True Detective: Night Finds You
June 28, 2015 11:24 PM - Season 2, Episode 2 - Subscribe

"Sometimes I wonder how many things you have like that, that I don't know about" Frank Semyon shares a story from his childhood. We learn a little more about the sins of Ben Caspere. Three different detectives get three different sets of orders. Cashflow problems abound. "How's that for social theory?"
posted by the man of twists and turns (108 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
If he's really dead, and I think he is, it's a HELL of a twist.

And it also explains why he's so, so bad in episode 1.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:38 PM on June 28, 2015


Yeah, even if he's not dead, he'll spend the next several months in the hospital at a bare minimum. You don't bounce back from that kind of injury.

Speaking of a helluva twist, I'm really curious to find out who's behind that mask.
posted by ob1quixote at 11:58 PM on June 28, 2015


Farrell delivered that "Now it's starting to make sense" line at such a perfect time. A lot of the center of the train wreck the audience found itself in last episode was getting some rooted exposition while he was making sense of the odd policing arrangement.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:44 AM on June 29, 2015


Even before the twist ending, that was better than the pilot... I think?

We'll see if they stick to the ending. I don't see how they can avoid doing so. There are shows where reality is loose enough that I'd buy survival. Even this one, if it'd just been the one shot, I might be willing to go with it. But two? With the second as point blank as you can get? Nah.

And I think that's potentially a very interesting turn. I'm still not sold on this season, but if I'd disliked this as much as the pilot, I'd be done. Looks like I'm watching at least one more.
posted by sparkletone at 1:21 AM on June 29, 2015


Holy shit. I don't think anyone saw that coming. This just entered territory where I don't know what's going to happen in the next 5 minutes, let alone the rest of the season.

There are some absolutely gorgeous, slow, meditative shots in this episode. Regardless of anything else, it's a joy to watch. I was worried about Cary Fukunaga moving from director to an executive producer role, but Justin Lin seems to be handling things well.

Ani: [vapes]
Ray: You pull off that e-cig. Not a lot of people do.
Ani: [tries to redirect conversation to the case]
Ray: I tried one once, felt like it was smoking me... a real cigarette wouldn't make you feel like that.
Ani: [looks at e-cig]
Ray: Maybe it was a little too close to... suckin' a robot's dick. I Don't know.
Ani: [looks off into distance]
posted by naju at 1:36 AM on June 29, 2015 [6 favorites]


Yeah, that was definitely a surprise -- and one I hope they don't walk back from, because this season really needs something to shake it up.

I think up until the end of the episode, I was fast becoming convinced that I might not need to continue on with the show. Vince Vaughan failing badly in channeling Matthew McConaughey was dreadfully boring (I spent the opening scene thinking to myself, "OK, can this scene end? Please?"). Things went from boring to weird when half of the remaining cast also seemed to be doing a Rust Cohle impression -- I don't know if it was supposed to be on purpose or not, but huge chunks of the dialogue felt like I was listening to the writer talk to himself, as opposed to characters interacting.

There were some faint glimmers of a possibly interesting season, and the ending at least leaves open some new avenues. I'll give it a third episode, I suppose, to see where it goes.
posted by tocts at 4:54 AM on June 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


I was taken by the first episode, a little unsure about the second one because of the dense narrative. Is it dense because it needs to be or dense for sake of it? Don't know, but it's compelling at least.

Shame about Ray, he was just getting interesting. "I support feminism, mainly by having body issues" heh. Paul is the least compelling at the moment, his story feels like narrative cliche and Ani's doesn't seem much better.

Still not completely sold on Vince Vaughn doing drama, but as someone noted up above, his stock asshole frat boy character is getting a nicely done dark side.

Onward to episode three!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:57 AM on June 29, 2015


You don't come back from a shotgun blast to the stomach.

My theory is that Paul used to (have to) turn tricks given the scene with his mom, his comments to Valcoro's partner, and his gazing intently at the male prostitute at the end. We're going to need a bigger boat to carry all his issues.
posted by lydhre at 5:19 AM on June 29, 2015


If he's not dead it'll be really cheap.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 6:21 AM on June 29, 2015 [6 favorites]


Shit I was not expecting that. It made me laugh that one of the consistent criticisms in the last FanFare thread was that there were too many characters/stories to introduce in one episode and it felt slow, so I'm glad they're doing something about that. Also Colin Farrell's character was just so shitty that I'm glad I don't have to watch him interact with his wife/son anymore while worrying the whole time that he's gonna start beating them.

Going into that last scene, I made a comment to my wife that there was gonna be something occult since we hadn't had any of that this episode and maybe this season isn't as weirdly occult as last season, but I'm counting the guy in the raven's mask. Also the panning shot that froze a half second too long on the car parked outside the house felt like a tip-off, but I assumed Farrell would get the jump on whoever was waiting.
posted by DynamiteToast at 6:43 AM on June 29, 2015


So does Frank now get in touch with Bezzerides to start feeding her information and steering the case? Or Velcoro's drunk partner? Or does he just go completely underground and do it himself? He's the only one who knew that Velcoro went to that house, although I'm assuming they can track police cars or something...
posted by DynamiteToast at 6:46 AM on June 29, 2015


You don't come back from a shotgun blast to the stomach.

