True Detective recap: Black Maps and Hotel Rooms
My new theory is that True Detective season 2 isn’t a failed drama. It’s successful pro-drug propaganda. The subtext to every episode is: “Look how much more interesting these boring people are when they take drugs!”
Like, watching Ray Velcoro off drugs is about as much fun as watching Alexander with the sound off while eating a cupcake covered in Colin Farrell’s trimmed mustache hairs. Who wouldn’t prefer Vintage Ray, the cop who snorted and smoked and drank his way through the job, beating up journalists and suburban dads, before finishing the day at Lars Von Trier’s favorite dive bar listening to Lana Del Rey’s body double sing another happy tune? (When Ray does cocaine, he also does pull-ups — and isn’t exercise important?)
Don’t we all agree that this season really came to life when the gangsters gave Bezzerides a nice spray of Substance D or Mega-Molly or LSDelicious or whatever the hell kind of drug makes you hear Bernard Herrmann music while you confront long-buried childhood memories and commit gender vengeance using knife slashes? And isn’t it possible to imagine that poor Paul was only really happy when he drank himself into his old bunkmate’s apartment? At the start of episode 7, Bezzerides was feeling low. Ray asked her, “You want me to roll a joint?” In the context of this season, that might as well be a love poem.
I’m honored to be filling in for my learned colleague Jeff Jensen this week. He’s currently on vacation — possibly hanging out with some Russian-Israelis in Paris to plan an elaborate scheme for taking over the drugs-and-gambling industry in a small Los Angeles suburb — which means he missed the delightful moment in ‘shipping history, when Bezzerides tried to jump Ray’s bones. In fairness, she wasn’t in her right mind. “I feel so f—ed up,” she said. “My head’s so f—ed up. Those f—ing f—s!” She mumbled something about someone shaking hands with someone else. Sorry: “F—ing shaking hands with him!” Rachel McAdams gets to say “f—” a lot on this show. Maybe she wanted to shake up her image, doing True Detective: Take a hard-boiled cop role, a dark and violent, and sexually adventurous streetwise Avenger. (Say what you will about Bezzerides, but at least she’s not married to a time traveler.)
But the show doesn’t know what to do with her, or with anyone. She pulled off her brunette wig — a moment that you could almost tease out for Hitchcockian resonance, if you were feeling generous. In some crazier version of True Detective 2, McAdams played Antigone and Athena, two flavors of f—ed-up father-issue femmes. It wouldn’t have been very subtle. Which means it would’ve been perfect for True Detective!
Example: In case you were wondering if Ani’s visions of a pedophile hippie Jesus had provided her with some kind of catharsis, she specifically told Ray: “I’ve been waiting my whole life for that. I think I even went looking… my whole life… and when I ran out of the woods, and they found me…”
“The woods?” asked Ray.
“What?” said Ani. “What?”
“You said…” but Ray trailed off, and oh how I wish that right then Paul could’ve walked into the room and held up a big paper marked “GRANT DEED” and declared: “Guys, this paper says we’re experiencing a profound moment right now! And look at this: It’s signed by Caspere! Everybody drink!”
How Paul loves his documents! Documents, and pictures, and helpful computers with their helpful plot points underlined in bold. Reading closely, Paul discovered that the documents were signed by Osip Agranov and Anthony Chessani, two of the Very Important People that we met for like two scenes, five episodes ago. It turns out that they repurchased Caspere’s shares for pennies and redistributed them. So, just to clarify, in case you haven’t been paying attention: Evil Men were something-something, Caspere money, Chessani hookers, freeways Bad.
Another minor mystery solved by Our Man Paul! How I wish Paul could investigate every crime. I want Paul to go to the tower of Barad-dûr and stare into the blazing immortal eye of Sauron, Lord of Mordor, and then do some digging into some of Sauron’s real estate deals in the Shire, and then discover a document marked “MY PLAN FOR ETERNAL DARKNESS,” and then run into Ray’s room, declaring, “This thing has Sauron’s signature all over it!”
But let’s cut back to my personal favorite TV-show-inside-a-TV show: The Vince Vaughnologues. Frank Semyon was playing a lonely game of blackjack, with himself as the dealer and all four players. There’s a masturbatory resonance you can tease out there — or maybe you can pause to imagine the speech Frank could make out of a set-up like that. “That’s the thing about playing cards, Ray,” he would say. “Sometimes, the cards play you. And sometimes, Ray? Sometimes, the cards aren’t even cards. They’re just numbers. And you never know when your number’s up. And sometimes up is down, so the higher you fly, the closer you get to rock bottom. But I’m coming in hot, Ray, and those rocks are gonna be lava by the time I’m through.”
