True Detective S02 E03
Recap by Nikole Gunn
The final minutes of episode 2 gave us a much-needed adrenaline and delivered a cliffhanger, when Ray was gunned down by a man wearing a creepy as crow mask. Had Game of Thrones rubbed off on its HBO stable mate? Had True Detective killed off a major character’?
The opening minutes of “Maybe Tomorrow” leave it a little in the air. In a Twin Peak-esque scene, that could be the ’afterlife’, Ray meets a uniformed man, who we assume is his father. Their confrontation is in an empty bar as a cheesy lounge singer performs The Rose.
As the song finishes, Ray gasps back to life. No, he hasn’t been killed off. He was shot in the chest with ‘buck shot’ from riot shells that police use. That revelation adds a new layer to an already confusing storyline.
In corruption-riddled Vinci, could the police be behind the death of Ben Casper. Is there an even more rogue element involved in a very murky world of prostitution and fetish?
It’s an interesting thought. Three episodes into the second season and we’re still getting just hints of what’s really going on here. Each ‘side’ has its own agenda.
The Attorney-General seems to be more concerned about bringing down Vinci police, even encouraging Ani to sleep with Ray to get information, than solving ‘the crime’, while Vinci’s Mayor is fuming that Ani’s enquiries brought her to his door. He wants her sacked. Is that because she’s onto something or because his territory has been invaded?
All this as Frank goes about his business of tracking down his lost millions. Ray has confronted him about the tip-off that led him to being shot. “Who else knew about that place? You walked me into something, Frank”.
Frank initially shrugs it off with “that’s some luck on you” but a succession of events have him thinking. The Russian pulls out of the Casino deal, supposedly scared off by the Ben Casper affair.
Then one of his henchmen is found murdered. His eyes appear to have been burned out with acid, just like the City manager. “Who’s coming after me?” he demands.
It leads him to a confrontation with the gang leaders, who stepped into the space he vacated, when he started to go ‘legit’. There is no respect for him anymore. They laugh off his demands that they ask around after Ben Casper.
That is until he beats the ringleader into submission and brutally rips out his gold teeth with a pair of pliers. Here’s Frank returning to his roots. Nowhere got anywhere in the underworld by being nice and genteel.
It could, of course, be one big red herring.
Elsewhere in the episode, we see Officer Woodrugh meet up with an old army buddy, who alludes to an event in Iraq where they were more than ‘just friends’. There’s also a shady character following him around, taking photos. It could be a paparazzo, but who knows for sure.
And then in the closing minutes, the action again centres of Ray Velcoro and Ani Bezzerides, who’re chasing up a lead from a movie set. This is LA and Ben Casper also had a finger in the movie-making pie. It would seem that the director went to some of his ‘parties’.
As they question an employee, who quit suddenly, there’s an explosion – their car has been torched with a man in a hockey-mask lurking in the background (think Jason from “Friday the 13th” series).
With Ray hampered by his broken ribs and unhealthy lifestyle, they give chase through scrub and a homeless encampment. It eventually leads them to a freeway, where Ray saves Ani’s life by pulling her out of the path of a truck.
He doesn’t want her thanks. He wants to know what the state has on him. “I don’t know,” she says. But does she?
True Detective Season Two has been much criticised for being slow and laborious, but it’s finally finding its feet. The Twin Peaks-esque opener has given it a lift and a faster pace to the story telling is long overdue.
But the question though, is anyone still watching?