Episode 201 - "The Western Book of the Dead"

Director: Justin Lin
Writer: Nic Pizzolatto.
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Comments

  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    Well, looks like season two is going to be a much slower burn than season one. Other than Farrell beating the piss out of that punk's dad nothing much got a rise out of me this hour. What everybody else think?
    ksa1001Travis
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    At least they were all together at the end. The second episode should have some... movement. This was a lot of character development, which I was mostly fine with.

    It did bother me that a father who named his daughter Athena referred to the name meaning "the goddess of love," or at least seemed okay with her defining it that way. That would be Aphrodite. But possibly I'm one of those Greek mythology nuts who needs to show off. And he named Rachel McAdams Antigone? Okay, I love that. That has possibilities.

    I kept looking for Egyptian symbology in that sex dungeon house place. The skeleton with the crown was evocative of a mummy. The dead guy (a mummy?) had a bird mask sitting next to him... an ibis? Probably just a crow. "The Book of the Dead" is an Egyptian manuscript which told ancient Egyptians how to navigate the afterlife, so evidently we're examining some Western idea of the afterlife?

    Here we have Thoth, god of science, medicine, writing... and other things. This religion spanned like 3,000 years. Thoth is present with Anubis and Osiris during the judging of the dead in the afterlife.

    image

    Also I'm an Egyptian mythology nut... moreso than Greek.
    A_Ron_HubbardUnderwoodangryjefEnverDaveyMacTravis
  • UnderwoodUnderwood Philadelphia, PA
    Yeah, this was a big "getting to know everyone" episode. I thought the acting was pretty darn good though, and that was my biggest concern.
    ksa1001Travis
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    I wrinkled my nose at the Athena reference too. Hey pal, I've played God of War. That shit won't fly!
    JaimieTAntManBeeEnverDaveyMacTravisbrowniefive
  • But think about the relationship between Athena and her father...either Zeus or this guy. A bit to work with there I think. Where do we situate order, reason, and passion in this relationship? Also "Antigone"? I mean come on. But hopefully this all gets a bit deeper than a Wikipedia analysis on the part of the writers. 

    That aside, and maybe just because I live in socal, I loved the first episode. 
  • The thing about trying to get into the symbols and hidden meanings this year is that it feels pointless doing that after Season 1. Some of the references, some of the theories from the Psychosphere...yeah, some of that added a very tiny bit of context and intrigue looking back. But 90% of it was completely pointless. Do I really want to invest time getting into that again this year when I have the expectation that 90% of it will again be meaningless?

    As for the episode itself, I have to say I wasn't a fan. Everything felt like a pale imitation of Season 1. If Vince Vaughn acts as poorly the rest of the season as he did in the premiere, he can kiss his chances at a dramatic acting career goodbye. Guy needs to get advice from Bryan Cranston on how to make the transition from comedy to drama. Colin Farrell was definitely the highlight, but even his great performance suffers when you think back to McConaughey's in last year's premiere alone.

    Also, I just realized that I only post on the forums when I react negatively to an episode of TV and I really need to change that haha.
    Dee
  • Vince Vaughn is kind of a joke at this point. My wife would say something much worse. 

    I thought he was fine/good in ep. 1. I never watched Swingers, but I would say my best memory of his acting is in the badly underrated Return to Paradise

    He was brilliant in Old School, but then went the classic cash-out route of so many actors. Hope this season sees a resurfacing of his talent, which is, I think, legitimate. 
    steph_b
  • Frakkin TFrakkin T Currently Offline
    The Athena thing got on my nerves. If a guy is well enough versed in the classics to know Antigone, he damn sure should know about Athena. Antigone is a play about civil disobedience and rebellion against authority; having a character named Antigone being chastised by her father for being rebellious is a little too on the nose; bacon-gauntlet-y if you will.

    Hey did you like Matthew McConaughey as a hammered, brooding cop? Well here's Colin Farrell as a hammered, brooding cop. And here's Rachel McAdams as a hammered, brooding cop. Oh, and Taylor Kitsch as a not-so-hammered-but-definitely-fucked-up brooding cop. We get it; cops are miserable pricks. I saw the Wire, too. 

    At least they're not setting up any bullshit mythology this time around, stuff they'll tease for 7 episodes then say "Oops, you shouldn't have thought it was gonna be like that." That was my biggest complaint last season.






    broompersonAntManBeeghm3Travis
  • bizmarkiefaderbizmarkiefader San Francisco
    The writing in this episode was completely baffling. It felt like the dialog of a porn parody of a cop drama. Everything was almost comically on the nose ("What you think are my problems are really your fucking problems!"). How is this even the same show as the first season?
    Frakkin Tbroompersonhypergenesb
  • Based on the last scene in the bar between Vince and Colin's characters (and the scenes with Vince's character and his wife), there's a vibe that Vince and Colin's characters had an affair together in the past.

