‘True Detective’ season 2, episode 2 review: Ray Velcoro’s desperation and despair

HBO logoTrue Detective” aired its season 2 premiere last week, and for the most part it was a nice assemblage of disconnected scenes. Were there great performances? Sure, but it felt throughout almost like we were spinning our wheels until we made it to the murder of Caspar at the end of the episode.

Tonight, the plot thickened, and it gave us more of a sense as to who these investigators are. To us, Colin Farrell really was the star of the hour as Ray Velcoro, whose actions last week with a bully’s father could end up with him losing the chance to spend time with his child. Given that this kid may not even technically be his, he does not have much in the way of leverage. While he was potentially losing his son, Paul (Taylor Kitsch) was losing his girlfriend over the secrets that he has kept. He is a guy desperately in denial over what he has caused, and refuses to let anyone in.

As for the investigation into what happened to Caspar, what we started to really understand here is that he was a man not entirely in the business of helping Frank out. Instead, he did more of a job making him as miserable as humanly possible.

Yet, almost all of this pales in comparison to the biggest move of the entire episode: Potentially killing off Ray in the second episode. Is Colin Farrell really done with this show already? That is a question that you are meant to wonder right now, and honestly, it feels like the show has to do away with him. Otherwise, it is pure bait-and-switch, and as much as we are compelled by his journey and his heartache (much of which is self-inflicted), the show is better than a stunt reserved for daytime drama. For now, we will say that this is a strong episode, but we are reserving a little bit of judgment. Grade: B+.

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