[For True Detective‘s “Omega Station” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

HBO Summary:
Omega Station Frank, Ray, and Ani weigh their options as Caspere’s killer and the scope of corruption are revealed.

Midway through this finale episode Frank Seymon says, “Everything’s ending. Time to wake up,” and you’d better if you want to keep up with the action, intrigue, and details that comprise this last ninety minutes of True Detective Season Two.

The finale opens on the after-sex-cigarette conversation in bed with Bezzerides and Velcoro. They share their deepest and darkest so we know it wasn’t just physical fun between them. No sirree. They’ve fallen into the well of longing together and somebody actually found love through the travails of True Detective.

Next we’re in a train station where Frank’s lecturing his wife on how they can’t work. No kid. No us, he explains. Jordan replies “Fuck your martyrdom,” she’s not giving up on them as a team. But our team might as well be the Mets, we’re never gonna win! OK, he doesn’t really say that but that’s the basic deal. Seymon says Nails will take care of her in Venezuela. Two weeks hiding out in South America, Frank explains, then he’ll be there with her. “Wear a white dress,” he instructs. She tells him to wear a white jacket. All this seems a bit odd since one can only assume they’ll recognize each other regardless of which matching Fantasy Island ensembles they wear… or maybe it means something more. This is True Detective, after all. Symbolism.

On to a shot of Woodrugh’s body with Lieutenant Burris standing over him and calling in the death to Velcoro even though he also happens to be the one that shot and killed Paul. Ray suddenly becomes psychic and intensely confrontational, saying he knows Burris was involved in the diamond theft. After Ray hangs up with Burris he tells Ani it was Burris that killed Woodrugh. Somebody must have slipped the ring power on his finger or a crystal ball up his butt because at this moment he also realizes that the photographer at the movie set was the little boy at the diamond theft. Thus they’ve found the pair of kids who lost their parents – Laura and Leonard.

Next thing we know, Ani and Ray find Laura handcuffed to a fireplace. She tells them she and her brother, Leonard, infiltrated the escort parties to get Tony Chessani and Ben Caspere back for the deaths of their parents. But then Len had gotten “carried away” when getting Caspere to talk and ended up killing him. Len handcuffed her there before heading out to kill Police Chief Holloway at the train station because Holloway was the main cop behind the diamond theft all those years ago. They get Laura’s testimony recorded and Bezzerides puts her on a bus to Seattle. Velcoro heads out to the train station and calls Frank to fill him in on the details.

Seymon throws down a duffle bag full of ammo and big guns onto a bed in the back room of the David Lynchean club. He tells the scar-faced hottie bartender he’s headed out of town and needs her help. Also, Velcoro and a woman are going to need safe passage to South America. She just nods knowingly, like ya do. Apparently Frank and Ray had helped her out over the years and she owes them both big time.

Ray goes to the train station and tells Leonard (who’s allegedly the blade AND the bullet) not to do it. Be the change you wanna see in the world, dude. Velcoro’s got a white cowboy hat on for subtlety’s sake during his pow wow with Chief Holloway on a bench in the middle of the station. The Chief’s like, who woulda thought you had a brain in your pretty head, Ray?

Then Leonard overhears Holloway say Laura was actually Caspere’s illegitimate daughter and this sharpens his furious blade. He leaps into action and stabs the Chief. Then Burris starts shooting from the wings and takes out Ray’s recorder – destroying it and any messages it may contain. But we’re not clear if it’s the one with messages to his son or the one with Laura’s testimony. It’s True Detective, so just pick whichever one seems more tragic to you at the moment. Meanwhile Bezzerides whisks Velcoro away just in time as the Chief shoots Leonard and a bunch of train station cops shoot and kill Holloway.

Bezzerides now listens to Frank’s lecture series on the importance of relationships in the bar’s back room full of beds, guns, and ammo. He asks her to talk to his wife in Venezuela. Then he convinces Velcoro to run away to Venezuela and says he’ll fund the trip. All Ray has to do is help him take down the Crystal Ranch money exchange – easy peasy. Then he tells Velcoro that Blake was the one who’d set up the wrong rapist guy Ray had killed all those years ago and that Frank himself took care of the guy, killing him in a not very nice way.

Bezzerides and Velcoro share a smoke on one of the back room beds and discuss the plan for running away to Venezuela. They hold hands which seems to be a sign that they’re going – Hope. Then it’s time for the Crystal Ranch showdown. Bezzerides finds Pitlor in his desk chair with wrists cut and sunglasses still on. Seymon and Velcoro take the bad guys by surprise, attacking the money exchange with gas masks and machine guns. Frank even gets to say a snarky farewell to Osip before killing him. It’s all so very tidy. Seymon and Ray collect the Crystal Ranch stacks of money and then have a parking lot goodbye chat – Velcoro’s white cowboy hat now noticeably absent. He calls Ani from the car, duffle bag full of money in tow and it’s Venezuela or bust, baby. Frank settles his deals with the diamond guy and the bakers. Everybody’s officially on the run now.

Ray take a last minute peak at his son through a playground fence and sees the special honorary badge in glass that says Velcoro sitting next to him at recess. He gives the kid a salute and leaves, proud. Returning to his car, Velcoro sees it’s wired with a transponder and there’s a black SUV nearby. Unable to remove the device, Ray drives away, knowing he’s being followed. Velcoro calls Bezzerides and tells her to take the files and recordings and go to Venezuela without him. So, now we know the recorder that got destroyed in the gunfight was the one with Ray’s messages to his son. Ray then tells the scar-faced bartender he’s not going to make it but to make sure Bezzerides gets on the boat.

