10:00 pm EST, January 19, 2014

‘True Detective’ season 1, episode 2 recap: ‘For the good of the family’

Our True Detective recap for season 1, episode 2 looks back at the dark new revelations about Cohle and Hart, as well as the progress they make on their case.

True Detective season 1, episode 2, titled “Seeing Things,” kicked off in 2012 with the new detectives asking about the sculpture discovered at the end of the first episode in the playhouse – the same object that appeared at the beginning of episode 1 at the 1995 crime scene.

We flash back to 1995, and Cohle and Hart are at Dora’s mother’s house. They inquire about her father in hopes that they can learn some more from the family and the church that she used to go to.

They next talk to Dora’s friend Carla, who describes her as “loopy,” “high,” and again they hear about a church that Dora found. They learn from Carla that she moved somewhere down south, and they later realize it’s a prostitution camp (more on that in a bit).

While driving, Cohle breaks the news to Hart that his daughter died, which is why his marriage failed. In present day, we learn Cohle got close to getting married again but didn’t.

We jump to Hart at a bar with some fellow cops, and he’s telling them a story about hooking up with someone he pulled over. Jump to present day and he tells the detectives that he had a lady he’d regularly hook up with. He argues that he had to do it to keep things level with his own family – it was a way for him to relieve the stress of being a cop.

We then see Hart with his friend with benefits, and after hooking up he asks her where she was the night before. It turns into a conversation about her dating other men because she obviously can’t be with someone like Hart, who’s a married man. Naturally, he doesn’t approve of this and is jealous. “You just want your cake and to eat it too,” she says. “How good is cake if you can’t eat it?” he counters.

He’s not the only one getting himself into trouble. Cohle is at a girl’s to get some quaaludes. She tries to have sex with him but he turns it down sternly. While there, she gives him a lead about a bunny ranch where his victim may’ve been. He brings the info to Hart, and says he can smell “pussy” on him, then suggests that he hooked up with someone last night who wasn’t his wife. This sets off Hart, and he throws Cohle up against the lockers.

The duo head out to find the bunny ranch. On the way there, they come across an auto repair shop where they ask for help finding it. After the guys at the shop say they don’t know where it is, Hart and Cohle walk out. The latter takes off his jacket, goes back in, and takes down both of them so they come clean about its location.

At the bunny ranch they begin questioning the owner and one of the (young) prostitutes about Dora’s death. One girl says that Dora left a bag, and they take it to search for more evidence. On the way out Hart gives the young girl some money to get started on a new life. He’s upset that the sheriff, who knows about the ranch, is letting these young girls sell themselves. He suspects that the sheriff has a financial stake in the camp.

Within Dora’s bag they find a flyer about the church she’d been known to frequent.

Tensions continue to climb between Hart and his wife. During an afternoon at Maggie’s father’s house, her mother is concerned about their relationship, and Hart has a tense moment with her father. Hart needs to cut the visit short because he has a new lead to investigate, and this sets off Maggie further. Things only get worse back at their home.

At the police station, a trio of men come in who are a task force asked to investigate the same case that our duo are investigating. Hart and Cohle don’t play nice with the guys, and their boss lectures them on their behavior. He also asks them why the case hasn’t moved faster, and they ask to have the rest of the month to investigate in light of their new church lead.

They head out to where the tent church is supposed to be, but instead come across a rundown church that’s been partially torn down. On one of the walls “inside,” they come across a drawing of someone with antlers on their head. The episode ends there.

Episode 2 of True Detective depicted another strong storyline, and the new information from personal and work perspectives was very interesting. One thing we didn’t mention above is Cohle’s daughter, who he talks more about in this episode. He describes her death as a good thing in that it spared him the sin of being a father. A fascinating man, that one.

True Detective returns with episode 3 on Sunday, January 26 at 9 p.m. eastern/pacific.

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