True Detective: Black Maps and Motel Rooms Recap

"This whole season was like watching a toddler throw paint everywhere. You're like 'what the fuck is this, this is gonna look like shit.' Then you step back as it nears completion and you see the Mona Lisa." -Reddit user

Another week. Another recap. As usual, I’ll let Eb go first.

“This whole season was like watching a toddler throw paint everywhere. You’re like ‘what the fuck is this, this is gonna look like shit.’ Then you step back as it nears completion and you see the Mona Lisa.” -Reddit user

I have to start off by apologizing. I’m sorry. I’ve been hate watching this entire season. I gave Vince Vaughn so much shit. I compared it to last season. I am so sorry and the above quote explains it all.  I’m so tempted to say that this season was better than season 1 based on this episode alone. It was fucking beautiful. Let’s recap some stuff.

I gave Vince Vaughn so much crap and he just sat there and took it. He’s probably sitting there now with a smug look on his face cause he know this episode was coming and I would be backtracking. He gets a nod of approval from me. He really acted like a gangsta, I saw the crazy eyes,  the hurt, the anger,  the plotting and the scheming . He still made for pretty witty quips like “In the midst of being gangbanged by forces unseen, I figured I’d drill a new orifice. Go on and fuck myself for a change.” And he truly is a man of honor by getting a name for Ray. The only thing I’m afraid of is Jordan. She seems like she’s ride or die, but I fear she is gonna screw him over in the end. But hopefully not.

Tragic, tragic Paul. His death really hurt me.  Looking back, I think he think he wanted it because in the first episode we see him on his bike riding on a curvy road with his lights cut off.  It sucks because he’s trying so hard and it seems like he can’t catch a break, the bit with the actress lying on him, his crazy mom and her stealing his money, him questioning his sexuality.  I think it was foreshadowing when Paul’s lover said “if you just bothered to be yourself….” And because he could never be, it would have killed him either way I think.

Sidenote:The funniest moment to me had to be when Ray goes to talk to D’angelo Barksdale’s momma  and she is already dead. He’s like Nope, fuck this shit, bye!

Now for the times when I cried: First, when Ani sends her dad and her sister away to go into hiding and we see that she is truthful and she forgives him.  He tells her: “You’re the most innocent person I’ve ever known” and while she isn’t, she really is because after her kidnapping and molestation as a kid, she becomes this adult with all these issues because of that. She is withdrawn, she doesn’t trust(men especially) she has her own sexual pervesions– beautiful.

The second time I cried was when she and Ray were at the table and Ani tells him “You’re a good man.” That was so powerful, because for me it shows Ani opening up and believing that there is at least one good man. It’s also very powerful because Ray wants to be a good man so that was exactly what he wanted to hear. He is a good man. I think he always was.

We find out that I was wrong and the two kids in the pic are not the Chessani kids but the girl is Caspere’s secretary and I think the boy is the photographer from the movie set.  My thinking is that the kids found out that Caspere and the Vinci PD killed their parents so they kill Caspere and plan to kill the others. I think Birdman is the brother hence the mask and rubber bullets used to shoot Ray-all things that could be taken from a movie set.

I’m literally in awe at how much criticism this show got and how I thought I hated it and it’s actually better than season 1 to me.  It’s just more realistic and makes more sense.  I also think Frank is the real True Detective.  I’m actually rooting for him. Can’t believe I just typed that.

The fucking Mona Lisa.

HOLY SHIT HOLY SHIT HOLY SHIT! WOW WOW WOW! WOW! Nic Pizzolatto, you fucker, I was in your corner all season. I was standing in front of your bullets and it paid off. Not going to say I told you so but well, I did. Week after week after week we were left scratching our heads and saying “wtf?”. All those loose strings were tied together beautifully. This episode ran over an hour by 6 minutes but if feels like we got hours worth of details thrown at us without being overwhelming.

It’s quite apparent now that True Detective’s format doesn’t exactly jive well with a weekly format. So binge watchers, you’re in for a treat. It gives you absolutely nothing and forces you to pay attention, even to the most minute detail. Then all at one moment, it drops all this info on you like an Acme anvil.

First off, let’s ignore the fact that crooked politicians and businessmen were dumb enough to leave contracts in the desk of an orgy house. Let’s ignore this ridiculous detail before we proceed.

With that said, the documents recovered by Woodrugh are all contracts and deeds that finally link Tony Chessani to Blake, Caspere, and even Osip. The “foreign interest” in the poker room, as stated by Mayor Chessani, was clearly Osip. He wants to take everything Semyon has. Once it was discovered that Semyon was getting screwed by Caspere, they blew him to smithereens and divvied up those shares amongst each other.

