked God for forgiveness, that has to be enough. The rest is out of your control. May God grant you pardon and peace. I absolve you of your sins.”

Ray walks out of the confessional and falls to the ground. Next we see Ray in the passenger seat of Romero’s car driving into the kingdom (a far away Los Angeles) as the sun shines through the clouds.

Terry opens his eyes and calls out Abby’s name. Abby tells him she’s here.

“The Vampyre of Time and Memory” by Queens of the Stone Age plays in the background and the lyrics capture it all.

“I want God to come and take me home
‘Cause I’m all alone in this crowd
Who are you to me?
Who am I supposed to be?
Not exactly sure anymore
Where’s this going to?
Can I follow through?
Or just follow you
For a while?
Does anyone ever get this right?
I feel no love
Ain’t no confusion here, it is as I feared
The illusion that you feel is real
To be vulnerable is needed most of all
If you intend to truly fall apart
You think the worst of all is far behind
The Vampyre of time and memories has died
I survived.
I speak, I breathe,
I’m incomplete
I’m alive – hooray!
You’re wrong again
‘Cause I feel no love
Does anyone ever get this right?
Does anyone ever get this right?
I feel no love
I feel no love”










  1. In the final Scene as Father Romero is driving Ray towards LA, Ray’s phone receives a message from Abby while his eyes are closed. The message is on screen for 2 – 3 seconds.
    The message says: Terry just woke up.
    Ray doesn’t see this however as they drive closer to LA, the very last frame shows a ray of light breaking through the clouds.
    Very well directed. Almost as good as Breaking Bad….

  2. The finale was a mind blower! So powerful… And cliffhanging!!! I can’t wait for Season 4. When does it start??????

  3. Could someone please tell me why Mickey has been strapped for money and had to be beholding to the Armenian Mafia? What about the million dollars he won at the horse race

    • They spent it, but never paid tax.
      Windfall tax on gambling winnings is 50% to Uncle Sam, and 30%? tax to Aunt Calie,
      leaving less than $200,000.

  4. The title to this recap is the ultimate question for the series. Ray, as Bridget told him, is into control that he believes is love. It’s protection fueled by rage and self-loathing, which have now been spoken out loud. Not sure he knows how to protect anyone without it. If as is said to be on the agenda, that Ray’s changed as a result of the confession, not sure how that will work after us buying into THIS Ray Donovan. http://www.tvruckus.com/2015/09/28/ray-donovan-season-finale-exsuscito-recap-it-never-ends-even-when-it-does/

  5. Wow, great finale! So powerful. Did anyone else catch when Bridget was walking with her teacher what song was in the background when he bought her the bracelet? “18”, wow, wonder how many other little things like that I missed over the season.

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