‘True Detective’: Sex, Sabotage, and Semyon
The penultimate episode of Season 2 saw plenty of people kick the bucket—including a major character. (Warning: Spoilers)
Now that we’ve all recovered from taking in the haziest, least satisfying orgy ever, our intrepid trio of detectives is back on the job—and things are looking grimmer than ever.
Antigone Bezzerides (Rachel McAdams), who’s got knife skills like Seagal and an ombre like Leto, is sweating out her spray of MDA in the tackiest motel room imaginable when, despite feeling like death incarnate, she tries to, in the words of the immortal Peaches, fuck the pain away by climbing all over Ray Velcoro (Colin Farrell).
But Detective Velcoro has turned over a new leaf since threatening to butt-fuck a small child’s father on his family’s front lawn with his mom’s headless corpse. He turns Ani down, saying, “You’re too far out of my league, anyway”—and this bout of gentlemanliness is all the funnier considering it’s coming from the Irish hellraiser who once accosted a then-69-year-old Dame Eileen Atkins in her hotel room begging for sex.
Prior to the awkward propositioning, Bezzerides lets slip that, despite her genetic affinity for knives and that poor dummy in her living room, she’s never cut a fool before. “I’ve been waiting my whole life for that,” she says, harking back to the time she was abducted from a hippie commune by a creepy, Manson-like fellow.
Meanwhile, let me present you with my favorite Ridiculous Vince Vaughn Line of the Week: “In the midst of being gangbanged by forces unseen, I figure I’d drill a new orifice, go on and fuck myself for a change,” says his Frank Semyon, deadly serious as always.
If you recall, in addition to that underwhelming orgy, a sizeable portion of Episode 6 was spent at Frank’s kitchen table, with the two-bit gangster and his “Raymond” making eyes at each other as their guns (dicks) were drawn and pointed at each other underneath. The gay subtext wasn’t very subtle, and this episode, we see Frank’s insanely devoted wife, Jordan (Kelly Reilly), throw shade at their crush, shooting daggers at Ray accompanied by the line, “Ray, dashing as ever. Keep it holstered.”
If this was Looking, Frank and Ray would run off to Ojai, adopt a baby, and live happily ever after—thus settling their baby-making problems once and for all. But alas, this is True Detective, so the two sexually repressed (yet clearly in love) fellas are forced to stare at each other intently while sipping stiff glasses of whiskey. Alas.
Now is also probably a good time to note how thankless Kelly Reilly’s role is on this show. Her sole purpose, it seems, is to vamp about in a low-cut black dress and whine about having babies or getting out of the crime racket. She may be the most thinly drawn female character on television, and that’s really saying something. Anyone who’s seen her in L’Auberge Espagnole or Flight knows she deserves far better.
After being brutally rebuffed by a dude with a thing for bolo ties, Bezzerides grills Vera—aka the missing sister, aka the only Mexican woman in the all-Eastern European orgy—about all things Casper. Apparently, she’d met both Casper and his No. 1 Hungarian trick, “Tasha,” at the Panticapaeum Institute, and that Tony Chessani and his crew probably tortured and murdered blackmailing Tasha in that blood-splattered cabin.
Vera also says she’s actually ’bout that life and loves being dosed with mind-altering drugs and sexed by an endless series of gross older men, leading to the following glorious exchange:
Antigone: “Maybe, and here’s just a thought, maybe you were put on earth for more than fucking.”Vera: “Everything is fucking.”
“Everything is Fucking: The Collected Poems of Nic Pizzolatto,” available on select Kindle devices Valentine’s Day 2016.
Hunky Paul Woodrugh (Taylor Kitsch), who seems to be the only one actually working on the case, discovers that shady cops Kevin Burris and Teague Dixon (RIP) were ones in charge of the missing diamonds case from the ’92 L.A. riots that left two shopkeepers dead and two children orphaned. There’s also an APB out on Bezzerides for killing that orgy security guard, which should strike her as stranger than it does since she was acting in self-defense. And Casper’s secretary is not only one of his sex party gals, but may also be one of the orphans from the ’92 diamond heist. But Woodrugh’s got bigger fish to fry (more on that later).
After flirting with Raymond, Frank confronts his pasty No. 2, Blake, who’s been running those sex parties, blackmailing officials, and hosting California Central Rail Corridor deals behind his boss’s back. And since everything on True Detective’s second season screams MELODRAMA, we see Frank break a glass over Blake’s head in outrageous, Zack Snyder-y slow-mo. Then shoot him in the stomach. Then let the body lay there on his ruined office carpet for what seems like forever. Then show the body to his poor wife to prove how dire their situation is. All of this is plausible behavior.
Before getting popped, Blake reveals that Osip Agranov, the shady Russian from MacGruber, paid $12 million for Casper’s share in the Rail Corridor deal, and has further phased out Frank by purchasing all the liens on his clubs. There will be a major cash deal going down soon for the $12 million—since businessmen in Vinci prefer to exchange briefcases full of money at shady locations instead of transferring funds electronically—and Frank is planning on hijacking the deal, stealing the dough, and escaping to Venezuela with his way-too-good-for-him wife. So, he visits his bakery-owning gangster-pals and strikes a deal to acquire two fast cars and an insane arsenal (shotguns, machine guns, gas masks, flash grenades, tear gas, etc.) that we’ll presumably see him use to blow up that Agranov deal in next week’s 90-minute finale.
For now, we’ll have to settle with seeing Frank shoot one of Agranov’s Russian security guards in the head—Russian Security Guard is clearly the worst job one can have on this show—and setting all his clubs and casinos on fire. U-S-A! U-S-A!
Oh, Bezzerides and Velcoro also have sex. And if you thought that orgy was disappointing, well, the show also manages to make a scene featuring two of Hollywood’s hottest actors knockin’ boots look straight ABC Family. Bezzerides was supposed to be the wild one—the knife-loving badass who gets off on BDSM porn and whose bedroom action was too hot for her cop underling. She should be riding a bound-and-gagged Velcoro while holding a knife to his neck, but no, apparently Velcoro’s sad sack charm has made her go soft, and the two shower each other with kisses and make sweet, boring love. Ugh.
The night’s biggest twist, however, belonged to Taylor Kitsch’s Woodrugh. Throughout the episode, the hottest biker cop in the Greater Los Angeles Area is blackmailed with text messages of him sexing his war buddy/lover. Determined to stay deep in the closet, he walks into a transparent trap: The Catalyst Group enlisted the services of war buddy to seduce and blackmail Woodrugh to steer him away from the Casper investigation.
So, Woodrugh is forced down into an underground railroad and uses his military skills to kill all five of his Catalyst-employed blackmailers. But as soon as he emerges from the darkness, he’s shot in the back and killed by Burris—the shadowy cop who we’ve always known was a villain because he’s portrayed by James Frain, who exclusively plays villains.
There is no possible way this show can tie up all its loose ends during next week’s 90-minute season finale, and it remains to be seen exactly how our two remaining true detectives will clear their names now that their contact at the attorney general’s office has been capped, though at least we have a machine gun and tear gas-toting Vince Vaughn to look forward to.
But alas, no more resting Kitsch face. RIP.