‘True Detective – Church in Ruins’ recap
Miko Malabute | Monday, July 27, 2015
The episode is titled “Church in Ruins,” but let’s be clear here. Rome wasn’t built in a day; it was built over four episodes of an eight-episode-long season. This week’s episode of ‘True Detective’ capitalized on the momentum from the start of the second half of the season, which finally got the ball rolling again after a slow first half. Last week’s episode left viewers with a nerve-wracking cliffhanger which pitted Detective Ray Velcoro (Colin Farrell) against Frank Semyon (Vince Vaughn) in a mano-a-mano showdown to find justice in what is essentially the basis of their entire relationship: a lie. I am shocked to find so many people disappointed in how the show handled the confrontation between Velcoro and Semyon (spoiler alert: no, it does not end in a shootout). If it’s not abundantly clear by now, the show revolves around the four protagonists/anti-heroes, and no matter what we think will or want to happen, the show will make sure they keep their characters around.
Yet in contrast to last week’s episode, which had a lot of plot progression despite little action, this week’s episode was able to keep the story moving with a lot of action. Tons and tons of heart-racing, suspenseful, yell-at-the-screen types of moments that really let this season restore honor to the “True Detective” family name. Each story line was intriguing, which is saying a lot because for the majority of the season thus far, only Velcoro’s plotline — and maybe Bezzerides’s story — being the only compelling ones for the right reasons. And as has been well documented, perhaps Semyon’s story was interesting to follow, if only for the awful lines that Vince Vaughn had to blurt out week in and week out.
This time, the show offers a shot of adrenaline to each of the characters’ stories. The three detectives are back at it again, this time closing in on an underground, high-class hooker party, which places Bezzerides (Rachel McAdams) undercover while Velcoro and Officer Woodrugh (Taylor Kitsch) sneak around the party and investigate into corrupt real estate transactions, all of which tie directly back to the Caspere case. Meanwhile, Semyon is regressing further and further into his former gangster self, going through backchannels and reforming associations with shady characters to make his own progress in the Caspere case. For what it’s worth, Semyon’s “witty” lines this week were not that bad. As a matter of fact, they really coaxed a smirk out of me. It feels like the four characters are closing in on the case from different angles, and it’s only a matter of time before this matter is all resolved — or perhaps not, as some alleys might lead to dead ends (pun intended).
Even more than the main Caspere case, the characters’ personal lives just felt more alive and more interesting this time around too. Velcoro is finally coming to the realization of his inevitable loss of custody of his son; Bezzerides is afraid to let people in and preferring to be alone, and with a subtle, drug-induced hint as to why; and Semyon, with the display of his natural ability to be a father to a child, if he could only have one. Woodrugh didn’t have much in the way of progress to his own personal life this episode, but that’s okay: the progress shown in this show was very satisfying, and will no doubt go a long way towards tying up loose ends in a matter of two weeks.
The final scene shows the three detectives in a getaway car driving off hurriedly into the night, along with a missing person that Bezzerides has been looking for since the premiere episode. What significance does this missing person have in the entire case? Who knows, but one thing’s for sure: the momentum of this show is really picking up and this season just might end with a happy ending or a fantastic crash. Better buckle up.