Sometimes, in watching "Ray Donovan," a peculiar feeling sets in. A glaze.
It's a sense of "I understand, more or less, why these people are committing various deeds, but is it all leading somewhere?"
And in "Irish Spring," the fifth episode of "Ray Donovan's" second season, the answer to that great glazed question is: we have no idea. This season's main event- that of Single Female Journalist vs FBI Chief Ed Cochran in a battle to uncover/re-cover the truth, respectively, has basically been wrapped up in the course of five episodes.
Five episodes of death threats and shootings and the tantalizing thought of the truth being uncovered (although it must be said that "Mickey and Ray and Sully were all entangled in a big murder plot" is a vastly less interesting truth than "Ray was molested as a child"), and we're done!
Everything has been wrapped up with a neat little ribbon and an accompanying Garfield greeting card. Everyone gets what they want (mostly), and no one important has to suffer any death or major bodily trauma.
Now, obviously, this is not the end of "Ray Donovan's" central storyline, even though "Irish Spring" has a weird, finale vibe to it. Somehow, Single Female Journalist will return, or some other catalyst will undo all of Ray's hard-earned scheming, and we'll be back where we started.
But let's be honest here- do we really need to see more of Mickey and Cochran and Single Female Journalist all at each other's throats, with Ray playing clean-up? They don't really do anything- one of them threatens another with death or jail time or that the truth will be uncovered, but there are never any consequences.
It's kind of a tell that, after five episodes of this cat and mouse game, we can just ship SFJ back where she came from, and no one has been affected in the slightest by her presence or her investigation (well, maybe Tiny).
In "Irish Spring," everyone made a "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" pact to feed McPherson a line of BS, only for Mickey to stray from the story and go off on a bunch of rambling old man stories, and yet still it wasn't enough. This story simply has no legs.
What does Ray get when he, at the end of the season, perseveres against Cochran and McPherson? What's the endgame? What are the consequences?
No one seems to know and no one seems to care- not a particularly welcome sign. Also, it's kind of a tell that the extra tidbits in "Irish Spring" was roughly six hundred times more exciting than whatever Ray and Cochran were doing.