Sunday, August 9, 2015

True Detective Omega Station S2E8 Review (Spoilers!): Did We Really Need the Extra 30 Minutes?


Well that was a gut punch of a finale.  I’ve got mixed feelings on the last episode. On the one hand it was great drama, and very intense. On the other there where numerous plot holes, and what I would call lazy storytelling.  Overall this season has been hit and miss for me. It seemed every other episode was good or bad. The even seemed to be bad, and the odds good. Kind of a reverse Star Trek theory. This being the finale and an even episode I had my worries. Overall the last episode was about on par for the entire season. It was ok, not epic, but not completely unwatchable.
The first thing to get out of the way was the wasted 15 minutes at the start of the episode. Did we really need to see Ani and Ray getting to know each other on that intimate of a level? My first question is why wait this long? If they were going to build them up as a couple they should have had them hook up way earlier in the show. I understand why they did it, and it plays into the lazy storytelling. They needed them to be this close so when Ray called to say goodbye Ani would beg him to make it. This ruined Ani’s character for me. She’s a tough cop who has been through hell, she didn’t need Ray. I get that she would be sad, but they hooked up once, and had some deep pillow talk. We are supposed to believe they are deeply in love now? Build them up as a couple from a few episodes before and the final phone call would have had some meaning.
Then we jump to Frank and his wife. Another five to ten minutes of wasted time, or time that could have been cut to make the finale only an hour. I get a parting scene for the two of them, but it didn’t need to last that long. I’m guessing the white suit is a reference to a movie, not sure what one though. I know Frank was dropping a few paraphrased lines from Casablanca, or they seemed paraphrased from Casablanca. He didn’t have a line tonight that made me sit back and take notice. It could have been in there, but it didn’t stand out as they have the past eight weeks.
After the pointless 15 minutes we finale start the show. They jump in and find the brother and sister who killed Caspere and are blackmailing the police chief and lieutenant. Bad storytelling rearing its head again. The girl who parents were killed started hooking, and magically gets invited to the parties where Caspere attends. She is then able to piece together and find all the information to blackmail the others with the help of her brother. Wouldn’t it have been better for them to have had a plan to avenge their parents? Instead of them just stumbling upon Caspere and the information. Shouldn’t surprise me though, all the information obtained wasn’t earned, it was all just found.  It’s the biggest problem this season. Besides Woodrow and Frank there was no actual police work done. It was all character drama. Which is fine, but I think we should at least somewhat care about the crime the show is supposed to be solving.
The next sequence was well done. The scene in the train station was tense and extremely well shot. We find out a bit more information, some of which sets of the gunfight. I think the chief said the girl in the jewelry shop was Caspere daughter, which adds incest to the show. No real reason for this, other than to send the brother of the girl over the edge to attack the chief. I think they could have found something else besides the incest card.  Other than adding incest into the mix the scene worked great and kept me invested in the episode.
Next big scene was at the cabin in the woods. Great shootout which allowed Frank and Ray to get some payback. Ani went to go investigate the Doctor who provided the girls, but he was already dead. I missed the part where they said she was going to check on him. I had to rewind a couple of times to see whose body she found. The shootout in the woods was well done, and you started to think our main characters where going to make it out of the jam. Until I saw we had another 20 minutes to go.
Frank gets taken out by the Mexicans. Which I get, he didn’t plan for them. How did they find him though? He wasn’t in his car, and he was on his way out of town. Did the guys he paid for the passport and guns tip them off? It’s the only thing I can figure which makes sense, but they just pissed away an extra 500k. Maybe we just aren’t supposed to question. They found him and took him out. End of story. His death scene could have been sped up just a tick. I liked him walking trying not to give up, but they could have cut a couple of the shots out. The last few weeks Vince Vaughn did a good job with the character. He pulled off what I hoped he would the entire season He proved he can do drama.
Ray’s finale was great. Collin Farrell has been spectacular the entire season, and he didn’t disappoint in the end. The whole sequence from the time he left Frank was fantastic. I knew he was going to check on his kid, and it would be the end of him. It was perfect for the character. His love for his son and his first wife took him on a dark road. Fitting for it to end with them being the focus.  Farrell did a great job of showing his fear, and then ultimately his acceptance of his fate during the chase and shootout.  He at least took a couple of the others with him in the end. I personally would have liked his last message to have been uploaded to his son. They didn’t need to show us it didn’t make it. I figured it wouldn’t from when he got out of his car. They only reason to show it again was to see it did make it. It was a low emotional sucker punch, but it worked. They did make up for it a tiny bit by showing Ray was the actual father.  
Not sure what to think about the overall ending. It was nice to see Ani surviving with Frank’s wife. Not sure about the baby though, was it really needed? I guess they had so much talk about babies and adoption they had to throw one in. I’m glad they went back to Ani and they showed her strong. It bugs me they had her so needy and dependent on Ray at the end. They didn’t earn the dependency they had for each other through the course of the show.
Overall this season is just ok. It had some good moments and some real head scratchers. The plot was extremely dense, and was a determinant to the show. Farrell’s acting was top notch and his character is one of the only reason I tuned in week to week.  I’m wouldn’t recommend season two to someone who hadn’t started yet.  If they liked Farrell as an actor would be the only reason to watch. With so many excellent shows on TV it just isn’t a must see. First season was appointment television. Second season was just average at best.

What did you all think? I know the show is polarizing, some loving or hating it. Will you watch a season three if there is one? I’ll tune in, but I won’t be nearly as excited for the third as I was for the second and first.  

My Rating: On Par with the overall season. Average

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