Aug 242015
 

In Omega Station we learned that what was truly fueling the season’s engines was a desire to promote life and spiritual growth, not a craving for depicting death and misery.

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(courtesy nashvillescene.com)

“Lately” by Lera Lynn (2015)

Lately I’m not feeling like myself,
When I look into the glass, I see someone else.
I hardly recognize this face I wear,
When I stare into her eyes, I see no one there.
Lately I’m not feeling like myself.

Lately I’ve been losing all my time,
All that mattered to me slipped my mind.
Everytime I hit another town, strangers appear to lock me down.
Lately I’ve been losing all my time.

The mystery that no one knows,
Where does love go when it goes?

Lately words are missing from now on,
Vanished in the haze of love gone wrong.
There’s no future, there’s no past,
In the present, nothing lasts.
Lately someone’s missing from now on.

The mystery that no one knows,
Where does love go when it goes?
The mystery that no one knows,
Where does love go when it goes?

Screen Shot 2015-08-23 at 10.22.39 PM
“I know now, the act—it described a trajectory.”

Ray says this to Ani as crickets chirp outside their window at the Molera Motel, in the first few minutes of True Detective Season Two’s eighth episode (and finale), “Omega Station.” He is gradually realizing that his current situation—he’s a fugitive, wanted by the very police force that once employed him, framed for two murders he did not commit—is the result of several missteps he’s made along the way. He is taking ownership of his life here, and that’s important.

Having such a sympathetic ear in Ani helps. She tells him whole cultures would have done what he did, that people wouldn’t have blamed him and she certainly doesn’t. But that’s beside the point for Ray. Because even when he thought he had killed the right man, his wife’s true rapist and attacker, he was riddled with guilt for over a decade. Whether or not he was aware of this—he defended his actions as “natural law”—it was still there. As Gena pointed out earlier, Ray was once a “good man.” And now look what’s become of him.
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Aug 122015
 

ep13-ss01-1920From the beginning of True Detective Season 2, I have been bothered by its sexual politics. Lots and lots of fiction has a tendency to use sexual fetishism as a kind of shorthand for “evil”. Bad characters are voyeurs or exhibitionists or are into porn or (especially) BDSM. Good characters make sweet, sweet love. In the dark.

This isn’t an essay about the quality of True Detective–there are plenty of cogent articles out there explaining why Season 2 was a disappointment. In terms of symbolism and all that, our new Basketwriter Laura has done an outstanding job of teasing out the hidden messages of this season, but Masonry and Greek mythology don’t wash away the surface reading of what the show actually has to say about its characters, what they do, and who they are. The season takes four core characters: Ray (Colin Farrell), Ani (Rachel McAdams), Frank (Vince Vaughn), and Paul (Taylor Kitsch), and shows them on the road to redemption, and asks what it takes for them to redeem themselves from sin- and pain-filled lives. By the penultimate episode, Black Maps and Motel Rooms, it looks awfully clear that anything is forgivable, as long as you’re not gay. Continue reading »

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