Frank’s wife sashayed up, pregnancy status negative. She asked Frank how his night went. “Mexicans,” said Frank. “Something else to solve. In the midst of being gangbanged by forces unseen, I figured I’d drill a new orifice, go on and f— myself for a change.” (Wouldn’t Gangbanged By Forces Unseen be a better title for this season?) Frank’s wife talked about walking away from Vinci. Just the three of them: Frank, Mrs. Frank, and Mrs. Frank’s uncooperative uterus. “You see me managing an Applebee’s?” asked Frank, sarcastic. “I worked for one once,” said Mrs. Frank, childless.
I kid, I kid! Some people hate this season of True Detective, and some people have been giving it a chance, treating every disappointing new episode as further evidence of some master plan further down the road. I quite enjoy it: With Veep off the air, we could all use a good laugh. And so too, Paul, who received a scary text message from an anonymous number showing him in (quite joyful!) coitus with his old pal from his days in Fake Blackwater. Paul picked up his fiancé and told her he needed to keep her safe. Actual quote, from Emily: “We are having a baby.” In a better world, True Detective season 2 runs for five years, and Emily saying, “We are having a baby!” is the show’s catchphrase, like “Ay Caramba!” or “Sock it to me!”
Midway through this episode, I started playing a game: I imagined that when they originally filmed this episode, every scene ended with a female character saying “I’m having a baby!” Example: When Ani told her sister that she had to get out of town for a little while — and told her to get out of town with Dad, even though everything else that has happened this season would lead you to think that Ani wouldn’t care what happens to their Dad — Athena told Ani that was crazy. She couldn’t possibly leave. “I’m seeing someone. I’m starting school in the fall. And I’m having a baby!”
This was the episode where every main character tried to get their people to a safe place. Paul brought his mom and his fiancé to a hotel room and told them to order room service and not to answer the phone. Emily was a bit nervous; she’s having a baby, after all. Personally, I could have spent the whole episode in that room. Emily and Cynthia: Pregnant Angel Fiancé and Hooker Madonna Mom. What would these two character say to each other? They’re different in every way; they’re united only by their (very strange) (almost inexplicable) love for the same (very strange) man. You would imagine that the writer who created these two characters would badly want to write the scene where they talk to each other. Instead, they watched Splendor in the Grass.
NEXT: Geldof and Holloway and Burris and Riots…
Ray and Frank, Frank and Ray. They’re like two sides of the same coin. Or maybe it’s more accurate to call them the same side of two different dice, and every roll is Snake Eyes, and some other gambling metaphor only Caspere could truly understand. Ray told Frank about The Documents. He mentioned that Geldof was at the party, and before you could ask “Who the hell is Geldof?” Ray helpfully described him as “Future Governor and Current Attorney General Geldof.” I wonder if every time the Birdman Conspiracy has a meeting, they describe characters like that. (“Give us a Full Report, Agent Birdman!” “Well, Former Policeman and Inveterate Drunk Ray Velcoro was propositioned by Former Detective and Current Knife Fetishist Bezzerides, while in the next room, Former Highway Patrolman and Father-To-be Paul Woodrugh read The Documents.”)
Frank was surprised to hear that Tony Chessani is apparently at the center of this conspiracy. “Kid’s a twist,” said Frank. “I fixed a hit and run for him once.” But then Ray talked about Tony’s partner: “Looked European. Paper said his name was Osip Agranov.” “He’s Russian-Israeli,” said Frank, angry but ethnically specific. The plot is simple, really. Blake — the guy in Frank’s employ who has spent this entire season obviously betraying Frank somehow — helped Mayor Chessani’s son and the Russian-Israeli guy buy all of Caspere’s shares, meanwhile, some white cop gave Caspere’s stash to Irina Rufo. Why? Freeways! Having solved everything, Ray asked Frank if he had had time to solve that other mystery, the one about the fake rapist. “I’ll have it for you by the end of the day,” said Frank. “Word of honor.”
