TV - True Detective Season 2, Episode 5


Steve Taylor-Bryant catches up with True Detective and discovers people living Other Lives...

So the fallout from the shooting battle at the end of last week’s episode threw up, well, more character building stuff than we'd had for a while and it's already been a season of character building.

Two months after the gunfight and we find an Attorney General running for Governor off the back of Ledo being shot and blamed for Caspere's murder, still too easy a mark in my opinion, with a huge war chest of mysterious money. Frank has had to downsize due to his financial woes and is back to running drugs and girls through his club, much to the wife's annoyance (his wife, my wife won't watch it). Ray is now 60 days clean and sober and moustacheless so, as he attends a legal meeting about custody of his son, he no longer looks like a 70's porn star but the meeting goes badly as he is told a paternity test is to be enforced although he should now at least pass the tox screen. He also now works for Frank as a reluctant enforcer-cum-debt collector, which means his job is still dirty but less so than when he was just a bent copper. Ray's problem with Frank gets worse though as it’s revealed his wife's rapist is still alive and well and doing rape related assaults elsewhere, which means that Ray killed the wrong man all those years ago which tied him in with Frank in the first place. Frank, meanwhile, has his own issues, as he discovers one of his waste businesses that sprinkled the chemicals on the land needed for the transportation system has mysteriously been dissolved.

Ani, between talking about penis size at her mandatory sexual harassment courses, finds a woman whose daughter is missing. This leads to prostitution parties, senators and Caspere's missing blue diamonds, which Paul discovers their now dead, shot last week, drunk partner, Taegue Dixon, was looking into before they even knew about them! Ray helps out and finds a doctor that specialised in plastic surgery on girls to be trafficked. Ray knows this as he severely beat the man until he confessed. He also found out Mayor Chessani, via his son, and Caspere would throw these parties so they could blackmail influential people. Ani gets her sister, the adult model, to try and find out where the next party will be and, along with Paul, they track a GPS location found in Caspere's car to a cabin in the woods full of blood.

Paul is having a typically bleak time of it. Despite his medal for his part in solving the Caspere case, the actress accusing him of sexual misconduct still won't go away and it looks like the Afghanistan news came from her side digging the dirt. Speaking of Afghanistan, he mysteriously has $20,000 he brought with him, or rather did have as his mother, I use the term loosely, steals it and also knows about his homosexuality, which is causing him to drink loads just to get through the day with his pregnant fiancée and her family. Luckily someone high up in the city doesn't buy Ledo as the perpetrator of the Caspere murder and secretly puts Ani, Ray and Paul back on the case.

A lot less action this week but I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. The real dirt is starting to shake loose, nearly all of which surrounds Frank, whether he's knowingly involved or not. Rachel McAdams again impresses as Ani and she really is my favourite actress right now but Colin Farrell steals the show yet again. Considering he was one of my worries when casting was announced I've grown to love Ray. I can't help it. Yes he's dirty but it came from doing the right thing and killing the man who brutalised his wife, who it now seems didn't and all the woe Ray feels now, sobering up, money problems due to the custody fight, the way he's worked since that one incident, has all apparently been for nothing and the poor guy’s got to handle that whilst trying to function. I'm sure Taylor Kitsch’s character Paul and his dirty laundry will come to a head soon but, honestly, I'm quite bored of him now which is the only downside of an incredibly well written episode. The excitement I lacked last week, despite the action, dissipated this week and, as the final few episodes start nearing, I can see the whole house of cards starting to fall. Brilliant.

Image - HBO