Monday, August 03, 2015

#TrueDetective: Little Latin Lupe Lu

So what does The Righteous Brothers' 1963 hit have to do with tonight's penultimate episode of True Detective?

Not a thing.  Not a damn thing.

But it got you here, didn't it?  Got you to look?

And that has apparently been the point all along: just random shit to make you look.

So here's what you missed tonight.

Two characters stare at each other for an hour and exchange grunty syllables. Then they make the beast with two backs and perhaps teach us all an important lesson about sharing and we get to see Rachel McAdams' butt cleavage.

Two characters do a call-and-response of names from the Greater Vinci Area white pages.

It's also cop family discount night at cheap motels across the Greater Vinci Area.

Jesus, again with fucking the diamonds. And also too, entirely different diamonds because things are not confusing enough.  Also a Hasidic diamond merchant we have never met (but who some other guy we have never met vouches for) is no involved because reasons.

And speaking of characters we have barely met before, suddenly the Chief of Police -- who has spent the entire series working hard to no impression whatsoever -- is at the vital center of All That Had Gone Before.

See, one of our characters walks into an Obvious Trap but that's OK because other reasons. He calls from the scene of the Obvious Trap to give another character information which renders the bait for Obvious Trap moot...but walks right into it anyway.

Our character is then walked though conveniently deserted subway hallways and tunnels where the the Chief of Police Reveals Important Scheme Details to our now-unarmed character just before dispatching him. Oh no!

Now is it possible that at some point over the last six episodes the Chief of Police has made some subtle, sinister moves to suggest why he is a Gas Giant around whom a substantial chunk of plot now suddenly orbits.


 But I don't remember it, and anyway, I'm watching a fucking teevee show here, not prepping for a quiz on "Ulysses".

But wait! 

Our character has just pulled some sweet John Carter/ninja moves and disarmed the Chief of Police, taken him hostage, and used that leverage to force his henchmen to disarm.


But wait!

It seems that rather than rounding up all the now gun-free henchmen, collecting their arsenal and marching them all back out (or, at a minimum, circle-cuffing the lot of them around one of the subway pillars and then making his escape) our character instead punches out the Chief of Police and flees down the tunnels, allowing all the henchmen to re-strap themselves and give chase.

Oh no!

But wait!

After running around in the the tunnels in the dark and shooting at cops (or are they defense contractors?) who are too fucking stupid to turn off their "Please aim at my big, bright light and shoot" flashlights, all the henchmen are out of the picture.


Our character is now free to find a ladder and then do some more running and then emerge...

...through the one and only doorway in the entire Los Angeles subways system behind which an even more nefarious henchman is waiting.

With a gun!

Oh no!

Also the missing girl upon whom several other slabs of plot have been pivoting was never missing and the Sylvia Plath bar and Grill was closed for repairs this week. 

Hope it wasn't a gas leak. 

Now look me in the eyes.  I wanna watch your lights go out.


Tommygun said...

But at least they honored the long Hollywood tradition of killing the gay. In the 60's & 70's gay & lesbian characters were either homicidal homos who are either killed by the cops, or self-loahing & clinically depressed people who "do the right thing & off themselves, because seriously, isn't that the ONLY thing a homosexual can do - put themselves out of their misery & spare their friends & family further embarrassment? In the 80's to mid 90's gay characters became the sad, lonely, but incredibly witty best friend of the female lead, punctuating every conversation with witty one-liners & dispensing clear-eyed advice on romance while bravely wasting away & dying of AIDS. They are brave, defiant & witty to the very end, essentially telling the male & female leads, "don't mind me, I'll just be here dying quietly while you two crazy kids run off & get married" attitude.

Of course all those old methods of killing off the gay character are hopelessly outdated & no longer politically correct. Plus, even though just under 1/5 o f HIV/AIDS sufferers in the US either don't respond to antiviral drug cocktails or quickly become resistant & end up dying of AIDS-related illnesses, the popular media myth is that no one dies from AIDS anymore, so the writers of True Detective had to use the latest plot device to do in the self-loathinf closet case, because allowing him to overcome his fears, come out, find s nice boyfriend & end up being besties with the woman he knocked up would be "a little too convenient" for the writers. I mean, having a new answer and/or crucial piece of evidence fall into our hero's laps, that's not too convenient. But having things work out for the one gay character, that would strain credulity. They have to kill him off, having him die a hero only minutes after refusing to give up his partners to save his own life. But for some reason the writers felt they should somehow make his death his own fault, so before the fateful shootout begins, his former battlefield lover (one of those old school evil gays) turns a PC comment into a weapon, as he tells the soon-to be martyr something like, "If you had been out & proud we wouldn't have been able to lure you into this trap". I'd provide the exact quote, but I'd rather chew on a wad of tinfoil than listen to line delivered in that bad 1930's gangster dialect a second time.
Perhaps they'll kill of the female cop right after her sad bastard partner (the one still breathing) professes his love for her. Because she not only banged her partner, she aggressively threw herself at him one or two nights before, and as everyone knows, the only old Hollywood trope more consistent than "the gay must die" is "sluts pay for their slutty behavior by dying" (or at the very least end up maimed, permanently disfigured & all alone because she took the lid off the honey pot without first getting a wedding ring.

How long do you think it will be before the creepy van guy who abducted & repeatedly molested her as a child, just happens to cross the female lead's path?

Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

I hardly bother watching TV any longer, though I still watch NCIS.

Despite that, I find myself rolling my eyes at some of the obvious pro-"War On Terra" propaganda, as well as the practice of setting up one enemy character per season as a Bond-movie-type supervillain, barely more credible than Dr. Evil.

Habitat Vic said...

But Drifty, watching True Detective sort of IS like prepping for a quiz on Ulysses. Turns out that while I purposely avoided reading Joyce in college, I finally read Ulysses (and a few other Joyce novels) in my 50s. I thought Joyce a talented writer who showed no self-control and went off on stylistic benders that distracted/frustrated the reader.

The writing on True Detective? I see similarities to Ulysses. No, we don't have a 50 page stream of consciousness that uses almost no punctuation, just to show the writer can do it. But, sweet Jeebus, could True Detective throw in any more plot twists, insignificant-turned-crucial characters and needless dead-ends and divergent story lines? Why? Just to do it and confuse viewers?

You can have a (more sparse) fast and loose plot line/story arc without throwing in the kitchen sink. Mr. Robot is pulling that off, and confidently. True Detective, not so much.