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True Detective | Season 2 Episode 1 Recap


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The original Yellow Kings of podcasting are here with their first recap of True Detective season two!

Josh Wigler (@roundhoward), Jeremiah Panhorst (@jpanhorst) and Antonio Mazzaro (@acmazzaro) open up “The Western Book Of The Dead,” diving into all the mysteries and set-ups from the HBO crime show’s first new episode of its second season. The trio discuss the highs and lows of the four main characters and their performances, their thoughts on who’s responsible for the death of Vinci city manager Ben Caspere, the big differences between seasons one and two so far, and much more.

Join us in the comments section below to keep the conversation going, and check back next week for another True Detective recap.

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  • Dave_Bakker

    There are already lots of comparisons to the first season. What is the main thing in the premiere that differentiates season two from season one?

  • Robin

    Many think Season 1 of True Detective was a so-so plot made great by fantastic performances. In episode one of Season 2, do you think Farrell, McAdams, Kitsch and Vaughn have shown us they can live up to the standards that were set by McHarrelhey?

  • Alex Wilpon

    What’d you guys think of the theme song, Leonard Cohen’s
    “Nevermind”? Like everything True Detective, people are comparing it to
    season 1’s and seem to like the new one less. Other people seem to
    prefer to music from the previews or the song from the scene at the bar
    at the end of last night’s episode. Personally, I liked the new theme
    song when I heard it and was a bit surprised that most of the reactions I saw were negative.

  • In season 1 there were 2 things for me that differentiated it from any other detective/crime show on television: the atmosphere, and the 2 lead characters. From what we’ve seen of season 2 so far, while it was a good enough premiere, it doesn’t feel that different to any other inner-city crime series – what aspects of season 2 do you think could potentially separate itself from both season 1 and other crime shows?

  • Arya Stark

    I thought this pilot was great, and the characters/writing is as good as ever. That being said, I liked Rachel Mcadams’ character the most, which character intrigued you the most and left you wanting more?

  • AlexKuntz

    What do you make of the references to Oedipus, Antigone, and Athena?

  • Lila

    Were we supposed to question whether or not Semyon actually got the rapist of Velcoro’s wife? That ginger kid looks nothing like the guy Semyon ID’d as the one they took care of in the photo from the flashback and I couldn’t help but notice his right hand man was a redhead.

    Also, what significance does the title of the episode (“The Western Book of the Dead”) have? If they referenced that within the actual episode, I missed it.

    • snitch

      When I saw that the pic of allegted rapist wasn’t a redhead I assumed that Velcoro’s wife was redheaded.

  • John Santucci

    The episode, while good, seemed to suffer from its own exposition, and from its success in Season 1. Some dialogue seemed forced to fit this exposition, and the episode appeared to be channeling Mulholland Drive. I get that the child of Velocoro is most likely the product of rape, and the whole new-city of Vinci and its development investment project will be the show’s Chinatown (Polanski’s film). But I just could not avoid thinking about Weekend at Bernie’s when Officer Woodrugh finds the missing city manager’s body. It wasn’t a great start, but let’s give it some breathing room. It may still surprise us and avoid a sophomore slump.

  • John Santucci

    What do you think is the significance of the title of Episode 1, The Western Book of the Dead? I believe the Book of the Dead was a book of spells intended to aid a person’s soul through the Underworld and into the next life. Are we supposed to witness our 4 main characters travel thru the underworld of L.A. or Vinci in this case, and into their next life via a redemption story arc?

  • Benji G

    Who was the most intriguing character of Episode 1?

  • snitch

    (1) Was Semyon saying that he had already “taken care of” Velcoro’s wife’s
    rapist? Or did he give Velcoro the info for Velcoro to “take care of”?

    (2) Was Taylor K suspended for letting the actress off (… and getting off, ahem) and then he got busted for it? Or for giving the actress the ticket who then claimed that she blew him?

    (3) Why did Taylor K need the blue Vitamin V?

    (4) Why was McAdams called to the scene of the crime / found body? I get that Taylor K found him, and Velcoro had been working the dissappearance, but I don’t get why McAdams and her partner were called? I would think their jurisdiction but wasn’t sure.

    I couldn’t tell :(
    I need to know!!!

