Chinese Algebra Recap: Ray Donovan

In “Chinese Algebra” (Ray Donovan S4 E11, 9-11-2016), Hector learned that Ray is not his fairy godfather and has his own motives for covering up Marisol’s murder. Mickey helped place a bet on Hector’s fight and Frank Barnes tried to get Ray to throw in with the FBI and go into witness protection.

The episode opened with the discovery of Marisol’s body in Lake Hollywood then quickly switched to Ray asking Mickey for the money that he stole (or stole back, to be more accurate) from Bill Primm so that he can get Avi out of Dmitri Sokolov’s clutches.

Ray told Abby he has to go to Vegas to make some fast money on a sure thing. She told him that she thinks she made a mistake opting for alternate breast cancer therapy and not having the surgery. Although she is afraid that her cancer may now be inoperable, she says there is nothing they can do but wait.

At the Fite Club, Damon was thrilled to get an official offer to be part of Team Campos. He’ll be cleaning up spit buckets and mopping floors but the pay is off the charts — $750 a week. Daryll was extremely insulted to be offered the same deal with good reason. Hector would not have gotten the Whittaker fight back at all if Daryll hadn’t taken care of Joxy Maguire. The icing on the cake was being told that Hector didn’t think he was good enough to be his sparring partner. Daryll rejected Terry’s $1500 a week offer and stormed off. He passed Hector on the way out but Hector didn’t even acknowledge him.

At the bus depot, Mickey got the $2 million he promised to give Ray and was tempted to get on the line to Boston. In the meantime, Bunchy and Teresa informed Abby that they were leaving and taking Maria somewhere safe up north. Abby asked them to take Conor and Bridget and they agreed. Conor refused to go because he wanted to stay and help his father, but Ray convinced him that his proper place was to protect his sister, and we’re sure that there will be many delighted viewers to have the Donovan children out of the way in the finale.

Ray filled Hector in on his cover story for Marisol and what he needed to say when questioned by the police. Hector was very thankful until Ray dropped the bombshell that he was going to throw the fight to Archie Whittaker in the 6th round. Hector was all like eff you, there’s no way… but Ray told him he could either do that or go to jail for Marisol’s murder. Hector thought Ray was bluffing. They would both go to jail, but Ray explained that he would only get 5 years and Hector would get life.

Ray contacted a bookie named Fat Ernie who said he could handle the $2 million bet on Whittaker to win in the 6th round. Ray went to meet Dmitri and explained the bet situation to him. The odds were 30/1 so he stood to collect $60 million and Ray was putting up the $2 million. Dmitri wanted to meet Hector and said he wouldn’t return Avi until he got his artwork.

Ray instructed Mickey to go to Vegas and find Fat Ernie (he’s 500 pounds) and place the bet. Frank Barnes was pounding on his car window while they speak, insisting that they go for a drive. He took Ray to FBI headquarters and showed him the warehouse tape, the one where Ray went in with Belikov and came out with the dead Cats Cradle girl. Barnes urged Ray to become an informant and go into witness protection with his family and even gave Ray time to think it over. But Ray was stalwart and never ruffled. He told Barnes to either charge him or let him go and Barnes did the latter, shaking his head because he believes that the Russian will kill the whole Donovan clan.

On the way to Vegas, Mickey saw a woman get on board whose outfit reminded him of Sylvie Starr and, just for a moment, he saw Silvie’s face. When that passed, he introduced himself to the lady who turned out to be a part-time stripper named Sugar headed to Vegas. To befriend Sugar, Mickey flashed his sack full of cash and turned on the Irish charm.

Sugar went with Mickey to visit Fat Ernie only it was too late. Fat Ernie died like Elvis. Sugar knew a trust fund baby and Instagram star named Jack Raleigh who could help Mickey place the bet. She agreed to arrange a meeting at his mansion for $10K. Jack seemed to be amusing himself or humoring Sugar by entertaining Mickey’s request but ultimately felt he had to say no because that kind of payoff would land him in big trouble.

Mickey challenged him to a game of ping pong on a table they both just snorted cocaine off. Sure he could beat this old duffer with one eye closed, Jack could not resist the chance to win $2 million if Mickey lost and agreed to place the bet if Mickey won. His only proviso was that Mickey throw in the Members Only jacket he was wearing. After losing badly, Jack realized he had been hustled and Mickey admitted he was the Ping Pong Champ at Walcott State Prison for 11 years. Unhappy but a man of his word, Jack arranged to have the bets placed in a way that would not attract undue attention and told Mickey not to forget his jacket when he left. Mickey went back to L.A. and gave the slips to Ray. They had a little conversation about Frank Barnes. Mickey thought Ray should sing for Barnes, explaining why he turned informant to get out of prison early. Everyone who was a threat to him got arrested and is in the ground now and he’s still standing. But Ray said he’s not a rat.

Ray picked up Lena and Hector and they went to meet with Dmitri. Hector confirmed that he would take the fall in the sixth round and Dmitri reiterated that he would deliver Avi when he got his artwork back. Ray took Dmitri to the warehouse where the artwork was stashed. Yuri confirmed that it was all there, a phone call was placed and a vehicle soon arrived with a badly beaten but still breathing Avi. Dmitri kept his word too but there’s still the fight. If something goes wrong with Ray’s “sure thing,” it’s a sure thing that the Russians will return.

Avi told Ray that he saw Ezra Goldman who delivered this message: “Yeshuat Hashem k’heref ayin.” (The salvation of God is like the blink of an eye.) In another blink of the eye, sirens began blaring, Frank Barnes and a convoy of police cars pulled Ray over and arrested him. Barnes took him back to the FBI office in handcuffs this time, and this time, he had Sonia Kovitsky in custody as well. Ray may not be a rat, but according to Frank Barnes, Sonia is so Ray’s goose is cooked.

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