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Recap: True Detective Season Two Finale @Foxtel @ShowcaseAUS @NikoleGunn

Recap, ReviewNikole Gunn
image copyright - HBO

image copyright - HBO

True Detective S02 E08

'Omega Station' - Recap by Nikole Gunn

The body count is high, but the questions are finally in the season two finale of True Detective. But WHO actually killed Ben Caspere is almost incidental and, to a degree, irrelevant to the way the story is played out.

For the final outing, we’re given a 90-minute episode of two distinct parts. We find out who ‘offed’ the city manager and watch as Bezzerides, Velcoro and Frank plan for their survival.


The storyline that drove the previous seven episodes is dealt with in the first 30 minutes.  Caspere was killed by the young survivors of a 1992 diamond robbery.  Their parents were murdered and they’d grow up to exact revenge. 

A fairly simple motive for a gruesome murder.  It also turns out the boy was the gunman in the crow’s head mask that shot Ray.  That answers that question.


Now that’s out of the way, let’s look at how the rest of the episode plays out.

It opens with Ray and Ani in bed, baring their souls and sharing their dark secrets.  She tells him about being taken as a child, while he reveals that he did kill the man who he’d been told had raped his wife.


They then find out that Woodrugh has been murdered, when his phone is answered by Detective Burris at the murder scene. He makes it clear that it’s being pinned on Ray.

Velcoro calls his bluff, intimating that he’s onto the whole reason for Caspere’s murder:


“The robbery in ’92, Caspere kept the diamonds. He was holding them over you, yeah”?


Burris confirms his involvement by offering to make it right for Ray, make sure he gets paid.


“Come on Ray, you’re one of us.  You’re a player, Ray, we can work this out”.


It has to be said that their reaction to Woodrugh’s murder is rather ‘muted’.  He was part of the team, but is seemingly swept aside after Ani sheds a tear and Ray realises is being set up as fall guy.

image copyright - HBO

image copyright - HBO

Meantime, Frank has forced his wife Jordan to flee the country. She doesn’t want to go and he eventually reveals that he couldn’t cope with them getting to him through her. She leaves for Venezuela, but not before he promises to join her.


With this chink in his armour now out of harm’s way, Frank finalises his exit strategy. It includes a visit to Mayor Chessani, who’s he’s been paying off for years.

He finds him floating face down in the pool and an attempt to make it look like suicide.  As he wanders into Chez Chessani, he encounters the Mayor’s Ukrainian wife, looking a little worse for wear.


She tells him that there’d been an argument with a man called Osip and reveals that she’d been one of Tony’s girls at his special parties and he introduced her to his father.

She may think it’s a suicide, but Frank let’s her know that it was murder and her stepson is behind it.  She’ll also carry the can for it. 


He returns to the bar to prepare for his showdown with Osip and the ‘others’ and he’s come armed for a war.  He also ensures that she helps Ray and Ani escape to Mexico, when the time is right. 

And it looks like the time could be upon them. 


image copyright - HBO

image copyright - HBO

Ray tracks down the dead jeweller’s son, who’d planned to meet with Police Chief Holloway on the pretence of handing over the incriminating hard-drive from Casper’s place.

Instead, Velcoro meets with his old boss, secretly recording his confession.  But before you can say ‘justice will be done’, the son gets up and stabs the chief, triggering a shootout with mass casualties. 


And the Dictaphone that was recording all is crushed in the stampede.

It becomes clear what Ray and Ani are up against as they seek to bring down the corrupt elements at work at Vinci. This won’t be a simple case of ‘blowing the whistle and all will be right again.


Frank advises Ani to get out of the country with Ray. He wants her to head to Venezuela and give Jordan a message if he doesn’t make it.  She’ll know what it means.

He convinces Ray to join him in his war of revenge against those, who’ve taken everything from him including Osip.


“Call it what you want. Revenge. Justice. A retirement package”.


Ray agrees.  He won’t run.  But he might if Ani asks him.  But she doesn’t ask and they don’t run.  Not yet anyway.

Instead, Frank and Ray descend on the shack in the woods where the money exchange is to take place.  They open fire, killing all who get in their way, including Osip.


image copyright - HBO

image copyright - HBO

They take the cash and run, making plans to head south.  They’re now on the run and the tension is ramped up.  It now becomes clear they’re in a race for their lives.

But Ray doesn’t return to the waiting Ani.  He foolishly decides to see his son one last time.  They make eye contact and salute each other, but when he gets back to his car, Ray discovers a tracking device under his car.


He calls Ani and tells her he’s being followed. He won’t bring them to her and tells her to get on the boat for Venezuela.  He tells Felicia the bar owner he’s not going to make it but she has to get Ani away safely.

Meantime, Frank is having his own problems.  He’s exchanged his money for diamonds and bought himself a new passport.  Everything is looking good until ‘the Mexicans’ ambush him. His chances of escape are slipping through his fingers.


They take him to the desert, furious that with his casino and club burned to the ground, they have nowhere to sell their gear.  He offers them his million dollars for his life.

Is this another chance for Frank?  Will he get out alive?


No.  He refuses to hand over his suit.  It contains the diamonds for his new life.  And for refusing, he’s stabbed in the stomach.  The Mexicans drive off, leaving him bleeding out on the desert floor.

Amazingly, he manages to get up and walk.  His dead drunk of a father appears and harangues him.  He struggles on.  Then Jordan appears.  And points out that he can’t go on, he’s already fallen for the last time.


Frank looks over his shoulder and sees his body on the ground. Dead.

Things aren’t looking much better for Ray. Burris and his henchmen have chased him into the canyons.  They hunt him down and shoot him dead.


A final voice memo to Chad fails to send.

Season one had Rust Cohle and Marty Hart surviving to fight another day.  We wouldn’t be as fortunate with our lead characters this time around.


But Ani has survived.  While Tony Chessani has taken his father’s place as Mayor and the rail corridor has gone ahead, she’s made it to Venezuela, where she’s now telling her story to a journalist. 

All the documents are laid out with the photos.  Everything that will clear Ray’s name and bring down those responsible.


Yet there’s one question to answer: Ray WAS Chad’s father.  His ex-wife is shown opening the letter and then crying as she looks at the photos of when Ray was a ‘good man’.

But in a final twist, Ani returns to her hotel room, where Jordan is cuddling a baby.  But it’s clear that it doesn’t belong to her and Frank isn’t the father.  She hands him over to Ani, who puts him into a baby sling and they leave together.  It’s a nice moment, if not a little clichéd.


Season two has suffered in comparison with its groundbreaking predecessor. It was slow to get moving and was weighed down by detail character exposition and back-story.  The editing didn’t help either.

Where as season one had the same director and writer throughout, season two utilised multiple directors and scriptwriters and it didn’t gel.


HBO has yet to say whether there will be a season three.  After heavy criticism through the early episodes, much will ride on the reaction to the finale. 

If it’s given the green light, it would be hoped that creator Nick Pizzolato takes control from the beginning, rather than bringing in other writers. Season one worked because it had continuity of vision.  He created it and saw it through. 


True Detective deserves another run even just to show that the original wasn’t just a fluke or only a success because of Matthew McConaghey or Woody Harrelson.