I'm thinking it turns out to be rock salt and not buckshot. The killer was just trying to scare him. Don't get me wrong, I'd be pretty pleased if Velcoro is actually dead, but I'm skeptical.
posted by dortmunder at 6:55 AM on June 29, 2015


I would bet towards something non-fatal (although I think killing him at the start and telling his story through flashback would be a great move). Still, anything fired out of a shotgun at that distance is going to seriously fuck up your stomach, isn't it?
posted by codacorolla at 6:58 AM on June 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


The first shot didn't seem like rock salt, though I haven't gone back and watched it again. Also, wouldn't point blank rock salt to the stomach still fuck you up really badly, and he's at that house alone with no backup or anything?
posted by sparkletone at 7:00 AM on June 29, 2015


I would bet towards something non-fatal (although I think killing him at the start and telling his story through flashback would be a great move). Still, anything fired out of a shotgun at that distance is going to seriously fuck up your stomach, isn't it?

I don't know. He also could've had a vest on under his clothes. I just remain skeptical on this, and will until next Sunday.
posted by dortmunder at 7:07 AM on June 29, 2015


Here's some gifs if you want to rewatch it.

Put me on team he's dead.
posted by DynamiteToast at 7:11 AM on June 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think he's dead. The first scene in the morgue was a bit of a hint -- the shotgun blast to the groin (pelvic injury mystery solved!). The killer wields a shotgun and knows how to use it effectively, and there is no reason to leave him alive.

Was the whole thing being recorded? It wasn't clear to me what was going on with the video equipment (at least I think it was video equipment).
posted by tempestuoso at 7:12 AM on June 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think that the equipment was a motion activated webcam and a modem all behind a two-way mirror. The stripper at the club that Frank visits says, "He likes to watch."

Those gifs made me realize that there's never any wound or blood shown. I would be still alive, but I guess we'll know for sure next week.
posted by codacorolla at 7:16 AM on June 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Definitely better than last week's. I'm in for a few more.
posted by pearlybob at 7:20 AM on June 29, 2015


Those gifs made me realize that there's never any wound or blood shown. I would be still alive, but I guess we'll know for sure next week.

Rewatching the teaser and trailer for the season, there aren't many scenes with Ray that haven't already been shown.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:29 AM on June 29, 2015


Woops, I "would bet".
posted by codacorolla at 7:30 AM on June 29, 2015


If he's not dead it'll be really cheap.

Yes, this. I would far prefer the enormous fake-out to be "we killed off our highest-profile star" to "ah tricked you MIRACLE VEST he's not dead".

Nobody leaked this I think? ISTR from reading Sepinwall's tweets that the critics got the first 3 episodes as screeners -- which means that (a) they all knew about this and had to carefully write their reviews around it, and (b) they already know if episode 3 shows him to be definitely dead.

killing him at the start and telling his story through flashback would be a great move

My first reaction was "they just Ned Stark-ed him"; my second was "no, they just Vincent Vega-ed him."

Rest of the episode: I thought that the corrupt mayor was good: all swilling down cocktails straight from the shaker and not giving a fuck.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 7:54 AM on June 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


RAY: Aha, fooled you. I'm wearing a Kevlar vest.

RAVEN CULT KILLER: Well played! On your way, then.

He's dead.
posted by prize bull octorok at 8:50 AM on June 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


You don't survive point-blank shotgun blasts to the chest. That shit rips a hole in you. If the show keeps him alive, might as well reveal that Paul is a Cylon, Ani is an angel, and drop the Galactica into low earth orbit for a rescue mission.
posted by rocketman at 8:59 AM on June 29, 2015 [8 favorites]


Btw did anyone catch the GIANT PAINTING OF A CREEPY RAVEN-MAN in the therapist's office?
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:04 AM on June 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


Fun trivia: The Young Phil Spector-meets-George-Hamilton-esque shrink, in shades, was played by Rick Springfield.
posted by raysmj at 9:24 AM on June 29, 2015 [10 favorites]


I thought it looked like someone said "get me a old leathery plastic surgery Benedict Cumberbatch"
posted by DynamiteToast at 9:28 AM on June 29, 2015 [9 favorites]


If he's dead then holy fuck they just Sean Beaned us.
posted by pleasebekind at 9:33 AM on June 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


no, they just Vincent Vega-ed him

Yeah, probably. Time is a flat circle, after all.
posted by tempestuoso at 9:45 AM on June 29, 2015


I'm mostly watching this show to see more of Frank's house.


I made a comment to my wife that there was gonna be something occult since we hadn't had any of that this episode and maybe this season isn't as weirdly occult as last season, but I'm counting the guy in the raven's mask.

There was that strange crowned skeleton thing in Caspere's house.

Also, here's a pic of the raven-guy in the therapist's office. I hadn't noticed it until I saw it mentioned in this thread.
posted by mullacc at 10:31 AM on June 29, 2015 [6 favorites]


There was that strange crowned skeleton thing in Caspere's house.

