At last, it’s time to wrap up the mystery of who killed Ben Caspere, and whether or not any of our detectives will survive. We’re already down one, with the loss of Paul Woodrugh last episode.
But for now, we get pillow talk between Bezzerides and Velcoro. She’s telling him about her childhood abduction. She knows she was gone four days, but nothing that occurred during them, except feeling pride that her abductor thought she was pretty. In return, Velcoro tells her about killing the man he thought had raped his wife, including the part about how it turned out to be the wrong guy. They both tell each other they’re not really bad people, but probably this is only true of one of them, and it’s the one who didn’t beat up a kid’s dad in front of him.
In the show’s other romance, Semyon tries to send his wife away. She resists, and he says some obnoxious things to try to scare her off, but she doesn’t buy it. She wants him to run away with her, but he insists he can end the possibility of pursuit. He promises to meet her in two weeks. So he’s clearly about to die, right? He sends Nails off with his wife, and Nails expresses his strong loyalty, which probably means he’s also about to die.
Woodrugh’s body has been found, and as it’s being packaged, Ray tries calling his phone. Burris answers, and tries to bluff with Velcoro about what’s going on, but Ray throws out that he already knows about the ’92 jewelry store robbery. He suggests they meet, and Velcoro gets off the phone with him to tell Bezzerides he’s about to be framed for Woodrugh’s murder. Their only remaining option is to find the two kids from the robbery, who, at this point, probably murdered Caspere.
Semyon heads to the Chessani estate, where he finds signs of a struggle and the mayor dead in the pool. Goodbye, drunk Mayor Chessani. The only person inside is Mrs. Chessani, who has no idea where either man is. She heard some yelling about a Russian man and some parties. She can’t really offer Semyon any assistance on finding Tony, at this point, but she does suggest his sister Betty is sick like their mother was.
Bezzerides and Velcoro go to a house that presumably belongs to either the boy or the girl from the jewelry robbery, and see a crow mask inside. There’s also a lot of heavy duty surveillance material and weapons. And pictures of the remaining crooked cops involved in the robbery. They find Erica locked up to the fireplace, and calling for Leonid, her brother. She explains that the two kids got split up after the murders, with her ending as a prostitute and Leonid living in some rough group homes. It turns out she was the one who discovered Caspere and did a lot of the research to solve her parents’ murder, but Leonid was the one who killed Caspere.
The mythical hard drive no longer exists, since it erased itself the moment they had the wrong password. But Leonid is still using it as a negotiating tactic to meet up with Holloway and kill him.
Semyon makes a quick call to Osip to threaten him and imply that he’s left town, and then he and Velcoro connect. Maybe he’s ready to join the True Detective squad!
Velcoro tries to make Bezzerides stay behind with Erica while he goes and saves the day, but Bezzerides is smart enough to realize Erica’s testimony isn’t enough to help them, and she sends Erica off with a bus ticket to escape.
Semyon goes to a sanctuary room at the sad bar, where the scarfaced woman promises no one has been looking for him. He tells her he’s giving her the bar, and starts to arm up for what’s coming. He also, generously, arranges for her to help Velcoro and Bezzerides escape.
Next up is Velcoro, who’s outfitted himself with a ridiculous cowboy hat for his showdown. He spots Leonid and strolls over to him for a quick chat. Leonid is uninterested in calling off his big murderous plot, and sure enough, Holloway shows up. Burris is also there, keeping an eye on things. But when Holloway gets up to the meeting place (in the weird, modernist train station that is the only new looking filming location in the entire show), he’s met by Velcoro.
He negotiates getting his name cleared by Holloway. He does not, however, clear Bezzerides’ name, and Holloway says his name is clear as long as the murders are pinned on Bezzerides. Oh, and Ben Caspere was secretly Erica’s mother, so she had sex with her own father, unknowingly. This reveal causes Leonid to freak out and attack Holloway from his hiding place on the other side of the bench they’re sitting on. In the ensuing chaos, Leonid and Holloway are killed, Velcoro’s audio recorder is destroyed, and Bezzerides shoots Burris in the arm to keep him from killing Velcoro.
