We open on a time jump, two months after the big shootout. The attorney general is using the momentum from investigating it to run for governor, which we see via a press conference on TV in Frank Semyon’s house. That house is awfully full of moving boxes. Looks like he hasn’t resolved his various financial problems.
The biggest development, though, is that Velcoro’s mustache is gone. RIP, ‘stache. Oh, and he’s now working at Semyon’s casino. Lieutenant Burris has come by his house to talk to him about Dixon, and who Dixon might have been involved with. And to kick him out of his house, which is intended for municipal employees only. Velcoro is also moonlighting as muscle to collect bribes for Semyon at that housing complex.
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Poor Bezzerides is stuck at a sexual harassment seminar with a bunch of awful men who clearly don’t understand how to talk to women in the workplace. She’s not taking it very seriously, and suggests that the reason she’s there is how much she wants to talk about dicks.
Woodrugh is meeting with the actress who accused of him of trading a ticket for sexual favors, and we learn that he’s stuck on insurance fraud now. So probably not on his beloved bike.
Semyon meets with two intense dudes at the bar, who say they’re Gonzalez, and want bribe money. We like the idea of introducing multiple people with one name. Then he checks in with drunk Mayor Chessani to find out who’s interested in buying the Poker Room. Chessani is annoyed that Semyon inquires about what his son is up to, and increases his kickback quantity because Semyon is running girls through the club.
Velcoro’s custody hearing is not going too well. He has to undergo not only drug testing but also a paternity test. He readily offers to do the drug test, since as it turns out, he’s now sober.
Semyon, once again, gets the episode’s stinker of a line, suggesting that the unresolved Caspere situation and his continued trouble figuring out who’s screwing him over is “blue balls of the heart.”
Time to check in with Mama Woodrugh! Unlike every other mother in the world, she’s horrified her son is getting married and becoming a father. She also stole the money he stashed in her house that he got from his shady Afghanistan dealings. He confronts her, and she says a bunch of horrible things about how he ruined her dancing career, and says she knows he’s gay.
Bezzerides is still investigating that missing persons case from the pilot, which kinda disappeared until now. Turns out the missing woman sent incriminating photos of a state senator. She’s now working in the evidence locker.
Velcoro is still working on the recordings he’s making for his son, which have turned pretty dark. “Pain is inexhaustible. It’s only people that get exhausted.” Sure, send that to a 12 year old. He’s checking out Semyon’s possibly untrustworthy henchman, who is meeting up with a bunch of prostitutes, as well as that shady psychiatrist and Chessani’s creepy son. Just once, a stakeout should end up with the person being watched getting a pizza and binge-watching Netflix all night. But no, it’s a bunch of incriminating people meeting up together.
Mrs. Semyon has been investigating the books from the club, and is unhappy that her husband is backsliding, and thinks they’re not going to be in a position to have kids now. She calls her husband a pimp and a dealer. He doesn’t like the various terms she’s throwing at him, and is pretending he’s above it all. He basically tells her to leave him if she wants to. She confesses that her three operations in her twenties has made her incapable of having children.
Stuck marrying a woman you don’t love? Just drink your way through dinner with her mother. It’s the Woodrugh way! His bride’s mother is happy he’s off that dangerous motorcycle, which is how we know we’re not supposed to like her.
Oh look, it’s that depressing singer again. Now Bezzerides is visiting the most tragic club in the world. She confesses to Velcoro that she’s having some drinking issues, and wants to talk about the pictures. She can’t accept that the bad guys are going to win, but Velcoro isn’t interested in diving back into the investigation.
There’s one remaining state official invested in figuring out what happened with Caspere, and talks the true detectives into taking the case back on as a special investigation. She convinces Velcoro to jump back in by promising him custody of his kid, and casually drops that they caught the man who actually raped his wife. Meaning, he killed the wrong guy for that crime and started working for Semyon for no reason.
Now it turns out everyone is looking for Caspere’s missing video camera hard drive. The detectives are after it, as is Semyon, who uses it leverage his way back into the rail deal.
Velcoro beats up Dr. Pitlor to find out how he was involved. He learns Caspere and Tony Chessani were hosting parties with girls and using them for political connections and blackmail material. And at last, we learn how the mysterious Catalyst company plays in. One of the guys they were blackmailing was a guy named McCandless, who runs Catalyst. So we might have an actual suspect now!
Bezzerides tries to use her sister to get an invite to one of the mysterious parties, and Woodrugh tracks down the blue diamonds included in the pictures Bezzerides found. He also figures out that Dixon was already searching for the diamonds.
Velcoro and his ex are having a really awkward meeting, where she assumes he invented that he got revenge on her rapist, and he’s unwilling to admit he was given the wrong name at first. He finally says that Frank set him up, but she doesn’t know who that is.
Woodrugh and Bezzerides investigate the house the missing girl had called from, but it’s all boarded up. She uses some heretofore unrevealed nature skills and follows carrion birds to discover a shed that has clearly been used to kill people.
And we close out with Velcoro showing up at Semyon’s house to confront him. So that will probably end in tears.