After this past week’s penultimate episode, it is clear that the crime that set much of the current action in motion occurred two decades earlier. During the 1992 L.A. race riots, several corrupt Vinci police officers committed an armed robbery of a jewelry store, with the most conspicuous loot being a set of exquisite blue diamonds. The couple who owned the jewelry store were gunned down in cold blood, and when police arrived at the scene of the crime, they found the couple’s two children hiding in a cabinet, unharmed but no doubt very deeply traumatized.
Two decades later, the blue diamonds resurfaced as former police officer and current city manager Ben Caspere became involved in a land deal that will transform farmland hopelessly polluted by mine waste into a high-speed-rail corridor. The blue diamonds were part of Caspere’s collateral.
Up to the most recent episode in the series, the assumption has been that Caspere’s death was connected to a double-cross related to the land deal. But the mutilation of his corpse—the burning out of his eyes with acid and the shotgun blast to his genitals–was an indication that the crime was motivated by something much deeper and darker than greed. Whether or not he knew it, Caspere’s chief administrative assistant, Laura, is the girl whose parents were murdered in the jewelry store robbery.
But who is the girl‘s brother? My guess is that it is Ani Bezzerides’ former partner and frustrated love interest, Detective Elvis Ilinca. This revelation will explain why Ray Velcoro was shot with non-lethal loads of buckshot while searching the apartment that Caspere kept for some of his sexual escapades. And I am assuming that something on the videotapes that were stolen from the apartment after Velcoro was shot would have tied Ilinca or his sister to Caspere.
The next episode will likely begin with Velcoro and Bezzerides’ tormented idyll being interrupted by whoever has survived the underground shootout with Paul Woodrugh. They have woodrugh’s cellphone and will be able to locate Velcoro and Bezzerides’s in their hideout because of the calls back and forth between them and Woodrugh.
It would seem very unlikely that Velcoro and Bezzerides could have any sort of future together; so I expect that one of them will get killed. For closure, I think that Velcoro may end up back at the bar where the most cheerless folk singer in the world seems to have a regular, nightly gig and where the waitress with the facial scars is clearly sweet on him. That tableau would provide an ending that is marginally upbeat without being at all optimistic in any broader sense. In fact, I am guessing that Woodrugh’s death—and the deaths of all of the rogue Vinci cops whom he killed–will be passed off as another gang-related slaughter, and it is possible that Velcoro may end up as the Vinci police chief.
If Velcoro survives in any circumstances comparable to those that I have described, Ani Bezzerides will probably have to die in some scenario that suggests that she has never quite been able to protect herself from the sort of predation that she experienced as a child. Perhaps Elvis Ilinca will kill her as some tortured confession comes to an emotionally distraught climax. Perhaps Velcoro will then kill Ilinca.
Whatever happens to Ani Bezzerides, I will be much more surprised if Frank Semyon is going to escape or even survive. He was so desperate to go legit that he gave Caspere millions of dollars without any real security beyond Caspere’s assurances. From the moment that he began having ambitious dreams to escape his gritty circumstances, he has been in over his head. In fact, he has been so preoccupied with pursuing his big opportunity and then with unraveling how it all disappeared in an instant that he has missed the obvious—that the Russian gangsters have been systematically moving in on his operations. Although he now understands what has been occurring and is responding with ruthlessness, he has never had enough resources to transcend the very tough milieu within which he has learned to operate with brutal efficiency. His wife may make it to Argentina, but I will be surprised if he makes it out of Vinci alive.
In the 90-minute season finale on Sunday night, we will find out if any—never mind most–of these predictions turn out to be true.