Episode 7 gives this series a much needed kick, but it still wasn't enough to heal past wounds.
I… I don’t know what to think this week. True Detective actually did things! Plot things! I’m still struggling to come to terms with that. Finally the weeks and weeks of exposition and recycling ideas between characters have adapted into, well, pretty much the same thing, but including the aforementioned plot stuff.
Thanks to last weeks ‘wild’ sex party, the gang is now deep water. Ami, having used her sisters name to enter said party, has now endangered her family, resulting in them having to flee the state. Ray also has to deal with the aftermath, discovering their captain now deceased, and acting as a go-between for Frank and the detectives. The biggest revelation this episode from these two was that one of the twins from the jewellery heist is the receptionist of Ben Caspere. If you’ve been watching and don’t know what I’m talking about, don’t be worried, as these brief glimpses of meaningful information are hard to decipher through the dodgy script.
The last episode was rather void of our favourite loveable rogue Paul, whose part was whittled down so that he only made Inspector Clouseau style realizations. This episode couldn’t get enough of him, receiving dirty pictures (much to his dismay), putting down his pregnant fiancée, assessing situations as traps, before entering said traps, gunning down corrupt police, Paul was doing it all. Up until he was shot in the head. I have to admit, that was the single most emotional moment of this series so far. However I fear that the death of Paul signals the death of my enjoyment of this series. Rest in Peace Paul, we truly hardly knew ye.
Frank also had the spotlight this week, but he’s done trying to make deals, now he’s going to break them. We’ve painfully witnessed the corrosion of Frank’s businessman persona, revealing the angry thug beneath, between scenes of interrogation, after discussion, after more interrogation. The ball has finally dropped for Frank regarding his goons loyalties (despite receiving the information several episodes ago) and the only solution is murderous rampage, which I’ll be honest is the most enjoyable you’ve seen him all season. Next episode also promises more bloodshed of characters you semi-remember. So stay tuned for that!
Honestly this episode wasn’t all that bad. The script is still weak, the characters are cardboard cutouts, but at least there was forward momentum, rather than lacklustre meandering. Simply put, it’s a little too late for this series, and if it manages that perfect finale that I fantasized several reviews ago, this series will still end up as nothing more than “average”. To paraphrase my favourite Frank line this week:
“Other critics wanted to put a cap in you early, I said nah, I see potential here… and now you just shit on my carpet.”
True Detective airs on Sky Atlantic on Monday at 9pm.