True Detective finally revealed why poor Stan had to die… (major spoilers)


MAJOR SPOILERS for True Detective Season 2 episode “Black Maps and Hotel Rooms”

For a show so epically boring and tedious, you wouldn’t think that the final episodes would be THIS confusing. Just know that I consider myself a pretty bright person and I’m a long-time lover of police procedurals and cop shows. I enjoy a good “Whodunit?” But the actual core mystery at the center of TD’s Season 2 is so poorly constructed and badly backstoried that I missed big chunks of what actually went down as Ani and Velcoro gave the motherlode of expositional dialogue on what happened in 1992. Sidenote: does anyone else remember that excellent NBC show a decade ago called Life? It starred Damian Lewis and Sarah Shahi and the backstory of that show – a cadre of corrupt, well-connected cops ruling the city of LA with money they stole in their early ‘90s – is similar to the core mystery of TD’s Season 2. E! News has a more thoughtful recap here, if you’re interested.

Anyway, the big news is that a major character was killed last night. I really don’t want to see any comments about how I’m such a horrible person for discussing this. SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS. Paul was killed. Taylor Kitsch is dead (on the show). It’s for real. It’s not like the Colin Farrell thing where it turns out he was shot with rubber bullets or whatever. I have to admit, this was the most I’ve ever liked him in this episode – he wasn’t just staring off into space vacantly. He was actually doing something and he even tried to give Velcoro a heads up, which Velcoro promptly forgot about because Ani was giving him “come hither” face.

That’s another big spoiler… Ani and Velcoro finally banged. I feel like with those two actors – Rachel McAdams and Colin Farrell – it should have been so hot. It should have been a feeling of “FINALLY, let’s get down.” But the sex scenes were destroyed by terrible direction. That’s not even on Nic Pizzolatto. What kind of idiot pushes in for extreme close-ups during that moment when Ani and Velcoro finaly decide to get down?

As for poor Frank (Vince Vaughn), he finally shook off his rut by beating the sh-t out of Weaselface VonPimp (whatever that guy’s name is, I don’t care), then shooting Weaselface in his office. Then Frank went and played nice with the Russians, only to literally go scorched earth on everybody, taking all the safe money from his former clubs and burning the places down.

We still have no idea who killed Ben Caspere, who was totally in on the core conspiracy of cops (a conspiracy revolving around a series of crimes during the LA Riots). We do know who kiled poor Stan though – it was Weaselface VonPimp. Frank figured it out. Frank also revealed that Weaselface was the one who gave him the bad tip about Velcoro’s wife’s rapist. So… Frank took care of that problem for Velcoro. Sure. What else? James Frain (playing a corrupt Vinci cop) was the one to kill Paul. And the head of the conspiracy (not really) is this guy?



Photos courtesy of HBO.

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45 Responses to “True Detective finally revealed why poor Stan had to die… (major spoilers)”

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  1. Snazzy says:

    I loved Life! Was so sad when they cancelled it – so well done!
    As for TD – haven’t watched yet. After the reviews I’m not sure I will

    • Loulou says:

      Yes! Came to comment just that! Life was an excellent cop show, was super disappointed when they cancelled it.

    • t.fanty says:

      My friend wrote that show. He’s amazing and was so proud of it.

      • Snazzy says:

        Wow @t.fanty! That is so cool! I doubt this will matter much to him, but if he is interested tell him a colleague and me would watch it all the time when we were out on the field with MSF in Kenya, working in the refugee camps out there. We would watch it on our laptop at night. It was interesting and kooky and fun and kept us going. We were so sad when we found out it was cancelled.

      • Twinkies says:

        Please tell your friend that it is absolutely my favorite tv show. I was obsessed with it (lived in LA at the time) and had a baby towards the end of the shows run. I would nurse my baby and watch the show and swoon over Damien Lewis. Sometimes I rewatch it when The Golden Girls won’t do.

      • Miss Melissa says:

        He had reason to be, it was awesome.

