Image Source: HBO
Okay so another True Detective review. This has truly been one of the hardest shows to review because of all of the aspects each episode seems to have but now it really does look like we’re getting to the heart of what the second season is. I don’t share most critics’ opinions about this season. I think it’s good and I think comparing it to the first is kind of like comparing apples and oranges. What we do need is the case of Ben Caspere to propel forward and to see these four main characters confront their very twisted inner demons.
For the most part, I think this episode is heading us right in that direction. The first four episodes seemed to introduce us to this world and develop the four mains as tortured heroes? (Maybe) and now the last three episodes will tie everything together or so we hope. The legacy of this second season is going to strictly depend on where they go from here. I think we’re getting somewhere but do we have enough time in the last three episodes to address all the questions we have? Here’s hoping.
But first, let’s talk about the fifth episode of this second season “Other Lives”. We jumped four months into the future to see where everyone ended up after that god awful fire fight. True Detective is no stranger to time jumps and honestly, this one is a little small for them. So where are our heroes now? And what will it take for them to finally go after the corruption in Vinci and reveal what actually happened to Ben Caspere?
Frank & Jordan: Couple of the Year or So it Seems
Aw, who knew True Detective would bring the cute in their second season? The main criticism a lot of people have about True Detective Season two is Vince Vaughn. They don’t think he fits and they say his acting is sub-par but honesty, I think Frank is the one character we watch every episode without cringing based solely on the character. As much as Frank likes to play the tough guy and refuses to be called a gangster….even though that really is what he is; it really does seem his top priority is Jordan. Sure this whole storyline of Frank and Jordan in this episode didn’t start out so great. She tells him she can’t have kids….because she had not one but three abortions in her past and now Frank’s dreams of legacy and really shattered. And his whole speech about adoption in the previous episode? Whew. I really thought some hard times were ahead but at this moment, it seems like he’s pushing the want for children aside for the moment….and that leaves a whole lot of room for love for Jordan.
We see them in a smaller house. Still a nice house but a smaller one. And now their conversations are revolved around what to watch on the TV. Aw. It, for the moment, seems like Frank has made a choice about what he wants his life to be but has he really given up on his dream of leaving a legacy for his children? The legacy that was torn away from him from Ben Caspere. If he has, then that wouldn’t really make for an interesting last three episodes would it?
“I don’t need partners”. I feel like that could be quote Frank will soon learn to regret. That being said, it’s possible that Frank is downsizing (his house in particular) to seem like he is no longer in the game but secretly he really is. He’s questioning about man who he sold his waste management company to who just happened to drive off a cliff and in the same breath asks the Mayor about the foreign men who had an interest in the poker room. The Mayor doesn’t seem too impressed with Frank but at the same time, Frank really doesn’t seem too impressed with the Mayor. Who will land on top? And the real question, what in the hell is going on???
Well, it seems like that’s what Frank’s trying to figure out too. Someone sabotaged Frank. Sure, we’re all pretty sure Ben Caspere played a big role but it couldn’t be that he acted alone. So now we turn to Blake…..Frank’s second in command. The seemingly most obvious person who could gain a lot by Frank going down. Frank has Ray tail him to give Ray some extra work to pay his lawyer bills. He seems to want to help Ray get his kid back genuinely. But there are still so many holes in this story to know what his true intentions are with Ray.
So Ray follows Blake and it seems like he is working with Dr. Pitlor in order to run girls. Ah! The plot thickens! There is something serious (or was something serious) going on behind Frank’s back and at least now we know these people are in on it together. Whatever “it” is.
But I think we can all agree it has something to do with sex. This whole season is just soaking in all sorts of sex topics and Ben Caspere is right in the middle of it. Frank wants back in one the highway deal….he wants his land. And to get it he just needs to find a hard drive that includes a whole bunch of sex films Ben Caspere had made. Great. I’m really starting to worry that once we actually see one of these sex scenes….it’s going to be pretty strange….and brutal….and gross. The show did hire some porn stars for a sex scene that I believe we’re still waiting to happen.
Nobody Cares…..Except Ani
Speaking of those sex parties….it seems like that’s exactly where Ani is headed undercover. I’m sure she can handle herself if anything went down in a violent fighting sort of manner but given the fact that she is obsessed/uncomfortable with the very notion of sex and sex workers; this really could be a recipe for disaster. But I guess that’s a problem for next week.
This week we start off by seeing Ani in a sexual harassment seminar because douche mcdouchbaggery decided to say he was assaulted and forced to do things by his superior officer. I really hope we do see him again for no other reason than to watch Ani knock his teeth out. She starts talking about sex (without being so uncomfortable so maybe her issue isn’t with sex but sex workers? Something to do with the place she grew up? Hm, I think I’m getting warmer) mainly just to showcase how stupid she thinks it is to be there.
In other aspects of her life, Ani is really lacking in what she thinks is her true purpose; being a detective and most importantly….tracking down this missing girl. No one cares about this missing girl and I completely understand her outrage. I’m also almost positive that this missing girl will either be tied into the sex parties or at least her dead body will be. This girl seems to be the driving force for Ani. A young girl caught up in the web of wealthy men who can do whatever they want because they are untouchable. This is starting to hit home for Ani. Seriously, we need a flashback episode. Stat. For all the characters…not just Ani.
