True Detective: Down Will Come
July 13, 2015 6:53 AM - Season 2, Episode 4 - Subscribe

Ani and Ray find another connection that leads through Ani's family. Frank tries to reclaim his old life in crime. Paul makes a major breakthrough in the case. All the while Ani gets some bad news, Ray tries to reconnect, and Paul sees a new opportunity. The task force closes in on a suspect, but it doesn't quite go as planned.

The WSJ has a more detailed recap here.

Some critical reaction:

Indiewire gives Woodie the MVP for this episode.

NYT: Big Auras and Slow SUVs.

The AV Club gives it a B, and reveals that HBO will likely not be giving advance copies of future episodes to reviewers.

Ok, so now that we're discussing it, can someone FINALLY tell me what louche means!?!
posted by codacorolla (86 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Re: Slow SUVs: They were trying to kill her, not just to escape.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 7:15 AM on July 13, 2015


Re: Slow SUVs: They were trying to kill her, not just to escape.

I agree. I think that they were probably outright hired by Chessani, with some stipulation in their contract to make sure Ani died. It would also explain why the regular cops showed up late.
posted by codacorolla at 7:17 AM on July 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


That was some gun fight. I think it's the best one I've seen in a while. I felt the tension...I usually tune out during shoot-em-ups.
posted by pearlybob at 7:46 AM on July 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


Not to be Debbie Downer but this is the first episode of season 2 that I was bored with. I was laughing during the shootout.
posted by starman at 7:50 AM on July 13, 2015


That was a great gun fight.

I think Chessani was behind it too. Especially with the stay safe out there comment he made.
posted by pseudodionysus at 7:51 AM on July 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ani and her sister treasure the following mementos from dead their mother: (1) a small collection of creepy driftwood netsuke, and (2) a knife.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 7:53 AM on July 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


Not to be Debbie Downer but this is the first episode of season 2 that I was bored with. I was laughing during the shootout.

I was bored during most of it; the gunfight was the one part I found interesting. That said, I did kind of like the hinting at a sinister force manipulating everything implied by the shitting hitting the fan for two of the investigators at this convenient time.

I am also just so over Vince Vaughn's character. Boo effing hoo, you're so stressed and no one understands so obviously the answer is "be mean to your wife". Jesus. I don't know if I'm supposed to empathize with him (I don't) or just find him enthralling (I also don't) but he is taking up too much screen time. He's boring and hackneyed.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 7:54 AM on July 13, 2015 [9 favorites]


Yeah, he's really on my last nerve too. Like him setting up all of these crooked deals over the past two episodes. Are those going to have any sort of payoff later, or is it just like ~30 minutes of screen time devoted to the fact that he's starting up the band again? Because if it's the former, this show doesn't need any more characters, and if it's the latter that's just a waste that doesn't move VV's character or the larger story forward at all.
posted by codacorolla at 8:01 AM on July 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't know. That sums up my reaction to the series so far. Things were moving better, what with Ray training to warn Ani about how she was doomed. But everything else was pretty blah. Vince Vaughn's character is ok, but not sure if he's worth the screen time. He seems to be getting worst as he's having to dig back into his crime past. Ok, but is there a point here?

The gunfight was just weird. All three can keep up with the SUV? There were way too many shots where it seemed like they could have killed the bad guys much earlier. What the hell were the rent-a-vatos doing by killing bystanders? What was the point of Ani pulling out a knife when faced with heavily thugs? Just a comfort she reached for when it seemed as though things were going to conclude explosively? The scene just felt all sorts of odd and wrong, like bad direction as opposed to good plot.

So I'm left with "I don't know" sentiment for this season. There are good elements, but they don't add it still and there's a lot of fluff that could have been cut.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:01 AM on July 13, 2015


Louche is French slang for shady, as in a shady person/deal. No idea why he'd be using French slang, and his random spurts of vocabulary always seem oddly placed. Either it is bad writing or it is deliberate and part of the puzzle. Time will tell which it is, I guess.

The look these three gave each other at the end of this episode was reminiscent to me of the look they gave each other when they found Caspere's corpse in the first episode. As in, "how is it possible that the three of us are standing here right now?"

