Ray Donovan “Exsuscito” (Season 3-12) confession scene is sickening and emotionally charging

Drama, Reaction, Showtime TV series, TV Characters, TV Series

I went through the scene three times (more if I count the replay in my head) where Ray Donovan is in the cramped bleak confessional to ask pardon for his brother Terry. First take on it, it was already deeply troubling hearing from Ray when asked by the Father Thomas Romero why he killed Father Danny O’Connor. It is hard to believe Ray was breaking down. But it is a lot more emotionally unsettling to have him before our eyes dealing and renewing his childhood trauma from being raped by O’Connor. From there, we are able to pull out the reason behind his cold, tough-as-ice exterior as we hear him say:

I see the fucking pictures in my head every fucking day! Every night! When I hug my kids, I see these fucking pictures.

It is a very visceral depiction of a rape sans rape. 

Just as much Ray Donovan’s pent up trauma resurfaces and pain grinds through him, we get to wonder why again does he have to go through that horror. Any rape account is brazenly difficult, unimaginable, sickening and tormenting – and it’s even made more detestable by far immeasurable degree when the perpetrator is in power and uses it as a leeway to execute it.

Yet Father Thomas Romero is too intruding he badly and nosily needs to know why Ray murdered his colleague O’Connor. (Give him a break, priest.)

The details give no graphic illustration (and thank God), but the context of being taken advantage at the height of vulnerability is vividly and palpably presented it makes us too suffer and elicit hatred directed to Romero.

Ray Donovan: He told me I was smart. All right? He took me places. Bought me things.

Fr. Romero: And no one else in your life was doing that?

Ray Donovan: When he started in me, he said I was special. He said he saw something in me. The things he did. After a while, I stopped fighting him.

The confession is not about his redemption. He is there for his brother Terry, whose life is at the brink of the end. Yet for Romero’s conviction of Ray Donovan’s apparent selflessness – who now seems a bully God sent to impose his upper-hand – it’s should be about Ray. Then he goes on to be more appalling condescendingly claiming he knows how it feels for Ray when he says he stopped fighting O’Connor:

Ray Donovan: After a while, I stopped fighting him.

Fr. Romero: Of course you did. I know how that feels. You wanted to please him.

Those three sentences are a real nightmare. It looks that after all his gentle, strong-willed front, he belongs to the clandestine rank of pseudo-omniscient, lunatic religious leaders who are either thieves, or sex offenders, or unthinking hypocrites. He could have said nothing to maintain his credibility. Or he could have said something that is humble. And again, best nothing at all.

Ray Donovan is special. No one can’t see it. As it is, it turns out that his understandings are more poetic and far outweigh than those of Romero. Just as most (note: not all) religious ministers trained to see a one side, most of them are close-minded. Romero is deeply embedded into this “most.”

For Ray, it wasn’t to please O’Connor; it was because he cares for him:

Fr. Romero: Of course you did. I know how that feels. You wanted to please him.

Ray Donovan: No. It was more than that. I cared for him. I did it because I care for him.

Romero’s reading of Ray is arguable. It might insinuate that for him Ray was selling himself to O’Connor. But Ray’s submission (if we consider it when he stopped fighting O’Connor’s rape) to the abuse was filled with suffering and helplessness. He didn’t want it, not in any single way it ever resembles that he did. He was torn to be caught up in the turmoil of having someone who he trusts, who he respects, and who he cares for – a parent figure takes advantage of his personal vulnerability for personal gain and carnal pleasure. It was pure abomination.

As Ray breaks down, the priest’s already-hollow head empties further. Exactly at this point he makes himself a paragon of an unintellectual, callous catholic clergy. Trying hard to conjure a sympathy, he gets on:

He shouldn’t have done that to you, Ray. You were just a boy.


He shouldn’t have done that for many reasons. Among the least of them was Ray being just a boy.

First, second, third, fourth and forth, he shouldn’t have done that for humanity’s sake. He shouldn’t have done that not because he’s a priest or Ray was just a boy. He shouldn’t have done that because it violates a human being.

Watching that scene is a hell lot of an ordeal

I found myself weeping thrice (more if I count the replay in my head and while sieving my reaction). It wasn’t only for Ray Donovan. The abuse to him in the series happens all the time and manifests differently. Majority of them are left forever as haunting injustices due to power misused and abused.

The psychological charge it lends to its audience is reminiscent of Jodie Foster’s 1989 The Accused. Both performances equally give justice to their characters. Congratulations to Liev Schreiber. 


The title is a latin first person present active indicative conjugation of the verb “exsuscitare,”  which means to awaken. The title “Exsuscito” then translates to: I awaken.

