I wrote that I was going to review Ray Donovan episodes after season 1 was finished. Well I didn't get around to it. After watching the second season to episode 7 (binge watching), I am beginning to wonder whether that was a deliberate avoidance.
Season 2:7 was full of triggers for me. The impact wasn't all immediate but the biggest "gotcha" was near the end when Ray stands in the middle of the room staring at his wife and says "Conor wanted the family; Conor got a family", snort-smiles, shrugs and walks away (at 46:45). Interestingly enough, I remembered it as "I wanted the family, I got the family." What is really boils down is that we keep looking for some kind of stability in the structures around us - even when we watch it crumbling. Ray tries to run, tries so hard to make it right in all the wrong ways. The fights, the screaming, the drinking, the disintegration, the obliviousness - all because we can't change the past. The old truism "you can run, but you can't hide", it will come and bite you in the ass is borne out again and again.
My mother ran, my father took care of her. I ran, nobody took care of me, I just ended up in so many ways like Ray, trying to create stability, trying to take care of everyone and everything, and frankly, at times, not doing a very good job of it. This is not a pity comment, but a reflection comment. I think that I did better in many ways than my mother did (and certainly better than Ray - LOL). But watching this episode, brought back so many of the fights (with my original family, my marriages, my children). There were so many of the moments when one was incapable of doing anything but fight because there was no other release. Then the "I'm sorries" but nothing ever really changed. Then eventually, the complete sense of utter defeat. Things only seemed to change with the complete destruction of a world, sometimes forces from the outside, sometimes from within. Then one started all over again.
If one wonders whether or not this show is getting it right, I would say that, at least the personal aspect is certainly true to the reality of the intergenerational impact of childhood sexual abuse. The family dynamics of generations of sexual abuse, whether acknowledged or not, are being played out in this series. It is gut-wrenching and soul-destroying; it leaves no one undamaged.
I will get to the entire series, episode by episode, In the meantime, I boogie to "Walk this Way" and go find Aerosmith's Pump.