The disappearance of a city manager disrupts a lucrative land scheme and ignites an investigation involving three police officers and a career criminal who is moving into legitimate business.
Coming off the critically acclaimed first season of True Detective which starred Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as two detective on the hunt for a serial killer, True Detective True Detective Season 2 stars Colin Farrell, Rachael McAdams, Taylor Kitsch and Vince Vaughn.
Justin Lin, best known for directing four Fast & Furious films takes over the second season from Cary Fukunaga who did such a remarkable job on the first season. The world of True Detective is bleak, violent and humorless and in that sense, Episode 1 of Season 2 does not disappoint, the same tone has carried over but little else has. This is a completely different set of characters in a completely different story from the first Season. Other than directing the Fast & Furious films, Lin hasn't done much so I never got a sense of him as a director within this episode. From the opening title sequence, it's clear that this is a follow up to the first season, and that we're in for something very similar.
Farrell, McAdams, Kitsch and Vaughn all bring something to the table here. Farrell and McAdams are exceptionally good, we get a sense of their characters and their troubled pasts. This is an aspect of why season 1 was so good, the curtain was pulled back on these detectives, we saw who they are and so far season 2 has done a good job with this. Kitsch and Vaughn need some more screen time, but towards the end of the episode we do see more of their personalities coming out.
Like most, I was hooked with season 1's first episode, the mystical and mysterious nature of that story was instantly gripping, not to mention the absolutely terrific performances from McConaughey and Harrelson. Unfortunately season 2 has failed in that regard, nothing hooked me. Whilst I was entertained throughout, nothing made me desperate for episode 2.
The first season's focus was made clear within the first episode, whilst there is the hunt for a serial killer, that is there to necessitate the relationship between Rust Cohle (McConaughey) and Marty Hart (Harrelson), two very different detectives, thrown together unwillingly. My issue with season 2 is that there seems to be too many characters. All four characters here are dealing with something different and during this episode it was hard to keep track of what's going on with each of them. By the end of the episode the plot of the series is revealed, Velcoro, Woodrugh and Bezzerides are all interconnected with a murder case, that will serve as the story for the rest of the season presumably.
Louisiana has been swapped out for California, a much less interesting setting. The city that we spend most of our time in is Vinci, the city in which Farrell's Ray Velcoro operates in. The city is a corrupt, shady and is the setting of many nefarious dealings. Now comes the actual plot, which is made far more complicated than it needs to be.
Former criminal turned Casino owner, Frank Seymon (Vaughn) is looking to legitimize his business by helping to develop a high speed rail in California. The city manager, the face of this industrial plan and the man entrusted with Frank's fortune, has gone missing. Frank turns to Detective Velcoro (Farrell), a drunk and shameful detective. He's a father to a son being picked on at school, so as well as dealing with his new case, he drunkenly makes some bad decisions trying to make his son safe. By the end of the episode, Velcoro comes in contact with Highway Patrol Officer Paul Woodrugh (Kitsch) and Detective Antigone Bezzerides (McAdams).
I am interested in the story of the show, but it's the characters and performances that will make me come back for episode 2. This seems to be a much more straightforward cop show than season 1 which was much more mystical in it's themes and story.
What did you guys think of Season 2 Episode 1? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @JamesPorter97