S02.E01: The Western Book Of The Dead 2015.06.21

Throwing serious shade at Sarah Bunting for suggesting Donal Logue in Vaughn's role in her recap.

Now Vince's mediocrity as compared with the greatness that is DL will be all I can think of come Sunday.

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Throwing serious shade at Sarah Bunting for suggesting Donal Logue in Vaughn's role in her recap.

Now Vince's mediocrity as compared with the greatness that is DL will be all I can think of come Sunday.

 

Hah!  Just as I managed to relegate my Terriers cancellation bitterness to the back recesses of my mind ... THIS.

Edited by walnutqueen.

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I am ever so tired of the damaged cop character. Female cop with commitment issues, check. Male cop with violence issues, check. And both have daddy/family issues and drinking problems because of course they do. I am holding out hope for Taylor Kitch's character to keep it together, at least in a relative sense. At least we know he showers. Im not sure I can say the same thing about Farrell or McAdams characters.

I agree, but I'm interested in seeing Rachel McAdams in something other than a romcom.

But like everyone else, I don't understand how Colin Farrell still has a job, at least as a police officer.

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Honestly, yeah. He would've been the better choice.

Of the main cast, Vaughn and Kitsch are the weaker links. Kitsch's character is written to his strengths, however.

Poor Ani. Her father is so gloriously full of shit.

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I was disturbed that Colin Farrell's immediate assumption to his kid's sneakers being missing was

that someone had shit in them.

That struck me as well. My first thought was that they were stolen. Projection much, Col?

What I don't get is wife was raped, 11-12 years ago, kid was born. When did wife disappear for two months? Could not follow that at all.

Allow me to confess that I really liked the bullying lesson. And the parents are the place to go. Not the kid. Yeah, I'm going to hell. But being able to avenge the wrongs done to your kid, well...

And that sneering little monster was the right kid!

Maybe VV steered Col wrong on rapist, but Ass-pen is the sixth grade's de facto dictator.

Edited by SFoster21.

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The reviews didn't say that T-Bone Burnett is in charge of the music again. That alone makes it worth watching.

The music, the scenery, the sense of southern gothic dread and decay from S1 would be tough for any show to follow, but TDv2 seems determined to give it a go (L. Cohen! Nick Cave!) in toxic, sun-blasted S. California. I wasn't swept up in the narrative in the same way I felt transported by S1, but this had twice as many protagonists (at least), and was without the narrative trick of using two untrustworthy narrators to play off of each other.

 

S1 did a brilliant job of constantly flanking my understanding of WTH was going on -- as soon as I thought I had a handle on the threads of the story, TD would expand the scope of the evil or subvert what I thought I knew. I hope S2 manages some of that same magic. The S2 debut also suffers from an acute absence of Big Hug Mugs.

 

I wish that the police protagonists weren't all so obviously damaged -- discovering the hurt and how it is dealt with can be really rewarding, but seeing damaged people lash out because reasons is less interesting.

 

I will certainly watch next week, and I also hope that the dialogue is less clunky.

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Everyone single one of those people appeared alert, sober and professional at the crime scene. They do this because nothing else helps them forget as well.

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I'm in. there were parts that dragged an were a little clunky, but I felt the same way about the S1 pilot.

 

It's nice to see Rachel McAdams in something other than a romcom and I'm glad Vince Vaughn is in a drama. He used to be so good at dramatic stuff.

 

Ok, perhaps this is me being crazy or lazy or both, but I was totally expecting a reveal that Frank's wife was Ray's ex. Then that Richard guy showed up and I figured I was wrong. Ray mentioned early in the ep that he and his ex had been trying forever when she was raped and Frank mentioned that he an his wife were gonna give IVF a try and Ray kind of gave a weird look and I thought ..... maybe?

 

Yes, I watch a lot of conspiracy shows. Why do you ask?

Edited by hardy har.

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Vince as a person is extremely likable, charming, and off-the-cuff hilarious.  Check any of his talk show appearances --- he and Colin had a one-two punch set of episodes on the Tonight Show recently that were great.  But his acting here... um... wow.  In a not-good way.

 

Vince, Colin, and Jimmy Fallon played a game where they revealed truths about themselves.  Colin's was that 

he was a suspect in a murder case that still remains unsolved.

 Vince's commentary on that the next episode was priceless.

Edited by Ms Blue Jay.