So we get back to the bar. Where the chick who sings is singing the specific song that was used in the teaser trailer for the show but instead of it being Frank and Ray talking, it’s now Ani and Ray. Which is much better. I need more Ani and Ray scenes. They are the two most intriguing characters and in my opinion resemble a lot of what the show is about; two opposite people who join forces to stop the evil and yadda yadda yadda. The point is…..we need more Ani and Ray!
So she tells Ray that she found a State Senator at one of the photos of these high end “sex parties” along with Ben Caspere. Man, everyone is connected to everyone on this show. The thing I would like to focus more on in this scene was the apparent rage Bezziredes was feeling. On a smaller note, she switched to real cigarettes instead of her e-cig and she’s ranting about how everything is connected and everything is poisoned. This is a complete 180 from her conversation with Ray in the last episode…saying that it’s not all one big conspiracy and she’s just trying to solve one murder. She’s now furious and demands to know what’s going on.
So she finds a connection with the blue diamonds between Vera and Caspere. With Paul, she goes to investigate Vera’s last address which also popped up on Caspere’s GPS. Of course it did. And at the end of the whole tense scene was a shack with a chair, covered in blood. It could be inferred there was torture. It could also be inferred there was death. But I guess more on that in the next episode.
Though Paul may not be the most interesting character (though he’s certainly not the least) on the show, you can almost definitely assume his scenes are going to be the most drama-filled. Especially when dear old Mama is involved.
Hasn’t he got enough to deal with? He’s already dealing with this dumb b*tch who accused him of sexual assault. It had to take him all sorts of will power not to lunge across the table and bash her face in but I’m guessing that probably wouldn’t help his case. Though I must say….we didn’t actually see the exchange between Paul and Miss. Hollywood Hag (I’m sure she has a name but I’m really not going to be bothered to look it up) and wouldn’t it be a kick in the nuts if he actually did it?? We’re assuming because we like him that he didn’t but what if he did? To be fair, I don’t think he did it but I guess there’s always that possibility.
But the important thing to note about what has transpired in the last four months for Paul is that he’s a detective. Ha! The one person who doesn’t want to be a detective. He just wants to be on his bike to have the thrill of almost dying. Does Paul want to die? Or does he just want the feeling of almost dying? Again, I feel like some flashbacks could shed some light on this.
But honestly, that’s really not his biggest problem. His biggest problem is his mom. His creepy and possibly sexually abusive mom. She blames him for being born and now throwing away his life to be a dad. She always knows that he’s gay….although you really don’t have to be a True Detective to figure that out. He tells her that she was one who poisoned him. Is that a hint of sexual abuse? I leaning towards yes. She sexually abused him and now he can barely get it up for women because it reminds him of that horrifying experience? Sure it could be a stretch but not that much of a stretch if you know what I’m saying.
Can the Kid Please Be Rays?
Again, I’m ending my True Detective recap with Ray. Because simply…..Ray is the best character this show has and his terrifying backstory might finally come into play! ::Gasp:: How exciting. So after these four months, it seems like Ray has gone back to doing some good ole goon work for some people….and later on Frank but it all seems to be because he has one goal in mind; get his son back. An impossible goal? Maybe. But hey, at least he’s trying.
Okay so here we go. The deposition scene was intense and heartbreaking and until you saw the rest of the episode; actually pretty surprising. Ray has cleaned up in order to get visitation rights for his son. But bam! Out of nowhere, Gena asked that the paternity of Ray’s son be tested. Something that we all didn’t want to happen. It’s almost definitely not his kid….especially if the rapist had red hair. But wouldn’t it be wonderful if it really was his kid? Somehow I don’t think that’s how this story is really going to go. So what made Gena have a change in heart?
Well, apparently they caught the guy. The real guy that raped her. Um what? For all this time we were led to believe that Ray killed this man with his bare hands. Or did he just kill some other man with his bare hands that Frank wanted dead? Hmmm. From what I can tell, Frank got information on someone to convince Ray that said someone was in fact the rapist. The question is; did Frank truly believe that this person was the rapist or did he actually set Ray up?
Which brings us to the best scene of the show. Ray just got some terrible news (possibly that he might have beaten the wrong guy to almost or complete death) and now he’s mad. So he goes to visit Dr. Pitlor to question him about the girls he runs. Ray needs a win and he’s going to get this information out of Pitlor if it’s the last thing he does. He walks in with gloves on which is never a good sign and then he beats the living hell out of Pitlor. Maybe it’s because we know he’s involved or maybe it’s just because he’s a douchebag but it was so lovely to see Pitlor spit out a bunch of his teeth after Ray beats the living hell out of him. What is with this show and people losing their teeth?
But Ray isn’t going to stop there. He has one more person to visit; Frank. Frank who has his lovely wife Jordan sleeping in the next room. Frank doesn’t suspect Ray is going to put on his gloves and start wailing on him but man, he could really be in for a big surprise. It’s time to saddle up Frank because Ray really wants to talk and he has that crazy Ray look when he put that kid in a headlock for stealing his son’s shoes….and we all know how that ended.
Back on the Case
I guess the most important thing to note is that know we officially have a secret task force (Paul, Ani and Ray) investigating the corruption of Vinci and whatever happened with Ben Caspere and these sex parties. I believe the next episode will really start by hitting the ground running. There’s a lot of ground to cover in these next three episodes and while this episode really focused on the four main characters individually; it might be time to start connecting all the dots.