Tag Archives: True Detective review recap

True Detective “Omega Station” Review (2×08)

9 Aug


“We deserve a better world.”

Season two of True Detective seems to counter season one’s final line: “If you ask me, the light’s winning.” Yes, the story’s being told, Paul gets his own highway, and a new child is born, but there’s a cloud of darkness still hanging over these characters’ corrupt world. The cycle’s just going to continue in this city, beating people down into the dirt as others jostle for position in the ladder of society, and what this finale wants to make clear is that people who deserve a better world may not necessarily get one. What matters is how you deal with what’s placed in front of you, how you stay true to yourself and what you care about, how you can possibly avoid getting caught up in the wave of darkness.

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True Detective “Black Maps and Motel Rooms” Review (2×07)

2 Aug


“Black Maps and Motel Rooms” is the most riveting hour of the season so far, one that snaps into focus exactly why we were taken through certain stories over the past six episodes. It doesn’t quite forgive all of the pacing problems of the season, but it certainly ramps things up all on its own, setting up what will hopefully be a fantastic season finale next week. There are still quite a few things to wrap up plot-wise, but at this point in the story, the characters are at their most interesting because they’re at their most desperate, their most cornered. They’re at a fork in the road, and they have to decide whether to “follow the rules” or to attempt to get out. “Don’t fight what you can’t change” and “stick to what you know” might be easy statements to buy into, but maybe they were put onto Earth for something more than that. Maybe, in perhaps the bleakest hour of the season so far, we can also find the most understanding of who these people are, of who they were meant to be.

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True Detective “Church in Ruins” Review (2×06)

26 Jul


“That’s what pain does. It shows you what was on the inside. And inside of you is pure gold.”

The world of True Detective season two is a bleak one, to say the least. It’s dark and corrupt and suffocating, and it grabs ahold of you from the beginning, never letting go as you attempt to move toward a brighter future. There are glimmers of hope and optimism here and there, but those are just rest stops along the way as you get caught in the same cycles over and over again. “I would’ve been different,” Ray tells Frank in a scene reminiscent of those earlier bar conversations. He is, of course, talking about the fact that he killed the wrong guy all those years ago, and we can see the pent-up frustration about to blow here. But as he points a gun at Frank from under the table, the response he gets is about the “lies people tell themselves”, about “excuses”. He hates the fact that he got screwed over by Frank, but he just continues the cycle by making another deal. It’s easy to say what would’ve been, but this season has been intent on highlighting the idea that expectations don’t mesh with reality.

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True Detective “Other Lives” Review (2×05)

20 Jul


“It’s never too late to start all over again.”

It’s been 66 days since the shootout at the end of episode four, and we’re now at a point in the story where we’re seeing both the ways these characters have changed and have stayed the same. We’re also at a point where they just want everything out in the open, things laid bare and cases solved even if “nobody [else] fucking cares”. Things have been dragged on for far too long, and many of them simply want it to all end. Interestingly enough, though, they have to dive back into past waters in order to attempt to put an end to things, and that raises the question of whether or not they can ever truly find peace. In a city filled to the brim with corruption, will they ever get exactly what they want? Or, is it just all a fantasy?

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True Detective “Down Will Come” Review (2×04)

12 Jul


“Those moments…they stare back at you. You don’t remember them; they remember you.”

The past is a painful thing for all these characters. They’re very different people, but what ties them together is the fact that they’re still haunted in some way by history, that the decisions they made prior to this case still affect them in the present. They’re each attempting to hold onto some kind of life raft in order to push through the mud, but only moving forward is impossible in their cases because shit stays with them; it propels them backwards and sideways as well. As Ray tells Frank about being poor: “Nah, that shit never leaves you.”

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True Detective “Maybe Tomorrow” Review (2×03)

5 Jul

True Detective - Episode 2.03 - Maybe Tomorrow - Promotional Photo

“Do you want to live?”

The past weaves its way throughout the narrative of True Detective‘s second season, leaving indelible marks on all these characters as they attempt to deal with its effects. It can be a nasty thing haunting you at every turn, or it can be something full of moments you long to recapture. The people we’re witnessing at the moment seem to be stuck in a middle ground of sorts, one that lies between life and death and past and future; not everything’s working right now, but Pizzolatto and the actors seem to be grasping ahold of their characters a bit better.

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True Detective “Night Finds You” Review (2×02)

28 Jun


“The world will turn, uncaring of our struggles.”

At the beginning of this episode, Vince Vaughn has a nice try with a monologue about his character’s painful past, but ultimately, it’s clear that the uncomfortably long scene is sorely lacking a McConaughey presence to sell those lines. Vaughn simply doesn’t fit in with the dialogue he’s been asked to deliver, and it’s becoming clearer and clearer that the main strengths of season one lay in the performer’s hands more so than the writer’s. And that’s not to say that Pizzolatto’s necessarily a bad writer; rather, it’s that his style can sound stilted coming out of one person’s mouth and gloriously complex coming out of another’s. It’s also not a knock against Vaughn, who’s seeming a bit more comfortable outside of the opening scene; in fact, he has his best scene of the series here when he’s threatening someone by the side of the road.

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True Detective “The Western Book of the Dead” Review (2×01)

21 Jun


“We must recognize that the world is meaningless and understand that God did not create a meaningless world.”

The season two premiere of True Detective is a meandering affair, an exposition dump for the show’s expanded new cast as it struggles to get its story legs underneath it. However, for all its flaws, it’s still an intriguing episode, one that snaps the story into focus when it brings all of its characters together at the end. The problem, though, lies in the execution of the backstories beforehand, as the episode jumps all over the place in order to establish a plethora of people and places and motivations; it remains to be seen where it’s all heading, but there are certainly some growing pains we have to get through here.

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True Detective “Form and Void” Review (1×08)

10 Mar

True-Detective-Season-1-Episode-8-Video-Preview-Form-and-Void“Once, there was only darkness, so if you ask me, the light’s winning.”

With that, season 1 of the absolutely fantastic True Detective comes to a close, capping off a thrilling, emotionally resonant, and satisfying finale. It’s sure to disappoint some viewers–especially the theorists–but overall, it’s a fitting end to this intelligently crafted, endlessly compelling eight-episode run.

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True Detective “After You’ve Gone” Review (1×07)

3 Mar

True-Detective-After-Youve-Gone“My life’s been a circle of violence and degradation, long as I can remember. I’m ready to tie it off.”

So, we’re back to the idea of time being a flat circle. We’re now at the beginning of our story, back to the beginning of our case and the first leads we encountered. We’re now simultaneously sliding toward the end, and my, what a ride has it been.

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