This episode was titled “Black Maps and Hotel Rooms.” The first part is almost certainly a reference to Black Maps, a series of twisted landscape photographs by David Maisel. The opening title sequence of this season features some of Maisel’s photographs, and the official description for a 2013 hardcover Maisel book says that it “presents a hallucinatory worldview encompassing both stark documentary and tragic metaphor,” which is coincidentally what the makers of True Detective hope someone will say about True Detective. As for the second part of the title: We cut back to a hotel room, where Bezzerides talked to this season’s nineteenth hooker about Caspere.
I actually liked Vera, and I want to give full credit to actress Miranda Rae Mayo for playing her as a cross between Imperator Furiosa and The Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started A Conversation With At a Party. She spoke in the usual dialect of ambient plot points and ethnic specificity: “I met Ben at the Panticapaeum Institute…Tasha was his favorite. Hungarian.” Bezzerides asked her about the diamonds — which have become the absolute most important plot point of this season, the source of all that is evil in the world, the Original Sin of this broken Eden — but at a certain point, Vera got as bored as the rest of us. “I didn’t want to get you, you feel me?” she told Bezzerides. She wasn’t freaking out because the party was scary: “I took too much molly on top of champagne. So what? It happens.”
Bezzerides to Vera: “Maybe you were put on Earth for more than f—ing.”
Vera to Bezzerides: “Everything is f—ing.”
Me to Television: “Oh, f— off.”
She did manage to reveal one helpful piece of information: There was another girl at those parties named Laura. She just looked so familiar…
Meanwhile, Our Man Paul was type-type-typing on a computer. Someone was watching him. Paul saw something that read, quote: “Chief Accountant: Benjamin Caspere.” That’s some True Detectivework, Paul! I would like to see the Paul Woodrugh version of Chinatown, where he plays the Jack Nicholson role, and midway through the movie he finds a piece of paper that says “Water = Power = Corruption of Humanity.”
I couldn’t quite figure out what happened next, but Paul clicked a couple times on his computer like a totally professional computer guy, and suddenly a screen popped up with Bezzerides’ face on it. There was a message next to that face: “Wanted for questioning in the death of a security guard.” Serious question: Is this actually how cop computers work? Like, will a random police detective be checking Facebook, and then suddenly the face of a Minnesota Dentist will pop up next to a message that reads “Wanted for questioning in the death of a noble jungle beast?”
Back in Vaughnologue Central, Frank finally had a sit-down with Blake. Blake was giving Frank a wad of money from some girls he ran last night. “You must be what they call a natural born pimp,” said Frank. “Me? I always saw a difference between a whore and a pimp. A whore can still have integrity.”
“Ouch, bro,” said Blake’s eyes.
“Stan was following you,” said Frank. “He wasn’t the subtlest guy in the world, so I’m guessing you spotted the tail.”
“Stan?” said Blake. “Who’s Stan?”
“Pure gold, that’s who he is,” said Frank. “What did he see you doing, caused you to punch his ticket like that? You took his eyes. Why? To make it look connected to Caspere?”
“Frank, I barely know who Caspere is,” said Blake. “Are we gangsters?”
That’s when Frank smashed his glass against Blake’s face…
…and then we dissolved to a remote industrial complex, where Ray drove his car up to another car. He stepped out, and there was a spring in his step, a lightness in his movement. You could tell that Ray was feeling like a new man, a new person, some kind of butterfly emerging from some kind of chrysalis. “Yes sir,” Ray was probably thinking to himself, “I’m gonna solve this case, and then I’m gonna kill my wife’s actual rapist. Or I’m gonna kill the guy who brainwashed me into killing her not-actual rapist. Or maybe I’ll kill my dad? Whatever. I’m gonna turn over a new leaf. Just as soon as I give all this information to Davis.”
Ray got in the car. “Hey there, Davis,” he said, “Boy, have I got a major crazy conspiracy to tell you — abwaaaAAAAAHHHH?”
For there sat Davis, symbol of the possibility that good can exist in our broken system, deader than Bernie.
…and then we cut back to Frank’s office, where he painted the walls with Blake for awhile. Frank has a simple interrogation style: He just yells out names and plot points until something sticks. “Osip? His crew? Caspere? Stan?” asked Frank. “Diamonds? Hookerbus? Man bun? Mustache?” He hit Blake a couple more times. “Avocado trees? Freeways? Chessani? Mood ring?”