    FWIW – I enjoyed the epi. I disagree with all the haters. I think it is a mistake to say “wow I am disappointed that Epi 1 of S2 wasn’t as good as the full 10 epids of S1″. I really like Vince V. But I wasn’t worried about him. I was however worried about Colin F but am glad to see that he was playing his character well :)

    Looking forward to the podcast :)

  • @Wharfrat1625

    Was Kitsch’s girlfriend the missing little sister that McAdams was looking for at her father’s cult headquarters? I was slightly uncertain if they were the same woman or not.

    Is it just me or is Colin Farrel the most compelling and intriguing of the ensemble so far? He might be a little cliche bad lieutenant, but I found the background they gave us for him rather interesting.

    Was the police Department putting Farrel and the meatball they sent with him to investigate Casper’s Disappearance on that case because they were going to be ineffective? I thought that was the implication at first but after he’s found dead It didn’t seem as clear.

    What’s up with the son of the harpy mask that was in the back seat with Casper when we first see him in the car early on? Was it a crow head? The way the shot lingered on it seemed important to me. Am I reading into it?

    Finally, the most important question of the evening. Did anyone ever come to your house, beat up your dad, and than threaten to butt#&%@ him with your mom’s headless corpse on your front lawn?

  • So Velcoro (Colin Farrell) killed Casper (the guy at the end) right? Beacuse he did give Caspers stuff (laptop an files) to Frank (Vince Vaughn) in the bar scene right? Beacuse when Velcoro and his partner search Caspers house they make note of the laptop missing, and i never saw him grab it when he was with his partner witch means he had to of been there before they got the call to go there.

  • So did anyone else notice that Frank (Vince Vaughn) has a red head goon? I wonder if the guy that Frank told Velcoro (Colin Farrell) raped his wife was just some random dude and it was really his ginger goon. I dont think Frank ordered the rape but maybe he ordered the wife get roughed up or something and the goon just went to far?

  • hugatreemom

    Thoughts on any follow up for the missing girl, do we need to be concerned with her or was it just a way to meet ‘daddy’ and hear about ‘mom’?

  • Rubicon

    When I was watching the scene when Velcoro went to the bully’s house I noticed a picture on the wall inside the house that caught my eye.

    It’s the entrance to Luna Park, an amusement park in Sydney.

    So I googled True Detective and Luna Park and found this

    Read this

    Then this

    • Holey fudge monkeys. That is some actual incredible true detective work right there. So okay say if the Luna Park picture was put there on purpose, and later on in the season some people perish on the new California train line because someone sabotaged it that is or has links to someone referred to as the Horned Man.

      Is that one of the greatest Easter Egg clues given ever? That would be amazing.

      • Antonio Mazzaro

        Incidentally, Moloch is the big bad on Sleepy Hollow so tying him in here would be interesting since Sleepy has already played on so much of the mythology of Moloch.

    • Antonio Mazzaro

      This to me is a litmus test as to whether the show is just throwing in Easter Eggs or actual clues. If the former, they walk a fine line for sure between feeding the fans and pissing us off.

      • Rubicon

        I hadn’t thought about it that way, Antonio, but that’s a very interesting way to think about it.

        Boy, I hope it turns out to be something we can
        reverse engineer back to. Because that level of painstaking attention to detail has got shades of Kubrick about it, and that’s very exciting.

  • swift00001

    A combination of GoT w/d’s and hearing bad things about this season has prevented me from checking this out. My question, is anyone enjoying this as much as the first season? Ever since seson 5 of GoT wrapped up ive been bored af

    • Antonio Mazzaro

      It’s only one episode in, I think we have to give it time.

  • Normally I can’t stand Vince Vaughn, I hate him in comedy roles, so I was actually surprised he was tolerable in this. I also don’t like Colin Farrel’s roles most of the time, once again he’s playing a really bad person, but I liked Season 1 of True Detective enough to stick with it and see what comes of these guys. So far it seems more of a gangster story, which I am less interested in… but I will give it a chance. The other two cop characters seem like they could be interesting.

  • Angie

    Wait, wasn’t the girl with Taylor Kitch the same girl in the photo that the woman showed Rachel McAdams when she went to deliver the foreclosure notice?

    • Anna

      I didn’t think so when I watched it, but I’ve seen a lot of people asking that so I’m not sure anymore