He records a last message to his son on his phone but it refuses to upload, forever destroying our faith in technology to satisfy the need for human connection. Velcoro then abandons his car and the shitload of cash in the woods. He runs into the trees with machine gun-toting cops up his ass. Out of necessity, Ray ends up choosing a Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid ending for himself and dies among the redwoods – police machine guns blazing. His father see a news report that he was a fugitive, killed by a heroic tactical squad. Sadness reigns… until his wife gets those paternity test results and it turns out the fat redheaded kid was actually his son all along with a 99.9% level of certainty.

Seymon gets carjacked then takes a ride with some unsavory types pointing guns at every pore of his skin. They take him to a showdown in the desert where he offers up a million dineros in return for a knife in the back. The bad guys leave him in the dust with a grave all dug and ready for his tall and lanky bod. He wrangles his way across an eternity of sand to nowhere with a wound the size of Guam dripping buckets. The ghost of his hateful father and high school bullies mock him until finally, at the end of Frank’s story, sweet Jordan in the white dress gives him the bad news – he’s dead.

In the aftermath we see Tony Chessani become the Mayor of Vinci. Woodrugh gets his very own memorial highway and Catalast Group sets up a high speed rail in Vinci. So, now we know that was the corporation’s goal in buying up all the worthless land. In the final scene Ani, still in Venezuela, tells the whole sordid Vinci story to a hottie reporter who can give the all the dirty deets to the Times. She’s been staying with Seymon’s wife, Nails, and a baby that must be Velcoro’s. They’re on the move now, maybe back to the States. Unfortunately, Ani and Ray’s child can’t grow up to be President… because their baby boy was born in Venezuela.

There’s a mixed bag of audience emotion to sort at the end of True Detective Season Two. On the bright side, it’s satisfying to have all the loose ends tied up – a lot of people died and we know how it all transpired… once we finish parsing out the excel spreadsheet of villainous names that start with the letter ‘C’. Another positive is the perfect episode title, “Omega Station”. It’s not easy to place a consummate cap on a show like that and they do it well here. But in the True Detective tradition of not sticking to silver linings too long, this season felt like a bouillon cube that had the potential to be a full blown bouillabaisse. Why not just make it ten fleshed-out episodes rather than this red wine reduction of eight crammed to the hilt? This season was brought to you by minute rice. Yes, it’s still technically rice and it can even be good with the right accompanying meal – but risotto tastes a hell of a lot better and it’s just a more pleasurable experience overall.

–Katherine Recap

[For True Detective‘s “Black Maps and Hotel Rooms” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

HBO Summary:
Black Maps and Hotel Rooms Ray, Ani, and Paul take precautionary measures to elude detection and untangle a dark mystery.

You may have noticed that the opening credits for True Detective this season change slightly in lyrics with each episode to give you teeny tiny hints. It was most evident at the onset of this second-to-last, ultra-episode when for the first time the credits don’t end with “Nevermind. Nevermind. Nevermind,” anymore but rather, “I was your kin. I was your kind,” …a tipoff that the bad guys are cops but you probably knew that already.

Woodrugh starts off the episode in a motel room looking through evidence as he ignores five calls from his fiancé and the gorgeous Vera, sleeping just feet away. In a nearby room Bezzerides straddles Velcoro and they’re about to satisfy our lustful curiosity when the drugs she had at the party take her down and out of the action. “You’re too far out of my league anyway,” he says before leaving. Awww shucks, Ray – hot, naughty, AND humble. Take off your pants already.

Back at Frank’s club he finally hears the name Osip again – this time Velcoro’s telling him Osip works with his guy Bates, that same guy who put Bezzerides on the bus. Seymon calls Bates into his office and breaks a glass full of booze across his cheek in a long slow motion shot – crystal shards dance in the air. Turns out this is THE guy. Not only was he working with Osip behind Frank’s back, he’s the guy that lied about the rapist of Velcoro’s wife all those years ago. Seymon’s just about to squeeze the last molecule of life out of him when Bates says he knows where there’s money – ostensibly for Frank to score. Osip will hand over $12 million in Caspere’s shares to Catalyst tomorrow night at Crystal Ranch. Blake offers to do a “triple cross” and be his man on the inside… right before Frank kills him.

Velcoro shows up for a parking lot meeting with Davis, the State’s Attorney, only to find her dead of a chest gunshot wound in the driver’s seat. “Have I got a score for you…,” he says before seeing her situation and bolting. Then the trio are back together talking, smoking, and drinking in the motel. Together they unwind the twisted mystery of Caspere’s murder and even the diamond robbery but who to report to now that Davis is dead? Does anybody actually give a crap about that stupid dead perv city manager guy anymore?

Seymon now has only his henchman, Nails, and his wife left that he can trust. So, he gets transferable tickets to Ecuador and “clean” passports. Frank still doesn’t know who killed Caspere but he makes a sweet deal with a diamond guy seemingly with a large supply ready to exchange. So, it appears Seymon may know where the diamonds from that robbery twenty three years ago might be. Then Osip confronts him at the casino and lays everything on the table with a slimy smile. Seymon pretends to go along but then evacuates the club and burns that shit to the ground. He lights up his other club and the watches the fire destroy every last bit of hope from a nearby rooftop. Burn baby burn. Frank’s carrying an awkward, obvious messenger bag in these scenes and it makes one wonder if he gets that confident swagger from a buttload of diamonds at his side.

Bezzerides and Velcoro think it out at the motel without Woodrugh now. They connect Caspere’s secretary, Laura to the escort party and then possibly link her to to the twenty three year old diamond robbery. Was she the little girl that watched her parents die execution style? It looks like it and if so she certainly doesn’t trust cops. Police were behind the diamond robbery and thus likely also woven through this whole shebang like a corrupt cop crazy quilt. It’s all coming together now and looks like maybe Ray and Ani will be doing the same thanks to Whiskey in plastic motel cups. She whispers that he’s not a bad man then Ray insists that yes, he is. Finally the pants come off.

