We start the show with Detective Ray Velcoro (Colin Farrell) trying to get his kid excited for school. If there’s ever been a kid who looks less like his father they couldn’t find him for this role.
Then we get to the questioning. Ray is getting questioned in preparation to get custody of his son. We learn that his wife was severely injured (murdered?) when she was pregnant with their son, then they got divorced. We also learn that Ray “welcomes judgement”. Good to know, Ray.
We’re introduced to Frank Semyon (Vince Vaughn) in a flashback where Ray is meeting him to find out who hurt (again - murdered?) his wife. Frank is a business man. Frank knows lots of things, and there’s the immediate vibe that Frank is real bad. He also has a wife who loves him.
Soon enough, Frank’s worried he’ll be under investigation as the crime scene in Vinci is starting to get watched. Luckily he is buds with Detective Ray!
An old guy is in an old car with a creepy-ass bird in the front seat and someone else driving.
Rachel McAdams (and her butt) graces our screens as Sheriff Ani Bezzerides who is having an argument with her boyfriend. But girl ain’t got no time for that so she kicks him out so she can get to work busting a porn ring. It’s there that she runs into her sister who she tells to go back on drugs if it means she’ll stop doing porn.
And finally we meet Paul Woodrugh (Taylor Kitsch), who pulls over a high parole-breaking actress who he gets a blow job from to not give her a ticket. He then gets suspended from work and is mad about it.
Ray is an addict of some nature, that much we know. He shows up drunk at his kids school and yells at him to find out who is bullying him (um… maybe you are?).
There’s a Pantsablahblah church that Ani has to investigate for a missing girl, and because it’s apparently run by her father.
We saw Taylor Kitsch’s butt and found out his character needs a little help to get it up for his super hot girlfriend who is obsessed with butterflies.
Ray beats up a 12-year-olds father because the 12-year-old bullied his chubby red-headed son.
Turns out the old creepy guy with the bird in the car from the beginning is dead.
The episode finished up with Ray and Frank meeting again, in present day, and Ray seemingly giving up all the information the investigative journalist has on Frank so he doesn’t have to worry about him writing his business up. Ani is getting shitfaced at a crappy casino that she gets kicked out of. And Paul is speeding real fast down the highway on his motorcycle because that’s probably the only way he feels alive.
However this leads him to the creepy old dead dude, who was dragged out of the car with the bird and placed at a picnic table. This prompts calls to both Ray and Ani to get to the crime scene, where they will all meet. Turns out this is Casper (who was mentioned earlier in the episode). Frank didn’t like Casper, so we know how this will all tie together now. The final scene panned out from the three officers all staring each other down. Highly dramatic.
And that’s just what this episode was. It’s all the dramatics. Long speeches and fancy words. But of course we still love it. This was very much like a setup episode. We got to know the basics of the characters and their roles and lives were all laid out for us. Now we’re ready for the good stuff!
Short Recap: Rachel McAdams, Taylor Kitsch and Colin Farrell are all cops who did not work together until now. None of them seem particularly good at their jobs. Vince Vaughan helps build things and gives presentations while his wife watches. They are all corrupt addicts.
But realistically, if you missed the episode it was a lot of this: