Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!
The mustache lives on! As I mentioned last week, I really wasn’t too worried about Velcoro biting the dust from those “gunshot” wounds he suffered, but it was still good to see him up and about again so soon. He’s the character I’m most invested in right now, and he has been the most interesting aspect of the season so far. He may be about to get even more interesting now too, as this brush with death seems to have awoken something inside of him. Velcoro has been checked out for a while. He’s just going through the motions in his career and life, with the drinking and drugs numbing his existence. Something has changed though, and now that he’s angry as hell, he might finally be about to do something about his whole situation.
Redemption arcs are commonplace on television these days, with a whole litany of seemingly unredeemable characters finding their way into the good graces of viewers all around the world. I don’t think we’ll see Velcoro get the full redemption treatment here. After all, it was only two episodes ago that he was beating the hell out of a man in front of his child, while also saying some absolutely vile things to the kid. There may be no redemption for him, but I think we may come to root for Velcoro a bit. He’s mad as hell now, and that just might make him do his job for once. We can be fairly certain that nobody in power actually wants the case to be solved, because if they did, then Velcoro wouldn’t be anywhere near it.
Other than Velcoro getting angry, we did get a few more interesting morsels from the shooting. The attacker used riot control rounds, something that a cop would have access to. This certainly points to a police connection. The shooter himself could be a cop, or he could have just been sent by any one of the myriad of dirty cops that seem to be involved in Vinci’s dirty deeds. The killers crow mask points to a whole different kind of killer though, one more disturbed than your run of the mill hitman. He seems to have struck again by the end of the episode, with another of Semyon’s men biting the dust. If he was sent by the cops, is this some kind of power play to drive Semyon out?
Semyon had a pretty eventful week himself, aside from the new dead body he has to deal with. He and his wife’s problem having a child is causing friction in their marriage, and his Russian friends are also not being very cooperative. It’s very interesting how quickly Semyon is reverting back to his old gangster ways. In the first episode he seemed to be reasonably well held together. There was some anxiety bubbling under the surface, but he seemed like a man with a plan, and he was even nice to Velcoro. Since then, though, everything has gone to hell, and Semyon’s true colors are starting to show. He wanted to get out of this life, but it looks like he’s going to have to dive back into it if he has any hope of getting out the other side. He’s got a bit of a kicking to his reputation recently, so it was good to see him get his hands dirty and show people that he’s still the boss. The pliers only helped drive home his point even more.
Woodrugh’s arc is getting more interesting, but he also still feels a bit like the odd one out to me. Semyon is our guide to the criminal side of the show, and Bezzerides and Velcoro are our two completely contrasting characters on the right side of the law. I’m sure Woodrugh will have an important part to play in the central arc of the season, but for now he feels the most disconnected. Piece by piece we’re learning more about his prior life. We got a hint that something had happened to him when he was on duty overseas, but instead of being a traumatic war experience, it now looks like he had an affair with one of his male squad-mates. It’s become clearer and clearer that Woodrugh is gay, and he’s trying to fight against that. Now the case has drawn him into the world of male prostitutes, so it could be a matter of time before he gives in. Or perhaps the show will take a darker turn, and Woodrugh will go to extreme lengths to go against his feelings.
The episode ended with another exciting scene, as Velcoro and Bezzerides gave chase to an unknown assailant who had just set fire to their car. This scene only gave me more questions though, with the most important being whether or not the guy they were chasing is the same guy that shot Velcoro or not. The scene ended with Velcoro saving Bezzerides from getting hit by a truck, and was followed by a frank exchange between the two of them about what the state’s case on Velcoro was built on. These two have the best back and forth of the season so far, and I hope they get a lot more screen time together. They’re honest with each other in a really odd sort of way. She wants to know how dirty he really is and he wants to know how much trouble he is in. I kind of get the sense that he’ll actually try and work this case with her, and in return she won’t turn him in. It’s early days yet, but this partnership is developing well.
True Detective’s Season 2 isn’t vintage television so far, but it’s still keeping me intrigued enough to tune in each week. Some of the dialogue is a bit hammy, but the performances have been quite solid from most of the cast so far. We’ve only seen snippets of the main case so far, but it’s becoming clear to me that there’s some big, dark and dirty going on in Vinci, and we’re only beginning to scratch the surface. I’ve seen a lot of negativity online over the show, and while I do think that some of it is warranted, I also believe I’ve seen enough to stick with the show until the end of the season. There have been some flaws, but I’m certain True Detective still has plenty left in reserve for the rest of the season.
What are your thoughts on the killer so far? Do you think he is connected to the cops, or is he a cop himself? Tweet me @OldSnake24. And be sure to follow us @YouNerded!
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