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True Detective - Episode 1.02 - Seeing Things - Advance Review

     In its second episode of the series, True Detective slows things down to the speed of a snail and, somehow, is still able to make good, exciting TV.

     A quarter of the way through the first season, we already have a pretty decent idea of who Rust Cohle is and where he is going. While the true mystery of the story will be finding out "how" he gets to 2010, I think it is very interesting to think about where Cohle is coming from. We know that Cohle had a daughter that died, but we don't know exactly what happened or the circumstances that led her to her death. By the time this episode is over, you will know what happened to his daughter and how it immediately effected him. It's the latter part of this that is more interesting however. Considering Cohle's lacking bedside manner there's not a lot to tease about him in this episode except what you could all probably guess; he continues to be an ass and his boss notices it.

     Meanwhile Cohle's partner, Martin Hart, is dealing with some family issues. I knew this would eventually come up, but I am surprised that it comes up with such a force in this episode. What really surprised me was the expediency with which, the writers destroyed the idea of a "perfect family". Within minutes, True Detective took Hart and turned him into a lesser being than Cohle, which I think is a major part of the series. While Cohle isn't shy about his controversial views on life, he is honest with himself. Hart, on the other hand, does despicable things, but doesn't really own up to any of it. He uses dodging tactics in order to rationalize the way that he lives his life. It's an excellent irony served up by two of the greatest actors on TV today.

     While the character development is remarkably well done, the case has gone a tad dry this week. Rust Cohle uses his "persuasive abilities" with a few different people, but not a whole lot happens. I would normally complain about a show taking a week off any major developments in the main story line, but True Detective masterfully weaves in and out of the tough detective story and the equally tough personal lives of the detectives. I can't really tease a whole lot here because there isn't a whole lot on the case, but by the end of the episode you will have more than one "WTF" moment. You definitely don't want to miss it.

Rating: B+ 

     The episode is a little slow on action, but the plot continues to move forward in a way that is both entertaining and different. Hopefully episode 3 will add in a little more action on the case, but if it's combined with the same formula of intriguing characters, True Detective will have no trouble finding it's way back into the top tier rating category of A.

Tune in to True Detective on Sunday on HBO. Be sure to come back here to SpoilerTV to let everyone else know what you thought of the episode.