Image Source: HBO
So I know it’s taken me a little while to actually get to writing this post. In all honesty, I’m not entirely sure how I felt about the finale so I wanted to take some days to let it sink in before I started writing this. As you may know, I have been a pretty big fan of this season. I loved the characters and I thought the storyline kept me engaged throughout the entire duration of this season. This finale however felt a little underwhelming to me and I’m not entirely sure why. I’m hoping in writing this post that I will gain a better understanding as to why I felt so ‘bleh’ after the finale aired.
It really wasn’t until the finale that I realized that Paul was actually my favorite character. I went into this season assuming Paul was my favorite character because well…..Taylor Kitsch is amazing. But a few episodes in, I just found myself more drawn to Ray and Ani than Paul. But I must admit; this last episode without the good old American soldier doing the right thing and trying to help people really didn’t do it for me. Maybe my dissatisfaction with the finale doesn’t run any deeper than the fact that Taylor Kitsch simply wasn’t in it.
The first thing I noticed after re-watching the episode was the intro lyrics. We’ve heard them many times in all sorts of different arrangements but I wanted to pay attention to the lyrics they decided to end the intro on for the finale….especially after seeing the finale:
I was not caught
I crossed the line
I was not caught
Though many tried
I live among you
They basically told us that the bad guys weren’t going to get caught by the end of the season. Lovely. All this time I thought those particular lyrics were talking about what was going on at the time of the show. Like someone we thought we trusted was really working in this conspiracy the whole time and I know I’m not the only one who thought that. But really, the lyrics were basically written after the fact. These people have risen to power. Paul died in his fight against them. Ray died trying to expose them. Frank died trying to take them down. Ani and Jordan literally had to flee the country or they would have died too. Many did try and they do live among the common people very well disguised in their high positions within society. Again, what a lovely thought.
Franks Final Walk
Let’s just dive right into this shall we? I really liked Frank in this episode and honestly, now that we know he really wasn’t hiding anything the whole time….I really liked Frank this season. And I loved Jordan. I loved how they should a very supportive wife that also had no problem calling her husband on all of his shit. Somehow, Frank and Jordan really displayed the fact that they were madly in love with each other even through all of the bullshit they went through this season.
But unfortunately, it didn’t all work out great in the end. Frank finally is able to convince Jordan to leave him behind and that he’d meet her later. Though I do think Frank thinks pretty highly of himself, I’m not sure he really ever expected to actually meet her.
Frank does a little detective work on his own really solidifying his place as one of the True Detectives this season and teams up with Ray to finish off the guys working for Catalyst and Osip’s men. It was a pretty awesome scene but I was kind of upset that it turned out to be the last awesome scene of the season. There was no comeback for Ray and Frank once they were hunted down….it just got depressing.
So now let’s talk about Frank’s final walk and whether or not I liked this scene. Okay, the point of the scene was amazing; the fact that Frank refused to give up and his will power is stronger than most men’s. He’s a fighter and all he wants at that point is to get to Jordan and get to safety. But things do come at a price. If Frank wanted to live happily ever after with Jordan; he could’ve just left with Jordan. $100,000 is definitely enough money to run away together and start a new and happy life…especially with two people as smart as Frank and Jordan. But Frank’s ego got the best of him. He needed to end the people who took him down and he needed to shut their eyes forever. He accomplished that but now he doesn’t get that happily ever after he was yearning for. He is stabbed by the Mexicans and left for dead in the desert.
As he makes his defiant walk to safety; he is taunted by everyone in his life who told him he would never amount to anything and followed creepily by vultures. He is eventually greeted by Jordan and can now walk just fine. That’s when you know he died. He is now being comforted by the only person who ever truly believed in him. And how did he pay her? He abandoned her. Of course she doesn’t believe he abandoned her but I can’t help but to look at it that way. He didn’t have to go on this last mission but he did and now Jordan will never be able to grow old with man she fell in love with. It’s ridiculously tragic.
Ray & Ani
I was really all about Ray and Ani this season. Their chemistry together was fantastic. I didn’t really care if it turned into a romance or just an amazing partnership but I thought they did have something interesting together. Now, I think the ending of the show would’ve had a bigger impact on the viewers if they focused more on Ray and Ani throughout the season. I think for eight episodes; this season of True Detective had way too much to accomplish and not a whole lot of time. This season had a much more detailed and complicated case plus four main characters to establish. Don’t get me wrong; I loved Frank and Paul but I think the ending would’ve worked out better for them if they actually really fleshed out the relationship between Ray and Ani.
In the penultimate episode; Ray and Ani get together because they honestly understand each other better than anyone else in their lives. This connection was deep but I really didn’t think it was that intense or developed to cause the heartache we were supposed to get when Ani cries at the moment of Ray’s death. Does that make sense?
And now that I’m writing this; I think I’m coming across the reason that I wasn’t a huge fan of this finale. I felt like Ani was slightly underused. As much as Ani became the reason that these people may finally go down because she was able to run away; she wasn’t part of this final fight. I wanted to see her do something to take down these men. It would’ve been better if Frank, Ray and Ani all went after these guys with everything they had. Whenever I saw Ani sitting in that room…I just thought “oh look there’s the best soldier they got….just sitting there” you know? Again, I’m not disputing the importance of Ani making it out alive…especially seeing as Paul, Ray and Frank didn’t but it just gave me a little bit of a lackluster feeling regarding her character that I fell in love with over the past seven episodes of this season.
Now that I ranted about that; let’s talk about Ray’s death. Ray was probably the MVP of this season. He did an amazing job being a bad guy turned good guy or the other way around (you can argue in the comment section) but by the end we were all rooting for him. And we all knew that when he decided to see his son one last time that they would be expecting that.
Ugh, the final scene with Ray was pretty great though it was very similar to the final scene with Paul in a lot of ways. They fought until the end. They were able to take out a good handful of bad guys before they died but all in all, this whole thing was bigger than them. Ray knew he was probably going to die in those moments but he fought anyway. He did whatever he could. And of course after the shootout his legacy is tainted by being branded as a criminal and a traitor to anyone in his life that watches the news. But at least one of his son’s will grow up learning the truth about his father you know? God this is so depressing.
I’m going to make this post a little shorter than my last few. If you watched the episode, you know what happened to the case and what finally happened to the main characters; no real need to analyze all of that. I guess I’m just going to finally talk about the meaning of True Detective.
In Season One, Rust and Marty were able to catch the bad guy; but the lost everything they held dear to them in the process really coining them as True Detectives. In Season Two, they literally lost everything….including their own lives. Paul, Ray and Frank paid the ultimate sacrifice and Ani and Jordan (and Nails) had to flee the country in order to stay alive. Though they solved the case, they didn’t bring the culprits to justice so the feeling I got from this finale was just sad. Not “gut-wrenching I’m gonna cry for days” sad….just sad.
We’re supposed to have hope that the writer Ani is talking to in the final scene will be able to bring down these awful people in Vinci but how are we supposed to believe that? Apparently Ray, Frank, Ani and Paul couldn’t do it so let’s just leave it to a writer? I’m going to just go ahead and make my prediction that won’t work. So we’re left with a pretty weird feeling by the time the credits roll….or at least I was.
Again I would like to reiterate that I loved this season and I was thoroughly entertained throughout. I just don’t know if the finale was executed the same way that the season was. Maybe I’ll change my mind whenever I re-watch all of Season Two a little ways down the road. But at the moment, I’m not too happy with the results.
And honestly writers, you couldn’t let Ray kill Burris before he was shot to death? REALLY???? You couldn’t just give us that??? Bye, Felicia.