(I know a bit of Latin – enough to crack “exsuscito.” :))


Wish granted: Eric O’Bannon died in a gunshot but… I’m not satisfied

Drama, Netflix, Netflix Series, Opinion, TV Characters, TV Series
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Source: Netflix

I did hanker for a sumptuous Eric O’Bannon death, but after having it served, only a fraction of me says: “You deserve it.” I was wanting more piercing. I wished him pain and guilt – stacks of emotional torture that he never got, in addition to the same thing Danny ducked out from, repentance. Death, apparently, for him was a convenient resort untimely bestowed. 

To the end he was the same douchebag since the beginning of Bloodline. There hardly was a maturity for him. He was stagnant corrupting people throughout the series. His sister, his mom and Danny and Rayburns.

We were able to see drastic character shifts with all the Rayburns, being frazzled with dilemmas they had to deal with to protect their family’s and personal status quo. Danny, however, was an exception and the development was least seen with Kevin who both got themselves entangled with drug syndicates being accessories.

We’ve been first surprised with John and Meg being a police and a lawyer to connive and clear free the Rayburn premises the drugs covertly stashed by Danny. It was a tragic, no-return tipping point that, however multiplied conflicts, offered a temporary resolve: the clan maintained its reputation as a respectable local figure.

Illicit as it may be, but it can’t be denied that their choices and actions were effective given that they were able to vindicate themselves of legal sanctions and veil their crimes. How was this able to happen was because their ceaseless tenacity to keep their reputation hard pressed them to take necessary heavy lifts – even if they transgressed morality and laws – which is a vital framework for any drastic change that leads to either development or destruction. 

For Danny and Eric, was there ever any time they significantly took off from a part of themselves that was keeping their footing? They never tried to wring free from their (godforsaken) values.

It’s always easier to linger in comfort zones, so it’s often those folks who don’t hop over hurdles don’t get displaced until their last breath, case on point for the two pity wretched souls.

They may have had suffered throughout their lifetimes, but they barely paid for the harm they tossed out to others, particularly to their families. Their deaths were conclusions of their lifelong self-oppression and not as tokens for the lives they ruined excluding theirs. Even if they, too, were victims, I maintain nothing less of the repulsion that had accreted on how they festered individuals trying to make sense out of their lives, despite not being circumstantially clean at all.

The conspiracy behind Danny’s injury was not enough of an excuse for the Danny’s perilous and sordid fate that followed; so was for the falling apart of the rest of the Rayburns.

On a subcutaneous level of looking at him for his resentment to his family, one might see how awful of a human being he innately was. Every other Rayburns took part in preserving their name esteemed by reframing the truth behind his shoulder injury. No way it was right, and sure as hell, it was difficult for everyone to get their heads wrapped around all the lies. But each grappled with their morality for something that they look up at to greater than themselves – the family.

For Danny, it was abandonment. Why? Because his gaze stops at himself. Was it being egocentric? For me, yes. In fact, it could have been his singular fair share of contribution to his family.

Why don’t they deserve death after all?

Death was a passport to escape. It doesn’t only end, but does absolve everything of the dead including the suffering, guilt and remorse that should have been made as a huddle payment to others who had been unfairly troubled by Danny and Eric.

I was hoping for that kind of development because I wanted them to be stabbed, punched and flogged over and over by what I think they deserve and – of course – to be deeply apologetic. But as reality slaps, some will rather die than feel horribly sorry to keep their pathetic figment of pride.

Bloodline’s Eric O’Bannon should be granted a horrible death

Drama, Netflix, Netflix Series, Opinion, TV Characters, TV Series


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Source: Netflix

What is the most fulfilling takeaway of Bloodline Season 2? I can’t vouch for when Marco is brutally beaten to a gory death. Although he is annoying, he’s never nearly as festering as Eric O’Bannon which is why I wonder how come he is left nearly unscathed in the second season?

I can’t see why won’t he just shut up, pack up and abscond from the Florida Keys?

Let’s not forget that although Danny will never be replaced as the most hated character in the Bloodline, it is that scumbag Eric O’Bannon who opened the pit for Danny into the drug trafficking industry. While Danny is the sole take out on for being slaughtered by his own brother John, Eric was that false best man who never let Danny become a compassionate human being.

He is a sociopath who exploits out of all Danny’s vulnerabilities. Definitely, he’s not the kind of best mate anyone would wish anybody to have.

At the aftermath of the Rayburn family tragedy

After Sarah’s death, Danny has been severely alienated to his family for being blamed for his sister’s death. He’s gone despicably miscreant after his own family conspired of his father’s unduly assault on him which ensued an improperly healed shoulder injury, pain killer dependence and miserably shaped adulthood.

It’s right to think that for a decent buddy, instead to exacerbate the familial gap and scald further the searing relationship such as with between Danny and his family, he will at least keep silent and do nothing. But, Eric O’Bannon, proclaiming himself as a savior, resents too the rest of the Rayburns.

