‘Ray Donovan: The Movie’ follows the titular fixer (Liev Schreiber) as he grapples with his father’s constant (and dangerous) search for “an angle” to get rich. The mission finds our hero returning to Boston to confront Mickey Donovan, only things don’t go as planned. The film also delves into Ray’s origin story, giving us a glimpse of a pivotal point in his relationship with his father.
The movie comes on the heels of an abruptly canceled ‘Ray Donovan’ season 8 and essentially picks up from season 7. But what happens in between? Is there a time jump between the series and the movie? Let’s take a closer look at where ‘Ray Donovan: The Movie’ falls on the Donovan family saga’s timeline. SPOILERS AHEAD.
When is Ray Donovan: The Movie Set?
‘Ray Donovan: The Movie’ is set across two time periods — one being the “present-day” and the other being a flashback from about thirty years ago. The present-day timeline is set in modern times and is based around the year 2020 (though not specified). The film opens in this timeline after the events of season 7 have taken place. Thus, it is set in the aftermath of Ray killing Jim Sullivan and with Mickey on the run with the Sullivans’ valuable documents.
The second timeline, set in Boston around the 1990s, introduces a young (approximately twenty-year-old) Ray and a younger, more lively but equally careless Mickey. Through these flashbacks, we learn of the fateful circumstances under which young Ray essentially framed his father for murder, resulting in Mickey being sent to prison for twenty years.
How Many Years Have Passed Since Ray Donovan Season 7?
Considering ‘Ray Donovan’ season 7 premiered in 2019 and ‘Ray Donovan: The Movie’ released in 2022, it is easy to imagine that despite picking up from where season 7 left off, the film opens after a significant time jump. However, this is not the case, and the film’s narrative begins very close to where season 7 closes, possibly in the span of a few days, if that.
The film opens so soon after season 7 closes that many pivotal plot points and cliffhangers from season 7 still resound in the former. Bridget is still in mourning for the death of her husband Smitty, and Molly Sullivan is still wondering what Ray did to her father (our hero is seen burying Jim Sullivan in the season 7 finale). Thus, not much time has passed between the closing of season 7 and the film’s opening.
Despite the 30-year-old flashbacks in the film, its present-day timeline is relatively short, and the film’s events take place over just a few days. Thus, not only does it open quite close to the events of season 7, but the film is also set while the repercussions of the season 7 finale are still being felt strongly in the story.
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