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.”
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.
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.
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!