That was one of the most rubbery bullet episodes of TD in either season. It was also the most eventful of the three hours we’ve seen this year, so there is a lot to unpack.
Ravens in Native American Culture - Aves Noir | Aves Noir ## Dream Sequence ##
frank fertility clinic?
Do you want to live
Frank on the Shakedown
Looking for information
Paper trails inside the State investigators
- Blue Diamonds
Crooked Vinci Cop
- Steer State away from details
- What are the Details? ## Ann Relations
- Have some dignity - baggy for teeth
Paul’s darkness investigations
- The call boy seems to look into him
state police digging into Ray
frank knows the fight.
Franks girl- is she in on the kill taker?
Other Notes From Agents
- At the end of the episode, somebody wearing a creepy white mask torches Ani and Ray’s car and runs away. It wasn’t a crow’s mask, but it’s probably connected, right? Is it a faux pas if two people wear the same mask to an orgy cult?
- Meanwhile, in what feels like a totally different show, Frank Semyon can’t get an erection for his wife’s in vitro appointment, muscles a former colleague into giving him some cash, and rips out the grill of a gangster who dares to insult him.
- For the first time, Ray and Frank meet at the bar without Thematically Convenient Sad Guitarist scoring the scene. What, she had the night off? How am I supposed to know how to feel now?
- If the many, many hints in the first two episodes were too subtle, “Maybe Tomorrow” basically spells it out: Paul Woodrugh is gay. This will no doubt be a disappointment to literally every female character, since Paul’s main talent seems to be getting ogled.
- Ray’s doctor grills him about his cholesterol, terrible diet, and drug and alcohol abuse. When he asks Ray if he even wants to be alive, Ray doesn’t answer. See? Even Ray doesn’t think he should be on this show anymore.
- Fun with Los Angeles noir: [Philip Moon], who plays Ashley Daison, played Woo in The Big Lebowski — the man who sets the story in motion by micturating on The Dude’s rug.
- More fun with Los Angeles noir: Katherine Davis, the woman gunning for Ray’s badge, is played by [Michael Hyatt], who co-starred as a Los Angeles detective herself in last year’s Nightcrawler.
- “There’s a certain stridency at work here. I’m gonna put it off to you getting blasted,” says Vince Vaughn, understandably stumbling over a combination of words that no human being would ever put together. [To paraphrase Harrison Ford], you can type this stuff, but you can’t say it.
‘True Detective’ Recap: Season 2, Episode 3, ‘Maybe Tomorrow’ - Speakeasy
That was one of the most bonkers episodes of [“True Detective”] in either season. It was also the most eventful of the three hours we’ve seen this year, so there is a lot to unpack.
First, let’s start with the obvious thing, the resolution of last week’s “cliffhanger.” It’s no surprise that Ray survived those shotgun blasts from the creepy crow. Yeah, it looked bad — watching someone get shot point blank with a shot gun usually does — but there was no way showrunner and writer [Nic Pizzolatto] was going to kill off [Colin Farrell] after just two episodes.
Or … maybe he wasn’t shot with mere riot shells, which a cop would use, and he is dead. Maybe everything we see with Ray after he wakes up with broken ribs in Ben Caspere’s secret sex house is a “Mulholland Drive”-meets-“An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” kind of moment-of-death hallucination. There is a point where Frank, asked about what’s wrong with Ray, says “sombody murdered” the detective.
And then there’s that bonkers dream sequence that opens the show. It’s like one of Tony’s dreams on “The Sopranos” or something out of David Lynch’s oeuvre: Cryptic dialogue, strong primary colors, shadows and a Conway Twitty impersonator lip-syncing the late country legend’s cover of “The Rose.” That would mean dreams within dreams, and “True Detective” would hit “Inception”-style metafictional levels.
Read more: [“True Detective” Resurrects “The Rose”]
But that’s too much of a stretch, and it would make an already-complicated show far too complicated. There’s a mystery to solve, and there are four major characters’ arcs that need resolution, too. Let’s dig in, shall we?
Ani, who is in charge of the detail, spends more time with Paul in this episode. Their chat in the car goes a little smoother than when Ani rode with Ray, although even Paul feels the need to crack on her e-cigarette habit.
Before having Paul work the prostitute angle in Caspere’s murder — “Put those looks to use,” she tells him — they swing by Vinci Mayor Austin Chessani’s mansion, which is located in Bel Air, because there were a lot of calls between this residence and Caspere’s secret sex house. There, the cops meet Chessani’s addled, Eastern European-sounding trophy wife, his moody and secretive daughter and his son, who tries very hard to be a fresh prince with his awkward-sounding, wannabe-Eminem style of speaking. Before he boots them out for not having a warrant or any kind of authority to be there, he conveniently tells them that he sets up “specialty events” of “all kinds.” Is it possible that he’s hinting at super weird sex parties full of rich people and prostitutes? Sure looks that way.