Meanwhile Woodrugh gets multiple threat texts from a shady someone who has both pics of him kissing a dude AND awareness that his fiancé’s name is Emily. He puts Emily in another motel room for protection. Then faces off with his blackmailer in a badly lit warehouse. It becomes clear the blackmailer is another cop, the dirty kind. For a minute it appears Paul’s actually on the bad guy team and about to betray the trio. Then a special forces switch flips inside him and he kicks some major corrupt cop ass. Woodrugh extricates himself from several impossible, nailbiting situations to climb a ladder into the sky, run down a hallway, and leave the warehouse to feel the sunshine on his face. Unfortunately, right at this moment of freedom Paul gets shot in the back of the head. This time there’s no trick to it, though – two shots at close range and his pretty boy blood stains the cement. Woodrugh is dead. The trio is now officially a duo.

It’s just the two lovebirds against the world in next week’s finale. The real meaty questions aren’t about Caspere’s killer at this point. Who killed Woodrugh? Is Pitlor (Rick Springfield) still getting reconstructive plastic surgery from Velcoro’s beatdown or will he be in the finale? What’s Frank’s escape plan and are the fires his only revenge? The Crystal Ranch showdown is sure to involve a Raymond brand revenge beating for Paul’s killer and invariably Bezzerides will back him up – if not lead the charge herself, knives at the ready.

–Katherine Recap

Church in Ruins

[For True Detective‘s “Church in Ruins” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

HBO Summary:
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.

–Katherine Recap

True Detective Other Lives

[For True Detective‘s “Other Lives” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

HBO Summary:
Ray and Frank consider new life choices; Ani and Paul go up the coast to follow a lead.

It’s moving day in Vinci and the news is all a bluster about the “Vinci Massacre” we saw in the last episode. Turns out the Attorney General, Geldof, is using it as an opportunity to run for Governor and that’s going to get some political panties in a bunch.

Velcoro wears his bolero tie this episode for the occasion of getting booted out of his house now that he’s no longer a “municipal employee.” He’s working for Seymon again. So, he strong arms a poor woman for rent at Seymon’s rathole apartment complex and immediately feels guilty about it. His shitstorm day continues with a wretched courtroom scene where his wife claims the rapist is probably the father of his son and she attempts to revoke his custody. Then Velcoro surprises all with the news that he’s sixty days clean and “ready to fight”. Go bolero tie. Go.

He does go. First to Seymon for more work. He’s gonna need more cash for the custody battle. Then late that night Velcoro whispers deep thoughts into a tape recorder for his son and drives to a fancy house that’s definitely been in at least two Entourage episodes. There he spies the “running of girls” (or what we normal people call prostitution) seemingly arranged by the Ray Bans and Dark Tan Bad Guy Shrink, Pitlor.

Bezzerides goes to sensitivity training and mouths off about big dicks in a circle of men in folding chairs. “Let her share!” they insist when the group leader gets testy about her dirty talk. Then she visits the woman from a previous episode with a missing sister, Vera, and lands some pictures from one of those fancy “escort parties” we’ve been hearing so much about. Among the pics are blue diamonds and creepy Fred Jenkins, the Senator. Afterward we’re back at that David Lynchean bar where Antigone takes Seymon’s usual position sitting across from Velcoro. She says they couldn’t have really cleared the Caspere case and shows him pics from the party. It’s as if she’s playing Velcoro’s role in the show now, drinking heavily and going on with lamentations about how nobody cares. But the two of them are off the case now and Velcoro insists that he’s trying to limit the number of people he can disappoint and that sends her away. He misses Bezzerides, though, and even tells her so but she’s in too much of a Velcoro-type mood to take note.

Woodrugh starts out sitting across the table from the actress who lied and got him taken off his beloved cop bike. He’s appropriately bitter and she’s the same bitch. Speaking of bitches, in Woodrugh’s very next scene his mother reminds him what an idiot he is, calling him names in between drinking her feelings. Turns out she spent all twenty thousand dollars of his hidden money without mentioning it to him and offers no apologies. In fact, why apologize when you can be cruel and hateful to the son you’ve clearly failed? She can’t answer that one.

The State Attorney pulls together the trio for a meeting to discuss finding Caspere’s killer for real this time. She’s pissed about Geldolf running for Governor and thus is on a mission for “truth” with this confidential investigation. The band’s getting back together, guys! Velcoro is resistant until the State Attorney makes it clear she can help him get his kid back. Suddenly he’s got all kinds of intel and they’re a team of three again. Bezzerides and Woodrugh are happy to join and jump right back into work.

But Velcoro asks the State Attorney why she changed her mind about him and gets more news than he can handle. They caught the guy who raped his wife and the DNA matched her kit along with several other rapes so it’s a sure thing. The guy will get life, which is good news but there’s a lot of bad news too. Not only is this probably why his wife is inquiring now about her son’s biological father… but Velcoro thought he killed the rapist which means he killed the wrong guy.

He gave up drugs so he can’t disappear into that world anymore but he can beat somebody up and that’s always been a great escape for Velcoro. So, he drives out to Pitlor’s and knocks off his mirrored sunglasses then asks pointed questions in between pounding Pitlor’s turns-out-to-be-Rick-Springfield face. That’s a pity, such a pretty face. Pitlor spits out some bloody teeth along with a bit of info about Tony “a pimp with political ambitions” and blackmail videos of other important people including the President of the Catalyst Group.

Seymon watches the Vinci Massacre news on TV and mopes around his moving boxes – a gloomy silent spectre. He’s downsizing his homestead and in the dumps about it. Most of Frank’s scenes are with his wife, who “doesn’t want to be with a gangster” and also, by the way, she really can’t have kids. She lied about how many operations there were, not one but three, it seems. “So, who loves who?” she asks – all bravado. Then she pulls Frank’s heartstrings about his bad childhood and touches a deep nerve before bringing up that maybe they should adopt. He cries. Geez… makes a guy want to snuggle her in the next scene and maybe even catch a Lifetime Original movie to boot. In a subsequent scene they’re lovey dovey and discussing leaving the gangster life all behind, like couples do. But then Seymon says he wants to help the same guy Velcoro just found out is on a blackmail tape and we’re on high alert that Frank’s stepping in dookie again.