Something finally broke through. Blake told Frank that Osip has been moving onto Frank’s territory ever since their meeting in Paris, which you’ll recall took place in the infinite ether before this season actually began. So it turns out that Osip is the Big Bad of this season, or one of the seventeen Big Bads. While Frank wasn’t looking, Osip’s people bought the liens on the clubs, which means they own Frank now. Oh, but Osip didn’t kill Caspere. “Nobody knows who that was, man!” said Blake. Blake also informed him that Osip and Catalyst are meeting in Ojai to exchange $12 million for Caspere’s share. And if you’re wondering why they’re meeting in Ojai, I refer you to this article about a humble young man who happens to live in Ojai. And also, McCandless lives up there. You remember McCandless.
Lastly: It turns out that Blake was the guy who told Frank to tell Ray the wrong identity of his wife’s rapist. Because it was some meth-head that he needed killed, and because Blake figured it would be easier to convince a young clean-shaven cop mourning his wife’s assault to kill that meth-head. Now, if you think about it, this actually was a brilliant move: It means that Blake managed to get his boss a helpful ally inside of the police department.
And Blake’s next thought was just as smart: “They don’t know you got me now. I can work on the inside for you, man. Triple Cross!” Would Blake have actually gone through with #TripleCross? Or would he have re-betrayed Frank for an even-more-stupendous #QuadrupleCross? We’ll never know. Frank shot him. It was a perfect shot: Blake died slow enough to hear one last Vaughnologue. “Remember how I found you? Pushing baby aspirin to club kids? Now you just s— my carpet.” (Now You Just S— My Carpet would also be a better title for this season.)
NEXT: Daddy Dumbest…
Ani’s dad, uggghhh. Look, I love David Morse, and I love thoughtful considerations about how the bright innocence of the ’60s hid a cruel bleak reality — how “Free Love” was always more insidious than it sounded, how druggy excess claimed the lives of some and the minds of others. Have you heard of the book Season of the Witch? It’s a history of San Francisco from the ’60s through the ’80s, and pretty much every chapter is a pocket history of hippie-era liberation spiraling into excess and madness and depravity. And of course, that era of excess and madness and depravity eventually led into modern-day San Francisco: A city full of big ideas and bigger money, the kind of city where some start-up yuppie worth $2 million just bought the apartment where Janis Joplin did heroin.
Maybe that is what’s missing from this season of True Detective. The show is best understood, I think, as a riff on post-lapsarian boomer nostalgia: It’s set in that specific version of California where all the evil businessmen went to the same commune. Something about the internal timeline feels fuzzy. The show is conjuring up ambient hippie-era imagery around the character played by David Morse — but Morse was 17 when the ’60s ended. There’s a similar fuzziness to the geography. The show loves the idea of California’s transportation system — those endless freeways, those corrupted dreams of a state-long train — but good luck trying to figure out when we’re in Monterey and when we’re in Los Angeles. Long drives get rendered as five-second montages: Aerial Shot Of The Freeways, Establishing Shot Of Our New Setting.
Case in point: Bezzerides called up her old partner Elvis and asked him for help. She wanted someone to protect her family. “Follow them to Eugene,” she said. “They’re gonna exit. Better you don’t know where.” Let me translate what she just said: “Can you please aid and abet me, a policeman with a warrant out for my arrest, by following my father and sister while they drive over 10 hours north into Oregon? Thanks, partner I slept with once and then refused to ever sleep with again!”
[Your recapper finishes glass of Johnny Walker, pours another one.]
Okay! Let’s take this seriously! Ani hugged her father and forgave him for a lifetime of terrible-ness, and she hugged her sister because all it took to rebuild their bond was Ani pretending to be Athena as part of an ongoing investigation into the corruption of American society, and Ani hugged Elvis, too. “I think I might be unfair to people sometimes,” said Ani.
This was intended to be a cathartic moment of self-realization, I think? The weird thing is, I’m not sure I agree. Sure, Ani is a tough and generally humorless person. But who has she been “unfair” to? Her helpless and dithering father, who lectures to her about her lifestyle, even though it was specifically his miserable parenting methods that created the situation that led to Ani’s getting kidnapped and raped — kidnapped and raped — by Evil Manson Jesus? Her little sister, who not so long ago was defaulting to a career in hookerbus prostitution and internet performance art? Her partner, who seems like a nice guy until you remember that he straight up sold out Ani to the higher-ups — which means he managed to break both the gentleman’s code (he kissed and told!) and the bro code (you don’t ever inform on your partner!)
