“Thank you,” says Ani Bezzerides (Rachel McAdams) to her partner Ray Velcoro (Colin Farrell). “You want to thank me? Tell me what State has on me,” is his reply as he struggles with severe pain in his chest due to two cracked ribs. “I don’t know,” replies Ani after Ray pushed her out of the way of an oncoming truck while they were chasing a masked suspect during the murder of the Vinci City Manager in HBO’s dramatic crime series True Detective.
The first scene in episode three of True Detective’s second season opens with a Conway Twitty look-alike singing Bette Midler’s classic song “The Rose” while Ray sits in his usual booth in the bar where he meets Frank Semyon to do business. But instead of Semyon, it’s Ray’s father (played by Fred Ward) who’s sitting across from Ray. He warns Ray about an upcoming police chase where Ray will be killed and Ray looks down at his chest to see blood. As the song gets louder, the scene changes to show the song is on the radio in the room Ray was shot by the mysterious bird-masked man. Ray awakens abruptly and pulls at his clothes to look at his chest, realizing he was shot with rubber pellets – the kind police use to break up riots. Ani shows up at the scene pissed that Velcoro left her in the dark about his lead, letting him know in no uncertain terms that she’s in charge.. She tells him to go get checked out by a doctor and get cleared to work the case.
Meanwhile, Frank (Vince Vaughn) is feeling pressure from everywhere including from his loyal, lovely wife, Jordan (Kelly Reilly). Jordan wants to have a baby, but it seems the couple has been having problems in that department which leads to a fight. Frustrated and anxious, Frank leaves to meet Ray for an update on the investigation. Ray meets Frank no longer shaken up about his getting shot but angry and determined. He tells Frank that he wants to know what Casper and Frank were involved with before he blindly follows any further instructions. Frank finally tells Ray about the business deal involving land with Casper. Ray heads off, still unsure if Frank was involved in his getting shot.
Since Ray is supposed to be recovering, Ani teams up with Paul Woodrugh (Taylor Kitsch) to do some leg work into the investigation and decides to visit the home of Vinci’s Mayor in Bel Air. The visit doesn’t go over well with the Mayor or his son who are unaware that Ani and Paul found blue diamonds in Caspere’s safe deposit box. All this causes a major upset in Vinci, with the mayor wanting to end Ani’s career and pushing Ray to lead her in the direction they want the investigation to go, suggesting a fall guy as the killer. Things aren’t much better for Ani in Ventura. One of her superior’s constantly reminds her they want Velcoro taken down because they know he’s dirty. Ani’s boss even suggests using her sexuality to tease Ray with the hopes of getting lucky if that is what it’s going to take to get him busted.
Ani and Ray continue working the case together and discover that Caspere was involved partly in a film shooting close by. After questioning a few on-set people, Ani and Ray find out that a car was stolen, which might be the same car used to move Caspere’s body. A worker quit one week before the car went missing and while visiting that person’s home to question him about the missing car, someone sets Ray’s car on fire. Ray sees a figure wearing a dark mask watching from across the street and shouts, “STOP! Police!” The masked person runs off and Ray and Ani give chase. Ani’s faster and in better shape and easily outdistances Ray who’s also still recovering from that shot to the chest. Ani runs out onto the highway trying to take aim and fire at the fleeing suspect when Ray shoves her out of the way of a speeding truck, saving her from becoming roadkill.
Working yet another angle of the case, Paul is hitting the streets asking street walkers and hookers if they have ever seen Caspere. One of the hooker’s clients tells him about a high-end club the guy used to hang out in, but says no one there will talk to him with the cop vibbe he has going on. The John goes with Paul and helps him find out the hooker who was seeing Caspere is named Tasha but hasn’t been around in the club for a while.
As all of this is going on Frank discovers that one of his men has been murdered and left to rot. He orders his right-hand man to have anyone and everyone who they used to work with or has a piece of his old territory to meet in the basement of his old club. Frank lays down the law at the meeting and tells everyone there they are going to find out who knew Caspere out of all the people they do business with. Santos, the current owner of Frank’s old club, challenges Semyon on his authority saying, “You wanted out. Okay, you’re out. So why don’t you call the police?!” This proves to be a bad move when Frank ends up almost beating the life out of Santos, effectively proving to all others watching he is still a very dangerous man and it’s in their best interest to do as he asks.
Brutal, seedy, and surprising, True Detective season two episode three titled “Maybe Tomorrow” brings with it a sigh of relief with the realization that Ray is still alive and working the case. It also digs a little deeper into the violent side of Frank Semyon, the struggling businessman who’s being pulled back into the corrupt world he never truly left.
The performances are first–rate with yet another stand-out performance from Vince Vaughn portraying a man who wants to be a stand-up businessman but can’t shake that volatile gangster side of his personality. The next obvious great performance was from Farrell who showed true fear and terror of being shot and believing he was dying only to discover he was only wounded with broken ribs from rubber bullets. He also portrayed perfectly what it’s like to run with broken ribs. The agonizing pain and gripping his side and chest made it look so real that anyone watching who has ever experienced it would find themselves almost reliving the pain like this reviewer did.
The writing, set design, tone, and music all brought the darker side of L.A. to life in a way reminiscent of a few early Michael Mann films. This is also the first episode that actually gave the audience a few clues about the murder case and showed more clearly the pressure from Velcoro and Bezzerides’ bosses about their other investigation interests.
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