I feel the implication is that fate is involved somehow, as in Ani's father's comment earlier in the episode about spiritual movements intersecting, as though cosmic forces are driving all the synchronicity.
posted by tempestuoso at 8:03 AM on July 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


Louche isn't that exotic; it's a loan word from French.

Sepinwall:
It continued this season's struggles to balance its four main characters with whatever the mystery is supposed to actually be about, and to find a manner of speaking for Vince Vaughn that seems both natural for him to deliver and consistent from scene to scene.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 8:18 AM on July 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


FWIW I know what louche means. It was a joke about the ridiculousness of that scene.
posted by codacorolla at 8:43 AM on July 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm calling it now: Everyone in that gunfight was using rubber bullets.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 8:51 AM on July 13, 2015 [17 favorites]


This season has now entered "The Killing Season 1" territory for me. I'll keep watching but I doubt I'm going to like it.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 8:55 AM on July 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm calling it now: Everyone in that gunfight was using rubber bullets.

...because that was a scene the director dude was filming for his movie. Twist!

True Detective is about three cops not realizing that they are extras in a crime movie. Frank is an actor in that movie and he's really just complaining about his bad scenes in the movie when he talks to his wife by repeating the script verbatim, like Can you believe this honey?
posted by sylvanshine at 9:24 AM on July 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


We got a nice daylight shot of Frank's living room this week! Plus another look at the gorgeous Eric Buck dining chairs we first saw in the previous episode.
posted by mullacc at 9:39 AM on July 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


So was the ground water in the land tracts that are getting the train intentionally poisoned to drive farmers off of it and reduce prices? Is that a stretch? The scenes with Ani and Ray out in the country were sort of confusing in terms of what plot information they were imparting, IMO.
posted by codacorolla at 9:50 AM on July 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


I didn't find that ending boring at all. Maybe I'm just sensitive, but it totally freaked me out because it just would. not. end.

One thing I realized during this episode is that Frank's wife is one of the few non-cliche characters in this show. She knows exactly what Frank is up to, and she basically encourages it. I mean clearly she's not super happy about the dental work situation, but she knows full well what happened. In most mob shows/movies the woman either doesn't know how bad her guy is, or she sorta knows but deludes herself that he's a good person underneath (Carmella Soprano anyone?).
posted by radioamy at 9:55 AM on July 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


intentionally poisoned to drive farmers off

Yeah, Vinci is a prodigious producer of toxic waste, with a completely corrupt government, and thriving criminal economy, so it doesn't really seem like a stretch.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 9:55 AM on July 13, 2015


Maybe it was the wine, but I could not follow the plot explanation of who that guy was they were going after and what he had to do with the original dead guy. (I'll go look at some recaps to see if it's explained better somewhere.)

(Did the preview of next week look to anyone else like we might be about to do another shift forward several years in time, like last season?)
posted by dnash at 10:00 AM on July 13, 2015


dnash, I think they were going after the guy who pawned Caspare's watch. He was a known bad guy, so they went in heavy.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 10:04 AM on July 13, 2015


Yeah, Capare's watch showed up a pawn shop, they pulled rent-a-vato prints, ran'em, saw he was a really bad due and went in heavy.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:06 AM on July 13, 2015


[Heya, best to avoid discussing preview/promo stuff; keep it to what's actually happened in the episodes proper.]
posted by cortex at 10:11 AM on July 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


I am definitely of two minds on the gunfight. There were parts of it that were interesting (the implications of who set it up; the very opening of it, the brutality of it with drunk cop getting taken out so fast). But, it was also way too long, with way to many "... and then, ..." moments. The continuity was also all sorts of wacky, as far as the bad guys; either they have magical magazines-of-holding, or we missed them reloading about 20 times.

It reached a point where it felt like a videogame, just due to the ceaseless automatic gunfire with no apparent need for a reload.

Also: gangster meeting in a high-end bakery, wtf?
posted by tocts at 10:15 AM on July 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


Also: gangster meeting in a high-end bakery, wtf?

Who doesn't like a good cheesecake?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:20 AM on July 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Don't know about real life gangsters, but operating out of an incongruously benign front business is a pretty consistent trope in organized crime fiction. (See The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, The Wire, etc.)
posted by paper chromatographologist at 10:21 AM on July 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


I suppose. It felt kinda weird, is all. I mean, most of the locations Vince Vaughn visited felt weird, really. Also: sick burn, regarding that one guy's shitty coffee.
posted by tocts at 10:29 AM on July 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Also: gangster meeting in a high-end bakery, wtf?

