Episode 1: The Western Book of the Dead
Episode 2: Night Finds You
Episode 3: Maybe Tomorrow
Episode 4: Down Will Come
Episode 5: Other Lives
Episode 6: Church in Ruins
Episode 7: Black Maps And Motel Rooms
Well…it’s finally over. If you’re reading this you probably a) watched the entire second season of True Detective and b) are alive, so unlike the penised protagonists in the show itself, you made it through eight episodes and lived to tell the tale. Omega Station wrapped up the labyrinth that was season 2’s plot in nice, neat, blood-soaked body bag. Ray’s dad’s prophecy came true, Frank quite literally bit the dust and Ani had probably the worst outcome of them all: a lifetime on the run with Jordan Semyon (The two women surviving in the end was a big old fug you from Nic P to the haters who knocked him for not having any powerful female characters in season 1.)
If you’ve read our recaps all season you know that, for the most part, I’ve enjoyed it. It seems to be the hip stance these days to hate on Pizzolatto and where he took his follow-up effort but I tried to stay the course, sift through the black hole that is r/TrueDetective and enjoy one of the most talked-about shows on television. And I truly did. For a while. But for whatever reason, the finale just didn’t do it for me. After going back through it in order to write this recap, sure, there’s definitely some things I missed that I can appreciate about our main characters fates. And that’s true for most episodes of True Detective, both seasons. That’s part of the fun (for me at least) of watching this show. 75% is watching it live and noticing things on your own but the other quarter of enjoyment comes from reading Reddit and Twitter and seeing things other people have picked up on and noticed. But this season seemed more like a 50/50 split, maybe even more than that in favor of needing aides in order to follow the plot. And that’s not even talking about adding enjoyment to the show, that’s so I knew what the hell was going on. A TV show shouldn’t operate like that.
In terms of strictly the finale though, I don’t really know what Nic could have done to make me feel differently. I think it’s just about as good a finale as you could hope for in a show as convoluted as TD was this season. If they do a third season, at least they know one thing for sure: four main characters is too many. That might work in a more watered-down show, or where the four characters share many of the same subplots. But TD obviously doesn’t fit either of those criteria. You just can’t follow four people from completely separate backgrounds with different motivations in eight episodes and create the same connection with them for viewers like we had with Rust and Marty when you write with the depth that Pizzy does. Sure, when Ray got blown to bits and Frank looked back to see his own lifeless body in the desert, those moments had some shock value. Most main character deaths on most TV shows do no matter what the circumstance. But can you imagine if Errol had thrown that axe at Marty and hit him right between the eyes? Or if he set Rust down after lifting him in the air BY A KNIFE and proceeded to stab his body like a pincushion? That shit would have stuck with me for days. Because I cared about those two characters. I didn’t get close to that level with any of the four this season. And it’s not their fault. I thought Farrell was absolutely incredible, Vaughn did the best with what he had, McAdams and Kitsch both held their own. The show just tried to do too much with too many in not enough time.
- Birdman was, in fact, the photographer from the movie set.
Leonard Osterman is his name. His sister was Caspere’s assistant, also sex partygoer, Laura Osterman. Lenny was put in a group home and abused after the diamond heist that killed his parents. Laura was put in foster care then left to become a hooker. That’s how she met Tascha who told her about the parties, where she eventually met and recognized Caspere. Funny thing is, they’re not really brother and sister. The reason Burris and co. killed the Osterman parents is because Caspere was having an affair with the woman, whom he had a kid with and apparently she had one in the oven when she was murdered. That kid was Laura. Laura also went on to sleep with Caspere. So that’s…yep.
- The baby at the end of the episode was Ray and Ani’s. Also turns out that Ray is Chad’s biological father.
- The reporter Ani gives all her evidence to is the same reporter that was writing the expose on Vinci that Ray beat the hell out of earlier this season.
- The main characters were all done in by themselves. Frank wanted to keep the diamonds in the pocket of his suit, Ray wanted to see his son one last time, Paul wouldn’t come out of the closet. “We get the world we deserve.”
- Dixon blew through the money he got from the heist in 92 so he was trying to get his hands on the blue diamons/blackmail his way into more money. The shootout was a setup to kill Dixon, Holloway confirmed to Ray at the train station.
- That dream sequence Ray had after he got shot, with his dad in the bar? Yeah that came true. Word for word.
- I thought it was dumb how Ray and Ani were both trying to get revenge for Paul (“He deserved better.”) when they didn’t really know him or seem to care that much about him at any point in the season. Although I guess I understand the irony in that nobody really “knew” him.
- The almighty hard drive with all the evidence on it was actually not a threat to anyone. It had a security measure that caused it to erase itself when Leonard tried to access it. So when that drop off was staged at the train station, Leonard and Ray really had no leverage at all.
- Austin Chessani and Pitlor were both probably killed by Tony Chessani, who we saw being inaugurated as the new mayor of Vinci.
Far left is his sister who he was certainly in cahoots with, behind her are the two Mexicans that killed Frank, and obviously all the way to the right is Burris. This was his plan all along (Holloway says something about “not the Chessani I work for” to Ray in the station).
- There was an unidentified man at the unveiling of the rail way:
Not sure who it was but there’s speculation it could be the Chessani grandfather, meaning he was the one pulling the strings the whole time and that’s who Holloway was referring to in his quote in the previous bullet. Or it’s Gregg Popovich.
ANYWAYS, if you’re still here, thanks for reading. I had fun writing these things, hope you enjoyed consuming em’. I did like this season, just not so much the finale. If Season 1 was a 10/10, I’d have to give this one a solid 8. I’ll still get excited hearing that electric Leonard Cohen bass line for a while.