Santa Muerte.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:34 AM on June 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'll be a bit bummed if Farrell's character is killed off because he seemed to be the only actor going all-in on the dumb dialogue and was actually pulling some of it off. He was definitely impressing me this episode and I thought they were setting him up for a burn-it-to-the-ground redemption story.

Rachel McAdams' character hasn't been given anything to really work with yet, but I'm optimistic that her arc gets better and more interesting.

Vince Vaughn just cannot pull off the brooding insecure thing. Which sucks for this show UNLESS his desperation to claw his way back to the top means he drops the gangster-goes-straight persona and falls back into the sarcastic menacing bully we saw in the scene under the overpass. That was promising.

As for Mr. Handsome Motorcycle Man, I have a really hard time taking his character seriously because of the jowl-flapping scene at the end of Episode 1. He is now forever James from Twin Peaks in my mind. Unfortunately for this show a David Lynch character adds giggles, not gravitas to the proceedings. "Baby I love you but you gotta understand all I want to do is ride my motorcycle and solve crimes."

The last scene though was grade-A super good would watch again, let's hope there's more of that.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 10:49 AM on June 29, 2015 [6 favorites]


Interesting, because I get nothing BUT a David Lynch vibe from just about everything, at least to the extent that I've seen Mulholland Drive and Twin Peaks. I keep wanting to refer to the apartment at the end as the White Lodge.

I had a feeling after the first episode that Frank was going to be doing a lot of meaty detective work instead of the various officers, just because he knows half the people involved on the shady side. Now that he's got a stake in figuring it out, I wonder if the "burn it all to the ground" move will be his. I have no problem with Velcoro dying if the point was to set Frank up in that role; if he wants to see somrthing happen now with resolving Casper's death, he'll either have to do it himself or join up with Ani and Paul somehow.

Wild random guessing with no substantiation whatsoever beyond a dumb hunch: scar faced waitress is the raven AND she's one off the other kids from Ani's compound.
posted by LionIndex at 11:12 AM on June 29, 2015 [7 favorites]


scar faced waitress is the raven

Dammit, came on here to speculate that as well. She'll know he was going to the house.
posted by Wordshore at 11:37 AM on June 29, 2015


I really want him to be dead, and maybe he comes back in flashback to tell backstory, Vincent Vega style.

And then, in the remaining episodes, the other characters get more time. And maybe they die, too, as the story narrows and focuses. Rachel McAdams as the "final girl," so to speak.

But there's a shot of him in one of the trailers on a raid with Rachel McAdams, which we haven't seen yet.

I hope we *don't* see it. Giant fake out.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:46 AM on June 29, 2015


But there's a shot of him in one of the trailers on a raid with Rachel McAdams, which we haven't seen yet.

I hope we *don't* see it. Giant fake out.


It's been claimed that some Game of Thrones trailers included similar fakeouts. I'm not going to look up more information/confirmation because I Want to Believe for at least the next 6 days.
posted by Copronymus at 12:00 PM on June 29, 2015


A lot of movies do that now, include scenes in the trailer that are never in the movie.

I'm torn though. Ray was just getting really interesting. By all rights, be they reality or narrative, he should be dead. Not killing him now would feel like an incredibly lame move that treats the audience like slaw jacked yokels. But I really wanted to see what "fuck this shit" Ray was going to do next.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:08 PM on June 29, 2015


The reviewer here seems pretty confident that, well, nope, no chance he survived. He dead. I don't know if Gawker was one of the outlets that received the three-episode preview or not but this review doesn't seem to think there's much uncertainty about what happened.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:24 PM on June 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


If the fat drunk cop ends up being some sort of Poirot-like genius... that would be amazing.
posted by codacorolla at 12:31 PM on June 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


My thought at the last scene was: Dammit why couldn't they have shot Vince Vaughn instead?
posted by Requiax at 12:38 PM on June 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


> scar faced waitress is the raven

Only if she managed to rush out and beat Farrell to the house. The killer was waiting outside. Ravenhead also seemed to walk with a man's gait. We don't know if Farrell was setup specifically or if Ravenhead was just waiting to ice whoever decided to show up there.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:40 PM on June 29, 2015


And, since the killer went for a second body shot, I'm throwing it out there that we'll see a cop trophy head up on that wall next to the taxidermy animal heads.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:44 PM on June 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


The TD subreddit is doing a bangup job of convincing me he's not really dead, which is pissing me off. I liked the character, but this is not a shot you stage if you're not trying to show somebody being killed dead beyond a shadow of a doubt, and it's gonna feel like cheap manipulation if it's all a fakeout.
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:54 PM on June 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


mouseover for Game of Thrones watchers

Grantland: 'True Detective’ Season 2, Episode 2: ‘Night Finds You’
True Detective Season 2 came alive in those office meetings between Velcoro, Paul Woodrugh, Ani Bezzerides, and their bosses. If the first episode was all brood, mood, and ideas of fatherhood, the beginning of “Night Finds You” had liftoff. We learned more about the corruption of the city of Vinci, the various angles being worked by the State’s Attorney, Mayor Chessani, and Frank Semyon. This episode gave our characters objectives, put them to work, and crashed them into one another.

