If you're like me and have no idea what's going on this season on True Detective (maybe you even thought the city of Vinci was a character, too), here's a helpful breakdown of who's who and what's what:
For starters, this is Ben Caspere, the dead guy whom everything revolves around.
And this is supposedly his killer.
This is Paul Woodrugh. He's a war veteran and highway patrol officer who stumbles upon Ben Caspere's body and the crime scene that Season 2 centers around.
Paul is accused by starlet Lancey Lindel of making sexual advances, which results in his leave of absence from the highway patrol.
Paul's girlfriend is Emily, whom he doesn't seem very into from the get-go.
Paul's war buddy (and more) is Miguel Gilb, who is also a member of the Black Mountain Security team and reveals the two have a romantic past.
Paul's mom is Nancy Spencer.
This is Frank Semyon, a criminal, entrepreneur, and business partner to the dead Ben Caspere.
Frank's wife is Jordan Semyon.
"Nails" is one of Frank's guys. He doesn't say much, but Frank seems to trust him.
Stan, another one of Frank's guys, was found murdered in the same manner Caspere was.
Blake Churchman is part of Frank's underground organization.
Blake is a little sketchy and Frank questions his trust in him. When Stan is killed, Churchman is nowhere to be found. He says he was "with a girl" — an excuse that no one believes.
Danny Santos is a business associate of Frank's and the club manager of Lux Infinitum, which was also formerly owned by Frank.
Osip Agronov is a Russian mobster and another business associate of Frank's.
After Caspere's death, Agronov becomes hesitant about moving forward with his planned investment with Frank and seemingly backs out.
This is Ray Velcoro, a detective in the city of Vinci.
Velcoro's ex-wife is Gena Brune.
After Gena was brutally raped, Velcoro kills her attacker to avenge her. Gena gets pregnant, seemingly as a result of the rape, and Velcoro decides to accept her child as his own. It isn't specified exactly why Velcoro and Gena split, but it is implied that the rape of his wife wakes up an anger inside of Velcoro that scares his ex-wife and son.
Velcoro's nonbiological son is Chad.
Eddie Velcoro is Ray's father and a former Vinci cop.
Lt. Kevin Burris is Velcoro's boss.
This is Ani Bezzerides, a Ventura County Sheriff's CID and lead detective on the investigation of Caspere's murder.
Athena Bezzerides is Ani's sister.
Athena is first introduced when her sister, Ani, busts her and others' X-rated webcam performances. Athena is a former drug addict, and Ani feels like she's to blame for where Athena has ended up.
Elliot Bezzerides is Ani's father.
Elliot Bezzerides is a spiritual leader who runs a hippie commune called the Panticapaeum Institute. Bezzerides has connections to Caspere through Caspere's former therapist, whom he was associated with when the therapist studied communal living. Bezzerides is also connected to the disappearance of Vera, a girl who worked at the Panticapaeum Institute and was reported missing in the first episode.
This is Vera.
Danielle Delvayo is the woman who reports Vera's disappearance to Ani.
Detective Elvis Ilinca (on the left) is Ani's partner, and Steve Mercer (on the right), is a cop with whom Ani was briefly romantically involved.
Katherine Davis is the state attorney.
Detective Teague Dixon is assigned to their case.
Now who are these random people...?
This is Felicia, the bartender at the bar where Frank Semyon and Velcoro meet.
Felicia seems to have a soft sport for Velcoro, and she mentions wanting to show him her home country. Felicia is always around during Velcoro and Semyon's dealings and probably knows a lot more than she lets on. Her more noticeable feature is the scar across her cheek, which is yet to be explained.
This is Dr. Pitlor, the therapist whom Caspere was seeing before his death.
This is Austin Chessani, the mayor of Vinci.
This is Veronica Chessani, the mayor's new wife.
This is Tony Chessani, the mayor's son.
The mayor also has a daughter, Betty Chessani.
Betty Chessani is briefly seen when Ani is searching the house and walks by her room. Before Betty slams the door on her face, she is seemingly looking at maps. In the next episode, Ani meets with Betty at a hookah bar, where she reveals her mother committed suicide in the care of Dr. Pitlor.
This is Ernst Bodine, the mayor's right-hand man.
This is Erica Jonson, Caspere's assistant.
This is Ashley Daison, the director of the film Caspere invested in.
And what the heck are these places...?
What is Catalyst?
Catalyst is a land-buying company who Caspere worked with/for. After Caspere's death, Frank Semyon meets with someone from Catalyst to ensure his land-buying deal is still valid. They refuse Frank, leaving him high and dry.