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The mixed reviews lowered my sky-high expectations, so I was pleasantly surprised by this opener.  I think people forget (or enjoy?) that S1 had a LOT of pretentious portentous metaphysical hooey played straight, and that stuff in this episode seemed relegated to the David Morse character, who I'm sure will turn out to be wonderfully corrupt.

 

For whatever reason (initial reports?), I expected much more of this to take place in the Inland Empire and less on the coast.  IE is the perfect setting for a story of moral decay, and the excesses of the coasties have been done to death.  So I'm hoping we stay inland.

 

The last things I remember Vince Vaughn in were Dodgeball and Psycho, so I haven't been sullied by his recent string of sub-par comedies.  I thought he was quite good.  And Colin Farrell is a phenomenal movie actor, and so I'm glad we're going to get hours and hours of him.  

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Nothing yet to make us think that any of the characters relationships will touch Rust and Marty's from last year. When Marty told Rust in the opening episode that the car was to be a place of silent reflection, you just knew that these guys were going to be awesome together. Of course, the only two that have even interacted yet are Farrell and Vaughn, but nothing from their interactions makes me think they will entertain us like Rust and Marty.

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I just really wish they'd gotten to the mystery quicker - although it was a nice touch to keep going back to Vince Vaughn waiting for the guy to show up, at least we know for sure he's not a suspect. The problem with the slow start, though, is that these actors bring so much baggage from other roles that until the plot gets going, they will be distracting. It's hard to think of Vince Vaughn and Colin Farrel by their characters' names, which I don't even remember at the moment. And since I was out on Saturday night and didn't get around to watching the Orphan Black finale until Sunday, I had literally just watched watched James Frain bash a guy's head in with a baseball bat a couple hours before. Seeing him at the police station in a minor role was unsettling. I just assume he's evil because he's Fernando.

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It's interesting that the three cops we're paying attention to have different levels of jurisdiction: Paul is state, Ani is county, and Ray is city.  I assume that in order to get our cast interacting with each other some sort of interagency task force will get created, or maybe they'll all just bond over how they want to keep the feds from taking over the case.

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I liked it overall. It didn't grab me as intensely as the season 1 opener did, but it was interesting and dark. I am also kind of digging the 'stache on Colin, which surprises me. And if we need to keep Kitsch shirtless in most episodes to investigate the mystery of those scars, I won't complain. I'm shallow, but I accept that about myself.

I have an irrational dislike of the redhead with Vince Vaughn. I really want her to brush her hair, I think. Then my feelings may change.

All surface judgment aside, I found myself intrigued by all the threads introduced in the ep, so it will keep me coming back to see how they all weave together (I'm an optimist and assume they will). Plus, I really want to see that poor bullied kid have some kind of redemption. That kid made me sad. He looked like he had the weight of the world on his little shoulders.

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I think getting to the mystery by the end of the first episode, while at the same time introducing all the main characters and background plots is a fairly well written hour of television.

 

I figured at the end with the three of them standing there that some type of task force would be put together. It's a typical tv cheat. I don't get what TK's actual role as a cop is because it seems like all he does is give out traffic tickets. Unless he gets himself assigned to the task force somehow. Which is fine with me. 

 

I can't really say I like crime stories, but the good thing is that this is self-contained and will have an ending. I think there's definitely a place for mini-series style shows on tv and would rather watch something that's not totally my bag to support the genre. 

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Not sure what to make of Paul/Taylor Kitsch yet.  The mentioned that he was in the military, so I wonder if he is suffering from PTSD. And it seems like he has commitment issues with his girlfriend.

I think it's more of a commitment issue with his erection.  Seriously, what kind of low-rent Viagra knock-off was he taking? Well, it got the job done, I guess.

 

When you first see the city manager in the car (before you really realize he's dead) did any one else see the statue of - a black bird?

 

And Colin Farrell must be the only policeman in the country who doesn't know that kids with expensive brand-new sought-after shoes are a target.

Edited by Quilt Fairy.

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Weird that Vince Vaughn, as the gangster, is the most likeable character.

 

I've never cared for him and his stupid "comedy" movies -- I was hoping that, like Will Ferrell, who I also dislike, he would shine in a dramatic role.

 

So far, so good.

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When you first see the city manager in the car (before you really realize he's dead) did any one else see the statue of - a black bird?

 

I noticed that, too. I keep wondering when we are going to get a Maltese Falcon reference, i.e., the stuff dreams are made of.

