'True Detective' recap: When leads go bad, they go really bad
Is this the end of the detectives' investigation?
We open with Bezzerides and Velcoro surveying the wreckage that was once his car, but jump immediately to Semyon, whose avocado trees are looking sickly. That guy has really diversified his business. Oh wait, they’re just on his property. His wife (whose name is Jordan, according to imdb, but has anyone ever said it out loud?) suggests looking into adoption, but Semyon isn’t interested in the idea, and Jordan implies that she might have had an abortion that went poorly and had some impact on her fertility.
Woodrugh seems to be a little hungover from his night on the town. His army buddy is hanging out on the couch in his underwear, and it seems like Woodrugh drunkenly hooked up with him, despite not having much memory of it. Then he takes a tearful cab ride to pick up his motorcycle, which has been stolen. And then he finds a bunch of reporters asking him about war crime allegations for the security firm he worked for. He’s having a rough morning.
Velcoro tries to warn Bezzerides about pissing off the mayor of Vinci, but she’s not afraid. He tells her that the state investigation is just a shakedown, and that once the money changes hands, she and Woodrugh are going to take the fall. She thinks her clean record will save her, but Velcoro’s not convinced.
Semyon is still on his money collection tour, this time with a bakery owner. He wants to run drugs through the club he just took over. The bakery owners agree to go back into business with him, so at least he’s got a new source of income finally.
Woodrugh has to call Velcoro to come pick him up because of the stolen bike. Velcoro gives him one look and offers him something to drink for his hangover, and then reassures him that he doesn’t think he’s a war criminal. Woodrugh immediately gets emotional about how lost he is without the military, and Velcoro has a shockingly kind response to him, which Woodrugh fails to thank him for.
Semyon’s next stop is a guy running a housing complex. The guy says he’s already paying Chosani, which Semyon doesn’t accept. So now he’s shaking down the same guy as the mayor, which seems…risky.
Velcoro and Bezzerides stake out the mayor’s house, and pursue his daughter. We learn that Chosani’s first wife, and the kids’ mother, had schizophrenia, and ultimately killed herself. There’s an implication that Chosani committed her somewhere nasty, and the daughter says he’s a bad person.
Bezzerides goes to visit her sister and chat about her own mother, who carved driftwood statues. Her sister affirms that she’s off drugs and alcohol and using the web cam money to save up for Cal Arts.
Woodrugh’s next step is to try and win his girlfriend back, who uses their meetup to announce she’s pregnant. She tells him she doesn’t believe in abortion. He tells her he’s glad she’s keeping the baby and that they should get married. This is not going to go over well with the guy he hooked up with the night before.
Bezzerides goes back to visit her dad and talk about Caspere’s psychiatrist, who was also the doctor who treated Chosani’s wife. Turns out Chosani was also involved with her dad’s group. Her dad tells Velcoro he has the largest aura he’s ever seen, and that it’s green and black and he’s lived hundreds of lives. Bezzerides suggests he’s a mood ring. She made a joke! We didn't think she had it in her.
The two of them find the pink flagged grassfrom the premiere. They learn that the land is covered in poisonous runoff from the mines, and Caspere used to visit the area. We hope this means the show is going the “Erin Brockovich” route now.
Semyon and Jordan meet up with Roy from “The Office,” who is her ex, and not too interested in helping them out with money. She tries to tell Semyon to back off of the criminal enterprises, but he’s not too receptive.
Bezzerides checks in with her boss, who is less interested in her saying nice things about Velcoro than he is in the fact that her ex boyfriend filed a formal complaint about her. And since she outranks the guy, she’s now in trouble for coercion. She’s on departmental leave because of it, and her boss knows about her gambling debts. So now all she’s got is the Caspere investigation.
Dixon and Woodrugh found a few people to investigate by looking for Caspere’s belongings at a pawn shop. Looks like Tasha the prostitute is back in the mix, as well as the pimp she works for.
Semyon tries to get Velcoro to sign on full time with his outfit, but Velcoro isn’t too excited by the prospect. He gives his kid his dad’s old badge, and has a bit of a farewell with him. Foreshadowing?
Then, all the detectives swarm a building where Tasha’s pimp is supposed to be, only to find themselves under heavy fire from within the building. They exchange fire for a minute, and then the entire top floor of the building goes up in flames. In the ensuing fight, Dixon gets killed. An SUV flees the scene, and things go from bad to worse when the guys crash into a bus and then start firing at a group of nearbyprotesters. More gunfighting occurs, including a terrifying moment when it seems like one of the guys is going to find an ammo-less Bezzerides before Woodrugh shoots him. The pimp tries to get away by taking a hostage, then shoots the hostage, allowing Velcoro and Woodrugh to finally shoot him, ending the fight.
But a ton of people ended up dead, between the cops, the bad guys and the bystanders. It’s pretty horrifying, and what does it mean for our three detectives that their raid went so haywire? Was this all just a huge frame up to get them off the case?