The episode starts with Rustin in modern time, a little more drunk and philosophical. They start by talking about the devil traps.
Meanwhile back in the 90s, the detectives inform Dorrie’s mother that she had passed and talked about her father who died in a car accident. Apparently she told her mother than she’d been going to church but didn’t seem to know what church. It gets them on the conversation about mothers. Marty’s mom was a real “Donna Reed” type. Rustin didn’t know if his mother was alive.
Next up was talking to friend of the victim who apparently also heard about a church but she thought her friend seemed loopy and high and very thin. There she gave a lead about a “shelter” where Dorrie was staying.
Interestingly, while Marty enjoyed his family on weekends and as days passed, we see Rustin has only a small, round peephole of a mirror in which to look at himself. Back in the car, Rustin explains why he felt the need to get drunk before he went over to Marty’s for dinner. We get more insight into what happened to his child who “passed.” Her name was Sophia. She was two when she was run over in their front yard. There are some theories that maybe he ran her over, that would certainly make his reflection hard to look at.
We learn Rustin had several deep undercover assignments, including narcotics with violent outbursts. “The job didn’t make me this way, I was good at this job because I am this way.” He came close to marrying again, but something fell apart and now, as a burn out, he is comfortable with who he is.
Marty, it turns out, rationalizes his cheating as blowing off steam because he doesn’t want to bring his dark self to his family. He is having an affair with a much younger woman who works at the courthouse who doesn’t appear to mind taking charge. While he doesn’t seem to want to build a life with her, Marty does seem possessive of her, warning her not to go out at night because of this, “Satanic killer.” But she wants more of a life than sex on the side.
Working in HIDTA 4 years undercover is what Rustin attributes his neural damage to, so he’s never entirely sure if he’s hallucinating or not. Apparently, those files are still sealed, but later, Rustin shares because he cares. Or doesn’t care. Or is trying not to care one way or the other, but clearly he can’t help himself.
In the 90s, Rustin visits with the sex worker he’d arranged to buy barbiturates from. He asks her about where Dorrie may have been working. There’s a “bunny ranch” in the middle of nowhere–was that the shelter Dorrie’s friend was talking about?
The next morning, Rustin is pleased to tell Marty about it, but is judgy about Marty returning to work in the same suit smelling of pussy. Defensive, Marty physically attacks Rustin. Calmly, Rustin slips his hands around Marty’s in such a way that he could break his wrists with a few pounds of pressure. Marty is forced to relent and goes to shower while Rustin checks his pulse.
They drove out, trying to figure out where this bunny ranch may be and stopped off at a metal working shop to ask if those guys knew where it was. They claimed they didn’t. While Marty went back to the car, Rustin, emaciated, brainy Rustin, managed to take two brawny guys down enough for them to give up the bunny ranch, which led them to truly the middle of nowhere along a lonely highway with only the smallest ornament indicating where to turn.
The property was big with several trailers and girls barefoot and in sundresses. They talk to the madam and explained they were there to investigate Dorrie’s murder. A very young girl who was apparently friends with Dorrie volunteered to talk. She reinforced that Dorrie was going to a church, leaving her things for what the girl assumed was a better life. She turns the bag over to Rustin.
In it was Dorrie’s diary about king’s children being marked, “Became his angels” She followed the “Yellow king” and “In Carcosa.” Rustin wondered if maybe Dorrie was being dosed. In the diary they found a yellow flier for a tent revival church.
Rustin went from robbery to narco and apparently while on the job killed a man for injecting a newborn with crystal meth. Instead of sending him to jail, they sent him even deeper undercover where he killed three more members of a cartel after which they dumped him in a psych ward in Lubbock, Texas. When he recovered, he cashed in favors from along the way and that’s how he ended up in Louisiana where he apparently could still sometimes be trippin’ balls via flashbacks.
Marty, frustrated by family day at his wife’s parents house, demands to head back to work. His wife is pretty annoyed by her parents as well, but there’s obviously tension. Marty is a good old boy in a lot of ways but he’s a basically good man, recognizing an underaged sex worker and trying to help her out. He believes the world is basically good. Rustin sees the world in some ways as it actually is, doesn’t judge, mostly because he can’t.
At home, Marty’s marriage is in real trouble. He’s withdrawn and she notices, but instead of moving forward, he tries to blame her. He realizes his insistence that the world as “basically good” and his belief that he’s shielding his family from anything is an illusion when he sees his girls have set up a fun-time Barbie gang rape with several Kens and a naked Barbie.
In the present, Rustin tries to rationalize and relive his daughter’s death. They said she felt no pain and he tries to believe that it was for the best because she was spared growing up, spared the pain and died happy, riding her bike. That she spared him the pain of watching her discover the world.
Back in the 90s, a Satanic Panic Squad (aka Task Force) is being set up to link all unusual murders and probably people. If you haven’t seen Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills and you love this series, it may give you some perspective on where it looks like this is building to. Anyway, Rustin realizes rightly that this task force wants to take over their investigation and will probably jam someone up that has nothing to do with it. The captain sets them straight on the pressures and the expected timeline for them to come up with a suspect. They explain the lead on the church and Marty bargains for a couple more weeks for them to try and run the case down.
There is apparently an eventual big throw down in the woods.
Marty knows this is leading to something. These detectives are trying to close their case on someone and he is apparently getting an uneasy feeling about whom.
In pastworlds, the detectives are following up on their flier. There are no dates on the flier and barely a map. They drive out to where they think it should be but see nothing. In the distance is the shell of a burned down church. Rustin sees patterns in the flight of birds–a vision that he associates to being on the right path. He claims that after he was clean a couple of years, the visions stopped. He’s not clean so…what is he seeing now?
They venture into the church which has apparently been burned down a couple of years. It looks unrelated until they find graffiti on one of the few standing walls of a naked woman with antlers.
So, interesting things to note. Rustin is being interviewed in the basement, apparently. Or somewhere closed off. Is it a real interrogation room? Are they down there because Rustin asked for it because he didn’t want to be seen or did they not want people to see him? Is Marty being interviewed above ground because the new detectives want him to be seen?
And we now have a fair idea of where Rustin is coming from–apparently not the happiest childhood or maybe his mom gave up on him when he went OMGPSYCHOCRAZY killing people. Or… if he was the one who ran over his daughter. To me, this makes sense because of that weird mirror, though any one of those things could make oneself hard to look at. Arguably killing people in a cartel or who shoot up their babies with crystal aren’t exactly innocent, but he didn’t get to the place of doing that through a happy path.
Marty seems very everyman. He’s cheating on his wife but for what he believes are the noblest of reasons. This is, to me, pretty typical of how that sort of thing works. He wants to be a good man, noble, but in the end, he can’t help but be selfish and rationalize the objectively horrible. This leads me to believe that while he doesn’t want to go along to get along, he would. He has to. But he’s a good enough man that he’s pained by it.
It’s going to be an interesting ride. The preview…good lord it’s getting a little Hannibal again. Rustin may or may not know his own mind. Fantastical deaths and situations. Oh it’s going to get twisted but probably not satanic. Can’t wait!