This kinda thing is almost a Hollywood requirement for organized crime. Satriale's in the Sopranos, the Kansas City outfit's grocery store in Casino, the pizzeria in Drive, the flower shop in The Town...I'm probably leaving out more obvious examples.

on preview: what paper chromatographologist said
posted by mullacc at 10:39 AM on July 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm probably leaving out more obvious examples

Louis.
posted by maxsparber at 10:54 AM on July 13, 2015


Big ups for having Paul handle his weapon like a guy who recently came back from war.

I'm sure it was super exaggerated on purpose, but it was interesting seeing him being super careful with his firearm, while Ray (someone who didn't just come back from Afghanistan) was a little more hand wavy and nervous.
posted by sideshow at 12:14 PM on July 13, 2015 [8 favorites]


Were the cake store guys Turkish?
posted by Artw at 12:23 PM on July 13, 2015


Big ups for having Paul handle his weapon like a guy who recently came back from war.

Yes! Also interesting how Velcoro was "blinking away the dust" after the shoot out, while Paul was cool as a cucumber. Each was strong in his own element, weak in the other's.

I thought the cake store guys were Armenian.
posted by tempestuoso at 12:26 PM on July 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


I noticed the way Paul was handling his pistol, and figured it might be significant. What's the purpose of that grip in a combat situation?
posted by codacorolla at 12:45 PM on July 13, 2015


What's the purpose of that grip in a combat situation?

This grip? (I haven't watch this ep yet)
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:15 PM on July 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


I liked this episode. Re: The shabby drunk detective whose name I can't recall. I think he was involved in the setup somehow. He was in the pawnshop and part of the big break in the case. Then he finds the perp in the warehouse. His death by headshot might be a way for the conspirators to tie up a loose end.
posted by humanfont at 1:18 PM on July 13, 2015


On the other hand, the 50 other people they slaughtered probably weren't all loose ends.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 1:21 PM on July 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


I tend to agree that shabby drunk dude was probably in on the setup, but I also think his death was likely just happenstance. There were a lot of bullets flying around.

Call it karmic justice, perhaps.
posted by tocts at 1:24 PM on July 13, 2015


I actually really liked this episode, except for the tedious bits with Vince Vaughn shooting down adoption, going around menacing everyone, acting weirdly offended by chit-chat about his dental work, and reminding everyone once again that he's under enormous pressure and stands to lose everything.

His wife (played by Kelly Reilly) reminds me strongly of Diane Keaton! It's the eyes and the shape of the face. Anyways it was bugging me and I finally placed it this episode. She rocks, Rachel McAdams rocks, the dirty mayor (Ritchie Coster) is dirty good, and I always think Colin Farrell is underrated as an actor.

Count me as someone who was completely sucked into the shitstorm at the end: I didn't quite get the knife thing, I would've been more gratifying to see her use it, but I think they're setting up expectations for an upcoming episode.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 1:29 PM on July 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


Nothing bothers me more in a gun battle scene than (1) bystanders acting like bad videogame AI and (2) over-exaggerated shooting deaths. We got both. I thought Saving Private Ryan got us beyond (2), but no, everyone has to do the shimmy-shake when getting shot rather than just dropping like a sack of flour.

I could not at all comprehend Franky's "louche" discussion with his flunkie. I'm no dummy, but the dialog has been so stylized this season it's really detracting from my ability to enjoy it, let alone understand it.
posted by schoolgirl report at 1:29 PM on July 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


This grip? (I haven't watch this ep yet)

Sort of. His main hand was holding the gun in that fashion, but his offhand was sort of splayed out when he wasn't tensed and firing. It's hard to describe, but it was distinctive and sort of odd.
posted by codacorolla at 1:32 PM on July 13, 2015


Also, we had our fair share of ridiculous lines this episode. "Your worst self can be your best self." Yeah, keep on keepin' on, Frank!
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 1:33 PM on July 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


As an aside, I think the most enduring mystery of the show thus far is why the bar staff keeps letting that singer on stage.
posted by tocts at 1:36 PM on July 13, 2015 [12 favorites]


A knife is a pretty crappy thing to bring to a gun fight, and I thought Ani looked relieved to be putting it away unused.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 1:36 PM on July 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Also, we had our fair share of ridiculous lines this episode. "Your worst self can be your best self."

