True Detective: ‘Other Lives’ Review


Drinkin’ More

Bottoms Up

I am officially at a crossroads with this season of True Detective. On the one hand, I absolutely love Ray and Ani, especially their scene in the bar. Heck, even Paul is starting to grow on me a little bit. On the other hand, the entire Caspar case has been moving in slow motion. While we did find out a little bit more about the case in Other Lives, there are still a million questions, including the big one: who killed Caspar and why?

Personally, I believe what’s missing this season is a decent and interesting case. Marty and Kohl were great last season but part of the reason the previous season of True Detective was so successful was because of the murder mystery. It was dark, it was gritty and it had the Internet forming conspiracy theories left and right.

But you know what…this isn’t last season. While there has been quite a bit of criticism regarding the new story, I’m finding it to be very well written and have truly formed an emotional connection with our characters. This was easily the most depressing episode so far because it was all about dealing with the hand you’re dealt but like every single person on this planet, we all just have to keep moving and roll with the punches. So if you’re going through some shit right now, just remember it gets better with time. Bottoms up and enjoy the recap!

The Bottom of the Bottle

Our episode begins 66 days after last week’s insane shootout that left many innocent people dead. We immediately find out that Ray has shaved his mustache which I suppose is a metaphor for change because there was a lot of that happening for all of our characters.

Shave It Off

Ray is being evicted and is no longer on the force as he has resigned following the incident from last week. It’s also fairly obvious that Ray is in some financial difficulties and is trying to make due. For whatever reason, watching these characters go through life’s shit storm has been very entertaining. We all go through some form of shit in our lives and some of us definitely have to go through a lot more than others so seeing how our characters deal with what is probably the worst time in their lives should send us all a message that things can get better with time.

Ani’s scene in the sexual harassment support group was perfect for some comedy relief. It was so not your stereotypical arrangement to have a woman be accused of this type of behavior and Ani completely takes the piss out of it:

"I really like big dicks."

Paul is also dealing with his own shit. You’ll remember the actress that was trying to screw him over during a traffic stop from the very first episode…she was back briefly and it looks as though Paul is now off the streets and working in insurance fraud. The actress ends up dropping her allegations but she is obviously a selfish prick that’s only thinking about herself.

"I'm a lying sac of ball shit."

So as you can see, sometimes life sucks and there is nothing we can do about it. Some people are just complete and utter assholes that only care about themselves and the rest of us are forced to deal with it. Everyone has to make choices in life but the hardest thing anyone has to endure, including our detectives, is dealing with the consequences of someone else’s choice. I think that has been the most interesting aspect of this season so far and, as much as I’ve criticized all of the character development up to this point, I think it is paying off now. I feel for Ani. I feel for Paul and I definitely feel for Ray. Yes, they have made some poor decisions but a lot of the shit they’re facing has really come from other people’s choices. And watching them come out of this stronger than ever should be very rewarding for all of us. Fingers crossed this season doesn not end in tragedy.

Even Frankie has some new crap to deal with in the form of The Cisco Kid. Obviously the Mexicans are not involved in the murder of Caspar as that is just way too predictable but with Santos out of the picture, I have a feeling Frankie is going to be dealing with these Mexicans for our three remaining episodes.

The Cisco Kid

Frankie also stops by the mayor’s office for a quick chat about some waste management plant that he sold a while back as the new owner turned up dead. It is also mentioned that there are some foreign interests looking into the Poker Room, where Frank runs his girls. Oh and easily my favorite quote from Frank as he heads off: “Then go stand in front of a fucking tank.” Classic in every way.

[poke]

But Frankie’s problems go further than just his money and his clubs. His wife ends up explaining to him that she actually cannot have children and had been lying to him this entire time. It was a great scene and I think every single person in a relationship can learn something from it. Communication is key and Frank and Jordan appear to be actually rectifying their past mistakes and working on their relationship. They love each other, that much is obvious, but they let life get in the way. And now that it’s all out in the open, it’s time for Frankie to really think about shit and work on the one thing he truly loves. Absolutely heart wrenching stuff, especially for any one who has been through a relationship that ended without even an attempt to correct the problems. Sad face all around…but hey, life goes on right so let’s deal with our problems instead of running from them!

Life Goes On

Ray is still dealing with his custody battle and it officially appears to be going off the deep end. His ex-wife is being a jerk, possibly due to her lack of communication skills, and she wants toxicology and paternity tests regarding her child. It’s obviously not looking good for Ray since if he is, in fact, not the father (to quote Maury Povich) and there is probably no way in hell he’ll ever see his kid again. Or so we thought until Ray gets a second chance.

So Ray has no fucking clue what is going on at this point, and either did I, but we did find out later that the man responsible for raping his wife has been caught and locked up. But wait, didn’t Ray mention that he took care of that ages ago? So this explains why his ex-wife is furious…she thinks Ray lied to her about going after her attacker. But Ray DIDN’T lie and it looks like Frank may have set him up. Yikes!

The Facts of Life

Still though, if there is one thing Ray wants in life it’s to be a part of his son’s life and, with the financial difficulties he’s facing, he heads over to Frankie for some extra work so he can continue paying his family lawyer. Frank tasks Ray with tailing Blake, one of his men, and as it turns out this ends up revealing some things that are probably going to impact the case. Not to mention that we finally find out that Caspar died with five million dollars of Frank’s cash money.

Ray follows Blake to a big mansion where it looks like some of our previous characters are connceted. Blake, Tony (the mayor’s son) and the plastic surgeon all meet up with some prostitutes for what is probably going to be a wild night out in Vinci. More revealing is the fact that they end up with that Russian dude who has ties with this entire Caspar situation.

