Join me and one of my fellow nerds, as we talk Christine (both book and movie), as well as some of the other happenings in the world of The Master!
Join me and one of my fellow nerds, as we talk Christine (both book and movie), as well as some of the other happenings in the world of The Master!
If you wish to hear your favorite nerd live and in the flesh, breaking down the novel Insomnia (written by The Master, natch) and geeking out over more than a few things, click the link below, as she was a guest on The Dark Tower Radio Podcast, and got to participate in a great meeting of the minds! Long days and pleasant nights, and enjoy!
Come and check out your favorite nerd, live on the podcast known as Dark Tower Radio, where I palaver with a fellow nerd on King, horror, book, Dark Tower and all kinds of good stuff!
And yeah, I may sound even more nerdy live than on here…who knew???
Well, here it is, folks…
The last episode of the second season of True Detective.
Where everything gets tied up all nice and neat, the heroes win and everyone lives happily ever after!
Well, not really (especially on the happily ever after part). But the season concluded, and we now know the fates of (almost) all of the characters. And we have an ending, even if it is not the happy one we may have wanted.
With that being said, here is my recap and review of True Detective, Season 2, episode 8.
And, as always:
The episode begins after Ani and Ray have consummated their relationship. Ani and Ray both confess their painful pasts to each other, and make plans to escape Vinci and its corruption. Ray then receives a call giving him news of the death of Paul.
Ray and Ani speak to Laura Osterman (Caspere’s former secretary), who turns out to be one of the children who was orphaned by the robbery of the jewelry store in 1992. They learn that her brother Leonard (the camera man on the movie set in episode 3) was the one who actually killed Ben Caspere, and that Caspere is the father of Laura. The robbery was also to keep the public from finding out about Caspere’s affair with Laura and Leonard’s mother. Leonard and Laura had plans to use Caspere’s sex tapes for blackmail, in exchange for the blue diamons. Ani buys Laura a bus ticket, and tells her to get as far away from Vinci as she can.
Frank pays a visit to Mayor Chessani’s mansion and finds him dead in swimming pool. Frank then meets with his Jordan, and tells her that she must leave Vinci as soon as possible. Frank promises to meet Jordan in Venezuela in two weeks or less.
Ray and Frank invade the headquarters of Catalast, the company involved in the land deal gone bad. Ray and Frank then proceed to murder everyone, including Osip, and also take $2 million in cash. They split the money between them, and promise to each other that they will meet up in Venezuela.
Ray meets with Leonard in a transportation center in Anaheim. He tells Leonard to let him bring justice to his former chief Holloway. Ray then meets with Holloway, and tells him that he has killed Leonard. Ray tells Holloway that he wishes to be cleared of the murders of Paul and the prosecutor Kathryn Davis. However, Leonard comes out of hiding and stabs Holloway. Leonard is, in turn, shot by Burris, who has been hiding in a corner. Ani shows up and also begins shooting. Both Leonard and Holloway are killed, and Ray and Ani escape from the transportation center.
Ani visits Dr. Pitlor’s office, and finds him dead, with his wrists slashed. She also notices that his his files are missing.
Ray sends Ani to board a boat, telling her that he will catch up with her when she can. Ray wants to see his son Chad for the last time, so he peeks in on Chad at his school. He notices that Chad is playing a game, and using his grandfather’s badge as a game piece. When Ray leaves the school, he notices that his car has had a tracking device placed on it. Ray then realizes that he will not make it to Venezuela and drives to the forest. He leads his pursuers on a chase and manages to take out a couple of them, but the pursuit ends in Ray’s death as he is shot.
Frank attempts to leave Vinci but is kidnapped by members of a Mexican gang in retribution for setting fire to his clubs. The gang drives him out into the desert and robs him of his share of the cash. One member asks Frank to give up his suit but Frank refuses. Frank is then stabbed and left out in the desert. He begins to walk across the desert and has hallucinations of various people from his past. These hallucinations include his abusive father and the bullies who tormented him as a child. Frank finally sees an image of his wife Jordan, who is wearing a white dress. He thinks that he has escaped, but Jordan tells him that he actually died several yards away. Frank sees his own dead body, and collapses, dying of his wounds and exposure.