Someone should keep a running tally of how often Pizzolatto busts out rhetorical constructions like that or his similar favorite from this season: "You think you're Xing Y, but Y is really Xing you."
posted by Copronymus at 1:38 PM on July 13, 2015


I got the distinct impression that Ani's gun jammed or ran out of ammo, so first she started searching a slain fellow officer to use his gun, but that wouldn't work either, so she got her knife out. She was just using what she had, it's not like she's got a severe hankering for stabbytimes.
posted by LionIndex at 2:00 PM on July 13, 2015 [14 favorites]


There's something going on with Ani's knife situation, but I agree that she got it out as a last-ditch effort because they brought handguns to an automatic weapon fight.
posted by radioamy at 2:25 PM on July 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Interestingly enough, this was one episode where I actually understood everything that was happening. Not sure if that's good or bad.

Then again, I missed the whole "louche" thing - when did they say it?
posted by radioamy at 2:30 PM on July 13, 2015


Frank is pressing the gangly ginger guy who may or may not be his wife's brother, saying that he's been stepping out of bounds. He then compares him to Roger Moore, and asks him if he knows what "louche" means and then tells him to stop being that.
posted by codacorolla at 2:51 PM on July 13, 2015


acting weirdly offended by chit-chat about his dental work

Captain Pastry is telling Vaughan "Dude, I totally know what you did to Mr. Fuck-You Grill, and I want you to know that we're not scared and that we can do that shit to you," and then Vaughan says back "Try it if you want, motherfucker. Others have tried and I still have all my teeth, both metaphorical and real."

I could not at all comprehend Franky's "louche" discussion with his flunkie.

"You're lazing around here all nonchalant like you're Roger Fucking Moore when you should be out there doing shit to get my money back. This does not impress me."
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:04 PM on July 13, 2015 [15 favorites]


Drunk Shabby Cop was none other than W. Earl Brown, who notably played Dan Doherty on Deadwood. He had a pretty interesting character arc going there for a minute, tailing Taylor Kitsch an episode ago and demonstrating the cautious wisdom of a stakeout veteran prior to the gun battle that took his life in this one. RIP, WEB.

More generally, I think this season is doing interesting things. I think it's asking us to consider "masculinity" and the way that it shapes and constrains behavior. Why doesn't Vaughn want to adopt? Why doesn't Farrell want a paternity test? Why does Kitsch want to marry that girl? Why is McAdams getting HR complaints lobbed at her? Why are these characters hung up about various aspects of their sexuality while a cadre of wealthy libertines attend orgies and have their eyes pecked out by a birdman?
posted by The White Hat at 4:23 PM on July 13, 2015 [18 favorites]


I thought "Sometimes your worst self, is your best self" was a great line. Frank seems to relish returning to his old wicked ways. In his good self, he had a house with problems he can't solve and sorrows from losing it all. So he returns to his old bad self and finds comfort in criminal command, bashing the world into one he can understand.
posted by humanfont at 5:08 PM on July 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Drunk Shabby Cop was none other than W. Earl Brown, who notably played Dan Doherty on Deadwood.

Also Cameron Diaz's brother in Something About Mary.
posted by bluecore at 5:33 PM on July 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


Not a terrible episode but having the three leads escape the shootout unscathed while all the baddies and the redshirts got wasted was a little much. The gangsters had worse aim than imperial stormtroopers.
posted by octothorpe at 6:37 PM on July 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


The gangsters had worse aim than imperial stormtroopers.

Ha. I was thinking the exact same thing during that shootout.

"This is like some kind of combination of Stormtrooper/James Bond Villain Henchmen type of shooting!!"
posted by Fizz at 6:40 PM on July 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


I was also thinking serpentine!
posted by octothorpe at 7:15 PM on July 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I was also deeply unimpressed by the way in which everyone - every single cop, every single gangster, and it looked like most of the bystanders, the single non-main-character member of the investigations unit - was shot dead except for the three main leads. I mean, come on.