Meanwhile, things are not getting any better for Paul either as his KFC-loving alcoholic mom has spent his life savings on slot machines and more liquor. Paul is furious with her as he was saving that money for times like these.

Gone with the Gin

She attempts to guilt trip him but Paul is having none of it and he takes off to his girlfriend’s place. I guess Paul has learned a few things from him mom though:

Tricks of the Trade

Sneaky little trick! But man, if you need to drink just to be with your girlfriend, it is probably not going to end well…not to mention the fact that Paul is into dudes as well. Disaster waiting to happen and Paul should really start thinking about the choices he is making.

We also got another amazing bar scene, this time featuring Ani and Ray and easily the best scene of the entire episode. Ray and Ani are broken after the shoot-out but they are still trying to solve this case because we have to move towards something…anything. And while the entire season could probably showcase as an 8-episode advertisement for tobacco, e-cigs and alcohol, it’s just so real. Ray says it best…”it was good seeing you. I didn’t realize you were on my mind.” Are these two not perfect for each other or what? Maybe there is a happy ending in store for us after all.

Case Work

True Detective Work

We pretty much know it’s not the Mexicans who are responsible for Caspar’s death. That dude in the crow mask is probably going to have some connection to somebody but the question is who and why?

We finally learned a lot more about the case and it all started when Ani comes across an invitation to a party and some photographs of those same blue diamonds she had come across in the safety deposit box.

So it looks like the band is back together after Katherine tasks the team with solving Caspar’s murder yet again and exposing the mayor’s office and Vinci Police Department for their corrupt minds. These are the only people Katherine can trust to take care of this mess.

More importantly, Ray refuses to continue his new job as a rent-a-cop, but Katherine makes him a deal, saying she can get his kid back for him so obviously Ray’s in and the band is officially back together!

Never too late to start all over again

And man, that quote from Ani is just a ball of inspiration. No matter what happens in life, big or small, it is NEVER too late to start over. I remember playing Nintendo as a kid and sometimes I’d get so frustrated (Mega Man, anyone?) that you’d just hit the restart button and start over. While it might not be as simple to do that in life, it’s still possible and our detectives are doing just that.

So now that everyone’s back together, Ray heads over to that plastic surgeon whom he was spying on earlier in order to get some answers regarding his dealings with the mayor’s son and Caspar. Needless to say, things didn’t go very well for the doc. Besides doing work on the girls that attend these sex parties, the doc explains that Caspar concocted the idea of the parties with Tony Chessani and the ultimate goal was to obtain footage on the affluent men who attended for blackmail purposes. Also, the doc is going to need a good dentist. Maybe Santos can help with that!

Spitting out Teeth

Meanwhile, Ani has a chat with her sister about possibly trying to get her invited to one of these parties as they are still trying to locate the missing girl and the blue diamonds. Athena says she will look into it and, based on the preview for the next episode, I think she may be in attendance next week. Also, Paul gets some info as well when he checks in with Vinci’s local jeweler and it’s revealed that Teague Dixon, the cop who was shot and killed during the shootout, had already been asking about the same rare blue diamonds a while back. Oh, and Dixon did all of this before they even KNEW about the diamonds so he may have been involved with some of this.

And once again, the ending was easily the most revealing. After Ray meets with his ex-wife, he realizes that Frank may have actually set him up with regards to the attacker who raped his wife. Maybe Frank actually sent him after someone for his own personal reasons and if that’s the case, he should start getting worried. Especially considering our episode ended with this:

"You and me need to talk."

So it looks like Frankie and Ray Ray are going to be having a nice, long chat next week and I’m all for this. Can’t wait to see what is revealed during that conversation.

Better yet though, Ani and Paul head north and end up coming across a cabin in the woods where they follow the carrion crows to this:

Musical Chair

And here I thought we already found our murder scene back in episode 2. Nope. The question remains though….who in the hell is behind all of this? I mean, there’s only three episodes left and I still have zero clue as to who the killer might be! And how does it all tie in with the Chessani’s and Frank? That said, the one thing this show does great is leave us hanging and I’m excited for the final 3 hours. And you should be too.

Episode Rating: MIKEY LIKES IT

While there was not a lot of action, I absolutely loved this episode. It was all about having a fresh start and it was some deep shit. Tons of great quotes about life and our case seems to be advancing piece by piece. Ray and Frankie are going to be having a nice chat, Ani is hopefully going to be attending one of those sex parties and the newest crime scene might actually shed more light on this insanely complicated murder mystery.

At this point, I have no theories on who is behind the Caspar murder but I’d love to hear what others have to think so feel free to leave a comment and let us all know your predictions. Til next week…I’ll just be drinkin’ more. Cheers.

Next Week

Next Week

Next weeks episode, titled Church In Ruins, looks like it’s going to be a doozy of an episode. I think Ani is going to somehow get an invite to that party after all, which I am ecstatic about, and Ray is definitely bringing his gun to the meeting with Frank! With only 3 episodes left, shit it about to hit the fan. Check out the promo below:

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3 responses

  1. I rarely comment on the net. I found you by accident while creeping the web for AHS entertainment. SO HAPPY to have found your page!! The AHS are my favs, you really had me cracking up with Coven recap!!! So I went back and read everything and was so satisfied! Then, I jumped on the GoT wagon very late, season 3, so after bingeing I peeked, & there you were!! OH JOY! & finally, words can’t describe seeing the True Detective tab on your page!!! This is my routine….watch→read→watch….thk u thk u thk u!!! Love your recaps!

  2. if there is anything that i learned from watching 24, its that the russians are always behind everything. EVERY TIME! great review. Although I am not a fan of the bar scenes. Especially the lady singing.

    1. Totally agree with you about the Russians. Where’s Jack Bauer when you need him haha

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