True Detective Season 2 Episode 3: Recap CONTAINS SPOILERS


Last weeks episode of True Detective ended with uncertainty and horror. There is plenty of doubt after the latest episode, but fortunately (or unfortunately for those that crave suspense) no horror in the form of a main character getting potentially murdered. Let’s jump right in:

Detective Ray Velcoro:

The episode begins focused on a Conway Twitty impersonator singing “The Rose.” It is unclear if what we are viewing is real or some sort of afterlife as we see Velcoro talking to a police officer who later is revealed to be his father. To the dismay of viewers Velcoro opens his jacket to reveal a shotgun wound from lethal shotgun rounds. The scene changes and we see Velcoro lying presumably dead on the ground. The camera stays pointed at him for an extended period of time, until he lets out a breath to signify to all the angry viewers that he is still alive. As predicted he was only shot with buck shot round to stun him. Why? It is unclear, maybe to send a message to stop the investigation. In reality if a cop gets shot the investigation will only continue stronger, but I can’t always comprehend the motives of characters in True Detective.

Velcoro meets up with Semyon to accuse him of setting up the events that transpired. Semyon basically tells Veloro to tread lightly and that he should be thankful the bullets were only buck shot. Look for increased tension between the two as the show continues possibly culminating in violence.

Velcoro continues his meetings with the mayor of Vinci, where is continues to reveal information about the case to the corrupt mayor. This week he is told to steer Bezzerides off case as she has recently upset the mayor (more to come about this). While, at his house with Bezzerides, Velcoro’s ex-wife comes to visit him. She tells him that the state police are looking into him, and that she will pay him $10,000 to leave the city and not to seek custody of their son. In addition to bribery, this is a threat as she lets him know that she will tell the police what she knows, which will be damaging to Velcoro. Velcoro refuses the money and tells her he will see her in court.

In the doctor’s office, the detective reveals that he feels he has nothing to live for. This could mean that there are no lengths to what he will be wiling to do, which should put fear in all other characters in the show.

Frank Semyon:

Semyon first appears in the episode while receiving a blowjob from his wife. Unfortunately for him he cannot get an erection and this has been going on for some time. It is possible that this could be linked to his fears over his loss of money or past events that haven’t even been explored yet. Semyon visits a man he helped get a construction position and basically extorts him to give him money. It is assumed he does this to all people he has helped. His work though is crumbling before his eyes as the Russians back out of his big infrastructure plan. Also one of his men is found dead, and paranoia starts to sink in.

Semyon gathers all the goons that he was worked with in the past to meet to discuss the death of his friend and the death of Ben Casper. Semyon is informed that he no longer has leverage or pull and is irrelevant. Semyon starts a fight with one of the biggest men there and beats the living shit out of the guy. Semyon is a very talented fighter, which was unexpected and shows that we really know nothing about his past. As the episode finishes we see that a strained relationship has formed between Semyon and his wife.

Ani Bezzerides:

Bezzerides continues to be the lead investigator in the Casper murder and is clearly making enemies along the way. She investigates the house of the mayor of Vinci with Woodrugh. They see an enormous house in Bel Air that clearly shows the corruptness of the Mayor who serves a very poor and under privileged town but chooses to live in another location. She meets the Mayor’s son and wife and royally upsets the mayor when he finds out about the visit.

In a meeting with the federal government she is told that there is suspicion that Velcoro is trying to throw the investigation. Her job is to expose him for being dirty. It is clear that she is conflicted, as she truly believes that Velcoro is a good cop. She is told that she should seduce Velcoro to get him to tell her secrets. I am guessing this doesn’t go over well with Bezzerides as this open act of sexism will surely upset her and make her distrust the feds. While investigating a stolen car with Velcoro her car is set on fire by a masked man, believed to be the man that shot Velcoro. They chase after him, which results in Bezzerides almost getting hit by a truck, only to be saved by Velcoro at the last second. Velcoro reveals to her that he knows he is being investigated. I see these two getting closer as the show continues and starting to only trust each other.

Paul Woodrugh:

Audiences had been yearning to learn more about Woodrugh, and they finally did in this episode. Many people had theories after the first two episodes that Woodrugh was gay. This would explain the need to use Viagra when having sex with his girlfriend. That theory was supported many times in this episode, as there are many encounters between Woodrugh and scantly clad (or not clad at all) women, and he shows no interest. He meets up with a close male friend of his who also served in the mysterious Black Mountain Security. The friend reveals two important details. One: Black Mountain did do very bad things and Two: he and Woodrugh had a former relationship. Woodrugh shows extreme anger over this and it is clear he is trying to suppress his feelings. It also reveals that he didn’t receive oral sex from the actress in the first episode who is accusing him of it.

Woodrugh investigates the death of Casper by talking to hookers but doesn’t get far until he meets a male hooker who takes him to a club Casper went to. It is there that he has his first encounter with Semyon as they bump shoulders and nothing more. This is probably foreshadowing to some lengthy encounter between the two.

This episode didn’t feature the same suspense as last week but I enjoyed it just as much. This season has a unique and difficult task with so many central characters to properly reveal details about each person. The directors are doing a good job of making sure each character is featured. Through the first three episodes the show is starting to take form with the goal of rivaling the magnificence of the first season. I think the writers and directors are on the right path.


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