By the end of the episode, we became aware of each character’s duality. All three law enforcement officers are looking for Vinci city manager Ben Caspar’s killer, and each has a separate “confidential mandate,” though most of them hardly labor to hide who they are or what it is they’re really doing. All you need to do is ask, and sometimes it doesn’t even take that.
Salon: “True Detective” recap: A shocking shooting, a horror ending, and “We get the world we deserve”
Well, that was an ending.
Whether or not you guessed or know what happens to Ray Velcoro (and I do know—hazards of the job), ending the second episode of the season by unloading buckshot into your show’s marquee star until he’s writhing on the floor is a bold move. Having the wielder of that shotgun be a tall, black-clad figure wearing a giant bird’s head made out of real feathers is the type of bizarre risk-taking that made “True Detective” season one so captivating. The shooter—the birdman?—is the stuff of nightmares, a killer motivated by obscure aims.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:04 PM on June 29, 2015


I'm thinking it turns out to be rock salt and not buckshot. The killer was just trying to scare him. Don't get me wrong, I'd be pretty pleased if Velcoro is actually dead, but I'm skeptical.

That was my first thought too, but watching the scene a second time it seemed like he'd been shot for real.
posted by homunculus at 1:08 PM on June 29, 2015


So, Caspere is seen in the back of a car in Ep1, a raven's head is in the passenger's seat. Therapist is tall and thin, has a raven painting in his office. Therapist would also potentially know of Caspere's deals. End of Ep2, RavenDude is tall and thin, built the same as the therapist. IS HE THE YELLOW KING?!
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 1:15 PM on June 29, 2015


Clearly, we need the North Koreans to hack HBO and leak all the remaining episodes so the speculation can be over.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:18 PM on June 29, 2015


I'm not sure if binge watching this would improve it or not...
posted by codacorolla at 1:23 PM on June 29, 2015


prize bull octorok: The TD subreddit is doing a bangup job of convincing me he's not really dead, which is pissing me off. I liked the character, but this is not a shot you stage if you're not trying to show somebody being killed dead beyond a shadow of a doubt

If he's wearing a ceramic or steel ballistic plate in his vest, that's pretty much where it would be, I think. Those trauma plates can survive hits by 7.62mm AK rounds, so I suppose it's conceivable a buck shot right into the plate would be survivable, although I completely agree this will be a cheap cliffhanger fake-out if this is the case.
posted by bluecore at 1:49 PM on June 29, 2015


It seems like it'd be pretty out of character for Valcoro to be wearing that hardcore of a vest though. Bezzerides maybe, but Valcoro has never been seen with one on, just gave a speech about how he is thinking of killing himself, then straps a serious vest on after leaving a bar (was he drunk again?) and going to a house he assumes is abandoned? Even after seeing a pool of blood on the ground he didn't call for back up or seem overly concerned. The more people talk the more I don't think they actually killed him, but I hope he is dead for good.
posted by DynamiteToast at 1:55 PM on June 29, 2015


Yeah, I'm in the "he dead" camp for sure. But I still don't understand why dude would put his gun away AFTER he saw the giant pool of blood on the floor? Wouldn't that make you pull out even more guns, or at least back up against a wall to cover your blind spots or something? I dunno, I guess that's why I'm not the true detective. The giant birdhead thingy is pretty badass, though.

Tim Riggins Scowly motorcycle guy is giving me a T-1000 vibe -- I kept joking with my roommate that he was gonna pull a "have you seen this boy?" -- but Vince Vaughn is just not selling it to me. I find myself half-covering my face with misplaced embarrassment every time he gets to acting all tough and serious. But it took me until episode 3 or 4 of the last season of TD to really Get Into It and now I honestly think it was/is one of my favorite things ever put to film, so I'll keep watching this season for at least a few more episodes and see if it starts clicking.

Big ups to the token impossibly beautiful ladycop for keeping knives at her hip and in her boot, in any case -- I do the exact same thing, stowed in the same places, for the same reasons, talismans and all. (There's one around my neck, too.) "The fundamental difference between the sexes is that one can kill the other with their bare hands." PREACH.
posted by divined by radio at 2:08 PM on June 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also, they covered a whole lot of ultimately meaningless territory last season, so deleting a "main" character after 2 episodes doesn't seem like that big of a deal. 1st season had the whole biker gang thing, which was really kind of a macguffin for how much time it took, but it was impressive that it could all seem so dense but still have that whole thing in there.
posted by LionIndex at 2:34 PM on June 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Last episode I speculated that Paul is questioning his sexuality or closeted and I think we have some more clues toward that, maybe. From Entertainment Weekly's recap:

Mom’s fixation with her hunky Nancy boy was part of the episode’s sexual objectification of Paul, a provocative choice for various reasons, including that it comes after criticism of the first season of True Detective for its sexual objectification of women. (Also see: Ray pitching Paul to work undercover pumping prostitutes for intel on Caspere. “He’d be smooth for that.”) Is he gay? We heard him slag homosexuals with an epithet while recounting an encounter with a man who hit on him—“I almost clocked the guy,” he said, protesting a touch too much—but then we saw him on his apartment balcony, ogling two men in angel costumes and another man loitering in a park, waiting for action. If Paul wears his new century macho man persona like a mask, it’s starting to slip.

