Warning: This review contains spoilers.
So True Detective Season Two has FINALLY come to a close, not the kind of way you would want people talking about your show if you were the TV makers (is that a thing, film makers is a thing so it should be a thing, right?). In this week’s hour and a half finale a lot of sh*t went down but most of it was contained to the final forty-five minutes and if you are going to release movie length episodes you should be able to back that up with an entertaining story the whole way through, i.e. Sherlock. True Detective could only manage an hour if it was lucky. Still, I’m not writing it off completely because this episode of True Detective turned out to be the best of the whole lot, season one included.
Before we get to the good stuff we have to put up with what has turned out to be True Detective‘s house keeping. In the opening scene we find out that both Bezzerides and Velcoro are terrible at pillow talk and that’s about all the closure we can hope for on Bezzerides’ troubled childhood. As for the Semyons, even they are bored of that terrible baby storyline and it’s not even mentioned once, unless you count the pathetic attempt towards the end to fool the audience that Mrs Semyon did have a baby. Then there’s Woodrugh, remember him? Yeah well, he is actually dead and for how much Velcoro and Bezzerides treated him like the young kid with the dead eye aim who only wanted to be noticed, turns out they did care for him, well about two minutes of sorrow worth of care.
That’s only half of the house keeping out of the way but the other half is so dull it’s almost not interesting enough to mention. The murderer was just the angry little scared boy from the photo out with a vengeance, some people died, Bezzerides let the scared little girl from the photo go and some more people died. Oh yeah and Kelly Reilly said Vince Vaughn can’t act. This season of True Detective was not the story of a couple of detectives out on the hunt for a vicious serial killer, rather the story of a couple of detectives and their gangster mate trying to wade through layer upon layer of corruption in their government. It’s for this reason that many people were disappointed and while I had no love for the first season, this approach didn’t have me any more interested.
Alright, now that’s over let’s get into the real stuff. Before I mentioned that I thought that this was the best episode True Detective has ever delivered and it’s this last forty-five minutes that prove that fact. It’s a shame that the whole season wasn’t up to this standard, if it had, True Detective Season Two could have gone down with the others in today’s golden age of television. Semyon and Velcoro set out to finish the case and in a spectacular scene of James Bond style stealth and proficiency wipe out a few more of the bad guys and intercept the money drop of the century or in terms of Vinci, the money drop of the week. With booty in hand, they both set out to flee the country but due to Velcoro’s desire to see his son one more time and Semyon’s cartel backstabbing history they are both followed.
Now considering how Pizzolatto ended the last series, I was not expecting him to have the guts to kill off any more of the main characters but boy did he do it and he did it in style. After promising Bezzerides he will catch up to her, Velcoro records one last message to his son that fails to upload before he heads to the woods to go down in a shoot-out with Burris and crew that absolutely trumps the one we saw in episode four. Semyon has less of a chance and is kidnapped by the cartel who are pissed off that he sent their deal up in flames. Now I can’t tell whether this scene was amazing or if I just got nostalgic for Breaking Bad but either way I was very impressed.
The story wraps up with Bezzerides and Mrs Semyon friends in Venezuela, Bezzerides has had Velcoro’s son and she sets about getting the story out to the press before they all head out on the run again. There were a few more details that I didn’t really care about, like Woodrugh Highway, sad daddy Velcoro or Mayor Chessani and Governor Geldof. The real kicker was that Velcoro went down as a fugitive and Chad turned out to be his real son, I guess it was those Irish genes that gave him the red hair. For the first time of the entire season I actually found myself getting a little bit emotional, especially since Chad never got to hear his dad’s final message.
Overall, if you were to ask me whether I would recommend True Detective, my answer would be a disappointed no. If anything, read the Wikipedia entries for episodes one to seven and then watch the finale. There were just far too many storylines going on that were either too convoluted or not interesting enough to keep you engaged. As for the acting, Rachel McAdams and Colin Farell (once you get past the overly gruff voice) were the stand-outs. Taylor Kitsch was nothing special, Vince Vaughn was ok and he managed to pull off a convincing gangster without once making me think of his comedy characters (but that could also be because I don’t watch many Vince Vaughn comedies). Kelly Reilly was never given as much as I had hoped and I think she had much more potential but for some reason she always seemed just a tad stoned. Whether this season impressed people enough for a third to be commissioned we are yet to see but I can still see that Pizzolatto has got it in him to write good television and hopefully he has learnt from his mistakes.