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Ray Donovan: What's Next After [Spoiler]'s Shocking Death?

Showrunner David Hollander fills us in.

Malcolm Venable

[Caution! This story contains major spoilers about the most recent episode of Ray Donovan.]

We knew it was coming, but Marisol (Lisa Bonet) met her demise Sunday on Ray Donovan -- albeit in a way no one could have expected. After nine episodes of dope-smokin', secret-blabbin' and sibling screwin', Ms. messy Marisol's demise felt imminent, especially when she had the gall to take her incestuous relationship with her brother Hector (Ismael Cruz Cordova) public just as he was poised to become a superstar boxer.

The boxing world is shady enough on its own, of course, but with Hector in cahoots with Ray (Liev Schreiber) she clearly had no idea she was playing with fire. (We probably could've used a better cliché here given she actually did play with fire when she set Hector's stuff ablaze in front of Fite Club, but you get the idea.) Marisol was captivating though, and her death promises to lubricate gears of the machine in a way that'll ultimately benefit Ray. TVguide.com talked with showrunner David Hollander about Marisol's end, and what's next.

What inspired Marisol's character in the first place?
David Hollander: It was time to bring a character who represented the desire, and shame and pain of the male characters on the show. She grew out of that idea. She's a two feet on the ground character, flesh and blood, but also a metaphor. We treated her as such.

Why couldn't Hector just stop having sex with her?
Hollander: Because of his addictive [behavior] and compulsiveness. No one else can touch him like this person. He finds it impossible to let go, just like Ray finds it impossible to let go of his past. It's an interesting look at addiction itself. When he gets rid of Marisol, it's to cut himself off from it.

Ray initially bails on helping Hector bury this crime, but then returns because he needs something. What's next?
Hollander: Ray is going to collect. Ray is going to come with a very serious ask and Hector is going to have to pay.. That's going to put them back in a relationship they'd rather not be in. [Ray] knows what he's going to ask for from Hector, as we see when calls Dimitri and says, "I'm going to be able to pay you back." (We'll start to see that play out in Episode 11.)

What was it like actually filming the drowning scene?
Hollander: Lisa and Ismael had really worked incredibly hard all year to create a dynamic relationship. I've never seen guests come on a show and devote themselves so much to creating a back-story and off camera. They were a clinic in what actors can do to build a history. They worked to make it honest. We choreographed it... It was hard for them. They both felt for the character. It was a harrowing thing to watch.

Was it serious and tense on set; or was there like, laughing between takes?
Hollander: Ismael and Lisa take their work very seriously. They were predominately in the moment and there was some real gallows humor. Of course you also have a stunt double... There's a lot of technical things, including shot lists. There's brutality that has to be done, emotionally in the acting and physically in the stunt. It's complicated work and very technical.

Given Abby's health situation, it's interesting she makes Bunchy and Teresa take their daughter back. Abby isn't feeling very nurturing is she?
Hollander: In the middle of the year Abby (Paula Malcomson) falls deeply in love with her niece. She actually does get deeply connected to the child. She feels like she's doing what's right. She also feels like there's a lot of danger coming. She asks [Bunchy (Dash Mihok)] to take her own children...that process allows her to create safety.

Ray is obviously furious with Mickey, again, when he finds out what happened in Primm. How are they going to recover from yet another Mickey screw-up?
Hollander: Ray is obviously very disappointed. He has to feel the aftermath of Mickey's (Jon Voight) ridiculousness. What's unique about this season is that there's need [for Mickey] from Ray and a usefulness. I would keep an eye out for an evolution of their relationship. Ray's need for protection may be greater than Mickey's antics.

Terry is so brave opening up to Maureen, leaving himself vulnerable to heartbreak by revealing his feelings and desire. What's going to come of these two?
Hollander: Terry (Eddie Marsan) is having a last gasp. Terry is feeling that his days on earth are numbered. He's in a place where he's getting opportunities he never has. He's rushing to meet them both in Hector and this new kid he's training. He wants love and understands you have to make a choice for love. He sees the opportunity to love someone. Maureen (Tara Buck) suits a certain person and personality. [Their future] will be complicated; he's training a potential champion of the world [who will be in debt to Ray]. It's always hard to be a Donovan. It's always a story that's really about family and love.

Is there hope for Terry and Maureen?
Hollander: There's hope. We're a hopeful crowd in a dark story.

Ray Donovan airs Sundays at 9/8c on Showtime.

(Full Disclosure: TVguide.com is owned by CBS, which also owns Showtime.)