WTF, True Detective?

true detective rachel

The second season of HBO’s True Detective aired two weeks ago to mixed reviews. Those who hate it are comparing it to the first series. Those who love it are begging people to not compare it to the first series (which is, duh, impossible).

The teaser trailers highlighted the four main characters: Ray Velcoro played by Colin Farrell, Ani Bezzerides played by Rachel McAdams, Frank Semyon played by Vince Vaughn and Paul Woodrugh played by Taylor Kitsch. You spend the first episode thinking you’ll be spending all your time with these four characters, right? Wrong.

Spoilers below the jump!

Nope. In the second episode, a man in a bird mask shoots Velcoro (Farrell) at point blank range in the chest. Velcoro is dead. And if it turns out that he isn’t dead, this show is going to suck.

True Detective is not the kind of show that would later reveal that Velcoro–the most obvious reference to last season’s Rust Cohle–was wearing a bulletproof vest or whatever. I’m going to assume that he’s dead, and that his death speeds up the investigation into city manager Ben Caspere’s brutal murder.

The investigation goes directly into the hands of McAdams’ Ani Bezzerides. Ani, the daughter of a guru-like cult leader, has pretty much chosen police life as a repudiation of her chaotic upbringing. She recognizes her limitations in being a female police officer, but knows exactly how to offset that (i.e. by carrying a hunting knife). She is also deeply intuitive, and knows that Ray might be in cahoots with Frank Semyon, a crooked businessman who was trying to go legitimate with the deal with the city (until Caspere disappeared, and so did the money from the European mogul).

I’m tempted to say that Ani seems to be the most promising true detective. Her question to Ray, “Just how compromised are you?” followed by his apparent death lead me to believe that she will go so deep into investigating not only Caspere’s death but also Ray’s because she is seeking an answer to her question. She’ll find out, whether it’s from Ray himself or not.

True Detective airs on HBO on Sunday nights.

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