Speaking of Semyon, he has to be the worst businessman ever.

“Hey Frank, what’s my cut?”


“Wow, that’s a gracious off-”

“Ok, 35, and not a penny more”-Frank

“But Mr. Semyon, your first offer was fine-”

“Dammit, Ok! Take it all, but you’re busting my balls here!”

Seriously, he’s the most charitable gangster ever. You get one hundred thousand! You get one hundred thousand! EVERYONE GETS ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND!

While it seems like he clearly had the muscle to climb to the top, his terrible business acumen has led him to be outsmarted by others, mainly Blake. We finally find out that he gave up a meth head just to get in Frank’s good graces. Frank takes him under his wing but as most proteges, he got too big for his britches and wanted to surpass the master. Well getting too big for your britches is exactly how you end up with a glass of what seems to be very fine scotch smashed up against your face.

Just in case you haven’t notice, there’s no “Vince Vaughn sucks” here this week. This scene with Blake was truly a shining moment. He beat the living crap out a guy and for the first time since the first episode, I believed him.

Frank Semyon has had quite a few lines that Vince Vaughn could never really deliver. But “and you just shit my carpet” right after he shot Blake was pretty bad ass. It was also very important that Frank let his wife see. Because she warned Blake in the first episode: “Everybody gets touched”. Indeed. Indeed.

Before Blake makes poop on the carpet, he sings like a bird and gives up Osip. Frank smartly aligns a play for revenge and an exit strategy. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and assume he forget about the very lucrative offer he presented the Mexicans before burning down his club, so let’s assume he doesn’t exactly make it out of this alive. The cash he intercepted (even after a 40% fee, ouch) should be enough to bargain, but it’s about the principle. You don’t screw over these Mexicans. And he just did.

I’ve been a fan of Ani Bezirrides all season but the “I am feminist! Hear me roar!” shtick was kinda getting old. I spoke on it previously that it seemed like a character was drawn up to specifically hush those critics. Well last week we discovered why she was so screwed up and this week she doesn’t seem as bad. She seems soft, caring, and even innocent, like her father said. That’s why I don’t mind her hooking up with Ray. They needed each other. Deep down these two shitty human beings are really good people. If life played them a different hand, they would be totally different people.

And they really need each other now because the only person who even knew about their detail is now dead. Goodbye Breanna Barksdale, we hardly knew ye.

Now, this brings us to Detective John Carter. One important detail uncovered is that those cops waaaaay back in 92 just so happened to be Burris and Dixon. Oh yea, nice catch by Eb for noticing that it was Dixon following Woodrugh around. I totally missed that. This means Dixon pretty much walked them into a trap with the big Mexican shootout. I didn’t know much at that point, but I knew that seemed sketchy.

While Woodrugh is digging up this info, we see a shadowy figure following him. Also, he and his fiance have been receiving crazy texts. I don’t know how liberal California is, but let’s not engage in homosexual acts as an high-profile cop with your blinds wide freaking open. And it kinda bothers me because he should have flipped that and said “Yea, I did some gay stuff! So what!?” but I guess this season is set in the 1930s. But anyway. I know, I know, he’s a macho ex-military man who is about to start a family but whatever.

Although I never really liked Woodrugh, he started to grow on me after episode 4. He was the stealth of the group. He used his military expertise and Black Mountain Security training well. In hindsight, he actually was the most productive detective even though his credentials in that department didn’t exactly stack up to those of Ray and Ani. He walks into a shady situation knowing there’s likely no way out. He even calls Ray and tells him “I think I’m walking into something” to which Ray responds “Well don’t walk into it”. You can tell these two had a mutual respect for each other. Well Woodrugh walks into it anyway and actually makes it out! Well kinda, he gets popped in the back by none other than Lt. Burris.


Goodnight sweet prince. As soon as you found your footing, you were gone. We’ll remember you. “Contracts, they have signatures all over them”. You’re damn right. Long Live Woodrugh.

But I wanna go a different direction than Eb. Like I said last week, I still think Lt. Burris is our bird mask killer. I mean, seriously, look at this whole detective get up he’s wearing. Those pants and shoes look exactly like what he was wearing when he hit Woodrugh with the “Et tu, Brutus?”.


If it’s not him, I’d sure as hell like to know who it is then. There’s an hour and a half season finale, so I can’t wait. Once again, I told you. I told you that you were wrong. These last few episodes have had their flaws, but they’ve been great. Shame on you for ever doubting this.


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