Three Things You Missed in This Week’s True Detective


This week’s episode of True Detective picked up several narrative threads that for a while felt as though they had been ditched with the same reverence and ceremony as Ani’s e-cig. A lot of shows these days can be followed while playing games on an iPad or making a tasty burrito in the kitchen, but True Detective is not one of them. I’m all for television that demands the viewer’s complete attention, but the burden of this season has come with the sheer weight of information that the audience must carry with them from week to week.

It gets to the point when you find yourself asking, “Is this really important? Should I remember this? Ugh. Imma make a burrito.” And make a burrito you should, because you’ll need your strength when you sort through the many (and I mean many) plot points speckling throughout this season. “Church in Ruins” dosed us with a trip-inducing quantity of those plot points, and unless you gave it your full attention, you probably missed out on a few things.

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So what did you miss from this week’s True Detective? Click on to find out!

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1. Diamonds Are Forever (in True Detective’s plot)

Paul makes some serious headway in the diamond investigation this week, finding out who the owners were and what happened to them. After paying a visit to Burns & Wilcox, Paul learns that the diamonds belonged to a couple named Margaret and Leonard Osterman, parents of Leonard Jr. and Laura. Margaret and Leonard were the owners of Sable Fine Jewellers in Hollywood and were victims of a robbery during the Rodney King riots of 1992. Briefly on a computer screen we see some more information about the diamonds: they are match cut, Peruzzi cut, and valued at $625,000 each (that’s two and a half million, yo).

And all of that is communicated in 20 seconds. Paul then goes to speak with the investigator who was put on the case. When he isn’t slugging back High Life (Nic Pizzolatto, you’re incorrigible) and chain-smoking cigarettes, the retired cop dishes even more details on the diamonds. Touching on the robbery, he says, “Place was looted right after the actual robbery, so no crime scene integrity. Wasn’t no looters, either. Security tape was missing. Those two people were executed. They knew what they were doing. Tactical, like.” Tactical, you say? Like cops are tactical? And the people who compromised the crime scene weren’t “looters?” Hmm.

2. Frank’s Deal With The Mexicans

Frank Semyon has, let’s say, a certain way with words. It’s almost no wonder that he hasn’t been getting along with the Mexican cartel. His silver tongue is rivaled only by his hospitality, as seen in a friendly little sit down between Frank and one of his besties from south of the border involving a freaking nail gun!

Anyway, Frank wants to find this woman named Irina Rulfo, “sometime girl” to Ledo Amarilla (No-Doze from Breaking Bad. You know, the guy who went down all Platoon style at the end of “Down Will Come.”) So he goes to this place in El Monte where he has a “Mexican standoff with actual Mexicans” and soon after lays out the situation to the best of his knowledge: the “Vinci Massacre” happened because Irina pawned the blue diamonds, which she got from Ledo, which he stole from Caspere. Frank has about five million reasons to talk to this woman, so he plays “Let’s Make A Deal” with the Mexicans to get answers.

Turns out that wasn’t such a good idea. Irina calls Frank and tells him that she did not in fact get the diamonds from Ledo, but from “a man” who gave her five hundred dollars to pawn them. The description of the man? “Thin. White. He was a cop. Didn’t wear a uniform.” Paging Lieutenant Burris (the smart money’s on him as the Bird Man). Frank sets up a meeting with Irina but arrives to find her with a slit throat. Too bad the Mexicans held up their end of the bargain to arrange a “face-to-face.” Now Frank’s stuck with them for a year, unless… Mexican standoff round two?

3. Finding Vera Machiado

“Church in Ruins” climaxed (sorry not sorry) with an Eyes Wide Shut-ish sequence that featured an undercover Ani making her way through a sex palace (not as sexy as you might expect), complete with an homage to Twin Peaks! It’s the kind of scene that would normally call attention to the more titillating aspects of the environment, but instead the camera remains focused almost exclusively on Ani’s disturbed expression, creating a claustrophobic sense of paranoia heightened by a fantastic orchestral score.

Somewhere in that hallucinated horror show Ani finds Vera Machiado, the missing girl she’s been searching for all season. Not much is known about Vera. She was first mentioned back in “The Western Book of the Dead” when Ani and Elvis are assigned to deliver a foreclosure notice to the Machiado family. Here they find out that Vera pretty much dropped off the map and hasn’t been heard from or seen in weeks.

When asked about employment, we learn that Vera last worked at an “institute,” the Panticapaeum that Eliot Bezzerides oversees. When the detectives interview the staff at the Panticapaeum, they find out that Vera left months ago and got a new job with “less hours, more money” working the “club circuit.” That, along with a photo in “Other Lives” showing Vera standing beside one Senator Fred Jenkins, pretty much brings us up to speed.

With months of experience in the escort business, it’s a safe bet that Vera knows a thing or two about the kinds of people who frequent the lavish parties in California, and maybe even about the death of Ben Caspere. What she will say to the detectives and how she might contribute to the case remains to be seen, but it’s doubtful that the powers that be will let this little jail break go unnoticed.

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