Sunday, June 28, 2015

True Detective Night Finds You S2E2: Just Not Good (Spoilers!)

Season 2 has gotten off to a weak start. Nothing was going to live up to last season, but this latest episode makes the show go from much watch, to I’ll watch when I get the chance. I’ll keep watching, because Sunday nights are a little thin for good TV at the moment. Maybe next week will turn around, but it is going to take a massive effort to fix this mess
We start with Vince Vaughn character extemporizing. It was deep thoughts, and I like deep thoughts. However they didn’t ring true. The story about the rats was deeply disturbing, but it is not relatable. What worked last year for Matthew McConaughey’s character was his deep nihilistic thoughts were relatable. The man lost his daughter, and his theories on life could have been a coping mechanism to help deal with his grief.  Vaughn is a crook who had a tough childhood.  It can be relatable, but it probably would have worked more if he was a detective and not a bad guy. At least he would be trying to solve the murder for the right reasons, and not to save his own ass. I don’t know, I just didn’t like the monologue. It wasn’t believable, and I didn’t relate. He is a weird character, and I don’t have a good grasp on him yet. He is not a bad guy you want to root for and succeed. Maybe he becomes that, but we only have six episodes for him to turn it around.
We then jump into the investigation. The plot gets convoluted, because the state wants to use the murder investigation to investigate the town of  Vinci. It’s another plot thread that gets thrown into a many headed beast. McAdams and Farrell seem to have to good chemistry on the screen together, but because of the situation the characters are in they can’t really build on it. All the officers working on the case are in an awkward situation, and that actually works. The situation is awkward, but it seems like Ray and Ani start to develop a small bit of rapport.  
During the course of the episode we get to spend more time with the mayor of  Vinci. I guess he will play more of a roll in the following episodes, and actually has pull over Frank (Vaughn’s character). I’m not sure why. Frank is supposed to be mindful of a guy who is sauced early in the day? Then he spouts off some deep meaning thoughts on life that are just silly. They sounded like the ramblings of a drunk, which I guess they are supposed to. Why though? Why have this dialogue? I just don’t get it. Maybe they will come around in the next few episodes. There are many things which need to come together in the next few episodes.
Farrell again was a bright spot in the episode. His character seemed to turning a corner, and seemed to want to turn his life around. He was a guy I could get behind this season.  Then (BIG SPOILER) he gets shot at the end of the episode by the killer, and probably will be off the show. I can’t imagine he survived two shotgun blasts to the chest and gut. Now the focus must shift to Ani and Paul investigating the murder(s). They didn’t spend any time together this episode, so they start cold next week.  For an anthology with only 8 episodes it is a weird choice to have two of the main characters just start interacting in the third episode.
Paul (Taylor Kitsch) is obviously dealing with inner turmoil. I thought last week it was PTSD from the war, which is probably the case, but it looks like they are also making him closeted gay man. That’s ok, but having him work on all this with just six episodes is a daunting task. The show has too many characters to develop in too short a period of time with this complex of a plot. It needs to be simplified on some front. Last year worked, because the plot at its core was still just a murder mystery. It had some complex cover-up elements, but it didn’t have as many moving parts or characters as this year. Maybe that’s why Farrell had to go, to many main characters.
I hope the plot gets a little clearer next week, and our main characters start moving forward. I want to like this season, but this episode turned me off. Will see what happens next week.

My Rating: A Turd  

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