'True Detective' Orgy Scene Manages To Convey Chaos While Focusing On Ani  — In A Good Way

Earlier this year, The Hollywood Reporter reported that there would be an orgy scene in True Detective Season 2, because apparently the show thought it needed to step up its huh? game by about 1000 points. How it would happen, and what it would look like remained to be seen, until Episode 6 of this season, "Church In Ruins." So how exactly does it play out? While Ray gets to spend the episode getting high, it leaves Ani to go undercover at this orgy. True Detective has often struggled with (and been criticized for) its portrayal of women, but this episode handled things much better than I was expecting, considering the situation. True Detective showed the orgy through a lens that pointed out how problematic and disturbing it is, especially for the women who have found themselves at its center. Plus, Ani managed to kill a guy before the episode's end.

That's right. Did you know Ani likes knives? Sometimes I worry that little fact about her isn't coming across strongly enough. Ani really likes her knives. She has books about knives. She has a full wall of knives in her apartment. She also keeps a knife tucked into her boot at all times — and it's actually her mom's knife, which she keeps close not just to keep her mother close, but for protection too. Ani is not going to be the victim in any situation, and this orgy was no exception.

Blake — Franky's wavering henchmen — summed it up best when he announced, "Enjoy yourselves, gentlemen!" Because this event was clearly meant for men to enjoy, and the women were only there to appease them. All of the women are drugged with "pure molly," and as the gentlemen start figuring out their dates for the evening, the drug hits Ani hard. Everything around her happens in a blur, and that includes the orgy scene happening in the background.

While I was most certainly fearing for the worst — like a ton of gratuitous sex and female objectification — thankfully, that's not what played out. Everything happens in the background for the most part, and it is really a blur. It's a blur to Ani and therefore a blur for the audience. The scene isn't about all sex and objectification, but rather Ani's desperate race to get the drugs out of her system, and then out of the house — saving another woman in the process.

In "Night Finds You," the second episode of this season, Ani mentioned that, "A man of any size lays his hands on me, he's gonna bleed out in under a minute." Well, that prophecy came true. As Ani was trying to escape, some guy grabbed her. She did some lightning fast ninja action with a blade, and he didn't even realize he's been stabbed half a dozen times. Well, he realized when he bled out and collapsed to the ground, because Ani killed him.

I was really worried that Ani, the season's main female protagonist, would become the victim in this situation. I just had a feeling that was the route True Detective was going to go, and we were going to watch Ani fight her way out of that. But Ani managed to stay in control, though drugged, the whole time. She escaped, and even managed to get her missing person, Vera, out of the house too. And she took down her attacker (and knocked another guy unconscious) in the process.

So while True Detective may never be a feminist TV series, at least it did this episode right by Ani.

Images: Lacey Terrell/HBO; Giphy