The episode jumps forward several months. The murders of Paul Woodrugh and Kathryn Davis are pinned on Ray, and the news reports that he was taken down in a standoff in the woods. The paternity tests ordered by Ray’s ex-wife confirm him as Chad’s father. Woodrugh is hailed as a hero and memorialized. Tony Chessani is inducted as mayor of Vinci, implying that the corruption will continue. The construction in Vinci continues. Ani speaks to a reporter in Venezuela and tells him her story. The reporter tells her that she should testify, but she refuses, and continues a life on the run. Ani then meets with Jordan, and we learn that she has given birth to a baby boy fathered by Ray. The two women make their way on the streets of Venezuela, as they continue to try to escape the danger that continues to haunt them, even though they have started a new life on a new continent.
So, the second season of True Detective (that was much anticipated and had high expectations to meet) is now over…
Or is it over? I know that this show is an anthology show (much like Fargo and American Horror Story), but I still had the impression that something was left…unfinished, to say the least.
Maybe I was supposed to feel this way. After all, reality is hardly ever nice and neat with a tidy ending, and perhaps this season was trying to bring that point across.
And I found the ending to also be quite disturbing, on quite a few levels. And perhaps some of that feeling is because everything was so unfinished. After all, no one ever really faced justice for the murder of Caspere and the conspiracy surrounding it. It is true that Leonard died, but the corruption was given license to continue, since Tony Chessani was inducted as mayor, after he got away with murdering his own father. The public was never told the actual truth about the murders of Paul and the prosecutor, Kathryn Davis. Instead, the city of Vinci was led to believe that Ray was the one who committed the murders, when he was actually one of the few people who was trying to bring the truth about Vinci to light. Ray paid the ultimate price for that, and it is unlikely that anyone will ever know the truth. And Vinci will be able to continue on in its corrupt ways and face no consequences…that is an unsettling thought.
Another unsettling thought is the thought of Ani and her lifestyle. It appears that she has been perpetually on the run, although she did tell her story to someone. However, that action has put her at risk, even though she has fled to another continent. The implication is that is that Ani will constantly be in danger, and will always need to keep that knife in boot (we saw it at the beginning of the season and we saw it again in the last episode). In the beginning, Ani was running away from a troubled childhood. But now she is running from people who want to kill her and would probably stop at nothing to hurt her and her son. So any kind closure for Ani is a thing of the past. Any kind of normal life for her and her son is also a thing of the past. While Ani may do a better job at protecting her son than her father did at protecting Ani and her sister, she is still unable to give him the kind of normal childhood that she did not have. So this is both sad, and disturbing. In other words, Ani got screwed again.
I think Frank’s death scene was my favorite part of this episode. The imagery was really good, I loved seeing him walk through the desert and have hallucinations involving people from his past, like his father and childhood bullies. If there really is a hell, being stuck in the desert and haunted by people from your past would be a pretty good depiction of it. The vultures following Frank also added a nice, disturbing touch to an already creepy scene. And I liked how Frank finally reached his wife, and she was wearing her white dress. Perhaps Frank will find the peace in death that he could not find in life.
So, let’s evaluate this season. I have been holding off doing this, since I wanted to see the entire season before passing judgement. This show is really more like an eight hour long movie, so evaluating it without seeing all the episodes would be akin to evaluating a movie I didn’t watch all the way through.
Because of the ground-breaking first season, True Detective was subject to some ridiculously high expectations for its second season. The first season was unlike anything on television, and provided something unexpected: a writer’s show, that featured ridiculously tight writing, and performances from Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey that were also ground-breaking. So, the second season was supposed to follow up, right?
Well, not necessarily. It would have been nice to see performances from the actors that were similar to the first season, and a script so cleverly written, but alas, we need to be realistic. And by being realistic, I mean that we need to cut everyone, from the writers, to the producers, to the actors, some slack. Sometimes an artist (or in this case, those involved with a TV show) is just in the zone, and that artist creates something never seen before, and is hailed as a genius. And of course, people come to expect genius from that artist, and anything less than genius is seen as failure.
So was the second season of True Detective genius? Not really. But was it an utter failure, as some critics have painted? Far from it.
