DISCLAIMER: If you didn’t start immediately grinding into your couch to the beat of the theme song for True Detective this season; turn off HBO GO, go find yourself a quiet corner and start praying in it because the part of you that can identify a good thing is missing.
First: Colin Farrell’s name is Ray Volcoro in this show, Mom. Okay. Ray (Colin Farrell) is talking to everyone’s favorite kid from both The Sandlot and more deep-cuttedly, The Big Green, a movie about white children and soccer and a goat. Ray is asking Sandlot about Sand’s cool new shoes. Ray says goodbye and that he’ll see Sandlot in two weeks. “I love you, buddy,” says Ray. It is unclear if the boy is Ray’s husband or son, but I am assuming son, for it would be inappropriate and bizarre if the two were married.
Cut to Ray in a deposition room. A woman asks him questions regarding visitation rights. The woman asks if Ray’s wife was raped and murdered and then remembers that this is True Detective so she just checks all the boxes on the Morbidity form. Then she says, about Ray’s wife’s murderer; “They never caught him, correct?” We slow pan in on Ray as he says “No.” Oh! we say. So the murderer’s been caught! we say. “Never caught him,” Ray adds. Wait. we say.
Here comes our first flashback, and we know its a time jump because Ray’s hair is short. This is exciting since there was no way of knowing before now if this story-telling device would be used again this season and I am very happy to see that it is. Ray meets Vince Vaughn, who is trying to ignore that his head is hitting a ceiling lamp. He is very tall. He is playing the role of Frank. Frank drinks coffee in a bar that’s otherwise closed and then passes Ray a note and a photograph. “Maybe we’ll talk sometime, maybe not,” Frank calls after a leaving Ray. DUH you’ll talk again, ya dummy!! IMDB says you’re in all 8 episodes!
Smashcut to Frank drinking more coffee, present day. He wears a robe and lives in Gretchen and Elliot’s fancy house from the finale of Breaking Bad. In comes the female from Flight and the two smooch before going to work at a casino called Vinci Gardens. There is a snafu of sorts when it is revealed that the casino is under investigation for something or whatever. Vince Vaughn was personally so confused at this point that they had to put his name everywhere so he’d know where to look. A man holds up a newspaper that says “City of Vice, Vinci Gardens”. Two of those words look like ‘Vince’ so he knew to pay attention in this part. Good job, Vince!!
Rachel McAdams is called Ani and she is tough like a man. How do we know? She likes buttsex and has tools on her apartment wall! She yells at a dude named fucking STEVE and then goes to work to bust a perfectly legal Skype brothel. Ani is sad when they find her sister there. Her sister is Lady GaGa on the Monsterball tour. GaGa says Ani needs to worry about herself instead of GaGa, who is straight edge and holds up her hands to show big X’s drawn in Sharpie on each one. She loves Dashboard Confessional and loudly announcing that she drinks only juice at parties and we will see more of her for sure.
Here is a man named Paul, who gets fellated while he should be giving out tickets for driving in the wrong direction while high and without a license. He gets called into the station and because of this indiscretion, he can’t ride a motorcycle anymore, which majorly sucks because he lives to carve canyon on his gnarly hog. Later he goes to the home of a sex demon who thinks it’s okay to display butterfly wall decor while in her 20s. She growls at him but he says gotta take a Viagra and wash the strange off his body. He comes out and she gives him his SECOND BLOW JOB WITHIN THE FIRST 40 MINUTES OF THIS SEASON, which sets the bar pretty high for the future of this show. Later the demon asks why Paul is all burned up and he says it was because some woman set him on fire after he had several orgasms a day but never gave her a single one.
