Well, okay then…It seems as though True Detective pulled a fast one on us last night. Things are slowly but surely beginning to make a little more sense. Maybe Tomorrow focuses more on moving the story forward this time around, while ignoring some of the unnecessary character backstory from previous episodes.
WARNING: This analysis contains spoilers for last night’s episode of True Detective. Scroll down to “final thoughts” for a brief summation if you haven’t seen it yet, or watch the episode and come back.
Surprise! It looks as if the cliffhanger we were left with last week was none other than a misdirection. In Night Finds You, Ray Velcoro was snooping around in Caspar’s seedy second home, only to be gunned down by a mysterious shotgun-wielding figure with a crow mask. It didn’t seem like Ray would survive the encounter, especially since the assailant went in for another close range shot to add insult to injury.
The show opens up with Ray seemingly in a strange purgatory, represented by a dilapidated bar with an Elvis impersonator singing Some Say Love. Velcoro’s father was there, who promptly told Ray that he was going to die. A bewildered Ray questions where he is, to which his father responds “I don’t know, but you’re here first.” It’s then that Ray looks down and realizes he has a gnarly shotgun wound in his torso. Quickly thereafter, he wakes up.
Some people made a point to point out that there didn’t seem to be blood exiting from Ray’s gun shots, and it appears they were right. It turns out that the shotgun only had rubber buckshot in it, and that the assailant was likely shooting Ray as a warning about pursuing the investigation.
When Ani arrives on scene to chastise Velcoro for checking out a lead without notifying her, Velcoro is quick to play ignorant of the situation. A little bit of humor is added when we realize that Ray pissed himself while unconscious, which only adds to his shame.
I’m still unsure if this was the right way to go. While I still think Velcoro is the only really interesting character so far, it may have been a mistake not to kill him off. The attack was really surprising and left me excited for where the story was going to go. When it’s revealed that Ray survived, I felt a tinge of disappointment at the missed opportunity. So far, it looks like we can’t have another Game of Thrones — as far as character death potential goes. Keep in mind, though…just because he didn’t die then, it doesn’t mean he won’t or can’t die later.
Ray’s brush with death prompted him to make a few lifestyle changes. It looks like he is now avoiding drinking at least, though he still is compelled to have a cigarette every now and then. He feels like the attack was a trap that could’ve been set up by none other than Frank Semyon, though Frank denies this accusation. More and more, there is an increasingly widening rift opening up in their business relationship. Only time will tell where it goes with them from here.
Semyon himself gets more of the spotlight this time around. Whether it’s work-related stress, or some other outlying reason — Frank is experiencing an embarrassing impotence. This causes conflict with his wife, and seems to prompt Semyon to be more aggressive with his work contacts.
Semyon’s deal falls through with one of his supporters, and yet another one of his goons is revealed to be murdered by this mysterious killer roaming about. Semyon is beginning to lose it, as he’s feeling like his position of power is losing its hold. He takes his anger out on the pimp who took over his old position at the bar, who challenges him when Semyon demands that they help find out who killed his men. A brutal fight ensues, with Frank ending up victorious after using pliers to rip out the stupid gold teeth of Danny Santos.
I’m still struggling to care about the ins and outs of this development deal. I don’t know how it ties in with the over-arching story, or if the killer is simply another competitor vying for power in Vinci.
I have a personal theory — that this killer is just punishing wicked men. That would make things more interesting, especially if more criminals and corrupt police are brought down throughout the season. That’s just an operating theory I have, though.
We found out more about Paul, as he goes out on the town with another former soldier that he knew from his war days. There is some hinting that there may have been more between them than meets the eye — at least that’s what I gathered. On the surface, it sounds like Woodrugh’s friend misses the glory days of war and feels out of place in regular life, but he could’ve just as easily been referring to their shared past closeness, which prompts Paul to openly attack him. It’s tough to say. Either way, I’m not really interested, and I still haven’t discovered a reason for Taylor Kitsch’s inclusion on the show. It is interesting to note that Detective Dixon witnessed this whole ordeal, even taking photos of their encounter from a secluded location. It definitely makes you wonder what his role is in all of this.
In Antigone’s world, she cuts off ties with her previous boy toy, provoking a heated confrontation in her department. It’s too early to tell if she will move on to another man, but Katherine seems to be urging her to pursue something with Ray Velcoro, to at least learn how corrupted he is.
We see inside the Mayor’s lavish home, which is filled with all sorts of mayhem and garbage. We’re also introduced to the Mayor’s eccentric son, who is clearly living a life of excess and luxury. They gain some leads from this encounter, but the detectives also infuriate the Mayor in the process.
The detectives continue their investigation, but they don’t seem to make much progress. The show continues to churn along without managing to give us the intriguing punch fans received the first time around.
Maybe Tomorrow continues the trend of uninteresting characters sauntering around in a depressing city, with little to push the plot forward. I have to give them props for trying to focus more on the main plot, while leaving the character development to a minimum, but the show still hasn’t managed to hook me like I would’ve wanted it to. Unfortunately, it still just feels like a run-of the-mill police drama. I’m still holding out hope that it will pick up soon and find it’s footing.
What’s Good: Velcoro pisses himself, Semyon gets more time to shine
What’s Not-so-good: Antigone and Paul’s storylines are just dragging along