True Detective Season Two is Deeper and more Complex than Season One


We’re three episodes into the second season of True Detective with a fourth episode right around the corner. The last episode, “Maybe Tomorrow,” began to push some things forward while also pulling others back. But what’s becoming increasingly clear is that True Detective season two has greater, more intricate plans that season one.

More from HBO

The first season of True Detective was not a straightforward season of television — it had more than its fair share of twists and turns. But when looking back now, True Detective season one feels like a much more simpler beast. Season two has so many conspiracies and deep characters that it blows season one away in terms of complexity.

While that may be part of its problem, it does perhaps make for a bigger hook. We have the crow man (or men) seemingly intent on taking down Frank and his business ventures. It may be someone he slighted in the past, but we don’t quite know yet. It could, of course, be much simpler than that.

Then we have the personal problems of the four leads. Ray is a serious burnout and terrible father — though he is trying — Paul has PTSD from some terrible event in his past, Ani also has a rough past with her father and is the personification of “quiet rage,” and Frank is slowly unraveling back into the monster he supposedly once was.

This is also one of True Detective season two’s major problems.

There are a lot of moving parts here.

This is also one of True Detective season two’s major problems. How can all of this possibly be juggled in a way that’s compelling? The first two episodes struggled a little with this problem. Episode three is starting to bring it all into focus a little more, and that gives us hope for the future. If the first season of True Detective was a bit of a slow burn, season two is the very essence of that.

True Detective season two is not perfect, but True Detective as a series is also imperfect. The second season is attempting to do something radically different from not only the first season, but also from what we expect from a modern detective drama. And that brings many bumps in the road.

The mystery of the crow men is almost True Detective’s idea of a “red herring.

The mystery of the crow men is almost True Detective’s idea of a “red herring.” Even though at first it seems like the most interesting thing True Detective has to offer, that is proving to not be the case. The interpersonal relationships between our leads is what’s going to end up driving this ship, and that’s something that we look forward to seeing more of.

Next: This True Detective Lera Lynn interview is must-read stuff.

More from Show Snob