As far as Ani - I think Rachel McAdams's acting here is multilayered and nuanced in ways we can't appreciate yet. She's got something going on under the surface, and she's affecting an exterior. I'm more intrigued by her character than all the others. It'll no doubt play into the deconstruction of masculinity that this season is already well on its way towards.
posted by naju at 3:38 PM on June 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


I think Rachel McAdams's acting here is multilayered and nuanced in ways we can't appreciate yet.

If Colin Farrel's character is truly dead and gone from the show, it'll be McAdams (if anything) that keeps me watching. Vaughn isn't doing it for me at all, except for a glimmer in the scene where he confronted the guy on the highway after his thugs first beat the guy up. That worked for me; the "trapped in the basement with rats" bit, not so much. (In fact that just made me roll my eyes backwards.)
posted by dnash at 4:39 PM on June 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't know which camp I'm in about deadness, but I do think the hidden video camera is important - it's just as plausible that we (and, more pertinently, Someone Else) are MEANT to think he is dead, as that he is actually dead.
posted by biscotti at 5:26 PM on June 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


I do think the hidden video camera is important - it's just as plausible that we (and, more pertinently, Someone Else) are MEANT to think he is dead, as that he is actually dead.

Yes I thought that, too. But IF that's the case then they missed a good opportunity to end the show with a shot from the POV of the camera. Pan out slowly to reveal the image on a security monitor somewhere, then the RavenDude walks toward the lens and turns off the camera.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 5:38 PM on June 29, 2015


I'm so glad I have y'all to notice the subtleties that I don't. codacarolla called it last week about the guy having his dick cut (er...acided) off. Although I wish I had covered my eyes faster during the scene at the medical examiner's office. Yuck.

I'm in the "he's dead" camp. It's pretty ballsy of a show to do that, which makes me like it more.
posted by radioamy at 9:15 PM on June 29, 2015


Another WhatTheFlick?! review where they're pretty much convinced that Taylor Kitsch's character is gay, and the panel discusses the he dead/not dead question.
posted by pleasebekind at 10:53 PM on June 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm moved into the "his ass is dead or you better have a fucking great explanation of why he isn't" camp.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:56 PM on June 29, 2015


I'd be amused if he was just treated as MIA next episode while the action sticks to the other two mousketeers who go to work on the case. Troll the audience until episode 4 to reveal Farrell's disposition.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:14 PM on June 29, 2015


I would not be amused.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:50 AM on June 30, 2015


What's annoying to me is that it's a cheap gag either way. Of course it's cheap if they bring him back. If they don't, it's also cheap, because they spent the whole of this episode playing up a redemption angle, talking about how he "used to be decent," playing up the foreboding sense that he and Vince Vaughn aren't getting along quite as well, making it feel as though he's going to go rogue and actually try to solve this thing. And then he dies. Ech. Not very satisfying either way, really.

But I have to say that I'm willing to go the distance with this; I think people are likely to find it growing on them, and have apparently forgotten that S01 took a while to really get off the ground and click together in a way that made sense. The writing is still quite good, I think - lots of stuff I get on second viewing, or even can't quite fathom yet, as it's clearly referring to stuff that I'm not staring at. I like that.
posted by koeselitz at 1:26 AM on June 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


In any case – yeah, I am hoping he's not dead, and I have some suspicions he isn't. The main visual thing in the episode is the fact that there's no blood splatter from either of the shotgun blasts, particularly the first one, where he's standing right in front of a white (soundproof) wall.

But...

radioamy: “codacarolla called it last week about the guy having his dick cut (er...acided) off. Although I wish I had covered my eyes faster during the scene at the medical examiner's office. Yuck.”

Actually, it wasn't acid that did that to his crotch. The medical examiner says it was a shotgun: "Pelvic wounds are from a 12-gauge at point-blank range – some kind of Super-X heavy load." And after telling Semyon (Vince Vaughn) about the acid to the eyes, Ray says vaguely, "and a shotgun blast... happened."

So – whoever this is – they clearly have fired quite lethal and damaging ammunition from their shotgun before. That seems like a checkmark in the "Ray is dead" column.

One last weird thing to note, though:

DynamiteToast: “It seems like it'd be pretty out of character for Valcoro to be wearing that hardcore of a vest though. Bezzerides maybe, but Valcoro has never been seen with one on...”

Indeed, he hasn't been seen with one yet. But remember how Cool Papa Bell was talking above about a shot in the trailer that we haven't seen yet, one with Bezzerides and Valcoro apparently heading into some kind of raid? He appears to be wearing a bulletproof vest in that shot.

Although, again, it still doesn't look like he's wearing anything like that when he goes to the house in Beverly Hills, so I'm not sure where to go with that.
posted by koeselitz at 8:36 AM on June 30, 2015


Oh, meant to mention: I stuck the subtitle track (such as it is) on PasteBin, if it helps anybody. I tend to like to look back at the dialogue.
posted by koeselitz at 8:38 AM on June 30, 2015


(Springfield! Springfield! also has a subtitle transcript, as it does for just about everything.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 8:44 AM on June 30, 2015


What are we making of the fact that the blood on the floor in the final scene was fresh? It couldn't have been Caspere's.
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:00 AM on June 30, 2015


What are we making of the fact that the blood on the floor in the final scene was fresh? It couldn't have been Caspere's.

