“You’re losing interest too.”
My Darling Wife said that to me around the halfway point of “Church in Ruins,” the sixth episode in True Detective’s second season. We were both dinking around on our phones and she was right, I was losing interest. I felt she already had. Our dog Lucy had completely checked out and was passed out on the floor. Whereas the first season of the show got stronger and better as it went on, this season has just gotten more confusing and frustrating. It’s becoming more of a full-on-Monet the closer it gets to the end.
And that’s kind of a bummer. I for one, was pretty stoked about this season and it was hard not to be. The first season was cool and new and interesting. This season featured some actors I liked (viva la Riggins) and in the doldrums (perceived, not really thanks to Mr. Robot) of the summer TV season, it was definitely something to look forward to. Now? Clock’s ticking gents. Bachelor in Paradise starts soon and it’s two nights this summer- Sunday and Monday. Yeah, Sunday. Better wrap up this rodeo quick- solve the whatever about whoever with the what-cha-ma-call-it have an epiphany about something and close up shop.
But before that happens, let’s try and straighten things out. And let’s start with one of the more pressing questions of the season…
Who the eff is Stan?
Well, this is helpful. But in short, Stan was one of Frank’s dudes and then he died. He’d be hard to pick out of a lineup because poor Stan, we barely knew ya bud. But Frank apparently did and hasn’t taken Stan’s death lightly. Of course Frank doesn’t take anything lightly. Remember the avocados…those poor, lifeless avocados. And the water stain on the ceiling? I see a water stain and I see something that needs fixing. Frank sees a water stain and sees the painful shadows of his troublesome childhood. Frank is kind of a buzz kill these days.
Speaking of Frank, what the hell man?
That pretty much sums it up. What the hell? As in, what the hell is the point of his character on this show? I know why Vince Vaughn is on the show. The show’s creator, Nic Pizzolatto apparently saw him as something of a reclamation project/untapped resource.
Nic recognized something else—the flip side of all that manic energy, the threat beneath the energy of a film like Swingers. “I saw power and a fierce intelligence that you could imagine going unhinged,” Nic explained. “I remembered his earlier dramatic work and knew people don’t lose that stuff. It’s just that they get pigeonholed.” Here is Nic Pizzolatto, the movie-star whisperer. He’ll do for Vince Vaughn what he did for Matthew McConaughey: bring out what’s been obscured by the kind of movies he’s made. “I felt like I could do a lot with the guy,” Nic told me. “I could show people stuff from Vince Vaughn they hadn’t seen before—the Vince Vaughn they always wanted, without knowing it.”
And that’s cool and all, but if you felt so strongly about Vince Mr. Pizzolatto, why saddle him with such a pointless, meandering and convoluted story line?
What is Frank’s story line?
Good question. Let’s have a go at trying to figure it out. Frank was on the verge of going straight, had money tied up in land deal involving a rail road. But then Caspere (remember him?) was killed and with him, Frank’s dreams of going straight, not to mention Frank’s 5 million bucks. Frank has to back track, gets mopey, loses Stan, loses his…uh…erotic gusto maker and then gets the chance to get back into the mix with the land dudes, provided he find a hard drive Caspere had. This hard drive features “sensitive material” and by “sensitive material,” we mean compromising pictures of powerful dudes at “whore parties.” So now Frank is on the prowl for this hard drive and in the process ripped a dude’s teeth out and is now in a testy and fragile partnership with some Mexican dudes who slit a girl’s throat.
And how does this mesh with what else is going with the show?
It takes place in California.
So these “whore parties,” that’s where Ani went last night?
I don’t know. We’re all looking for a reason to get dressed up now and then.
What came from it?
Ani found the girl she’s been looking for since episode 1 and Paul found some documents that pertain to something and are about someone and I don’t know, maybe they help the case, provided we can remember what exactly the case is. Oh and Ray got to do a sweet burn out in his Charger.
Wins all around for our heroes!
Are we sure making yourself throw up relieves the effect of “super pure Mali?”
Well if it is I’m sure all those EMTs working at EDM festivals are going to be super pumped.
What was up with Ani’s visions?
Despite all the signs of the contrary that Ani had a perfectly normal childhood and is a completely well-adjusted adult, she had a traumatic time in her life that involved a weirdo and a van.
Paul’s still gay, right?
What? Paul is gay???
I don’t want to sound like a dick or anything, but at what point does the overweight red-headed kid with two attractive parents with wonderful brown hair realize one or both might not be his biological parent?
You’d think it’d be any day now.
Yeah, sorry dude. At least you have like, so many episodes of Friends to watch.
Two episodes left – predictions?
The ability to make a prediction would imply I have some semblance of knowledge or point of reference.
So what about a third season of this show?
What about it?
Should we have any hope for one after this season?
I hope so. If only because I still like the idea of HBO doing a cool detective story in a limited series. Maybe next time they just change it up a bit, maybe take the reins away from Pizzolatto and give someone else a turn. See if Denis Lehane is available or ask David Simon to do you a solid. But I still think the show has value. I just don’t think this season does. There’s too much going on; too many characters. A third season should be stream-lined. That would be a good move. Go back to two leads too. There’s not enough screen time for four in eight episodes, especially if your mystery is on par with a James Joyce novel in terms of decipher-ability. So season three, I’d suggest taking this advice…
But on the bright side,
Then it’s all about the GREATEST TELEVISION SHOW EVER…