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Fine pilot from my perspective.  I don't want to see Rusty and Marty 2.0 - I want this to be a new story.

 

Questions:  who was the singer in the bar?  And, isn't that Russkie the guy who still owes me a miniature giraffe?

 

And based on nothing but watching too much TV, I have pegged James Frain as being at the center of things purely based on the "too high a paycheck for a member of the supporting cast" factor.

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I felt like it was a little hard to follow and had too many moving pieces, like maybe they bit off more than they could chew this season. I might have to watch it a second time. But it's not really grabbing me so far, despite the cast.

 

What year is this supposed to be taking place in? The present? Because that waitress was removing ash trays from the bar, and you can't smoke anywhere in California these days. That joint was too seedy looking to be some kind of private club, and even if it was I still don't think you'd be able to smoke there.

 

 

I am ever so tired of the damaged cop character. Female cop with commitment issues, check. Male cop with violence issues, check. And both have daddy/family issues and drinking problems because of course they do.

 

Yeah, there was a bit too much about Ray that was a total cliche, and the entire thread with Ani was awfully hackneyed: she and her partner deliver a foreclosure order (?), the owner says her sister is missing, they start investigating that just on her say-so (?) and she finds out the missing girl was seen in her father's cult or whatever. Coincidence!  I had no idea SoCal was that small. It's like Mayberry!

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Throwing serious shade at Sarah Bunting for suggesting Donal Logue in Vaughn's role in her recap.

Now Vince's mediocrity as compared with the greatness that is DL will be all I can think of come Sunday.

Having Vaughn play a "Russian Mobster" contributes to his awkwardness. He had more gangster cred in Starsky & Hutch.

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And since I was out on Saturday night and didn't get around to watching the Orphan Black finale until Sunday, I had literally just watched watched James Frain bash a guy's head in with a baseball bat a couple hours before. Seeing him at the police station in a minor role was unsettling. I just assume he's evil because he's Fernando.

Tiny Orphan Black nitpick: he's named Ferdinand. But yeah, I can't wait for his True Detective Character to chide someone for whining as he drags him to a vat of acid.

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OMG, that club/bar was The Saddest Joint In The World.  The singer--who sounded sad and lovely--had dark circles under her eyes and almost seemed drugged.  I could smell the stale liquor, smoke, and desperation, and the customers were slo-mo catatonic.  It was one nudge away from being Lynchian surreal.  Very unnerving.

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McAdams should get an Emmy just for keeping a straight face while saying "Panticapaeum" twice.  

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the entire thread with Ani was awfully hackneyed: she and her partner deliver a foreclosure order (?)

Delivering foreclosure and / or eviction notices is part of being a Sheriff. I remember seeing that in a Michael Moore documentary.

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The part that had me a bit confused.  The family in foreclosure, was the sister in that photo the same girl that Paul is shacking up with?  I kept thinking that it was, but there has been no mention here, so maybe they just looked similar.  

 

I'm still on the fence with this season, but I'm willing to give it a fair chance.  I do like Vince Vaughn a lot.  Not a big Kelly Riley fan, though.  I'll still give it a fair shake.

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Did we have to be treated to a discussion of risque sex in Ani's first scene? C'mon, there are more interesting ways to introduce a troubled female detective.

 

I'm not sure if Vince can pull this one off. I loved him long ago in a movie called Clay Pigeons - he nailed the charming sociopath role. But last night he seemed lost and blank-faced. Like he didn't know what to do with himself.

 

His wife/girlfriend was pretty awful - she did a lot of smirking and sudden pronouncements that made no sense. "Let's go get you that drink, shall we?"

 

I also love David Morse but struggled not to giggle at him as the Gandalf Guru.

 

Really enjoyed the music in this one. Someone is paying attention.

 

I'm interested in Rachel, Colin and Taylor. The latter is so damned beautiful; but I enjoyed his performance in Normal Heart and am interested in how his career develops.

 

I'm tired of LA as a location. (I was prejudiced in favor of the south Louisiana location the first go-round.) Wish this was located somewhere else.

 

But I'm gonna stick with this.

Edited by pasdetrois.

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The reviews didn't say that T-Bone Burnett is in charge of the music again. That alone makes it worth watching.

 

I don´t know who that is but the music was the only thing I enjoyed about the first episode. I so hope that this gets better, I had trouble understanding the plot (I´ve never had that happen to me before on a good show) and I need some more shows to watch, I hate almost every new show that comes out. The first season was so disturbing and just awesomely great, so maybe things will pick up...