        Word around the industry was that the writer’s strike killed any momentum it had.

  2. Matador says:

    “Weaselface VonPimp”


  3. Falula says:

    My husband and I gave up on this season after 3 episodes, but I gleefully await these recaps.

    • mimif says:

      Margaritas help. It only took 3 for me to enjoy last night’s ep…3 Cadillac margaritas, that is.

      I liked the scene between Ani and Ray. Awkward yeah, but awkward seemed appropriate considering everyone on the show is completely f-cked.

  4. grabbyhands says:

    It’s too bad that it took them 7 episodes to have Frank actually do something interesting. Poor Jordan-unless she does something epic next week, her character was pretty much wasted, which is too bad because I felt like in the promos before the show started, she gave off more of a “power behind the throne/Lady MacBeth vibe”. For the life of me, I still cannot figure out the point of the whole infertility story line.

    Poor Paul-what a poorly written character. I feel like everything about his story was obvious from the second he came on screen-like, they practically screamed that he was closeted and everything flowed from there.

    Pretty grossed out about Ani and Ray. Not shocked exactly, just disappointed. Sad that they had a strong, complex female character and ultimately, she was reduced to being a victim that needed to be comforted by her male cohort with whom she has had little to no chemistry. I guess it didn’t occur to PIzzolatto that it might have been more interesting for Ray and Ani to actually resist making a shitty decision.

    Busting up about that picture of Chief Holloway-because when he came on screen, I was like-who the hell is this guy??? I had totally forgotten about him.

    Lastly-I’m still not sure about why Stan was such a big deal to Frank.

    • Pixi says:

      I agree with everything you said. Also, the end was very predictable to me. When Paul was climbing the ladder I thought to myself, “this guy has the most to lose, he’s probably going to die now” and he did.

      I also had no idea who that guy was but it was an “I guess I should know him” moment.

      Last week’s episode made me feel like maybe there was something of an end game, but this week’s episode really fell flat for me. I’ll watch next week just because I hate leaving things unresolved, but I’m not going to like it.

  5. Tiffany27 says:

    When does this end?

  6. M.A.F. says:

    I came into last night episode 10 minutes late and I was lost for the rest of the night. Ended up doing lesson plans instead while it played in the background. Now I feel like this whole thing centers around missing blue diamonds? If this is the case, then that should have been at the fore front since episode 1 because this whole time the show was giving me Chinatown feels but centered around the high speed train development and not water.

    • Michelle says:

      Seriously what was with the talk about the diamonds? That came out of nowhere. If this story all amounts to some BS about diamonds after all of the random ups and downs each episode, I will not watch season 3. I’m an optimist, I’m trying to give this show the benefit of the doubt right up to the very last second but I’m prepared to be disappointed.

    • Miss Melissa says:

      The whole plot this season is so complicated and convoluted…and they took so many episodes to get past such plodding exposition, that no one cares anymore.

      I know last night was supposed to be some kind of payoff, but the two major events were almost anti-climactic.

      At this point, all I care about is if Frank gets his, and that is hanging by a thread as well.

    • Maria A. says:

      The Blue Diamonds were stolen apparently by bad cops who robbed and killed the jewelry store owners back during the riots in LA. The victims’ two children though lived through it and SAW who did it. I think they’re going to figure prominently in the final episode. Them and a lot of LA Confidential style house cleaning of good guys versus bad guys.

  7. Catherine says:

    Seriously? I don’t know how you couldn’t understand what the plot was, but it sounds like you were watching a completely different show to the one I was watching. Why complain about the love scene not being ‘hot’ enough, it’s not that kind of show, and it sure as hell wasn’t that kind of a situation between two broken people.

    • DesertReal says:

      Because it’s a show where so much is open to interpretation, different people can take away different things from it. My husband and I have begrudgingly hung in there this season- and we were anticipating their weird sort of connection to translate into something a little more…passionate. People can make the argument that it’s not that type of show, but do people not recall the first season? At all? It was seedy, gritty, dark, complex, and sexy. This season definitely lacks the focus and direction of the first, and they couldn’t even get a love scene right. Just sayin’.