Bezzerides, no longer using e-cigarettes and smoking the real things these days, asks her sister to help her get into one of those fancy parties as an insider undercover. Turns out her sister just got into CalArts and the flush of success makes her willing to help Ani get into an escort party. So, maybe we’re going to see Antigone in something other than black jeans, a grey tee, and wrinkled brow – which she even wears to the beach. Woodrugh and Bezzerides do some investigating together in their last scene of the episode and end up following carrion birds to a bloody torture shack in the woods. Perhaps this is where Caspere lost his eyes.

Velcoro’s wife confronts him about why he told her he’d killed the rapist. She then explains that she can’t live with the fake stories anymore and needs to know who her son’s biological father is. He tells her Frank Seymon set him up and his wife doesn’t know what that means… but we do. In the final moment of “Other Lives” Velcoro shows up at Seymon’s front door with “We gotta talk… ” Indeed you do, bros. Indeed you do.

–Katherine Recap

[For True Detective‘s “Down Will Come” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

HBO Summary:
The detail works a pawn shop lead to close in on a suspect in the Caspere case.

It’s easy to forget that the main plot line of True Detective is a murder mystery… What with all the backlash, booze, and personal histories owning the majority of screen time; and this episode is no exception. Thankfully the opening credits remain a creepy reminder of the investigation as they are seemingly spoken by the killer himself.

The story opens as Velcoro and Bezzerides circle the evidentiary Caspere car while Velcoro argues the virtue of not giving a crap about how things have always been unfair in Vinci. We’re not supposed to solve this! It’s a setup for us to fail! etc. But Bezzerides insists she’s “just here to solve a murder.” Thanks for reminding us what the show’s about, Detective Antigone.

Bezzerides and Velcoro then visit Betty, who appears to be smoking something from a giant lit up dildo. She’s the one we only glimpsed for a moment in the last episode because she shut the door in Antigone’s face so fast. Turns out Betty had a crazy mom who got committed and killed herself but she doesn’t want to talk about that. Bezzerides then says her mother also died when she was a kid which draws out Betty a bit more so that she adds the fact that her Father was “a very bad person,” then leaves abruptly.

True Detective - hooka dildoTell me that doesn’t look like a giant dildo.

Frank Seymon gets back into drug dealing and club running even though the business partners he approaches seem reluctant to join a guy who appears to be circling the drain. Thank goodness Seymon knocked that guys teeth out last week, so he can prove his worth with vague threats about tooth decay. He’s going to get the club going again no matter how many teeth it takes.

Woodrugh wakes up from a blackout in his ex-boyfriend’s bed. “Let yourself be what you are. It ain’t bad,” his ex tells him but we all know Woodrugh disagrees and this time he can’t even ride his bike at 100+ miles an hour to burn off the self hate because it turns out his bike got stolen while he was visiting bonertown. Thus Woodrugh does a squat and lets some screaming on the sidewalk rip right before he gets confronted with the media and his “war crimes” … Geez can’t a guy shriek his self-hatred in peace for even a second? No, because now his girlfriend is effing pregnant too and of course she wants to keep it. But Woodrugh doesn’t see this as a bummer. He’s psyched. Yay! This means I’m straight. “I love you. Let’s get married.” His girlfriend is decidedly less thrilled with, “I guess I love you too.”

The deeply tanned shrink who never takes off the sunglasses, Irving Pitlor, gains momentum as a villain when it turns out he was the shrink that treated Betty’s mom right before she killed herself. Bezzerides visits her Dad to talk about how he and the shrink knew each other. The main takeaway from the convo with Antigone’s Father – Pitlor is suspicious with a shady past and ties to the corrupt Mayor. Also, the revelation that Velcoro has a Herculean aura comes as little surprise.

Bezzerides and Velcoro find out that circles of land Caspere was visiting right before he died are no longer farmable because of toxic chemical levels. An EPA representative calls them contaminated sites and thus “useless.” In the next scene these same circles represent the “last pork barrels” to Frank Seymon and we start to see the link between Caspere and Seymon’s dream to own all the circles of land even though he won’t have a kid to leave it to. One man’s useless contaminated tract of land is Vince Vaughns’s pipe dream.

Bezzerides puts in a good word for Velcoro and gets accused of sexual misconduct with her subordinate. She says, “This wouldn’t be happening to a man,” and is then suspended until the investigation into her naughty ways concludes. Her boss mentions her gambling debts and thus we see a bit more of the personal detritus that fouls Antigone’s mood. Lucky part is she’s still on the Caspere case because it’s “special.”

In a hellbent finale, Bezzerides, Velcoro, and Woodrugh lead a team of bullet-proof vested-cops through a dusty alleyway on their way to bust some heavily armed bad guys and face a shootout from Hades. Bezzerides chases an SUV on foot and shoots with such balls and abandon that it’s clear this job is all she cares about. She shoots until her gun is empty then reaches for the ankle knife, ready to go down fighting even if that means throwing a knife at a guy with a machine gun.

Suddenly Woodrugh’s value to the team becomes abundantly clear. He’s an ace shot and fearless under fire. In fact the three of them suddenly make sense. They’ve got nothing to lose. They put their collective asses on the line, covering each other with precision and collective competence. Even Velcoro, who insists he couldn’t care less in every other scene, puts his life on the line over and over in this scene. The shootout scene blows the rest of the show to pieces with shattering deaths of known characters, criminals, and a bus full of innocent strangers. It’s impossible to watch it without wondering at some point if every single person is going to end up dead.

