The premiere of "True Detective" Season 2 merely set the stage for the HBO series' new big mystery. Fans were given the crime -- the murder of Los Angeles city planner Ben Caspere -- and the motley crew charged with solving the convoluted case -- the trio of Detective Ray Velcoro (Colin Farrell), Detective Ani Bezzerides (Rachel McAdams) and Highway Patrolman Paul Woodrugh (Taylor Kitsch). The three law enforcement officials did not meet until the last scene of the highly anticipated first episode. How would they work together in episode 2, "Night Finds You?"
The title of the premiere episode was "The Western Book of the Dead," and episode 2 begins with mobster Frank Semyon (Vince Vaughn) pondering what his legacy will be and who he might leave his wealth to after his own death -- he does not have children. "You can't take it with you," Semyon tells his wife. The gangster is stressed about the murder of his former business partner and worried his plans to go legitimate are falling apart around him.
Later, viewers learn that Velcoro, Bezzerides, and Woodrugh are each getting a lot of pressure from their respective departments to keep control of the case. The State Police want Woodrugh to stay in the thick of things, despite their flimsy claim to jurisdiction, Ventura County warns Bezzerides about the potential for obfuscation from the the Vinci Police Department, and Vinci police want Velcoro to hold up the investigation and limit the spread of information to prevent the exposure of large, illegal tax breaks for the city that Caspere engineered.
Meanwhile, there is even more competition to solve the case. After Semyon learns that all of the money he had given Caspere was gone and the city planner had not purchased the land for the mobster's high speed rail project, the crime kingpin decides to put his own men on the case. He does not waste much time either, sending two of his thugs to beat up a city official before showing up afterwards to cryptically -- and comically -- interrogate the victim.
Velcoro also has some personal problems to deal with on top of the investigation. Thanks to his brass knuckle beating in the premiere, the detective's ex-wife will not let him see "his" son and is threatening to apply for sole custody. Velcoro is visibly distraught, pleading that his son is all he has in the world.
On the job, though, Velcoro and Bezzerides look into Caspere's apparent proclivity for young girls, speaking with the dead city planner's therapist about his client's unhealthy habits. As the two detectives drive around Vinci, their philosophical, feeling-each-other-up conversations can not help but remind viewers of Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) and Marty Hart (Woody Harrelson) from Season 1. However, the scenes do not crackle with quite the same charisma. They do end on an interesting note, though, when Velcoro admits that the investigation appears to be marred in corruption. When Bezzerides asks Velcoro to what extent the detective is compromised, the stubborn Velcoro does not answer.
As for Woodrugh, the highway patrolman spends the episode visiting his mother and girlfriend, taking a backseat in the investigation as he seemingly struggles with some past trauma. His girlfriend brings up his black ops military history, but Woodrugh will not discuss whatever may have happened to him in "the desert."
At the end of the episode, Semyon meets with Velcoro, having acquired the address where Caspere went to get his fix of underage women. Velcoro suggests that with his recent family troubles he may not have any reason to keep working for Semyon, but the mob boss does not receive the idea very well. Afterwards, Velcoro checks out the house on Semyo's orders, finding a creepy sex dungeon and a whole lot of blood on the floor. Velcoro is surprised by a mystery man wearing a bull's head who shoots the detective twice with a shotgun. Did "True Detective" just kill off one of it's main characters already? Fans will have to wait until next week to find out.
What did you think of "Night Finds You?" Tweet your thoughts to @Ja9GarofaloTV.