This episode got me hooked, and I finally can't wait for the next episode. Bravo!
Episode 3 was a bit disappointing, to say the least considering the overall show. Only 7/10 - and that's the lowest rate for any episode among 1,2 seasons this far. Many plot lines, sadly anything didn't come to somewhere. I know, the story is still in a build up process, but still, a bit confusing and to messy.
Episode 4 is the best episode without a doubt so far in season 2. There is a great action scene, not as brilliant as it was in season 1 episode 4 with that one take mesmerizing shoot, but still a very tens and realistic one. But not only for this scene i'm giving 10/10 for episode 4. It kinda restored my faith in this season overall. With half of the season done, many plot lines and unfocused script (stylish or call it whatever) starts to making payoffs. Acting was very solid, and some other main characters get chance to shine, and not in the best colors. Script was more tight then ever, and easier to follow, but still not the most usual one, which is the good thing.
Overall, 7/10 for episode 3 and 10/10 for episode 4. With 4 episodes left in this season, i'm hooked more and more with this story. Interestingly, the same happened with my in season 1, i was totally hooked up and eventually blow away starting with episode 4, so maybe episode 4 will be a great start to "True Detective" magic.
For a show focused on 'true detectives', the season has focused a lot on mob boss Frank Semyon, played by Vaughn. Semyon and his wife have been wanting to have a kid for a long time but are physically unable to do that. I have to admit, I'm struggling to understand why it is that Vaughn is so drawn to having a child. Nothing about his character thus far has led me to believe he likes kids and would like to have one. But more so overall that character just doesn't do it for me. I just haven't found him interesting enough to give him more than 5 minutes of screen-time an episode. It also could be the fact that there's so much going on in this show that I don't have time to process all that he does and the transactions and deals he makes. Onto Woodrugh's weekly storyline, which had him wake up unknowingly in the apartment of what appeared to be his ex-boyfriend. Once again, this show has a lot going on but this side branch intrigued me. Especially on how Taylor Kitsch played the scene. I felt sympathy towards Woodrugh, that is until I'm pretty sure he proposed to his girlfriend to save face to the media for the incident with his ex.
Farrell/Velcoro had a bit of a slow week in terms of character development but McAdams didn't. It looks as though she is being suspended for 'sexual misconduct to her co-worker. Along with the fact that she led an absolute disaster of a raid on a lead suspect. I think this final segment was well-directed and definitely well-acted. But it doesn't even compare to the ending of last season's 'Who Goes There', which it will inevitably be compared to (especially considering they were both the 4th episodes). But the ending could have been even better if the directing made it feel more intimate and real. The brilliance of the episode last season was the one-take where it felt like anyone could die with bodies dropping left and right. Yes, this episode had a certain amount of stakes and an ominous feel, I still feel like it could have been topped. With that said, I enjoyed this week a whole lot more than last week and feeling better about the season.
-Still too much going on
-Vaughn's character is still shaky
While continuing to be filled with Emmy worthy performances and fascinatingly dark characters spouting poetic dialogue (with Vince Vaughn's Frank Seymon now emerging as the most interesting one) there seems to be a pattern growing: one extremely deep, extremely paced, but savagely uneventful episode, followed by the same kind of episode, but with a shockingly action packed ending. And while a slow and steady jog is the name of the game with this particular series, episode 4's blood bath of an ending did leave me antsy for next Sunday.
Doubling the number of main characters and giving them each back stories as opposed to just Marty's family is season 1. This isn't Game of Thrones, why completely change the format that worked so well?
Going into this season I was apprehensive about the actors, but, conversely, Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn have done well with what they have. Rachel McAdam is not quite the tough cop she tries to portray, and who knows what's going on with the other one.
And that is precisely what I find myself thinking throughout the episodes - what is going on? The scenes are all quite long, but the dialogue is so unnatural it feels purposefully obscure. When they do try to have a realistic conversation, like when Ray picked up Paul after his mini-breakdown, it doesn't quite click on the same level as season 1, but at least they tried.
The raid scene was obviously a change of pace from the rest of the episode, and indeed the season. But even that felt ham fisted. There are so many cuts that the pacing of the scene jumps all over. Ani is chasing a car down on foot with a guy leaning out the car window shooting a sub-machine gun at her after so many people have already been killed, like she is wearing main-character-invulnerability- armour. She did a similar thing in episode 3 chasing down a masked man across a free-way, but there is no consequence, no development, just a thing that happened.
