BySean Erickson, writer at Creators.co
Exploring the area between movie geek and film nerd.
Sean Erickson

Trying to piece together the rumors and confirmations about the second season plot of the amazing HBO series [True Detective](series:755331) is enough to make you want to hole up in a storage locker and go all Rusty Cohle on the internet. Leading up to the summer premier, a great cast is in place - but which creepy rabbit hole is the series going to take us down this year?

What's it all about, Nic?

The first tantalizing bit was series writer Nic Pizzolatto's cryptic description that it would involve "hard women, bad men and the secret occult history of the United States transportation system". On top of that, we know the series is taking place in California this time around and our detectives will take the form of California Highway Patrol (you know, CHiPs!) cops Colin Farrell and Taylor Kitsch as well as Sheriff Rachel McAdams.

Woody helps Farrell get into character for Season 2
Woody helps Farrell get into character for Season 2

So can we elaborate on this awesome tease about "the secret occult history of US transport system"? Glad you asked because things start to take shape when our central murder comes into light:

The plot centers around Ben Caspar, a corrupt manager of a fictional Californian city who is found on a lonely stretch of Pacific Coast highway with satanic symbols etched on his chest. His murder arrives in the midst of an important transportation deal that would solve the state's gridlock problem.
Three detectives from different cities are brought in to investigate his death, and discover something far darker about the state in the process.
Satanic what?!
Satanic what?!

Anyone else thinking this is sounding more and more like Chinatown? Especially when you read that second season bad guy Vince Vaughn is playing "a businessman with a sketchy background who trying to broker a transportation deal with the state". There are more than a few shade's of John Houston's corrupt land baron in Chinatown in that description.

The flat circle leads to California in Season 2.
The flat circle leads to California in Season 2.

So we have a dead body with satanic markings that ends up causing all sorts of problems for a transportation deal that is being negotiated. Naturally, our detectives begin investigating and down the rabbit hole we go into the dark recesses of the corrupt political and business world of California. Sign me up!

California is home to a great deal of conspiracies and occult activity involving powerful people and trying to figure out which angle they'll end up taking there is anyone's guess, but one looming story is that of the General Motors streetcar conspiracy which basically offers up an explanation of how a California commuter line or decent public transportation system never developed and the state become overly dependent on cars. This one goes back to the 40's and 50's but conspiracy fans know that a good one never dies, it just evolves and if you've been to Southern California recently, you know you won't get far without a car.

Can Colin Farrell fill Matthew McConaughey's shoes?
Can Colin Farrell fill Matthew McConaughey's shoes?

This sounds like the perfect kind of sequel that the classic detective film Chinatown deserves (no, we don't recall The Two Jakes at all). Switch the water system for the transportation system and throw in some appropriate Charles Manson-esque occult goings-on and you have the makings of a perfect continuation to the bloody and nefarious history of California.

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