The Western Book of the Dead
Season 2 Ep 1
Season 2, Episode 1
Written by: Nic Pizzolatto
Directed by: Justin Lin
Original airdate: June 21, 2015
Nielsen rating: 3.17

"The Western Book of the Dead" is the first episode of season 2 of True Detective and the ninth episode overall. It aired on June 21, 2015.

Synopsis Edit

Ray Velcoro (Colin Farrell) is a detective in the fictional city of Vinci. Years before, criminal and businessman Frank Semyon (Vince Vaughn) gave Velcoro, then a Deputy with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, information on who raped his wife, thus placing Velcoro in debt with Semyon. In the present, it is heavily implied that Velcoro's son is not biologically his. In addition, Semyon is assisting Velcoro legally with the custody of his child by providing an attorney.

The city of Vinci is going to be a part of a state mass rail deal with potential for profits for local businesses. Semyon needs the city manager to help make it progress and secure a deal with Russian businessman Osip Agronov. Ben Caspere, the Vinci city manager, is holding Semyon's money as a middleman to buy tracts of land in the future railroad corridor.

An article in the local paper talks about local city corruption. Frank Semyon orders Ray Velcoro to beat Dan Howser, the Senior staff writer in an effort to stop him from writing more stories, as well as steal his any additional information the reporter might have.

Velcoro gets put on the case to find the missing City Manager. When Ray and Teague Dixon show up at Caspere's house it becomes clear that he was kidnapped prior to his death.

Antigone Bezzerides (Rachel McAdams), is a Ventura County Sheriff's Deputy. She leads a police raid on a presumed illegal porn ring in an attempt to shut it down permanently. However it was a hazy, yet legal, erotic webcam show business. During the bust Bezzerides discovers that one of the cam girls is her sister, Athena. They have a rocky relationship because of Athena's life decisions. Later, Bezzerides serves a family an eviction notice. The wife of the family asks Bezzerides about a missing sister because she gets no help from local police. The wife says her sister got a new job which leads Bezzerides to to a Dharma Yoga/Meditation center. The person who runs it is Bezzerides' father. The missing sister no longer works there.

Officer Paul Woodrugh (Taylor Kitsch) with the California Highway Patrol pulls over a woman for speeding and reckless driving. The woman tries to convince him to let her go. When he refuses, she solicits him with an offer of a sexual favor in exchange for letting her go. Woodrugh says nothing and it is not shown what actually happens. She accuses him of sexual misconduct suggesting Woodrugh stopped her, accepted a blowjob, and issued her a traffic citation anyway. This turns into a media scandal since it turns out the woman is a celebrity. Woodrugh is placed on paid leave in the meantime. While with his girlfriend, it is revealed that Woodrugh is an Army veteran who also previously worked with Black Mountain private security. He is shown to have scars covering his body that he says predates his military service, but does not reveal what caused them. He has difficulty becoming erect with his girlfriend and he goes into the bathroom where he secretly takes Viagra.

Distraught about the suspension, Woodrugh takes his motorcycle and goes for a ride at night on the Pacific Coast Highway through Ventura County. He continues traveling at higher rates of speed eventually turning off his lights in an apparent suicide attempt where he reaches 100 miles per hour and then suddenly decides to turn on his lights to slow down. He loses control and slides off into a dirt turnout next to Point Mugu on the side of the freeway. With his motorcycle's headlight, he then sees a man sitting on a park bench. He approaches to speak with the man and discovers that he is deceased. The body was perfectly still sitting on the bench with his face covered with black sunglasses to conceal acid burn scars in his eye sockets. Woodrugh calls the police who arrive and identify the man as the missing Vinci City Manager, Ben Caspere.  

Bezzerides is called to the scene because it is in her county's jurisdiction and Velcoro is called because he's on the missing person's case to find Casper.

Cast Edit

Starring Edit

Guest Starring Edit

Trivia Edit

True Detective Season 2 (2015)

201. "The Western Book of the Dead"
202. "Night Finds You"
203. "Maybe Tomorrow"
204. "Down Will Come"

205. "Other Lives"
206. "Church in Ruins"
207. "Black Maps and Motel Rooms"
208. "Omega Station"

See also: S1S2S3
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