In this installment of Green Screen, we highlight the greenest parts of your favorite TV guilty pleasures (spoiler: There are a lot of them!).
We have reached the end of True Detective: Season 2 (working title: Blue Detective: Everyone Is Dead). To arrive at this very special day, we have sat through no less than 510 minutes, exactly 13 and a third of which were roughly as enjoyable as being force-fed pushpins. And here we are, in the ashes of this self-immolating season, surrounded by the corpses of pretty much all of the protagonists. (It likely goes without saying but: Massive spoilers ahead.)
What lessons can we learn from True Detective? Well, in the end: Los Angeles is a hideous beast, but if you manage to escape its overwhelming sprawl — be it in your own car or that of a Mexican gang — your monstrous character flaws will overcome you once and for all and you will die. But only if you’re a man!
Ray dies – for real this time – in a hail of bullets in the last forest in California that isn’t actively on fire. Why here, why now? Well, Ray’s murderers – a SWAT team headed up by a sling-armed Lieutenant Burris – put a tracking device on his Charger while he’s stopped to awkwardly wave at his son over the school fence (“can’t you see I’m Dungeonmaster right now Dad, jeez”).
Ray, seeing the tracking device on his car, doesn’t think to himself, “Wow, that sucks, but maybe I can use an infinitesimal chunk of the million dollars I have in a bag right now to catch a cab over to join my brand-new girlfriend on the trip that I arranged for us to leave the country forever.” Were Los Angeles public transit a bit more reliable and accessible, perhaps his death could have been avoided. But probably not, because Ray seems remarkably committed to this being the best hill he could possibly die on – enough so that he leaves a long, touching suicide note for his son, which then fails to upload because the National Parks don’t get good enough cell service.
The Mexican gang members who Frank fucked over by burning down the clubs that he promised them (whoops!) manage to catch up to him, hijack his car, and bring him to a stark, remote desert to murder him. “Here,” Frank says, “please take the million dollars that I happen to have in this suitcase, and we’ll call this even.”
“OK, but also give us your suit,” say Mexican Gang Members Nos. 1 and 2. “¡Apúrale!”
“That’s too goddamn far!” says Frank (I’m paraphrasing), and then he is promptly stabbed to death.
Where does this leave Jordan and Ani, literally the only two surviving main characters? On the run in Venezuela with Ray and Ani’s newborn child (“they did do a whole lot of fucking in that motel room,” one of my watching companions thoughtfully observed, and contraception doesn’t seem to be much of a thing on this show). In a hotel room, Ani gives over the story of who killed Ben Caspere — turns out it was no one who had anything to do with pretty much any of the show’s major plotlines – to a bewildered writer for “The Times.”
The New York Times? The Caracas Times? We will never know.
There we have it. True Detective: Season Two is done. Thank you for watching, thank you for reading, and thank you, Future Me, for knowing better when Season Three rolls around.