It's fake and part of the stage of Ray's "murder."
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 9:04 AM on June 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


The main visual thing in the episode is the fact that there's no blood splatter from either of the shotgun blasts, particularly the first one, where he's standing right in front of a white (soundproof) wall.

Someone more experienced than I would know better, but if Valcoro got hit center mass by a 10-foot shot is it that unreasonable that nothing went all the way through? I mean Shotguns don't (always) literally blow holes in people, as evidenced by the point blank crotch shot on Caspere.
posted by DynamiteToast at 9:16 AM on June 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, separate what must be true in the real world with how a film producer/director would stage a scene. If they wanted Ray dead by having someone shoot him through the torso with a shotgun blast at short range, would they really turn down the opportunity to splatter the shit out of that white background with blood?

My friends, I argue that they would not.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 9:21 AM on June 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


So – whoever this is – they clearly have fired quite lethal and damaging ammunition from their shotgun before. That seems like a checkmark in the "Ray is dead" column.

Interesting thing - they're listing Caspere's official COD as 'heart attack', not blood loss. His bozak is thoroughly flayed, but he was shot with what is suspected to be Super-X Heavy Load - that's birdshot (ravenshot?). This would explain the lack of blowthrough when Ray is shot either time, but also be ever so slightly more survivable (in a fiction narrative sense) than being hit with solid slug or the like.
posted by FatherDagon at 10:04 AM on June 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


The only time I saw Farrell wearing a vest was during the flashback scene at the bar when he was still wearing a police uniform. He was all bulky and weird-looking and then from an angle I saw that it's because he was padded with a vest.
posted by pleasebekind at 10:10 AM on June 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


But also, if Ravenperson knows they have non-lethal ammunition in their gun, and Velcoro is apparently incapacitated by the first shot, why go in for a second? To extra double-sure non-kill him? Would rock salt have enough mass to send him flying backwards with the first shot (assuming no artistic license is being taken with physics here).

On that physics note:

Only if she managed to rush out and beat Farrell to the house. The killer was waiting outside.

You're probably right. Even if they're playing loose with inertial masses, I don't think up to the level of refuting the laws of time and space yet, and that town car didn't appear to have a warp drive on it.
posted by LionIndex at 10:10 AM on June 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


if Ravenperson knows they have non-lethal ammunition in their gun, and Velcoro is apparently incapacitated by the first shot, why go in for a second?

To make whoever is watching the video feed think that Ray is definitely dead. I mean, I don't know if that's the reason. But I don't think it's a mistake, exactly, that Ray opens the door to the closet, and that the camera is pointed directly at him as he is shot and falls to the floor.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 10:11 AM on June 30, 2015


I might have to subscribe to your newsletter, cuz that fits into my own pet theory that Ravenperson is just a pawn working for something larger. I'd guess we figure out who Ravenperson is and neutralize them by episode 5, but getting whoever is behind them is the final few episodes. I don't think they'll pull the same "well, we got that all wrapped up!.... uh oh!" that they did last season, but I doubt that hunting down the Raven will take the whole season.

I don't know that Velcoro was the intended victim though, if that really was a setup - maybe they thought they were going to get Frank, but fuck if they're not going to shoot whoever comes snooping around.
posted by LionIndex at 10:36 AM on June 30, 2015


If Rick Springfield is the Raven, would that make Eliot Bezzerides the Big Bad?
posted by rocketman at 10:39 AM on June 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


would that make Eliot Bezzerides the Big Bad?

That would definitely fit the "whoever is the most recognizable actor who is not a main lead is definitely the bad guy" model of TV-making (see: The Killing Season 3).
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 10:43 AM on June 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I agree, but that seems a little spot-on, doesn't it? Season 1 didn't really follow that model, but they also didn't really have anyone of David Morse's stature in non-lead roles. It was Woody, Matthew, Michelle, and a few people I recognized from other HBO stuff.
posted by LionIndex at 10:50 AM on June 30, 2015


I hate that we have to wait an entire week for another episode, like we're some sort of animals or something.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 11:18 AM on June 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Might as well be decapitated in a soundproofed room, eh?
posted by LionIndex at 11:34 AM on June 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Rest in peace, Colin "MagnumDWI" Farrell.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 11:55 AM on June 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


[Folks, unless a FanFare thread is a Rewatch thread, we should not be bringing future-episode discussion into current-episode threads, even if it's promo materials. Thanks.]
posted by restless_nomad at 12:30 PM on June 30, 2015


we should not be bringing future-episode discussion into current-episode threads

Oh? At all? Okey doke then, lates.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:44 PM on June 30, 2015


Two guesses in my mind:

1. Either he's not dead, if he was wearing a vest and it was rock salt in the gun or something. The first shot didn't seem to produce any blood at all, even initial splatter;

2. or he's dead, and a lot of the season will still include his character, but a lot will be in flashbacks showing how he went from where he was to where he is (while somehow including information that is relevant to the present), and part of the resolution of the show becomes solving his murder as well. In those flashbacks, he may become a more sympathetic character, where as now he's pretty much just a "bad guy." I think this would actually be a really interesting thing to do.

