The titular fixer (Liev Schreiber) returns in ‘Ray Donovan: The Movie,’ which picks off from the popular Showtime crime drama series of the same name. This time, the narrative delves into Ray’s tumultuous past, focussing on a pivotal moment between him and his father, Mickey. Back in the present, the family’s intergenerational proclivity towards violence continues to put them in dire situations.
The film gives closure to many long-running arcs and fills in some significant gaps from Ray’s past. The dramatic climax, however, proves that the Donovan family is not in the clear yet. There is no victory here, only a dark reminder that some stains can never wash off. If you’re looking to delve deeper into ‘Ray Donovan: The Movie’ and what the ending means for our brooding hero, then you’re in the right place! SPOILERS AHEAD.
Ray Donovan: The Movie Plot Synopsis
The film opens with a montage of pivotal scenes from the show, following which we see the Donovan brothers — Ray, Terry, Bunchy, and Daryll at home, reminiscing about their father. Their story-swapping is interrupted by a grieving Bridget, who chastizes Ray for forgetting deaths so easily by drowning his sorrows in liquor. Ray is stunned into silence, and after some thinking, leaves the house late at night, heading for Boston.
Meanwhile, Ray’s father Mickey is in possession of a briefcase full of valuable documents and tries to sell them off at a profit. He doesn’t notice his son tailing him as he heads for a rendevous. However, Mickey’s contacts get the jump on Ray, and a brawl ensues in which the attackers are killed. Ray, badly injured, points his gun at Mickey as the elderly man looks at his son in concern. However, the gun is empty. Getting the message, Mickey walks away from Ray. Desperate to flip the documents in the briefcase for money, Mickey then calls the Sullivans (to whom the documents belong) and offers to sell them back for twenty-five percent of his asking price.
Through flashbacks, we see a young Ray Donovan just beginning to get his first few criminal experiences courtesy of his father. He gets introduced to a wealthy Hollywood producer, Ezra Goldman, who is filming in the neighborhood. Realizing he can charge the producer for protection, Mickey befriends Ezra and his film’s lead actor, Sean Walker. The latter takes an immediate liking to Mickey’s authentic Boston persona, and the two go out on a bender. Sensing trouble, Ezra pays young Ray to keep an eye on them.
Ray Donovan: The Movie Ending: Is Ray Donovan Dead or Alive? Who Shoots Him?
As the flashback continues, we see young Ray apprehensively watch as Mickey, Sean, and Colleen get steadily rowdier. When Mickey eventually passes out, Sean picks up his gun and accidentally kills Colleen with it. Ray and Ezra then collude to secretly get Sean out of the crime scene and pin the blame on Mickey, who wakes up from a stupor to find himself surrounded by the police.
Back in the present, Ray meets with Molly Sullivan to see whether Mickey has returned the briefcase. Molly implores Ray to tell her what he has done with her father (Jim Sullivan), but the latter remains silent. As Ray prepares to leave, Molly shoots him in the stomach. Our hero somehow makes it back to his motel room, where Mickey, who has followed him from the Sullivan house, watches his son with concern. The two reminisce before Mickey is suddenly shot dead by Bridget, who enters the room to see her father also grievously injured. The police arrive, and the film ends with parallel scenes of Ray being taken into an ambulance (years ago) and his father being arrested for Colleen’s murder.
So the film ends with Ray Donovan sporting multiple injuries, including a bullet wound courtesy of Molly Sullivan. From Bridget’s reaction, it looks like he might die. However, Ray’s reassurances to his daughter that he’ll live seem to be closer to what actually happens. Ray’s conversation with his therapist, Dr. Arthur Amiot (Alan Alda), intermittently seen throughout the film, ends with the injured hero telling the doctor his motel room number. It seems like the doctor, sensing Ray is grievously injured, calls the authorities who arrive with doctors and (it appears) save Ray’s life.
The fact that Ray is likely going to be ok is partly why Bunchy also leaves his brother in his injured state. Of course, Bunchy also needs to get Bridget away before the authorities arrive, but it doesn’t seem like he’d leave Ray alone if he knew his brother was dying. Thus, the bullet in the abdomen by Molly Sullivan doesn’t seem to have killed Ray, and our brooding hero lives to fight another day.
The last scene, which depicts Ray emerging from a pool of water, could be mistaken for symbolizing that he might be dead. However, it more likely signifies that with his father’s death, Ray and the rest of the family seem to be cleansed from one of their most prolific sources of trouble. Ray also finally confronts the painful fact that he betrayed his father and sent him to prison (for Colleen’s murder), bringing out a secret he has long held inside. Though the Donavan family will likely never shed their gritty proclivity for death and violence, Ray emerging from the pool seems to signify that he is at least washed clean of some of the ghosts from his past.
Why Does Bridget Shoot Mickey? Is Mickey Donovan Dead?
The film’s climax features a twist that, funnily enough, is as expected as it is shocking. Mickey has been playing with fire for a long, long time, and on more than one occasion (on the show and in the film), Ray considers or attempts to kill him. Thus, it comes as no surprise when the elderly Donovan gets shot. Bridget is one of the last people we’d expect to be the one pulling the trigger, but a deeper look into her character shows that she has ample motive to kill her grandfather.
Throughout the film, Bridget is seen to be in mourning for the death of her husband, Smitty, who gets killed partly because of Mickey’s greed. The last straw is when Bridget learns that her father, Ray, has gone to Boston to confront (and possibly kill) Mickey. Having just lost her husband, Ray’s daughter gets worried for her father’s safety and insists on accompanying Bunchy to Boston. When Bridget finally shoots Mickey, she says that “it had to end,” referring to the multi-generational cycle of violence that has claimed so many of their family members.
Bridget is clearly at her wit’s end, and though it is unclear whether the fortunes (or life expectancy) of the Donovan family will improve, Ray’s daughter seemingly takes a big step in the right direction by shooting Mickey through the head. Of course, the fact that Ray takes the fall for the murder to save Bridget also completes a decades-long arc that opens with young Ray framing his father and sending him to prison. Now, at the end of the movie, Ray, it seems, will go to prison for the murder of his father.
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