We’re at that point now. One episode left in the season. Already we’ve been burdened with a cornucopia of revelations and deaths (and I have to point out: some amazing things going on with the score). Davis, Blake and Paul are now out of the picture. We know whose signatures were on those contracts Paul pulled out of Blake’s party, but we’re still not certain who killed Ben Caspere. Amidst all the calamity and discoveries, I thought I’d dedicate this recap solely to piecing together the parts of the puzzle we know. As we know already from this season and last season, there is no such thing as a simple case. Caspere’s murder goes all the way back to a ’92 jewelry store robbery, connecting many people (some of them working for the law), involving a myriad of story lines that make this season of “True Detective” quite complicated, indeed. Hopefully I can elucidate some of the more complex facets of this case that make it fascinating as well as frustrating to watch unfurl.
So what about that jewelry store robbery? It took place 23 years ago during the L.A. riots and involved missing blue diamonds. As we already know from Paul’s interview with a former sheriff in last week’s episode, that case was never solved. The case itself involved three masked men who murdered the store’s owners (a married couple) in front of their children who were cached in a display box and consequently watched their parents die. The security footage was missing and the two children ended up in the system.
We know blue diamonds were missing from Caspere’s security box, but no one knows who stole them. Now, here’s where things get complicated. There were three masked men that day at the jewelry store, we can reasonably surmise that Caspere was involved, but before I go on further I have to talk about the dirt Paul finds…
Paul goes to the station to research further into that ’92 robbery case. He discovers that Burris and Dixon were serving under Holloway (Ray’s old chief and one of the men Ani spotted at the party) during the robbery. Caspere, at the time, worked at the same station and the jewelry store was in their district. Our three detectives think Caspere was helping them move the stones. In the next few years after the robbery everyone except Dixon got six figure salaries. Dixon was cut out of the deal with the other three men. The diamonds were the last piece of evidence to this 20+ decade double-murder case. Dixon, perhaps searching for leverage, looked into the diamonds. Pictures of the blue diamonds were found in his apartment after his death. He knew about the stones before Ani, Paul or Ray did, so we know he was involved with that robbery somehow, even if he wasn’t there that day. So, it’s most likely looking like the three robbers were some combination of Caspere, Burris, Holloway or Dixon and at some point Dixon was cut out of the deal, which explains his anathema towards the case from the beginning of the season. So, here we are again: why did Caspere die?
Vera, the girl who Ani “saved” from the party wakes up the next morning and is questioned. Vera tells Ani that she met Caspere at Panticapaem Institute while she was working there as a maid. She talks about Tascha – the missing girl who worked at the clubs. Vera says Tascha was Caspere’s favorite girl, but that she had a lot of photos of the parties that she tried to use as blackmail against Caspere. Vera says Tony and his guys took Tascha to a cabin up north (possibly the cabin Ani and Paul investigated in Sonoma County splattered in female DNA) after finding a camera and took care of her. Again, why did Caspere die?
It’s possible, the detectives conjecture, that Tascha’s blackmail revelation scared Holloway and Burris, so they killed him. But as Ani points out, this doesn’t make sense. They could have tortured Caspere for the diamonds instead, killing him only got them exposure and opened up the case again after being dormant for over twenty years. A piece of the puzzle is missing.
And what about those contracts?
Those contracts revealed Catalyst’s assets and how Caspere’s share was sold and shared among two separate companies after Caspere’s death. One of the companies was owned by Tony, the mayor’s kid. The other company was owned by Osip Agranov, the Russian Israeli who’s been running California girls through the clubs. Blake’s name also comes up in those contracts, he’s named as Treasurer. Ray, in relaying all of this to Frank in this episode, tells Frank he thinks Blake double-crossed him by helping Osip and Tony fuck Frank out of Caspere’s shares, he thinks Blake killed Caspere for them. However, we find out Blake might not have killed Caspere. When Frank confronts Blake later on, Blake confesses to working with Osip and Tony, but he doesn’t know who killed Caspere. Mystery still unsolved. We do find out why Stan is dead, though. Stan was tailing Blake under Frank’s orders. One day, Stan sees too much. He saw Blake meeting with Osip and another guy. Blake said Stan wanted a payoff, he wanted to blackmail him, so Blake took care of Stan.
So where does Ledo Amarillo fit into all this? Ray thinks his old chief Holloway paid Irina Rulfo (the girl killed by Mexicans for working for the police) to pawn Caspere’s stuff. She had admitted to being paid by a white cop. Why? Possibly to get other law enforcement off their trail. As the detectives discovered after the massacre, they didn’t find anything, Amarillo was just running drugs through his ware house. Nothing that would lead them to believe Amarillo and his men had anything to do with Caspere’s murder. As Ani speculates, Amarillo was set up, he thought things would go differently than they did. It also explains Dixon’s assassination. A bullet to the head is a personal shot. Ledo’s men could have known Dixon was working for Holloway and as a last “fuck you” for screwing them over, took him out.
Still confused? Great! So am I. But alas all will be revealed in the season 2 90-minute finale next Sunday.