True Detective: 2.07 Black Maps and Hotel Rooms

"Do you miss it?"
"What?"
"Anything."

What??? That right there is the main problem with True Detective: none of it makes sense. That exchange was between Colin Farrell’s Ray Velcoro and Rachel McAdam’s Ani Bezzerides. Another example, Vince Vaughn - still saddled with the worst of the dialogue - and a criminal associate:

“You may say my ship’s come in.”
“And who sails this ship?”
Cue silence. Um, OK then.

More? Alright, Bezzerides talking with high class hooker Vera:

“Maybe you were put on earth for more than fucking.”
“Everything is fucking.”

WTF??? Seriously, what does that mean? Anyhow this could be full of transcriptions of the ridiculous dialogue but is supposed to be a review of sorts, so let’s carry on.

So at least the actors were on the set, with a script, not having to try and follow it like us poor punters at home. This week talk continued of Tony Chessani - who we saw once in episode two or three, right? - and Geldof, who we last saw… actually who knows when we did last see him. It makes you wonder whether the actors as confused as us. They sure look like it at times for far away look in their eyes, the lack of emotion in their delivery, Farrell I'm looking at you this week.

Still Paul Woodrugh is here to do some actual detective work and figure this mystery out. Only he isn’t. He’s dead. After dealing with a special forces team single handedly in a dark tunnel he’s down by a rogue copper. And just as he was starting to get some story. Idiot.

Despite the sarcasm, and some truly dreadful stuff involving Velcoro and Bezzerides, it remains a show you really want to like. Vaughn’s Frank Semyon finally had a scene that showed true menace and emotionally, if not physically, restrained anger. Being the penultimate episode gave this week some pace, the story started to shift, and things caught fire - literally in the case of Frank’s casino empire.

With a 90 minute finale to come next week it definitely feels like the story has a lot of loose ends to pull together convincingly. There’s no doubting the second half of the season has been more coherent than the first but it's still a million miles from convincing. I’ll be watching next week, if not next season, but really it depends on the star wattage.

And if you think Americans can’t do sarcasm then you should make your way over to EW.com for a far more amusing skewering of Black Maps and Hotel Rooms.

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