The second season of True Detective was good. Very good, in fact. However, it was never great. And there were a couple of things that kept it from reaching great. One of them was a convoluted plot line, with too many characters to keep track of. The final episode was a great example of that, as it went back to a character (Leonard), who was only seen for a few minutes on a much earlier episode. Had I not been doing research and watching like someone who was analyzing the show for a blog post (imagine that), I would have had a hard time connecting this character to the story. We also learned a lot about the characters’ pasts, like Ani’s history of being sexually abused and Paul possibly committing war crimes during his time in the military, but the show failed to really flesh any of this out and connect it to the story line as a whole. In other words, we were provided some interesting puzzle pieces, but were unable to find out where they fit in the jigsaw puzzle, and those pieces just ended up being left out the table.
Another issue with this season of True Detective was the acting. Or lack of it, in some cases. In the first season of this show, Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson both provided performances for the ages. McConaughey’s performance, in particular, was another ground-breaking aspect. A character such as Rust Cohle was never seen in a “mainstream” TV show, and McConaughey was able to portray this character so beautifully. And of course, this set a high bar for the acting for season 2. And that bar was not reached (and probably never will be on any show). This is not to say the acting in season 2 was bad. It wasn’t. Colin Farrell gave a great performance and was able to portray Ray as sympathetic, even when Ray was not being a good guy. Rachel McAdams and Taylor Kitsch gave decent performances as well. Rick Springfield gave what may be the most memorable performance as the creepy doctor that one does not want to meet in a dark alley. But the show also suffered from uneven acting, particularly with Vince Vaughn’s character. Vaughn did have some memorable moments (his death scene was probably his best), but fell short too many other times. There were times when I think that his dialogue was meant to be serious, but either it just made me yawn or even start laughing. And I still don’t know whether this is the fault of Vaughn, the lack of decent writing for his character or perhaps a combination of the two. I am leaning towards the latter, although I may change my mind in the future.
So did I love this season of True Detective? Well, love is probably too strong a word. But I did like it. In fact, I really liked it. And really liking something, as opposed to loving it, is the next best thing. Really liking something is the consolation prize, and who said consolation prizes were a bad thing?
So that’s it for the second season of True Detective. Sometimes it was confusing, sometimes it was disturbing and sometimes it was even frustrating. but it was never dull. And hopefully we will be meeting again next year to discuss and dissect season 3. But until then:
Well, looky what we have here…
Seems the internet has bent a little more as of late…
And this time, neither the Kardashians nor a certain ugly dress were responsible for it!
In other words, we have further news on something that we have all been anticipating…
No, its not an official announcement that Donald Trump has chosen Sarah Palin as his running mate! I mean, if I wanted scary, I would watch a Stephen King movie…you know, scary motherfuckers like Stephen King (at least according to a certain former pimp)?
I believe this news does have something to with The Master, actually…
Oh, that’s right…how could I have forgotten! Oops…
It appears that we have more news in regards
The Second Coming the upcoming Dark Tower movie!
Sony Pictures has provided us with a release date. Yes, an actual release date (fingers crossed).
In other words, the beast has been reawakened. And boy, is the beast loud!
Well, maybe just a dull roar, actually. The beast was pretty loud, though, when the intent to make a movie was announced. Broke the sound barrier, actually.
So yes, people are talking. And debating. And contemplating. And rightfully so, as King considers this series of books to be his magnum opus, and so do many of his readers. People want to see a movie, and to see that movie done right. Books can be tricky to adapt to screen, and although some recent adaptations have been good (The Hunger Games is a prime example), there have been many bad on-screen adaptations (many of which are attached to The Master’s name. That one was directed at you, 2002 Carrie. And don’t think you are getting off either, Running Man!)
And yes, I will admit to being one of the speculators. And a pretty vocal one, at that. I believe that a good movie(s) can be made out of these books, and I will stand by that statement until (which hopefully does not happen) I am proven otherwise. More detail can be found on that opinion here.
But, as they say, opinions are like a certain body part none of us can function without…I believe it has to do with the gluteous maximus (I think). In other words, we all have opinions, and some of us are not shy about expressing them. I would be in that category, although social media and this blog are my preferred mediums, since none of my loved ones or the awesome man I married have the faintest idea of what I am blathering on about.
