'Ray Donovan' Season 7 Episode 8: Smitty screws the pooch as a dark secret creeps up on Ray
What is unnerving about this episode is the fact that Ray was blindsided by a Smitty so blatantly teetering under the burden of guilt.
This article contains spoilers
Ray should have seen this coming from a 100 miles away, but too busy chasing the demons of his past snapping at his heels, he missed it. Since the bloodletting of Season 6, Smitty has been riven by guilt and no small amount of anguish over his role in the brutal murders that brought down the curtain on last season. While the Donovans are pretty adept at shoving jittery skeletons back in the closet where they belong, Smitty seems to have been beaten about the head pretty severly with the femurs of dead men past.
The only one who seems to realize that Smitty is on the precipice of utter despair, especially in light of Bridget proving once and for all she's her father's daughter, is Detective Perry, who manages to convince the snivelling, quivering chad that wearing a wire against Ray is somehow an idea that will not end in total disaster.
But while the episode pivots on Ray's realization that he's been undone by his son-in-law, there is also a dark secret creeping around the edges that threatens to cast a shadow across the remainder of the series. When Ray gets a call from prison from the junior O'Malley (who's banged up for attempting to kill Jim Sullivan, wrongly thinking he was responsible for the deaths of his brother and father) he finds out that there's a secret camera above Ronny O'Malley's safe that could hold incriminating evidence against Mickey and/or Daryll. Ray and Smitty (wearing his startlingly old-fashioned wire) head over to the house and find the camera with a video showing Daryll popping Ronny, needless to say blood is thicker than treacle in this show and the video is deleted by Ray.
When Ray return to see O'Malley in prison he informs him that there was nothing recorded on the camera as it wasn't working. O'Malley realizes that Ray is working for Sullivan and flips out, asking Ray how he could still work for such a lowlife, especially after what he did to Ray's sister Bridget and wife Abby. Cue drum roll, and another snarling demon emerges from the Donovan cave of horrors. But before Ray can get more details, O'Malley storms back to his cell. Ray calls Molly and asks her if she can check her father's tapes (the ones Mickey and Daryll stole from Ronny's safe) and find one that dates back to 1987.
What is unnerving about this episode is the fact that Ray was blindsided by a Smitty so blatantly teetering under the burden of guilt. Ray should have realized that Smitty just doesn't have the Donovan constitution for ultra-violence, let alone the gruesome mopping-up operation that usually follows such acts. The fact that Ray does no damage to Smitty when he finds out about the wire, is either proof that Ray is losing his edge, or that he believes Smitty is now truly a member of the family, and hence has given a rope long enough to hang the statue of liberty. The latter seems more likely.
The end of the episode sees Ray face-to-face with Detective Perry asking her if she wants to talk, which is a signal that Ray's ready to give someone up. The only question is whom, and that all depends on what's on that damn tape.