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'Ray Donovan' Season 1 Finale: The Beginning Of Redemption

September 24th, 2013 1:09pm EDT | Paul Levinson By: Paul Levinson

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An altogether fine and satisfying season 1 finale of Ray Donovan last night, wrapping up lots of loose ends in this strange, twisted, compellingly human yarn.

Ray finally confronts Mickey about what we guessed before and knew for a fact last week:  Ray was molested by Fr. O'Connor, and his rage at Mickey derived from Mickey's beating Ray when Ray the 10-year old told Mickey, and received a beating in response.  That plus Mickey doing nothing when O'Connor did the same to Bunch.   That sort of anger could not be assuaged even when Mickey spent years in prison.  It all made sense.

But neither did Jon Voight's leaving the show with his stunning portrayal of Mickey.  Though everyone acted superbly in this series, it was the oldsters - Voight, Elliot Gould, and recently James Woods - who really stole the show.  And Mickey's shot at redemption with Ray became clear as soon we saw him walking with Sully.

In itself, Mickey's killing of Sully - his saving of Ray's life, especially in jeopardy since Avi was down - won't immediately change much.  Ray's hatred of his father is real and remains.  But the killing of Sully is the first thing that Mickey did which can begin to tip the balance the other way.   It will be a difficult joy but a big joy nonetheless next season to see just how this progresses.

The last scene on the beach could have been out of a movie rather than television, because it was that good.   Ray, finally able to respond to Abby's loving request to come home, asleep on the beach chair, the kids in chairs right there, Abby moving to Ray's chair, lying beside him ... and Ray putting his arm around her.  It was a piece of pure poetry, in a series with blood more prominent than poetry, but with the poetry always there and now at last out in the open - at least for this day.

Photo Credits: CBS Broadcasting Inc.