True Detective S02E01 Recap/Review

True Detective Season 2 Episode 1 Recap and Review!

colin farrell

True Detective S02E01 Recap/Review
“I welcome judgement.”
-Ray Velcoro

…And judge it we shall! Welcome everyone to the Geek Lyfe’s weekly True Detective recap! If you know me you are well aware of the love I have for True Detective. Once it was announced that there would be a season 2 of the critically acclaimed show I could barely contain myself! Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams and Colin Farrell in one show?! Color me intrigued. However after what could arguably be called a PERFECT first season Nic Pizzolatto’s crime anthology has a lot to live up to in its second season.

*Just a warning there ARE spoilers in this!!*

After watching the first episode I have come before you to lay out what I saw, I will not be passing judgment upon this season until the final episode. This season is an entirely different beast and there will have to be inevitable comparisons to the first season. However I look forward to seeing something new and that is indeed what I got!
First things first. The opening title sequence is done by the same production study as the first season. Studio Antibody won an Emmy last year for its outstanding title sequence for the first True Detective and I don’t see why it won’t again this year. If you are a title sequence geek like I am, this website offers really cool insight into how the title sequences are made. I’ll admit that the opening song didn’t immediately grab hold of me like the first season’s song did, but after multiple re-listening’s it has grown on me. The lyrics are fabulous and really fit in with the gritty industrial feel that the fictional city of Vinci, California has. Also I am SO glad that T Bone Burnett is doing the music for this season as well. His haunting score is an essential character that I am very glad to have!

Here’s a video of the title sequence if you haven’t seen it yet:


Unlike last year, True Detective season 2 will be having more than one director. Up first was Justin Lin, who directed a number of Fast and Furious films and who will also be directing the newest Star Trek film. I was worried about director Lin taking over the director’s seat for two of my favorite things in the world, but it appears that I had nothing to worry about. Lin was able to take the somewhat familiar landscape of California and make it seem like an almost foreign wasteland. I LOVED THAT. Hopefully this style of filming will prevail throughout the rest of the season.I think my favorite shot of the episode was of Colin Farrell putting on his ski mask to go and assault a writer in his home. (Wow never thought I’d be writing THAT sentence ever lol)

true-detective-season-2-colin-farrell

Now onto the plot and characters! The meat and potatoes really. While the mystery of a who-done-it is always a huge draw for me as a viewer, the thing that really drew me to True Detective was its amazing character analysis and development. The plot is almost secondary to me with this show because of how stellar the character relationships are. Since this season stars four main leads we didn’t get to delve too deeply into any one character. This first episode really worked on giving us just a taste of these four characters and then showing us how their plots will converge.

So far I think Collin Farrell’s Ray Velcoro and Vince Vaughn’s Frank Semyon have the most interesting relationship out of the four. In an flashback we get to see a young Ray and Frank meet in a seedy bar. Ray is a deputy at the time and Frank is clearly the head of a criminal organization. Frank reveals that he knows who had beaten and raped Ray’s wife and offers the information to him free of charge. Flash forward and we see that maybe not all information is free. Ray, now an alcoholic detective, is doing dirty work for Frank at what we can only assume is the price of his help.

On the flip side of this we get Rachel McAdams’ Detective Antigone Bezzerides and Taylor Kitch’s Paul Woodrugh who both SEEM to be on the uncorrupt side of the law. Ani’s family life appears to be the most damaged of the four characters actually. A sister that is a skype porn actress, an actress mother who commited suicide and a father in charge of a spiritual institute make for a pretty awful life. While using her position as detective to investigate a rumor she heard about her sister, Ani is also lead to a case about a missing woman that no one seems to care about. Her investigation leads her to a dead end until she finds out that the missing woman had been a member of her father’s congregation. I really love her dad’s halfhearted yoga cult, it reminded me of the mentality that a cult I live by called Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment. If you want to know more about that click here!

Finally we arrive at Paul Woodrugh, the war veteran and highway patrolman that has both mental and physical scars left on him from war. Woodrugh is on a leave of absence after being accused of soliciting sex from a woman he pulled over. Now Paul insists that it isn’t true, but to us the viewer it is still unclear if that is true or not. After a visit to his girlfriend’s apartment Paul decides to go on a high speed suicidal motorcycle ride in pitch black darkness. He is clearly suffering but is able to keep it under wraps. Just when you think things are about to get hairy, Paul turns on his lights and narrowly avoids hitting the side of the road. As he disemounts his motorcycle he sees that he has arrived at some sort of rest stop. A lone man is sitting in the dark and as Paul goes over to investigate it is revealed to be the corpse of the Vinci City manager, Ray Caspar.

But who is Ray Caspar? It turns out he is the key to these four characters convergence. Detective Ray is on the case to find Ray Caspar who has been missing for two days. Frank needs him for an operation involving buying up land that will be used to make a high speed railway through California. Paul calls 911 and Ani and Ray are put on the case.
Now are we are left with are a few key questions. Who left the body there? It’s obvious it was meant to be found, but why? Where is the missing girl? What was that Raven mask all about? What happened to the drug addict who raped Ray’s wife?

I can’t wait for all of these questions to be answered! I think this episode started off the series quite strongly and I am excited to gain even more insight into these characters. While this season is vastly different from season 1 I think it has the makings to stand on its own as a great piece of television. Also if nothing else this episode had probably the best/most brutal anti-bullying scene of all time by Colin Farrell’s Ray Velcoro. If watching your father get the crap kicked out of you and being told “If you ever bully or hurt anybody again, I’ll come back and butt **** your father with your mother’s headless corpse on this god damn lawn.” doesn’t stop you from being a bully, I don’t know what will.
Well on that note, that’s it for this episode! Tell me what you thought in the comments 🙂

True Detective S02E01

8.5

Overall great potential

8.5/10

Pros

  • Great Music
  • Stellar Cast
  • Gritty Setting

Cons

  • Storyline can get muddled
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2nd in command for Starship Geek Lyfe, Spocktopus is awesome incarnate. She loves all things geeky and has no problem letting the world know. Checking her bank account, you may be surprised by just how much of her finances goes to video games, various geeky box services, anime, manga, seasons of TV shows and so much more. Her passion far exceeds just being a spectator though as she actively cosplays, making crafts for different fandoms and even gifts for fellow Geek Lyfe fans for giveaways!

2nd in command for Starship Geek Lyfe, Spocktopus is awesome incarnate. She loves all things geeky and has no problem letting the world know. Checking her bank account, you may be surprised by just how much of her finances goes to video games, various geeky box services, anime, manga, seasons of TV shows and so much more. Her passion far exceeds just being a spectator though as she actively cosplays, making crafts for different fandoms and even gifts for fellow Geek Lyfe fans for giveaways!

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