Another season of “True Detective” is in the books and the comparisons between season’ one and two will be a popular topic this week. I know many people didn’t care for this season, but I am not in that group. It took a few episodes to get me interested in the storyline, even though some of the details were pretty confusing. Most of that stuff was cleared up last night as we saw the link between the diamond heist, the kids who saw their parents murdered for those jewels, and the corporate sex parties.
The scene between Ani and Ray was awesome as she told him the chilling story of her childhood abduction. Her story revealed the damage done by that event, how it changed her forever. Ray killing the wrong scumbag paled in comparison as he shared his life changing moment.
We’ve all see the forced goodbye between lovers before with one hurting the other to make them leave for their own protection. That trick didn’t work with Jordan Semyon. She was intent on standing by her man. Frank finally convinced her to go and painted a nice picture of how they would meet back up in two weeks. It sounded like they would never see each other again, except in that fantasy white suit and dress meetup.
Ani and Ray were in a tough spot. No money to just run away, so they chose to fight it out. Neither was ever fond of running from trouble anyway. Ray had an epiphany about the boy from the diamond heist. How that came to him, I have no idea, but it lead he and Ani to the guy’s house eventually.
Frank began his final campaign to payback some folks and get more cash so he could flee the dirty little city of Vinci. His first stop was the mayor’s mansion where he found the guy face down in his own pool, then ran into his strung out wife. Turns out the mayor’s son killed his old man, making it look like a suicide. Little Tony Chessani was no joke and meant to be on top in the end no matter who he had to knock off.
When Ani and Ray checked out the diamond heist boy’s (Len) house, much of the mystery was unraveled by the sister who was there. Len was stalking the folks who had anything to do with his parents’ murder years ago. It was Len who tortured Casper and killed the dirty dealing city manager. Len’s sister had turned to hooking after being in the foster system as a kid, then eventually got hooked up with the big time sex parties. That created the opportunity for Len to get revenge for their mom and dad. Pretty crazy coincidence, but it did explain the tie-ins with the diamonds, the kids, and the powers that be.
Loved the scene where Frank talked to Osip on the phone, telling him that he would get him some day, and that when “the lights do go out, that’s me.” Ani was tasked with watching the sister, Laura, while Ray went off to stop Len from killing the dirty cop. They already had some key evidence from Laura, but getting the hard drive (even though it was erased) was worth the risk?
Ray caught Len off guard before his meeting with the cop. Ray convinced the guy to hold off on his murder plan until he could get a recording of the transaction. It was working well with the kid going Assassin’s Creed waiting patiently as Chief Holloway told the sordid details to Ray before the exchange. The news of his sister being the love child of Casper was too much for Len so he commenced to wrecking the plan. As he tried to slash Holloway, Ray drops his gun and his recorder which eventually gets stepped on during the chaos. If not for bad luck…..
Ani saved Ray as she showed up just in time for the two to escape. Holloway and Len ended up dead and Ray left with no evidence.
When you can’t get justice the legal way, you gotta turn to a gangster. Frank was armed to the teeth so he and Ray plan an assault on Osip and company. Frank sends a message through Ani to Jordan if things go bad…..”That story we told, it’s still true.”
The scene at the cabin reminded me of the real life “rogue” LAPD cop from last year that was such a threat to the system. Frank and Ray made short work of the crew guarding the place and tossed in some tear gas for good measure. That left Osip still alive so he got to see Frank turn his lights out for him, leaving no doubt who was responsible for ending his life. The bags of cash there were Frank’s retirement and Ray’s ticket to a new life with Ani. If only it would have played out so smoothly afterward.
Ray should have listened to Frank’s advice about sending his son to Yale someday. Instead he makes the idiotic move to see his son one last time through the playground fence. This was an obviously dumb thing to do but did show how much Ray really loved his boy….who turned out to be his biological son after all. Ray also would not take a chance on exposing Ani once he found the tracking device on his ride. Once again, a good man.
How I wanted Frank to win this game. He made all the right moves when he should have been checkmated once Casper was whacked. He trades his duffel bag full of cash for some diamonds from the bearded jeweler. Easier to transport overseas obviously. His clean getaway was near until the freaking Mexicans rolled up on him and snatched him up.
Frank ended up in the desert, Breaking Bad style. Gonzales and the Cisco Kid came back to bite him. Frank was able to buy his freedom with a million in cash in his suitcase. Things got wrecked when one of the thugs decided he wanted Frank’s suit. He couldn’t give it up since his diamonds were in it so he had no choice but fight the guy. That got him shanked in the side by another thug, effectively ending any hope for Frank to go out on top.
With a kill squad chasing Ray, Frank began his death march out of the desert. As he lost more and more blood he faded back to his childhood. A mean father telling him how he was nothing, black kids bullying him, and more bad memories as his life slipped away. He was near that dark place he had told his wife about early in this season as he stared at the water stain on the ceiling. Frank had beaten the evil corporate guys who screwed him, but fell victim to low level players that he was forced to deal with once he was screwed by Casper and crew.
I wanted Frank to live, but his death scene was better than any getaway. In his mind he met up with his wife just as they had spoken about.
Ray did all he could do against the kill squad, but eventually realized it was futile. After capping two of the guys, he took a look up at the glorious forest then made a last stand that ended with him riddled with bullets. His final message to his son failed to upload, as his bad luck continued. Ray traded one last look at his boy for a future with Ani and stacks of cash. Bad choice, good guy.
We flashed forward to see little Toni running things in Vinci and Ani giving her story along with some evidence to a Times reporter. We don’t know how that story will affect things in Vinci, but if real life is an indicator, corruption exposed rarely leads to big changes. There’s always another little Toni laying in wait.
Turns out Ani has a baby and is with Jordan, along with Frank’s trusted guy guarding them. Out of the cast of heroes, the women made it out alive to Venezuela. Frank’s life’s work wasn’t for nothing. He helped this bodyguard out once, and was repaid with loyalty that kept his wife alive.
I enjoyed this season as much as last year’s. Some of the storylines were pretty blurry for most of the season, but the acting was just as good as season one and I know that’s saying a lot. The template is going to be similar each year for True Detective. An awful murder, followed by the investigation by characters that we get to investigate along the way. We had two more interesting cops this year, with a good guy gangster thrown into the mix. I can’t wait for next year’s version and news on the actors who will be trying to keep stride with the first two generations of True Detective players.