Terry and Bunchy’s cold shoulder has Daryll skating back on the only solid ice rink he knows. Mick’s embrace is Rockefeller Center: familiar, welcoming, and comfortable on ‘Ray Donovan.’
It’s no surprise Daryll ran back to the arms of his doting father like Christmas came early and Mickey just swooped down the chimney, false beard in tow, motioning to whisper. For much of Ray Donovan’s seventh season, his half-brothers have shunned Daryll as some type of an outsider to the Donovan name. Half-heartedly accepted to the family’s tree house, as if had Mickey really passed on, so would they.
To Daryl, being a Donovan is a Medal of Honor, while to his brother Bunchy, there’s only puzzlement why he even ‘wants to be like them.’ Insinuating, he’s not a full Donovan as-is. Terry similarly verbally buried Daryll six feet under when asked for a photo of the entire family with Mickey in “A Good Man is Hard to Find” (Season 7 Episode 2)… Twisting the proverbial knife by bringing up all his old family photos were before “My father shacked up with your mom.” A hint of bitterness towards his father’s cheating hijinks directed at an innocent bystander.
Why then, would anyone be startled by the premise of Daryll returning to his place on his father’s shoulder? The only one to lift him up and reenforce his silent longing to be accepted as a Donovan. No matter what scheme Mickey Donovan had shown up with Daryll’s doorstep, he would have been in that car, rolling the seatbelt on before giving it a second’s thoughts.
Sure, Bunchy balked at Mick’s assertion that he “was always his favorite” at the airport, that Mickey says it to everyone… But there was a genuine sincerity when Mickey replied, “I mean it when I say it to all my sons!” Say what you will about Mickey’s parenting skills but no one can doubt he knows how to make his children feel not only wanted but needed.
Consequences or not, for Mickey a quiet retirement sans his sons is an early, walking death sentence. His relationship with his sons is symbiotic, for as much as Mickey needs them to accomplish his latest unsavory blueprints, they need Mickey for validation. Perhaps, even the son that has evicted him out his life the most… Ray Donovan.
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