Everyone meets up back at sad bar, where Semyon and Bezzerides have their first conversation, leading to the single best line of the season. “You’re a lady cop?” says Semyon. “What gave me away, the tits?” responds Bezzerides. But actually he meant some nonsense about how she’s dignified. Sure, try and cover up that you asked a stupid question, Semyon. He tells Bezzerides how to get to Venezuela and find Jordan, because he assumes she will survive what’s coming and he won’t.
Semyon tries to talk Velcoro into helping him with his rampage, while scar-faced waitress explains the escape plan to Bezzerides. Foolishly, they do not ask Bezzerides to help them, despite the fact that she is impressively lethal, because this is men’s work, for no particular reason.
She’s busy searching for Pitlor, but he’s already dead, and half his files are missing, so that loose end is tied up. Sorry, Rick Springfield.
Semyon and Velcoro take out a large percentage of the men in the mountain cabin where the million dollar deal is going downthrough a combination of smoke canisters and machine gunning anyone who tries to escape. Inside, they kill Osip and thehead of Catalyst, and find the huge stash of money.
So now just Burris and Tony are left, right? Bezzerides and Velcoro make plans to meet up at the boat that’s supposed to help them escape, while Semyon exchanges his money for diamonds and pays off the guys who created an identity for him.
Rather than go straight to the boat, Velcoro decides to visit his son. He watches him from a distance at first, but then goes over to say hello, leaving behind millions of dollars in what seems to be an unlocked vehicle. Immediately, a large black SUV rolls up. His son is playing a game with friends and has his grandfather’s sheriff’s badge on the table. They throw each other a brief, manly salute, and Velcoro departs.
He finds a tracking device attached to the bottom of his car, and after a brief, failed attempt to detach it, departs with some men in pursuit.
Semyon has troubles of his own, meanwhile, as he gets abducted on his way out.
Velcoro calls Bezzerides and tells her to just get on the boat, then wants to talk to Felicia, which is apparently the name of the woman who owns the bar. He immediately tells her he’s not going to make it, and then tells her to make sure Bezzerides gets out.
Semyon’s been taken by the Mexican gangsters, while Velcoro leaves his son one more voice memo.
Bezzerides has dyed her hair in preparation for her escape, meaning Rachel McAdams is now wearing a heinous wig.
Velcoro is taking his pursuers on a scenic tour of California and trying to upload his final message to his son. He then abandons his car and the money and runs off into the woods.
Semyon gets stabbed by the Mexicans next to an open grave and abandoned in the desert, while poor Velcoro is being chased by Burris and the scary black ops guys Woodrugh ran into. He manages to take a few down while Burris yells things about making a deal. Semyon gets to enjoy the company of his abusive father and a gang from his childhood while he staggers through the desert, presumably as a very depressing motivational tactic.
Velcoro takes one last look up into the trees, and then gets shot up by Burris and his men. To add insult to injury, the message to his son failed to upload because the woods are not a good place to try and connect to the internet.
Semyon’s last visitor in the desert is his wife, who kindly tells him that he’s actually dead.
After those deaths, we get a brief newscast informing us that Velcoro’s demise has been easily wrapped up as the death of a wanted man, but also, it turns out his son was his all along, and not the rapist’s.
Tony Chessani gets sworn in as mayor of Vinci, and Bezzerides tells the whole sorry story to a reporter in Venezuela, then disappears. She and Jordan are raising Ray’s kid together with Nails, of course. Because Ray Velcoro isn’t just not sterile: He’s so fertile that one night with him is enough to get pregnant.
So possibly Burris and Chessani are in for a world of trouble once that article gets published, but the real question is, how did Woodrugh’s girlfriend and mother know it was OK to leave that hotel room?
What did you think of the Season 2 finale of “True Detective”?