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TV Review: True Detective: Season 2: Episode 3 (SPOILERS)

07.05.2015

Season 2, Episode 3: Maybe Tomorrow

SUMMARY:  Frank (Vince Vaughn) finds himself drawn back into the violent underworld he left behind, while Paul (Taylor Kitsch) is confronted by some long-suppressed urges.

REVIEW: Hopefully, all of you who are reading this review have heeded my SPOILER warning in the headline and have waited until after seeing this week’s episode before reading this review. If not, you best turn back as we’re getting right into spoiler territory following last week’s cliffhanger that seemed to end in Ray Velcoro’s (Colin Farrell) death.

 

Suffice to say, Velcoro is not dead. Some low-impact buckshot knocked him out for a bit, sending him into a bizarre dream world complete with his father (Fred Ward) and a Conway Twitty-impersonator lip-synching to ‘The Rose’. A very strange scene, Velcoro’s father’s warning about playing in the trees (“they cut you to pieces”) and a seemingly fatal wound in his abdomen suggest that while he’s not quite in the ground yet, his days just might be numbered. In a nice touch, Velcoro spends the rest of the episode trying to extricate himself from the case, first demanding that Frank cut him loose and then telling his superiors that he’s “no Columbo” – all to no avail as he’s so dirty they can’t help but trust him to cover up their own misdeeds.  

Now being about a third of the way through the season, the different plot strands are starting to pull together. As suggested by the first two episodes, the mystery surrounding Ben Caspere is really just a MacGuffin, with the murder only really existing as an excuse to mix-together these tortured souls which each representing some kind of moral compromise. Vaughn’s Frank is a family man but happens to also be a violent mobster. Farrell’s Velcoro is a loving dad, but a corrupt cop. McAdams’ Bezzerides is honest but so cut-off emotionally that she has no allegiance to anyone but herself.

As for Kitsch’s Paul Woodrugh, up to now he’s been the most enigmatic but last week’s episode revealed a big piece of the puzzle when he had an extremely homophobic reaction to a bank clerk, arousing the suspicions of Velcoro’s soused Vinci partner Dixon (W. Earl Brown) who we see this week shadowing Woodrugh. While it was pretty obvious that Woodrugh’s homophobia was covering something up, this week that becomes explicit when it’s revealed he carried on an affair with a fellow black ops merc. His reaction, to almost pull a gun on the man when he tries to come on to him, shows a violent, almost psychopathic aversion to his sexuality and it seems that of all the characters he’s the one that might go the most violently off the deep end.

While the arguable focus of the last few episodes, we don’t learn too much more about McAdams’ Bezzerides. There is one scene involving her that really felt off, where her superior tries to get her to at least “pretend” to seduce Velcoro in order to get his confidence. To me this sums up Pizzolatto’s one real flaw as a storyteller –his lack of attention to peripheral characters in authority. This was a cartoonish scene that likely would have been left on the cutting room floor if a stronger director was helming the season rather than hired guns (with documentary director Janus Metz Pedersen doing this week’s).

 

Still, outside of this one boneheaded moment there’s a lot to love about this week’s episode. It’s a real treat to see Fred Ward joining the cast as Farrell’s dad, who both as a figure in Velcoro’s dreams as well as his more unseemly, racist true self later on. The ending, where Vaughn’s Frank is forced to prove to his subordinates that he hasn’t softened is the highlight, with him easily besting his hulking pimp opponent in a fight, and then using pliers to rip off the thug’s “grill”. It’s rare to see Vaughn play a tough guy, but it can’t be said that his 6’5 frame isn’t menacing here.

By this point, you’re either on-board or you’re not with the new season. While undoubtedly not as good as the first season, on its own merits this new season of True Detective is pretty damn good. Now that we’re a good chunk of the way into things it’ll be interesting to see how Pozzolatto pushes the envelope as the season goes on.

Source: JoBlo.com

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5:30AM on 07/10/2015
Not going to call this show bad, but its more like a good episode or Law and Order than anything special. The characters are NOT interesting, there is no mystery, yet. Get tired of the same ole retread cop cliches. Season one was lightning in a bottle, mystery from episode one, characters you could grab onto and always left you wanting more. This is just blah so far.
Not going to call this show bad, but its more like a good episode or Law and Order than anything special. The characters are NOT interesting, there is no mystery, yet. Get tired of the same ole retread cop cliches. Season one was lightning in a bottle, mystery from episode one, characters you could grab onto and always left you wanting more. This is just blah so far.
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6:56AM on 07/06/2015

I guess I'll play the Devil's advocate.

To be honest, after the season premiere, I was disappointed. I felt like after season one, they were trying to substitute a solid story with star power. However, after the last two episodes, I think this season's starting to improve. The thing I think I'm happiest to see is Vince Vaughn's character taking a more vicious turn. I've been wondering for years if Vaughn was capable of delivering on the promise he once showed in films like Clay Pigeons. Overall, this season is still weaker than
To be honest, after the season premiere, I was disappointed. I felt like after season one, they were trying to substitute a solid story with star power. However, after the last two episodes, I think this season's starting to improve. The thing I think I'm happiest to see is Vince Vaughn's character taking a more vicious turn. I've been wondering for years if Vaughn was capable of delivering on the promise he once showed in films like Clay Pigeons. Overall, this season is still weaker than the first, but I'm not willing to write it off just yet. Even if this year disappoints, I'm still willing to see what the future holds for this show.
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6:14AM on 07/06/2015
Gotta tell you, as much as I like the idea of anthology series, this thus far for me is a miss. I loved the idea that each season would be different stories and tones, but for some reason, other than Vaughn, this series is missing every mark for me. I loved the first seasons almost supernatural tone and real relationship between the two cops. This just seems so...generic? I don't know if that's the right word, but there just doesn't seem to be that special thing happening with this season.
Gotta tell you, as much as I like the idea of anthology series, this thus far for me is a miss. I loved the idea that each season would be different stories and tones, but for some reason, other than Vaughn, this series is missing every mark for me. I loved the first seasons almost supernatural tone and real relationship between the two cops. This just seems so...generic? I don't know if that's the right word, but there just doesn't seem to be that special thing happening with this season. Matthew and Woody gelled to perfection, this cast on the other hand while all great actors, do no seem to have much chemistry together. Vaughn I will say is without a doubt my favorite character. Finally he has stopped phoning in the same role he has played for the last 10 years and is actually acting again. I'll end up watching all season, cause what the fuck else I got to do on GOTless Sunday nights but I can't say I'm gonna love it. At least Ray Donovan starts next week and Penny Dreadful ended well tonight.
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6:01AM on 07/06/2015

I agree with the score, but...

I disagree with most of your analysis. I think it's presumptuous and asinine to call the murder of Caspere a MacGuffin. It's clear that whoever killed Caspere is probably a part of a larger group and a larger conspiracy that is at the heart of the whole plot of this season. I also think you're being a little too PC to claim that Woodrugh is almost psychopathic. The guy is obviously angry with himself and his interest in men. He's struggling with himself, I don't think he'd have ever drawn,
I disagree with most of your analysis. I think it's presumptuous and asinine to call the murder of Caspere a MacGuffin. It's clear that whoever killed Caspere is probably a part of a larger group and a larger conspiracy that is at the heart of the whole plot of this season. I also think you're being a little too PC to claim that Woodrugh is almost psychopathic. The guy is obviously angry with himself and his interest in men. He's struggling with himself, I don't think he'd have ever drawn, that's the thing. He acted like he would as a big bluff because he's afraid. Not psychopathic. Ugh. Your whole analysis is off. I feel like we didn't even watch the same episode. Or maybe you were on your phone?
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