Ray Donovan Recap of “Dogwalker”

The third episode of Season 5 of Ray Donovan (8/20/2017) was called “Dogwalker.” Maureen decided to go stay with her brother, Todd, the morning after the wedding. Conor made a big decision about his future that he doesn’t want Ray to know about. We learned how Ray actually met Natalie James and there was another big surprise.

Natalie’s husband, Rob, was not dead. After Natalie gave Ray her version of what happened that led to her shooting Rob, he went over to her home to survey the situation and Rob popped out and stabbed Ray in the chest with scissors. Ray kicked him down the stairs, then loaded Rob into his trunk and drove to the L.A. Central Animal Hospital. Rob was thrown in a cage with a dog. He was hollering about how Ray and Natalie were going to jail when Dr. Lopez arrived, giving him something else to holler about. Ray took Rob out of the cage and Lopez knocked him out with a hypodermic needle to the butt, then took the bullet out of his chest.

The vet also stitched up Ray’s wound. On the way back to Natalie’s place, a very groggy Rob related how he first met Natalie when she was 16. He was living with her but, at the time, he was her mother’s boytoy. Ray took him home where Lena was busily cleaning up, destroying all evidence of the altercation. Rob threatened to call the police again but Ray persuaded him that it was a bad idea. His best option was to just leave Natalie alone before he really ends up dead.

Meantime at Ray’s, a drunken Mickey fell asleep on the sofa with Pepper, the dog. Natalie went off to take a shower and rummage threw Abby’s belongings. She found a Celtics shirt and went to sleep in the master bedroom. Ray got upset when he found her there and told her to take the shirt off, but then he said she could keep it on. He told her how Abby had just passed away a few months ago and Natalie was very sorry. Ray informed her that Rob was very much alive but agreed to give her whatever she wanted and leave her alone.

Ray had to run off to his anger management class. He was late and Dr. Brogan made him watch a video and take a test. If Ray passed it, he could come back next week; otherwise, he was getting reported. Ray got a 73. Brogan wanted to know why he beat his brother repeatedly in the head the day Abby died. Ray said it was a misunderstanding. Brogan told Ray the classes don’t work for everyone because most people don’t have a reason to make it work, but Ray does. He has kids who need him and he’s sure Ray knows there was a lot more to it than a misunderstanding. Hmmm, remember when Terry was staying at their place and was having more than brotherly feelings for Abby?

Ray got another call from Natalie James. She need one last favor. He went over to the set and had some flashbacks to when he first met Natalie. Abby was playing a game with the kids. The side effects of chemo treatments were taking their toll. She lost most of her hair and was very weak. She wanted Ray to join the game but he took his whiskey bottle and went out to walk the dog. He ran into Natalie also walking her dog. They recognized each other from the car crash. Ray landed first in Natalie’s living room, then in her bed. If that was supposed to be a big shocker, it wasn’t.

Oh, yeah, the favor– Natalie wanted Ray to return Pepper to Rob. Despite all her claims that the dog was hers, turns out she bought the dog as a present for Rob. It makes you wonder what else she’s lied about.

Other plotlines:

While Terry was moping around over Maureen’s departure, he got a call from Conor who was about to get weighed for his wrestling match and needed to lose 2 pounds in an hour. He didn’t want Terry to come up to see the match, but Terry did anyway. Conor lost his temper during the fight and head butted his opponent. Terry told him that he needed to realize that wrestling is a sport, not a fight, and you have to respect the rules. Conor revealed his intention to join the Marines when he finished high school and made Terry promise not to tell Ray. We really haven’t seen much of Conor on the series for a while. The last time we remember was when Ray tried to teach him a lesson and show him that he was just a little punk playing make believe when it comes to being a tough guy. Obviously, he was sent to military school to learn discipline but Conor’s burning desire to be a badass is still very much there.

In the season premiere, Ray’s bookkeeper Harriet tried unsuccessfully to interest Ray in a storage facility business opportunity. In this one, she was successful in interesting Bunchy in it. All Bunchy has to do is come up with the 1.2 million price tag in cash to get the seller to knock $100 grand off the price, hire a couple of guys to run it and sit back and count his money. Teresa, meantime, has gone off on the Lucha tour with Zorro Astuto.

Mickey’s screenplay was “not recommended.” That was kind of an understatement. It was savagely eviscerated by some unknown script reader who said it contained more exclamation points than the human eyes should ever have to see. It dispatched its innumerable cliches like German panzer tanks and, if that wasn’t enough, it was a hackneyed piece of “merde.”

Mickey was about to go off to confront Marty Randell about it when whom should he run into but FBI agent Frank Barnes. Frank told Mickey that he has a problem with Avi who has been selling off a boatload of drugs that he held on to after the Sokolov thing was all said and done. Mickey had to know all about this– he was the one who discovered all the drugs in the back of the “Girl with Guitar” painting at the end of Season 4. Frank was rather cryptic about the kind of help he needed from Mickey. “My problem is your problem is Ray’s problem” is how he put it and said he’ll be in touch.

SUPPORTING CAST OF “DOGWALKER”

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