True Detective Sex Party Recap

True Detective Recap: Party Most Foul

So it is true: You can take the girl away from her stabby pointy things, but you can’t ever fully take stabby pointy things from the girl.

Because in this week’s True Detective, knife-happy Ani Bezzerides is separated from her weapon of choice, yet still manages to make good on her promise that if “a man of any size lays his hands on me, he’s gonna bleed out in under a minute.”

And it’s a good thing, too, because the party Ani attends makes that Eyes Wide Shut gathering look like a PTA meeting. Let’s review what happens in “Church in Ruins.”

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TRUTH TIME | Frank and Ray are still staring each other down in Frank’s kitchen, each with a gun leveled at the other underneath the table. Frank claims not to have known that the man he said was Ray’s ex-wife’s rapist wasn’t the real deal — and to Ray’s mounting horror, the mobster appears to be telling the truth. “I didn’t set you up. I ain’t your suicide ticket,” Frank continues, before agreeing that if Ray helps him find the missing hard drive from Caspere’s place, he’ll help him find the person who pointed Frank (and by proxy, Ray) toward the wrong guy back in the day.

That deal looks like it won’t have a chance to go down, however, after another painfully awkward court-supervised visitation between Ray and his kid leads the ex-cop to go on a coke-and-booze bender that sure seems like he means for it to be his last. When he survives, though, he calls Gena and promises to disappear from their lives if she’ll never tell Chad that Ray might not be his dad. She agrees. (Side note: Am I a horrible person to be happy about this, if for no other reason than it means we won’t have to watch another one of Ray and Chad’s too-depressing-for-life hangouts?)

SHINE BLUE LIKE A DIAMOND | Thanks to Paul and Frank’s separately conducted investigations, we learn that the blue diamonds Ledo’s lady pawned are worth $2.5 million and originally were stolen from a jewelry shop during a murder-robbery that coincided with the 1992 Los Angeles riots. The proprietors’ kids, Leonard and Laura, witnessed the whole thing, but the culprit was never found, and the siblings wound up in the foster care system. (Side note: And why do I have a strong suspicion that we’ll meet Leonard and/or Laura — or that maybe we have already?)

We also find out that a tall white man who may have been an out-of-uniform police officer paid Ledo’s girlfriend/sometime hooker to pawn the gems… but before she can ID him, the Mexicans who came calling at Frank’s club in the last episode slit her throat for (allegedly) working with the cops. Realizing he’s a bit screwed, Frank has no choice but to honor the deal he struck with the men: no-fee drug running at his club three nights a week for a year.

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PARTY PEOPLE | Now we move onto Ani, who has the roughest-yet-most-productive storyline this episode. After we learn that the murder shack’s victim was a woman who had gonorrhea (lovely) and was killed a while ago, Athena does the legwork to get her older sister into one of those sketchy sex parties. Athena stresses that Ani will have no phone, no weapons and no way out if anything goes south, but her sis is too busy practicing on her totally-normal-to-have-in-your-living-room stabbing dummy to be bothered.

A brief confab with Woodrugh and Velcoro, coupled with a serious visit to a salon and stylist later, a gussied-up Bezzerides boards a bus to terribleness. The transponder she has hidden somewhere on her person helps her partners follow along, and they’re able to overcome some security dudes to get close to the house once she arrives. They’re also able to break into an office (where the Catalyst guy and Osip are forging some kind of alliance) and steal contracts with lots of names and signatures on them, which will come in handy later, methinks.

THE OL’ KNIFISH EXIT | The soiree itself features bowls of Viagra for the old, mostly white guys in attendance and compulsory breath sprays of Molly for the ladies. Ani’s forced to inhale the drug, though she retains enough of her faculties to grab a carving knife off the buffet just as a gross guy decides he wants to lead her upstairs. (Two thoughts: 1. Gubenatorial hopeful/attorney general Geldof also is at the bash, and I don’t think he’ll be investigating anything other than what color thong the honey in front of him is sporting. And 2. Rachel McAdams, with that hair and that dress, striding through a gathering like she’s on a mission — because she is? Girl, you’re so Sydney Bristow right now, and you don’t even know it.)

Because Ani’s night hasn’t gotten treacherous enough, her drug-addled state causes her to remember the time a predatory hippie led her, as a child, into his van. She chokes out an excuse and makes herself vomit in the bathroom… where she happens to run into Vera, the missing sister of the woman Ani encountered early in the season.

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Ani helps the nearly insensate Vera to her feet and quickly makes for the exit, and that’s where things go really, really bad. Aside from the fact that pretty much every act in the Kama Sutra is going on simultaneously around them, the gross guy with an eye for Ani stops her from leaving — so she takes him down physically. And when that grabs the attention of a security guard, Ani slashes at him with the carving knife and is nearly choked to death before her labors bear bloody fruit. As he falls to the ground, she and Vera dodge all of the thrusting and skyward ankles and manage to make it out, where Ray and Paul facilitate a dramatic exit for the foursome. “I think I killed someone,” Ani says, the realization — and, I’m guessing, everything else that happened over the course of the evening — making the tough cop break down.

