Wednesday, July 29, 2015

True Detective Season 2, Episodes 5 and 6

Score Technicians: Joe Hemmerling and Sean McConnell

The nanobots haven't been overly generous to this current season of True Detective, but Nick Pizzolatto and co. went a long way towards winning them over with the monumental bloodbath that ended last week's episodes (side note: Should we at the PCS be concerned by the sheer level of delight the nanobots took in watching so many people die? Because--and maybe you had to be there--it was a little alarming...). Now let's see if HBO can keep that momentum going for back-to-back weeks.

Episode 5
  • Using the same "our suspects are dead, so case-closed" plot device from last season. = -10pts 
  • Officer Buzzkill "opening up" during her sexual harassment training provides some much-needed intentional comedy. = +4pts 
  • Vince Vaughn sends a representative from a Mexican drug cartel packing by quipping, "Door's in the same place, Amigo." +6pts for a great kiss-off line, -6pts for questionably racist use of Spanish. = +0pts (a wash) 
  • What exactly are "pimpish results," and how does one go about obtaining them? = +2pts 
  • Vince Vaughn describing the feeling of indeterminacy that comes with not knowing who made off with his $5 million as "blue balls for your heart." = +11pts 
  • Leaving twenty thousand dollars in stolen Afghani money with your molesty, alcoholic mom, then being surprised when it isn't there waiting for you. = -8pts 
  • And by the way, Taylor Kitsch was part of some Three Kings-esque caper while he was deployed? As if a reverse-Oedipus complex, repressed homosexuality, and PTSD weren't enough? This ratio of complexity of back-story to essentialness to the show's central plotline is maybe the most lopsided we've seen in the history of television. = -10pts 
  • Everyone knows the word "gangster" is offensive. They prefer the term "Law Abidingly Challenged." = -3pts
  • Finding out that creep you tortured to death all those years ago had nothing to do with your wife's rape. = +20pts 
  • Using Rick Springfield's face as a punching bag in order to exorcise some of your rage RE: the above. = +7pts 
  • Pimping your sister out in order to obtain an invitation to a VIP sex party. = -2pts 
  • Dude dressed as Jesus, walking down the street carrying a cross not even worthy of a double-take in sunny California. = +12pts
Episode Score: +23pts

Episode 6
  • Drinking hot coffee with one hand while your other hand holds your penis--GUN! Whoops! What we meant to say was penis--No, wait, gun! G.U.N. Wow, how embarrassing. We don't usually make the same mistake twice in one score. I mean, in a stand-off (Mexican or otherwise) it's not like we don't know how to use a penis--DAMMIT!! = -6pts
  • Having a soul cleansing conversation with your wife's rapist. = +3pts
  • The concept of cheese grating another man's dick seems too lived in to be completely made up. Imagine that on your pasta.... = -2pts (Hey-yo!)
  • Listening to an old cop complain about how mad everybody got when they learned how racist LA cops were in the '90s. = -4pts (Exponentially increase score by +10pts for every subsequent decade people act surprised.)
  • Practicing your stabby skills while your sister gives you pointers on being a high class prostitute. = +5pts (Finally, some practical career advice for once!)
  • Watching Friends with you dad... = +3pts
  • ...and some strange court appointed lady who can't stop giving him the stink-eye for five seconds. = -3pts
  • Bonding with the son of a heretofore insignificant character that nobody on the Internet knows anything about. = -2pts
  • In an effort to lighten the mood, Detective Velcro entertains the crew by doing his best Colin Farrell impersonation. = +5pts (ZING!)
  • But hey! If you're going to binge, best to do it alone in your apartment where you don't make the mistake of killing the wrong rapist...again! = +3pts
  • Nothing says LA quite like Escort Tour 2015. = -2pts
  • Another episode in which key plot information is communicated by cops essentially tailgaiting suspects to a "dangerous super secret location". = -3pts 
  • Nothing like a bit of pure Molly to help you unearth a childhood trauma in the middle of an orgy. = -3pts
  • Knives come out. Unfortunately Chekhov was sleeping and totally missed it. Would you mind doing it again so that he can see it? He's a really great guy, Chekhov. = +4pts
Episode Score = +4pts
Season Score = +115pts

We are fully ready to stop discovering new things about Taylor Kitsch's character. Like, seriously, are we going to find out next episode that he was part of some top secret government-sponsored experiment as a kid, and as a result he can move objects with his mind? Other than that, these were relatively okay episodes. A definite cool-down from the previous week's big shoot-out, (even with the over-hyped orgy) but at least the plot is moving forward, and the main characters were mostly distracted by actual casework to spend too much time being angry at the people who raised them/whom they are supposed to be raising.

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