I don’t think I could go so far as to say that “Down Will Come” reminded why I love this show, but is certainly was a jolt of adrenaline in a season that doesn’t seem to have any problem taking its sweet ass time with everything.
But even though it was fun and excited and cool to watch, the whole thing still felt a little jarring. Four episodes in (that’s half the season!), I think I’ve abandoned all hope of being able to make sense of Ben Caspere, his crazy fetishes, his friends’ weird bird masks, or why anyone would want him dead. No, at this point, I think I’m in it entirely for the characters. I want to watch them play off each other, and to see how they change. It’s not that the murder they’re trying to solve is just too dense for my down home country ways, like I’ve said before, it’s just that I don’t really care about it.
Having said that, I’m not sure the show did a good enough job setting up firefight and showing how it fit into the larger context of the story. So far, it seems as if our True Detectives have been chasing down false leads. Velcoro tells Bezzerides that the entire investigation is a shakedown, implying that the powers that be don’t care one way or the other if they solve it. In the end, they’re more likely to be drummed off the force. So it felt a little strange to suddenly see our heroes strapping on kevlar and pumping rounds into chambers and all that other stuff cops on TV do before something like this. And how did they end up here? Because of Caspere’s pawned jewelry? Wait… What? But again, the murder mystery isn’t really making my socks roll up and down, so I just went with it.
The fight itself was pretty damn impressive. Although I will say that it was criminal that the show had Bezzerides pull her knife out and not use it. I was ready for her to fireboard those motherjammers, and was disappointed when she didn’t get her chance. But even though the entire thing came a bit out of left field, I do think it could have some interesting ramifications for the rest of the season. Remember, there are only a handful of people living in Vinci, and it looks like most of them were killed in the gunfight. And there was at least a chunk of all that that made it on camera and was maybe even broadcast to the rest of the state. A shootout like this could potentially make the national news. The various law enforcement agencies hoping to get something out of this instead just had the whole thing blow up in their faces in the most public way possible. How do you think they’re going to handle that? There are people who already want Velcoro and Bezzerides off the force, and this just might give them the excuse they need to see it done.
With that in mind, I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see the show make some sort of leap in time when it returns next week. We see how things have shaken out for Velcoro, Bezzerides, and Woodrugh since the shootout, and eventually see them all come back into each other’s orbit and find a way to solve the case. They are True Detectives after all. And if there’s one thing a True Detective does, it’s detect the truth. Anyway, I’m full of crap and this probably won’t be where the show goes, but it’s interesting to thing about.
Aside from all that, I thought the episode showed us a few interesting things about how our characters seem to be shackled to the past. I’ve talked a bit about Semyon in previous reviews, so I won’t rehash all of that. Instead, I’ll just say that his march back into his shitbird gangster past continues unabated. While last week we saw him pick out the biggest guy in the prison yard and beat the ever-loving hell out of him, this week we saw him making the rounds, back to all of his old haunts to let people know that he was back, and that he wanted his cut. He’s making drug deals with the Turks. He’s shaking down a Mexican apartment owner. And in the end, what will all of this get him? He’s still not making enough money, and things with his wife could definitely be going better.
On the other side of the law, we’ve got Woodrugh. He seems to have finally taken a step toward accepting who he is. We find him waking up in his friend’s bed, and getting the hell out of there almost immediately after realizing what he’s done. Instead of reflecting on the events of the past day, he runs right into the arms of his ex-girlfriend, saying that the two of them should get married just as soon as he hears that she’s pregnant. The guy can barely keep it together as it is, so I can only imagine how things will be when he traps himself inside a loveless marriage. We’ve also got Bezzerides, who after making such an effort to get away from her father and to actually make something of herself, is found time and time against in his company, as it turns out that he’s connected to all sorts of shady figures who Ani is currently investigating.
It seems odd that the one coming out on top of all this is Velcoro. He tells Semyon that he’s trying to keep his head out of the bottle, and that seems to be doing to trick for him. He picks Woodrugh up after his motorcycle is stolen and gives the man a locker room speech about surviving and overcoming the obstacles set in his path. He’s the one who’s able to decipher the Rosetta Stone that is the state’s investigation in Caspere’s murder for Bezzerides, letting her know that, yes, they’re investigating a murder, but that they and not Caspere may be the real targets. A few more weeks sober and he might even shave that mustache. Hmm. On second thought, I prefer him drunk.