Hello and welcome back to the True Detecting of True Detective. Oof, that’s a terrible title. Definitely not using that. Are you guys still on board? The buzz around season two has ranged from negative to nonexistent. It’s still drawing good ratings, not that those have ever been HBO’s top priority, but it’s just not the thing that everybody needs to keep up on anymore.
Since my last post, True Detective has gone through a little time jump and moved their investigation into the undercover phase. What’s a detective show without a decent undercover scene? Not a detective show at all.
Two months proved to be enough time for Velcoro to shave his signature ‘stache and take up full-time employment with his old pal Semyon. It is amazing that even without his lip caterpillar, Velcoro still looks scummy as hell. It must be that silver fox mullet he’s got going on.
Velcoro’s story has actually made a lot of progress in the last two installments! He’s gone from still obsessing over custody of his clearly illegitimate ginger child to learning some harsh truths about his wife’s rape that sent him from a young, fresh faced cop to the man on the brink of liver failure that we see today. Velcoro and Semyon’s entire relationship is based on Frank giving Ray a chance at vengeance. Ray finding out that he killed the wrong guy is a huge punch in the gut. What has he been fighting for this whole time? If you thought the guy had given up before, you sure are in for a treat.
The initial thought is that the entire thing was a setup. Yeah, big fish in a small pond gangster Frank Semyon could always use a few more cops on the payroll. Their relationship has seemed genuine enough to this point. A revelation like that would make Semyon appear that much more sinister. This isn’t the case. True Detective is really pushing Frank as the nice guy gangster. He’s the old school, respectable sort. The kind of guy that Frank Sinatra would have palled around with. He isn’t one of these new fangled hoodlums with their grills and such. He wants to be respectable and build a family! Meanwhile, the world he’s trying to get into is shooting women at creepy scrap yards just to prove a point. Frankie boy, you’re just too gentle for this new crime world.
As far as Woodrugh goes, he got bumped over to the classic noir position of insurance fraud detective. Not that it matters, since he’s working with Velcoro and Bezzerides on the side as part of some special task force. He’s also still terrified of coming out of the closet. That’s probably a season finale revelation. It seems like coming out and accepting his true self would solve too many of Woodrugh’s problems. Sorry, Paul.
Who got the rawest deal coming out of the time jump? Ani Bezzerides. She ends up back in uniform, working the evidence locker due to accusations of sexual harassment. Ani’s a very angry individual, who works out by stabbing a wooden man with a variety of knives. You can tell she’s really down and out since now she’s dumped the vaporizer to smoke real cigarettes. The evidence locker can’t contain that rage. Ani needs some action. Unfortunately, this action ends up being at a fancy orgy. The big True Detective orgy isn’t quite Eyes Wide Shut, but it sure isn’t the Frank Reynolds orgy experience.
This orgy has a strict no cell phones, no knives policy, just like those hard asses at jury duty. Unlike those hardasses at jury duty, they expect you to take a refreshing spray of pure Molly right in the mouth. Jury duty sure would be a lot interesting if that was the case.
Bezzerides gets to go through a trippy ride in a sea of naked prostitutes and leering men in tuxedos. It’s not trippy in a good way. The whole sequence is uncomfortable, between the dreamlike camerawork and unusual music. Bezzerides endures it as long as she can before visions of a man who most likely sexually abused her as a child pushes her to make herself puke. Oh hey, look, in this very bathroom where Beezer is puking is that missing women she’s been searching for. What a crazy random happenstance. Bezzerides then has to escape by slashing a dude up with a butter knife. Knife practice finally paid off!
We’ve got two episodes left for the show to rise above mediocrity and give us something we could classify as “pretty good”. Otherwise, True Detective has hit that sophomore slump hard.