In terms of narrative it was difficult to feel anything substantial against the "bad guys" because it's not really clear who they are or why they would rather die than submit to a police raid, or at least just try to escape without some suicidal killing spree.
It will be interesting to see where the story goes from here. The torture and murder of one guy pales somewhat into insignificance after a horrendous police raid which resulted in so many deaths, including civilians, lead by the detectives investigating the aforementioned case. They should probably all end up in prison themselves, or at the very least no longer be police. Maybe then we can get on to season 3 a bit quicker and hope for better.
I understand the idea of a slow burn, to allow a complicated story time to develop, and the intricacies of ideas and characters to reveal themselves when ready. But seriously, what the hell is going on here? There's about 80 characters who seem equally unimportant (including our main characters). Their lives and their struggles are neither tangible nor worth investing in. I am yet to hear an interaction between characters that would, a) Be spoken by a real human being in real life, and b) Be interesting enough for me to want to care, want to solve this 'mystery' or want to keep watching.
A strength of season 1 relied on universal fears and mysteries, from pondering the meaning of life, our significance (or insignificance) on earth, to the horrors of a faceless boogie man and the cultist undertones that still exist across the country. That's why people from all around the world tuned in each week. We could easily be hooked by the crazy dialogue, and even crazier mismatched story and time lines. We wanted to tune in because we seemed to be going somewhere we've been afraid of going, but deep down needed to see for ourselves.
This season has none of that. All the universal truths are all rote clichés we want to turn our heads away from. Perhaps I'm biased but I don't really care about a tiny made-up corrupt city somewhere near LA that may or may not be based off a true story. If it is, I'm more interested in knowing about what actually happened than what Pizzolatto is trying to weave together with his overhead shots of the highways and close ups of brooding faces. We see this corruption everyday in the news or outside our doors, so there's nothing unique to retelling what is being retold every day. I'm not interested in another corrupt politician or police officer. And spare me the shootout between the 'good' white cops and the 'bad' Mexican gang. Do we really need to lean that hard on stereotypes? Are we going to find out that Rick Springfield and the guru guy are actually 'bad' because their lives and teachings are nontraditional and weird? Will Colin Ferrell turn out to be a 'good' guy because he has a 'good' heart despite his 'bad' exterior? Will Ani (McAdams) actually have a vulnerable and sensitive female heart beneath that knife-wielding masculine-rough exterior? Spare me.
After four episodes (and watching this last one twice), I've really lost interest in the characters and meandering plot of this season. I understand how die hard fans are grasping on and begging everyone to stay patient because (fingers crossed) there's a huge reveal around the corner... But after this episode, even a huge shootout can hardly keep me interested (or awake).
Spoiler Alert!: Similar to season one's 4th episode with the big shoot out; this time with an L.A. setting style. The three main characters are the only survivors...wonder why. Starting to get deeper into the characters issues. Emotions are heightened and their lives are very seriously stressful. It will be interesting to see what the consequences will be and how they move on. Also, how will the character feel about continuing their line of work after almost losing their lives and having lost friends on their team. I sense an explosive finale. Really feel like one of the main characters will die, maybe even more than one, but I hate to say it. If I had to guess, I would say Colin Farrell will be that one, but maybe that's too easy. Either way, it will be amazing and I look forward to it.
Now, I wanted to start this review off by listing the 'good' in this episode, but... nothing actually stands out as being good or particularly above average. Like my bitter and droll opening paragraph suggested, this episode sort of just meanders around in the exact same way the previous three episodes have. The team are still following up mostly useless leads on the Casper case, and everyone still has a ton and a half of personal issues. The only actual plot development occurred in the final few minutes, and even then I'm confused as to how relevant it will actually be (apart from killing off Ray's useless partner who the show clearly didn't want to have hanging around the main characters).
Speaking of the final scene, I feel that it's only natural that some people will compare it to the climactic ghetto raid scene at the conclusion of last season's fourth episode. However while that scene was masterfully filmed and acted by a dedicated and intelligent director, this episode's action scene was... not... that. As if in direct contrast to the ghetto scene in season 1, there are a ton of quickly edited cuts in this scene, a badly computer generated explosion, and awkward pacing that makes the scene just drag, and drag, and drag, well past the point of being exciting. We can only imagine how different this scene might have been had Cary Fukunaga stayed on as director for season 2. I'm thinking it would be different for the better.
