“Ray Donovan” is an American crime drama television series that premiered on Showtime on June 30, 2013. Created by Ann Biderman, the show gained immediate attention, with its pilot episode breaking viewership records and becoming the biggest premiere in Showtime’s history. The series concluded after seven seasons in February 2020, but its storyline found resolution with the release of “Ray Donovan: The Movie” on January 14, 2022, serving as a feature-length conclusion.
The Story of Ray Donovan
Liev Schreiber takes on the lead role of Ray Donovan, a professional “fixer” based primarily in Los Angeles during seasons 1–5 and later in New York City during seasons 6–7. As a fixer, Ray specializes in handling delicate and often illicit matters for his celebrity clients, including arranging bribes, payoffs, threats, and crime-scene clean-ups. While proficient at his job, Ray also grapples with the complexities of his personal life, particularly his relationships with his wife and children.
The central tension in the series arises when Ray’s father, Mickey Donovan, portrayed by Jon Voight, is unexpectedly released from prison. Mickey’s return complicates Ray’s life, leading to a series of events where the FBI attempts to bring down Mickey and his associates. Ray Donovan finds himself caught between his loyalty to his family and the legal consequences of their actions.
Throughout the show, viewers are taken on a journey that explores the blurred lines between morality and criminality, as Ray navigates the challenges of his profession while trying to shield his loved ones from the repercussions of their past. The series blends crime elements with family drama, offering a gritty and compelling narrative that delves into the complexities of loyalty, redemption, and the consequences of one’s actions.
Ray Donovan’s Impact
Liev Schreiber’s portrayal of Ray Donovan earned praise for its depth and complexity, and the dynamic relationships between the characters, especially the tumultuous father-son relationship between Ray and Mickey, added layers of intrigue to the storyline. “Ray Donovan” stands as a notable entry in the crime drama genre, providing audiences with a riveting exploration of the high-stakes world of a professional fixer and the personal sacrifices he must make to protect those he cares about.
The Future of Ray Donovan
Will there be a Ray Donovan Season 8? There will not be a Season 8 of “Ray Donovan.” The series was unexpectedly canceled by Showtime on February 4, 2020, after seven seasons. This decision came as a shock to both fans and the showrunner, David Hollander. Season 8 was originally intended to be the final season, and Hollander had already developed creative plans for concluding the story. However, in response to the passionate support from fans and their active engagement in the media, actor Liev Schreiber, who portrayed the titular character Ray Donovan, indicated a potential for the show’s return. He took to his Instagram account a week after the cancellation to share the possibility of a revival, acknowledging the impact of fans’ efforts.
Ultimately, on February 24, 2021, Showtime announced an alternative solution to conclude the storyline – a feature-length film titled “Ray Donovan: The Movie.” This film, set to premiere in 2022, was directed by David Hollander, who also co-wrote the script with Liev Schreiber. The decision to create a movie came after the network observed the fans’ strong reaction to the cancellation. The feature-length format allowed the creators to work with a more cinematic language.
The film, which serves as the conclusion to the “Ray Donovan” storyline, features the return of the original cast, including Liev Schreiber. Additionally, new cast members such as Chris Petrovski, AJ Michalka, David Patrick Kelly, and Chris Gray joined the project. The official trailer and poster for “Ray Donovan: The Movie” were released on November 22, with a premiere date set for January 14, 2022. The tagline for the film reads, “You can’t outrun your legacy.” Therefore, instead of a Season 8, the story of “Ray Donovan” will find its conclusion in the form of this feature-length movie.
Ray Donovan Plot
“Ray Donovan” follows the gripping narrative of its titular character, Ray Donovan, a seasoned professional known as a “fixer” operating in the glamorous yet tumultuous world of Los Angeles. His expertise lies in managing and resolving the issues of the rich and famous, ranging from celebrities to influential figures. Despite his proficiency in making problems disappear for his high-profile clients, Ray faces a significant challenge—dealing with the intricate and often explosive problems that arise within his own family.
Ray Donovan’s professional life involves a range of clandestine activities, including arranging bribes, payoffs, issuing threats, and overseeing crime-scene clean-ups. These illegal endeavors are undertaken to shield his clients from scandals, legal troubles, and other compromising situations. Ray navigates this morally ambiguous terrain with finesse, showcasing his ability to maintain a delicate balance between the underworld and the glamorous facade of Hollywood.
Amidst his high-stakes professional responsibilities, Ray is portrayed as a devoted family man. He is shown as deeply committed to his children and brothers. However, the dynamics within his own household prove to be as complex and challenging as the cases he handles for his clients. The relationship with his wife, Abby, is particularly intricate, adding a layer of personal turmoil to Ray’s already demanding life.
Complicating matters further is the unexpected release of Ray’s father, Mickey Donovan, from prison. Mickey’s return introduces a volatile element into Ray’s life, leading to a series of events that entangle the Donovan family in a web of crime, betrayal, and law enforcement scrutiny. The FBI’s pursuit of Mickey and his associates creates a constant threat, forcing Ray to confront the consequences of his family’s past actions.
Throughout the series, viewers are taken on a rollercoaster ride that explores the tension between Ray’s professional obligations and his deeply rooted sense of loyalty to his family. The plot delves into the moral ambiguity of Ray’s actions, inviting audiences to question the price of redemption and the lengths one is willing to go to protect those they love.