I reject the idea that Antigone Bezzerides needs to apologize for anything, besides her haircut. I reject the thing her father said, that she is, quote, “The most innocent person I’ve ever known.” Why didn’t Ani laugh in his face? There’s no such thing as innocence in the True Detective-verse, not if we take the show at its own word. There are no good people. Only bad people who try to do the right thing. And that is absolutely a compelling idea for a TV show.
But for a TV show to work, it needs to have more than ideas. It needs to have execution. It needs to have a compelling way of dramatizing those ideas. And I can’t think of anything less compelling than a scene in the penultimate episode when three fringe characters we barely care about all hug the main character and tell her that, deep down, underneath that haircut, she’s really a swell person.
The weird thing about True Detective this season is that, when you drill down beneath the hooker colonies and the cocaine pull-ups, it’s a story about obvious evil and hopeful good. Papa Bezzerides is a bad man — a man so devoted to his own incredibly lucrative line of spiritualism that it’s taken him around three decades to realize that his lifestyle indirectly led to his daughter’s abduction — but in the show’s lunatic moral perspective, he’s really an okay guy, because golly, he tried his hardest, and now he’s big enough to say things like: “God damn everything.” In the show’s perspective, the real bad guys have Bond villain accents and slither around huge mansions, signing corrupt land deals between death orgies.
[Your recapper finishes glass of Johnny Walker, pours another one, finishes the glass, breaks bottle over his own head.]
Now, let’s get back to Frank!
NEXT: My ship’s come in.
Frank had a plan. Frank was going to get out. He visited the local diamond monger, and asked him how much of a percentage he would need on a kamillion-dollar exchange. Then he went to buy some tickets to Venezuela. Then he went to hang out with another set of criminal-type people — we saw them before, I think when Frank was talking about never having a cavity? — and he asked them for some new passports. Then he handed them a list of supplies, which I think was just every gun ever invented. They asked: Where was Frank getting all this money from?
Frank: “You might say my ship’s come in.”
Gangster: “And who sails this ship?”
Frank: “That’s the thing about ships. Sometimes you sail them. Sometimes they sink. But if you want to find treasure in a shipwreck, you have to wreck some ships first. My father told me that. He always thought I was the treasure. But it turns out I’m the shipwreck, and you’re the ocean.”
Gangster: “What does this have to do with freeways, though?” [scene dissolves to an aerial shot of freeways]
Okay, but so, here is what really happened: Back in 1992, while the city was in flames for reasons that are fascinating and complex and rich with painful humanity and representative of institutional corruption — reasons which will apparently not be explored even remotely this season, except via a hilariously on-the-nose metaphorical-fantastical Corrupt Action which owes less to the actual realities of the 1992 uprising than it does to the origin story of Batman — some cops did a very bad thing. Burris and Dixon were, at that time, serving under Holloway. (Burris is the guy from True Blood; Dixon is the tubby drunk who got his head blown off; Holloway is the current Police Chief.) They committed a robbery, orphaned two kids, and wound up with lots of diamonds. I leave it to Bezzerides: “That’s how they bought in. The diamonds went to Chessani. They migrate into six figure salaries. In Vinci. Their own private fiefdom.”
(I want to briefly point out that Bezzerides said that word as “Fife-dom,” pronouncing the first syllable like the last name of “Barney Fife.” It’s actually pronounced “FEEF-dom.” I have no idea if this was a purposeful mispronunciation. Maybe we’re supposed to think that all of the lead characters on True Detective are grappling with concepts they don’t really understand. Maybe Bezzerides was still getting over the Mega-Molly.)
Of course, none of this actually explains the central question of this season. There’s no reason why any of these cops would have killed Caspere: His murder brought exposure to their dirty deeds. Paul couldn’t stick around to solve this mystery. He was getting more texts, demanding that he show up at the Hall of Records at midnight.
Meanwhile, back at the casino, Frank had a nice chat with Mayor Chessani. In what amounts to the biggest twist of the season, Mayor Chessani appears to be the only character who isn’t the Big Bad of the season. He was just sloshing his way through a classic mayoral flirtation. “We are of Vinci,” he said. “We’re a goddamn political dynasty. Like the Kennedys.” Frank set Chessani straight. He told him about his son, and Osip, and McCandless. (He didn’t tell him about Stan. Chessani wouldn’t understand about Stan.) Then the Russian-Israelis showed up and said they were going to take over, but they would keep Frank around as the manager, and put him on salary. It makes total sense that one gangster would completely ruin another gangster’s life and then keep him very close by, right?