  8. Mrs. Darcy says:

    Could you maybe not put a spoiler in the headline?

  9. Abbott says:


    I’m not used to things like Detectiving and action going on on this show.

    Poor Paul. Tortured dude til the end.

    Why didn’t Ray put his family up in a hotel? Hotel tv’s show Friends reruns right? And why didn’t Ray act a bit more concerned when Paul told him he was walking into a set up?

    How are the Russians and Catalyst going to work out? Are they the same or just working together for now?

  10. EC says:

    I gotta say…I thought Colin Farrell looked SO HOT in the face shots before they got busy. Like the thought the close ups were stupid and they should just get on with it, but he looked soooo good to me. Unf. So, there’s that.

    Overall I thought the acting here was the best it’s been all season, probably because the characters finaly had something to do. RIP Paul. That’s all I got.

    • Spikey says:

      I feel you there. I don’t get Kaiser’s point either, these close-ups were the first magical moment of the entire season. I never got the hots for The Farrell, but, boy, he was awesome here.

    • MrsBPitt says:

      Farrell has been the one bright light in a horrible show. His acting has been the only one I found interesting. And, yes, those close ups were hot, hot, hot!!!!!! CF is gorgeous!

  11. T.Fanty says:

    Joey Tribiani would have been so proud of Taylor Kitsch’s smell-the-fart acting last night.

    I understood nothing about last night’s episode, but I share your offense about the action. What’s the point in Colin Farrell getting some if we don’t see him shirtless? That’s just poor form.

  12. QQ says:

    I Loved the first season, and don’t have the hate hard On a lot of people have but yeah I feel disappointed that it took em the last 3 episodes to get moving… and all this verbal diarrhea to emphasize with the subtlety of a Mallet that “they are broken people, you Guyses”, that said I didn’t realize I loved Checkbones so much til he made his last stand

  13. H says:

    I’m glad we’re not the only ones who are totally confused about this season. After every episode, my sister and I are like: WTF?

    RIP Paul. Is it sad that I want EVERYONE to die next week? Really hating this season and will not subscribe to HBO if they renew it.

    • Michelle says:

      I read they’re already locked in for season 3. There was an interview with one of the heads of HBO or something, and he gave an update on different HBO shows, along with stating that Jon Snow is dead (Game of THrones) he also claimed that True Detective would all be “enormously satisfying” in the end (I beg to differ so far), and he also confirmed there will be a season 3.

      • Miss Melissa says:

        It’s hard to feel satisfied by a story you don’t care about and barely understand.

        People died. There are hookers. And criminals. And a double-cross on the high speed rail deal. The end.

  14. Kristen says:

    After watching all seven episodes, I still have no idea who most of these people are. I don’t remember ever seeing Stan until he was dead. I had NO idea that the guy in the tunnels from last night was a cop until you just posted that picture.

    In the first season of TD none of the villains got their identities revealed until the last episode (some not even then), and it still made more sense than this.

    • Michelle says:

      Season 1 also just felt a hell of a lot more interesting to me. We had story arcs that included the main characters’ personal lives but they managed to do it in a way that didn’t deviate too far from the plot or become too hard to follow. The writing this season is atrocious. We started out supposedly caring about the death of Ben Caspere and there was all of this emphasis on that bird mask, then the story took a turn and became about Ray’s wife’s rape and Frank giving Ray the tip on who did it and how that ruined Ray’s life… which lead to storylines about Ray’s personal life and relationship with his son, and all of those issues. Then we got into Ani and Paul’s personal lives and issues, most of which were only alluded to (why are they even bothering with the story arc of Ani’s childhood memory of being “taken away” into the woods by a random man? There is ONE episode left. Why go there?) and ultimately I’m still unsure if or how any of this has anything at all to do with the main plot. Then there is the murder of Stan, which apparently is also supposed to be something we care about. All I know is that it seems like it has just created unnecessary confusion.