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I`m hoping that the desert becomes just as gorgeously ominous as the swamps from last season.

 

I bet Colin Farrels new anti-bullying campaign is going to do wonders.   

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I have very neutral feelings about Vince Vaughn as an actor, I never cared about his acting one way or the other but I thought he was quite good in this first episode. For example he conveyed quite well that his character, while using CF's character, seems to have some genuine concern and affection for him.

 

This is the kind of cynical show where Paul would be guilty of what he is being accused of. But since he is only able to get an erection with chemical help and those pills don't work right away - would he have really followed that junkie actress home and then sat in her bathroom for half an hour waiting and contemplating while  compromising himself and sabotaging his career?

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It wasn't until the last scene that things perked up for me, and that's because everyone's stories became connected. I know it was the first episode and plots had to be made, but there were too many that were too far apart to really draw my interest. That's one thing last year already had - Marty and Rust were already connected so things were able to start immediately. 

 

Don't know what to make of these characters yet, but they are interesting which is enough to keep me watching. 

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When you first see the city manager in the car (before you really realize he's dead) did any one else see the statue of - a black bird?

I did see the statue of the bird in the back of the car as well. When the two cops were sneaking into the house, I thought I saw the same statue (or what should have been a pair) on the pillars of the gates to the house. If I'm wrong I apologize, but I could swear that image registered with me for a split second. Maybe I'll go back and watch it again just to be sure.

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On the front/passenger seat, and I'm pretty sure it was a real (dead) bird.  Or a mask?

 

A raven, it looked like.  

 

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raven.jpg

Edited by Drogo.

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Yeah, there was a bit too much about Ray that was a total cliche, and the entire thread with Ani was awfully hackneyed: she and her partner deliver a foreclosure order (?), the owner says her sister is missing, they start investigating that just on her say-so (?) and she finds out the missing girl was seen in her father's cult or whatever. Coincidence!  I had no idea SoCal was that small. It's like Mayberry!

That was just ridiculous.  There were better ways to introduce her hippie cultist father, daddy issues, etc.  Come on.  How much do you want to bet that the sex moves that bewildered her boyfriend at the beginning had something to do with pain?  Because she is so tortured.

 

Cliché is maybe the word that I'd use to describe this show.  It's stuffed to the gills with it.   Will Colin and Rachel's characters end up having a torrid affair because they are both so damaged and they turn to each other for comfort?

Edited by LilaFowler.

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Did we have to be treated to a discussion of risque sex in Ani's first scene? C'mon, there are more interesting ways to introduce a troubled female detective.

Mind you, every character is shown as having some kind of sexual impotence or dysfunction. Looks to be a running theme this season, so she's just one of four.

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Did we have to be treated to a discussion of risque sex in Ani's first scene? C'mon, there are more interesting ways to introduce a troubled female detective.

As Cosima said on Orphan Black, "My sexuality is not the most interesting thing about me."

 

The family in foreclosure, was the sister in that photo the same girl that Paul is shacking up with?  I kept thinking that it was, but there has been no mention here, so maybe they just looked similar.

Already mentioned above but no, different character names and different actresses.

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A raven, it looked like...

Winter is coming to Vinci, CA!

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Winter is coming to Vinci, CA!

I love you very much.

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OMG, that club/bar was The Saddest Joint In The World.  The singer--who sounded sad and lovely--had dark circles under her eyes and almost seemed drugged.  I could smell the stale liquor, smoke, and desperation, and the customers were slo-mo catatonic.  It was one nudge away from being Lynchian surreal.  Very unnerving.

Very odd that Semyon would meet Velcoro there...guy with entourage of bodyguards stands out in a dive like that.

I love you very much.

I am sorry they killed you off...could the new unidentified Khal be more badass than you were [are]?  ooops GoT is OT

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I wonder if VV's creepy pale sidekick will wind up to be the rapist/father? Wasn't he a redhead too? Or is Colin's ex a redhead like the son? Maybe she is sister's with VV's wife...

The picture VV gave Colin looked nothing like the son and neither does Colin . So many questions!

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I want to meet the parents who took their sons to audition for the "Mildly Obese Redhaired Pre-teen Bullying Victim and Potential Product of Rape" casting call and lock them all in a vault somewhere.  

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Things that took me out of it:

 

- David Morse/Ani's father the guru.

