So after hearing the podcast and some reading here, I kind of feel like an idiot for liking this episode (and the last scene) quite a lot, so I figured I join the discussion.
First off, i think the episode has some really good character defining scenes, but i think those have been talked about already here and on the podcast. So let´s get to this last scene. People have been pointing out that they think the acting is the only redeemable thing about this scene, like the acting of the main characters is only some side note. Especially Kitsch does a really great job following up on Pauls "war made sense to me" statements earlier in the show, portraying someone who seems to be quite at home in such a bad situation. I also feel like the cooperation between Paul and Ray underlines the understanding/sympathy both have for each other, established earlier in the episode during their car ride. The scene serves a purpose for the characters, it´s not a pure "our audience could use some action"-situation. Furthermore we don´t know what is coming and how it will fit in the bigger picture (which seems to be the main concern for a lot of viewers of this season). Another criticism I don´t really understand is that there seems to be some consensus about that it was badly directed. For me, the scene had me on edge the whole time, the built up and the tension when the task force was closing on to that building, feeling like something terrible could happen. Regarding cinematography it also delivered some really good shots, especially follow shots during the pursuit of the car i.e. and overall a good sense of pacing. I agree that it felt like a scene from Heat but I don´t think it felt out of place in that show. I get the feeling that a lot of viewers struggle with the idea of a shoot out or action scene in general in this show - why is that? While I completely understand that some creative choices were questionable and somewhat cheesy, I disagree with the notion that a scene like that has no place in True Detective, because after all it is just a TV show. The whole "over the top"-argument is understandable, but it created a "most fucked up possible"-situation for those characters and if I´m allowed to speculate at this point, I don´t think that this was a coincidence. Why were the protestors there? Maybe because the person who gave the (bad) information knew that this situation would end up in a total desaster. But we´ll see.
Anyway i would love to get some responses to my point of view.