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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20 Comments
  1. sladewilson says:

    Best episode so far esp. for McAdams. She went in on this one….

  2. So what do we make of the lady from the future that insisted Ray limit his interactions with him, and that she is only there to observe?

    • m3rcnate says:

      …huh? You mean the court appointed guardian because he is in a legal battle for his son so he can’t be with his son alone?

  3. buffalobilly says:

    vaughn such a dud.
    ruins every thing he in.

  4. Terry says:

    I like the actors in this show a lot, but I swear I haven’t figured out what is going on yet.

  5. loco73 says:

    Yes it is true, this season started out slow and quite uneven when compared to the first. There are more principal characters to consider, each with his/her own stories and backgrounds, different setting and plot.

    But speaking for myself, I’ve noticed a change with the show and this season with Episode 3 and it has only gotten better with each episode since.

    The reason for me, was the poor and subpar direction from Justin Lin, which I found an odd choice to begin with, and clearly out of place with the other directors working on the show. While the first season benefited from the direction and vision of one single director, Cari Joji Fukunaga, who proved brilliant in that role, the decision to use multiple directors was always going to be riskier. But I cannot understand whatever possessed HBO and company, to use him on a show like this.

    Lin doesn’t have the pedigree or the understanding how to direct a show like “True Detective”. And that clearly showed in the first two episodes of the season…where for example he thought that moody and brooding, simply means turning everything dark, tedious and jarringly depressing….

    When ;you compare the first two episodes directed by Lin (whose claim to fame are “Fast And Furious” movies) with lets say Episode 4 who was directed by Jeremy Podeswa and Episode 6, directed by Miguel Sapochnik, both of whom are fresh from doing a tremendous job on “Game Of Thrones” (Sapochnik directed the epic “Hardhome”), the difference is quite eye opening….

  6. Mike says:

    I think it’s safe to say that the mayors “children” are Leonard and Laura. Brother and sister in their 20s that we met already…

  7. Mike says:

    This season seems to be the product of three major problems:

    1) the loss of top-flight acting talent performing at their best (and we all kinda agree Vaughn was given far more credit than he deserves when he was cast)
    2) behind the scenes drama part 1
    (pizzolato and Fukunaga never got along and a great show loses a great director)
    3) Pizzolato then writes a season that seems compelled to show a potentially gripping plot element and then back away at every opportunity. The Velcoro murder fake out, the crow mask guy never showing back up, the team being dissolved and reforming in 17 seconds, the standoff between Velcoro and Semyon and now this witness getting killed…it’s a tease. Whole season has been. Potentially gripping ideas and characters enduring increasingly absurd amounts of emotional turmoil while wading through quicksand at work.
    Lots of good ideas poorly executed. You have to wonder how this season could have gone with an extra voice or two in writing and a different actor as Semyon.

  8. Hannah says:

    10 points for your Sydney Bristow mention

  9. m3rcnate says:

    Here’s the thing…i dont know what im watching. Lol. I watched S1 and it was beautiful because its complicated storyline/plot was simplistic. They were trying to find a murder who did certain things to people (the Yellow King). We had two main characters and their backstories were simple yet complicated. We knew who they were. The thread of the story was singular, even though it went in many directions, it was a single thread.
    .
    Now in this season, we have 4 main characters…each has their own complicated back story that doesn’t come off as simple to me. So many new characters (in name and face) are introduced i dont really know who is who. So many sub plots and changes in direction and time jumps back and forth….and i dont honestly know what they are investigating. The Mayors murder? It has gotten SO complicated since then.
    .
    Overall i feel like while S1 was mysterious and we all had so many questions…it was easy to go on the journey with Rusty and Marty. I felt like i really really knew them. I cared about them. Their journey was singular, on the same path…in S2 it is very difficult to follow any of the leads. I dont feel like i know them well. I don’t feel like i really care or sympathize. And the journey feels like a clusterfrak with so many plots and sub-plots and side stories all splintered everywhere.

    • I agree 100%. I have to pause and ask …what did they say or who are they talking about…too many names…but tonight’s episode was terrific…

      • m3rcnate says:

        Last nights episode was so good because every plot point touched was one we had previous knowledge of, so we didn’t feel lost. We knew about the parties with the women and powerful men, we knew about Velcoro and his kid and ex and why he was saying what he was at the prison. We knew for the most part what Frank was up to…finally we got an episode that was touching on things they had already setup so the episode was easy to follow and felt like it was building on already established plots.

  10. Mike says:

    I agree it’s far less simple: at least the yellow king was given his title after a short while: here, it’s more conducive to gambling than anything, like you could take bets on which of the 57 characters we’ve met might have killed Caspere, and who was in the crow mask. As if that matters…

  11. katedfw says:

    The last 2 episodes have really stepped it up and I am liking this season! Rachel McAdams is the best part of the show. Her story last night finally gave some insight into her personality. Can’t wait to see how this all comes together!

  12. Best episode so far this season, I actually understood what was going on this episode, hopefully the last two will be more of the same..