The last episode of the second season of “True Detective” by Nic Pizzolatto loomed like a fresh breeze to the frowsty story told so far. It has cemented my belief that although the concept of a sexually troubled detective could be interesting – Paul Woodrugh is a complete misfire, which was put in the plot without a particular purpose. The fifth episode has also proven that Frank’s story is by far the most ludicrous. But there was a whole new quality to this season brought by this episode.
1. Ray Velcoro’s transformation constitutes the strongest feature of the season so far.
Undoubtedly, Collin Farrel’s portrayal of Ray Velcoro evokes a considerable range of emotions and grasps the attention. He’s the only detective in the second season, who truly carries the weight of his booze-weaven weaknesses and who struggles with an authentic set of down-to-earth problems. Velcoro is the most human and least detached from reality character, reminiscing the brilliance behind the first season. Although the dark, gruesome world we are confronted with is overdrawn, Farrel’s character remains a stain of painful reality. And the fifth episode introduced another step in Velcoro’s transformation – a man, whose articifial calm was re-forged into anger directed towards the real rot. This beat-up in the surgery clinic was a bomb indeed.
2. Paul Woodrugh is the biggest misfire.
Apart from doubtful acting skills of Taylor Kitsch, Paul was an interesting character, but completely unfitting in the story – from the beginning he seemed like Pizzolatto was forced to include him for quite unclear reasons. The effect is a side story, which apart from being rather irrelevant to the story, provides “True Detective” with a soap opera feeling, which is utterly terrible.
3. The story was pushed to an intriguing track.
Although Pizzolatto has proven himself to be an amazing conspiracy creator in the debut season last year, the story set in Vinci was opaque to me – the leads were getting too numerous, too many subplots and backstories made it almost impossible to find the main axis of events. The fifth episode was a breakthrough though; now it is more coherent than ever, that the secret parties, Ben Caspere’s death and the huge deals lost by Frank all tie up together. And that abandoned shed with litres of blood all over the walls and a chair – last episode of the first season was so present!
4. Vince Vaughn is a dissapointment…thanks to Pizzolatto.
Everyone’s speculations and scepticism regarding Vince Vaughn’s participation in “True Detective” were, unfortunately, quite fair. Frank fires with ridiculously pompatous stories of his life and childhood like a “true badass” and to make himself look even more artificial, he uses words, that are hardly known to native speakers of English. Best-quality trolling from Pizzolatto so far. It’s a pity, because it could have been a proof, that even such a “:wooden” actor like Vaughn, could have a breakthrough performance. Not this time, Vince, not this time.
5. Lack of one director is more visible with every new episode.
Fukunaga had more influence on the first season than we previously thought and it was revealed only now. The second season is not homogeneous in terms of cinematography, and pace of the story. It’s a pity Pizzolatto and Fukunuga acould not handle working together.