True Detective (2014– )
55 user 36 critic

The Western Book of the Dead 

A bizarre murder brings together three police officers and a career criminal in the corrupt city of Vinci, California.


Justin Lin


Nic Pizzolatto (created by), Nic Pizzolatto

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Colin Farrell ... Detective Ray Velcoro
Rachel McAdams ... Detective Ani Bezzerides
Taylor Kitsch ... Officer Paul Woodrugh
Kelly Reilly ... Jordan Semyon
Vince Vaughn ... Frank Semyon
Ritchie Coster ... Mayor Austin Chessani
David Morse ... Eliot Bezzerides
Christopher James Baker ... Blake Churchman
Chris Kerson ... Nails
Ronnie Gene Blevins ... Stan
Andy Mackenzie ... Ivar
Timothy V. Murphy ... Osip Agronov
Leven Rambin ... Athena Bezzerides
W. Earl Brown ... Detective Teague Dixon
Afemo Omilami ... Police Chief Holloway


Det. Ray Velcoro works for the city of Vinci, California and has been on a downward spiral for years. He's divorced, drinks too much and has a violent temper. He's also in the pocket of local gangster Frank Semyon who years before provided the identity of the man who raped Velcoro's wife. He does odd jobs for Semyon, such as beating up a reporter who recently wrote a series on organized crime. Velcoro latest case is to locate City Manager Ben Caspere who hasn't been seen for several days. Sheriff's Det. Ani Bezzerides is good at her job but is estranged from her sister Athena - who does live cam porn - and her father who is now a new age guru of sorts. California Highway Patrolman Paul Woodrugh learns that he's been put on administrative leave after a young woman falsely claims he solicited sex to let her go free. These three police officers come together late one night when a man is found sitting on a park bench, dead. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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English | Spanish

Release Date:

21 June 2015 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Features two actresses that had an appearance in Sherlock Holmes (2009): Rachel McAdams and Kelly Reilly. See more »


While operating a motorcycle at speeds greater than 100 MPH, the wind would be so strong that Officer Paul Woodrugh would be squinting and the wind would be causing his eyes to water. He would also not be able to stop as quickly as he does when he hits the dirt shoulder. See more »


Frank Semyon: Never do anything out of hunger. Even eating.
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All the Gold in California
Performed by Nick Cave & Warren Ellis
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User Reviews

New Aesthetic
21 June 2015 | by ThomasDrufkeSee all my reviews

It's going to be hard to top last years brilliant season of True Detective. Not only was it a fascinating crime drama, but it was a haunting look into two deteriorating detectives' lives. It's one of the great detective tales we have in any form of cinema, but I still had high hopes for this new season of True Detective. And I have to say, I like the season premiere.

We're now focused on 3 different police officers, Rachel McAdams, Taylor Kitsch, and Colin Farrell. This episode was much more focused on setting up each of our characters than giving us a jaw dropping case to begin with. But I think the fact that these 3 police officers are all from different places is going to create an interesting dynamic throughout the season. Throw in Vince Vaughn, a criminal rising in his own business, and we will likely have a unique crime drama. But even with the new approach and aesthetic, it still feels like True Detective. The opening credits, besides the song, are quite similar. And even the score is surprisingly similar to last year's. We spent most of the first episode focused on 4 different stories. I found McAdams and Farrell's stories to be the most interesting. I figure the former's family dynamic to be something to keep an eye on this season. Farrell's tendency to take it one step too far is a weakness that will no doubt come to be important for the case. So I like where the story is potentially heading.

I don't think we should expect anything special from this season, I just want to be entertained. And I think that's a reasonable expectation from a season with a cast and crew this impressive. I would just hope they don't try to do too much with the story and stick to what made the first season so impressive, great character drama.

+New approach

+Music and feel

+Sets up characters

-Kitsch's story

-Vaughn hasn't won me over just yet


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