I just can't see them actually writing him off so soon as a recurring character (with some actual evidence seeming to point to the contrary), although I can certainly see them wanting us to think we just got GRRM'd.
posted by SpacemanStix at 12:54 PM on June 30, 2015


rocketman: “If Rick Springfield is the Raven, would that make Eliot Bezzerides the Big Bad?”

If Rick Springfield is the Raven, I think that means the Big Bad is Jessie's Girl.
posted by koeselitz at 1:17 PM on June 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Okay, since we should probably move away from the annoyingly omnipresent question – IS RAY DEAD OR WHAT, GEEZ??? – how about another question that's bugging me more on re-watch.

What's with Frank Semyon roughing up that guy who "runs a book in Vinci sweatshops"? Is he just trying to track down money, tighten up his enterprise? The last scene we saw him in, he was saying he was broke, and asking his assistant to get together all the money he can from various people – is that what he's doing? It doesn't seem like that's what he's doing there, though – it seems like he's trying to make an example, or send a message, or something. But as far as I can tell it's not clear from the rest of the episode what that's all about.
posted by koeselitz at 1:31 PM on June 30, 2015


1st season had the whole biker gang thing, which was really kind of a macguffin for how much time it took, but it was impressive that it could all seem so dense but still have that whole thing in there.

Though without the biker gang distraction, we wouldn't have had that whole absolutely phenomenal crazy-ass single-shot housing project shootout. That was brilliantly directed and filmed -- reminded me of the cinematography in Children of Men.

As for this episode, I think (and hope) he's dead, even though he's been the most interesting character so far. And, yeah, motorcycle cop is looking a bit James-Hurley-broody at this moment. I'm really hoping they flush out Ani's character a bit more, as it seems like she has the most interesting back story to work with.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 1:50 PM on June 30, 2015


What's with Frank Semyon roughing up that guy who "runs a book in Vinci sweatshops"? Is he just trying to track down money, tighten up his enterprise?

Was that the competition? If he was under pressure to have increasingly bigger payoffs for the next couple of months to the mayor from his own gambling establishments, maybe it was about trying to figure out how to discourage people from taking bets elsewhere.
posted by SpacemanStix at 1:56 PM on June 30, 2015


What's with Frank Semyon roughing up that guy who "runs a book in Vinci sweatshops"?

I think it was to remind the audience that a) yes, he's a gangster, and b) his gangster methods are chump change compared to where he really wants/needs to be. It also shows the banality / venality of the Vinci mayor's corruption. There's a billion dollars of tax money on the table, but they're still rousting penny-ante gamblers.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:01 PM on June 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Huh... I just realized something. Leaving Casper with his ID on his lap to be found by someone is the act of a person who wants the cops to investigate. That could mean that Raven Mask is trying to expose some aspect of Vinci to the wider world. He may even know who Ray is (an enforcer for Frank), and killing / maiming him would be a great move to bring actual police attention (and not just the island of misfit cops) to the case.
posted by codacorolla at 7:22 AM on July 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


Not sure how I feel about this episode. I'm kind of glad that Velcoro is dead or at least that this is a show that would kill off an A-list actor in the second episode. Plus he was kind of annoying.

On the other hand, now we're stuck with Vince Vaughn for more of the time and I'm really confused at his performance. Is he just really bad at drama or is his weird stiff performance intentional?
posted by octothorpe at 12:09 PM on July 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


A theory. Ray was wearing a vest and will live, but the twist is that he's in on the conspiracy/murder of Capser. He goes into the house, activates the camera, makes a heroic, but futile shot that goes wide against his attacker and takes a couple of shotgun blasts to his vest. This serves as a writers trick so that the audience doesn't suspect Ray until the big reveal.
posted by humanfont at 6:09 PM on July 1, 2015


Huh... what if my idea about Frank's brother in law being the rapist of Ray's wife is true. Ray has found out somehow. He's in on the Casper murder, and the trip to the murder house is a stage. He gets an intentionally non-lethal shot that he survives, and he absolves himself of suspicion. He then works as the inside man for the conspiracy to take Frank down, which is revealed towards the end of the series and Ani (who's been growing closer to him) has to decide what to do with that information (which is difficult since she's a strict law and order type).
posted by codacorolla at 7:34 PM on July 1, 2015


On the other hand, now we're stuck with Vince Vaughn for more of the time and I'm really confused at his performance. Is he just really bad at drama or is his weird stiff performance intentional?

I have this problem with him too. I'm kinda "Aren't you meant to be mean and threatening and scary?" and "You're acting more like badly constipated; maybe a bowl of fiber rather than looking at the damp patches on the ceiling?"

