We return to our detectives with Velcoro confronting Semyon about being set up. They sit down for coffee and point their guns at each other under the table. Semyon seems not to have purposely set Velcoro up and says that Velcoro always had it in him to kill a man, regardless of whether or not Semyon set him on a dark path. He tells Velcoro he’s willing to let Velcoro out their arrangement, and convinces him not to start a fight, and in return Velcoro brings Semyon in on Blake’s activities with Chessani’s son.
Velcoro confronts his wife’s actual rapist in prison, who says he doesn’t remember raping his wife. He threatens the guy, who’s understandably slightly confused about who Velcoro is.
Woodrugh is working on tracking down the diamonds that Caspere had in a safe deposit box, and learns that they were stolen from a jewelry store during race riots in the early 90s. The cop who worked the case says it wasn’t looters who robbed the store, because the store owners were killed, execution-style. Their kids ended up in the foster system. What are the chances we’re going to meet those kids eventually?
Bezzerides practices her knife work while having a chat with her sister, who’s getting her into one of the mysterious prostitute parties. The sister warns her, strongly, that she won’t be able to bring anything into the party with her, and that the men she’ll see will be expecting sex. Her sister has made her a very nice painting, which she rudely dismisses. She’s not the best sister, is she.
Velcoro is having a supervised visit with his son, who looks very nervous about their visit, whether it’s because of the monitor, or because Velcoro is making him anxious. His kid wants to watch Friends, and to keep the monitor happy, Velcoro agrees.
Semyon is wrapped up in meeting with the family of “Stan,” a character I know died mysteriously, but who even knows anymore who Stan was? Did Stan run a factory? Is he that guy? Just going to assume he worked for Catalyst at this point. For the moment, his death is serving as a way to pile up the evidence against Blake, Semyon’s none-too-loyal right hand man, who seems to have interrogated good old Stan’s widow. Based on these scenes, Stan seems like he was a much nicer person than anyone else on this show.
Semyon gives the guy’s poor kid a bad pep talk about how sometimes suffering makes you stronger. Remember how he wants to be a dad? For some reason this pep talk is effective, and the kid wants a hug. Maybe he can give Velcoro some parenting tips. His big move is to tell his kid that no matter what he hears, Ray’s his father, and he’ll always love him. His kid is like, why is my dad the weirdest dude ever.
The interaction is so bad that Velcoro falls powerfully off the wagon and ingests every bad substance he can get his hands on. After ingesting an enormous quantity of cocaine, he calls his ex. He’s completely destroyed everything in his apartment, including the model airplanes he made with his son. He tells her that he’s willing to back off on custody as long as she’s willing to drop the paternity test. He doesn’t want the kid to go through learning about it. She wants to know for her own benefit, but promises not to tell the kid the results.
Bezzerides heads off to the prostitute party, with only a transponder hidden in her shoe as a safety measure. What a strange turn of events on “True Detective,” that the female lead’s big investigative tactic is going undercover as a prostitute.
Semyon is tracing down leads connected to the big shootout. Shockingly, the dude he tortures for information leads him to a vacant house, where he’s confronted by the men he met last episode who said they wanted to run drugs through one of his businesses. He works out a deal with them to find the girlfriend of Lito, the guy gunned down in the shootout. She tells him she pawned the items (the watch from Ben Caspere) after a cop asked her to, but when Semyon tries to get her to identify the cop, she gets killed. His new partners have taken her out because she’s “working for cops.”
Once inside the party, Bezzerides gets mouth spray ecstasy and a look at a lot of older dudes in suits leering at her. Let the record show that it is hard to perform an investigation while high on ecstasy. Various recognizable men are at the party, but unless you are Nic Pizzolatto, you probably aren’t sure who all of them are. Definitely the guy from Catalyst, and Semyon’s Russian business partner, and maybe the villainous Blake? A too-friendly older guy escorts Bezzerides off, and she takes a steak knife as they go. So she’s totally going to murder a guy while tripping, right? She flashes back to what was apparently a childhood abuse situation, then tries frantically to come down from the drugs by forcing herself to vomit.
Woodrugh breaks into the building and steals some papers while Velcoro takes out a guard and then goes to get the car.
Bezzerides finds missing Vera (remember, from the premiere), and the two of them escape outside after Bezzerides attacks two guys with her steak knife. Somehow, Velcoro finds them. They make their big getaway as Woodrugh looks at his stolen contracts and Bezzerides has a long freakout about killing two dudes while stoned out of her mind. But the contracts have names all over them! Just as a suggestion, perhaps they could list all these names alongside pictures of the people and a brief summary of how they’re connected to the main plot. One of these detectives has to know how PowerPoint works, right?