Still winding down. But just thought I'd add this before I finally stop posting.
Lets face it. Ray was a bit of an Enigma really.
Ray – a true generation Xer. Cool Dude, a poseur, a little eccentric. Although only ever alluded to, one got the sense that he was your typical latch-key kid from a one-parent family. But we never learned for sure, he always remained a little bit of a mystery.
He was a grungy rock musician turned doctor, the epitome of cool. He was fun and charismatic, charming and clever but we really never learnt much about who he really was.
We learnt a lot about Neela’s background, ditto for Abby, Luca, Pratt, Gates and Sam. That allowed us to identify with them. Even Morris’ background was shaded in. Come to think of it we learnt more about Brenner and Banfield than we ever did about Ray.
Ray’s background was, to say the least, very sketchy. It was only ever hinted at in throw-away comments and one-liners. Even he admitted that some of the information was untrue(eg. he invented a brother to console a young patient.) Another time there was a mention of Philly, yet his mother lived in Baton Rouge. He alluded to the fact that his father did not know what it was like to sit down to a hot dinner. But we never learned why. Another time his mother was painted as a bit of a party girl. But all of that leaves us in even more doubt as to who he really was. What snippets about him were true what were not?
He was an only child. But was his mother a single mum? Were his parents still together? Were they divorced? Had either or both remarried? Everything about him was so vague. Yet Shane West brought incredible charisma to the part.
In Series 11, we saw Ray grow up and make real choices about his future. In Series 12 we saw him fall in love and mature as a doctor but there was still something reckless about him. Remember the hilarity around him resigning and not resigning. So feckless and so typically Ray! Then in Series 13, we saw him chasing his tail and floundering. Was that, in part, because Shane West had already decided he was moving on? Or were there greater plans for Ray if Shane had stayed? We’ll never find that out now.
I always felt, in many ways Ray just did not fit. His character was more suited to ‘One Tree Hill, The OC or even Gray’s Anatomy than it was to ER. Oddly, I thought he played better off the older characters like Kerry, Carter and Abby than he did off the newer generation with the exception, of course, of Neela.
I liked Ray, I enjoyed him, I was entertained by him but I did not get him and in the heel of the hunt I really do not know who he really was.