True Detective opened Sunday night with Frank (Vince Vaughn) staring at a water stain on the ceiling while in bed with Jordan. The water stain causes him to reflect about a horrible five days of his childhood in which he was locked down in a basement while his alcoholic father went on a bender. Musing aloud to Jordan, Frank considers how short and fragile life is, and how something is telling him to wake up.

True Detective Recap: Caspere Mutilated

Meanwhile, Paul Woodrugh (Taylor Kitsch), Ray Velcoro (Colin Farrell) and Ani Bezzerides (Rachel McAdams) are with the medical examiner, learning what likely caused the death of Vinci city manager Ben Caspere. The ME tells them that Caspere died of a heart attack brought on my trauma. His eyes had been burned out, but that wasn’t the worst of it. He was also completely mutilated down below, causing Ani to look on horrified. She’s now officially on the murder case with Paul and Ray, who is also working for Frank.

Frank’s existential crisis takes on new meaning when he learns that Caspere had taken a bunch of his money prior to this death. He’d never bought into the rail line that he’d been celebrating. With all of his money taken with Caspere to the grave, Frank is at a loss about how to figure out raising additional funds. His first step is to figure out who offed Caspere and why. He eventually gets a lead for a house where the city manager would take his hookers.

Now that he’s been officially tapped to work on Caspere’s murder, Paul has to tell his mother and his girlfriend that he’s not going to be around for some time. The chat with the girlfriend didn’t go all that well, taking a turn for the worst after she mentioned Black Mountain Security, which works as a trigger for Paul. He doesn’t want to talk about it, but whatever happened in “the desert” has apparently severely affected Paul and his relationship. He’s told not to come back after working the case.

As for Ray, his quickness to rage ended his marriage and has all but destroyed his relationship with his son, who is afraid of him, especially after learning that he gave a beating to a kid who was bullying him. As he tells Ani, he’s also rumored to have killed a man who hurt his wife, which is not so much a rumor as a truth. When Ani asks him if he’s corrupt, Ray, who works with mobster Frank, declines to answer.

When Ray pays Frank a visit at a bar later, Frank gives him the address where Caspere brought the prostitutes. If the investigation goes Frank’s way, he’ll get Ray the Vinci chief of police job next year. Interested in the prospect, Ray heads to the house. As he steps his way around a pool of blood and dodges animal masks hanging from the walls and a sex swing tethered to the ceiling, Ray comes face-to-face with a man in a crow mask. He’s shot once and falls to the ground. He’s shot again straight into the chest.

True Detective airs Sundays on HBO at 9/9c.

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