Previously on True Detective, ‘Maybe Tomorrow’
We finally got a live one this week! At the midpoint through this sluggish paced season, there is finally an episode with some action! There was also a very tantalizing preview for the next season of The Leftovers as a lead-in on HBO Now, so I, personally, was very excited this week. In addition to the action at the end of the episode, there was much in the way of plot development, so let’s jump into it.
The episode opens with a quick shot of the burned out car in the Vinci police garage before jumping to Frank berating his poor gardener about the wilted avocado trees. Either Frank loves him some guacamole (which judging from his racist comment to the gardener, could go either way), or he’s just an asshole. His wife reigns him and they head inside to make the metaphor of their barren soil and her barren womb complete. It is revealed that she has given birth before, but is worried that the operation may be making it impossible for her to get pregnant now. Also Frank, isn’t there some detrimental drought going on in California right now? Maybe stop trying to grow avocados in your back yard.
Paul Is Having A Shitty Morning
Paul wakes up face down in his buddy’s bed from last week. He’s in just his underwear and his clothes are strewn about the house. His friend is very excited to see him and points out that they “really put out some fires last night.” Is this some euphemism for gay sex that I am unaware of? He freaks out a little, saying that he doesn’t remember coming over and he quickly dresses and claims he has to leave for work. In the cab back to his bike, he cries and looks pretty anguished at this development. He realizes his bike was stolen from wherever he left it and walks back to his hotel only to be bombarded by reporters asking him questions about the actress who claimed he solicited a blow-j from her. Paul runs fast in the opposite direction.
Back in Vinci at the burned out car, Ray warns Ani that she has kicked the hornet’s nest by going to Mayor Chessani’s house, even if he does think it was pretty kick ass. She doesn’t seem to understand, but Ray points out that of all of the state inquests into Vinci, no one has ever been charged with anything, especially no one in the Chessani family. He received a phone call and Dipshit Dixon comes in to be generally antagonistic and point out that he doesn’t give a shit about anything, which Ani says she never doubted. I really hate him and cheered when he eats it later in the episode.
Frank Channels His Inner Godfather
Frank hits the streets with his right and left hand men and starts making the very stereotypical rounds I expect that all television mobsters make. First he meets with two men about supplying drugs to his newly reacquired club. These two guys are very skeptical considering Frank sold off all of his unsavory assets a few months ago to go legit. After begrudgingly coming to an agreement of 5% of something, Frank seems satisfied. One of the new business partners comments on the amount of sugar Frank puts in his coffee and how his teeth haven’t rotted out. This was evidently a euphemism to something I didn’t understand because when Frank cryptically pointed out he’s never had a cavity, I was very confused.
Frank then visits an apartment/tenement that is extremely overrun with people. Or as Frank politely refers to them, Beaners. Am I the only one who despises Frank? He visits the landlord and states he is now collecting money from him again. The landlord is understandably confused considering he bought Frank out a few months back. This makes Frank raise his cut before demanding that the landlord mow the grass so no kids get bitten by snakes before storming out.
Ray picks up sad sack Paul, who I am pretty sure still had tears on his face. This conversation was one of my favorite moments of the season so far. Paul tells Ray all about his no good very bad day, and Ray sympathizes. With Ray’s encouragement, Paul opens up for the first time, stating that no matter what he does, it doesn’t matter. He points out that he has always followed orders, but it doesn’t make any difference, and at this point he’s followed orders for so long that he doesn’t know who he is. He says he doesn’t know how to be out in the world. Ray points out that no one does and tells Paul he’ll go get his stuff from his hotel room and set him up somewhere else. Sober nice guy Ray is a Ray I can get behind.
Ani Is Not Even Worried About That Mayor
Ani and Ray stake out the Chessani house despite Ray’s warnings and follow his daughter when she leaves. They track her down to a hookah bar and approach her with questions about Caspere. She admits she met him, but she doesn’t know anything about the business side of things. She tells Ani that her mom died when she was 11. She had schizophrenia and was committed by her father, but the doctor allowed her to hang herself. The doctor’s name was Pitlor (the same doctor who Caspere was seeing). The daughter tells them her father is a very bad person before leaving.
This next scene seemed sandwiched in because there was nowhere else to put it in this episode, but it does have some slight correlation with the mom revelation from the previous scene, so that is the only explanation I could come up with. Ani visits her sister and they chat about their mom over her driftwood carvings. Ani says that she lost her in the light reflecting off the water and her sister asks why those memories are so clear. Ani responds that, “Those memories stare back at you. You don’t remember them, they remember you.” She asks if she can have a carving and her sister shuts her down. They then discuss the webcam girl profession and her sister, who is clean and sober now, is only doing it for a couple more months to pay for art school. She says she isn’t a whore like the girls who party.
