TRUE DETECTIVE ‘NIGHT FINDS YOU’ REVIEW – There follows a review of the second episode of season 2 of True Detective. There are spoilers.
I’m not sure if I’m going to review every episode. I don’t know if I have the energy. I feel like every single character on the show, darkly brooding, vaguely incompetent and humorless to the point of rigor mortis. This week’s episode began with an opening monologue by Vince Vaughn – to put beside all those other Vince Vaughn monologues – and herein we have some of the problems with this season so far. Vince’s gangster lies in bed with his wife and starts muttering about the water stain on the ceiling. Cut! Leave it there. We get it, everything is falling apart. No, now we have long monologue about a childhood of neglect, locked in a cellar for a few days. It’s a bit needy, and the feeling is we’re being positioned to feel sympathy for this character, before he has done anything to earn it. We’re supposed to root for him, because of this. Just to make sure we got it, Vince makes sure we know not only that he is still in that cellar, but that the water stain was a symbol of this. If Nic Pizzolatto was a first time writer, this scene would have been slashed by red pen – ‘show not tell’ would be written in the margin, but as it stood the overwritten grandstanding was allowed to stand.
The investigation gets under way as each of the jurisdictions is given a representative on the special squad: Ray Velcro (Colin Farrell) has floppy hair and a tragic mustache, Antigone Flibby-dibbly-dee (Rachel McAdams) smokes an e-cig and Paul Exposition (Taylor Kitsch) has the haunted look of a man who starred in John Carter and won’t be allowed to forget. The latter also revealed himself to be a repressed homosexual in one of the clunkiest exchanges of the series so far which even had one of the characters commenting on the clunkiness of it. The dialogue is uniformly awful, with everyone saying everything, sometimes twice. ‘There are appointments with his psychiatrist. Looks like he was seeing a shrink,’ says Ray ‘Sherlock’ Velcro.
The ominous soundtrack and the industrial landscape hint that something terrible is lurking here – ‘What is this place?’ Ani says as they drive past what I believe is usually called ‘a factory’. And these are detectives? The final scene offers the first real hook of the series and will probably guarantee that I’ll tune in again next week. I will be hugely disappointed if we open to ‘INT: HOSPITAL. NIGHT. Ray is hooked up to a life support machine.’ Ray dying would be a nice quick twist. And frankly he deserves to die. He walks into a house where a murder might have taken place, sees a large pool of blood and then holsters his weapon? I might not be a ‘true’ detective, but I’ve got a feeling neither is Ray.
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