True Detective S2, E4: “Down Will Come”

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Whelp. I’m still struggling to muster up enthusiasm for this show but I’m soldiering on with the recaps anyway. This episode, Taylor Kitsch’s character gets more attention (arghh), continuing symbolism, sexual harassment lawsuits, and a super big shootout to close the episode. Fun times. (Well, sort of.)

In the continuing story of manly man Paul is super gay but can’t admit it, well yeah. That’s still happening. He apparently spends the night with army buddy from the previous episode but leaves pretty damn quick in the morning. It’s taken quite a turn for the tragic though, as his girlfriend from the earlier episodes (that he broke up with in about most horribly written scene ever) turned up again pregnant. He takes it pretty well, if by well you mean pretending to be happy about it. Poor Paul. Poor girlfriend. Poor gay army buddy. And that’s about the extent of my emotional involvement on that front.

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I forget exactly what goes down with Frank this episode, but in general he’s trying to line up his old gangster businesses. Basically going the opposite direction that he wanted to go in, morally. He and Kelly Reilly (who is annoying me so much on this show; between this and Flight a couple of years ago I’m not even a fan of her anymore) still can’t get pregnant. Meh, whatevs. More stuff about how Frank’s dynasty is not really working out for him, basically. Also we get the super obvious return of Ben Caspere’s hollowed out eye sockets/ceiling stain imagery from episode 2. This time it’s a stain on the table cloth that distracts Frank for a moment in a meeting. SO OMINOUS. That might have worked if it wasn’t hammered in so hard with a shot of it, Vaughn staring at looking freaked out, then covering it with his coffee cup. FORBIDDING STAINS. Got it, True Detective Season 2.

I almost feel as if I should just switch to some sort of live blogging scenario because most of my “criticism” of True Detective‘s second season is just “snark” anyway. It’s not even that this episode was bad compared to the other ones, it was just that the season is at the halfway mark and hardly anything memorable has happened yet. I’m not even enjoying watching this show, whereas with season one I looked forward to rewatching it (and did).

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Meanwhile, McAdams gets slammed with a sexual harassment suit from random police guy from the first and second episodes. It’s kind of annoying that he comes back to haunt her, because who even cares about that guy? No one. Is the crazy mayor behind all of this? Who knows. We shall see. I’m not super into this storyline, but McAdams gets to scowl with indignation some more I’m down.

Velcoro is kind of on the back burner for this episode, but he dispenses a lot of advice and has a secret meeting with his kid (aw). Also, it’s the return of depressing blonde girl in Velcoro and Frank’s bar/meeting place. She’s cool, I guess, but doesn’t any one else play there outside of Velcoro’s dreams? Apparently not. So you can check off depressing blonde singer on your True Detective Season 2 bingo cards (if I was more motivated I would actually make one of those). To bring all of the characters together, there’s a giant shootout that gets basically everyone but our heroes killed. Also I’m guessing that this all taking place in front of a city bus is going to be significant. Corruption in the transportation system, significant.

My apologies to anyone expecting actual criticism of these episodes, but I did link to some at the bottom. I’m just really struggling with this season and I wish it was better. How’s that for insightful criticism?

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“Excuse me, but you have one of the biggest auras I’ve ever seen.”

Long story short: 3/4 stars

For Further Reading:

Indiewire recap 
AV Club recap

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