TV REVIEW: RAY DONOVAN IS A LOST SOUL IN SEASON 6 OF SHOWTIME’S HIT DRAMA

I always loved Abby Donovan (emotionally portrayed by a brilliant Paula Malcolmson). She kept Ray (Liev Schreiber) honest..or at least as honest as he could be. She gave him a conscience and in turn acted as the show’s conscience, often standing in the gap for the many broken souls surrounding her. She was a glimmer of light in a dark and brutal world.

But in Season 6 of Showtime’s long-running Ray Donovan, Abby is gone. And we feel it. Cancer has claimed her and apparently any goodness Ray has left in him. He has given up the fight as he is dragged out of the East River by NYPD cop Sean McGrath (Domenick Lombardozzi), as his life begins anew in New York City.

Susan Sarandon returns as Samantha Mathison, bailing Ray out of a jam, not out of the kindness of her heart, but because she needs a fixer. She has a mayoral candidate she’s backing, Anita Novak (Lola Glaudini), but a penchant for clandestine sex threatens to derail her. But Ray isn’t ready. He packs on the pounds, grows a scruffy beard and stumbles around in a Yankees snapback. It’s Ray at his lowest and it’s not a good look.

RAY Jeff Neumann Showtime

In Season 6, Liev Schreiber’s Ray is as unpalatable as ever. There seems little to redeem him as he scowls and skulks around New York, settling petty scores with his fists. He eventually finds a razor and a clean suit, but that does little to help matters as the show continues to lose steam and heart.

Mathison coaxes Ray out of retirement when Novak has a dead man lying in her living room. She need Ray to fix it and he does. Back on her payroll, he goes where he is needed, and when Mick (Jon Voight) kidnaps the star of Daryll’s (Pooch Hall) film, Mathison’s loan of $3 million to get him back ensures that Ray will remain in her debt.

Speaking of Mick, he and Bunchy (Dash Mihok) are also in New York, in hiding with Bunchy’s baby girl whom he lost custody of. Terry (Eddie Marsan) is also in the city, running a boxing gym and getting back in the ring himself. He isn’t a ‘has-been,’ he’s a ‘never-was,’ Terry corrects a barkeep. He is perhaps attempting to change his fate. Bridget (Kerris Dorsey) has also set up shop in New York, living with her fiance who is trying to outrun a drug debt.

While more political and family intrigue is sure to come as the season unfolds, Ray Donovan feels like a show on its last legs, making a last gasp that feels somewhat forced. For the fractured family from Boston, a jolt of soul would do the show some good, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

‘RAY DONOVAN’ AIRS ON SHOWTIME, SUNDAYS, 9 PM.

PHOTO: JEFF NEUMANN/ SHOWTIME

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