Tonight's episode 7.7 of Ray Donovan provided another reason for me to like this season the best. In the case of this episode, it offered one of the best backstories I've seen on any series, period.
Especially the acting. The guy (Bill Heck) who played young Mick had his (Jon Voight as Mickey's) mannerisms down pat. His voice even sounded so much like Mickey's, it could have been Voight's overdubbed - for all I know, it was. And the story this young Mick brought us finally gives us some crucial missing pieces in what makes the family Donovan tick.
In our present time, Mickey played by Voight tells us near the end of the episode that he's finally grown up - that everything we've seen him go through and do in these seven seasons has profoundly changed him. Made him a, well, more responsible adult, even if that responsibility entails murder and whatever it takes.
And we get Ray's story, too. The young Ray, wanting to kill his father. This Ray (played by Aidan Pierce Brennan) is also given an excellent performance by someone who literally has a lot of Ray's (Liev Schrieber's) ways of looking at the world. And our present Ray is changing in significant ways, too. Under Molly's good influence, he refrains from killing someone who, at least in Ray's world, would have been better off dead.
A lot of this season, especially in the unpacking of those prior lives that bring the lives of our current characters into clearer focus, has the feel of a final season. I'm very glad that it apparently isn't. Because knowing what we now know of Mickey, and Ray, it will be more riveting than ever to see where there are next season, after this one concludes. And we haven't even seen what else this current season has to teach us.
See also Ray Donovan 7.1: Getting Ahead of the Game ... Ray Donovan 7.2: Good Luck ... Ray Donovan 7.3: "The Air that I Breathe" ... Ray Donovan 7.4: Claudette and Bridget ... Ray Donovan 7.5: Bing! ... Ray Donovan 7.6: Phone Booths and Cellphones
See also Ray Donovan 6.1: The New Friend ... Ray Donovan 6.2: Father and Sons ... Ray Donovan 6.4: Politics in the Ray Style ... Ray Donovan 6.6: The Mayor Strikes Back ... Ray Donovan 6.7: Switching Sides ... Ray Donovan 6.8: Down ... Ray Donovan 6.9: Violence and Storyline ... Ray Donovan 6.10: Working Together ... Ray Donovan 6.11: Settled Scores and Open Questions ... Ray Donovan Season 6 Finale: Snowfall and Mick
See also Ray Donovan 5.1: Big Change ... Ray Donovan 5.4: How To Sell A Script ... Ray Donovan 5.7: Reckonings ... Ray Donovan 5.8: Paging John Stuart Mill ... Ray Donovan 5.9: Congas ... Ray Donovan 5.10: Bunchy's Money ... Ray Donovan 5.11: I'm With Mickey ... Ray Donovan 5.12: New York
See also Ray Donovan 4.1: Good to Be Back ... Ray Donovan 4.2: Settling In ... Ray Donovan 4.4: Bob Seger ... Ray Donovan 4.7: Easybeats ... Ray Donovan 4.9: The Ultimate Fix ... Ray Donovan Season 4 Finale: Roses
And see also Ray Donovan 3.1: New, Cloudy Ray ... Ray Donovan 3.2: Beat-downs ... Ray Donovan 3.7: Excommunication!
And see also Ray Donovan 2.1: Back in Business ... Ray Donovan 2.4: The Bad Guy ... Ray Donovan 2.5: Wool Over Eyes ... Ray Donovan 2.7: The Party from Hell ... Ray Donovan 2.10: Scorching ... Ray Donovan 2.11: Out of Control ... Ray Donovan Season 2 Finale: Most Happy Ending
And see also Ray Donovan Debuts with Originality and Flair ... Ray Donovan 1.2: His Assistants and his Family ... Ray Donovan 1.3: Mickey ... Ray Donovan 1.7 and Whitey Bulger ... Ray Donovan 1.8: Poetry and Death ... Ray Donovan Season 1 Finale: The Beginning of Redemption
It started in the hot summer of 1960, when Marilyn Monroe walked off the set of The Misfits and began to hear a haunting song in her head, "Goodbye Norma Jean" ... Marilyn and Monet