“CAN’T ROUND OFF ZERO”
Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!
I’ve watched that closing scene several times now and I still can’t make my mind up. On the one hand, there’s a complete lack of blood after both shots, but you do see Velcoro’s shirt ripped up after the second one. Could True Detective make the incredibly bold move of killing off one of the main characters in only the second episode? At the moment, I’m feeling certain that we’ll be seeing Velcoro again in the next episode, but I can’t help but think what direction the show could go in if they actually did kill him off. He’s been the most interesting of our lead characters so far, but a move like this could be just what the show needs to really kick-start the season, while also allowing us to spend more time with the other characters. My guess though is that he was hit with some non-lethal rounds, and we’ll get to see how the rest of his story plays out.
It would be a shame if Velcoro was to bow out so soon though, because I feel like we have the makings of a very interesting dynamic on the team. A special task force has been set up to investigate Caspere’s murder, and that gives us the reason for Velcoro, Woodrugh and Bezzerides to all interact with each other on a regular basis. That was honestly one of my biggest worries heading into this episode. The show needed to find a plausible reason for these three very different lawmen to be working with each other, and I felt that they did quite a good job putting it together. The fact that they all have conflicting agendas adds a lot to the situation too. Woodrugh can get his old job back, Velcoro can get a job he doesn’t even want and Bezzerides can just do her job. All three of them have to report on the others, but I’m still not even certain if any of the people they report to actually want the case to be solved.
The killer at the center of the case is quite a creepy one. That final scene where he crept silently up behind Velcoro was quite well done, especially with the whole wtf crows head thing. Last season had some really striking imagery surrounding the Yellow King, and while it’s not as full-on as last season (yet), I’m glad we’re not leaving that kind of chilling side of things behind. I have no clue whether we’ve been introduced to the killer already or whether he’ll turn out to be a character we haven’t met yet, but it’s evident that he’s right bang in the middle of Semyon’s big deal. It was obvious that Semyon had a lot riding on this deal, but it quickly became clear this week that he literally has everything riding on it. Not only is all of his money tied up in it, but we also find out he’s not quite as powerful as he looked in the last episode. He’s not at the top of the food chain here, and even when he’s only a little short on one payment, he begins to feel the squeeze. The rat story at the beginning of the episode served to show us exactly how much resolve Semyon can have, and he’s going to have to dig deep here to get his money back. I’m looking forward to seeing more of the gangster come out in him as he gets more and more desperate.
Little by little we’re getting to see more of the character’s lives. Woodrugh especially had a revealing episode as we got a big look into his life. The disturbing nature of his relationship with his mother was the real stand-out, but it’s also becoming clear that Woodrugh is more than likely gay. This coupled with his mysterious private military past are starting to make him much more interesting. I also especially enjoyed Velcoro and Bezzerides’ time together. I mean, she absolutely knows that he’s crooked as can be, but there’s also the sense that she has some sort of respect for him. We know that Bezzerides has had a very dark upbringing, and I guess she can probably see that Velcoro’s been through the ringer himself. Velcoro has pretty much given up on everything at this stage bar his son, and now he’s in danger of being taken away from Velcoro. He’s shown himself to be a real nasty piece of work, so I guess it remains to be seen whether he can find some sort of redemption through the case, or whether he even wants to.
Season 2’s second episode was a good step forward from the premiere. We learned a bit more about our lead characters, seen them all interact with each other and also got a few more tidbits on the horrific murder at the center of this season’s mystery. Caspere’s mutilated body points to him being tortured, but whether the killer was looking for information on Semyon’s money or something else entirely remains to be seen. We also got a killer ending with Velcoro seemingly getting shot and killed at the end, but thankfully I think the odds of us seeing this season’s most interesting character again in the next installment are pretty high.
If Velcoro actually did turn out to be dead next week, would you be okay with that? Would it be a shot in the arm for the series, or a case of a potentially great character getting killed too soon? Tweet me @OldSnake24. And be sure to follow us @YouNerded!
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