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TV Review: True Detective: Season 2: Episode 6

07.26.2015

Season 2, Episode 6: Church in Ruins

SUMMARY: Bezzerides (Rachel McAdams) goes undercover at a drug and sex fueled party to find a missing woman with info on Caspere's blackmail tape.

REVIEW: Even the most pessimistic True Detective fan (or former fan) has got to be coming around on the much maligned second season by this point. The end of episode four set the stage for a few really dynamic episodes to come. While last week's was until now the best overall episode of the season, this week's installment kicks things up to the point that the show is arguably now operating on a level equal to season one.

Last week's cliffhanger set the stage for a dramatic confrontation between Velcoro (Colin Farrell) and Frank (Vince Vaughn) but luckily no bullets were fired and neither of the guys would up checking out just yet. Frank's arc was probably the most uneventful part of the episode as once again he finds himself getting deeper-and-deeper into the gangster underworld, winding up in bed with a gang of dangerous Mexican drug-runners. Things are not going to turn out well for poor Frank. He is humanized to a certain degree when he visits the family of his dead underling Stan, sharing a moment with his son and hinting at his need to eventually become a father not that it looks like he'll ever get the chance.

One thing that's absolutely shocking is that for the first time since episode two, there's no face-to-face in Ray's favorite dive bar, with a torch song being sung by Lera Lynn. This episode is paced so tightly there's just no time. Velcoro tries to make nice with his son this week, but after an awkward meeting when he realizes his son probably really is better off without him, Ray goes off-the-rails in a big way, visiting his wife's rapist in jail and promising to castrate him, before going home to snort about a pound of coke and wreck all of his sons model planes.

Things get insane in the second half when Ani goes undercover at Mayor Chessani's son's sex party, where the mob imports girls for the town's richest men to have their way with. This whole sequence is amazing, with director Miguel Sapochnik (director of REPO MEN) expertly staging the Brian DePalma-style set-piece at the party, with the tension being ramped up to an almost intolerable level. I was literally on-the-edge of my seat, helped by McAdams' wired performance as Ani's drugged and starts to hallucinate that the man who molested her as a child is stalking her, while having to fight off armed bodyguards (with some nifty knife work). The shooting, editing and especially the T. Bone Burnett soundtrack here deserve top marks, and I think I even preferred this set-piece to the shootout in episode four. It was absolutely masterful.

I really think that by this point in the season, you're either on-board with Pizzolatto's new story or not. If not you might as well just check-out now, but for the rest of us it can't be denied the show getting to the point where it could end on-par with season one. It's not there yet, but it wouldn't take much to get to that next level.

Source: JoBlo.com

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8:11AM on 07/28/2015
I'm digging the hell out of this season and loving Colin Farrell's Ray Velcoro. Though I can't see him surviving through these last two episodes. Hopefully he goes out in style, his character deserves it.
I'm digging the hell out of this season and loving Colin Farrell's Ray Velcoro. Though I can't see him surviving through these last two episodes. Hopefully he goes out in style, his character deserves it.
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11:53PM on 07/27/2015

outro/ending credit song

just wanted to add, great use of "Black Grease" by The Black Angels

"but i kill, kill, kill!"
just wanted to add, great use of "Black Grease" by The Black Angels

