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