In the latest True Detective recap, Ray’s fate is revealed, Frank gets deeper into his old life and Paul’s big secret is revealed….
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
So Ray’s not dead….
Let’s just get that out of the way before talking about anything else with the latest episode of ‘True Detective’ titled ‘Maybe Tomorrow’ because last week it certainly looked like Ray Velcoro took two shotgun blasts to the chest and our four lead character show had been whittled down to three.
There was little suspense to draw things out in the latest episode after Ray’s fever dream involving a drink with his father and a Conway Twitty impersonator singing ‘The Rose’.
Ray wasn’t dead but merely snake bit after somebody wearing a crow mask followed him into the crime scene where Ben Caspere was murdered and proceeded to unload two rounds filled with rubber bullets into his chest and stomach.
It was a nice cliffhanger to end the show last week but almost anticlimactic in a sense to see that Ray Velcoro was still kicking and may give some clues as to the person behind these crime. See Ray noted that the non-lethal bullets the shooter used are similar to what cops might use in a riot situation. The shooter also took the camera and hard drive attached to it that Ray found hidden behind a mirrored door in Caspere’s secret apartment.
The perpetrator either didn’t murder Ray so he wouldn’t have an entire police force coming after him/her because a cop killer demands an awful lot of attention or this person had no intention of inflicting lethal damage and only wanted to subdue him while the real valuable information was stolen.
It’s clear that the murder of Ben Caspere goes much deeper than a pervert who liked land deals finally getting snuffed out for picking the wrong hooker to take home with him. Unfortunately, Caspere’s killers aren’t exactly sweating under that bird mask because the cops on this case are more concerned with dumping boyfriends, fighting for custody of their children and revisiting ‘don’t ask, don’t tell, love trysts that happened during military service rather than spend too much time on the hunt for the person responsible.
So in other words we’re no closer to an answer but we certainly got a few more questions with this week’s episode.
With that, let’s recap this week’s ‘True Detective’ titled ‘Maybe Tomorrow’:
So Ray is still kicking although Ani isn’t exactly championing his efforts as a solo investigator considering she’s supposed to be the lead detective on this case. Instead of notifying her, Ray decided to do some cowboy shit and it led to him getting shot and the bad guy getting away with evidence.
She believes Ray was just stupid but in reality he was reacting to orders given to him from Frank Semyon, who is as interested in who killed Ben Caspere as any cop working the case.
Ani: “I’m commanding officer of this detail. You call me you got something”
Ray: “Well, I got shot. That’s something. I found our murder scene, that’s something else.”
Following his near death experience, Ray heads off to see the doctor to get clearance to return back to the field and the physician runs down the myriad of ways this Vinci detective is killing himself on a daily basis. Maybe it’s the cigarettes or the alcohol. It could be the various drugs. As the doctor says, the human body is made to withstand some bad habits just not all of them.
After his fever dream, Ray also pays a visit to his father, who is a retired Los Angeles police officer spending his days at the bottom of a glass (not drinking out of the bottle, that signals a problem you see) while watching noir cop shows on TV. Ray discovers that his old man has tossed his badge in the trash because what does he need it for anyways?
Ray’s dad soliloquizes about the good old days before the riots and the O.J. Simpson case when cops could still be cops, but this is ‘no country for white men’ anymore according to him. About as deep as these two get in conversation is Ray taking his dad’s old police badge to give to his son Chad so he understands the heritage that may or may not run in his bloodline.
At work, Ray’s bosses tell him the state investigators are digging in and getting closer and the only way to shut it down is to get this case off their desks. That means finding someone to pin the Ben Caspere murder on so they can wrap this up and close ranks again before anybody else gets too close. A pimp will do according to Ray’s lieutenant.
Ray even has an off kilter encounter with Frank at the bar they frequent together so often because he’s got it in his head that this shooter who cracked a couple of ribs and made him piss himself might have been working on orders instead of just on a thrill kill spree through Hollywood. Frank doesn’t take kindly to Ray’s tone, but today is a day where he’s already cheating death — why not taunt it a little bit more just for shits and giggles?
Getting shot forced Ray to re-evaluate his life and it’s clear from his interactions with Frank, his boss and the doctor that he’s not quite ready to shuffle off this mortal coil just yet. What once looked like a broken man walking a beaten path might finally have some life left in him after Ray woke up this morning and felt glad he wasn’t dead.
