Well, it appears that a certain show has bigger cajones than an un-neutered male dog…
Yes, I am talking about the penultimate episode of True Detective, in case that wasn’t evident.
And boy oh boy, was it eventful, to say the least. Well, at least things are never dull with this show. Confusing, yes. Disturbing. yes. Puzzling, yes. But dull is not a word that creeps into my vocabulary in conjunction with this show.
With that being said, here is my recap and review of True Detective, season 2, episode 7.
And, as always:
The episode begins with Ani, Ray and Paul clustered in a hotel room. Ani is recovering from her ordeal and the drugs she was given, and Ray and Paul review the documentation that they found. Ben Caspere’s name is found in the documentation, along with Tony Chessani’s name. It appears that Ben Caspere’s shares of a company were redistributed after his death. All three realize how dire the situation is. Ani tries to seduce Ray, but her advances are rebuffed by Ray.
Paul receives some pictures on his cell phone, showing him and his friend Miguel engaging in some compromising acts. Paul speaks to his mother and fiancee, and tells them that they need to lay low for the time being, as it appears that his cover on the case was blown.
Ray speaks to Frank and relays the night’s events to him. Ray also presses Frank for the name of the person who wrongly identified his ex wife’s rapist. Ray also looks to track down his former chief to question his involvement in the Caspere murder.
Ani speaks to her dad and sister, Athena. She also tells them that they need to leave town, as her involvement in the case may endanger their lives. Ani also speaks to her father about the man who molested her as a child, and her father expresses regrets about being unable to catch the man.
Paul does some research on the internet in regards to the blue diamonds and finds some information on Caspere. Paul also discovers that Ani is wanted in connection with the death of a security guard at the “sex party.” However, it appears that Paul is being watched while he works.
Ani speaks to Vera, the girl she rescued from the “sex party.” Vera has recovered, and is not happy about being rescued. Ani tries to question her but Vera gives very little information. Vera does mention a girl named “Tasha” who was one of Caspere’s “favorites”, but talked too much, intimating that Tasha may have met an untimely end. Vera’s sister shows up, but Vera is reluctant to leave with her sister at first. Ani warns Vera that if she does not leave with her sister and lay low, she may also meet an untimely end.
Frank confronts his lieutenant Blake, in regards to the death of Caspere, and the wrong of identification of Ray ex-wife’s rapist. Blake tells Frank that the man presented a problem for him, and he wanted an easy way to get rid of him. Blake also confesses to killing Frank’s business partner Stan. Frank then beats Blake almost to death, and then finishes the job by shooting Blake in the chest. Frank then summons his wife Jordan to the scene. Jordan is not upset by the dead body and asks what she can do to help.
Ray attempts to deliver the documents that he and Paul stole to the prosecutor Kathryn Davis, but finds her dead in her car.
Frank makes some deals with a jeweler to raise some quick cash, and purchases plane tickets to Venezuela, along with some fake passports. Frank goes to his club and speaks to Mayor Chessani, letting the mayor know that his son Tony has been involved in some unsavory activities.
Paul’s blackmailer requests to meet Paul at the Hall of Records. Paul calls Ray, fearing a setup. Ray tries to warn Paul not to go to the meeting, but Paul hangs up the phone. Paul sees his friend Miguel, along with Ray’s former chief Holloway. The men meet in tunnels under the city, and Holloway requests the documents that Paul and Ray stole the night before. It is also revealed that Miguel’s encounters with Paul were part of the set up. Paul says that he will sell out Ani and Ray so he can give the documents to Holloway, but is able to trick the chief. Paul grabs the chief’s gun, and is able to hide from the armed men while using Miguel as a human shield. Paul then attempts to make his way out of the tunnels and back to the city.
Ani and Ray are looking at photos from the sex party back at the motel room. Ani realizes that Caspere’s secretary resembles one of the children who was orphaned as a result of the robbery of the jewelry store in 1992. They realize that they cannot advance the case any further now due to the death of Kathryn Davis, and begin to open up to each other about their pasts. Ray and Ani then consummate their relationship.
Frank clears the safe in both of his clubs of all cash. He then sets both clubs on fire, and watches them burn.
Paul nearly makes it to safety, using Holloway’s gun to defend himself against the henchmen. However, Officer Burris (a crooked police officer), waits for Paul in the shadows. Burris then shoots Paul twice from behind, killing him.
Ermahgod, Ture Derterctive!
Oh, this episode. The series started off at a leisurely pace (snail’s pace, actually) but now appears to be heading off a cliff…
And I was lulled into a false sense of security. I know that there would probably be a death this season (since this one is so dark), and when Ray found the body of the prosecutor, I let my guard down…a little bit.
Well, that was not a good idea, because what happened next came out of left field.
In other words, the death of Paul was an emotional throat punch. It was very well played, because I thought that he was safe. But once I was lulled into feeling safe, he was ambushed and killed.
And yes, I think this death is “for real” this time. This is not like the “death” of Ray. Blood was shown, and Paul tried to defend himself, and was unsuccessful. This was NOT the case when Ray was shot, as there was no blood shown, and Ray was shot once but did not struggle with anyone like Paul did. The writers of the show are not playing around, as one major character has been killed, along with a “major” minor character (the prosecutor Kathryn Davis).
The show is finally bringing in some emotion, which is a good thing. And now I find myself actually caring about who killed Ben Caspere (I really did not before). And of course, I want to know how that connects to the murder of Paul. as well.
I did make complaints about Vince Vaughn’s character in some earlier entries, and those complaints still stand. However, I did enjoy his character in this episode. Maybe because of all the senseless violence he was inflicting on those who wronged him? Whatever the case, Vaughn played a good psychopath in this episode, ruthlessly hurting anyone who got in his way. It made me buy the “gangster who tries to be good, he really does” scenario, but I am still not completely sold on this one. The jury is still out (until the final episode, at any rate).
The final few minutes of this episode were the best part of the episode, and probably the best part of the season as a whole. The sequence that included Frank burning down his clubs, Ray and Ani consummating their relationship and the death of Paul was done beautifully. The flames added such a nice touch and conveyed the message clearly: the characters’ world is going down in flames, both literally and figuratively. And next week, our characters will have to sort through the ashes and attempt to put everything back together again. And the odds of putting everything back together don’t look good: one dead prosecutor and one dead cop. Not to mention a dead informant. Oh, and the original dead guy. Will we actually find out why he was killed, and why there is this conspiracy that literally includes the mayor of Crazy Town (Mayor Chessani)? Its hard to say, given how tangled this has become, but I will be tuning in to find out.
Well, that’s it for this week’s recap and review of the sometimes confusing but never dull second season of True Detective. Join me next week, when we will review, analyze and dissect what promises to be quite the interesting finale!