True Detective, A Primer for Season 2


I wasn’t going to do this. I was adamant about it. Yet, here I am… arguing, against my own good judgement.

We need to talk about True Detective Season 2

First of All:

Obviously there will be spoilers. If you haven’t seen this season, then please go away. If you haven’t seen Season 1, GO AWAY. For the record: Yes, Season 1 was better. To be fair, though, Season 2 is only halfway finished, so there is still time.


True Detective is a show about detectives solving a crime, obviously; a season lasts for 8 episodes. There is a lot of information thrown at the viewer, much of it ambiguous. This is a show for people (like me) who enjoy falling down the rabbit hole. Season 1 was critically acclaimed for good reason. The story was spectacular. Season 1 had Cary Fukunaga as director, Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as our detectives, The Yellow King, and Louisiana as the setting. Nic Pizzolatto is the writer behind both seasons; this is major as I find that most of what I appreciate about the series lies in the dialogue.

Season 2 has had the odds stacked against it, understandably; Season 2 has a few different directors. I’m the first to admit that I was saddened by Fukunaga’s departure. Our detectives are Colin Farrell, Rachel McAdams, and Taylor Kitsch. We also have Vince Vaughan playing the part of a man trying to change his destiny. The setting is the fictional Vinci, California. However, I think it’s being judged harshly – to the point of being unfair.This is not Season 1, everyone.That season is over and gone. Rust and Marty are doing their own thing somewhere else. We need to collectively let that go.

Our current cast and their significance:

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Detective Ray Velcoro (Colin Farrell) – Ray is a detective for Vinci whom also happens to be dirty. He is currently in the process of getting a divorce from his wife. Ray likes to self-medicate with booze and pills. His son, Chad, may or may not be his child, as his wife was raped 9 years previously, and had the child 9 months later, but never had the paternity challenged. Ray does odd “jobs” for Frank Semyon. Ray’s father was also a police officer and Ray longs for his approval.


Detective Antigone “Ani” Bezzerides (Rachel McAdams) – Ani is angry. She grew up inside the beginnings of the Panticapaeum Institute, which seems to be some kind of cult which is run – or has been run – by her father. Her mother killed herself by drowning in a river when Ani was young, leaving Ani and her younger sister, Athena, behind. Ani seems to have a problem with men especially, this would stem from her father’s convictions and not interfering when his wife committed suicide. Ani is also a detective for the City of Ventura. She has a gambling problem and possibly strange sexual proclivities. She was married before. She tries to mother her younger sister, Athena.


Officer Paul Woodrugh (Taylor Kitsch) – A State CHP Officer who has had some trouble recently; a young starlet accused him of improper conduct when he pulled her over for driving while under the influence. She was wearing a monitor device on her ankle, so this should be an easy case for IA. The actress is causing a stink, though, and Woodrugh already has a record for something called Black Mountain, which would seem to be a super secretive operation that he is not able to speak about. Woodrugh is a closeted gay man and war Vet trying to maintain an appearance he finds acceptable. He loves riding his bike. He has issues with his mother. He has a strained relationship with a girlfriend.


Frank Semyon (Vince Vaughan) – A man who is trying to change his public standing. Frank was once a thug. He owned clubs, drugs, and was at the helm of other nefarious plots inside of Vinci. He made a good bit of cash doing it, too. He has recently moved away from the illegal life, though. He’s married his wife, Jordan, and he has put 5 million dollars into backing a fast-running train line through the heart of California, including Vinci; he has also put holds on parcels of the land surrounding the line to be used with federal cash to build the economy and line his pockets. He and his wife are trying to become pregnant. Frank grew up with an alcoholic father who would sometimes lock him inside the basement anytime he would go on a drunken bender, once leaving Frank in for a 5 day stretch.

What is the crime?


City Manager (of Vinci), Ben Caspere (pronounced like the ghost, but misspelled online too much), is a man with his hands in a lot of different pockets. Caspere is trying to get legislature passed on a luxury railroad track, which would be the main source of transportation in the city, as well as giving the surrounding land owners federal grants and tax breaks. In the end, this would give Vinci about 900 million dollars over the course of the next 8 years. The land holdings/shares are owned by a small group called Catalast. Frank has spent 5 million of his own dollars to become part of this group. On the day that the meeting is held by Semyon, one which he and all of the other rich men of California attend to discuss the land opportunities to buy into and back Catalast (and essentially Frank), Caspere goes missing. Semyon is worried, as Caspere was his inside source. Caspere’s death becomes known at the end of episode 1; this is our case, partially. Who killed Caspere? What was Caspere into? How dirty is Vinci? Where is Frank’s money? Why are the Attorney General and EPA involved in an investigation like this?

I plan on getting into this, quickly. First just wrap your brain around the detectives and the players. Episode 1 & 2 discussion coming up quick.




One thought on “True Detective, A Primer for Season 2

  1. Pingback: True Detective Season 2: We Need to Talk About Frank | How to Fangirl

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