Meanwhile, crime boss Frank digs deeper into the underworld he sort of abandoned in his bid to “go legit.”
The search for Caspere’s killer and his money, the ongoing assaults against his organization (RIP Stan, whoever you were), the disintegrating land deal — all of it is taking a toll on him. He and his wife, Jordan, are trying to have a kid, but he’s just not into it, leading to a little rift in their marriage. By the end of the episode, though, Jordan is eager to rekindle things, but Frank is somehow even worse off at that point.
First, he has no luck in trying to talk with Osip, the Russian gangster/businessman who bailed on the land deal after Caspere’s disappearance. It leads Frank to think that maybe Osip might have had Caspere killed. When he asks a flunky if such a thing is possible, the flunky responds by describing Osip as “half anaconda, half great white.” Then, there’s the fallout from Stan’s murder, and Frank wants to know who is coming after him.
He calls a meeting of all the thugs who have taken over his former businesses and commands them to seek information about Caspere. They assemble in the basement of Lux Infinitum, a club run by Danny Santos, a rising boss who doesn’t want to take Frank’s crap anymore. The meeting doesn’t last too long because Santos tries to kick everyone out while telling Frank to get lost. Frank doesn’t leave, though. Instead, he decides to fight Santos just to show everyone that he’s still got it. He does — and then some. After getting the best of Santos, he straddles the big crook and starts yanking out his golden grill with a pair of pliers.
Ray is also giving Frank a headache. The two meet in their usual dive bar booth, and right off the bat Frank can detect a “certain stridency” from Ray, who is fresh off getting shot and wants answers about why Frank cares so much about what happened to Caspere. Frank spills the beans, but Ray, sipping on a glass of water instead of his customary booze, is still peeved. “Booze tends to take the edge off,” Ray says. “I wanna stay angry.”
After Ray is cleared to return to duty despite his “redlining” liver, he and Ani start poking some more and find that Caspere was involved with the production of a “Mad Max”-esque postapocalyptic movie. At the set, they find out that Caspere was keen on going to parties full of prostitutes and drugs, and that he even attended one with the movie’s director, who is pretty mum about everything. Ani and Ray also learn that a car was stolen from the set and that a driver had quit the week before. They follow up with the driver, who claims to have quit only for health reasons, specifically problems with his lumbar, but then a blaze breaks out a block away.
It turns out to be the car that went missing (is it the one that was carrying Caspere’s body for much of episode one?), and they see a masked figure run away from the scene. The cops set off in hot pursuit, which takes them through a hellish homeless encampment under one of the many overpasses in Southern California. Just when it looks like Ani might have a bead on the arsonist, a truck pulls around the corner. It looks like she is about to be flattened, but Ray saves her at the last second, reaggravating his rib injuries in the process. Ani thanks him, but Ray tells her she can thank him by saying what the state has on him. She says she doesn’t know.
Clues and Leads:
– Caspere’s safe-deposit box shows more evidence that he’s in deep with Catalyst, the mysterious company running point on the big land deal at the center of everything. There are also some black diamonds in there.
– “True Detective” wants you to know that the sleazy Mayor Chessani supported George W. Bush. We’ve seen a picture of the two of them together twice now.
– That’s Fred Ward playing Ray’s apparently sick, disillusioned father both in the dream sequence and in a scene at the old man’s house. He’s watching a Kirk Douglas movie, and he doesn’t seem all that interested in what Ray has to say. Instead, he seems more interested in blathering on about how there is no real police department anymore and generally mourning a bygone world. “Kirk Douglas! No country for white men, boy.”
– It’s all but completely certain that Paul is a closeted, self-loathing gay man. He catches up with an old soldier buddy from his time in “the desert,” but he gets angry when the guy starts talking about what was likely a romantic relationship the two shared. Later, Paul, on the prostitute beat, has trouble getting intel from female sex workers, but the male prostitute is all too eager to talk to him and leads him to Lux Infinitum, where Caspere used to pick up prostitutes, male and female, to perform for him at his secret sex house. Talking to another male prostitute at the club, Paul, with this “angsty cop drama” he’s rolling, gets visibly uncomfortable and starts drinking heavily.
– Ray’s [ex-wife, Gena], shows up again, this time to tell him that state authorities stopped by her house to ask questions about Ray’s corruption. She offers him ten grand to scram and give up the fight for their son, Chad, but Ray tells her to beat it.
Ani calls things off with Steve, the fling she had in her apartment in the beginning of episode one. It’s a role reversal from the usual scene of a guy letting down a clingy woman. But Ani has to come off even tougher. It’s a man’s world, after all. When Steve insults her, she responds: “You talk to me like that again, you’re gonna need a little baggie to bring your teeth home.”
Speaking of it being a man’s world, the ambient buzzing in the show’s ominous score reminds me of the beginning of weirdo anti-pop group The Residents’ cover of James Brown’s “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World.”