    JaimieTsteph_b
  • JohnnyCharismaJohnnyCharisma Australia
    edited June 2015
    Fantastic intro music and visuals once again.

    Show started interesting with the beginning and the bullied kid, but many scenes seemed very cliche to me. The atmosphere of the show is good though.  However if the writing doesn't become less on the nose I will be concerned.

    Overall, average episode. But True Detective Season 1, like I suspect for many others here, has earned Season 2 the benefit of the doubt, at least for its opener.
    Underwoodsteph_b
  • broompersonbroomperson the Iron Islands
    edited June 2015
    I thought this shit was overdone melodramatic and ridiculous. Colin Farrell's character is almost a caricature of himself. Just look at the guy, he looks fucking ridiculous. And anyone who treats his son that way is a piece of shit and gets no sympathy from me. And I was cringing at that entire go beat the shit out of the bullies dad thing.

    I could almost hear Pizolatto thinking to himself like "ok hmmmm how am I going to top Rust Cohle........ Oh I got it! BUTT FUCK YOUR DAD WITH YOUR MOTHERS SEVERED HEAD"

    It was ridiculous. The dude on the bike bored me from the moment i saw his pale boring face too.

    Vince Vaughn is the best thing about this show and he didn't wow me or anything.

    Also it might have had something to do with me watching this at 1 am then going to bed right after but, I think I either missed a ton of stuff or it was just straight up very confusing. Because they threw a million characters at us very quickly.
    ghm3
  • broompersonbroomperson the Iron Islands
    did they film the stuff with Mcadams and her father at the same place they filmed the Mad Men finale? It looked the same
    steph_b
  • It is nice to see the guy who played Dan Dority (Deadwood).

    Being from the east - I like things set in the southwest - it has flavor unlike anything we have here.
    steph_bTravis
  • ksa1001ksa1001 Plano, TX

    did they film the stuff with Mcadams and her father at the same place they filmed the Mad Men finale? It looked the same

    That's all I could think of during that scene.
    AntManBee
  • While I still plan on seeing the season through, there was enough in this episode to cause some concern.  At least as of now, I'm worried we might have too many characters, most of which seem to be fairly standard archetypes.  There is still PLENTY of room for the show to do interesting things with these characters, but I fear a lack of the focus that made season one so compelling.

    I don't expect this season to be just like 1, but i do hope it gives me something more than the corrupt cops in a corrupt system story we have all seen dozens of times.  Even the California setting seems to imply a chinatown/la confidential noire tone, which I'm a bit tired of at this point.

    I'm worried we have a southland tales on our hands, and this whole thing stinks of hubris.

    My hopes for this season are:

    - The separate character threads merge sooner than later (which already may have happened to be fair)
    - We get to see some fairly standard characters evolve or act in new and interesting ways.
    - The plot doesn't just end up being "Everyone is corrupt and the system is broken and unfixable"
    - My man Collin Farrell gets a chance to really show his chops to the masses.

    Tinfoil theories:

    - Gambit was sexually abused in his past
    - Homosexuality will be a big part of the story
    - Vince Vaughn will die



  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    I don't think we were supposed to think Farrell beating up the punk's dad was awesome, although some did, to each their own.  To me, that was an early "Marty breaks into his mistresses room and almost beats the piss out of her new boyfriend" level of disturbing behavior.  
    tvollmer89tom_gAntManBeesteph_bCoryTravis
  • did anyone else notice that Woody and Matty are listed as Executive Producers? 
    ksa1001steph_bCory
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    Also, on rewatch, there are a lot of potentially oobie-doobie occult stuff.  Aside from the bird mask, there was also that swanky golden skeletal knight / king, which I swear I've seen on a tarot card somewhere.  I'm not sure how the Psychosphere stuff will go this year either, but for me still knowing that 80% of it won't pan out it's still one of the most fun things to do with a TV show.  
    steph_b
  • Frakkin TFrakkin T Currently Offline

    Also, on rewatch, there are a lot of potentially oobie-doobie occult stuff.  Aside from the bird mask, there was also that swanky golden skeletal knight / king, which I swear I've seen on a tarot card somewhere.  I'm not sure how the Psychosphere stuff will go this year either, but for me still knowing that 80% of it won't pan out it's still one of the most fun things to do with a TV show.  

