You waited three-plus years for more True Detective, so the good people at HBO made sure you didn’t have to wait another week for a second episode! After starting the season with an intriguing mystery, the HBO series slows down and takes a step back with the next installment, “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye.”
Picking up off the twist at the end of the premiere, 1990 Wayne wants to know more about the robbery in Oklahoma, but that will have to wait because it’s only the second episode of the season and there’s an investigation going on in 1980. Will officially died of blunt force trauma as his neck was broken and he was then brought to the cave. Sadly, the more pressing matter is finding Julie. With plenty of dead ends, Roland and Wayne bring in Woodard for an interview. The “trashman” has struggled since coming back from the war, even losing his family. He tries to bond with Wayne over their shared service time. But that doesn’t last long after Roland asks him, “Do you like kids generally?” He rightfully snaps back, “What the f—‘s the right answer to that?” Touché.
In 2015, a confused Wayne has his son bring him to the West Finger Community Center, which sends us back to 1980 to that very building. The police are speaking to the community, instituting a curfew, answering questions, and asking for their help. The FBI is also now in town to assist. After the meeting, Roland and Wayne talk to Alan (one of the 1990 interviewers), before Wayne steps away for some quality time with Amelia. This scene is helping both us and 2015 Wayne, who confesses to his son that he often has trouble remembering his wife. He also hints at a strained relationship with his daughter Rebecca. Henry offers to put an end to the documentary, but Wayne wants to know what the director is after and what she knows.
Well, later, we find out a few things that the director does know about: Wayne leaving the force in 1990 (presumably because of the case) and the straw dolls. Looking for those dolls in 1980 is Amelia. She’s asking around on the playground, and while doing so, she spots Freddie threatening another of the teenage boys. She eventually gets to little Mike, who tells her that someone was passing out those dolls on Halloween and that Julie got one.
Elsewhere, Roland and Wayne are doing their own investigating at Will’s funeral. They talk to Lucy’s cousin Dan, who previously lived with the Purcells, and Tom’s parents. But when Tom’s parents start getting worked up, Tom tells the detectives that it’s time to leave. They’ve got other things to do anyway, like interview Mike about those dolls. With the help of Amelia and Wayne’s lightsaber prowess, the detectives learn that Mike saw Julie talking to two adult ghosts in big sheets on Halloween. Well, that certainly narrows down the suspect pool!
As if things aren’t already going bad enough for poor Tom, he tries to get back into his routine and goes to work, but everyone is uncomfortable with him being there. Despite his boss telling him to take some paid time off, Tom causes a scene and quits. For some reason not explained to us, Roland and Wayne soon pick up Tom and drive around while he has an emotional breakdown in the backseat. He says he needs to know if they’re going to find Lucy or not. I mean, what are they supposed to say to that?! (Recap continues on page 2)
Either needing to blow off some steam or stalking Amelia (or both), Wayne goes for a drink at a local bar where Amelia happens to be hanging out with some friends. She makes her way over to him and they get to know each other a little better. She wants to be a writer, he’s possibly dyslexic and is more of a comic book guy. Their conversation is interrupted by Kent, the district attorney, going live on the news to share the info about Julie and Halloween. This is exactly the opposite of what Wayne wanted them to do, so he’s pissed. And rightfully so since 2015 Wayne tells us that the press conference just led to false tips and panic.
Wayne blames Roland for letting his “tribe” go ahead with the idea. Roland doesn’t know what he was supposed to do, but he’s got something to make it up to his partner: a possible suspect. He scored some intel on a recent pedophile parolee who has been asking around about young girls. The partners go grab him, take him to an abandoned farm in the middle of nowhere and strap him to a post. Ted denies the accusations even as Roland continues to beat him. One problem: He has a legit alibi. Second problem: His alibi is from a daycare that he’s been helping out at. They tell the daycare people that they won’t be hearing from Ted again. Later, Roland and Wayne pop open the trunk, which currently contains a beaten and still tied up Ted. Roland asks if they should kill him. Nah, says Wayne, just violate his parole and if he talks s— about them then Wayne will make sure in prison that he “bleeds black cock.” That’s going to both scare Ted and haunt Roland.
Ted is going to have to wait, though, because the boys are needed at the Purcell house ASAP. Upon arrival, they find Lucy crying, Tom freaking out, and a note that says Julie is in a “good and safe place,” “children should laugh,” and to let her go.
That does it for the 1980 portion of the episode. Let’s see what is happening in 1990. Alan and Wayne meet outside of the deposition and Alan says it’s unclear if Julie was a customer or thief at the Walgreens robbery and that Roland is next up to be interviewed (apparently he’s done well for himself in the past decade). Wayne then goes home and finds the proof for Amelia’s novel. Fast forward to 2015 and we learn that she will write six more novels, but, more importantly, that something happened with Tom and Julie in 1990. “I never stopped coming up with theories about that case,” Wayne declares to the director.
It’s now dinner time with the 2015 version of the Hays family, consisting of Wayne, Henry, and Henry’s wife and children. Wayne asks if they can get his daughter to visit, but Freddy and his wife say that she lives in Los Angeles now and doesn’t really like it here. Wayne then asks again, another sign that he’s losing his memory. An even bigger sign is when we jump to him standing in front of where the Purcell house used to be. He’s lost, confused, and in his pajamas.
This week’s Truest Detective: Amelia. She’s the one who was able to get more info on those crucial straw dolls. Also, she wrote a classic crime novel so that has to count for something.