While his dialogue remains depressingly pretentious, I liked watching Vince Vaughn wander around re-establishing his criminal empire. It was interesting and created a cool counterweight to the "bad man trying to go straight" path he seemed to be on at the beginning of the series.

I find that the characters are at their best when they're talking shop - Velcoro explaining the Way Things Are to Bezzerides, the Vinci cop briefing, etc. When they're actually sharing meaningful information they tend to relate better, whereas the scenes of them just sitting in cars or standing next to each other and emoting Deep Emotional Things are painfully bad.

If the shootout was a setup by the Mayor, I wonder if he expected those kinds of casualties. I mean, obviously he would have meant Ani to catch one, but losing what looked like a sizable chunk of the Vinci police staff in one go isn't something you'd expect to help you politically, especially if State is already looking over your shoulder. I mean, seriously, a uniformed bloodbath like that would end up in every newspaper nationwide, shining light on the town at the exact moment he's trying to keep the shadows in place. I'm leaning either towards the Mayor not being involved or something going terribly, terribly wrong with the plan.
posted by AdamCSnider at 7:29 PM on July 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm actually really liking this season of Darkness at Noon.
posted by Justinian at 8:31 PM on July 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Brandon Blatcher: “What was the point of Ani pulling out a knife when faced with heavily thugs? ”
“If one's sword is broken, he will strike with his hands. If his hands are cut off, he will press the enemy down with his shoulders. If his shoulders are cut away, he will bite through ten or fifteen enemy necks with his teeth. Courage is such a thing.”—Hagakure

octothorpe: “The gangsters had worse aim than imperial stormtroopers.”
Not that I think it applies to the gangsters, but for Imperial Stormtroopers, I spent 30 years making " Imperial blasters have three settings: miss/way off/no way" jokes. Then I read “Why Stormtroopers Always Miss” and felt stupid.


I watched the episode twice, and I came to the conclusion that the shootout was exciting but stupid.

One thing I thought of is that I thought I heard Bezzerides say that the state tactical team wasn't available but they couldn't wait. Which is why they went in with what they had, viz. detectives with pistols. It makes me wonder if the tactical team wasn't available on purpose.
posted by ob1quixote at 10:06 PM on July 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


I thought the gunfight was pretty poorly done, and stupid too. But then, I've seen Drug War recently.
posted by nom de poop at 10:45 PM on July 13, 2015


Here's one thing from last season that I hope they do carryover to this season: Paperwork. That shootout will generate truckloads of paperwork and they better at least mention it. It was one of the most realistic parts of detective work that happened last season; these two "heroes" had to do paperwork, were quite good at it, and it actually helped solved the case.
posted by dogwalker at 11:43 PM on July 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


Something that struck me was how calm Paul was after the shootout, while Ani and Velcoro are clearly having a hard time processing wtf just happened. This stood out especially when compared to how flustered and panicky he was that morning [before Velcoro picks him up and during the ride].

Says a lot about his character that being in the middle of a shootout isn't as nerve-wracking as drunken sex.

The whole shootout was a setup: pin the murder on a nobody [Frank sees through it quickly enough, some thug pawning a watch did not just steal $5 million], and the pesky investigators either die in the firefight or get blamed for everything if they survive.

I'm actually really enjoying this season.
posted by xqwzts at 5:52 AM on July 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


The whole shootout was a setup: pin the murder on a nobody [Frank sees through it quickly enough, some thug pawning a watch did not just steal $5 million], and the pesky investigators either die in the firefight or get blamed for everything if they survive.

It's a genius plan, really. Five dead Vinci cops, a small pile of dead criminals, and an even larger pile of dead bystanders and folks protesting Vinci public transportation. Just the thing to wrap up the investigation neatly and shift focus away from Vinci.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 5:55 AM on July 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Hey it's Andrea! As the mayor's daughter I think? I wonder if she'll get to be a character this time or if she's still just a plot device...
posted by LizBoBiz at 6:32 AM on July 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think Chessani was behind it too. Especially with the stay safe out there comment he made.
That was just a Hill Street Blues reference.
posted by cnelson at 6:55 AM on July 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


I just discovered this podcast called Welcome to Vinci, has anyone listened? It is about the real LA setting of True Detective. I only just started the first episode, in which they discuss Vernon, which is the "real" Vinci. 20,000 people work there, but there are only 100 residents. Weird place.
posted by radioamy at 7:49 AM on July 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


