‘Ray Donovan: The Movie’ Ending, Explained – Does Ray Die In The End?


Ray Donovan: The Movie, directed by David Hollander, is a crime drama television film that was released after the final season of the series of the same name. The film primarily focuses on the relationship between Ray Donovan and his father, Mickey Donovan. The film oscillates between the past and the present to build on the father-son relationship. The film vastly takes place in Boston, the place where the Donovan brothers used to live, as a result of which the place has a significant influence on the characters and their present decision. The film is an emotional ride for the viewers.

‘Ray Donovan: The Movie’ Plot Summary

The film hints at the last season of the series and merges it with the present situation. At present, Ray seems to have murdered his father, and he decides to have a final conversation with Dr. Amiot. In the last season, the death of Smitty resulted when Mickey and Smitty met with Kevin Sullivan to arrange the sale of the stocks. 

Bridget Donovan, daughter of Ray Donovan, was left devastated. Smitty and Bridget had even planned to move back to Los Angeles. While the shootout was taking place, Mickey Donovan ran away with the briefcase that had the stocks that he received after blackmailing Kevin for Jim Sullivan’s life. Ray could track Mickey with the tracking device he had placed in the briefcase. 

Meanwhile, Ray is left without an answer for Molly Sullivan when she wants to know what happened to her father. After all, Ray had shot her father after knowing that it was Jim who got his sister pregnant and forced her to take her life. An arrangement for Deryll to leave the nation after shooting Decan was made; a new passport would be handed to him, and he had to leave without raising any suspicion. When Matty asked why Deryll shot Declan, Mickey replied that it was a crime of passion as Declan had killed his girl. Mickey was now determined to somehow get the 20 million out of the stock papers he had, and he approached Matty, his old friend, for help. 

While Mickey hoped for financial gain, the Donovan brothers looked back at the history of their family. They talked about their grandfather. Daryll pointed out how being raised in a whorehouse and being beaten every day might be the reason why Mickey was the man he had become.

How Did Ray Betray His Father In The Past?

When Ray started following his father to Boston, he was reminded of the past. The suicide of his sister, Bridget, broke the Donovan brothers, and Ray remembered the chaos that Mickey had created right outside the church after he arrived late for the prayer service. Mickey and Ray got into a fight after Ray accused his father of not being present for his daughter.

Meanwhile, at the present time, Ray followed Matty to find the briefcase to return it to Molly. He entered a pub but was soon informed that he wasn’t welcome there. Since Matty and Mickey were interested in getting the money out of stocks, they wanted to keep Ray away from the business. Ray thought of the time Abby had once said to him that his father was a romantic, and he loved being alive. He was constantly disturbed by the question Abby had asked him a long time back. She questioned whether he too loved being alive. He even mentioned this memory to Dr. Abiot while having his last conversation with him over the telephone.

While revisiting his past, Ray thought of the time Mickey had proposed an idea when a Hollywood film was being shot in their locality. After having a word with Ezra Goldman, Mickey was hired as Sean Walker’s technical consultant. He further discussed how he could hire Jim and his team to work as security for the film crew. Ray became Sean Walker’s, the actor’s bodyguard. Sean and Mickey had become great friends. Mickey taught Sean the Southern style. Sean was completely immersed in method acting; he even started snorting the coke Mickey brought. It was one night when Ezra Goldman wanted Ray to keep an eye on Sean that things took a deadly turn.

When Sean, Mickey, and Colleen (Ray’s girlfriend who was open to other relationships) entered the pub to have a good time, Ray followed them. The bartender trusted Ray to close the pub after noticing that Mickey and Sean were not interested in leaving. Mickey had passed out after numerous rounds of coke and alcohol; he kept his gun on the table unattended. Sean picked up the gun and started mimicking Mickey, but, in the process, he fired a shot that killed Colleen. Sean was in tears; he knew his career would be destroyed if the news of his crime came to light. Ray asked Sean to leave the bar and never speak of his incident to anyone. 

Ray made the crime scene look as if Mickey had committed the murder, and the police were informed of the same. Mickey woke up to the noise of the police entering the scene. Ray found the death of Colleen to be an opportunity to punish his father for his absence and careless attitude. He could never be the ideal father Ray could look up to. This past haunted him his whole life.

Ray Donovan's father, Mickey Donovan
Credits: The Mark Gordon Company

Why Did Molly Shoot Ray?

While the past was unraveled, the present was not as comforting as well. Ray followed Mickey with the tracking device. He ended up finding Mickey and Matty together, accompanied by other goons. Ray was able to fight the men back when he was injured, he shot everyone, including Matty. The moment Ray was determined to shoot his father, he ran out of bullets. Mickey felt sorry for Ray, but he chose to run away.

A bullet had pierced Ray in his knees. He sought help from Bunch and, in the process, learned that his daughter was in Boston as well. Bridge had taken Bunch’s car and left him at the departmental store. Ray advised Bunch to take his car, which he had left at the station, and meet him at the motel where he was staying. When Bunch reached the motel, Ray asked him to wait there for Bridge, and in the meantime, he was determined to find Mickey. He received a call from Molly stating that Mickey had called Kevin asking him to buy the stocks he had. 

Ray reached Molly’s place, she informed him that Mickey had already left, but he kept all the money for Ray. Molly doubted Ray’s intention. She believed he did it all for the money. When Ray was about to leave, Molly shot him in the stomach. Ray managed to drive his car and leave, but was met with an accident. Mickey finally came to help his son, knowing he was shot.

Who Shot Mickey?

After taking Ray to his motel, Mickey asked him to visit the hospital as his injury was deep. Ray refused to go to the hospital; with the amount of bleeding, Mickey knew that his son did not have much time left. He told Ray that he left all the money for him as he deserved the world. He appreciated Ray for being an angel. Mickey remained grateful to him for helping the family when he was in prison. Ray remembered his childhood days when he jumped into the swimming pool, trusting his father to hold him if he drowned. Ray felt emotional. He wanted to confess his past crime. Though he ended up singing the song his father used to sing in the past. 

As Mickey sang the song, he was suddenly shot dead. Ray looked up and found that it was Bridge who shot his father. Bridge believed that the madness had to end and someone had to shoot Mickey to end the trauma. Ray advised Bunch to take Bridge away, she became tearful after noticing the condition of her father. Ray took the blame for his father’s murder and asked Dr. Amiot to call the police. The police took Ray into custody while Mickey’s body was taken away.

‘Ray Donovan’ Ending Explained: Does Ray Die?

Though the question of Ray’s death remains up to the audience to interpret, it can be that Ray succumbed to his injury or he managed to survive. There are high chances of Ray being alive considering how he is taken by an ambulance in the end. An interview with Liev Schreiber, the actor and co-writer, revealed that the scene in which Ray emerges from the swimming pool in his coat towards the end of the film signifies the birth of a new Ray. With the Roman Catholic tradition idea of baptism, the film proposes that it is only after forgiving his father that a new Ray was born. Ray gradually realized how difficult the life of his father was especially after spending 20 years in prison. It is only when Ray felt he was about to die could he forgive his father, the man he blamed for all his trouble in life. 

‘Ray Donovan: The Movie’ is a 2022 Crime Drama film directed by David Hollander.

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Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni has worked as a film researcher on a government-sponsored project and is currently employed as a film studies teacher at a private institute. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies. Film History and feminist reading of cinema are her areas of interest.

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