      How many times did we even see Chief Holloway (the guy in the tunnels) this season that we were supposed to remember him and be shocked when they revealed him as some sort of bad guy? It’s just an enormous mess.

      • MrsBPitt says:

        When Chief Holloway came on screen in the tunnel, I said to my husband, wasn’t that guy a cop? And my husband, said he had no idea! Too many main character, too many story lines for an eight episode series. Writing is AWFUL…directing is AWFUL…

      • Pixi says:

        The bird mask! I was so interested in that, but had completely forgotten. They should have used it more.

  15. Michelle says:

    Count me in as one of the people who has no idea wtf is going on despite watching every episode and reading recaps. The writers wasted way too much time on crappy minor storylines that didn’t really matter, so when they revealed Chief Holloway no one even knew who the hell he was. I have no idea who anyone is except Paul, Ani, Ray, Frank, Frank’s wife, Ray’s ex, and Ray’s son. Do we really care about Ray’s relationship with his son? Or Frank’s marital issues or their troubles conceiving, or Ani’s weird dad, or Paul’s hidden gay feelings. What purpose do these story arcs serve? It has all just caused too much deviation from the plot and contributed to major confusion. As viewers, we’ve been so far removed from the core of the plot that more than half of us have no idea what’s happening even after the penultimate episode. Maybe I’m a moron, but it wasn’t even until a week ago that one of the people I’ve been watching the show with clued me in that all of this is supposed to revolve around Ben Caspere’s death. The writing has been incredibly sloppy.

    Can’t say I’m too interested in season 3 when season 2 was this terrible.

    • Miss Melissa says:

      Too many characters making up an unnecessarily complicated plot.

      If you’re asking yourself, “who is that guy and why should I care?”, it’s a problem.

  16. Bonnie says:

    After suffering through seven episodes of this show, I think we all deserved a better bedroom scene starring Co!in Farrell and Rachel McAdams! WTF True Detective?

    All the way to the Red Keep!!!!!

  17. meanusdevilo says:

    I don’t know why people have problems getting this show. Loads of woven storylines and lots of characters, which makes it more challenging and thought provoking. Do we really want 35 out of 43 minutes filled with gun fights and car chases? Most reviewers didn’t even understand Ani had been kidnapped and raped as a child by a pedophile. Having grown up in LA with a father who had a prominent job with a city there, knowing about the city of Commerce and Vernon from the time I was young this may simply not resonate with most viewers, but if you are an Angeleno you know how terrifying and corrupt this place really is. Frankly It wouldn’t surprise me if this season wasn’t a riff on a true story. Very bad shit has been happening there for 100 years. Just my 2 cents.

    • scotchy says:

      I am an Angeleno and yes this town is all kinds of corrupt and scary, BUT that does not make TD2 a good show. Its poorly written, with too many story lines filled with characters no one remembers or cares about. I do enjoy the aerial shots.
      This story could be the story of many a city, as most cities and the governments that run em are chock full of corruption. I agree with your 2 cents about this city being corrupt, I don’t agree that this show is doing a good job at depicting that. Oh and for the record, I too want all these characters to die, because they all suck.

    • Michelle says:

      “Do we really want 35 out of 43 minutes filled with gun fights and car chases?”

      Nope, I don’t want any of that and season 1, which was astronomically better than this horrendous season, had none of the above and still managed to be gripping, thought provoking, and challenging. The writers may’ve had good intentions, but the general consensus seems to be that the execution has been awful.

  18. Amanda says:

    This show is bad. But I still thought the scene between Colin and Rachel McAdams was hot. I wasn’t really a Colin Farrell fan before, but he’s really good. I went back and watched some of his earlier stuff. I feel like he’s a great character actor. I hope he gets some exposure and better roles from this.