The seventh episode of “True Detective Season 2” has cemented my strong belief that Pizzolatto has unintentionally divided this series into two parts. The first four episodes were a chaotic disaster, causing fans of the previous season burst out with rage and tears. This cannot be applied to the fifth, sixth and most of all, seventh episode. The numerous subplots seem to tie up pretty well, we had a huge twist and we have finally learned what was the role our poor Paul Woodrugh was supposed to play in all of this. NOTE: spoilers possible!
I have to admit that I am extremely hyped for the season’s finale of the second season. The seventh episode had it all coming – beginning from the perfect narration and ending with bringing all those loose ends to a common point. Pizzolatto has finally made some really good decisions regarding the characters he made look rather bleak. The best part of the episode, which happened to be the biggest surprise of the entire season, was the culmination of Paul Woodrugh’s role in the entire story. The last episode turned Paul from a silent, boring and unattractive character into a full-bodied detective, whose complex nature remained quite mysterious. His maniacal efforts to keep his sexual dilemmas hidden and pursuit after being “a good man” were the reasons, why his transformation was so dramatic. Pizzolatto seemed to put this troubled detective as a detached off-character, but tied it all up pretty goddamn well.
Equally to Kitch’s outstanding performance in the seventh episode, came the shining star of Vince Vaughn. That was some terrific acting and a brilliant concept by Pizzolatto – Frank Semyon, the one who lost the most in that game at top levels, in this seventh episode reminded me of the Godfather-style mobster. Classy, silently preparing for the splendorous finale in which he (probably) feels more insecure than anyone else. Frank has finally stepped out from firing ridiculous monologues here and there and getting lost in perplexing vocabulary, which nobody could understand, finally showing his true face. A cold-blooded, manipulative gangster, whose ultimate aim is to regain his kingdom, brutally taken over by Osip. Not being a fan of Vince as an actor, that was A-class performance.
Those ups were really remarkable, but the seventh episode was not entirely flawless. Ani’s and Ray’s sudden love volcano was a bit artificial, especially her desire somehow stemming from her traumatic childhood experiences. Alcohol, the need of a man to take care of her, I get that, but… just didn’t feel fine. Pizzolatto was fired with comments regarding marginalization of women in the first season, bu the places he went to with the second season are much more worrying. All in all, Ray cannot be blamed as he is best known for his bad temper and even worse decision-making. And I suppose this fire burning between two detectives won’t make things easier in the finale.
Summing up, I’m truly interested in how this all gonna end. I have a strong feeling this awkward “thing” going on between Ani and Ray will need to be brutally ended, but Pizzolatto doesn’t like to kill off his characters too much. It also seems quite obvious, that all this preparation and securing his own interests of Frank, is a way of a classy farewell, but I’d love him to claim back what was taken from him. No matter how Vaughn was struggling with those ridiculous lines throughout the entire season, he eventually became the badass we expected to see. And that “Osip want’s to know, where’s the gas leak” scene – top-notch mafia move.