“I just don’t know how to be out in the world again,” says Officer Paul Woodrugh (Taylor Kitsch). “Hey, look out that window, look at me…nobody does,” replies Detective Ray Velcoro (Colin Farrell) as he gives the young CHP officer – who he’s been working with on the special Vinci City Manager murder investigation – a ride back to base after a particularly bad night in the HBO dramatic crime series True Detective.
Officer Woodrugh wakes up in another man’s bed, who it turns out is one of his buddies from his military service, after spending part of the night checking on the prostitute angle of the case. Horrified by what he’s done, Woodrugh quickly gathers his clothes and leaves. He takes a taxi back to where he had parked his motorcycle only to discover it’s been stolen. After cursing out loud for several minutes, Woodrugh takes the cab to the hotel he’s been staying at but can’t get in because of the paparazzi waiting for him. They’re trying to get a response to the accusation made by a Hollywood actress who accused him of offering to not arrest her in exchange for a sexual favor. Out of options, he reaches out and calls Velcoro to come and get him.
Meanwhile, Ray and Detective Ani Bezzerides (Rachel McAdams) follow the mayor of Vinci’s daughter to a club and ask her some questions. Ray has already warned Ani that even though he understands and respects the little raid she did on the mayor’s house, it might come back to hurt her. While interrogating the girl, the two detectives learn of a new name, Irving Pitler, a psychiatrist who had the mayor’s first wife put away saying she was suffering from schizophrenia. The shrink it seems also knows Ani’s New Age cult-leading father.
While the detectives are doing some solid police work, Frank Semyon (Vince Vaughn) spends most of this episode going back to old business associates and forcing them to accept his protection and partnership. He’s occupied with trying to rebuild the fortune he lost when Caspere went missing and was later found dead. Semyon also begins to suspect one of his own crew might be trying to overthrow him…but it’s only a suspicion.
Using the information in Caspere’s GPS, Ray and Ani are able to track Caspere’s movements and discover that he had been visiting lands that had been contaminated by bad water and other poisons. When Ani reports back to her superior in Ventura what she and Ray have discovered, she’s informed that a complaint of sexual misconduct has been filed against her. She also finds out that her partner let the investigators know he had a one night stand with her as well. Indignant, Ani insists she has nothing to apologize for. Her supervisor tells her she’s not to enter the building again until the investigation is finished and that for now she’s still working the special investigation into the City Manager’s murder.
Woodrugh follows up on one of the few leads he found out about a pimp and one of his hookers who it seems went to a pawn shop and pawned a piece of Caspere’s jewelry – his watch, to be specific. Later that night Paul meets up with his ex-girlfriend in a diner to find out she’s pregnant with his child. Becoming emotional, he tells her he’s glad and that they should get married. She tells him she doesn’t want him to marry her out of guilt or obligation, but he interrupts her telling her that not until this moment did he realize how much he loves her.
The next day, Paul informs the Vinci investigators about the pimp named Ledo Amarilla, his hooker, and the pawn shop. It seems they also have traced him to a building which could be his main hideout. Ani leads Paul, Ray, and a small squad of detectives on a mission to arrest Amarilla for the murder of the Vinci City Manager.
The next scene is a massive gun battle between Ledo Amarilla and his crew versus Ani, Ray, Woodrugh, and their small band of cops. It turns into a terrible blood bath, leaving Amarilla and his three associates dead, many innocent civilians wounded and dead, and only Ray, Ani and Paul still standing alive and unmarked while most of their brothers in blues are dead or badly wounded. Horrified by what has just happened, Ray kneels down saying, “Oh Christ!” and Ani looks in shock at the massacre while police cars pull up with their red and blue lights flashing.
Slow, gritty, and shocking, True Detective season two episode four titled “Down Will Come” ends the episode with the most intense, fast-paced fire-fight between cops and criminals to ever hit the small screen. It’s reminiscent of the frantic shoot-out during the bank heist gone wrong in the film Heat with Al Pacino and Robert De Niro.
The performances are top-notch with Rachel McAdams stealing this episode with three stand-out scenes. The first memorable scene has her defending herself to her boss from the sexual misconduct accusations which they both know are basically true. Her surprise and indignation is spot on perfect. The second extraordinarily scene is during the shoot-out when Ani runs out of ammunition and one of Amarilla’s killers is closing in on her while all she has to fight back with is her knife which she draws. The fear she shows in her eyes is striking and authentic. Third, the last scene where Ani’s standing and looking at all the dead bodies around her and is truly horrified by all the blood shed rings incredibly true.
The next best performance is once again by Colin Farrell who has a great scene with Kitsch as Ray drives Woodrugh back to base in L.A.’s famous stop-and-go traffic. He tries to befriend and even mentor the young officer a little, seeming to feel for the kid who obviously just had one of the worst nights of his life. It’s a quiet yet effective scene showing once again how much Ray actually has to offer as a detective once he stops drinking and tries to be a good cop.
It will be very interesting to see what happens to detectives Velcoro and Bezzerides and officer Woodrugh following the aftermath of the bust that went so horribly wrong.
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