So, time to get down to business, and perhaps have a little fun! I want to talk about casting for a couple of more major characters that I did not discuss in the previous entry. The Dark Tower series also has a lot of supporting characters. Some may only be present in one book or only a few pages, but these characters are important to the story, and deserve great casting choices. And last, but certainly not least, I would like to discuss the music for The Dark Tower movie(s), as that is almost as important as the casting.
And, as always:
(Oh in case you were curious about the title…just go ahead and move that decimal one place to the right, say thank ya. See what I did there? You are very welcome!)
In this section, we will discuss the casting for the movie. I will be including several characters, both “major” and “minor.” This is almost at random, with names that I have pulled out of Roland’s cowboy hat, so please bear with me and do not take offense if I have not included a favorite character of yours…so many blog entries, so little time (or something like that).
I have already made my casting choice pretty clear for our friendly neighborhood gunslinger. And while I still have much love for Roland, Eddie Dean has always been my favorite (sorry Roland, hope you aren’t hurt by this). Eddie Dean is the book’s resident smart ass (his quips are currency, I think) but he also has a dark side, as he is a recovering heroin addict. So we need someone a bit edgy to play this character…
Aaron Paul has always been a popular casting choice, for obvious reasons (his role on the show Breaking Bad being a huge one). Plus the guy has flat out volunteered to play Eddie and has expressed an interest in being in these movies. So he is a decent choice…
However, my first pick for the role of Eddie Dean is Steven Amell. Yes, Arrow/Casey Jones as Eddie Dean. Amell is an immensely talented actor, and is about the right age for the role. And he has proven acting chops in playing a dark, gritty role, as evidenced by the title role on the show Arrow. Amell has made a beloved comic book character come to life, and I have complete faith that he could do the same with a beloved Stephen character. Oh, and he is definitely not hard to look at either!
Now, this role is an interesting one to cast. It has been played before by Jamey Sheridan
Billy Ray Cyrus’ twin brother on crack in the 1994 mini series adaptation of The Stand. Matthew McConaughey has also been cast in the upcoming The Stand reboot (squee). So, pretty simple, right? Just stick McConaughey in the Dark Tower movie, and call it good?
Well, not really. While this may be the same character in The Stand, the Dark Tower series and a multitude of other King books (the very definition of an uber villain), it is NOT the same incarnation. In The Stand, Flagg is charming, a bit like a sleazy car salesman. And very…American is the best word I can think of. Matthew McConaughey can pull that off. In fact that’s what he does. So good casting choice. For The Stand, that is.
But let’s talk about Dark Tower Flagg. Dark Tower Flagg is the embodiment of an evil wizard. And he is cruel and arrogant. It seems like most people know he is evil and do their level best to avoid him. In other words, almost a polar opposite to the incarnation of Flagg in The Stand, who almost seems more “human.” As wonderful as Matthew McConaughey is, I have my doubts on whether he can pull that role off or not, so I think we need a different casting choice.
My nomination for the actor to play Randall Flagg in the Dark Tower movie is Walton Goggins. Again, this is another actor with proven acting chops for a particular role in these movies. Goggins played an excellent villain in his role as Boyd Crowder on the TV series Justified. In fact, I think I looked up arrogant in the dictionary and found a picture of Boyd Crowder! In all seriousness, Groggins is a character actor, which is exactly what is needed for the role of Randall Flagg, and I hope that the casting gods hear me, and pick well for this role.
This is an interesting role to speculate, as the Crimson King is a villain that is actually not visible very much in the books, until the final book in the series. His presence is implied and his name mentioned, but he is, for the most part, not visible, much like the great wizard behind his curtain.
However, just because something is true in the books does not necessarily mean it will be true in the movies. In other words, I think that the Crimson King will be enjoying an increased bout of visibility, and therefore a larger role. After all, film is a different medium, and sometimes adjustments need to be made in order to convey a story.
And the Crimson King is a worthy role. It is implied that he is the boss of all evil in the King universe. So therefore, we need someone distinguished to take on this role. My vote is for Donald Sutherland. You can’t get much more distinguished than Donald Sutherland. Again, more proven acting chops, especially given his role of
the bearded Oompa-Loompa of President Snow in the Hunger Games movies.
Really, I thought that the Joker was bad news. And I am not backing away from that statement any time soon, either.