The episode’s ending brings to mind the magnificent chase scene of True Detective Season One, an edge-of-your-seat race that trespassed people’s living rooms and backyards with amazing camera work aplomb. But this one’s different in scope. It felt like an old Western rising like a phoenix in the California sun. The scene drives home a new idea as the three stand in the dust, the only survivors of a gunfight that puts the Old West to shame. It shines a spotlight on the present day West coast with all its complications, heartbreak, and three cutthroat gunslingers. Maybe this team isn’t meant to fail after all.

–Katherine Recap

I have gotten into the habit of saving up shows I want to watch for the purposes of a good binge. I saved up half the third season of Orphan Black before diving in. Hannibal was already canceled before I even took my first nibble of what is (for) now the final season. Sunday nights at 9pm has been the only non-sports appointment television running right from Game of Thrones and into True Detective. Having a week to ruminate about the episode, lament the lack of water coolers in your life, and really think about what you just watched is a completely different experience than letting episode after episode crash over you without time to breathe. (I just started watching Mr. Robot on USA Network and I think I am going to try sticking with the weekly schedule as it seems to have lots of theorizing that can be done between episodes.)

Having that time to think about last week’s Night Finds You left me in a week-long version of Eddie Izzard’s wonderful bit about Engelbert Humperdinck. He tells the audience that he just learned that the singer had died. The audience murmurs a little uncomfortably and Izzard lets them off the hook telling them that he is not dead. He then proceeds to vacillate back and forth, including a good 30 seconds of hysterical head shaking, nodding, and eye rolling as he flips back and forth on the fate of the erstwhile Arnold George Dorsey.

My first instinct after the end of last week’s episode was that Detective Ray Velcoro could not possibly be dead due to the billing Colin Farrell has received for the show. Second reaction was a full frontal flashback to the radical pelvectomy that Casper received from a close range shotgun blast. The show has used flashbacks of Velcoro as a young officer already and they utilized multiple timelines extensively in season one. It seemed perfectly reasonable that he could be dead but still be featured prominently for the next six episodes. Multiple people I spoke with — including a good friend who works at HBO — seemed to think his character might actually have been killed which, of course, forced me into the opposite position because I am a contrary jerk. Back and forth until last night when we would finally find out…

I wrote that last week’s episode felt like an ode to James Ellroy. This one started out positively Lynchian with a blue-lit lounge performer — Jake La Botz credited as Conway Twitty — singing Twitty’s cover of Bette Middler’s The Rose. Sitting in a booth is Velcoro but the dream-like setting of the night club makes it seem like he is dying, in a coma, or —


Regardless of how anything else resolves itself this season I am in for the long haul if there is the promise of more Fred Ward. If you are not familiar with his work you should immediately stop what you are doing and watch Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (spoilers; the adventure also ends there as well), Tremors, and — most importantly — Miami Blues, one of the greatest dark noir comedies ever made, based on the book by the magnificent Charles Willeford.

I will resist the urge to shift topics to the work of Willeford — possibly saving it for a future Fetchland piece — and get back to the booth where we find that Ward is playing retired cop Eddie Velcoro, Ray’s dad. It is not obvious at first as Ray looks down at his bruised knuckles while Eddie tells him that he has his father’s hands.

“My father made me nervous,” says Ray.

“Maybe you were already nervous. Maybe you lacked grit.”

Eddie sneers in the way only a disapproving TV dad can muster talking about Ray getting shot to pieces. Ray takes in the oddity of the situation and the surroundings. “Where is this?”

“I don’t know… you’re here first,” answers his father as Ray looks down at his own bloody chest. The live performance fades into a more hollow rendition squeaking out of a clock radio. The clock reveals that is 7am and Ray is laying on the floor of Casper’s fuckpad where the man in the bird mask left him last week. There is still a chance he could be dead but after a moment of stillness he gasps to consciousness and rips open his shirt in the cop-show classic “I was wearing a vest” maneuver. He was not but his torso is pocked with shot and largely intact.

He reveals to a livid Bezzerides that the shotgun blast were “just” riot shells, the type cops use, and he only suffered a couple of broken ribs. Bezzerides heads into the crime scene and gets into a jurisdictional shoving match with Lieutenant Kevin Buress (played by James Frain, who has fallen into a dead last in the hide-my-accent power rankings).

Next up is the Semyons who are trying to get pregnant via IVF. Jordan is trying to entice Frank into a cup via her mouth but he pushes her away and pulls up his trousers. He insists “that” has never happened to him before. Stress can affect a man’s performance and he acknowledges plenty of it in his life at the moment.

“There is no part of my life not filled with live-or-die importance. I take a shit and there is gun to my head saying ‘make it a good one, don’t fuck up’.”

Frank pushes away from Jordan’s attempts at intimacy and they go down a well-worn road of blame with Frank extolling the virtues of his motility, implying that the fertility issues must originate with her. Jordan is quick to point out that his equipment is pointing in the wrong direction for that to even matter and flings the plastic cup at him before storming off.

“Suck your own dick!”

Bezzerides and Woodrugh get some alone time and she scores the first smile I think we have seen out of Woodrugh through the first three episodes. She is sending him out to canvas local prostitutes and wants to know something about his celebrity run-in from the first episode. He bristles immediately and makes it clear he has no intention of answering any questions about whether or not he did it. Bezzerides was actually just going to ask him if his new found notoriety from the appearance on the TMZ homepage was going to interfere with his ability to do his job. In fact she thinks he should sue to the would-be Lohan when all of this is done. There is a moment of connection between them and Woodrugh is even able to tease her about her ever-present e-cigarette. It was the first time Kitsch gets to anything but glower from the back of his closet and it was a good moment to see him in some other light than just his struggles with his sexual identity.

