Review: True Detective (Season 2, Episode 5)

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40%
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Struggling

This episode has settled it for me. Unless it has the best finale of all time, which is thoroughly doubtful, you should give this show a miss.

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Things really kicked off last episode, well the last ten minutes did, and so returning viewers wondered, has True Detective finally turned itself around? The short answer is no. The long answer is the same, I just say it very slowly, with a couple metaphors that don’t mean anything and a bad title song.

A majority of my opinions on the series so far were already voiced in my episode review last week, but I’ll give you the quick notes – the show has placed a weak plot over its characters, one that’s barely tethered together each episode, in-between Paul swearing and Frank staring at things. Speaking of the characters, lets hop in and see what zany antics they’re up to this time! Following an on-the-job relationship gone sour, Ami now attends sexual harassment seminars, featuring some of the worst dialogue of the series so far, in the form of apparently sassy backchat. I can only imagine that before filming the scene, the writer handed the script over to McAdams saying “It’s about female empowerment”, before turning round to his buddies and giving a cheesy wink. Later there’s some actual plot progression, as she finally asks her sister to try and get her into the exclusive “parties”, a decision I thought was going to happen three episodes ago.

Everybody’s favourite character Paul is back as well, but who is he going to squint at today? This week his scenes would be even more forgettable than ever, if it weren’t for the fact that it stole the recently appointed crown of worst dialogue. Let’s set the scene, your mother has just told you that she thinks you’re unnatural, that you’re strange, that you’ve wasted all the opportunities in your life. She’s also stolen all of your money, and says that your existence has ruined her life, that you should have been ‘a scrap job’. What is the insult that you come back with? What can you possibly say to get back at this person!?

“You poison goose.”

I… Bu-… That can’t be right. I rewind the episode. “You poison goose”. Again. “You poison goose”. It doesn’t change, I don’t understand, Is that actually the line? I can’t quite believe it, his acting, the emphasis, and the actual tears in his mother’s eyes. Even if it’s supposed to mean something else, I can never unhear that, and it’s a stupid thing to pick on, but I just can’t take this show seriously any more. So I guess I’ll just try to make it funny.

Frank is threatened by Latino thugs in Milky Bar kid cosplay and reveals that the man that bought his waste facility has now died in suspicious circumstances. Frank also finally manages to get over his depressing demeanor, thanks to the reveal that, when it comes to conceiving, he’s not the problem, it’s his wife (as explained previously), and that he’s rejecting adoption as a way of rejecting his past self (as explained previously).

It was surprisingly a busy week for Ray. He’s cleaned up and taken a new job, whilst working undercover for the police on the side, discovering that the plastic surgeon is involved in human trafficking. On top of that he’s not only told that he’s not the biological father to his son, that his wife hates him now (in which he responds with such innocent surprise that he sounds like Mark Wahlberg’s “What? Nooo.” From The Happening) but that they’ve finally caught his wife’s attacker, meaning that his actions several years ago were not only for nothing, but based on false information from Frank. Naturally Ray goes to confront him. Was this intentional in order to blackmail? Will Frank’s newfound happiness be ruined? Will- oh wait it’s just a cliff-hanger to get you to watch next week.

I know this is more of a recap than a review, but honestly if I wrote a review it wouldn’t be saying anything new. The dialogue is on a continual downward slope, the characters are awful, and the fragments of plot are so few and far-between that you basically tune out. As Ami says in the bar, ‘This girls gone missing? Nobody cares. The interiors poisoned and suddenly worth billions? Nobody cares. A bunch of people got shot to shit? Nobody f***ing cares.” Guess what? You’re right.

True Detective airs on Sky Atlantic on Monday at 9pm.

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I like sitting by the fire, long walks on the beach, and sunsets. I am also fond of Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain, but I would like to add that I am not into yoga.

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