But then, I encountered Blaine the Mono…
Yes, a talking, evil, insane monorail has made me rethink my definition of bad news. The Joker still ranks up there (or is it down there) but a talking monorail who releases poison gas on entire cities may give the Clown Prince of Crime a run for his money…
And who better to play one of the best villains in the Stephen King universe (and possibly in literature, period) than Mark Hamill? After all, Blaine does make me think of the Joker, and Mark Hamill owned that role in the Batman animated TV series of yore (although he is reported to be reprising the role in the upcoming animated Batman movie The Killing Joke. Whoever said life is not good has obviously not heard this bit of news). Blaine will consist entirely of CGI, but the voice acting will be almost as important, if not important as, the CGI. And Mark Hamill can make Blaine happen…that’s right folks, you heard it here first!
So is is possible to write a series of books that you think is so awesome that you include yourself in them?
Well, with the Dark Tower series, the answer is yes. Stephen King is a character in the series, and an important one at that. Despite the divisiveness among fans that this move has provoked, King continues to remain a vital part of the series, and this part should not be ignored.
The easy answer would be to just have King play himself. After all, he has been known to dabble in acting, and has appeared in several of his movies, and even made a guest appearance on one of his favorite TV shows (yeah, this was a wet dream come true for me…just deal with it). However, King should not quit his day job (aka writing books I can’t put down), and leave the acting up to the big boys.
So who does that leave? Well, one of my picks would be John Cusack. Cusack already has a relationship with King, and an understanding of the material (he starred in 1408 and will star in the upcoming movie adaptation of Cell). Cusack has the ability to play a nerdy writer, which is actually what King is (don’t worry, Sai, that is a compliment of the highest order). Cusack can bring the life to this role, and would be an excellent choice.
I firmly believe that comedy is actually an essential part of horror. It appears that Stephen King would agree with me, as there is a lot of comedy gold in his books, even the Dark Tower series (yes, really!).
One of the funny parts to the Dark Tower series are the Low Men. The Low Men are actually humanoid creatures, but have animal heads. And they talk. Creepy, in other words. So maybe not actually funny, unless you have a dark sense of humor, like yours truly.
And one actor who can do the darkly comedic really well is Kim Coates, who played the character Tig on the show Sons of Anarchy. Somehow the idea of Tig er Mr. Coates donning an animal head and doing really horrible things is not as far fetched as it sounds. I believe that he would be a viable choice to play one of these characters.
Another actor who has a definite dark side is Wentworth Miller, as evidenced by his role as Leonard Snart (if that doesn’t sound evil, I don’t know what does) on the TV show The Flash. Miller has shown that he is capable of being cruel and vindictive, which is perfect for a character such as Pimli o’Prentiss. This is another “can’t miss” casting choice.
While we are on the subject of creeps, let’s talk about Rick Springfield. Yes, the guy who sang Jessie’s Girl. And the guy who sang Jessie’s Girl also happens to play an incredibly creepy psychiatrist on the TV show True Detective. This would translate very well to a character such as Richard Sayer, or Dr. Scowthers. Springfield would have these roles in the bag, in other words.
Now, I would like to talk about an aspect of the upcoming Dark Tower movies that I think is very important, but one that I have not seen get a lot of press.
That’s right, the music for the movies. While I have seen more casting threads on certain unnamed social media outlets than I care to count, I have not seen too many threads discussing any music for the movies. And this is a grave oversight, as the music is one of the most important parts to any movie, but especially so for the Dark Tower movies!
Obviously, there are references to several songs in these books. In fact, some of the music referenced in the books really gives the series its charm…
Somehow, Johnny Cash is fitting…wasn’t he nicknamed something, possibly something referencing clothing of a dark color?
All kidding aside, Johnny Cash’s version of the song Hurt would fit perfectly in the series. The song is already quoted at the beginning of the last book in the series, and attributed to its original creator. This is fine by me, I love both versions. However, Cash’s version just fits in so well with the series…perhaps it is the version of the song that belongs to Roland’s level of the Tower.
And luckily, there is a wealth of material to chose from if we want to include any other songs by Cash. Ghost Riders in the Sky would fit in very well with the theme of the Dark Tower. Out Among the Stars is another song that brings visions of Mid-World to my mind. I could go on and on, so I hope that the producers and directors choose to pay homage to this level of the Tower’s Man in Black.
