Monday, August 10, 2015

#TrueDetective Drops By The Walter White Memorial Desert Hostage Park and Picnic Area

Huge chunks of flaming exposition continued to rain down randomly from the sky in the final episode of True Detective Season Two. By the time the final credits rolled. whatever was plot there might have been had been was buried under an final avalanche ludicrously impossible coincidences during what should have been the climax -- you know, that part of any story when the plot points and happenstances which any halfway competent author deploys during the first half of the narrative are satisfyingly resolved and not exponentially expanded.

And whatever suspense any individual scenes may have had in the hands of some other writer was successfully dissipated with dialogue so telescopic that they may as well have dressed up the soon-to-be dead characters in Ensign Deadmeat Red Star Trek uniforms and had them announce cheerfully that they only have two weeks left until retirement.

Two spoilers below to sum up the crash site where a decent television drama should have been:

Ray Velcoro returns to his parked car to find someone has strapped a transponder the size of a WWII shortwave radio to the underside of his vehicle, with a Giant Blinky Red Light on it just in case he missed seeing it.   Rather than remove it and tossing it into a ditch, or removing it and keeping it on the seat next to him until he hits the highway and then tossing it out of his window into traffic. he drives away, presumably to leading the Bad Guys in the opposite direction of where his future baby mama is hiding out.

Then he drive halfway across the state of California with a couple of million dollars in a duffel bag and several firearms at his disposal, he starts to notice with increasing alarm the the fuel gauge is nearing the Big "E".  He manfully refuses to stop for gas at any of the Golden State's 275,000
"gas stations" because stopping for gas would, I dunno, arouse, suspicion?

I guess?


Instead, he drive several hundred miles out of his way so he can arrive at the exact spot where Dream Dad had warned him five episodes ago (after unfortunately not dying from a shotgun blast delivered by a character whose completely improbably existence and motives are Central To The Whole Fucking Plot, but are kept carefully hidden from everyone until the end because I dunno, Nic Pizzolatto is a terrible writer?  I guess? Maybe?) in great detail that he would be would be gunned down by bad guys among the towering redwoods.  

And thus was he gunned down by bad guys among the towering redwoods.

Meanwhile, in what may be the best metaphor for True Detectives Season Two to come out of the whole show, Jeremy from The Wedding Crashers -- 

-- is driven deep into the Walter White Memorial Desert Hostage Park and Picnic Area --

-- by a dozen Mexican cartel refugees from Breaking Bad, where -- very much like the True Detective viewer -- he is knifed in the gut for no particularly good reason and then bleeds slowly out while marching through an empty wasteland past a menagerie of characters we have never met before (including True Detective Season Two Asshole Dream Dad, who was apparently assembled from components left over from The Newsroom Asshole Dream Dad) until Imaginary Wife tells him to stop walking because, dude, you've already been dead for the last 50 paces.

Other stuff happened, but I cannot imagine why anyone would care.

I hope these fine actors fine better work, worthy of their talents.  And I hope HBO gives this format another try, this time with at least one person in the writer's room who swings enough cod to hit the fire alarm if things start to go sideways.  Like, say, me :-)


H.K. Anders said...

So, Velcoro is driving to meet his future baby mama so they can catch the last ferry out of Vinci and he starts looking off to the side. And I know exactly what he's about to do. So I start yelling, don't exit off the freeway to go see your kid! Don't go see your kid! Go to Venezuela with Ani and catch up with your kid later after the heat dies down a little. But right now, don't go see your kid, because if you go see your kid right now, you're gonna die!

How did I know that if he exited the freeway instead of getting out of town he would die? Because I saw "Heat" in 1995. That's how I knew that if he exited off the freeway to go see his kid he would die. I'm guessing Nic Pizzolato saw "Heat," too, and thought it was such a great narrative device he would use it here. Maybe he thought he was the only one who ever saw "Heat" and would be surprised that exiting off the freeway would totally telegraph what was about to happen to Velcoro. Or maybe knew that anybody who has seen "Heat" would know what was about to happen and was too lazy to care.

keith gargus said...

A Dagwood sandwich made of Hollywood cliches. One question though, where the fuck did the baby come from in Venezuela?? Did they rent it? Was someone secretly pregnant? Or did they drop by the 24 hour adoption agency? I hated that, the whole scene with the two women was saccharine, and right out of a fifties melodrama, starring Dana Andrews and June Allyson.