All the very important things we learned on the ‘True Detective’ premiere

As of last night, HBO’s True Detective is back for another season! While no one will ever be able to replace Rusty “Time is a flat circle” Cohle and Marty Hart, in our hearts, season 2 of the show is most certainly going to try. Yes indeed, we’ve got a brand new batch of highly-flawed characters just trying to do the best they can, and a brand new mystery that’s going to take all of them to solve. Add in a new setting (California) and the most haunting opening credits song to date, and the new season of True Detective has already got our attention. Here’s what went down, and what we learned, in the first episode: “The Western Book Of The Dead.”

We’re warning you right now, spoilers abound.

Ray Velcoro loves his son and bolo ties

Ray Velcoro (Colin Farrell) has been a detective on the force for a while, and he rose up in the ranks from his starting point as officer. We meet his inner demons immediately. His wife was sexually assaulted, and nine months later she had a baby. Ray has never had a DNA test taken to prove that his son, Chad, is really his. Now he’s fighting for custody of Chad, but he’s not making a very good impression. After he learns Chad’s new shoes were destroyed by another boy in school, Ray beats up that boy and that boy’s dad, which probably won’t go well at any upcoming school functions.

Ray is also running a little side thing with Frank Semyon (more on him in a sec.), where in broad daylight, Ray beats up a reporter so he’ll stop writing (and also, not writing) about Frank.

Frank Semyon enjoys being a criminal, but he’s trying to do better

So Frank Semyon (Vince Vaughn) is high up in the crime chain of command in his criminal enterprise, yet we don’t really see him do anything too nefarious. Sure, he hands Ray a name for his wife’s suspected attacker, and then he has Ray rough up a reporter, but for a criminal, these are not the worst things one can do. He’s currently very invested in California’s new high-speed rail (um, the one on the show, not the one happening IRL) and has legit backing from Vinci’s city manager, since a good chunk of the rail will sit in the tiny town. There’s a big presentation for the rail, but the city manager is M.I.A. and Frank freaks. It seems like there is a lot more to learn about this character. We are totally ready.

Ani Bezzerides loves knives

True Detective has finally given us a female character we heart, and she comes to us via Rachel McAdams. Yes. Antigone “Ani” Bezzerides is a sheriff’s detective who really loves knives (like, a lot) and isn’t too crazy about her family. Her sister spends her time “performing” for webcams, and her dad’s in charge of the Panticapaeum Institute, which is basically a hippie retreat (and it really looks like where Don Draper spent his final moments. JUST SAYING).

Paul Woodrugh loves the highway

Taylor Kitsch alert. He’s here, and he’s riding a motorcycle, sometimes not safely. Paul Woodrugh is suspended form the California Highway Patrol at the beginning of the episode, and he spends the rest of the episode wandering around, lost. He’s got burns and scars all over his body, and even though he’s a war vet, he tells his girlfriend that the scars happened before the war. We’re missing a big piece to his story. For a second it looks like we might never know said story, when Paul decides to drive his motorcycle really fast, at night, without his lights on, down the highway which is not a good idea. Thankfully, he doesn’t go through with his impending doom, and at the last second switches his lights back on, skidding to a stop where he finds a body.

They’re all connected to the mystery man

Throughout the episode, we see a guy seated in the back of a car, taking a very long ride to the middle of nowhere. This guy isn’t so mysterious after a while, and it turns out to be missing Vinci city manager, Ben Casper. Ray was tasked to find him, Paul actually found him, and it all happened in Ani’s district. Three detectives on a case is better than one, right?

Semyon has a big interest in this guy, too

Being a crime lord and all, it might be easy to assume that Frank had a part in Casper’s disappearance, and subsequent murder. That’s not the case. Casper’s death will have a huge impact on Frank in a pretty negative way. Without his backing, the high-speed rail project might not go through, and all of Frank’s hard work will be for naught.

Oh, but wait, there are other mysteries, too!

Another little mystery is thrown into the episode, which will defiantly come back into play later. There’s a missing woman who used to work at Ani’s dad’s retreat. No one knows what happened to her, and the police aren’t too interested in investigating her disappearance. Mysterious. 

It’s already filled with symbolism 

The first season of True Detective had  so many crazy themes, and symbolism, and motifs thrown into it, it might have been too much. But then again, that’s why we love True Detective. What does season two bring us? A whole lot of Greek mythology, to start. Ani’s full name is Antigone. Antigone is the daughter of Oedipus, and if we start going through all the ways these family themes might come into play for the Bezzerides family, we’ll be here all day. Just keep that in the back of your mind for now.

Plus, that opening shot is . . .


No rush, we’ve got all season to figure it out.

And that opening credit song, you guys

We have to mention that opening song again, which is SO PERFECT. Can Leonard Cohen’s “Nevermind” be the sinister song of the summer?

Looking forward ’til next week. SO many questions.

We’ve got your guide to season 2 of ‘True Detective’ right here

Rachel McAdams is the ‘True Detective’ cast member we’ve been waiting for

[Images via HBO and here]

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