True Detective: “Omega Station” Review
True Detective Season 2 Episode 8
Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!
I’ve been prepared for a dark ending to this season for quite a while now. Some of these characters seemed doomed from the very first episode, and the increasingly dire situation they found themselves in throughout the season only upped the odds of a bit of a downer ending. And that’s pretty much what we got. Sure, the season ended with a hint of hope and there were some people we cared about still standing, but overall, it was dark as hell. That’s not a bad thing either. This was set up as a twisting and turning noir tale and that’s exactly what we got, and I ended up enjoying where it took us.
So Velcoro and Semyon both bit the dust, which honestly wasn’t very surprising at all. Velcoro has had one foot out the door since the beginning of the season, and Semyon was dead the moment he decided to make a grab for the money. The fact that Semyon’s death seemed so obvious actually ended up making it a little bit of a surprise to me. The show kept banging us over the head so much with talk of Semyon promising to meet up with Jordan that I really thought they were trying to make us think he would die, only for a swerve at the end. I did like that Frank’s old school mobster mentality was what got the better of him in the end. If he had kept his mouth shut and just given that guy his suit, there’s a chance he would have made it out alive, but that’s just not who Semyon was. His last moments were a wonderful reflection of who he was, as he was confronted by ghosts from his past before finally succumbing to his injury in front of an apparition of Jordan.
It was hard for me to feel sorry for Semyon in the end. He lived by the sword so he died by the sword. The same can’t really be said about Velcoro though. Velcoro definitely did some bad things, but I don’t think he was necessarily the bad person that he thought he was. We have no idea whether he had that darkness in him before the rape, but by all accounts that one horrible moment changed the trajectory he was on forever. It was a little bit too clichéd for my liking when he went to see his kid one final time, but it was completely fitting for him. I’m still not sure why he didn’t have the kid and his ex in hiding, but it ended up setting us up for Velcoro’s last stand. Again we were kind of teased here. Woodrugh had just faced practically the same situation last week and fell right at the finish line, so the question was whether Velcoro could make it that one step further. Woodrugh was a trained soldier though, and Velcoro just didn’t stand a chance. He got gunned down in the exact fashion foretold in his vision earlier in the season, and his final words to his son also died there with him.
Right from the very beginning, Velcoro, Bezzerides and Woodrugh were screwed. They were facing something so massive that it was just impossible for them to take it down. I figured the only way Velcoro and Bezzerides would make it out alive was to make some sort of deal, but about halfway through the episode they decided to just try and take the money and run. This was the only real smart play here, because every time they’d get passed one obstacle, another would inevitably pop up. Last season ended on a very hopeful note, with Rust and Marty battered and bruised but alive. They barely scratched the surface of that whole mess of a conspiracy, but they did get to take down the monster at the end of their tale. There’s still hope here, but it’s a lot dimmer than what we were left with at the end of Season 1.
There were a couple of real gut punches in this episode. It seemed like the writers weren’t happy with just giving us deaths to deal with, but instead had to pile on some more misery. Velcoro leaves behind a legacy of a cop killer. We know it’s not true and so do a few select others, but he’s widely known as the man who killed the hero cop Paul Woodrugh. Even Woodrugh getting a memorial seemed like a kick in the face, considering we know that it’s for all the wrong reasons. We also learned that Velcoro really was Chad’s biological father in the end, a kid that will also grow up thinking his father was a cop killer, while Velcoro’s own father also thinks the same of his son. The only ray of light in this entire story is that Bezzerides survived, and not only is she actively trying to bring this dark conspiracy into the light, she’s also nursing her and Ray’s young child. I thought this ending really worked. The whole kid thing is a little clichéd, but I like the idea of Bezzerides and her child on the run with Jordan and Semyon’s loyal right hand man Nails. I don’t think we’ll see them again next season or anything, but those characters are still out there, and their story is not over.
This season as a whole will go down as being incredibly divisive. I remember writing in my review of the first season finale that it was going to be near impossible for season two to live up to everyone’s expectations, and that proved to be the case for many. I think when viewed as its own thing rather than compared to the first season, Season 2 of True Detective stands up quite well. It was slow to get going and there’s been some cringey writing along the way, but the performances were mostly strong and the quality improved as we got later into the season. “Omega Station” was an incredibly dark, gripping finale that delivered several gut punches and topped things off with just the slightest bit of hope. I guess the lesson we have to learn from this season and indeed the first is that even if they may pull off some small victories along the way, it’s nearly impossible for the “good guys” to fully defeat their foes in the end. It’ll be interesting to see if that trend continues next season…
I’d like to know your thoughts on the finale, along with your overall thoughts on the season. Did everything come together in the end for you or were you left disappointed? Did they go too dark with these final two episodes or was it just dark enough for you? Tweet me @OldSnake24. And be sure to follow us @YouNerded!
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