Back at the casino, Frank (Vince Vaughn) is bending his knees slightly to fit in a room with 11 foot ceilings. He learns that city leader Casper hasn’t been to work in 2 days, which is unfortunate because he was about to unveil some big news. Ray goes to Casper’s house to find a tiny lady in a milk bath? This image is the fucking worst thing I have ever seen and I once had to zip Paula Deen into a full body butter bib. Casper’s got crazy shit all over his house like he’s that lady with all the ceramic dicks in A Clockwork Orange. There are maps and fetish portraits and, worst of all, damask wallpaper. Ray says that we’ve got “somethin’ somethin’” which is the sort of thing you spend your car ride home wishing you hadn’t said, before mouthing and saying out loud all the options you have now that you’re replaying the scene over in your head.
The next part is IMPORTANT because a man that looks like 80s Jack Nicholson rides in the back of a car in a replica shot of the one at the beginning of The Shining. This man is Casper and his eyes are gone! Next, Ani goes to investigate the disappearance of a young woman. The woman’s sister points Ani in the direction of Ani’s father, who is a poor man’s Jeff Bridges. Ani asks if dad knows that the Lady GaGa sister is doing porn. This conversation is what I imagine it’s like when my siblings remind my parents that I, Krista, am doing “comedy” for a living. Dad’s like “it’s some performance thing, let her be, she’s happy!” meanwhile sister’s like “it’s fucking degrading and you should convince her to quit and rethink her life.” HAHAHAHA, TOO COOL!!! Annnnyway! Ani’s dad believes that Ani’s lifestyle, job and attitude are all a big fuck you to the way he chooses to live his life. Ani stares at her creepy dad as she decides if he is weird or wise. “Oh, and by the way?” he calls after his angsty daughter. “I’m weird! Aaand your mom’s a totem pole. Later, kiddo.”
It’s go-time for Casper’s big speech but we know he’s busy having no eyeballs somewhere off a stretch of highway in NoCal. Frank has no choice but to pull a Lyle Lanley and reveal the city plans to a room full of big shots. Will this gentle giant be able to leave his life of crime in the past in order to make an honest living? Will anyone find out that he and Owen Wilson aren’t brothers? OR WHY A STUDIO LIKE WARNER BROS. WOULD GREENLIGHT FRED CLAUS? I believe answers to all of these important questions will be provided in the coming season.
Ray brings Sandlot a Coleman sleeping bag for his camping trip, but lo, it had been but the weekend past. We meet Sandlot’s new dad, a clean-cut Colin Farrell type. Ray asks where Sandlot’s kicks went. Sandlot finally emits that a child whose parents have recently left their apartment near the Lorimer stop/named their son Aspen has cut up Sandlot’s sneakers? Like, with a knife? Ray goes to Aspen’s house and beats the kale out his dad and then says that if Aspen ever bullies anyone again Ray will “fuck [his] dad with [mom’s] corpse on [his] front lawn,” which is definitely this season’s “Time is a flat circle.”
Ray then eats fries with Frank and we see that they are still friends, aw! Ray gives Frank the files from the dude who was perhaps blowing a whistle on Frank’s shady past and shit. It is here that we confirm that Ray is Rust Cohle this time around, what with “no interest” in women and a sad wife/child scenario. Ray’s Rustiness became clear as soon as Frank said that he and Jordan are trying to conceive via IVF, because we ALL KNOW that Jordan will end up pregnant after sleeping with the very fertile Ray in a moment of betrayal and compassionate lust. I see you, Maggie-in-Season-1.
The episode ends when 3 of our 4 leads end up standing around a lifeless Casper, meeting for the first time. One is high on adrenaline, the others are drunk as skunks. Somewhere, Frank is putting the star on top of a very very tall Christmas tree, for he is the only one who can reach.
Misc.: I MISS MARTY AND RUST! I trust Nic Pizzolatto to impress but I remember being hooked so fast last time and this is taking me a little time to digest. No matter. What’s sticking with me is Ray recording his thoughts about wanting to be an astronaut in his car. The pause in his cadence and his humility and anger about how astronauts barely exist anymore was rough and bleak. Did I miss anything? Let me know!
Krista recapsTrue Detective every week. Follow her on Twitter at @potatoemporium.