Critical Condition: Ray Donovan

Ray Donovan (SoHo, 8.30 Tuesday)

“Ray (Liev Schreiber) heads into Season 4 of Ray Donovan trying to change by going to therapy and confession, abstaining from alcohol as well as getting rehabilitative help from Hector (Cruz Cordova), a big-time boxer recruited by Father Romero (Leland Orser) to help Ray become anew. However, it’s not long before Hector inadvertently becomes a problem himself. Hector has a big secret, one that comes to light thanks to the emergence of a mysterious woman we soon learn is his half-sister Marisol (Lisa Bonet) … Although her dark secret and her threat to expose it makes fertile, juicy territory for the show to explore, the execution of it belies resonance and believability in points.” — TV Guide.

“Based on the first two episodes made available for review, I’m certainly hooked on Ray Donovan once again, even as I’m feeling the show is going over a lot of the same ground. Since the departure of creator Ann Biderman, new showrunner David Hollander has clearly decided that the richest territory to mine is the ongoing healing of Ray’s childhood traumas, and I’m not sure I agree. I like Donovan best when it’s more of a crime show, but I’ll take this version for the intermittent rewards it yields regularly.” — Yahoo TV.

“Season 3 pushed Ray to the brink emotionally, and he finally started to come to terms with the terrible reality of his past. The most shocking scene of the new season is not an act of violence, but of healing — Ray sits in a support group with Bunchy (Dash Mihok), something inconceivable to think of earlier in the series … Though the season’s early framework may have let them down, the ease with which the main cast portray their characters is still among the best on television, and it’s what keeps Ray Donovan a series worth watching — even with such a slow, easily telegraphed start.” — Collider.

“Ray needs to heal body and soul, except that Ray is Ray. He’s a fixer, not a healer, which means his brief attempt at spiritual regeneration should end pretty much where you expect it to. The surprise, a pleasant one, is that he doesn’t forget the effort … A touchier-feelier Ray Donovan emerges, and the change is welcome.” — Newsday.

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