Last week’s cliffhanger led us to believe that Rust and Hart were on their way to Reggie Ledoux, their seemingly dead to rights suspect, but there is apparently plenty of detecting to do before they get there. First, they repay a visit to Dora Lange’s ex, who was cellmates with Ledoux, and the interrogation goes fairly smoothly. They easily get their next lead and watching the two detectives bounce off their perp makes you think they could get just about anyone to talk. The laugh line of the night is here when Hart finds some common ground with Lange, having to share small spaces with guys talking nonsense, but I think the biggest takeaway was the two detectives’ exchange in the car that shows how far their compassion’s can run. Simply put, Rust has no sympathy for a criminal.
Lange sends them towards Tyrone Weems, who, again, quickly gives up his information on Ledoux. Apparently Ledoux cooks meth for only one distributor now, a biker gang called the Iron Crusaders, who Rust just so happens to have worked undercover in some years past. The information might have been easy to obtain, especially for a drunk Hart, but Fukunaga shoots the hell out of the rave setting the sequence takes place at while using all of the built up tension surrounding Hart and his crumbling marriage to fuel the intensity.
You see, Hart screwed up by scorning his mistress, Lisa, who went straight over to Maggie and told her everything. It seemed like Hart really wanted to change last week, but he deserves everything he gets from his two lovers in his life. Harrelson is so great at playing the idiot who has convinced himself he is doing the best he can and you somehow feel a twinge of sympathy for him when you know he doesn’t deserve an ounce. I really hope this doesn’t mean Monaghan is going to be even more limited in her screen time going forward, but like Hart said, he’s not giving up, so hopefully there will be plenty more of her.
The first half of the episode was heavily focused on Hart and his story, but his discovery of the Iron Crusaders lends the back half to Rust. Things get crazy. Watching Rust get ready to go back undercover with the drinking and the fake tread marks is engaging enough, but the mess he gets into leads to one of the most amazing things you will ever see put on camera. Rust meets up with some old Crusader buddies, who thought he was dead, and proposes a drug trade with the crew “Crash” has been running with down in Mexico. Rust suggests a coke for meth trade and hopes his buddy Ginger will set him up with his distributor Leodux. We get put on edge pretty quickly as Rust is reintroduced to plenty of drugs and before you know it is heading down into the swamp with his old buddies in a tit for tat affair. Hart is lingering and waiting for a call from Rust, but Ginger has the mind to rob a safe house in the local projects. As more drugs and booze go into Rust before we know it we are in the middle of a shootout that unfolds beautifully for us to enjoy. Fukunaga ends the episode on an insane six minute tracking shot that takes us through three houses, over a fence, around a neighborhood, involves a helicopter a fleet of police cars and many dead bodies. It might be the best shot ever pulled off on television and was better than anything I have seen in a theater in some time. McConaughey is incredible in the scene, the whole biker sequence actually, but the directorial and technical work of that big shot was the centerpiece of the episode. Amazing stuff.
With his cover blown and a kidnapped Ginger in the back seat of Hart’s car it will be interesting to see what happens with Rust next week? I can’t imagine this ends well for Ginger though with Ledoux right around the corner.