TV - True Detective Season2, Episode 6

True Detective

Things start to click into place for Steve Taylor-Bryant this week (not just his hip) as he recaps the sixth instalment, Church In Ruins…

"That's one off the bucket list. A Mexican standoff with actual Mexicans."

My fears for True Detective’s second season were, in my opinion well founded, and there to be shot down. My opinions of casting, directing changes, locations and the rest of it were all there to be changed. It is no secret that I loved the first season. It is no secret that the casting and scripting of the first season were unlike anything else television had produced before. It is also no secret that I wanted the second season to work. To a point it has, in that it is still the best show to come out of America so far this year, and the standard is high, and, if you read back through my previous reviews, you’ll see that even though the episodes didn’t match their predecessor, I still found lots of positives so didn’t beat the show with a stick like some sites may have been inclined to. Until this week. This week was a gamechanger. This week matched season one for pacing, characterisation, dialogue, plot twist, direction and anyone who disliked episode six honestly hasn’t seen it.

From the calm yet very intense showdown between Frank and Ray in Frank's kitchen, we learn that Frank probably didn't know he had given Ray the wrong man to kill all those years ago and Ray seems to legitimately regret his past. This becomes very apparent with the heartbreaker of a scene Ray shares with his son under the guidance of Child Services. Ray drops back into bad habits and starts a cocaine and whiskey binge before telling his ex wife he'll stay out of his son's life so long as she doesn't ever tell him anyone but Ray is his father. Frank is trying to trace Irana, the prostitute that pawned Caspere's stuff which led to the mass shooting, but comes across some Mexican adversaries that manage to get a drug deal through Frank's clubs before killing Irana. Frank's old assistant Stan, killed earlier in the season, it appears is the guy responsible for most of Frank's woes, destroying his empire from the inside. Paul tracks the blue diamonds to a heist that occurred during the '92 riots, before agreeing to back up Ani with Ray as Ani goes undercover at one of the sex parties, that have so far been mentioned a lot but never shown. A drugged Ani barely escapes with her life but manages to save her missing person and Paul and Ray have found paperwork that may prove once and for all that the land deal is corrupt and who the major players are.

Reading that recap does not do the episode justice but it was a 'seen to be believed' chapter in which any casting issues, except maybe Taylor Kitsch, were put to bed. Vince Vaughan came out of his shell, showing a violent side only touched upon previously and brought an intensity I have never seen from him before and, when he was given a lighter more comedic side, he delivered in character instead of transgressing back to usual Vaughan type. Rachael McAdams continues to impress as Ani and mixing her drug fuelled memories of her childhood abuse into her sex party scene made the orgy seem more relevant than maybe just showing sex on screen normally does. The show was criticised in Season 1 for its portrayal of sex crimes against women but this particular scene seemed right, seemed just and, as Ani tries in her haze to escape the debauchery, my heart was honestly in my mouth. It's Colin Farrell that once again steals the limelight though. From his controlled anger and regret in the opening scene to his bile filled confrontation with his wife's rapist, his uncomfortable time with his son Chad, drug fuelled release of emotion as everything in his life falls apart, the phone call to his ex wife, and his action packed part in the sex party escape at the end, Farrell excelled. His acting was top notch as he moved from one emotion to another and if he can be this good in a show perhaps his future film appearances might be more exciting as he shows off an obvious talent that has been missing from far too many of his screen performances thus far. The dialogue given to all the cast by Pizzolatto's script was delivered by people who, after six episodes, seem to have bought into the story.

Bravo people, bravo.

Image - HBO