About three quarters through my True Detective Finale: Explained recap last night, I realized that I didn’t care. I stopped care (and started laughing) the moment Lenny was revealed. I figured out the one interesting element of the season last week, namely the convoluted murder mystery underneath the “character study.” It was less a mystery and more akin to finding the the least memorable characters of the season and pinning the blame on them (the murderer or Ben Caspere, the set photographer, had all of one scene prior to the finale, while his co-conspirator and sister had two). It was, however, in keeping with the minor importance of the actual killer in season one, the Lawnmower Man/Spaghetti Monster.
Beyond that central mystery, I had grown indifferent to the fates of the central characters. In ending the season, it felt like Pizzolatto was mostly responding to critic’s who disliked the “happy” ending in season one. Marty and Rust lived, so fuck it, this season, Nicky P. is going to kill off the male characters, not because it’s the the best way to wrap up the season, but because it’s the opposite of what he did last year (and the moment that Frank said he’d meet Jordan in a white suit, and the moment Ray almost told Ani he loved her were the exact moments we knew they’d die).
As for all those criticisms he got last year about female characters, he decided to wave his “feminist flag” by allowing the two females live, only you could barely see that flag beyond all the prostitutes fucking greasy old men this season.
Also, letting your female characters live — and having Ani provide some salvation for Ray by having his posthumous baby — is not exactly what I’d call a “strong female character” (although, I will grant that Ani was the best female character in two seasons of True Detective, four-day rape van bender aside. Rachel McAdams was the shining light of season two).
I didn’t find the finale confusing personally, but that’s only by virtue of watching every episode two or three times and breaking each episode down. My bigger issue was with the fact that I simply stopped caring about anyone. Are we supposed to feel satisfaction in seeing Holloway killed by Lenny, because most people barely had any idea who Holloway and Lenny were. Are we supposed to shake our heads at the injustice of Tony Chessanni killing his old man and repeating the cycle of corruption in Vinci? Because no one gave a shit about Tony Chessanni (who had maybe three scenes all season?) And besides, why did Frank even go after to Austin Chessanni’s house to see him floating in the pool? To say goodbye?
Having “Gonzales” kill Frank in the end over Frank’s refusal to take off his suit (which, granted, had $3.5 million in diamonds inside) seemed almost random. And for f*cks sake, did Ray’s finale really end with him desperately trying to upload a message to his son on his phone before getting shot? Ray was robbed of redemption by a bad cell phone plan (and the fact that he was dumb enough to drive out into the middle of the woods while being chased by cops)!
The Michael Bayness of these shots basically summed up the finale for me.
I was busy writing my finale recap last night, so I didn’t get a chance to sample the response until the morning. I was afraid that viewers would’ve been suckered in by the bleak for bleak’s sake ending. They were not. Twitter was as frustrated and irate with the silly ending as I was.
RT if #TrueDetective was just an 8 week long fart in the face.— TODD SPENCE (@Todd_Spence) August 10, 2015
Man. Whatever will we be perplexed by and uninvolved with next Sunday? #TrueDetective— Daniel Fienberg (@TheFienPrint) August 10, 2015
I will give this season of #TrueDetective an A if it ends with "Life Is A Highway."— Carrie Raisler (@TVandDinners) August 10, 2015
It's a shame no one got around to teaching Colin Farrell how to use Soundcloud on #TrueDetective.— Steve Feitl (@SteveFeitl) August 10, 2015
Season 3 of #TrueDetective should be about an investigation into what wrong with Season 2— Kushal Uprety (@KushalUprety) August 10, 2015
When you get to a finale and you still have no idea what the actual plot was about.. It's safe to say you've made a bad show! #TrueDetective— Katie Smith (@miss_katesmith) August 10, 2015
Hey all fiction, stop having women "save the day" by giving birth to the child of the dead hero. It's the worst. #TrueDetective— nolan buro (@theclobberinkid) August 10, 2015
I think anyone who said they like #TrueDetectiveSeason2 is doing it to be irreverent. It fucking sucked. Arrogant, conceited gibberish— Tom Jamieson (@TomJamieson77) August 10, 2015