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True Detective S2:E6 "Church in Ruins" review & recap

 

This season of True Detective has built up to a seemingly anticlimactic vision of the sleazy California underground. Last week we were left with Ray almost knocking down Frank's door in a fury and an awkward sit down that has the two aiming their guns at each other. Luckily both Frank and Ray don't waste one another over their "misunderstanding". If you recall, Ray learns that the man he killed who he believed was his wife's rapist, was not. Frank tells Velcoro that he got the guy's name from a reliable source and he didn't know the information was bad. I'm not completely sold on this, especially because Frank is falling further down the gangster hole every single episode. Ray goes to visit his wife's real assailant and threatens to do nefarious things with a cheese grater and the guy's various body parts.

 

Ani and Paul spend most of the episode hopping around doing their job while interviewing people about politician orgies and blue diamonds. Paul gets a lead on the diamonds from someone who saw them reported as stolen during the riots in 1992. We discover that they were taken from a family home where the parents were killed and the two children were into foster care. Did anyone else think that the picture of the kids bore a slight resemblance to Mayor Chessani's kids? The age difference and time passed would make total sense. 

 

Frank's character didn't really do much this episode. He had a heart-to-heart with now-deceased Stan's kid and saw a girl with information that he needed get her throat slashed by Mexican drug lords. Just an average day in the neighborhood. 

 

There's been an insane amount of focus on Ani's knife handling skill. It's been mentioned heavily in multiple episodes, and we get a glimpse of target practice for her this episode. In a scene at her house, Ani and her sister go over details of the Chessani boy's sex party. It's decided that Ani will go to the party using her sister's name and pose as a rich man's sex slave. 

 

Ray has his first and last supervised visit with his son. After about five minutes of awkward interaction, the kid returns home. Anytime something doesn't go your way the obviously sane thing to do is inhale a mountain of cocaine and drink a handle of scotch, right? Then perhaps call your ex-wife in the middle of the night and proclaim on your high mountain that you'll not contest custody and go away. All of this seems perfectly acceptable.The climax of this episode was the widespread scene of Ani dressed up and going to the orgy.

 

All the phones and bags are taken from a bus full of girls, who are shipped off to a mansion filled with California's rich and powerful men. No need to worry, obviously everything is going to be fine because Paul and Ray would be there to take down the fifteen-plus security guys outside. Once there, Ani and the rest of the girls are forced to take Molly to "keep them in a good mood." Once Ani starts feeling the drugs, she starts having wild hallucinations of the man that sexually assaulted her as a child and runs through a mass of naked bodies to the bathroom to vomit. There she finds Vera, her missing person, and flees from the house with her. But not before slicing up a security guard who bleeds out all over the floor. Paul ends up stealing a contract that magically gives us all the names of everyone involved in the power underground. This scene was masterfully done. It had more allure and taste than the full-blown shoot out of episode four, as well as more investment for viewers to devour and ponder on. 

 

There's a slew of revelations this episode, and though it doesn't have the deep plunge that season one gave us, every episode we're getting closer and closer to unravelling this massive money scheme. There are only two episodes left, and I pray it's going to leave ustongue-tied and awestruck waiting for season three.

 

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