ByDrew Helbling, writer at
You dislike 100% of the shows you never watch. I read stuff. I watch stuff. I write stuff.
Drew Helbling

Disclaimer: Spoilers Ahead

With only two episodes remaining in True Detective season 2, the plot is thick to say the least. The plot is well developed, action is high (physically and emotionally), and the characters are well developed... mostly. The show's plot is centered around the characters Frank Semyon (Vince Vaughn), Ray Velcoro (Colin Farrell), Ani Bezzerides (Rachel McAdams), and Paul Woodrugh (Taylor Kitsch). As the show has progressed, the mysteries behind each character have been explained, but there is still a great enigma surrounding the character of Paul Woodrugh. In comparison to other characters, not a whole lot is revealed about Woodrugh's past. A hint dropped near the end of episode 5 got me thinking, "could Taylor Kitsch actually be playing the bad guy?"

Frank's troubled childhood, Ray's history of violence and substance abuse, and most recently revealed, Ani's experience of child abuse, have shed light on the motives for each character's behavior. So far we know Woodrugh is a war vet, with a shitty childhood, being brought up by a self absorbed ex-dancer, who he not-so-affectionately calls "slut." Part of his back story are his homosexual tendencies which he does a somewhat poor job of hiding. In addition, he's expecting a baby boy with his girlfriend, turned fiance. (OK, that seems like a decent amount of info, but by watching the show, it just feels there's something missing) In episode 5, it's revealed he somehow got a hold of $20,000 cash while overseas, all of which his mother spent. This gives a glimpse into a darker, sketchier side of Officer Paul Woodrugh. The early episodes of season 2 paint a somewhat innocent picture of Woodrugh. His character just happens to get caught up in a major crime case because he conveniently comes across the body of Ben Casper. Slowly it's revealed this is one HARD ASS MOFO. Farrell's character acknowledges Woodrugh as a "god-warrior" after a massive shootout, and Woodrugh seems to know exactly what he's doing when infiltrating the sex mansion in episode 5.

look at that pistol accuracy (HBO)
look at that pistol accuracy (HBO)

So, that hint I mentioned...When Frank is on the phone with the woman who pawned Ben Casper's valuables, she says a tall, thin, policeman gave her the goods, telling per to pawn them off and keep the money. I tried thinking who that might be, and I realized it could actually be Paul Woodrugh. Woodrugh is, very conveniently, the one to discover Casper's body. For awhile, I just left it to coincidence. But with this information about a cop being in possession of Casper's belongings, in association with the police-grade shotgun pellets used on Velcoro at the end of episode 2, I can only believe a police officer is the murderer a.k.a. the man in the bird mask. Maybe it's Paul Woodrugh, maybe not, but I'd kind of love it if that is one of the big twists at the end of this season.


So, do you think it could be Kitsch behind the Bird Mask?

I don't know about you, but I firmly think Woodrugh is a guy to look out for in these final two episodes. What do you think? Who are the top contenders for "The Bird Mask" slot.


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