    Given how steadfastly they refused to pay any of that off last year, I am not going down that road with season 2. If I see much more of it, I'm just gonna stop watching and consider season 1 a one-hit wonder. 
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    ksa1001 said:

    did they film the stuff with Mcadams and her father at the same place they filmed the Mad Men finale? It looked the same

    That's all I could think of during that scene.
    Same.
    steph_b
  • UnderwoodUnderwood Philadelphia, PA
    Hatorian said:

    did anyone else notice that Woody and Matty are listed as Executive Producers? 

    I'm pretty sure that Woody and Matthew's pics are in the the intro too. If you look closely at when they're both named Exec. Producers, it sure looks like a pic of them from the intro of last season. But maybe im just sniffing the Psychosphere.
    Hatorian
  • ksa1001ksa1001 Plano, TX
    Underwood said:

    Hatorian said:

    did anyone else notice that Woody and Matty are listed as Executive Producers? 

    I'm pretty sure that Woody and Matthew's pics are in the the intro too. If you look closely at when they're both named Exec. Producers, it sure looks like a pic of them from the intro of last season. But maybe im just sniffing the Psychosphere.
    As soon as you said that it was "TO THE INTERNET!!!"

    Yes they are both shown as their respective names are on screen in the title sequence.

    Great catch!
    UnderwoodHatorian
  • UnderwoodUnderwood Philadelphia, PA
    After further digging, maybe I was taking some deep breathes of the Psychosphere, Its not actually Woody and Matt. It was defeintly framed to look like them from last seasons intro though.
  • broompersonbroomperson the Iron Islands

    I don't think we were supposed to think Farrell beating up the punk's dad was awesome, although some did, to each their own.  To me, that was an early "Marty breaks into his mistresses room and almost beats the piss out of her new boyfriend" level of disturbing behavior.  


    People on the TD sub reddit thought it was awesome. I was disgusted by the way Farrell treated his son and then with the beatdown of Aspens father. I had the urge to shut it off, very much like how I felt with the Stannis situation in GOT. I think the buttfucking line was forced and the scene was pretty hammy, but hell if it didn't get my blood pumping and my emotions flowing

  • I don't expect this season to be just like 1, but i do hope it gives me something more than the corrupt cops in a corrupt system story we have all seen dozens of times.  Even the California setting seems to imply a chinatown/la confidential noire tone, which I'm a bit tired of at this point.



    Really? I was actually hoping they would make this very noir-ish and was happy that is what we got. I guess I'm just a sucker for film noir and 'neo-noir' as this would be considered.
    steph_bTravis
  • HatorianHatorian Dagobah
    edited June 2015
    Underwood said:

    After further digging, maybe I was taking some deep breathes of the Psychosphere, Its not actually Woody and Matt. It was defeintly framed to look like them from last seasons intro though.

    I don't know. The Woody one is really hard to tell but that definitely looks like Matty. I would say it is if I had to choose. Which makes me think will they be mentioned or even possibly appear??? Everyone pictured in the season 1 opening credits appeared at least once on screen.
    Underwood
  • Someone on the NAttercast I Cant Stop Watching True Detective FB group pointed out that the Russian guy was from the cable commercial with the miniature elephant. 



    eltonjohnshusband
  • AntManBee said:


    I don't expect this season to be just like 1, but i do hope it gives me something more than the corrupt cops in a corrupt system story we have all seen dozens of times.  Even the California setting seems to imply a chinatown/la confidential noire tone, which I'm a bit tired of at this point.



    Really? I was actually hoping they would make this very noir-ish and was happy that is what we got. I guess I'm just a sucker for film noir and 'neo-noir' as this would be considered.
    Naw, I get you.  I guess I'm just a little tired of the  LA cop drama.  One of my favorite aspects of the last season was how it explored the remote deep south, which was in a way its own character.  I really enjoyed the locations and the vibe they created.  I guess in my perfect world, we would get neo noire but in an uncommon setting (something the film Brick did a great job of).

    In any case, I think we can all agree we are hoping for another great season of television.  I almost feel silly complaining about what is essentialy the first 8th of a really long movie, but it's the internet damnit!
    AntManBeeTravis
  • hypergenesbhypergenesb Atlanta
    edited June 2015
    I heard about this on the Film Schlubs podcast.

    Welcome to Vinci | The real 'True Detective,'
    "There's no such city as Vinci in real life, but there is a place called Vernon, and it has a lot in common with Vinci."

    p.s. This is part of an ongoing podcast.
    steph_b
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