Anyhow, Paul showed up at the Hall of Records and…wait, no, I can’t with that just yet. Let’s go back to the Hotel Room, where Bezzerides and Velcoro stared really hard at the picture of that girl named Laura. They remembered her, at last. “Her name is Erica,” said Velcoro. “From the City Manager’s office. She was Caspere’s secretary. You met her at the movie set. She wasn’t pregnant. Or maybe she was.” At which point they remembered that one of the orphans in that long-ago robbery was named Laura.
So what this all means, if I track it correctly, is that Erica Who You Don’t Remember At All and her brother — who is Birdman with the shotgun, I think — have been plotting an elaborate revenge plan for the last 23 years. It is a plan that required Erica to assume a false identity and work her way into Caspere’s office, and also be some kind of call girl riding the hookerbus for the evil overlords of Monterey, and also the plan was partially to get vengeance, but also to get several million dollars.
I’m hoping that the season finale is entirely about Erica-Laura and Brother Birdman, because they are officially the coolest characters on this show.
Anyhow, Paul showed up at the Hall of Justice, and it turned out that his lover-bunkmate, Miguel, from back in the war, was secretly in on this conspiracy the whole time. Because Black Mountain is now called Ares Security — Ares, the God of War and cheap symbolism. And Ares only works for one client: The Catalyst Group.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Oh, so everything Miguel did this season was just an elaborate frame-up.” This would make a little bit of sense — so you’re wrong! As Miguel explained, he was initially just checking up on Paul, making sure he “kept confidentiality.” But Dixon was following Paul, and he took pictures the night Paul visited Miguel. I quote the Chief of Police for Vinci: “Pictures of you two were a happy coincidence we came across when clearing Detective Dixon’s apartment.”
What a line! What a whole series of thoughts and phrases to string together! The Chief of Police has, in his employ, the secret lover of a policeman desperate to keep his homosexuality a secret. And, as fate would have it, the Chief of Police finds photographs of that secret lover — who, again, is someone he employs, because he works with the Catalyst Group, apparently? — in the apartment of a dead policeman.
I am going to ignore the fact that the one time this season when Paul physically expressed his repressed homosexuality, it turned out that his lover was a traitorous liar in cahoots with the League of Shadows. I refuse to ascribe any greater symbolism to this show’s wonky sexual politics. (“Woman sleep with many men: Bad! Man sleep with other man: Bad! Man sleep with woman: Baby! Woman no give baby: Bad!”) I’m not going to go down that road, because the transcendent goofiness of this scene is exactly the kind of show I would love to watch. So Paul is in the Tunnels of Doom, talking to the Evil Chief of Police and flanked by four soldiers, one of whom is his former flame from the war? Sign me up!
Of course, Paul managed to get out of it by pulling the old “I don’t get any service down here trick.” You know, the one where you have five guns on you, and you walk up to the most important guy and wave your cell phone around and say “D’oi, my cell phone’s not working, can you look at it, SURPRISE,” and then you grab the guy and his gun.
Paul killed two men, and then he used poor Miguel as a human shield to kill the last guy. And so, with his traitorous ex-lover’s brainblood all over him, Paul raced through the tunnels of misery and emerged into the outside world — only to be gunned down by Burris. Far away, Paul’s wife watched the end of Splendor in the Grass. The part where poor Natalie Wood visits the home of her long-ago love, and sees his child. (The child she never got the chance to give him — representing the life they never got to lead.) Perhaps, in that moment, Emily had an inkling that she, too, would look back on another life, on the road not taken. Or maybe Emily wondered why, in almost every scene she’s had this season, she’s been either lying on a bed or talking about how pregnant she is.
Anyhow. Bezzerides and Velcoro had a good long drink and talked about how something happened to both of them that made them whatever they are. They had a few more drinks.
Bezzerides: “You’re not a bad man.”
Velcoro: “Yes, I am.”
They had another drink.
Velcoro: “Do you miss it?”
In my dreams, they are together forever in that moment. Just two people, far away from conspiracies and counter-conspiracies and metaphorical tunnels and the melancholiac brainblood of traitorous soldier-lovers. Far away from Holloway and Burris, from Davis and McCandless, from Stan and Blake, from old man Chessani and young man Chessani and that poor Chessani daughter who seems like she could use some positive role models in her life. Because there was something potent in seeing Rachel McAdams and Colin Farrell, together, not talking, just thinking. Something was happening. What? Anything.
Oh, and Frank burned everything.