Speaking of which, my God that scene of him droning on in bed went on and on and on, and that was the point I very nearly bailed on the whole series.
posted by Wordshore at 7:50 PM on July 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


I guess I'm the only person that doesn't mind Vince Vaughn. I feel like his performance isn't that bad. He's not going to be Matthew McC or Woody Harrelson, but he does just fine.
posted by LizBoBiz at 5:35 AM on July 2, 2015 [10 favorites]


I was kinda whatever on him in the first episode. The problem is, the second episode opened with a scene that entirely hinged on him being able to deliver a (sorta cliched, honestly) dark/disturbing childhood story that he failed so utterly at being convincing at, I went from whatever to "christ, less scenes of this guy please".

It was just a painful scene to watch (and not in the way they intended). He clearly did not have the chops to pull it off within the first 10-15 seconds, and then it went on for what seemed like forever.

It was fremdschämen all the way down (for Vaughn, not for the character).
posted by tocts at 5:51 AM on July 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm unironically loving Vince Vaughn in this.

I think he's doing great.
posted by French Fry at 6:16 AM on July 2, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'm actually more okay with this season than most people are. It's a slow build of character development, with at least one freaky thing happening per episode. I've watched each a couple of times now, and it's growing on me more with each showing. Each time I've picked up more story development. I do like Vaughn, as well. I think he's doing just fine, and I'll be sad if Farrell is permanently out of the game at this point. It's not season one, but it's building to be its own thing that has potential.
posted by SpacemanStix at 6:49 AM on July 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


I am starting to wonder if characters will be killed off one by one...revealing the "true detective."
posted by agregoli at 8:35 AM on July 2, 2015


i think true detective is a pretty cool guy. eh gets killed by crow man and doesn't afraid of anything
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:43 AM on July 2, 2015 [9 favorites]


So far I like the start of this season better than the start of last season. The first few episodes of last season were very meh for me (I watched after the whole thing was finished, so it had probably been overhyped a little). I spent a lot of time going "And....?" because of the time jumping structure. Where this season hasn't been doing flashbacks but more just overloading the amount of characters. It makes for a much different structure that I like so far, and I think could have a much better finale payoff than last season (which probably picked a couple episodes before the finale).
posted by dogwalker at 5:53 PM on July 2, 2015


Though without the biker gang distraction, we wouldn't have had that whole absolutely phenomenal crazy-ass single-shot housing project shootout. That was brilliantly directed and filmed -- reminded me of the cinematography in Children of Men.

Yeah, that's what I mean though. Ultimately, that whole storyline didn't mean all that much. The whole raid sequence was just to get Ginger to trust Rust, and that was just to get Rust introduced to the meth cooks, who weren't even the killers they were looking for (although undoubtedly bad dudes). So that was a two or three episode digression just to set up the belief that Rust and Marty had solved the case. The payoff of doing that whole meandering thing was satisfying enough that it worked in general, but that's a lot of material devoted to a dead end in an 8-episode mystery show.
posted by LionIndex at 8:21 PM on July 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


There is a crow audible in the background in the therapist's office, once just as the painting is shown over Valtoro's shoulder and another call shortly after.

There was an odd shot that caught my attention in that scene: Ani asks if Caspere had mentioned violence, the therapist says, "He was sexually obsessed, but he was not aggressive. More ... passive", Ani looks away and we get this shot. What am I supposed to read into this geode?
posted by tylermoody at 8:21 PM on July 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


I saw that as yonic imagery as well as callback to the shotgun blast to Caspere's genitals, which in itself was a forceful subversion of the phallic into the yonic. No idea where that gets us, but I was also interested in that shot and somewhat unsettled by it.
posted by naju at 9:01 PM on July 2, 2015 [8 favorites]


agregoli: I am starting to wonder if characters will be killed off one by one...revealing the "true detective."

True Detectives are like boozy Highlanders.
posted by brundlefly at 2:51 AM on July 11, 2015


I'm thinking beanbag rounds in the shotgun. If so, why do they want to incapacitate him? Do they want to abduct him? Send a message?
posted by jjwiseman at 3:10 PM on July 11, 2015


#ClassicsWatch

There's a frieze over Frank's head when he talks to Ray.
And don't talk to Paul's mom about that mother fucker.



Other than that, the geode, the clay pots, the elliptical bookshelf - very yonic.



"Tracing the unseen web."
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:47 PM on July 11, 2015


My gf and I were discussing the scene in which Bezzerides is ... uh, I guess shopping online to try and find some of the escorts that Caspere may have hired? Anyway, the scene goes on and on with more graphic things on her screen and tighter and tighter shots on her eye(s).

Bezzerides seems to be written so far as someone that's got some weird kinks, and maybe some hangups about sex in general. She wants to do something in the bedroom which her partner is not comfortable with (some commenter suggested knife play which seems plausible to me) and immediately shuts down when he wants to talk about it. She attempts to shame her sister when she finds her working as a cam girl.

We were shown James HurleyWoodrugh protesting a bit too much about being hit on by a guy, and then later gazing longingly(?) at two men holding hands. Is this supposed to be paralleled by Bezzerides and porn/sexuality?
posted by komara at 8:05 PM on July 27, 2015


I doubt her kink is knife play. I think she wanted to be restrained.

It's why she reacts so quickly during the autopsy—"Bound?!"
posted by carsonb at 8:56 PM on August 16, 2015


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