[For True Detective‘s “Church in Ruins” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]
Church in Ruins. Frank meets with Mexican drug dealers; Ani infiltrates an exclusive inner circle.
We open with Frank and Velcoro in a kitchen table standoff that’s more like a tense sit down whispering situation. Raymond says he sold his soul for nothing and Seymon’s a picture of alleged innocence, saying stuff that adds up to dude take responsibility for what you did. This leads Velcoro to cock his gun under the table but he doesn’t shoot, instead he changes the subject to the running of girls with Pitlor’s surgery as the party prep. Turns out Frank’s not surprised and happens to be looking for the same girl the State is, Irina. Then Seymon shows both his hands so he can get a much needed sip of his morning coffee and the showdown slackens until Raymond leaves on a mission to “see about killing a man”. Frank gets a faraway look as Velcoro leaves and asks, We’re still friends right?
Woodrugh investigates the $2.5 million in blue diamonds and finds out they were stolen at the Sable Fine Jeweler’s robbery in 1992 involving a double homicide where two young kids witnessed their parents’ murder. A grizzled veteran cop, surrounded by empty beer bottles, tells Woodrugh the story that clearly still haunts him.
Antigone practices her knife work while her sister tells her to dress like she’s worth $2,000 a night and warns her that it’s going to be rough after they take all her weapons at the door. Then she’ll be swarmed by guys who expect easy sex. Sounds like just another day at the office for Bezzerides… except for the no weapons thing. Her sister tries to pretend she’s never actually been to one of these parties but it’s evident she has and that it worries her for Ani to go. “It’s fuck or run,” she warns.
After a prison visit with his wife’s rapist in which he threatens to cheese grater the guy’s dick, Velcoro has a supervised visit with his son. A note-taking social worker sits just feet away from their tense chat about how stealth bombers kill people. Then Raymond tries talking to the social worker to ease the tension but she says to refrain from speaking with her, so they employ the universal hat trick for awkward couch interactions – they watch Friends. Afterward Raymond plays typical misbegotten Daddy and does numerous lines, whiskey shots, punches in the air and some head bangin’, then a few beers followed by requisite tears. Velcoro drunk dials the ex wife and says he’s given up and will resign all custody if only she will never tell her son about the rapist or check the paternity. “Never tell him and then I’ll stay away and won’t contest anything. I’ll never see him again.” When he finally says he’ll leave their lives forever she agrees to the deal. The shitty terrible horrible no good very bad deal.
Meanwhile Frank confronts a Mexican drug dealer to ask where he can find Irina. His minion shoots the guy with a bright blue nail gun but he doesn’t know anything until a few nails later when he does. “They gotta place – El Monte.” Now it’s time for Seymon’s Mexican standoff number two, this time with actual Mexicans. Frank offers his clubs as a place for them to sell drugs if they give up where the girl is. They say maybe they can get her to call him. “It’s a start,” he says, “but then we’ll need to meet face to face.” He does a call with her and she says a skinny white cop gave her $500 to sell the stuff from Caspere’s house at the pawn shop. So, Frank wants to show her pictures but then when they’re to meet her throat is slit and the drug dealer’s high beams spotlights Seymon’s disappointment. Can Frank ever catch a break? Magic eight ball says unlikely at this time.
The trio team have a meeting to tell Antigone they’ve got her back and then give her a transponder to stick somewhere. Hey guys, I know a good place! Velcoro deadpans “Like in your shoe…” and we sense their chemistry building. Next thing for Bezzerides, she’s getting on the bus with the name Athena, a wig, and a sexy long dress. Meanwhile at the escort party house, a Swiss Alps looking mansion, viagra-filled glasses serve as table centerpieces. Velcoro and Woodrugh throw down a driveway security guard in a scene reminiscent of the Lion and Tin Man overtaking guards outside the Wicked Witch of the West’s castle.
The party people give Bezzerides a drug (like pure Molly – pretty great) at party onset so everything gets out of focus pronto. Still, she sneaks a knife from the meat platter before a creepy southern fat guy leads her around an orgy of sex scenes. So for all you peeps who miss Season One’s litany of naked ladies doing dirty deeds, this is the episode for you. Because of the drug, Antigone has some rancid flashbacks about a creepy cult guy from her childhood who took her into a van. She finds a toilet and makes herself vomit up the MDMA, finds Vera, and then kills at least one, maybe two guys, before escaping with Vera. “My missing person” she explains to Woodrugh in the driveway. That would have been a perfect title for this episode – My Missing Person… and not just because it’s unclear what the actual episode title means or references. No churches were ruined in this episode. Lots of people are missing, though, even among the apparently found.
While skulking outside the escort party Velcoro and Woodrugh overhear a slimy tuxedoed convo between Osip (Seymon’s lost business partner from episode one) and Jacob, who also made deals with Seymon. They’re ratifying alliances in a back library. The detectives then sneak inside to score contracts about the land deals with the fancypants perpetrators signatures all over them. This is primo evidence gathering and the episode concludes with this victory proclaimed as Woodrugh flips through the contracts in the getaway car with Bezzerides and Vera. Antigone says she killed someone and cries as they drive off full speed into the moonlight.
With only two episodes left my list of suspects for Caspere’s killer isn’t just short, it also seems pretty much beside the point. It matters to the main four characters, sure, but not as much as what they really want. Seymon really just wants his money back from the now dead Caspere deal. Velcoro’s main drive is to be the Dad-of-record. Woodrugh just wants to be a straight arrow and back on his bike. The real seeker of bad guys here is Bezzerides, who wants to get all stabby on them to save the day. And I, for one, want to see her do it.