“If one's sword is broken, he will strike with his hands. If his hands are cut off, he will press the enemy down with his shoulders. If his shoulders are cut away, he will bite through ten or fifteen enemy necks with his teeth. Courage is such a thing.”—Hagakure

"Come back here and take what's coming to ya! I'll bite your legs off!" —Monty Python

The thing I found most ridiculous about the shoot-out scene is Ani has time to put away her knife, and they all have time to stand there dramatically and give WTF looks, but none of them can be bothered to do any triage, to check a pulse or make a tourniquet or perform CPR, or attempt to stop any innocent civilian's or fallen comrade's bleeding. These are trained first responders, and also (presumably) humans, so compassion and concern for the injured — even for people they don't like — seems like it would be a normal response here. For at least one of them, once the bullets stop flying.
posted by tempestuoso at 8:53 AM on July 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


There's an interesting play going on here between the structures of seasons 1 and 2. A sense of symmetry to the first season is starting to emerge that makes me think this season is intentionally set up in opposition to season 1.

In the fifth episode (just after the midway point) of the first season, we finally saw the truth behind the massive shooting that we had been hearing about: it was a story concocted on the fly by Rust to keep Marty out of jail for murdering the primary suspect (who was not the actual killer).

Here in the fourth episode (just before the midway point) of the second season, we have a massive gunfight that also results in the death of the primary suspects (who is almost certainly not the actual killer). But Ani & Co don't have the luxury of creating a heroic narrative for themselves: this shootout resulted in massive civilian casualties and was witnessed by television cameras that were already on the scene.

My guess is that the second half of the season will put Frank, Ani, and Paul in situation that is, on the surface, similar to the way we met Rust and Marty in the first season: separated, having officially solved the case, and dealing with the career and personal repercussions of the shootout and their own personal failings.

Another mirror in structure: both seasons featured a videotape that changes the nature of the investigation. In season 1, it was introduced in ep7, the penultimate episode. Season 2 revealed its videotape in the second episode, though we don't know exactly what it contains.
posted by Uncle Ira at 9:00 AM on July 14, 2015 [10 favorites]


This Is For Everyone Who Is Totally Confused (Buzzfeed)

I read through this, but I still didn't feel all that much wiser and I think it's not as much because it's confusing as is because it's just kind of boring, which makes it harder for me to focus. There was too much going on from the start and not clear (to me, anyway) indication on what the central focus was - at least until the end of the episode, when we learn about the murder. I'm rewatching TD S1 with a friend right now and we see the initial murder right off the bat, and the investigations after which build on that initial frame of reference, making it easy to follow despite the storyline jumping around between the past and the present. I'm starting to get into the Ray story and I really love Ani. And unlike pretty much everyone else, I don't think Vince Vaughan was a bad casting decision (though I agree he's a little overwrought at times). I love the atmosphere and I love the music. At this point I'm hanging in there because I'm hoping it will pick up in the second half and I still trust Nic Pizzolatto to pull it off.

(Also, the Darkness At Noon reference upthread made me lol)
posted by triggerfinger at 9:49 AM on July 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think Chessani was behind it too.

Frank warned his wife to stay inside after the explosion. Perhaps he knew a little something about the scale of what was about to happen.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 10:14 AM on July 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm calling it now: Everyone in that gunfight was using rubber bullets.

If this is making fun of the way that Ray made it through, I don't feel cheated about that. There was blood flying EVERYWHERE in this gun fight. Ray was shot twice at close range with no blood splatter. In retrospect, it's not a question of whether he was coming back, I don't think. It was supposed to freak us out because it was unexpected, but the details were in more than one place to suggest he was probably not dead. I don't think the audience was cheated by impossible scenarios.

Vince Vaughn's character is ok, but not sure if he's worth the screen time. He seems to be getting worst as he's having to dig back into his crime past. Ok, but is there a point here?