The bad news is Ray may wish he was after finding out from his ex-wife that the state is investigating him and asking her about money that might have been found in excess of his paychecks and if she believed he sought retribution against the man who raped her. Ray’s ex caps off this lovely conversation by offering him $10,000 to stay away from Chad forever, but he declines and even she admits she never thought he’d take it although she wishes he would.
As it turns out, Ray getting shot may have been a personal wake up call but now he’s finding out that the dream world where he sipped whisky with his pops while hearing ‘The Rose’ on repeat was probably better than the way things are going to go for him once this case is wrapped.
He Liked to Watch
As far as the actual investigation into Caspere’s murder there were a few more revelations this week.
The apartment that Ray discovered was rented for him by the Catalyst group (the same people investing in the land deals around the new rail line). He also had a landline inside and it seems Caspere made several calls to Mayor Chessani from Vinci.
So being the good detectives that they are, Ani and Paul head over to the Chessani residence, in Bel-Air mind you, where he’s living in essentially the plush version of the house from the movie ‘Wonderland’ with Val Kilmer. Ani finds some land surveys and other information on Chessani’s desk, but discovering his family was the real treat.
Chessani’s trophy wife is likely running around on an equal combination of prescription pills and weed. He has a daughter who looks like the one thing that doesn’t belong in this puzzle and a son with enough bronzer on him to make ‘The Situation’ jealous of his bright orange glow. It’s Chessani’s son who finally barks at the cops for being where they don’t belong and it seems the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree when the Mayor gets wind of the intrusion and demands that ‘cunt’ get her badge pulled for infringing on his family.
Back at the station, Ani finds out that the cops are much more concerned about busting the town of Vinci for corruption than it seems they are about capturing Ben Caspere’s killer. He’s a means to an end so they can finally pull the cord on everyone profiting in a town with a population of 95 people.
One of Ani’s superior officers even suggests using Ray as a way to get deeper into the roots of the Vinci government hierarchy.
Katherine: “I’m not saying fuck him but maybe let him think you might fuck him.”
It’s gotta be so gratifying when one female officer tells another female officer to more or less prostitute herself or hint at prostitution for the sake of solving a case.
Ani and Paul also discover a safe deposit box where Caspere had documents for a bunch of LLC’s he just recently started
That being said, Paul decides to follow up on the prostitution tip that eventually led Ray to Casper’s secret hideaway.
Paul visits every street corner in the city until he finally finds one person willing to talk and he reveals that Caspere used to come by that corner every now and again looking for the ritzy European girls before going to the club owned by Danny Santos — the same club where Frank got the information from a prostitute a week ago to reveal the location where the dead city manager used to take them for their sexual encounters.
When Paul gets inside he accidentally runs into Frank and the two look at each other like they should know who the other is but still don’t quite make the connection. Paul pays for an informant to tell him about Caspere’s activities, which often included paying a man and woman to have sex while he sat back and watched all the action.
So in other words, we’re no closer to catching Caspere’s killers but we know he had his hands in a lot of honey pots and that’s both figuratively and literally.
Let’s Not Talk About That
Back in ‘The Real Cops of Los Angeles’ edition of ‘True Detective’, Ani’s relationship problems land on her desk this episode when the smitten patrol cop from the first episode comes back around sniffing at her front doorstep again until she opens up and proceeds to fire at him with both barrels for trespassing. Ani was done with this relationship before it started and he’s way too clingy for her good.
When he raises his voice in an attempt to push her, Ani opts for a more physical approach and threatens to send him packing with far less teeth than he walked in with if he doesn’t just get the fuck out of there.
And as far as Paul goes, he decides to catch up with an old buddy from his time serving in Afghanistan, but a few too many beers get loose lips working and oh the secrets they reveal.
While it appeared in the beginning that Paul’s attitude came from too many tours overseas where he saw far too many bullets flying and even more dead bodies, the reality is he just can’t handle what he personally did over there.
It wasn’t about pulling the trigger or costing some soldier his life.
No, Paul got involved with one of his fellow soldiers and they shared a few nights (presumably) together and now that they are back in the real world, Paul sees this as prison mentality. They were each other’s best option at the time so they did what they had to do to survive. Now that he’s back in the real world, Paul needs to crack gay jokes and pop Viagra so he can convince himself that having sex with women is the only way the world works.
One interesting side note to this — Ray’s partner Teague Dixon was following Paul during this entire encounter. Maybe he’s digging up dirt on the guy who’s supposed to be digging up dirt on Vinci?
