This episode sets up the old school, changing world dynamic that is a crime fiction trope…I’m not sure I believe it, and it might only be to set the bad guys up for more of a fall, but the showing of an old detective film being watched by an old cop who complains about missing the good old days of Commissioner Gates (and alludes to the OJ riots) makes this clear.
I’m not watching for believability, I realize…I’m far more interested in the reveal, sort of hoping for a Yellow King-feint repeat.
Those hints – about the big secrets behind it all, players who can make things happen without following the usual rules, the vice and dirt that lurk behind many big figures – are essential to crime fiction, and part of what makes them worth reading. Don’t we all want a big conspiracy theory that says that major players are dirty? Don’t we also want them busted just before they come up with the big score in order to reaffirm our belief in our technocracy, anyone-can-climb-to-the-top society?
And the fact that they’re wearing masks is some sort of comment on LA (where everyone is performing) – we get a couple scenes of it with the Mayor’s son and his fake accent – this also sets up Ani (Rachel McAdams) as the chief person capable of seeing through bullshit.