True Detective Recap: Faking It

True Detective Ray Is Alive

Time must be a flat circle, because this week’s episode of True Detective feels like it spins on and on and on yet is about as productive as Frank in the donation room at the fertility doctor’s office. (Too soon?)

On at least one front, however, we get resolution: Despite being shot twice in the chest in the previous episode, Ray Velcoro is very much alive. (In a moment, we’ll get to how that’s even remotely possible.) And we also get a little intel on Paul’s military time and a wealth of intel on Paul’s extracurricular activities while in the service… which explains a lot, actually.

Read on for the highlights of “Maybe Tomorrow.”

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RUMORS OF RAY’S DEATH HAVE BEEN GREATLY EXAGGERATED | We open in that dingy bar Ray and Frank like so much, except this time Velcoro is sitting across from a man dressed as a cop and onstage, in place of Julee Cruise 2.0, there’s a man making AM gold out of “The Rose.” The obtuse way Ray and the officer — whom we later learn is his dad — talk (“Where is this?” “I don’t know. You were here first.”), the fact that Ray doesn’t realize until he looks down that he’s bleeding from the torso — yeah, it’s a dream, and when Ray wakes up rather suddenly on the floor of the creepy sex house, he’s shocked that he’s alive and slightly dismayed to see he’s peed himself.

The man in the crow mask used rubber bullets — “Riot shells. Y’know, like cops use,” Ray tells Ani when she shows up — which broke a few ribs and cracked his sternum but left him among the living. Later, Ray demands to know where Semyon got his intel on the house. “You walked me into something, Frank,” the cop murmurs, but Frank gives him very little assistance yet a whole lot of veiled threats. After all, he’s got problems of his own…

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LIMP BUSINESS | Frank’s list of #underworldproblems goes something like this: He’s forced to shake down a contractor to recoup a little cash; the Eastern European shady guy from Episode 1 backs out of the deal he and Frank had; a Semyon henchman turns up dead; and then Santos disrespects Frank in front of all of their criminal friends, so Frank has to beat the poo out of him and rip out his ridiculous grill with pliers. (Thank you, True Detective, for sparing us the visual on that moment of dental torture.) Oh, and to make everything even sadder, Frank’s pocket mobster won’t stand and deliver when he and Jordan are at the fertility center — and this development causes Frank to lash out and tacitly accuse his wife of being the all-around problem. (After all, his guys have “phenomenal motility.”) She rightly tells Whitey Not-So-Bulger to shove it.

ALL FIRED UP | Especially in light of the shooting, Ani’s superiors want dirt on Ray. “Guy’s a burnout,” she says, but that’s not enough for the state; the higher-ups suggest that Ani use her lady powers to seduce the truth outta him. Uh, that’s totally appropriate and likely to happen! Meanwhile, Ray’s bosses are mad that Ani and Paul went to the sleazy Vinci mayor’s sleazy Bel Air house and talked to his sleazy family; they want the Caspere murder closed as soon as possible, preferably by pinning it on one of Caspere’s hookers’ pimps.

Later, after Bezzerides and Velcoro have established that Caspere was involved with a film shooting nearby and that the car that carried his body to that lookout point was also tied to the movie, someone sets Ray’s car on fire as they’re questioning the car’s former driver. The pair chase the masked man onto a highway, and then Ray has to push Ani out of the path of an oncoming car, saving her life. “Tell me what the state has on me,” he demands immediately after. “I don’t know,” she replies.

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THE GENTLEMAN DOTH PROTEST TOO MUCH | Paul and a friend from his armed forces hang out, and a friendly night out turns into a night of reminiscing about what they did overseas: each other. “Them three days? I think about you, man,” Jack Twist the friend says, angering Paul so much that he shoves him to the ground and then stalks away as the man apologizes. Fits with his gay-hating story from last week’s episode, no? From a distance, the slovenly Vinci detective also assigned to the Caspere investigation snaps photos. Also of note: Whatever happened during Paul’s military tenure, it required him to go to meetings for a year after his return and involved “finding the squad.”

Later, after questioning some hookers leads him to Santos’ club (and the prostitutes employed within), Paul talks to a male-for-hire who once went on a “date” with Caspere and that Tasha that we heard about earlier in the series. (Side note: Paul’s heavy drinking in this scene is very strange, right?)

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Ever says:

    This season is confusing and depressing. Last season was creepy, scary, and intriguing. So disappointing. This was the weakest episode yet.