As a certain great sage and eminent junkie so wisely reminded us: Johnny Cash is everything.
Paint it Black is another song referenced in the the books (in The Wastelands, to be specific). Not including it in the movies would be criminal, and I will leave it at that. And hopefully the producers and directors collectively remember the faces of their fathers, and agree with me on that statement.
Another band that I feel that fits in well with the Dark Tower series is Imagine Dragons. Many of their songs (especially this one) has a post apocalyptic feel. Roland’s world is post apocalyptic, so a marriage between Imagine Dragons and the Dark Tower series could end up being a match made in heaven (or possibly hell, depending on how you look at it).
Leonard Cohen is another one who can do darkness well (notice a theme here?). Perhaps the producers could use existing songs (Hallelujah is a song that is a pretty good description of what Roland’s obsession with the Tower has done to him), or perhaps Cohen could grace us with some new songs, just for the movies. Either way, this may be another match made in
One thing to keep in mind is that the members of our favorite ka-tet were drawn from different time periods. So any music used in the series should reflect this. Susannah was a sort of hippie from the 1960’s, so it would be nice to pay homage to that with some well placed Bob Dylan songs, or perhaps some Phil Ochs songs. Jake was drawn from the 1970’s, so perhaps some Rolling Stones, or maybe some soul music along the lines the lines of James Brown. And of course, there is my heartbeat Eddie Dean, who is drawn from 1987. So perhaps some well placed Aerosmith? Maybe Madonna? Run DMC anyone? Of course, music from the time period is not a necessity for these movies, but it would be nice to add a touch of authenticity, and would also allow the audience to make an emotional connection with these characters.
Well folks, that’s it for this week’s speculation and pipe dreams. For that it is exactly what this is: speculation and pipe dreams. Could some of them come true? Well, anything is possible. Could some of these ideas never see the light of day? Again, its all possible! Or could the folks behind the movie come up with some even crazier ideas that are so crazy that they just might work? Well, that wouldn’t be the first time something as happened, nor would it be the last. And of course, this blog will be your go to place for dissection and discussion (pretty please, I love readers!) But until then…
Have you ever got sucked into something, whether it be a book, a movie or TV show, so much that you forget to do stuff? And I’m not talking about forgetting minor details, like forgetting to do the dishes one night…
No, more like forgetting to do the dishes for three nights. Or forgetting to cook dinner. Or forgetting that you need to eat dinner, for that matter.
Yes, there have been a few TV shows and books that have caused me to neglect my real life, because….well, because the world in those shows and books was just so much darn cooler than my real life!
I can also add the show True Detective to this list. I had heard good things about the show on some fan site or another, and had birthday money to burn. So I bought the series, and began to watch it almost immediately.
And never regretted spending money on that series. I never regretted one single dime. In fact, I was so impressed that I bought my dad the series for his Christmas present. And the man who can take years to watch a single season of any show had finished watching it by January 15th, and sent me a text message saying how impressed he was.
So yes, the first season of True Detective was impressive. It was really impressive. In fact, the only bad thing I could say about it was that it wasn’t returning for a second season…
Well, our beloved Marty and Rust were not returning for a second season. True Detective is an anthology show, where none of the seasons are related to each other. In other words, each season will have different characters, a different setting and even a different mode of storytelling. We get to start over from scratch, so to speak.
So, it was a bit of a bummer…I loved Rust Cohle so! And I loved the setting, and the tie ins to HP Lovecraft. That setting in particular just made all the events on the show that much more plausible. But we get to start over with a new cast and a new story line…kind of like a new school year, where your slate is clean and all things are possible!
Well, I’m not sure about the slate being clean…with this show, that slate is more like another dirty slate, but a different kind of dirt. After all, we are dealing with murder, corruption, sex, crooked cops, bullies and sex, if I didn’t mention that part before.
So, lets get ready to look at our new slate…here is my recap and review of True Detective, season 2, episode 1!
The show begins with a man dropping his son off at school. The son is obviously troubled, but the man tries to reassure his son that all will be well at school. The man is revealed to be a cop by the name of Ray Velcoro. Ray learns that a city manager, Ben Caspere, has disappeared, and is assigned to investigate the case. Ray searches the man’s apartment, but only finds evidence of an interesting sex life.
