That was a hell of an ending.
Without a reason for a bulletproof vest, we were left wondering about the fate of Colin Farrell's Ray Volcoro at the end of True Detective Season 2 Episode 2. Eh, do we really expect him to die? Probably not. But it was a shocking scene, nonetheless.
"Night Finds You" gave us more insight into the team of detectives investigating the Vinci City Manager's death, and it's even more clear than before they are a messed up bunch. It makes you wonder if by tossing them together to probably sabotage the case on some level, if the powers that be won't be sorry.
Groups like this tend to find their way upon the strengths of one another, build upon their shared experiences and do right by each other. It could happen here, even with as dark as it's starting out.
The start of the hour was hard to stomach. Whether it was the writing, the direction or the acting, the scene with Vince Vaughn and Kelly Reilly about Frank's childhood trauma and relating his life to paper mache was achingly terrible. Maybe it was the reference to paper mache that did it, as it didn't fit at all, despite the water stains on the ceiling.
Thankfully, things looked up from there, for the most part.
We were pretty much handed everything in this hour relating to the promotional materials. While Ray was talking about Vinci and its odd corporatism instead of life ecosystem, he suggested perhaps we get the world we deserve. Just minutes later, after he realized they were probably all set up on the case specifically so they wouldn't solve it, Ani asked him how compromised he really was.
They really are a rag-tag bunch. They're all deeply compromised in one way or another.
Ray, Ani and Paul all have issues, whether they stem from places of violence, sexual deviance, interpersonal problems or a little bit of all three (that we've seen so far). They're all hiding something, or many things, from the people around them.
Something happened bringing them to this exact place in their lives (as it is with us all). It looks like Ray harmed the person who assaulted his wife, Black Mountain happened to Paul and the social experiment that was life at the Panticapaeum Institute (or whatever came before) happened to Ani. There's little chance their pasts aren't racing to catch up with them all, or that they'll deal with them head on, together, right? At least it feels that way now.
As for Frank, learning the buy-in wasn't completed before Ben Casper died was the last straw for him. After his paper mache speech, he was already on shaky ground. Once he discovered he lost everything, thuggery seemed to become easy again. He said he never knew what to do with all that money. Looks like he'll get his chance to see how life is without again.
I'm having a hard time with the mayor of Vinci. He's like a cross of Kevin Spacey and Robert DeNiro turned into a bad caricature. I can't help but imagine a terrible end for him at some point. When he was threatening Frank just after all of Frank's bad news, it sure seemed like foreboding. With as drunk as they guy always is, how could he ever defend himself? He's an "accident" waiting to happen.
I'm still very invested in the relationship between Frank and Ray. The first thing Ray did after seeing Casper's body was report to Frank, and Frank was eyeing the chief of police spot for Ray. Despite how they became friends, their caring is genuine, even if Frank balked and held out the prison card when Ray considered walking away. It's doubtful Frank could go through with it.
Whoever killed Ben must have had something pretty devious up their sleeve. Whether their intention was to bring down Frank, the city of Vinci or something we haven't even been introduced to yet will be interesting to find out, because right now? We have little idea where this is all heading.
- My favorite line of the week goes to TD (Dix?) telling Ani re Paul, "Oh, the young man here, he got a dynamite anecdote." We could use a little more of him, something I wouldn't have immediately guessed.
- Another fun exchange was between Ray and Ani when he just carried on talking about ecigarettes, completely ignoring her more relevant talking points.
- I'm pretty sure there are more people running Vinci than there are living there. Ben Casper was dedicated to the community, "A community of 95 residents," Ani replies. Hardly the community man, in hindsight.
- It was kind of surprising how quickly Ray was willing to give up on Chad at the thought of getting a paternity test. He'd rather hold onto the idea of him than actually have him.
- Vince Vaughn's character made a reference that he was waiting for Volcoro to make like Rockford, which was a reference to the Rockford Files, the movie Vaughn was hoping to make when he approached Nic Pizzolatto and wound up involved with True Detective.
- Why would anybody continue going to the nightclub with that depressing singer? She's slit-your-wrists level depressing, especially if you pound down the drinks like Ray is wont to do.
Were still getting to know the characters of True Detective Season 2. They're being slowly revealed to us while a heap of questions piles up. Who shot Ray? Was he shot in the original murder scene? How did they know he'd be there? Is Frank at the center of this whole thing? Will these four characters be each others salvation, or their damnation?
Hit the comments with your thoughts!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.