True Detective, S2 E2: “Night Finds You”

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“Night Finds You” is a pretty accurate title, because I kept falling asleep during this episode. Not that it’s entirely the show’s fault, I mostly blame my very persistent China jet lag, but still. I remember staying up till 2 or 3 in the morning to catch up on the first four or five episodes of the first season. I continue to be mildly disappointed with True Detective‘s second season, though the ending of this episode has me really wanting to see the next one, that’s for sure.

Things keep plugging along, and getting slightly more interesting and involving now that the characters have a case to work on and some direction to follow when doing so. However, this is still True Detective and it’s not like the case gives them a ton of direction to follow. We’re still preoccupied with how super damaged all the characters are, which is getting kind of old if you ask me, and it’s only the second episode!

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The episode opens with a sob story from Vince Vaughn (it’s very hard to call the actors by their character names, because the characters all seem like identical sad sacks at this point, still) about how his dad abandoned him in the basement as a child. Admittedly, it’s pretty chilling stuff, but it doesn’t do much to change the fact that when I look at Vince Vaughn on True Detective, I still just see Vince Vaughn. Then we go to the morgue and see just how the city manager was killed, which is pretty gruesomely.

There were a couple really good scenes this episode, and there was at least one (that I was awake for) that was horrible. I liked the scene with Bezzerides and Velcoro talking in the car about you know, just your normal cop stuff: knives, backstories, e-cigs, robot dicks, etc.  It was a lot of glowering and staring out the window, but at least something got discussed. It wasn’t your classic Rust and Marty banter, but it was following that train of thought at least. The other good scene was the ending one, but avoiding discussing that is a probably a good idea, spoilers and all.

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Continuing my criticisms from the first episode, they both are still present in the second episode, unfortunately. The uniformity of the characters and their constant misery is really the one I have more of a problem here. This is especially true with Woodrugh, who just seems to be angry and damaged all the time. He had a scene with his mom this week, who was a bit creepy (who makes their son peel their fried chicken for them? What a role reversal), but not very enlightening, at least so far. Woodrugh had another scene where he breaks up with his girlfriend which was the aforementioned horrible scene. I cringed at most of the dialogue, which literally made no sense. Also, one could get pretty trashed on a drinking game based on how many times Woodrugh says”fuck” because I swear to God, over half of the character’s words are “fuck.”

I still remain cautiously optimistic about True Detective‘s second season, but I’m also already getting annoyed at the characters. I just hope they fill out everyone’s backstories more so we can know why they are all super damaged, and then use it well within the present context of the case, because right now it just seems like everyone is just super sad and damaged for no real reason other than that’s how they want the show to look. I do have to hand it to them, I was not expecting the ending to this week’s episode, so hopefully the repercussions of that flesh out just as interestingly next week.

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Long story short: 3/4 stars

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