Velcoro confronts Semyon about the shooting, and who else knew about Casper’s house, over a pint glass of water in the same booth from the opening scene. No booze for Velcoro who wants to hold onto his anger and not dull it with alcohol. Semyon is not comfortable with the new-found bark of his Vinci lapdog.

“There’s a certain stridency at work here. I am going to chalk it up to you getting blasted.”

“I’m apoplectic.”

“I’m feeling a little apoplectic myself.”

Woodrugh and Bezzerides are greeted at the door of Mayor Chessani’s Bel Air mansion by someone they mistake for his daughter Betty but who turns out to be her stepmother Veronica. She is wearing a rumpled party dress, has tousled hair and makeup that is beyond a smokey eye — let’s call it a smoggy eye. The two cops push past her into the house and begin asking questions about Casper while she takes a hit from what she assures them is a medical marijuana balloon bag — what is it with this show and vaporizers?

While Veronica purrs at Woodrugh, Bezzerides begins to explore the house. She sees pictures of the mayor with various high profile politicians alongside a life-sized cardboard cutout of his wife in a bikini. She is rummaging around his desk when she hears a noise and rushes towards the sound. Upstairs she finds Betty Chessani sitting quietly in a room. When asked if everything is OK Betty just closes the door on her. Betty is played by Emily Rios who is a veteran of many hour long dramas — most notably Breaking Bad and The Bridge — and I trust/hope that she will get more/anything to do in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile a naked woman plunges into the pool just outside the terrace doors where the mayor’s wife and Woodrugh have been talking. We see that she has been tossed from a balcony by Tony Chessani, the mayor’s son whom he was lamenting about last episode. Bezzerides confronts Tony who is putting on a gang accent that she sees through immediately. Tony confesses that it is a put on and that his job as an “event organizer” calls for him to play different roles. He throws them out with the threat of his father’s lawyers and increasingly bad accents.

“How many times do you expect to be paid for the same thing?” pleads Bart Sallis. a contractor who bought his business from Frank, who now wants 25% every month from Bart despite that not being part of the original deal.

“Things change. They changed for me they can change for you.”

Frank is back to his transplanted Chicago mobster roots. He makes it more palatable by explaining he can keep the teamsters and electrical workers from walking off the job. He can keep the note from being called in on the loan underwriting the project. To make sure he being ultra clear he also points out that he knows where the family lives and where the kids go to school. Bart acquiesces but only if he can get some concessions on the electric crews and receive weekend deliveries.

Bezzerides reports back to her overseers on the contents of Casper’s safe deposit box which included articles of incorporation and a stash of blue diamonds. Her superiors are much more interested in hearing about Velcoro and whether or not he could have staged his own shooting. The state wants to prosecute a crooked Vinci cop and they have their sights set on Velcoro. She should do whatever it takes to get them leverage on him.

“He’s a man for Christ’s sake.”

“Yeah, so what?”

“I am not saying fuck him but maybe make him think you might fuck him.”

The language in Vinci is even coarser than it is at the State Attorney’s office where the Mayor will only refer to Bezzerides as “that cunt” after she barged in on his wife and kids. Woodrugh appears to be spared his wrath but the Mayor will not be happy until Bezzerides is running a yogurt stand instead of investigations. Velcoro tries to extract himself from the investigation but he can’t get away. The mayor, the police chief, and his lieutenant all want him to wrap up the hooker angle on the Casper murder ahead of the State investigation into their department. He should not worry about any land deals. Nobody is going down over any land deals.

“You could just drink out of the bottle.”

We get bonus Fred Ward scenes with the old man struggling to get a shot glass to his lips without spilling the contents while his son drops off a bag of weed. Ray notices an empty spot on the bookshelf where his father’s lucite encased badge is supposed to be. He fishes it out of the garbage despite Eddie protests that there is no PD anymore. Ray grills his dad about the Vinci brass who used to be on the job with him in LA before they left to set up shop after the riots and OJ trials.

Things are not going well for Semyon whose deal with Osip is slipping away. Frank is tired of playing nice and tells him not to let the door hit him in the ass on the way out. As he glowers out at his wife sitting alone on the casino floor he wonders if perhaps Osip had some hand in Casper’s death. To make matters worse for Semyon not all his men are accounted for and one of them — Stan — later turns up murdered. Semyon needs an outlet for all his frustration and calls for a meeting of all the usual suspects at Santos’ club.

Woodrugh is hanging with one of his Blackrock buddies drinking beer, watching motocross and talking about letting sleeping dogs lie. Except that maybe his buddy doesn’t want to deny the past. He begins to reminisce about time they spent together in a village separated from their unit. Woodrugh gets visibly upset and does not want to talk about it. He throws his buddy down to the ground to end to the discussion while someone who looks an awful lot like Dixon takes surveillance photos of them from afar.

Back at investigation HQ Velcoro lumbers in despite his best efforts to get kicked off the task force. Pictures of a Cadillac license plate the night of the murder lead them to a film set that Casper was a producer on in exchange for California tax credits. Velcoro befriends a set photographer who relates a story about Casper and the director attending a “wall to wall pussy” party.

Woodrugh is working the local prostitute angle to no avail when he meets a male hustler who recognizes Casper’s photo from the club Lux Infinitum, Santos’ place. Despite *ahem* only wanting the tip, Woodrugh realizes he will need more from the informant to get anything resembling a lead at the club.

“They probably wouldn’t even let you in. This angsty cop drama you are rolling.”

Bezzerides and Velcoro are at his house when his ex-wife and her current husband (sitting in the car) shows up. She tips him off that State investigators called on her to ask about extra cash or perhaps about the death of the man who attacked her. She offers him $10,000 in cash to walk away from his custodial claims on Chad but he tells her to put the envelope away. Bezzerides was listening from just inside the door. She steps back into the apartment before he can see that she was spying on him. She asks if everything is okay and seems to be developing some sympathy for him — earlier in the episode she appraised him as a burnout to her superiors.

