ByPeter Flynn, writer at Creators.co
An advocate for understanding the phenomenological wonder of the moving image. Also Tremors is the best. https://twitter.com/TalkingMagnet
Peter Flynn

True Detective Season 2 received a rather lukewarm reception from fans and critics alike when it premiered last week. The show elected to divorce itself from that occult nonsense that had us hooked in Season 1, but seemingly forgot that it still needs to be compelling. Compared to the first Season, the opening episode for Season 2 seemed to be dithering, introducing the all important mystery at the end of the episode rather than at the beginning, and generally alienating viewers with characters that seemed to have no direction.

Episode 2 of True Detective's second season sought to rectify all that, capitalizing on the mystery of the previous episode and introducing some more garish and bizarre elements to the story. It even shocked us, with Colin Farrell's character, Ray Velcoro seemingly being shot dead by a man with a crows head right at the end of the episode! That was enough to turn True Detective Season 2 around for me. If there's anything that improves all TV immediately, it's people with animal heads, and that crow-headed gunman really hit the spot!

Did Ray Velcoro Survive?

Killing off Ray Velcoro this early seems like a move so brash, even Game of Thrones would wince and say "that's a bit harsh!" I can't currently think of any narrative benefit to killing off Ray at this stage, and many other viewers seem to be with me, unable to accept his death not for emotional reasons, but because it's such an odd turn for the story to take. That shooting scene seemed pretty final though, especially as the killer stepped right over Ray, and finished him with a shotgun from a few inches away. What explanations could there be for Colin Farrell's Ray Velcoro surviving through to the rest of True Detective Season 2?

Pictured: A total cheap shot!
Pictured: A total cheap shot!

Bulletproof vest

Yeah this is the cheapest and least interesting possibility. Movies and TV shows literally can't surprise me any more by revealing characters to be wearing Kevlar. As far as I'm concerned, everyone on screen ever is wearing that kind of protection, and it's actually a surprise when they do get shot. If this turns out to be the case, it will be cheap cliffhanger that diminishes my faith in True Detective Season 2 further. Any firearms enthusiasts about to explain how a kevlar vest could not stop a shotgun blast from a foot away can politely mail me a reason to care.

Ray is only captured

This would be slightly less cheap than the kevlar possibility, but it would still come off as a slight bait and switch. The crow-headed figure could always have been using rubber or non-lethal shells. The intention could be only to incapacitate Ray Velcoro, which would mean he's at the mercy of some rather sinister figures in the next episode. I would quite like this turn, since it would give True Detective an immediacy that Season 1 ignored with its broad, ambitious time skips. This capture would also give the characters something to react to, which was sorely lacking in the first episode of Season 2.

It's about to get supernatural!

Animal masks make everything cooler!
Animal masks make everything cooler!

If this is the case, then Nic Pizzolatto is a great big liar! Many fans (myself included) were dismayed to find that there would be no spooky occult elements in True Detective Season 2. If Ray does survive this episode due to some otherworldly means, then that plainly isn't true. Perhaps True Detective Season 2 is smashing the ambiguity of the first season by depicting a world where people move into afterlives, can be resurrected, or can experience violent deaths without leaving this world. This detail would at least be a fun diversion from the dour drama the season has exhibited so far. We could be in for a stranger experience than we first expected!

For everything else True Detective, you can check out my coverage here! What are your thoughts on True Detective Season 2? Share your thoughts in a post here on MoviePilot, vote in our poll, or leave a comment below!

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Is Ray Velcoro still alive in True Detective Season 2?

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