Paul Has Procreated
Paul meets with his ex-girlfriend at a diner because he’s still reeling from his gay hook-up and he wants to get back together with her. She reveals that she is pregnant, but she knows he doesn’t want a child. He informs her that he wants her to keep it and they should get married – I assume because that will make him feel less gay. She agrees and they annoyingly sit on the same side of the booth together for a bit in pre-marital bliss. Yes, I openly judge couples who purposefully sit on the same side of the booth.
Ani and Ray pay a visit to her dad at the Institute to ask about Pitlor. Her father remembers Chessani’s father and Pitlor being members of the cult many years back as well as Chesere attending lectures. He pulls out some old photo albums and they identify a young Mayor Chessani and Pitlor in a picture. Ani’s father points out that Ray has an enormous aura and must have lived a hundred lives. Ray seems unimpressed.
Ray, continuing in his quest for his dreams, meets with an investor lined up by his wife who is way more interested in said wife than the investment opportunity. He is also Pam’s ex-fiancé from The Office. He openly hits on Frank’s wife in front of him while telling him point-blank that he’s basically not interested in the deal. To his credit, Frank doesn’t knock him down and pull out his teeth with pliers.
Annie Get Your Shit (And Get The Fuck Out)
Ani goes to meet with her boss and gives him an update on the case, but the real reason he has called her in is because she is being suspended pending an investigation into the sexual misconduct suit that has been filed against her. The cop she dumped last episode filed a suit against her and as her subordinate, actually has a point. She attempts to throw down her feminist card, but her boss points out that if a man had a suit filed against him, he’d be put on suspension as well. She is relegated to working solely on the state case for the time being until IA has finished their investigation. As a parting gift, she also broke up her partner’s marriage by sleeping with him once as well. Turns out Ani treats sex like a man!
Ray and Frank meet at their favorite bar and their favorite singer is on the stage yet again. She has some seriously bruised knees going on – has that always been the case? Ray catches Frank up on the developments in the case, including the pawn shop finds that Paul and Dixon ran down earlier. Frank asks Ray to quit policing and join him in the mob life because he likes this new soberish Ray. Me too, Frank.
Frank goes back to his casino and calls in his right and left hand to go out and search for the Hispanic man from the photo that Ray gave him. He keeps Blake back and relegates him to pit boss, which Blake is not thrilled with. His wife asks if all of this is worth it, and Frank says that if he gets out now, they will leave with nothing.
Ray pays a touching visit to his son and gives him the badge that he took from his father’s house last episode. He says that he wants to give him something to remember him by and his son asks if he is going somewhere. He replies no, but tells his son that where it came from will one day mean a lot to him. His ex-wife comes out looking for her son and he dissolves into the shadows all mysterious like.
Er’rybody Is Dead Up In Here
The next morning, this episode gets down to business. Based on the intel they have received from the pawn shops and Dixon’s stakeout, they are raiding a building that contains the thieves of Caspere’s belongings. As Ani leads the charge of a huge group of police strolling down the middle of the street at the very height of conspicuity, a gunner leans out of the second story window and opens fire with an automatic weapon killing a few of the police officers while the others scramble for cover.
Ani, Ray, Paul, and Dixon hunker down behind some cars and attempt to return fire on the shooter in the window. Amid the firefight, the top floor of the building explodes. The gunner appears in a window on the floor below, firing again and when Paul moves closer for a better shot, Dixon follows and gets shot right in his stupid misogynistic head. RIP Dipshit Dixon. Eventually, Paul shoots him in the head and he, Ani, and Ray start to pursue the escaping Suburban full of automatic weapon toters.
In case enough people haven’t already been gunned down, there also happens to be a protest going on in the area against the rail extension, and the Suburban barrels right through the middle of it before crashing into a city bus. The detectives catch up with the wrecked vehicle and another firefight breaks out. I was happy to note that they at least reloaded their weapons during this fight unlike most television shows and movies. Ani soon runs out of ammo because evidently she can’t shoot for shit. She grabs her clinch blade from her boot and starts creeping up the sidewalk toward the guy with the automatic weapon like she was going to be able to do something, but luckily Paul kills that guy and Ani tucks her blade away after slumping in relief.
By the end of this standoff, pretty much every single person except for Ani, Ray, and Paul end up dead as shit. As soon as the fight ends, all of the rest of the police in all of California show up to find the three of them standing amidst the wreckage, Ani and Ray both very shaken up, and Paul appearing very calm as he reholsters his pistol.
This episode finally gave me a reason to want to watch the show again. The much needed injection of action at the end of the episode was exactly what I needed to get my interest stirred. I liked the character development with Paul and Ray, and the emergence of a newer gentler Ray. I feel like we may have just scratched the surface of whatever is brewing inside of Ani. I am actually looking forward to the fallout from this shootout next week.