Well now, we have our crime and met the key players. Get out that notebook, Taxman and let’s recall the scene. It is 1997 and we have a ritualistic murder complete with a ‘devil trap’ and a specifically poised victim. We have our detectives on the case, Hart and Cohle, two diverse and troubled individuals. They clash but they have a case to solve. In 2012, we learn that their partnership didn’t last and that another murder like the first one has occurred. Now, is it a copy-cat crime or did the perpetrator they supposedly nabbed in 1997 get out or was the wrong man jailed? And just what did happen with their relationship anyway? Am I asking the right fucking questions? Let’s find out if any of them are answered in Episode Two.
Episode # 2 – Seeing Things: Under pressure to land a suspect in the Dora Lange murder, Quesada warns Hart and Cohle they might be replaced by three detectives from a new occult-crimes task force. The pair lobbies for extra time in order to follow up on a lead that takes them from a rural cathouse to an incinerated church. With his marriage to Maggie already strained by work, Hart ends up finding respite away from home. (Written by Nic Pizzolatto; directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga.)
Just based on the episode description alone I know that you shouldn’t push our detective’s buttons. Their superior ‘warns” to turn up something; I wouldn’t threaten either one of these two. Hart is libel to sock you right in the mouth and get really hot-headed while Cohle is capable of just walking away or go off on a binge. Luckily they don’t and they take off on a lead. The path they take leads them to people who knew Dora and the one thing they all mention about her was the fact that she was going to a church south of Spanish Lake. It takes the whole episode to find the elusive church and lo and behold, it is there we find a clue. A clue I won’t reveal here as you have to watch the episode yourself. Aren’t I just cruel?
So what was the rest of the fifty-eight minutes about then? Well, they do spend a bit of time talking about the title phrase “Seeing Things.” Though Detective Cohle can medically explain away the “visions” or hallucinations he has he’d much rather offer up some existential mumbo-jumbo instead. Those answers, by the way, happen during the interview with the Detectives Gilbough and Papania in 2012. The bulk of the episode though is all about family. Remembering that this show is about the detectives and not the crime we have to fill in some more background story and explore more about these men were then and are now.
Quite a bit is learned about the family life of Martin Hart. It is not, (sarcastic surprise) a lovely bed of roses for him and Maggie. He offers up a great response to the situation in hindsight. He makes clear that it is alright for a man to release the stresses of his day as he deems fit, not just for him but also for the good of the family. That means he can justify the necessity for his kinky dalliances. One such “tension releasing situation” plays out for us in HBO’s true fashion. Rust’s family story is still a bit sketchy. We don’t learn a great deal about his childhood or parentage as much as we learn about him as a family man. He talks about his wife and daughter and how the child’s accidental death made a real wreck of things. I don’t think that information is a real spoiler as Det. Cohle gives quite a better telling of that part of his life than I. One statement I did single out from Rust Cohle that is very telling is that in his interview he confesses he can easily “wear people down.” I can easily see that.
We all can easily see that in a scene that plays out in the precinct locker room. Our two boys nearly come to blows and it is Rust you deftly led the scene to that aggressive place. He pushed Martin’s buttons and a terse moment could have easily turned to a brawl. It was a great scene that included the ripe line – “Do you have some idea of how my wife’s pussy is supposed to smell?” Oh, just watch it for yourself if you haven’t. But, where does this leave us? We see a team still working hard to search the seedy places and talk to whomever it takes to get this case solved. On the other hand, we have a relationship already fraying at the seams. But this episode’s little tiff is a sign of bigger fights to come. We know the big fight is in the distance we just have to let it build. Ultimately, the scale will tip and the good partnership will be on the losing end.
Lastly, my questions from paragraph one must not be the right questions. They weren’t answered and I didn’t really expect them to be. They will be, but we didn’t really even discuss much about the case or the new 2012 case this episode. We are left with one clue that says the detectives are pursuing in the right direction. Speaking of direction, I am going to go out on fragile limb here and offer my guess of the week. The concluding shot of the episode has a crane shot that takes us away from the church and sweeps out over the foliage and to the horizon. But did you notice the path evident through the trees? I am wondering if the next clue is not too far from the church but deeper back in the Louisiana backwoods. We will have to see when Episode Three premieres on Sunday, 01.26.
Here is the Episode # 2 Recap followed by the Episode # 3 Preview.
Did you get a glimpse of the clue? Hurry up and watch it already if you haven’t so we can discuss in the comments below. Plus, don’t forget to check our weekly reviews. Contributor Marc Price will take over for Episode # 3 – The Locked Room.