The story switches over to the perspective of Paul Woodrugh, a California motorcycle cop. Paul is falsely accused of soliciting sex from a woman he pulls over and is placed on administrative leave by his superiors. Paul also enjoys riding his motorcycle at high speeds on the California highways.
We are then introduced to Ani Bezzerides, who is a detective for Ventura county. Ani investigates what she thinks to be an illegal porn business that her sister is involved in, but can find no cause to arrest anyone. Later, Ani and her partner investigate a missing person report, which leads them to a commune, where Ani’s father is a leader. Ani and her partner question her father and other employees about the missing woman, but don’t turn up any leads. Ani also argues with her father about her sister, whom she feels is on the wrong path.
Frank Seymone is then introduced. Frank is an entrepreneur with ties to organized crime. Frank is also tied to Ben Caspere, who is a business partner of his. Frank and Ben are involved in a project to build a new system of transportation for the city of Vinci. Frank is also tied to Ray, in that Ray takes care of some of Frank’s nasty business. For example, Ray brutally beats a reporter who tries to publish an article that Frank dislikes. Ray and Frank are shown to have extremely close ties, but it appears Ray is conflicted about the relationship.
Ray learns that his son is being bullied at school. Ray finds out the name of the child and his parents, and pays them a visit. Ray then threatens the child, making him promise to leave Ray’s son alone, and then beats the child’s father in front of the child. Afterwards, Ray flees the scene, leaving the child’s mother to assist her husband and son.
The episode ends with the discovery of the body of Ben Caspere. The corpse is discovered by Paul, was was out on one of his motorcycle rides. Ani and Ray are also called to the scene, signalling the beginning of a murder investigation.
For the record, I am trying my best to not compare the second season of True Detective to the first season of the season. Trying really hard…
But I can’t help it, I’m human. And when I watched the show, I did see some things that reminded me exactly what show I was watching. For example, I did notice the lighting. The first season showed shots of dim lighting, and so does this season. This is a trick that works to the show’s advantage (in both seasons) and effectively sets the mood.
Speaking of mood, this show is one of the moodiest I have ever watched…I would hate to see what color its mood ring would turn, if the show wore one. The lighting, the music (you can’t get much moodier when you have a Leonard Cohen song as a theme song), the ariel shots of the highways…to me, all of the above are supposed to make the viewer feel unsettled. And if unsettled is what the writers, directors and producers were going for, then they should consider themselves successful, as the vibe I got was dark and downright creepy.
Another interesting thing about season 2 of True Detective is that one of the main characters is female. The female characters in season 1 were not central characters, and were either used to add twists to the relationship between Marty and Rust, or were victims of the serial killer. The viewer only saw these characters through the eyes of Marty and Rust, and these characters were never fully developed. However, this is not the case this season.
Regina George Ani is a character who is not (hopefully) used for the advancement of the male characters in the story. I am already fascinated by her…she may have some daddy issues! And her sister, what is going on with that, and how will that tie in to this murder mystery? And why is she so at odds with what appears to be everyone? These questions have sparked my interest, and the only way (maybe) to find out is to keep watching!
And let’s talk about Ray Velcoro. Like I said before, I am trying not to compare this season to last season, but sometimes even I fail. But I just have this funny feeling that Ray Velcoro may be this season’s Rust Cohle. We didn’t actually see a lot of Ray in the first episode, but I think it was enough to know that he will be this season’s most intriguing character. Who beats up the father of his son’s bully, right in front of the bully (although naming your kid Aspin should get you beat up, I mean really?! Really?!) And working for the mob…I almost thought we were in Gotham for a minute! Ray seems so angry and so heartless…he has no problem hurting anyone, even a kid (although said kid was a bully but still). I am intrigued to find out why Ray is the way he is (like I was intrigued with Rust last season), and I have a feeling the back story will be an interesting one.
My only complaint thus far is the character of Frank Seymone. Vince Vaughn is a fine actor, but seems to be struggling a bit in this role. The character comes off as a little two dimensional, and a character like his deserves justice. However, I have only watched one episode. There will be seven more episodes, and I am optimistic that his character will be developed more in future episodes.
So that’s it for this week’s recap and review of True Detective. Tune in next week to explore more in the world of corruption, crooked cops, high speed motorcycle chases and murdered city officials, when we dissect episode 2!