“Ray Donovan” weaves together the threads of crime, family drama, and the glitzy backdrop of Hollywood, creating a narrative that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats. The show’s exploration of Ray’s personal and professional struggles paints a vivid portrait of a man caught between two worlds, navigating the dark underbelly of power and privilege while confronting the demons within his own family.
Ray Donovan Ending Explained
The ending of “Ray Donovan” brings the Donovan family saga to a dramatic and poignant close, marked by revelations, tragedies, and a reckoning with the past that has haunted them throughout the series.
The finale begins with a mysterious burial, setting the tone for an episode where the Donovans confront the consequences of their actions. Ray, accompanied by Perry, navigates the dark woods, seeking retribution against those who targeted Judge Shoal. The tension builds with gunshots and deadly encounters, highlighting the violent underbelly of Ray’s world. The alliance between Ray and Perry forms a fragile bond, creating a subplot that intertwines with the broader narrative.
As the plot unfolds, Ray grapples with a haunting revelation from the past involving his sister Bridget. The revelation, disclosed through tapes, unveils a tragic history of abuse, rape, and a teenage pregnancy that culminated in Bridget’s suicide. The theme of suicide permeates the episode, with other characters facing their own struggles and contemplations of self-harm, emphasizing the pervasive trauma that plagues the Donovan family.
While the finale may not tie up every plot thread neatly, it focuses on character-driven storytelling. Bridget’s story takes center stage, shedding light on the trauma she endured at the hands of the Sullivans. Ray’s emotions, fueled by anger and guilt, drive him towards revenge against Jim Sullivan, the perpetrator of Bridget’s suffering. The climax sees a deadly confrontation where Ray takes matters into his own hands, killing Sullivan as an act of retribution.
The ending reshapes the Donovan family dynamic. It marks a turning point where the family members, especially Ray, reassess their relationships with each other and with their patriarch, Mickey Donovan. Mickey’s actions, which led to Smitty’s death and other calamities, serve as a catalyst for the family’s realization that Mickey is a destructive force. The season suggests that Mickey’s influence has finally worn thin, with even long-time defenders like Bunchy distancing themselves.
The closing scenes depict the Donovans in various states of reflection and uncertainty. Terry, standing atop the Empire State Building, contemplates his life, hinting at the weight of the family’s history. Ray, in a symbolic act, buries Jim Sullivan, underscoring the cyclical nature of violence and retribution in the Donovan world. The “Ray Donovan” ending leaves a lingering sense of tragedy and inevitability. Despite the family’s efforts to break free from their destructive patterns, the specter of violence and unresolved issues continues to haunt them. The Donovans’ complex journey concludes with the realization that, in their world, there will always be more bodies and the enduring weight of their own actions.
Ray Donovan Cast
|Raymond “Ray” Donovan
|Abigail “Abby” Donovan
|Terrence “Terry” Donovan
|Brendan “Bunchy” Donovan
|Michael “Mickey” Donovan
|Samantha “Sam” Winslow
|Jacob “Smitty” Smith
Ray Donovan Seasons
|June 30, 2013
|September 22, 2013
|July 13, 2014
|September 28, 2014
|July 12, 2015
|September 27, 2015
|June 26, 2016
|September 18, 2016
|August 6, 2017
|October 29, 2017
|October 28, 2018
|January 13, 2019
|November 17, 2019
|January 19, 2020
Ray Donovan Overview
|Crime drama, Family drama, Psychological drama, Neo-noir
|Country of Origin
|No. of Seasons
|No. of Episodes
|Bryan Zuriff, Mark Gordon, Ann Biderman, David Hollander, Lou Fusaro
|Los Angeles, California; New York City, New York
|The Mark Gordon Company, Ann Biderman Co., Bider Sweet Productions, David Hollander Productions, Showtime Networks
|June 30, 2013 – January 19, 2020
Where to Stream Ray Donovan?
“Ray Donovan” is available for streaming on platforms such as fuboTV, Paramount+, and Showtime. You can access it through Paramount Plus Apple TV Channel, Paramount+ Amazon Channel, Showtime Roku Premium Channel, and Showtime. Additionally, the series can be watched for free with ads on The Roku Channel. If you prefer to purchase and own the content, “Ray Donovan” is available for download on Apple TV, Amazon Video, Vudu, Microsoft Store, and Google Play Movies. Explore these options to enjoy the gripping drama at your convenience.
Will There be a Ray Donovan Season 8 – FAQs
- Is there going to be a Season 8 of Ray Donovan? No, there won’t be a Season 8. Showtime unexpectedly canceled the series after its seventh season.
- Was Season 8 planned before the cancellation? Yes, Season 8 was intended to be the final season, and showrunner David Hollander had a creative plan in place for concluding the story.
- Is there any hope for Ray Donovan to return? While Season 8 was canceled, there was a glimmer of hope for a return. Actor Liev Schreiber mentioned on Instagram that due to fan support, there was a possibility for a Ray Donovan movie.
- What happened after the cancellation? After the cancellation, Showtime announced a feature-length film titled “Ray Donovan: The Movie” to provide a conclusion to the storyline. It premiered in 2022.
- Who is involved in the Ray Donovan movie? The movie is directed by David Hollander, who also co-wrote the script with lead actor Liev Schreiber. It features the return of the original cast, along with new additions Chris Petrovski, AJ Michalka, David Patrick Kelly, and Chris Gray.