If you’re like me and have been trying to keep up with all of the details from the maze that True Detective Season Two has puked out for the past two months, then get in line. After re-watching the episodes and conducting plenty of research, I think I finally have some kind of grasp about what’s happening going into the finale this Sunday, which will be a 90-minute episode.
So here’s the deal. If you haven’t realized it yet, Vinci, California is insanely corrupt. There are dozens of characters that are discussed every episode that have a big part of the corruption, but it’s more difficult to remember them than the cast of Game of Thrones BECAUSE WE DON’T REMEMBER EVER SEEING THEM. Seriously, apparently one huge development in Frank Semyon’s (Vince Vaughn) story-line was how hard he took the death of Stan. If you’re wondering who the hell is/was Stan, then you’re right on the money. Stan was the guy who worked for Frank and died while having his eyes burnt out just like Caspere. Before he died, he apparently was only in TWO RANDOM SCENES. I don’t think I was alone when I said to myself, who the hell cares about this Stan guy who got killed? It’s only the natural response for the viewer who has only seen him for about one minute throughout the season. But do you know who cares? Frank cares. He cares a whole lot to the point where we have an excruciatingly long scene where he visits Stan’s family, gives the widow a bulk of cash, and has a heart-to-heart with the son who’s playing catch by himself against a wall. The trick was all on us though, because while no one gave a shit about Stan, we were stuck trying to figure out this small bit of information that essentially doesn’t matter much.
But for what it’s worth, it does matter a little bit. In the last episode we see Frank smash Blake’s face in with a glass in slow motion, before killing him and commenting about him soiling the carpet. Before Frank killed Blake, he revealed some very important details to him and to the viewers. Blake admits to killing Stan because Stan figured out everything that Blake was doing behind Frank’s back and was going to blackmail him. Blake also was the person who gave Frank the wrong name of the rapist that Ray Velcoro sought out and killed. While Blake had his hand in the pot here and there, his only real contribution to the plot was to spit out all of this information to catch the audience up to what’s happening away from the scenes we’re forced to watch. Again, it’s pretty annoying but it gets the job done.
Okay, now that all of that Stan stuff is out of the way, I can commit this post to what I assume is the real focus of this season of True Detective, which like normal shows stems from the pilot: Who killed Ben Caspere? Caspere was the city manager in Vinci, a business partner with Frank, a patient of Dr. Irving Pitlor, and involved in a number of corrupt deals such as the sex parties, the blue diamonds, and selling the land with the Catalyst Corp. He was certainly a shady fellow who couldn’t be trusted, but also one incredibly powerful to do business with. It was reported that a person with a crow mask either murdered him, or transported his body. This takes us back to the second episode when Velcoro investigates Caspere’s secret apartment and finds a video camera linked to a hard drive. A person in the crow mask shoots Velcoro point blank with rubber bullets and after he wakes up, the hard drive is gone. That’s the second mystery throughout the season, who has the hard drive?
The hard drive has some damning evidence of very powerful men at the sex parties that Caspere had for leverage. Naturally, everyone wants the hard drive. We go through the plot where Frank desperately tries to locate the hard drive to buy himself back into the land deal, but this results in an investigation gone wrong with no further development.
Where does that leave us? Well, we find out in the last episode that those blue diamonds are a huge part to this puzzle. Back in 1992, blue diamonds worth millions were robbed by two masked men, who were Dixon (the fat, drunk cop who got killed at the Vinci massacre) and Kevin Burris (the guy who killed Paul Woodrugh – more on that later). Holloway (the main guy who met with Paul in the tunnels) and Caspere knew about the theft. What’s important about all of this is that it leads directly to the main suspects of Caspere’s murder: Laura and Leonard Osterman, who were the children of the store owners that watched their parents get killed by the masked men. Once again, here comes the frustrating part about this show. We briefly see Laura in episode three, but she went by the name Erica (one of the people they question on the movie set). She was Caspere’s assistant at the time and seemed convincingly innocent. She appears in the photograph of Caspere, Vera, Tasha and the diamonds. Since then, she has quit her job, cleaned out her apartment, and hasn’t been heard from or seen. Oh, and we know NOTHING about Leonard, that I know of at least.
Now where do we stand going into the finale? We know that the Catalyst Corp. with Burris, Holloway, Chessani, and Osip want the Caspere murder investigation to go away. That’s why they closed the case so quickly when it seemed like Amarilla killed him (the guy at the Vinci massacre). But with this small force getting real close in uncovering the murder, everything is at stake for them including the diamond robbery-murder in 1992 along with the very profitable land deal. But it’s not looking too positive for the good guys. It seems like the group that was put together to continue the murder investigation of Caspere is fucked. Ani Bezzerides murdered that security guard at the sex party and is now wanted for her crime. The corrupt men have also framed Velcoro for the muder of Katherine Davis (Ani’s boss and the black woman found shot to death in her car when Velcoro was meeting with her). It’s likely that one of Velcoro’s guns was used in her murder to frame him.
So that really left Woodrugh as the main cop who didn’t have his hands dirty and could unveil everything, except that he was being blackmailed by the photos that Dixon took a while back. When Woodrugh received those photos, he met up with Holloway who wanted Bezzerides and Velcoro’s location. Instead, Woodrugh almost escaped before being shot in the back by Burris.
I’m honestly not too sure what to expect during the finale. I did enjoy Frank taking a bag-load of money and burning his casinos to the ground, which I’m sure he’ll pay for as he’ll try to take out Osip before leaving the country to Venezuela with Jordan. And as for Velcoro and Bezzerides, maybe their hook-up is exactly what they needed to loosen them up and for them to finish what they started. Find Laura, find out who Leonard is, and reveal the conspiracy before Burris and Holloway locate them. I cannot say that this has been a smooth ride, but it’s definitely one that I hope is worth it at the end.