True Detective S02 E06
Church in Ruins - Recap by Nikole Gunn
It’s taken a while, six episodes in fact, but we’re starting to see some method to the madness of True Detective season two. Those who’ve stuck with it week-by-week are now being rewarded.
Much like the episode four and its dramatic shoot-out, most of the real ‘action’ happens in the final 10 minutes of the episode. But before we get there, much of the story focuses on Ray and his various relationships: with Frank, his son and his ex-wife.
The episode opens with a kitchen stand off as Ray confronts Frank over the man who was supposed to have raped Ray’s wife – an event that led him to walk a dark path of murder and corruption.
“Long time ago you gave me a piece of paper with a man’s name. That name wasn’t the man who hurt my wife”.
Ray confirms what has been hinted at different points through the story: he killed the man who Frank said was the rapist. But he now knows he was duped and accuses Frank of using his wife’s tragedy for his own ends.
Before shots are fired, Frank convinces Ray that it wasn’t a set up. On screen, that took 5 minutes or so. (you’re welcome). In exchange, Velcoro reveals Frank’s right hand man, Blake, has been running girls behind his back with the Mayor’s son. And Caspere enjoyed their parties.
The plot thickens. Or is it a True Detective Red Herring? I’m hedging my bets.
Before spending some quality time with his son, Ray pays a surprise visit to the man who DID rape his wife. And here’s the thing, he looks nothing like the redheaded Chad.
What time he does spend with his son is under the awkward supervision of a court-appointed ‘observer’. As she takes notes, Ray tells the boy:
“Whatever stories you hear: I am your father. You are my son and I will always love you”.
He then goes home and falls into his old ways, doing lines of coke and hitting the bottle, before smashing up his house with his bare hands. With his life in ruins, Ray rings his ex and begs her to forget the paternity test and not tell Chad a thing. In return, he’ll drop the custody case and stay out of their lives forever. With an offer like that, she agrees.
Meantime, Frank meets with the Mexican drug gang responsible for the shoot-out. He’s trying to track down the woman who robbed Ben Caspere and pawned his belongings.
She tells him she was given the gear by a guy she swears was a cop. She knows cops and he was a cop. But before, Frank can meet with her; she’s murdered by the Mexicans. Their reason: she was working with the police.
By this point, we’re closing in on the sex party action and the tension is ramped up.
Bezzerides is to attend one of these parties, despite being warned just how bad it will get. Its hard-core and she’ll be on her own.
After boarding a ‘party bus’, Ani and the other girls are drugged up to keep them in the mood and amenable to whatever might occur.
They’re brought to the venue and things get decidedly unpleasant. The girls are ‘selected’ by the partygoers, some of whom look wealthy and influential.
An old, fat guy chooses Ani, but under the influence of the drugs, Ani has flashbacks to her childhood. Perhaps explaining her dislike of intimacy, it appears she was sexually abused by a member of her father’s New Age cult.
Before he does anything, Bezzerides finds the girl, whose disappearance triggered events of the past couple of episodes. Ani tries to get her out of the house, but is first accosted by her ‘client’ and then security. She beats down the old guy and kills the ‘bouncer’.
As the bullets fly, she and the girl make it out of the house where Woodrugh and Velcoro are waiting in a getaway car. Ani and the girls are safe, while Woodrugh has managed to get hold of some very interesting documents. They contain many signatures and could hold the key to the whole Caspere-murder-sex-party-corruption saga.
With two episodes to air, there has been a definite upping of the tempo. Even the musical score has changed. It’s not dirge like anymore. Musical director T-Bone Burnett is still scoring the final episodes.
True Detective is rediscovering its mojo, but there’s a big risk that they may try to cram too much into the final episodes to provide a neat ‘finish’.