Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Strawhat's Streaming Shows: True Detective - Down Will Come

  As an eight episode series, not to mention an anthology show at that, True Detective has the hardest job in cable television to tell a story within a very small window of time. The first season did extremely well because of a fast startup and a very solid premise with only two main characters. True Detective's second season had a very rough start, and has the problem of attempting to juggle four main characters (two of which aren't detectives at all) and a storyline that is, unarguably, too complicated for its own good. We're at the middle mark, so something had to give - and boy did it. A climax that was different than anything that came before during the series.

"So... this is the Pokémon you wanted, right?"

  First things first, I'm pretty much out of Frank's story. I don't care about his criminal or legitimate empire. I don't care about his marital issues and his inability to have a kid, or adopt one. I don't care about his hammy dialogue (still the worst written and performed dialogue in the whole series). It's nothing against Vince Vaughn mind you, I do enjoy him as an actor - but nothing about Frank is remotely interesting at this point of the game, and I don't understand why he has a "main character" role in a show about detectives. I'm assuming there's a missing piece here (besides his control over Velcoro) that will eventually reveal itself. Probably has something to do with that explosion before that godly shootout. Which, we'll get there in a second...

  Paul's hookup (I'm assuming here, cuz it totally looked like a hookup) and bike-jacking that he then came to find out about was a bit weird. Still trying to understand his complicated sexuality, but I did enjoy the Walking Dead moment of reporters coming to hound him about the presumed "blowjob" scandal. Even better was Velcoro's fatherly advice and older partner moment with him as he helped him get a new hotel room and do something about that hellacious hangover. Paul's discovery that his ex girlfriend was pregnant, and his immediate proposal was so out of left field it actually felt more real than it should have. His past experiences and his confused sexuality probably has a lot to play here, but we'll only know how far it goes if she sticks with it.  

The first few weeks of the relationship involve matching outfits and apparel.

  Bezzerides and Velcoro's investigation and conversation with her father was interesting (the mood ring line about his aura was actually pretty funny, all things considered) and it further hints at a cult/elite group trope that was explored last season. Velcoro had a moment with his son where he gave him his father's badge to remember him by, which by the episode's climax hinted at Velcoro potentially biting the literal bullet; but the scene was so randomly inserted into the episode that it felt rushed and bizarre. Again, not sure if it's a writing problem, a directorial problem, or a problem in the editing room that the series is suffering of this season. Which may or may not be also the reason the storyline has felt so fragmented - the multiple viewpoints aren't helping either.

  Then came that shootout. Woo! That was intense. Last time I remember a filmed shootout being this nerve wrecking was during Heat (great movie if you haven't seen it). The lead-up to this involved Caspere's pawned watch that then lead them to a man that Frank believes has his money. When the police arrive at the scene there's a shootout of incredible proportions (at moments the gore and ammo used becomes excessive and semi-satirical) that also creates an explosion that takes out a whole floor in the building, hinting, potentially, at a meth lab or some sort of clandestine operation. The main suspect is gunned down while Velcoro, Bezzerides, and Woodrugh barely survive, and countless people in the crowd (and a bus) get gunned down in the ensuing mayhem - while Paul has a PTSD episode where he looks a bit too comfortable with the carnage at hand. The case seems "closed" as the main suspect is now dead, but I'm sure there's more than meets the eye to this case, and Bezzerides has some issues she needs to deal with in her precinct. Frank probably has something to say about that building explosion as well.

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