Given that “True Detective” is only running for eight episodes, there are definitely moments we get frustrated watching Ray and Frank stare at each other for longer than a few seconds. There is so much else to get to!
Yet, at the same time tonight’s “Church of Ruins” contained so many other important character moments that we found them to be worth distractions from the Ben Caspere case, starting with the immense sacrifice Ray Velcoro made to never see his child again. Why did he do it? Maybe you can blame the booze, but he also seemed to realize just how much of a mess his own life was. He promised that he would never come over and get in the way of the family, but he wanted to ensure that he and the child always maintained that he was the father. That’s what mattered most to him.
In getting back to the case, what we saw tonight was a list of different ranges that our characters were willing to go in order to uncover the truth. For Frank, this included letting back some of his best self / worst self in. In other words, he was back to being violent and intimidating. He met with Mexican drug dealers in order to gather information on women with ties to Caspere. What happened as a result? Part of that is still firmly incomplete, but in his mind, he’s making progress.
Ani’s story was in some ways even more risky than what anyone else went through. After all, she went undercover in order to try to uncover what was really going on at some of these parties that Caspere had used as a source of blackmail. She realized almost immediately some of the terrors that they put these women through. Paul and Ray were watching nearby as everything went down. She started to fall apart as a result of the “medication” given to the women, but eventually found her missing person within those walls. What came as a result was an elaborate, difficult escape scene, one where she had to rescue this person. There was a clear body count as a result, but also what we’d consider a major step forward in the case.
This was riveting, at times disturbing television throughout, but “True Detective” stayed at a fairly high level through all of this. Granted, it could have been a further cut above without that melodramatic music while Ani was getting out of there. Grade: B+.
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