It makes me gloat that with Danny’s and Eric’s cynic-dripping mindsets, all they have fetched for themselves were nothing but rotten fruits of miseries.

The enraging part

There couldn’t be more upsetting when you look at how the Rayburns were doing fine before Danny comes back and desecrates their picturesque beachside property – which epitomes the Rayburns as a close-knit, ideal family –  by using it as a stopover-slash-shelter for trafficking drugs.

His three siblings John, Meg, and Kevin touchingly and reasonably, albeit twistedly, are forced to conspire – once again – from the authorities and smuggled those sacks of drugs off the Rayburn property to keep ensuing scandal away that will irreparably collapse the Rayburn’s respected reputation in Florida Keys.

At the point, all you want for Danny is to die. It feels as if Danny raped his own family. Especially when you think about his mom Sally whose demeanor is so demure and immaculate.

On a second opposing thought, you will root for the lawfully “right” thing. Turn their brother in and let legal actions takes in-charge even if the family will never recover. After all, they’ve built careers for themselves. Kevin owns a boatyard. Meg is a lawyer. And John is a police. Even if their name falls down, they will not.

Somewhere in between, you will pin it down to Sally, for being too soft and weak toward her, uh, (you’re free to fill it in) son. Maybe she deserves it.

But, is the Rayburn downfall warranted just because Danny was a self-serving a-hole?

Their family business will never recover if the DEA finds out that the inn was being used to stash and traffic drugs. Their name will be permanently mudded.

It was all Danny’s failing; why shall the rest of the family take the toll? Not fair!

Danny is troubled, but not an excuse

John Rayburn (on brother Danny Rayburn):

Even before Sarah’s death he was always a problematic child.

Meg Rayburn (on brother Danny Rayburn):

A lot have had family issues but not all of them turned into Danny.

Sarah’s death preludes the Rayburns’ tragedy; Eric replaces her – alongside with the whole family – in Danny’s heart

Flashback to the day of Sarah’s death.

When Danny was taking Sarah to go on a boat ride, John stopped them telling him they’re not allowed without an adult. Danny took Sarah with him nevertheless and the ride went south.

Danny following the tragedy found a family at the company of Eric. It’s not hard to picture how it happened. When Danny pisses you off, mainly as the man he turned out to be, you will not help but be pissed off too by Eric. But since the first season treated us – with aplomb – with John’s murder of his brother Danny, there’s only Eric left to get heated up from.

In the second season, he bulks up with a lot more disdainful notoriety. He was the sturdiest root of the three Rayburns’ scrambling of hiding the truth behind their brother’s death.

While they committed crimes that are gravely punishable by the law, I will personally decree them acquittal. But it’s so deeply unsettling that getting away isn’t an easy job because there is Eric.

Danny’s death doesn’t mean he’s not alive

Danny may have been inhumanely, yet satisfyingly, incinerated and abandoned for decay, but his presence still strongly troubles the Keys. Through the willfulness of Eric O’Banon, he persistently haunts John, Meg and Kevin.

What’s even more contemptible is why won’t he look at himself and measure his own culpabilities (or contributions) and stop for a while pointing finger at the hardworking, responsible, self-righteous Rayburns, who are, however, not entirely white.

For both of them, they were both undeservedly oppressed by the Rayburns.

Danny has a redemption; what is Eric’s?

Danny has a son. He used to have a wife. He used to have a family. He used to run a restaurant. He used to have a career. He used to have a life. While Danny was showing signs of doing well, where was Eric O’Bannon? Looks like just messing around and trashing himself.

Eric has always been on Danny’s side. While he gave Danny a staunch sense of belongingness, he was never instrumental to making Danny be closer to his family. He tugged him away from where he supposedly belonged. Then he planted him into the drug trafficking quagmire. Danny died and now he won’t let the three, already shattered Rayburns get away.

From the beginning, he has always been a f*cked up, and he never let himself be alone on board. He wants the rest come along.

In real life, the kind of Danny and Eric is the kind that pollutes the world. If they aspire to be perpetually corrupted, they should please do so at the expense of themselves and not to the extent of having to pull down ones who are either already bad or good, and those in between.

One gets a second chance when he commits an inhumane act to himself, but when that act has been directed towards others, in my personal opinion, apology and forgiveness can’t  simply cover for it. It’s not about the perpetrator becoming a better or worse version of himself. It’s about people who do not deserve be done something bad.

Danny has had his fair share of sentence. Eric O’Bannon – who as Danny called his only one real brother –  for causing a lofty magnitude of disturbance to the Rayburns (to his family: sister and mother as well) should be granted a horrible death equally or more gravely as that of his late best friend-slash-pseudo-brother.