Previously on True Detective, ‘Other Lives’
Last week’s episode of True Detective ended with Ray and Frank in a death stare-off and this week’s episode picks up at exactly that moment. Frank and Ray sit down with coffee for the most awkward first date ever. Frank finally breaks the ice and Ray asks about the set up with his wife’s supposed rapist all those years ago. Frank acts surprised, as if he too has been set up, and I couldn’t tell if we were supposed to think he was in on it or was pissed that he, too, was duped.
While they share coffee, Ani and Paul are giving instructions to the detectives working the murder hut they discovered at the close of last week. Their state overseer enters and tells them to leave it to the locals, but Ani is like a dog with a bone and explains the connection to their case. While they discuss, the dick local sheriff comes up to assert his authority, and the state lady tells him to get to it before reminding Ani and Paul of their respective missions.
Frank and Ray finally give up grasping their guns under the table and call a temporary truce with both hands aboveboard. Ray tells him about Blake’s goings on with running girls in conjunction with Chessani’s son, and makes sure that Frank understands this isn’t some small time game. He mentions that Caspere attended these parties that they host and this makes Frank’s ears perk up. They also determine that they are both looking for Irina Rufo, and Frank enlists Ray’s help to find the missing hard drive that will secure Frank’s position in the rail deal. They also share a nice bromance moment before parting.
Ray heads down to the prison to confront his wife’s actual rapist and channels his inner Clint Eastwood to threaten him with the most gravelly voice yet this season. The rapist claims he has some condition that prevents him from remembering the horrors he has perpetrated, but Ray quickly reminds him that he doesn’t give a shit. Ray is my favorite for describing the things he’s going to do: he’s going to remove every inch of this guy’s flesh with a cheese grater starting with his prick, then he’s going to cut off his nose, his lips, and his nuts. But he’ll make sure he doesn’t die so he can suffer through all of that. This, understandably, freaks out the rapist. Fist pump for vengeance thirsty ex-husbands.
Back To the Case At Hand
Ray may not be really working his end of the case right now, due to personal reasons, but Paul is tracking those diamonds and links them to a jewelry store robbery that occurred in April of 1992, during the riots. Thank you, Sublime, for keeping that date fresh in my mind. He finds the detective that worked the case, the scene was looted shortly after the robbery, but the diamonds were stolen by someone calculating who executed the couple who owned the store. Their two children hid in a display cabinet during the ordeal and then were put in foster care, the only information they could provide was that the men wore masks. The detective says those kids fucked him up, to come from what they did and be put in the system, all while the city was burning down around them. I assume this is not the last we hear of these kids.
Ani practices for Iron Chef while her sister relays the details of the upcoming party. Ani is to pretend she is Athena to gain entrance. Athena doesn’t think that Ani is taking the gravity of the situation seriously and tells Ani that she will not be allowed to bring in anything, no phone, no knife, nothing. Ani looks at her skeptically and I was pretty sure she was going to sneak a blade smuggled inside her vagina (sheathed hopefully), but I was wrong. Athena also brought her a painting, but Ani doesn’t get art. Athena makes sure one last time that Ani understands that once you board the bus, you either fuck or run.
I Stan for Stan
Frank pays a visit to the slain Stan’s wife and son. Jordan gives her an envelope of cash, saying that it was Stan’s stake and she is just passing it on to her. Stan’s wife asks if Blake is outside, because he came by once before, right after the funeral, to ask if Stan had passed any information on to her. Franks asks if Stan did, but he didn’t because evidently Stan is the man.
Frank then goes outside to talk to Stan’s son, who is throwing a ball against a wall to fully illustrate this kid’s solitude in life. They sit and Frank talks about how great of a guy Stan was, which his kid already knows, thank you very much. Frank soldiers on and tells him that his Dad’s fight lives inside him and that he is solid gold, Ponyboy. This is followed by the kid breaking down and crying all over Frank, which was just awkward to me.
Ray’s Life In Ruins
Ray visits with his son, but is supervised by an observer who is studiously taking notes in the doorway. This kid is not at all interested in building the model that Ray brought because stealth bombers kill people, and he’d rather watch Friends. Because who wouldn’t? Ray can’t take the observer and her notes, so he confronts her, but she directs him to not address her and focus on his son. They get some pizza and watch Friends (my normal Friday night routine, by the way). Ray imparts on his son that no matter what stories he hears and no matter what anyone tells him, Ray is his father and he is Ray’s son and that he will always love him. His son responds with the infuriating text response, “K.”
Ray goes home in a rage with a bottle of Beam and a baggie of coke. He puts on his angry white man music and does lines and shots, occasionally adding in a beer and angrily punches the air in the universal man sign for “I wanna fuck something up.” This scene was actually acted brilliantly by Colin Farrell, he vacillated perfectly between despair and fury and I believed him. His gaze eventually falls on all of the models he and his son have built which leads to him calling his ex-wife after he (off-screen) trashes his house and the models. He wants to make a deal with her and she almost hangs up on him, but he convinces her that he will disappear as long as she never tells their son about his paternity. She eventually agrees.
