By way of confirmation that Velcoro didn’t die, we see him back in that crappy bar, talking to his dad, and watching a spangly Vegasesque performer on the stage. His dad seems to be warning him that some bad guys are after him. He looks down to discover that he’s bleeding from a wound in his chest, then jerks awake back in Caspere’s hideaway house. The music is coming from a radio. Oh, and he pissed himself.
Bezzerides is pissed he investigated something without her, and is indifferent to his “I got shot.” He points out that the rubber buckshot used is a weapon cops use. She goes inside to have a bit of a pissing match over the crime scene with Velcoro’s boss, who backs off.
Semyon has troubles of his own, meanwhile – namely, he’s at a fertility clinic having trouble producing for his wife. He’s freaked out about what they’re doing, and confesses that he’s already gotten tested to prove that he’s not the problem. This…does not go over well with his wife.
The ominous Catalyst Group keeps coming up. The hideaway house was in their name. Bezzerides puts Woodrugh in charge of talking to prostitutes, so he can put those good looks to use. He thinks she’s going to give him a hard time about his actress problem, but she’s just concerned it’ll interfere with his work. He takes the opportunity to make fun of her e cigs as well, because everyone makes fun of her e cigs.
Semyon and Velcoro meet up, and Velcoro is none too pleased. He demands to know who else knew about the house. Semyon is none too apologetic about what happened to Velcoro, but coughs up the info about the land deal with Caspere. And Velcoro isn’t drinking! Now you know he’s serious. Whoever shot Velcoro ran off with the memory card from the camera in Caspere’s house.
Woodrugh and Bezzerides check out Mayor Chessani’s house, which is in Bel-Air, rather than Vinci. His boozy young wife doesn’t have much to say, and the house looks like a giant frat party occurred, but the missus swears this is just what the house looks like. She also doesn’t know anything about Caspere calling the house all the time. Woodrugh hangs out with her while Bezzerides checks out the upstairs. The mayor’s son turns out to be less friendly than the missus and throws them out of the house.
Velcoro takes some time for a fun visit to a doctor, who tells him he might want to refrain from having every single bad habit, and asks him, fairly seriously, if he even wants to live. He seems uncertain. If he shaves the mustache, we’ll know he’s serious.
Semyon is still going after money, and commits a bit of a shakedown on a factory owner to get some extra cash. The guy is understandably confused about why he owes more money, but caves.
Bezzerides and Woodrugh find Caspere’s safe deposit box, where they find several articles of incorporation for new companies and some diamonds. Bezzerides’ bosses think Velcoro staged his injury, but she clearly thinks that’s a pretty stupid conclusion. They’re indifferent to her process on the case, and are more interested in what’s up with Velcoro. They basically tell her to hit on him until he gives up information on the corruption. She’s pretty disgusted.
He’s getting grilled by his bosses about Bezzerides and Woodrugh visiting the mayor’s house. They want the crime solved quickly to get rid of her, and Velcoro tries to get himself taken off the case. This is not well-received.
Then Bezzerides takes part in the world’s most awkward workplace breakup with the guy from the premiere. She’s just this side of hostile, and the guy does not take it well.
Velcoro visits his dad, who seems to be in slightly worse shape than in his vision from the beginning of the episode. He’s supplying him with pot. His dad is uninterested in hearing about Velcoro’s foreshadowing dream. His dad is a former cop who just tossed his badge in a trash. He tries to get a little information about his bosses out of his dad, who has a lot of opinions about how cops are hamstrung by rules now.
Semyon is getting even more bad news. His business partners are backing out because of what happened with the Caspere deal. Semyon wonders if his business partner might have taken out Caspere.
Woodrugh meets up with a drinking buddy, who seems to be encouraging him to go to some kind of group therapy, but Woodrugh isn’t receptive. His friend seems to want to talk about the desert, and alludes to the two having had a closer relationship back then. Woodrugh does not respond well, shockingly.
The team finds a Cadillac that might be connected to the Caspere murder, and discover it came from a film set. Velcoro and Bezzerides go to the set to investigate the conection, and ask around about Caspere, who seems to have been interested in getting into Hollywood. They eventually talk to the director, a dude with a man bun that various wild internet speculation points to as a spoof of former “True Detective” director Cary Joji Fukunaga. Who didn’t come back for this season, so take from that what you will.
Caspere’s assistant pops up on set with some paperwork as well, and there are intimations of some kind of shady party with prostitutes and businessmen that Caspere was a part of.
Oh, and someone murders one of Semyon’s men. He’s in a bit of a mood about the whole thing. That guy can’t catch a break.
Woodrugh works the prostitute beat, using his powers of handsomeness. Is it too early to start shipping him with his army buddy? That guy seemed nice. A male prostitute shows up and says he’s seen Caspere around, particularly at a specific club, and seems to be flirting with Woodrugh a little. We appreciate him calling out Woodrugh for his “angsty cop drama.”
Bezzerides is hanging out at Velcoro’s house for mysterious reasons, and then his ex shows up. Instead of repeating custody drama, she tells him she’s been questioned by state police about him getting bribes. She also uses the moment to offer him $10k to not contest custody and get out of town. He doesn’t bite, naturally. Bezzerides pretends she didn’t just eavesdrop on that whole thing.
Woodrugh follows his hooker lead to the club, where he sees Semyon, and we’re not sure if they’re supposed to know each other at this point or not. Woodrugh seems to be having a slow freakout about being in a bar with gay guys. The leads in the club also mention Tasha, who got namedropped earlier as a date of Caspere’s.
Semyon is there to try and figure out which club manager knew what happened with Caspere. There’s some mass rebellion occurring, because no one thinks Semyon has any power anymore. Semyon takes a brief holiday back to his less legal days and beats up the club manager, then rips out the guy’s grill with a pair of pliers.
While Bezzerides and Velcoro investigate a lead, someone sets Velcoro’s car on fire. They chase the guy who did it, but with his broken ribs, Velcoro’s pursuit abilities are a bit hampered. They chase the culprit through a camp of homeless people, and almost get run over by a truck for their troubles. Velcoro tries to use Bezzerides’ gratitude at his heroics to learn what evidence the state has on him, but she doesn’t know.
And we wrap things up with Semyon not wanting to tell his wife about his violent side coming back.
Do all the masks remind anyone else of “Eyes Wide Shut”?