In most cases, when plot details are leaked for something, you can't help but feel the anticipation for it is lessened slightly. That's not the case for True Detective Season 2! This might be the first time that I've been completely uninterested in how a show enigmatically presents its imagery, and completely hooked on the first piece of concrete plot.
Right before True Detective premieres, it seems fans are finally treated to the story taking shape. Show runner Nic Pizzolatto likely isn't happy about this leak, but fans tired of the vague character outlines teased with only two trailers likely are. Let's take a look through what this plot synopsis confirms, and work out how True Detective Season compares to the first season.
Colin Farrell and Rachel McAdams team up!
Colin Farrell's Ray Velcoro will allegedly team up with McAdams' Ani Bezzerides to tackle the latest mystery. I'll admit I'm intrigued as to how these characters will interact. Ray Velcoro has been described as a disgraced cop caught between the mob and his corrupt bosses. He rocks a coke addiction, has anger management issues, and was caught sexually exploiting a female suspect. He doesn't exactly sound like a nice guy, but I'm sure the show will do it's best to convince me he hates himself.
Ani Bezzerides on the other hand seems to be a plucky determined detective, investigating even when her superiors have brushed off a case. These two will make for an interesting team, and transcend the first season's dynamic of having guy who spouts nihilistic philosophy and guy who... doesn't.
A Male Victim
Shocking I know. For a show that adhered so heavily to detective tropes in the first season, True Detective Season 2 actually subverts things by having the initial cadaver that kicks off the plot be "Ben Caspar", a corrupt city manager. I suppose Nic Pizzolatto has caught on to the fact that people will watch his show no matter what, and knows that Season 2 doesn't need to play on the nonsense of lost innocence and broken beauty rhetoric that the dead young girl trope revels in. Sure, maybe Ben Caspar doesn't give that sense of morbid sexiness that so many shows love to use, but the series of events he sets in motion will be no less interesting.
Oh check you out, Nic Pizzolatto with your bait and switch! There we all were lamenting the fact that True Detective Season 2 would have no occult elements, when all of a sudden we find out that a specific detail of the main murder that kicks the show off is that the vicim is carved with occult markings. Perhaps Nic Pizzolatto is trying to play a distraction game, convincing us that Season 2 will be about one thing just so he can surprise us with another.
It's also mentioned in the leaked synopsis that Ben Caspar "had a perchant for rough sex and an interest in the occult". In all likelihood, these are just details to spice up the premise of the show. Perhaps True Detective is automatically framed as more titillating if the central victim is a bit of a weirdo. That's a slightly cynical way to approach a new season, but at least it sounds like more fun than what the trailers have presented.
A web of intrigue
As with any detective show, the initial investigation will have to uncover further conspiracy and unravel a web of intrigue. In the case of True Detective Season 2, we can be sure our characters will be led down ever darker paths until some horrific crecendo reveals a ghastly truth. It's that kind of momentum that made True Detective Season 1 so watchable. Every clue uncovered became a clue left behind.
Colin Farrell described this kind of momentum best in an interview with Glamour.
That's the great thing about the show. By episode three, you don't give a fuck who killed who. It's just a hook, a canvas, for everything else.
If True Detective Season 2 can avoid wallowing in its own style, and actually make good on this sense of unraveling mystery that the viewer can barely keep up with, then we might be in for a pleasant, if dour, summer!