Just When I Thought I Was Out
Over in Frank Semyon’s world, he’s trying to get his wife pregnant via artificial insemination but it appears his mind is on other things and maybe he needs to borrow a few blue pills from Paul. When Jordan questions why Frank is being so moody, he responds that his whole life is upheaval and no matter what he does, each action creates a ripple effect that somehow impacts anyone and everyone in a 20 block radius.
Frank: “There’s no part in my life not overwrought with live or die importance. I take a shit, there’s a gun to my head saying make it a good one — don’t fuck up!”
Frank’s world is crumbling because he sold off everything he owned to get a piece of the land pie that Ben Caspere was putting together but he clearly didn’t vet this perverted old coot because not only has he been murdered, but the $5 million dollars he invested is also gone.
Frank’s Russian pal Osip is one glass of vodka away from jumping ship and now he’s forced to return to his old life where he has to extort construction companies for money because they owe him for all the things he might do for them in the future.
Things only get worse when Frank discovers that his employee Stan has been murdered and left in one of his buildings like a warning shot across the bow. It certainly looked like Stan’s eyes had been burned out similar to a city manager who was dispatched in the same horrifying way. Frank isn’t too worried about how Stan died, but more about the fact that he’s been killed .
Frank is convinced that someone is coming after him so he gathers all of his former cronies and demands they all do their part to find out information on Ben Caspere and his killer. But Frank’s old pal Danny Santos has other ideas.
He first wonders why anyone would be going after Frank considering he doesn’t have shit anymore. No territory, no leverage, no power. Second, Danny is curious why anyone would just do whatever Frank asks them considering he has no territory, no leverage and no real power.
Frank is more than happy to answer Danny’s challenge with an old fashioned fist fight. Frank thoroughly crushes Danny over the course of 90 seconds before grabbing a pair of pliers and doing away with that god awful grill that he showed off last week.
Frank: “I always hated these fucking things. What kind of way is that to greet the world.”
Frank goes home after a long day of being a gangster, which is the one thing he was tired of doing, and he still can’t face his wife because she’s not going to be any prouder of him now than when he disappointed her earlier that morning.
The last thread of the investigation that unravels this week involves the car that drove away from Ben Caspere’s apartment, which eventually dropped him off at a picnic table somewhere along the California coast highway. The license plates to the car belong to a Cadillac stolen from a movie that’s being shot in the area. Guess who organized all the tax breaks and loopholes to get the film to shoot there?
You guessed it — Ben Caspere.
The director and others on set remember Caspere liked to be a casual observer and he always enjoyed a good party. The car itself was stolen days before Caspere turned up dead, but a quick talk to everyone on set yields no positive results.
The only lead involves an employee who quit working on the film about a week before the car went missing. Maybe they were the ones who stole it and did the murder?
Well it wouldn’t be much of a detective show if that was the case and sure enough a quick chat with the guy who quit proves two things — he loves his mother enough to take care of her full time and he’s not the guy who stole the car and killed Ben Caspere.
But before they could ask their last question, a fireball goes up from down the block. Ray and Ani arrive and discover that it’s the car they’ve been searching for and it’s going up in flames. Even more interesting is a masked man standing just a few feet away who takes off like a dart as soon as the cops spot him.
Ani and Ray give chase, but this masked man is fleet of foot and Ray is barely holding on with two cracked ribs. The pair eventually chase him onto an interstate on ramp but just as Ani is about to shoot him, a semi-truck comes barreling down on her. Ray pushes her out of the way just in the nick of time as the monkey-mask wearing car torcher gets away.
Ani thanks Ray for his help but he only wants one thing in return.
Ray: “You want to thank me, tell me what state has on me.”
Ani doesn’t know because unlike her superiors, she’s been more concerned with solving the case and so far she’s about the only one committed solely to that job. She may not be able to hold a relationship together with all the knives tucked in all the pockets in the world, but Ani appears to be the one cop dedicated to finding Ben Caspere’s murderer. Maybe her two contemporaries will meet her on that road one day before episode eight comes rolling around.
Notes from the Scene
A few songs to listen to from this episode —
“The Rose” by Conway Twitty
“Set Us Free” by Black Mountain
“Intentional Injury” by Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy (from the ‘True Detective’ soundtrack that’s out in August).
Tune in to more True Detective next Sunday night for another cryptic episode where we might get some answers about Ben Caspere’s murder? Or at least another Vince Vaughn fight scene!