True Detective: “Other Lives” Review

True Detective Season 2 Episode 6

After the dust has settled following the brutal shootout, Bezzerides, Velcoro and Woodrugh all try to cope with their changing circumstances.



Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!

That massive and incredibly messy shootout was always going to be a game-changer for this season, so it was only a matter of finding out exactly how things were going to change. True Detective took the wise step of jumping the action forward a little—66 days to be precise. I was wondering exactly how they’d deal with the immediate fallout from the shootout, because there’s no way in hell any of them would have been allowed just hop straight back into the case. Season 1 utilized a time jump to move the story along quite well, and this time jump has allowed the writers to shuffle up our main characters a bit, while also setting up the remainder of the season.

As I had theorized, the huge mess allowed the Caspere case to be tied up with a neat little bow in the end. As far as the police department was concerned, Caspere’s killer was shot dead on the street that day. Pretty much everybody was able to accept that other than Bezzerides. While our three detectives managed to stay alive and take down the bad guys, they certainly weren’t treated like heroes afterwards. Ray left the force and now faces eviction, Bezzerides has been bumped down to a desk jockey role and Woodrugh got a promotion to a job that he absolutely hates. Something obviously had to keep them involved in the case, though, so a new inter-departmental task force has been set up to look into the massive corruption that we know is lurking behind the scenes.

Bezzerides is actually driven to solve the case and Woodrugh just really wants to get back to his old life, so both of them were always going to be on board. Velcoro was the one who would take the most convincing. Velcoro’s been around long enough to know when to let something go. He warned Bezzerides about rubbing people the wrong way right before she got reprimanded for having a sexual relationship with her co-worker, so he knows all too well that the Caspere case should stay closed. The only thing that could possibly tempt him back into action was his son, and that’s exactly what has happened. Ray would have been quite content to wash his hands of the whole scenario, but the good standing he might receive from solving this case could help him continue seeing his son, so he’s now all in.



One of the most popular fan theories about the show has been that Semyon had Velcoro kill the wrong guy all those years ago, and we finally got confirmation on that. Semyon is a gangster, and he took an opportunity to get a cop under his thumb. He probably also used Velcoro to get rid of someone who was causing a problem for him, too. Velcoro realizing that he hadn’t killed the man who had raped his wife led to some really strong scenes. The moment where he found out was great, but the standout was when he talked to Gena about it. Gena had believed that Velcoro had killed her attacker (as did he) all these years, and it’s what ended up tearing their relationship apart. Now Velcoro had to stand there and pretend that he had just been lying all this time to protect her, even though he had indeed killed someone for her. It was a powerful scene, with strong acting from Farrell once again.

This all set up that nice little cliffhanger ending with Velcoro hammering away on Semyon’s door. I expect Semyon will have some way to rationalize lying to Velcoro, or simply weasel out of it, but Velcoro sure as hell isn’t going to be happy about it. Semyon has fallen even further since we last seen him, but he’s also fully embraced his old gangster life again. He’s become ever more suspicious of his right hand man, Blake, and that leads to him getting Velcoro to tail him. I wonder if Velcoro will even let Semyon know what he discovered on this little side job now that he knows that Semyon lied to him. Everything seems to be leading to the elicit parties we’ve heard mentioned time and again on the show. Blake’s mixed up in it too, along with several of the town’s most influential people, and now that Bezzerides is trying to get an invite to one of the parties, we’re probably about to learn a lot more.


After the bedlam of the massive shootout, True Detective regroups over two months later with our main characters all hugely affected by what went down on that day. It was very interesting to see them all put into new positions, and then to see the show believably bring most of them back together to continue on with the case. Most notable here was Velcoro learning that he had killed the wrong person all of those years ago, which leaves me looking forward to watching Semyon try to squirm his way out of this one.


Will these parties turn out to be your run-of-the-mill, sleazy as hell parties, or will there be something a bit more sinister behind them? If you’d like to chat about creep parties or you just want to discuss the show with me, tweet me @OldSnake24. And be sure to follow us @YouNerded!

*We do not comment on anything relating to previews for the next episode and beyond.
About Michael Spring (159 Articles)
Michael Spring is a staff writer for If he's not playing Metal Gear or watching some excellent TV show, he's more than likely asleep. For some witty banter and the occasional rant about football, you can follow him @OldSnake24 on Twitter

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