Ani & Ray Hook Up On 'True Detective,' But It's Not Much Of A Surprise
I can't say I didn't see this coming. From the first few episodes of True Detective Season 2, it seemed the show was hinting and foreshadowing at a connection, both physical and emotional, between Detectives Ray Velcoro and Ani Bezzerides. And now finally it's happened. In Sunday night's episode "Black Maps and Hotel Rooms," Ani and Ray hooked up after they both endured some seriously messed up events. The episode began with Paul, Ani, and Ray making their way to a hotel room to tend to Ani's missing person Vera as well as recuperate from a rather traumatic party. Ani was still dealing with not only killing a man but also coming down from the high of drugs that made her recall childhood sexual abuse, which were given to her at the party where she was almost forced to perform sexual acts on some skeezy men, most of whom were involved in a huge corruption scandal that probably led to Caspere's death.
While Ray sat with Ani and tried to calm her down from all the emotions she was feeling, she tried to seduce him and he refused her advances, saying she was way too out of his league. Ani blamed the lapse in judgment on the lingering effects of the drugs and after a little awkwardness and tension, the makeshift partners shrugged off the incident and got back to work. But that definitely wasn't the end of their physical relationship.
After discovering that one of the orphans from the past jewel theft could be a woman Vera named as Laura from the creepy sex parties, Ani and Ray sat in the hotel room and contemplated some serious existential issues. While planning out how they'd end this case once they found Laura, Ani blamed herself for dragging Ray back into the Caspere/corruption mess. Ray assured her that he made the choice a long time ago, potentially hinting that all of his recent decisions probably came from the rape of his ex-wife and his subsequent killing of the man who he thought assaulted her. He connected with Ani about her own past demons, though she didn't mention her childhood trauma.
Eventually the two comforted each other, which led to their hook-up. Unfortunately, it was hard to appreciate the fact that these two hurting people were able to find comfort and connection with each other, as it was happening right as Paul was shot dead by Lieutenant Burris. So how will this hook-up affect the two detectives in their work? Hopefully it will just make them want to protect each other, but won't affect how they do their job. Ani and Ray make a great team on this case, and now they have extra incentives to solve Caspere's murder and make the corruption behind the jewel theft and murders known to the world. Not only do they have to finish this case for themselves and each other, they have to avenge Paul.
To be honest, I actually hope True Detective doesn't focus too heavily on their romantic relationship too much, because there are just so many loose ends left to tie up. I do hope, however, that both Ani and Ray can better themselves by helping each other. Like Ani says to Ray before their hook-up: Ray is not a bad man. Neither of them are bad people, they've just been through so much. And so many of their demons have unfolded and come into the light through this case. They have to solve it if they ever want to move on and ever feel a semblance of closure or connection with the world and people around them.
Image: Lacey Terrell/HBO