‘True Detective’ Recap: Did Ray Velcoro Really Die?

After last week's jaw-dropping episode, 'True Detective' had some explaining to do. Did the show just pull a major twist by killing off Colin Farrell's Ray Velcoro? That question was answered pretty quickly in the July 5 episode. True Detective may be three episodes in, but it looks like the show's just getting things started. On the July 5 episode, we got a glimpse into Paul's (Taylor Kitsch) past, Ani (Rachel McAdams) continued to try and make headway in the Caspere murder investigation, Frank (Vince Vaughn) got down and dirty and Ray Velcoro's (Colin Farrell) fate was revealed.

True Detective Ray Alive
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Image Credit: Image Courtesy of HBO

Well, no one could have seen the opening of this episode coming. A man in a baby blue sequined jacket and pants belted out Bette Midler’s (or LeAnn Rimes’) “The Rose” in the bar that Ray frequently goes to. Ray talked to a man we later learned was his father in a nearby booth. Ray was clearly having some type a dream, or maybe it was his afterlife. He realized something wasn’t right. When he asked where he was, his father said, “I don’t know. You were here first.” Ray looked down and blood was everywhere.

The same song was playing on the radio in Caspere’s place. Ray looked completely dead. But True Detective wasn’t done with Colin Farrell. Ray jolted up and gasped for air. He was ALIVE! Ani showed up and was pissed he didn’t call her before investigating the house. Seriously, Ani, take it easy on the guy. Ray survived because the guy (or girl) with the raven mask didn’t use real bullets. Ray was one lucky (and scared) man. 

Meanwhile, Frank was getting some, ahem, pleasure from Jordan. She really wanted to have a baby. Frank wasn’t a fan of using alternative methods to get pregnant. After he insinuated that maybe Jordan was the reason they couldn’t have children, she ripped him a new one. “Suck your own dick,” she said, before leaving the room.

Since Ray was taking it easy, Paul stepped up. Ani assigned him to working girls and brought up his past while in the car. Paul didn’t want to bring up the past — at all. Ani really just wanted to make sure his “exposure” wouldn’t interfere with him doing field work. And, just like that, Ani got Paul to smile.

Drugs, Booze & Existential Questions

Ray was still recovering from his near-death experience and wanted Frank to cough up some answers. He was afraid he’d gotten himself into the middle of something he couldn’t get out of. Frank admitted that Caspere had a lot of his money in play but didn’t go into detail. Later, Ray visited the doctor to get cleared. His health was the opposite of stellar. The doctor even asked, “Do you want to live?” And, honestly, from the look on Ray’s face, he struggled with the question.

Paul and Ani went to the Vinci mayor’s house in Bel Air. Drugs and booze was everywhere. While perusing through the house, Ani found a girl that looked eerily similar to the missing girl she found out about in the first episode. She closed the door before we got a really good look. Ani and Paul’s unexpected visit didn’t go over too well with the mayor’s son. They went through Caspere’s safety deposit box and found diamonds.

Ani’s people wanted information on Ray and fast. She called Ray a “burnout,” but they wanted more. Getting Ray was essential to the Vinci investigation and that meant that Ani might have to tease him a little. “I’m not saying f–k him, but maybe let him think you might,” one of her superiors said. She was pretty much ordering Ani to do it with Ray because she offered up a bonus. Meanwhile, Ray’s Vinci people weren’t pleased with Ani getting all up in their business.

Hidden Secrets & A Close Call

Ani was a single lady by the end of the episode. She broke things off with her boy Steve. He didn’t take it too well. After telling him to be “mature” and have some “dignity,” he told her she had serious problems. Yikes.

Paul and an old friend had a quick hangout session, but it didn’t end on a good note. When his friend started talking about the past and their time together, that’s when things took a turn. “Those three days? I think about you man,” his friend said. Paul brutally shoved him down and walked away. As this was going down, that creepy Vinci detective was getting a front-row seat to the drama.

Ani and Ray continued working on the case and figured out that Caspere was connected to a film that was shooting close by. As they questioned the former driver of the car that carried Caspere’s body, someone set Ray’s car up in flames. Ani and Ray ran after the guy/girl right onto an oncoming highway. Before Ani became roadkill, Ray pushed her out of the way of an oncoming car. To settle the score, he asked, “Tell me what the state has on me.” Ani replied, “I don’t know.”

After his intense confrontation with his old pal, Paul talked to a guy who’d been out with Caspere before. When Paul headed into a nearby club to get more answers, he bumped into Frank. Paul later found out the hooker involved with Caspere was named Tasha. Elsewhere, Frank was about to do some dirty business. He beat the living bejeezus out of Santos and pulled out his grill with pliers. Yep. That happened.

HollywoodLifers, what did you think of tonight’s True Detective? Let me know!

— Avery Thompson

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