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True Detective – Night Finds You – Advance Preview: “We Get the World We Deserve”

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Previously on True Detective:

Season 2, Episode 2: "Night Finds You"

While the premiere episode drew mixed reactions from some viewers, I’ve been enjoying this season from the get-go – and the few reservations I had were quickly erased when I screened episode two. True Detective starts to hit its stride here, with a fantastic second instalment that ups the ante in nearly every way. Last week I mentioned how excited I was initially to see Vince Vaughn in the part of Frank Semyon, and I was slightly underwhelmed by his presence in the premiere. Here his character gets fleshed out a bit more, and Vaughn will silence any doubters with his performance.

As Velcoro, Woodrugh, and Bezzerides begin work on Casper’s homicide case, we learn more about them individually and watch some interesting team dynamics form. This season certainly isn’t shying away from being as tonally dark as last, which is a good thing. True Detective has managed to keep the spirit of its first incarnation while totally switching the setup and world. “Night Finds You” builds upon the seedy, noir universe set up in the premiere, and it’s a stronger episode without a doubt.

The episode definitely ups the quota of weird and adds more layers to an already convoluted mystery. Murder, mutilation, fetishes, hookers and tons of shady dealings; Casper’s case quickly becomes exceedingly exciting, and with so many players involved there’s a certain depth and intricacy that wasn't present last season. Everyone has an angle, and you never really know who’s working who. Nic Pizzolatto’s writing is interesting, intense, and always has depth. This season reminds me a great deal of my favorite film noir ever, Chinatown. The parallels certainly aren’t lost in the second episode. Some parts of “Night Finds You” – most notably the direction – also reminded me of Drive, Nicolas Winding Refn’s dark, 2011 neo-noir action film.

Farrell continues to impress, giving an incredibly layered and haunting performance. By all means, Velcoro should be detested – but Farrell plays him totally human, so even as he appears to be his own worst enemy, I feel sympathetic. He’s got plenty of great scenes here, including a tense conversation with his ex-wife regarding what happened in the premiere with Velcoro and his sons bully (probably my favourite TV scene so far this season.) His dynamic with McAdams is great, and his scenes with Vaughn are always brutally tense. Farrell continues to shine as the MVP of this all-start cast, though the others certainly aren’t slouching.

McAdams again nails her part as hardened and dynamic Detective Bezzerides – we get bit more information on her upbringing and the religious work her father does, and McAdams is consistently fantastic. Kitsch also gains points here, deepening his character that is perhaps the biggest mystery of the bunch. He could be a hero or a villain; there are hints in episode two of a darker, perhaps less-sympathetic side to Woodrugh.

All in all, “Night Finds You” is another incredibly strong and interesting installment of this anthology. As the mystery deepens, this season continues to show even more promise of greatness. Again, the cast is fantastic, the writing is smart, and the direction is always interesting and unique (kudos to Justin Lin, who helmed the first two episodes.)

The final moments are chilling and will certainly leave fans begging for episode three – which I was lucky enough to screen in advance, and will preview for you next week. Until then, what are you most excited for this Sunday? Where are you expecting the stories to go now that you’ve seen the premiere? Hit the comments with your thoughts and feel free to follow me on Twitter for all my SpoilerTV work.

“Night Finds You” premieres this Sunday at 9pm EST on HBO.

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