I think his character is supposed to be representing someone who is biting way more than he can chew out of desperation and insecurity. I think we're supposed to be interested in the fact that he is setting himself up for something he is not going to be able to manage at all, and it's going to bite him pretty hard. He's burning bridges while he is trying to rebuild them to past money connections (at least twice he has gone back on completed cash deals, asking for more money.) I don't think we're supposed to be tired of the antics of a talkative gangster. We're supposed to be thinking that he's playing gangster too hard, going back on too many deals previously made, desperate and insecure, and probably heading towards something that is going to be totally unmanageable. His inability to have a child and the dead avocado trees perhaps foreshadow or at least run parallel to his inability to produce a fruitful result. If it's going down that road, I'm still intrigued.

There's something going on with Ani's knife situation, but I agree that she got it out as a last-ditch effort because they brought handguns to an automatic weapon fight.

I wonder if we are going to hear more about her mom's knife, the one thing that she decided to keep. I suspect we'll hear more backstory about her in the next few episodes, especially since Ani's knife keeps making a showing. She said she uses it for safety, maybe her mom did, as well, as part of their time with the cult.
posted by SpacemanStix at 1:59 PM on July 14, 2015


By the way, how screwed is Ani in this situation? Did she overstep her bounds by being on probation in her own department, and still leading the charge on this?
posted by SpacemanStix at 2:05 PM on July 14, 2015


Hey it's Andrea! As the mayor's daughter I think? I wonder if she'll get to be a character this time or if she's still just a plot device...

I thought the shot of Ray's response when she said, "My dad is a very bad man" was pretty excellent. I've gone back to watch it a few times, and it shows him pretty unnerved, like he couldn't believe what he was hearing out of the blue.
posted by SpacemanStix at 2:08 PM on July 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Reading through the Buzzfeed recap, it strikes me that dark eyed, dark haired women might be Casper's "type". That would provide a string through the missing farmgirl, the mayor's Daughter, the bartender, and maybe even Woodrough's baby mama. That string could lead to the 'parties' that the mayor's wife mentioned, and have been cropping up repeatedly. That would also tie into Frank's club. And it would tie into the mayor's son, who seems to arrange the parties.

If there's some sort of jump in time before the second, real investigation begins, then Frank might realize this thread, or maybe Ani (who's probably sore about whatever punishment she's going to get for totally fucking up that raid) picks up on it in whatever job she's been busted down to.
posted by codacorolla at 3:02 PM on July 14, 2015


Prediction: the killer has poisoned Vinci's water supply with a hallucinogenic toxin. Smoking e-cigs is the only way to survive.
posted by naju at 7:21 PM on July 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Seriously though, smoking is emerging as a low-key motif. E-cigs, a Volcano vaporizer, indica for Ray's dad, and now a hookah in this episode. I don't know what that's supposed to be about.
posted by naju at 7:28 PM on July 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Also, we had our fair share of ridiculous lines this episode. "Your worst self can be your best self." Yeah, keep on keepin' on, Frank!

I thought it was the best line so far of the series, but poorly delivered.

"You can have a kid. Look at you." Was also a pretty great line.

Also, something that occured to me: "Mr Caspare was talking to someone on your second phone line a lot. You think that was your dad or Tony?" "I don't know. How would I know?"... I thought this was interesting in that Bezzerides left someone out: the person she was talking to.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 8:18 PM on July 14, 2015


I thought the shot of Ray's response when she said, "My dad is a very bad man" was pretty excellent. I've gone back to watch it a few times, and it shows him pretty unnerved, like he couldn't believe what he was hearing out of the blue.

I disagree with this reading. Ray's response, imo, and hers of immediately STFU, was off her realizing she had just bad-mouthed her dad in front of Ray, who she knows is crooked and in her dad's pocket.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 8:21 PM on July 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I loved this episode.

I especially loved how the gun fight was the first time we've seen Paul actually at ease and comfortable in his own skin, "Oh, I know how to do this", that was clever and some really good nonverbal acting that told us a whole lot about the character. That was a heck of a scene, really gripping and tense. Since I find the whole series surreal, I am not bothered by magic bullets, who gets killed and who is left standing. And the death of the boozy cop was great, so startlingly casual.

I am really loving Vince Vaughn in this. I normally really can't stand him, but I think he's really doing a great job here, he is doing brittle and unsettled really well. I would normally be joining the hater patrol, but his performance is really working for me. I may be the only one, though, from the looks of this thread...