  2. Cece says:

    Pocket mobster? Water sprayed out of my nose at that. You should warn people not go take a drink when reading this recap. Hilarious. And spot on, although they are reeeeally drawing out Paul’s storyline. Makes you wonder why and how it ties in with everything else. Kitsch is playing the inner conflict well.

  3. GuessWhat says:

    Told ya he was alive, you goofs.

  4. Liked this one better than last week, but I’m really finding it hard to care about Frank in particular. I don’t even think its Vaughn’s acting so much as just the character in general. I like Ray, Ani and Doug fine (Ani’s probably my favorite) but Frank not so much.

  5. BL says:

    Frank’s storyline is really, really boring. Vorcoro not dying was expected and therefore a pathetic ploy. I do want to see Ani bed him though. Paul’s backstory is the most interesting thing to me.

    • Mel says:

      I agree. There’s just nothing pulling me into Frank’s story, and I just don’t care about him. Paul is becoming the most layered and intriguing.

  6. Pauline says:

    I can’t exactly pinpoint what is wrong… too much going on, maybe. I do know that Vince Vaughn is really bad in this, and – it pains me to say it – so is Taylor Kitsch. Maybe it’s the script, their delivery of it, but the only character I find interesting is Rachel McAdams’s Ani. Colin Farrel is good, but his character seems to be all over the place. Will watch the next one, but I’m about ready to jump ship.

  7. Steve says:

    Pretty sure it was Cadillac they ties to the murder that was lit on fire not Ray’s car, could be wrong on that. Not going to give up on the season yet as last season started just as slow but hoping it picks up soon

  8. greysfan says:

    This show has gone from amazing to horrible in the space of a season. Not watching anymore. Weak episode after weak episode. Cancelled series have been better written then this. Poor form.

  9. Ben says:

    Paul’s heavy drinking was part of his self-loathing. He’s obviously gay, but refuses to admit, and hates himself for some reason over it. He also couldn’t look either prostitute CI in the eyes when he was talking to them, but had no trouble with the women. He’s so uncomfortable with himself that he had to get drunk to just be there. It’s been pretty heavily telegraphed. The way he stared at the angel guy in the other episode, and the guy going down on the other guy behind the bushes in this episode.

  10. sad for bad true det says:

    I keep waiting for it to be even remotely close to last season’s quality… I mean up until the last episode which was truly awful and unsatisfying… but this season is as bad as the last ep last season. Wow!!!! What a crash I just saw in nascar… OMG!!!

  11. Kris says:

    I think it’s gonna be like The Killing, very slow paced then last few eps will be very good.

  12. Jenna says:

    I’m actually intrigued with the show. The performances are first-rate, and the back stories and demons are surfacing. I thought last season’s pace was slow, as well. So, not giving up on this one.
    I, too, thought the car on fire was the one used in the crime they were investigating, and not Ray’s.

  13. Heathers says:

    I completely agree with Jenna. This show is way above any network garbage any time! It is supposed to be a slow burn. I especially like Colin Farrell.

  14. Liz says:

    Vince Vaughn is killing this show for me…his acting is so not up to the standards of the rest of the cast. WH and MM must have owed him a huge favor in order for him to have been cast- he’s just horribly cast in that role.

  15. They don’t set Ray’s car on fire, it the Car the dump the body in that gets torched !!!

  16. Inmyopinion says:

    I don’t know why everyone is hating so much on Vince Vaughn’s acting, but not mentioning that of Kelly Reilly or whatever actress that plays his wife! She’s terrible – bland and boring, why does she keep getting roles? Is she some Hollywood player’s woman?

  17. Parker says:

    The writing is character driven. The first episode is the bud of a rose, each episode as characters evolve, come alive, it is opening. If you’re expecting the same, ( You Will Be Disappointed ). Stop comparing, Choose, Meryl Streep or Daniel Day-Lewis? Get over it – those you stuck in the last season – please watch again… Let the world experience new life… In great writing stellar performance’s. There’s always A& E hell. Parker

  18. Mel says:

    Thank you for writing wrap ups that makes far more sense of the show than I could. I think it’s telling when you need to read a wrap up after each episode, just to get some sort of coherent POV. While I love thinking about and digging through a show and the characters, should it really be this hard? And in the end, I’m not sure what we get is worth the effort. And still I’m hanging on…