Anyway, as for the rest of the episode, nothing remarkable occurred at all. There's yet again this season's trademark awkwardness in the form of Frank's many forced and bizarre "deep" comments and observations, a comical amount of overhead shots of L.A roads and cityscapes, and that one singer in that one bar who seemingly has no other place to go at nights.
I really wanted to like this season, but let's face it; we've already finished half of it. Let's look back at season 1 and compare how that concluded the first half of the season... Yeah, it's a bit of a stark contrast, isn't it? What this season sorely lacks is momentum. I don't feel like things are building up and getting more tense like I did with season 1. This episode - and season as a whole - has just felt like a bunch of random scenes thrown together in an attempt to resemble a cop drama, but really it just feels muddled, underwhelming and dull.
The end was staged well, simply harsh;truthfully did not expect it coming since all but the three survived. So they have a mutual and shared instinct of survival which will make the bonds stronger in between.
Some say "Pizzolatto and company were trying to recapture the magic of the Season 1 Crash-and-Ginger escape from the housing project shootout, but couldn't quite pull it off." which I strongly disagree. Because all the script was written and completed long before the beginning of the second season. So they can not alter what they've written.
All I felt about it was that he wanted to spice up the stagnant plot of the story.
I guess the case is a lot more complicated then it sounds and than they think.
Well done Pizzolatto!
But that is probably the problem with the series. It seems like they try to recreate first seasons awesomeness by copying things that worked really well in the first season and pasting it into the second season. Just look at the opening sequence. The images are sometimes near duplicates of images in the first season's opening sequence. The first episode also began fairly similar to it's predeceasing season, where the ending reminded me of the ending of the fourth episode of the first season.
There are still some good things in this season, whilst the story is incoherent, some of the characters/actors don't seem to work that well and the editing is far too fast for it's story. Th acting, production value and direction of photography is quite good or sometimes even breathtaking. But please, stop with copycatting your own show. I understand that this won't stop this season, but I hope next season will be quite different.
BTW: I totally do not understand the high ratings. I think it's hugely overrated, till now anyways.
I really miss the first season as a matter of fact i will watch the first season until i know it from memory before watching this boring show.
Don't intend to offend anyone just what i think of season 2.
Vince Vaughn as Frank patrols around town and meets assortments of clientèles, mostly dubious in legality, in an effort to regrow his empire. He's slowly becoming the criminal mogul in definite way. Colin Farrell as Velcoro has the most interactions with other cast this time around. There's inherent maturity in his persona, although it's barely apparent beneath the overwhelmingly visible stress.
Taylor Kitsch hasn't been consistent so far, but it appears he gradually becomes better. He opens up more with just the right personal touch, not just vague accentuating. He's still not as strong as Vince of Colin, but it's a start. The only female detective is, perhaps ironically, troubled by sexual complaint. Rachel McAdams shows decent grit, her reactions are still brash although they are quite believable for anyone in the situation.
Their chemistry is mostly respectable, mainly because with diverse variety there are more combinations of cast to work with. All of them eventually engage in one full blown shootout with tons of bullets and heated daylight explosions. Simply barraging rounds doesn't make a crime show, but the action is exceptionally done. Displaying hard violence and still giving the leads ample spotlight as they deal with the carnage.
Be it the contemplative musing or chaotic gunslinging, they are indeed looking like true detectives.
For example, Frank Semyon has a wife that is truly devoted to him. The couple cannot have a child, so she suggests adoption. But Frank will only have a son coming from his gene pool. Frank's response sums up his selfish character to a tee: "At least with your kid, it's your sins." Frank clearly thinks that even his sins are superior to those of lesser men.
For Officer Paul Woodrugh, there is an ongoing struggle with his sexual identity, especially when he wakes up in the apartment of a strange man. When Em announces that she is pregnant, Woodrugh leaps at the chance to propose marriage. Of course, having a baby will solve all his problems!
Velcora has now all but given up on having joint custody of the son that likely is not of his paternity. In the one truly moving moment of the program, Velcoro gives his boy the gift of his father's police badge. It is likely that father and son will not be seeing much of each other.
All of these characters are troubled with painful memories, as they seek to come to terms with their past. The best line of the program is spoken by Antigone, when discussing memories with her newly reformed sister: "you don't remember them; they remember you."
