In this episode of True Detective, “Down Will Come,” Ani and Velcoro learn of a connection between Dr. Pitlor and Chessani, Ani finds out she’s under investigation and Frank sinks back deeper into his old life.
Woodrugh went a little too undercover at da’ club and wakes up in the bed of his combat buddy in this episode. Woodrugh is out of the closet — to viewers anyway. He does a quick walk of shame — or cab ride, to be accurate. He starts to fall apart during the ride, obviously steeped in self-loathing.
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The Morning After
Since he views his motorcycle as an extension of his masculinity — that big beast between his legs — imagine how upset Woodrugh was to discover it missing when he went to retrieve it. Then the guy gets ambushed outside his hotel by reporters questioning his involvement with Black Mountain Security, which is being investigated for war crimes. They’re also still on him over the saucy starlet Lacy Lindel. Woodrugh does what any self-respecting trainwreck would do: he takes off as fast as his little feet will carry him.
Ani Gets a Warning
Ani and Velcoro are dealing with what is left of the burned-out Caddy. Velcoro warns Ani that her visit to the mayor’s house was not appreciated, and she’s going to experience some blowback. Ani isn’t feeling overly threatened by the mayor of the “Shitberg Landfill,” but Velcoro tells her that Chessani didn’t come to live in the biggest house on his street in Bel Air and not make some powerful friends along the way.
Ani believes the state investigation will result in Chessani going to jail, but Velcoro explains to her that the investigation is bogus; it’s just that the AG looking for a handout. Vinci has survived and thrived in spite of similar investigations, and none of Chessani’s forefathers ever did any time. For someone so jaded, Ani is naive enough to believe that the bad guys always end up in jail.
Ani says she’s just trying to solve a murder, but Velcoro, who is far more in the know than Ani, tells her that after their betters make nice and some money changes hands, she’ll be vulnerable. The investigation falls apart, and Ani becomes the fall guy, along with Woodrugh.
Back in Business
Frank Semyon is still scrambling to get back what he gave up when he partnered with Caspere to go legit. He got his club back from Santos, after ripping out the guy’s gold grill tooth by tooth. Now he’s struck a deal with some drug dealer, Armin. Frank will sell Armin’s product in his club and give the guy 5% of the proceeds. Frank continues to show how he got that house on the hill to begin with. Former “associates” may have assumed Frank had gone soft, but they’re quickly learning that being a criminal is like riding a bike, and Frank Semyon hasn’t forgotten how to pedal.
Frank continues to take back what was once his. This time, it’s a low-rent apartment complex. He’s shaking down the new owner for 40% in exchange for providing security and collecting the rents.
Ani Continues to Push
Ani doesn’t take Velcoro’s advice about antagonizing Chessani. Instead of showing up at the mayor’s house, she follows his daughter, Betty (Emily Rios), and questions her about Caspere. Ani uncovers a pretty nasty family secret. Chessani had his first wife committed when she started manifesting symptoms of schizophrenia. Betty reveals that her mother hanged herself, thanks in no small part to the ineptitude of her psychiatrist, one Dr. Pitlor. Betty tells Ani that Chessani is a very bad person.
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Baby on Board
Woodrugh takes another hit when he meets up with his ex, Emily, who tells him she’s pregnant. She plans on keeping the baby, and Woodrugh says he thinks they should get married. Emily doesn’t want him to feel obligated, but Woodrugh proclaims his love, citing the baby as his wake-up call. Does this mean he magically won’t need those little blue pills anymore?
An Unexpected Connection
Ani goes to see her dad and asks him about Pitlor. She discovers her father also knew Chessani’s father, Theo. Ani thinks these relationships can’t be coincidental, although her father argues that many spiritual movements of the time cross-pollinated in northern California.
Ani and Velcoro drive to Fresno. When Ani was poking around Chessani’s house, she found soil readings for Fresno land, and Caspere’s GPS shows him in the same areas. Ani and Velcoro learn there is a lot of contamination sites, marked by wooden stakes with pink ribbon (remember those from episode one?), from the now-defunct mines. The companies are bankrupt and can’t do the clean-up, and the state doesn’t have the resources. Ani and Velcoro learn that it’s impossible to farm in these sites because the water’s polluted, and many families have sold their land and given up.
Ani’s Sex Life Bites Her in the Ass
Ani’s nasty little break-up comes back to haunt her. The man in question, Mercer, was her subordinate, and he’s so pissed about 1) Whatever she tried to get him to do in the bedroom that freaked him out so much he went soft, and 2) Being unceremoniously dumped that he’s accusing Ani of sexual misconduct. We also find out Ani had a one-night stand with Elvis, which doesn’t help her case. She’s suspended but still allowed to work on the Caspere case.
A Big Break
Woodrugh catches a break in the case. Caspere’s watch was pawned by a woman, Irina Rulfo, who was caught on video tape. She’s been known to dabble in solicitation. Prints on the watch match Rulfo’s, Caspere’s and a man by the name of Ledo Amarilla. So now we’ve got ourselves some suspects.
Frank and Velcoro meet at their usual spot with that same dreary girl singing another melancholy song. Velcoro tells Frank about Rulfo and Amarilla, but Frank can’t make the connection between the suspects and what happened to Stan. He also figures that if they’re pawning a watch, they don’t have his five million.
Frank tells Velcoro he’s “getting back into things.” Frank thinks Velcoro would be better off coming to work for him full-time; he’s impressed by the newly-sober Velcoro. But Velcoro’s path is now somewhat straight and narrow.
Dixon, the curmudgeonly detective, who has no affection for Ani or his job or the special investigation he’s a part of, gets a tip from an old informant about Amarilla’s whereabouts. He’s supposedly holed up in a warehouse, so it’s time for a take-down. Things are made a bit more complicated by the fact that the warehouse houses a human sweat shop, there’s protesters out front, the cops are greeted with machine gun fire and Dixon gets his head blown off. There’s also a huge explosion that blows off the top floor of the building.
Several men make a break for it in an SUV, and the vehicle gets slammed by a city bus. The occupants emerge unharmed with guns blazing. There’s a huge shootout and innocent bystanders get hit. This does not bode well for our girl, Ani. It’s a cluster-eff of epic proportions. When it’s all over, there are a lot of dead cops, a lot of dead civilians and nothing to show for it.
True Detective airs Sundays at 9pm on HBO.
(Image courtesy of HBO)
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Jennifer has worked as a freelance writer in the entertainment field since 2012. In addition to currently writing feature articles for Screen Rant, Jennifer has contributed content ranging from recaps to listicles to reviews for BuddyTV, PopMatters, TVRage, TVOvermind, and Tell-Tale TV. Links to some of Jennifer’s reviews can be found on Rotten Tomatoes.