"but i kill, kill, kill!"
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4:15PM on 07/27/2015
I really feel people are grading on popularity and hype, than actual story telling and quality. I stopped watching and just caught up on last weeks episode, I don't get how this ranks as a high rated series. It is really doesn't seem that great. Vaughn is horrible in this playing a weak ganster who would've been killed in the first few episodes, and the other actors don't play cops that well.
I really feel people are grading on popularity and hype, than actual story telling and quality. I stopped watching and just caught up on last weeks episode, I don't get how this ranks as a high rated series. It is really doesn't seem that great. Vaughn is horrible in this playing a weak ganster who would've been killed in the first few episodes, and the other actors don't play cops that well.
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12:13PM on 07/28/2015
A weak *gangster* who would've been killed in the first few episodes?? Based on what, your gangster experience? And the other actors don't play cops that well?? Did McConaughey and Harrelson hold up to your standard of how cops should be portrayed? If so, please explain the differences rather than a vague statement.
A weak *gangster* who would've been killed in the first few episodes?? Based on what, your gangster experience? And the other actors don't play cops that well?? Did McConaughey and Harrelson hold up to your standard of how cops should be portrayed? If so, please explain the differences rather than a vague statement.
11:55AM on 07/27/2015
Season is catching its stride just in time. Last two episodes have been its best in my opinion
Season is catching its stride just in time. Last two episodes have been its best in my opinion
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10:29AM on 07/27/2015
I'm enjoying this season. This episode was fantastic. Season 1 and Season 2 are completely different. Season 1 was an intense, focused character study, while this season is more plot-driven, with the story requiring much more attention from the viewer. That said, I'm highly entertained by Bezzerides and Velcoro's storylines. Can't wait to see how this season wraps up.
I'm enjoying this season. This episode was fantastic. Season 1 and Season 2 are completely different. Season 1 was an intense, focused character study, while this season is more plot-driven, with the story requiring much more attention from the viewer. That said, I'm highly entertained by Bezzerides and Velcoro's storylines. Can't wait to see how this season wraps up.
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9:04AM on 07/27/2015
I was on the fence with this show up until last week's episode as well. Episodes 1 - 4 seemed to be spending too much time introducing us to the new characters and fleshing out their back stories. Not enough time spent on the here and now with the murder case and how their personal problems are going anywhere in the story. Now that the show has jumped ahead 6 months in episode 5, it's telling a tighter story with a better laid out plan.

In all honesty, the show should have made the jump
I was on the fence with this show up until last week's episode as well. Episodes 1 - 4 seemed to be spending too much time introducing us to the new characters and fleshing out their back stories. Not enough time spent on the here and now with the murder case and how their personal problems are going anywhere in the story. Now that the show has jumped ahead 6 months in episode 5, it's telling a tighter story with a better laid out plan.

In all honesty, the show should have made the jump ahead at episode 3. It just seems like the story is 1 or 2 episodes long.
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5:29AM on 07/27/2015

Bland Detective

The more I see of this season the more mediocre it becomes. The first season grabbed you by the balls in the first episode, you wanted to know who these interesting characters where. And when they started to unravel the case it just got better. This is like an episode of Law and Order that focuses more on the detectives than the crime. I am sure they are going to try and tie it all together but will we even remember the plot by then.

I mean I had totally forgotten about the diamonds when
The more I see of this season the more mediocre it becomes. The first season grabbed you by the balls in the first episode, you wanted to know who these interesting characters where. And when they started to unravel the case it just got better. This is like an episode of Law and Order that focuses more on the detectives than the crime. I am sure they are going to try and tie it all together but will we even remember the plot by then.