After being suspended for the unlikely charge of sexual misconduct and workplace harassment of her fellow male officers, Antigone nonetheless keeps her special assignment and leads an assault on the suspected murderer of Ben Caspere. In the bungled operation at a warehouse, her small cadre of officers is ambushed. While the perp is killed, there is substantial collateral damage with dead police and innocent bystanders.
The whole problem with this season is that they are trying to hard to give it that mystical feeling all over again. That Pulp Fiction marinade so to speak and they try to hard. They try to hard to keep any insight on the main characters from the viewer with the intention of it all falling into place once the season closes.
Nah, i am sorry ... This season isn't really working for me.
We needed episodes 2 and 3 to truncate a lot of stuff between them, instead of the padding which has almost driven this season into torpor. Episode 4's a necessary rescue. It's not brilliant, but it's very interesting. The actors are being allowed to act, the plot is being allowed to move, and with the exception of the strange tale of Frank Semyon, the whole thing is finding shape.
Semyon has this extraordinary charisma and then loses the plot over avocado trees. The sugary coffee quip isn't cool, and the writer responsible for it needs time out. Vaughn's not bad; he's just being given lines that could sink a rubber turkey. Despite that, he creates a hypnotic Man Who Would Be King. His ruin is as close as everyone else's, but while they wade through it, he towers above it, even after his crash course in dentistry.
This is also the first time I have found the performances of McAdams and Kitsch even remotely interesting, while Velcoro is emerging from a cocoon of stereotypes and developing as a core of the show. The axis is all about him and Semyon, polar opposites connected in the room of the yellow light...I am looking forward to seeing how their intersection works out. As long as it doesn't dissolve into whining guitar and whining song and endless yellow light and half finished sentences.
Nuance can be overdone. Sometimes a shootout's the answer.
Although what I really cannot seem to my head around is the fiction, it may have worked in Serpico and Dirty Harry.
Turning L.A into Iraq just doesn't work today, those ghost busters, haven't followed protocol yet. Meanwhile some of them are also under I.A investigation. I agree that the action seen is the best a TV series has to offer, within extent to any shown logic, tuning down for the masses. It is just not practice to make a call of duty to Baghdad, unless they really want to see the L.A riots all over again. The Uni-dipshits aren't squat no they didn't swat, their losses should have only served to protect. Upon any getaway the logic used would have only been to pursue, but never to engage. Unless they all want to face manslaughter charges to prevent national riots, from their ineptitude of not surrounding, calling for backup, using the proper forces, or even a Google earth app. Spirit healers with gold bangles trying to be some deity, is not earthen thought. How does a perfect donor sample contain 100% saliva? Undoubtedly more laughs to follow in the fun replay from any rock'n'roll seen in this wild western show.
An explanation to follow of why that last scene is blundering mess of absurdity. As it seems humour is lost on some who are only gung-ho to lickspittle the great American shoot out.
I thought True detective lived up to it's name? This would have seen proper detective work. Not the ghost squad, who from their build up have only brought on the questions of just what their role is? I agree as a show, the acting is class, the action is class, the cinematography is class. However any execution by this plot is questionable towards any result, outside of possibly a circus crowd pleaser?
A known hood with a rap sheet a mile long warrants an investigation. An investigation would have seen any detectives making a case after investigating. Not trying to grab him, quickly are you coming lads. After investigating a threat posed, they would use a proper response, seen by their forces enclosing and fortifying their positions before attempting any breach. Definitely not turning L.A into a call of duty to Baghdad for all of those usual alien war zone specialist effects. These effects have prompted a local news feed to notice, when a Meth lab kaboom's and the sound of obvious gunfire is heard, but nobody has thought to phone a friend, not even the dead cops. The Uni's with paint me dead targets written all of over them, are out gunned by self styled Scarface's who hold elevated positions and better guns. The Uni's who haven't surrounded the building have allowed an escape, letting the gang drive directly into a pressed demonstration, continuing with their shoot out. Obviously this could easily result in the next American civil war, because these buffoons have not served to protect, allowing the gang to also kill civilians as well as more cops. Somehow the ghost squad even during their internal investigations have made aces, in this wild western noir show, brandishing commando knives and all. I am quite sure some have swallowed this conception for a later hip hip hurray.
I agree that this is entertainment, but it's motive remains to be quite yet seen