I can't wait for next Sunday's episode!
posted by biscotti at 6:47 PM on July 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


This season has had some unintentionally funny moments for me brought about by what seems like poor direction of McAdams. In last week's episode, when Ani is startled by some screaming/crashing in the mayor's home office, she did this funny ninja walk with her hands held out that is totally out of character for what is supposed to be a hard boiled stab-happy cop. In this episode during the gun fight there was that point where she was standing next to another cop shooting at one of the baddies who's behind a car and the other cop goes to shoot and hits a pedestrian strolling by (who clearly chose the wrong day to go out for a scone while wearing headphones) then gets killed himself and then simultaneously she shoots the baddy. That whole sequence of the gun fight was just keystone cops silly.
posted by Poldo at 8:36 PM on July 15, 2015


As an aside, I think the most enduring mystery of the show thus far is why the bar staff keeps letting that singer on stage.

Solved.
posted by Wordshore at 9:17 PM on July 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think Vince Vaughn has been great in spite of the clunky dialogue he has been given to work with by the writers. The notable exception being the scene ROU_Xenophobe described.
posted by mlis at 10:36 AM on July 16, 2015


By the way, how screwed is Ani in this situation? Did she overstep her bounds by being on probation in her own department, and still leading the charge on this?
posted by SpacemanStix at 5:05 PM on July 14 [+] [!]


She's not. This was part of the State investigation, which her superior told her to do while suspending her from the Ventura Sheriff's department. The shootout will be problematic for them, and for her, but she was under orders to keep working that state case while the IA thing was going down.

I actually really liked this episode. It seems a lot of people don't understand why Frank is going back to his criminal ways....I thought it was obvious.

The guy is out of money. Entirely. Caspere took everything he had for the land deal - he was completely leveraged in that. He's got to come up with enough money to buy his stake now and the only way he knows how to do that is the methods he used to get into that position to begin with.

I think Vaughn is doing a better job - he's getting increasingly bitchy because raising a ton of money in a short time through illegal means is high-risk, and he feels like he's paid his dues already. Doesn't wanna go through all this shit again. Don't blame him.

The gunfight, I thought, was really, really well done. Ani goes for the knife because she's got nothing else. The guys with machine guns weren't interested in controlled-bursts; they were interested in spraying lead. They may not have been trained or practiced in the automatic weapons, either. This ain't Sons of Anarchy. :-)

One thing....they never really tell you what/if anything - Paul did with the other guy, and he doesn't seem to remember. Even the language in their brief exchange was ambivalent.
posted by Thistledown at 11:06 AM on July 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


The gunfight, I thought, was really, really well done.

If it was a setup to take out the three of them in the gunfight, it sure is striking that they were the only three left standing (although the fourth in their team was killed, he always felt dispensible).

One thing....they never really tell you what/if anything - Paul did with the other guy, and he doesn't seem to remember. Even the language in their brief exchange was ambivalent.

Although Paul is on a path of self-destruction, the exchange had a weird quality to it. The other guy didn't think it was weird at all that he didn't remember anything from the night or even hooking up, which felt like there was something nefarious going on (like being slipped a roofie or something). Or, it just wasn't great writing.
posted by SpacemanStix at 9:35 PM on July 17, 2015




Frank's (family) is literally infertile. He always said land would be his legacy.
Frank's got a dismal outlook - all those monkeys all those problems.

Ray wears that bolo like a noose.

You wondered about the pastry shop? Cash business, so fewer credit card receipts. Product that goes stale or spoils, so you can write a good amount off.
Cash is king.
Serious Fisher King vibe. Poisoned land, avocado trees failing, no leader.

"Moving."
Nice Paul. He's a good shot. The other cops are mainly in Weavers, Paul is in triangle. Open hand while running so he doesn't squeeze up, maybe.
Woodrugh is the only one not shaking. I'm surprised he doesn't take more control, clear and triage.

#ClassicsWatch
"I have a name, but never mind."
Names are power. Knowing a thing's, a person's, true name, give you command over them.
The lyrics are changing from episode to episode.

Frank and his pastry shop partners are drinking Turkish (Greek) coffee. The club, Lux Aeterna, is central to two stories now.
You want to know about coming home from war? Read Sophocles.

"Parties," yet again, thanks Athena.


"I believe in coincidences. Coincidences happen every day.
I don't trust coincidences."
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:55 PM on July 19, 2015




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