‘True Detective’ season finale recap
Miko Malabute | Wednesday, August 12, 2015
And finally, here we are. After many, many moments wondering if this show was worth the 60+ minutes we dedicated weekly to learning about our favorite four characters to “hate-watch,” we all stuck around to see this case through to its bittersweet end.
To put the season finale into context, have you ever flipped onto a channel showing a foreign film? You don’t exactly know what’s going on, although you can kind of follow along as they show the subtitles. But you can’t really follow along because you’re reading the subtitles, then glancing up at the characters’ faces and trying to piece together when the words are synchronized with the movement on screen. Now, you’re lost as to what’s fully happening, but you get the idea and for that you decide to just finish the story, even if you’re actually only following along with about 70 percent of what’s going on on the screen.
Yes, that convoluted analogy pretty much sums up the season finale of “True Detective.” After following along for months and preaching exactly how much better the second half of the season was, the case was finally closed with pretty mixed results.
Let’s start with the negative. Admittedly, I believe I was on my phone for about a third of the entire season, glancing back and forth between my Twitter timeline and the show, and so I was naturally lost on some of the minor details behind the story that ultimately proved to be very important to the entire case. But I don’t think I was alone — a quick scroll through my timeline showed that everyone dedicated enough to see this season through was often left to figure out who key characters were and what crucial details they didn’t quite understand.
Ready for True Detective Finale aka saying "wait, who's that guy?" 20-30 times
— Big Cat (@BarstoolBigCat) August 10, 2015
— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 10, 2015
A show of this nature naturally requires a good amount of attention and critical thinking, but far too often there were allusions and references that writer and creator Nic Pizzolatto assumed we would catch and hold on to as vital information (we didn’t). The key moment in the finale was when Ray Velcoro and Ani Bezzerides finally piece together who murdered Ben Caspere — a pair of siblings who were orphaned as a result of the corruption scandal between Caspere and the Vinci police. However, I don’t believe I’m alone in thinking, what orphans? Yes they were mentioned here and there, amidst all of the character development and personal problems we saw each hero/anti-hero go through. But that’s just it — it felt like they were mentioned, not a key part of the case that this entire season was built around.
Now, for the positive. As I said, the season finale — and really, the season as a whole — was one extended foreign film with subtitles. We were lost as an audience in the small, key details that transforms a good story into a great one, yet we were still able to follow along with the basic outline of the story and appreciate what was going on on the screen. For what it is, season two of “True Detective” depicted four characters who seemingly have nothing in common and were brought together by a common cause (and sometimes not even realizing they were working together after all). The characters are hopelessly flawed and broken, yet they find solace and comfort in each other. With each other, they are able to move forward professionally and personally. Despite their imperfections (or perhaps because of them), they didn’t hesitate to throw themselves in the line of fire (literally) for their loved ones around them. Yes a good amount of the story got lost in the convolution of the storytelling, but you don’t need to know every detail about the case to appreciate the themes of this much-scrutinized season: sacrifice, love, redemption and survival.
Was this season perfect? No, not by any standards. But taken out of context and not compared to its season one counterpart, this was a solid story that was an enjoyable watch.
P.S. If “True Detective” wasn’t good enough for you, at least there’s still “Ballers” on HBO. Football is back!