At Lux Infinitum Woodrugh and Semyon bump into each other and have a stare-off with Woodrugh coming up short. He requires multiple double scotches to talk to another hustler who has performed with a girls for Casper. The thought that this man could have sex with a woman is a source of discomfort for him. And his response does little to assuage Woodrugh who needed a little blue bill to hook up with butterfly girl in the first episode.

“You do girls?”

“In a pinch…with the right medication.”

It turns out the girl the hustler hooked up with is Tasha — the same girl that Santos introduced to Semyon and led to Casper’s hideaway. She works expensive private parties but has not been around in a while.

While Woodrugh continued his investigation upstairs Semyon was downstairs with Santos and the assorted criminals who run woman in the local clubs. He hands out pictures of Casper and demands that he is told anything that any of them hear about him. Santos crumbles the photo and sneers that Semyon “ain’t that thing no more…what you used to was.” He declares the meeting over but Semyon grabs him by the lower lip. Santos is eager to fight and begins to take off his jewelry.

“You can leave your rings on. It won’t matter to me.”

Santos lands a few shots but Semyon lays him out and, with one hand holding him down by the neck, proceeds to remove his gold grill with a pair of needle nosed pliers.

Bezzerides and Velcoro investigation from the movie set has led them to the front door of someone with access to the caddy who has quit the production. Before they can ask anything significant they hear a crash and the whoosh of flames. The Cadillac they were searching for is around the corner and has just been torched. They pursue a masked person fleeing from the scene across a homeless encampment and onto the freeway where Velcoro dives to save Bezzerides from an oncoming truck. The arsonist escapes in the aftermath while Velcoro — who had multiple broken ribs from the shooting — groans on the ground. Bezzerides thanks him for saving her life but when he asks what the state police have on him — if she wants to really thank him — she says she knows nothing.

Frank returns home and Jordan is up waiting for him. She asks if he want to make up, to talk, as he fixes a drink at the bar and dumps a fistful of gold teeth in the trash.

“Maybe tomorrow.”

Night Finds You

My partner-in-crime if off to Italy with his life partner and progeny until after the Fourth of July weekend. I should be able to muddle through a little bit of HTML until then (maaaaaaybe) but the real blow is the absence of Katherine which means two weeks of True Detective recaps fall on my shoulders. You can find Katherine’s take on the first episode elsewhere on this site (although unlikely via a hyperlink in this recap since I really don’t know what I am doing) and she was cautiously optimistic about where it was going.

My takeaway was how much the first episode reminded me of a James Ellroy novel. Colin Farrell doing his best accent-suppressed take on the trainwrecked Bud White, Taylor Kitsch jamming his secrets into Danny Upshaw’s closet, and… well there is no analogy for Rachel McAdams’ character since you don’t get a POV woman in an Ellroy novel until Kay Lake’s chapters in Perfidia. That comparison might not be there but there is zero chance that W Earl Brown isn’t a Buzz Meeks stand-in and the dildo-laden crime scene that is Casper’s home is pretty much every dildo-laden crime scene in the first half of Ellroy’s career. More Ellroy tropes would follow this week.

So where does NIGHT FINDS YOU find us?

As the episode opens with Vince Vaughn’s Frank Semyon laying awake and talking about water stains with Kelly Reilly’s Jordan Semyon I visualized one of those focus groups they trot out during election season to judge how the candidates fared during a debate. Each member of the group has their hand on a perception analyzer dial and they turn the dial right when they feel favorably toward the candidate and they turn it left when they don’t.

Vince Vaughn, in the immortal words of Dr. Peter Venkman, buried the needle in the opening. I just kept wondering how this scene would have played out with any other actor — hell, any other Vince, was D’Onofrio too busy? — but especially kept thinking about how much better Pizzolato’s dialogue sounded with McConaughey delivering the lines. I also wondered if there was any way Vaughn could unjam that needle from the left-most position.

We move from the water stained ceiling to the acid stained eyes of Casper on the coroner’s table. We also get a glimpse of the wreckage of what was once his junk — taken out with a point blank shotgun blast. File away for later how devastating a point blank shotgun blast can be. While Frank Velcoro, Ani Bezzerides, and Paul Woodrugh are getting the rundown from the coroner they are also given conflicting missions from their various higher-ups at the city, state and highway patrol bureaus. Bezzerides is put in charge of watching Velcoro, Velcoro reports back to Semyon and the mayor, and Woodrugh just wants to get back on the bike.

Semyon discovers that he has been left out in the cold by Casper with an under the table deal now undocumented. Five million dollars, earmarked for twelve parcels below Monterey, is not only missing but the price for those parcels has gone up. Semyon has also liquidated assets to get in on this deal and is suddenly willing to strip away his businessman’s veneer to claw his way back into the equation.

“My business partner takes my money and gets torture-murdered and what? I’m waiting on the Velcoro burnout to make like Rockford?”

Was that the needle unwedging itself from the left-most position?

We get some more insight into the players as we meet Woodrugh’s mom, played by Lolita Davidovich, in her trailer park getting her big, strong son to peel the skin off her KFC while deriding his ex-girlfriend as fat. Bezzerides and Velcoro start investigating and begin to take measure of each other while discussing vaping and robot fellatio. Bezzerides grills Mayor Chessani about Casper’s known associates while Velcoro plays along but ultimately cuts things short when her arrows start getting closer to the mark.

The task force is headquartered in what appears to be an airplane hangar where W. Earl Brown’s Teague Dixon is trying to help Woodrugh understand why he was so really so upset while getting hit on by a guy at the bank. Velcoro shows a glimpse of some real Rockford instincts pointing out that Casper’s regular bank withdrawals coincide with blank days on his calendar but he can’t stay to follow up as he has to meet up with his son to give him a new pair of sneakers.