Frank and his goons are tracking down Irina and have found someone who knows where to start looking, but he needs some convincing. With a nail gun. After his hand gets nailed to the table and he takes one in the shoulder, he gives them an address to start looking. They were at least nice enough to pull the nails out with pliers and give him a little bit of money for his trouble.
Are You Sure About This?
The trio of detectives go over their case notes and their findings thus far. Ray contributes a whole lot of nothing considering he’s spent the entire episode tracking down rapists, visiting with his son, and trashing his house. Paul relays the info about the diamonds and then checks to be sure that Ani really wants to infiltrate this party. They discuss the plan, she’ll ride the bus o’whores and they will follow in another car. Their discussion is overlaid over the scenes of Ani boarding the bus after being patted down thoroughly and then having to relinquish her clutch.
The remainder of the episode is played out in split scenes between Frank’s situation and the detective’s situation, so I am going to cover each plot line separately for clarity’s sake. Frank’s crew arrives at the address provided by the pin cushion and kick in the front door. It turns out, this is the place of those two Mexican drug dealers who were in his club last week. Frank crosses one off the bucket list by being in a Mexican standoff with actual Mexicans, and they try to work out the terms of a deal. They will get Irina to call him and he will let them push their drugs in his club three nights a week.
As Frank hangs out in his casino, Irina calls and they discuss whether Ledo was the one who killed Caspere. Irina admits that someone gave her the fenced items that she pawned. Frank gets out of her that it was a thin, white cop. He asks her to meet him to look at some pictures and point him out in exchange for $1,000. She agrees, so he and his backup go to what looks like a quarry to meet her and find her body slumped down with a slit throat. The Mexican drug dealers make themselves known and Franks asks what the fuck is wrong with them for killing her. They said it was because she worked for cops.
In The Land of Tits and Vag, But Absolutely No Penis Because Our Delicate Systems Just Cannot
In full Eyes Wide Shut mode, the bus arrives at the villa and the girls are given a spritz of pure Molly whether they want it or not. Paul and Ray are in full stealth outside sneaking up to the house to get intel. When Ray wears his hat, he looks like normal Colin Farrell from the front. The girls are then paraded into a room of pathetic men who feast on them with their eyes. As the guys start to pair off with the ladies, Ani walks around scoping out the people in attendance. As she walks around, her vision starts to blur from the drugs so she stumbles into a table and grabs a knife (no vagina knife needed).
She sees Osip and swears and spins around to avoid him and is caught in the clammy paws of some old dude who drones on about energy consumption and war. He leads her into a room that is very reminiscent of Littlefinger’s brothel if you mixed it with Craster’s rapey keep. Ani begins to have flashbacks of a long-haired, bearded dude telling her that she is the prettiest girl he’s ever seen. She starts to panic a little and the old dude asks her if she wants to join in the orgy while he watches, but she claims she needs to go to the bathroom first and she’ll be right back.
Secret Agent Men
Outside, Paul and Ray have made it up to the villa and hear the Catalyst executive and Osip discussing the land deal. They mention how Frank got screwed out of the deal by Caspere, but that they are much more concerned with Osip’s funds, so that won’t happen again. After they leave, Paul jimmies open the window and goes in to steal the files from the desk. Safely stowed in his pants, he gets out of there and Ray heads back to the car while Paul looks for Ani.
Ani’s Disturbing Brain
Inside, Ani stumbles through this den of inequity toward the bathroom. As she goes, she continues to have flashbacks of the hippie guy persuading her to come with him. In one of the visions, you see a childs hand reach up into his and then he leads the adult Ani into his VW van and this whole scenario explains a lot about Ani’s disposition. I found it hard to determine if this was the first she was remembering it, as if the drug somehow unlocked a hidden away part of her memory, or if she was just unable to block out the images she normally keeps locked away because the drugs lowered her inhibitions.
She eventually makes it to the bathroom, where she forces herself to vomit in the tub. I am pretty positive that this is not how drugs work, but all of a sudden she seems to be all better and out of the influence of the molly. She then conveniently spots Vera, her missing person, nearly unconscious in the corner. She grabs Vera up and starts drag-walking her out of there when that fucking old dude finds her. She quickly incapacitates him by breaking his fingers and then kicking the hell out of his genital region. Once he’s down, a bouncer grabs her and she makes use of her Ginsu skills, but he still grabs her and chokes her against the wall. Luckily she hit something important, because he starts to bleed out and drops her.
She grabs Vera and heads for the door. As she busts out, Paul is waiting for her and he grabs Vera for 2.5 seconds before handing her back over to Ani so he can provide cover fire. They make a mad dash for the road where Ray comes speeding up in his Charger (I am assuming Dodge kicked some money into this season) and they make a narrow escape. In the car, Ani breaks down. She tells them they gave her something and that she thinks she killed someone and cries in the passenger seat. Oblivious Paul goes through his intel in the back seat, and they basically have all of the information they need for the state’s case. The episode ends with them speeding off into the night.
This was by far, my favorite episode of this season. We learned a lot, the action was fast paced, and the acting was incredible on all fronts. There were a couple of moments that came off as awkward to me, but overall, I am very pleased with episode six.