I mean I had totally forgotten about the diamonds when they brought it up again, if you cannot even remember what happened a previous episode your show is not doing it right. It is by no means bad, but this is not going to be a career reviving role for anyone.
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5:57AM on 07/27/2015
Its a shame really that it won't help careers the way the first season did. I suppose it will help Vaughn most of all since he is probably the best in this series this season. I was actually pulling for Kitsch because, honestly, I felt he got a bad hollywood rap in two shit movies (wolverine and battleship). But his character is bland and uneven at best, and an uninteresting clusterfuck at worst.
Its a shame really that it won't help careers the way the first season did. I suppose it will help Vaughn most of all since he is probably the best in this series this season. I was actually pulling for Kitsch because, honestly, I felt he got a bad hollywood rap in two shit movies (wolverine and battleship). But his character is bland and uneven at best, and an uninteresting clusterfuck at worst.
4:25PM on 07/27/2015
I think Kitsch is this generations Jean Michael Vincent. Without that guys early success. His PTSD gay wounded CHiPs cop isn't that great of a character. Too much crap was front loaded with his character, he should have been a slow burn reveal. But last I seen they were implying incest with his Mom, and he is starting a family but needs to pop viagra to have sex with a woman. Just too much.
I think Kitsch is this generations Jean Michael Vincent. Without that guys early success. His PTSD gay wounded CHiPs cop isn't that great of a character. Too much crap was front loaded with his character, he should have been a slow burn reveal. But last I seen they were implying incest with his Mom, and he is starting a family but needs to pop viagra to have sex with a woman. Just too much.
2:02AM on 07/27/2015
I can confidently say that if last season of True Detective never happened, and this was in fact the premier season, there would more than likely be no second season. In truth, while not terribly acted, its kind of focus less compared to last year. There is a lack of chemistry between most of the actors/characters. There are also too many "main' characters in my opinion for such a short "season", and they're not doing a good job of keeping each of their stories on track in a direction that
I can confidently say that if last season of True Detective never happened, and this was in fact the premier season, there would more than likely be no second season. In truth, while not terribly acted, its kind of focus less compared to last year. There is a lack of chemistry between most of the actors/characters. There are also too many "main' characters in my opinion for such a short "season", and they're not doing a good job of keeping each of their stories on track in a direction that moves the overall story forward. Is it bad that the only character on the show I mildly give a fuck about is Vaughn's shitbag mafia light guy. Thats in part because his characters arc has actually been somewhat tight and focuses. I'll finish this season because, well why not, but I doubt I'll care about making time to tune in next season...if there is one.
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4:21PM on 07/27/2015
Vaughns gangster character is played so weak, in any other show, they would have killed him off and replaced him. The guy just has no presence and I really didn't give a damn about him starting a family with his Moll. Given that hasn't happened, when it does, it's going to be anti-climactic when he gets popped.
Vaughns gangster character is played so weak, in any other show, they would have killed him off and replaced him. The guy just has no presence and I really didn't give a damn about him starting a family with his Moll. Given that hasn't happened, when it does, it's going to be anti-climactic when he gets popped.
-1
1:20AM on 07/27/2015
You guys are nuts. This has been a very interesting and very entertaining all season long for me! Great acting, great characters, all around a great suspense/thriller! Nothing will ever match season 1, of course, but I wasn't expecting it to as soon as I heard Woody and Matt weren't returning. Stop comparing this to season 1 (completely different!!) and you'll enjoy it for what it is, some damn fine television!
You guys are nuts. This has been a very interesting and very entertaining all season long for me! Great acting, great characters, all around a great suspense/thriller! Nothing will ever match season 1, of course, but I wasn't expecting it to as soon as I heard Woody and Matt weren't returning. Stop comparing this to season 1 (completely different!!) and you'll enjoy it for what it is, some damn fine television!
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12:41AM on 07/27/2015
Checked out after that 80's gunfight.
Checked out after that 80's gunfight.
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11:14PM on 07/26/2015

Improving

I've been cheering for Season 2 to live up to "something"--but have been disappointed. And this latest episode--while a vast improvement from the first 3 or 4--is still at best a shadow of the quality of Season 1. Yes, I liked the hooker party scene and also the confrontation between Frank & Velcoro in the opening scene--but, like magicians would say--both were merely "misdirection." They were simply good "pieces"--without a thematic link, primarily because there is no "theme" this season.
I've been cheering for Season 2 to live up to "something"--but have been disappointed. And this latest episode--while a vast improvement from the first 3 or 4--is still at best a shadow of the quality of Season 1. Yes, I liked the hooker party scene and also the confrontation between Frank & Velcoro in the opening scene--but, like magicians would say--both were merely "misdirection." They were simply good "pieces"--without a thematic link, primarily because there is no "theme" this season. The ending, over the next two weeks, will probably just as tightly produced as tonight's episode--because they have to be in order to get the rest of the story in. Which suggest to me that Season 2 would have probably benefited from being five episodes long. As for the conclusion of the season narrative, if I may guess, the following will happen: Frank will be killed (maybe gruesomely...and with his wife) by the bad company he is now keeping. Paul will realize, after seeing all the tragic outcomes, that "life is too short to live a lie" and accept his [link] while staying with/marrying his knocked-up girlfriend. Ray will either die a hero or leave town after his heroic acts--possibly with Ani. And, Ani will come to terms with her childhood, and like Ray realize that law enforcement is not for her. All of which, tied together means NOTHING. Well, maybe it means that Season 3 will automatically be BETTER than the mess of a Season 2.
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1:17AM on 07/27/2015
How can you say there is no "theme" to this season. The themes are basically shoved down your throat week after week. Either your misunderstanding or are completely missing something I think. Anyways, ya I agree with the majority of what you said. The seasons getting better but at this point its far from the first season in terms of greatness. Things are going to get bloody over the last two episodes I think.
How can you say there is no "theme" to this season. The themes are basically shoved down your throat week after week. Either your misunderstanding or are completely missing something I think. Anyways, ya I agree with the majority of what you said. The seasons getting better but at this point its far from the first season in terms of greatness. Things are going to get bloody over the last two episodes I think.
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