- Colin Farrell beating the ever loving shit out of the father and the son. How is he not back at the station at least getting the stink eye from some superior for doing this shit again? (because I'm betting this kind of stuff is kind of normal for him and they're always having to deal with some sort of bs with him. But this? Beating a 12 year old with brass knuckles is really beyond what any police department would put up with -- social media anyone?) But no, he's on the new case.

- Ani and her partner serving a foreclosure notice that suddenly turns into a missing persons case.

- Colin Farrell beating the ever loving shit out of a random woman. I guess we'll learn more about it later, but Jesus, that was creepy and out of nowhere. It's obvious he's messed up beyond measure, but I'll be curious to see if his reality has any relationship at all to real reality.

 

I'm trying hard not to compare it to last season or to pre-judge Vince Vaughn, whom I'm pretty meh on. He's always seemed to play the same role and it's never been particularly interesting or all that likable. But the first episode was loaded with cliches and things that are requiring me to suspend a little too much disbelief.

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This. Add in Vince Vaughn as a smug douchebag, and it felt like Pizzolatto was trying to shove in as many cliches as humanly possible.

I'm still trying to figure out what happened with Taylor Kitsch's character. So far as I can tell, it went like this:

He pulls over an actress for speeding, and she's high as a kite and wearing an ankle monitor. She propositions him, in the hopes that he won't get her into any more trouble. He turns her down (or so we're led to believe, considering that he appears to be impotent). Then she accuses him of sexual harassment, by claiming that he asked her for oral sex, and so he's given a paid suspension while they investigate what happened.

And when he finds out about his suspension, he mutters about Black Mountain, because...he thinks his participation in that mission (or whatever it was) is the real reason he's being suspended? Or was that just a clunky way to let us know that he did something mysterious and harrowing in the war?

I took Black Mountain to be a reference to Blackwater, the defense contactor that provided security for US State Department convoys in Iraq. They were involved in several instances of machine gunning Iraqi civilians without cause, and got a reputation for being reckless and undisciplined.

There was a lot of animosity between the Blackwater contractors and the U.S. Army around 2006, the company eventually changed its name.

So my guess was the same as yours, that he thought his bosses in the CHP doubted his professionalism because of his association with Black Mountain, especially if his CHP boss is ex Army or Marines.

Not sure, but that is my guess.

Edited by ToastnBacon.

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Is Ani Ray's ex-wife? They mentioned a failed marriage her belt, she said he was a cop that was a real piece of work, she is fucked up herself... Yeah, we didn't see the kid with her when she was screwing that guy, but that doesn't have to mean anything. He could have been at school. Plus, the two clearly know each other and have a history based on the look at the end of the episode. I dunno, just a thought.

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Things that took me out of it:

- David Morse/Ani's father the guru.

- Colin Farrell beating the ever loving shit out of the father and the son. How is he not back at the station at least getting the stink eye from some superior for doing this shit again? (because I'm betting this kind of stuff is kind of normal for him and they're always having to deal with some sort of bs with him. But this? Beating a 12 year old with brass knuckles is really beyond what any police department would put up with -- social media anyone?) But no, he's on the new case.

- Ani and her partner serving a foreclosure notice that suddenly turns into a missing persons case.

- Colin Farrell beating the ever loving shit out of a random woman. I guess we'll learn more about it later, but Jesus, that was creepy and out of nowhere. It's obvious he's messed up beyond measure, but I'll be curious to see if his reality has any relationship at all to real reality.

I'm trying hard not to compare it to last season or to pre-judge Vince Vaughn, whom I'm pretty meh on. He's always seemed to play the same role and it's never been particularly interesting or all that likable. But the first episode was loaded with cliches and things that are requiring me to suspend a little too much disbelief.

He didn't hit the kid, just the father. And I'm pretty sure the reporter was a male (I think that's what you're referring to re beating up a woman? That was the reporter of the six part series the cops and then VV and his people were talking about)

Edited because accidentally wrote female when I meant male

Edited by snowblossom2.

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The journalist Ray beat the shit out of was a man. A man with long hair, but man nonetheless.

I have no issue with the foreclosure turning into a missing persons case. That woman was lucky that she actually ran into cops who gave a shit enough to personally follow up on her complaint (although I suspect the connection with Ani's father's cult didn't hurt).

And as for Ani's father, the guy is full of shit, but this is California. And he's almost certainly involved in something shady.

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