REVIEW: True Detective – “Black Maps and Motel Rooms”

True Detective Review

The following is a review of the penultimate episode of the second season of True Detective, beware of spoilers.

We’ve finally reached the penultimate episode of the season. An episode which is, in my opinion, the most important episode since the season-opener. The penultimate episode had to make us care, it had to keep us entertained, and it had to convince us to worry about the characters for the very last episode. Though this season has been hit-and-miss, somehow this episode managed to tie up enough loose ends – as well as bring a gut-punching cliffhanger – to make you truly care about the end of the season.

One of the biggest problems with this season, outside of the story or dialogue problems, have been the characters Frank Semyon & Paul Woodrugh. Paul had had some strong episodes, but this was by far his best episode. In fact, I would argue that this was not only a strong Woodrugh-episode, but also a redemption episode for Vince Vaughn and Taylor Kitsch.

Vince Vaughn has been hit-and-miss this season, but he finally had a really strong episode in “Black Maps and Motel Rooms” – he felt more comfortable this time around, and the dialogue did not feel as forced as it has felt before. And while all main characters had their moments, this episode was most definitely centered around Semyon and, particularly, around Woodrugh.

So without further ado, let’s all say it – Goodbye, Paul. James Frain’s Lt. Kevin Burris followed Zombieland‘s double tap-rule, and now we’re left with just two messed-up detectives (who are on the run, no less). Paul won’t walk away from this one, like Ray did earlier in the season. Paul Woodrugh, and Taylor Kitsch, leaves the show, and his pregnant fiancée all alone with his messed-up mother.

The penultimate episode was directed by TV-veteran director Daniel Attias, and that was perhaps the smartest choice of director this season as he delivered the very best episode of the season. If I were to give a single piece of advice to Pizzolatto and the other guys and gals behind the show, then it would be to stick with a single director for a third season.

B+

I’m Jeffrey Rex

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