"Paul Levinson's It's Real Life is a page-turning exploration into that multiverse known as rock and roll. But it is much more than a marvelous adventure narrated by a master storyteller...it is also an exquisite meditation on the very nature of alternate history." -- Jack Dann, The Fiction Writer's Guide to Alternate History

Monday, July 6, 2015

True Detective 2.3: Buckshot and Twitty

Well, as I was saying last week, True Detective couldn't be crazy enough to kill one of its leading men in the very second episode, could it, as wild and iconoclastic as such a move might have been.  But we discovered in True Detective 2.3 last night - after a fabulous opening sequence with a bizarre but compelling Elvis-like impersonator singing "The Rose" (reminiscent of one of the best scenes in any movie, Dean Stockwell delivering Roy Orbison's "In Dreams" in Blue Velvet) - that Ray survived!  Because Ray was hit with two shotgun blasts, alright - but loaded with buckshot not lead.

Ok, first, I'm no weapons expert, and I wouldn't know buckshot from grape nuts cereal, or birdshot, either, but the point is that kudos to True Detective, that was an excellent feint. And while we're at it, the impersonator was apparently of Conway Twitty - not Elvis - but the two are pretty similar, anyway, and throw in Conrad Birdie there, too.  And one of other thing: the scene in Blue Velvet was a lip synch (not technically an impersonation) - Roy Orbison's voice coming out of Dean Stockwell's mouth - and so, it maybe seems, was "The Rose" in TD.

Interestingly, Blue Velvet's David Lynch was supposed, until recently, to be producing a new slew of Twin Peaks episodes, until he bowed out, so it was especially gratifying to see this Lynchian bow to his work at the beginning of last night's True Detective.  As was the case last year, part of what makes True Detective so appealing is not the storyline per se, but the ambience via which it is presented.   Hey, let's be honest.  It is the shimmering water color ambiguous ambience that truly makes True Detective what it is - like no other show on television, by a long shot, in the combination of its searingly misty imagery and mix of sound and music.

But the story's developing well, particularly at this point with Frank, who is a suitably complex racketeer, able to dish out a beat-down to an associate who foolishly bad mouths him, and take note that Ray is off his booze, drinking just water.  Frank is the too obvious source of the shotgun blasts on Ray - putting someone up to it - but why do that, to frighten Ray?  And the rounds are police issue, which presumably Frank could acquire, but why, to distance Ray further from the police? More likely the shooter is connected more directly to the police, or to Ray's paternity, or some combination.

Frank is not yet as interesting as Tony Soprano, but he's off to a good start, as is True Detective this second season.

See also Season Two: True Detective: All New ... True Detective 2.2: Pulling a Game of Thrones

And see also Season One: True Detective: Socrates in Louisiana ... True Detective Season One Finale: Light above Darkness

Like philosophic crime fiction?   Try The Plot to Save Socrates ...


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