I am always happy to see Abigail Spencer, who has had recurring roles on Mad Men and Suits and was stunning in Rectify, and I hope she gets more screen time as Alicia Brune, Velcoro’s ex. She is not happy with the way he brass-knuckled down on the father of Chad’s classmate’s father over the stolen shoes. Sole custody is the only solution that Alicia can find to keep Chad from Velcoro’s lack of decency and he responds by threatening to burn the city to the ground but the threat of a paternity test quickly backs him down.

Semyon comes to the aid of a man on the receiving end of a bump and beatdown under the freeway and he glibly lets the man know that he must have done something to piss someone off like writing a book on Vinci sweatshops. Vaughn gets the needle past 9 o’clock in this scene.

I mentioned James Ellroy earlier and there is no moment where the the similarities to the LA Quartet ring more true than when Bezzerides and Velcoro pay a visit to Casper’s botoxed psychiatrist played by Rick Springfield. As they walk through the clinic we see patients recovering from plastic surgery and I can only imagine they are working girls being cut to look like Veronica Lake. After putting up some token resistance about doctor patient confidentiality, Springfield gives up some details of Casper’s treatment. He had a weakness for young prostitutes but was making progress at the time of his death.

“There are kinds of secrets in the world all kinds of truth,” says the doctor as he makes the connection between Bezzerides and her father’s work with the Good People. Bezzerides wants nothing to do with talking about the past. Velcoro has no such reluctance as he basically fesses up to killing the man who raped his wife and being in the back pocket of Semyon as a result along with his assorted bad habits. Bezzerides does not like to distinguish between good and bad habits which seems like a fine time for Velcoro to ask about her knives.

“Fundamental difference between the sexes is that one of them can kill the other with their bare hands. Man of any size lays hands on me he is gonna bleed out in under a minute.”

Velcoro reveals that the reason they have been thrown together to investigate this crime is to fail but he won’t explicitly tell her exactly how compromised he is. Meanwhile Woodrugh and his butterfly-loving girlfriend break-up over a TMZ piece about his alleged blowjob shakedown from the previous episode. He heads downtown to smoke cigarettes and drink straight from the bottle while watching male hustlers get in and out of cars.

Semyon finds Casper’s fuckpad (another Ellroy trope) and points Velcoro in that direction while dangling a police captaincy in front of him but it holds no interest. Semyon reminds him that there are not many options for him other than a life in prison or doing what he is told to do.

“Everybody’s got the one option, you want it bad enough.”

My life has led me in a non-traditional job direction and I rarely regret that except when there are watercooler moments on television like the closing scene from this episode. Velcoro follows Semyon’s lead which is the where the murder clearly took place, only to get shotgunned twice — the second time point blank to the torso — by a man in a bird mask.

We have already seen the evidence of what a shotgun at this range can do to a man’s pelvis and it is hard to imagine how he can survive. Farrell certainly does not appear in the trailer for next week’s episode but we do hear someone discussing the crime in the context of “one of my detectives gets shot” and not in the context of “killed” so maybe there was a rock salt load in the shotgun or Velcoro was wearing a vest. Either way, I will be back next week, hand on the Vaughn-dial, to recap.

True Detective's Rachel McAdams

[For “The Western Book of the Dead” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

HBO summary:
The disappearance of a city manager ignites a police investigation.

There’s impotence at hand for the trio of men and even the woman at the helm of this season’s True Detective. Vinci Police Detective Velcoro (Colin Farrell) doesn’t know if his son is his or the product of a rape his wife suffered nine months before the child was born. Even if he were over that uncertainty, the kid endures bullying at school so… Velcoro drinks booze all day and pounds the face of the bully’s dad on his own front stoop.

California Highway Patrolman, Woodrugh (Taylor Kitsch) deals with literal impotence and takes a little blue pill then waits for it on the toilet while his hottie girlfriend awaits in her butterfly-themed bedroom on the other side of the door. His wartime days as a mercenary left him scarred in every way possible… And thus Woodrugh drives his motorcycle over a hundred MPH without a helmet, his pretty cheeks flapping in the wind.

Although he appears to have a bountiful bank account, Semyon (Vince Vaughn) can’t catch a break either in this episode. It’s unclear if he’s as shady as he seems but one thing’s for sure, he wasn’t this well dressed in the 90s when he helped Velcoro get some info on the guy that raped his wife. Nowadays he’s well off but bummed. Not only can’t Semyon get his wife pregnant but he also can’t seal a business deal. Osip, the guy on the other side of the transaction, insists on seeing Vaughn’s pal Caspere. Problem is, Caspere’s missing and then ends up dead.

The family frustrations faced by Bezzerides (Rachel McAdams) are forced into her day by job duties for the Ventura Sheriff’s office. She runs into her sister while busting up a porno webcam business… And then gets shamed for giving a sh*t. We find out her first name is Antigone when she later has an awkward father/daughter chat when investigating some sort of yoga cult her dad seems to be running. Her father’s distance and weirdness may explain Bezzerides interest in knives and kinky sex stuff.

All the characters end up swirled around Caspere. Valcoro, a detective who works as muscle for Semyon on the side, investigates him as a missing person. Woodrugh finds Caspere dead, propped up on a bench by the side of the road with his wallet placed neatly on his lap. Bezzerides and Valcoro are then separately called onto the scene in their respective highly intoxicated states and Semyon is cursing Caspere’s name for bungling his deal through absence.

The characters are as embroiled in secrets and inner turmoil this season as they were in the first round of True Detective but there’s promise here for a greater symmetry between the sexes. Season One treated women with a less than equitable measure of narrative but granted them all the nudity. Now we have Bezzerides and Semyon’s wife, his business partner, is even described as “brainy.” Sing it sisters! It seems you will master many a plot line this season and we can’t wait to watch you swinging those knives.

–Katherine Recap