S02.E08: Omega Station 2015.08.09

"And maybe I missed something but I thought it was Frank's baby at the end (as it justified that crappy "havn't had my period in 3 months" line)."

 

No, that was Ani's and Ray's baby.  Ani got a life sentence too, though.  She has to raise a baby with no stable income or secure home on the run in a foreign country  with Jordan at her side.

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As for the deaths, Frank's was just poorly done.  Especially getting killed by not giving the dude a suit.  Ray's was also kind of crappy.  I mean why go out to the middle of nowhere where they can just kill you.  Go somewhere crowded or to the FBI or Mexico or something.  

 

I THINK that Frank had the diamonds in his pocket or something.  That's why he didn't want to give up his suit.   

 

Both deaths were avoidable.   Ray getting into the car was just plain stupid.  It could have been a bomb.  Grab the duffle bag and hoof it across lots through the neighborhood until you reach a road with a cab or a bus.  Voila.

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I'm guessing the reporter went to Venezuela on his own dime using vacation time because I can't imagine these days that a newspaper, even a large one one like the LA Times, would send a reporter a abroad for a single investigative story that might not pan out.

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It was because he blew up his club, which they were using to ship drugs out of.  Those guys were assholes who couldn't leave well enough alone.  I hope someday they get theirs too.

 

That's kind of what I thought, but aren't there any other clubs to run drugs out of?  Tony Chessani was just elected/appointed Mayor.  I don't think illegal drug distribution is going to be a problem. 

 

These guys are following the Tuco of Breaking Bad example of dealing with problems.  Use a hammer to swat at a fly.  

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Awful. Awful.Could they fit any more cliches into the finale? As soon as Frank's wife said white suit and red flower, you knew the red "flower" would be blood. The women get away. Ray dooms himself by taking time to see his son one more time. Frank is harangued as he dies by the ghosts of his past. And the various people involved in the conspiracy inexplicably admit their actions even as they all seem to be aware and concerned that they may be recorded.

 

Exactly, the deaths were pretty much telegraphed, it's just that they had to unnecessarily drag it out even further.

 

This season had two huge flaws:

- There was no reason to give a shit about any of the characters (except perhaps redheaded boy). They were a mixture of recklessness, baggage and damage, with no real significant others. Didn't care who lived and who died, aside from a general sense of justice.

- The plot was presented so confusingly that it wasn't worth following.

 

I think someone a while back called it the random angst generator and that's what the miserable characters feel like, they were assigned certain problems at random.  Turns out the people who were confused didn't have to worry, it didn't matter in the end.

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See, this was a problem I had with the "instant soul mate" ending.  Ray and Ani worked together, kinda, but didn't really bond until those last couple of episodes.  And it suddenly turns into eternal love.

Oh I dunno.  People forming intense attachments due to going through extreme peril together is a pretty common trope and at the end, they had both lost everything -- had to get the hell out of the country and start over -- so having one other person to share that with would probably loom very large in their world view at that moment.

 

Changing subject completely, I do have to say how much I enjoyed the one scene where Frank met Ani.  That whole verbal/non-verbal "Who the fuck are you?" exchange they were giving each other was great.  Poor Ani.  You know she was thinking "How the HELL did I end up in an 'underground railroad' station for illegal immigrants with a known corrupt 'businessman.'  I really should have just kept the job in the evidence locker."

Edited by WatchrTina.

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I barely finished the episode, and I agree with all criticism here. All of it. I can't muster the energy to add anything else. This has been one of the worst TV shows I've ever finished, complete with the unnecessary long and cliched finale. I'm just so glad it's over. If there is a season 3, I will not watch it.

Edited by Crim.

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I was annoyed, but am now kinda glad that Ray's recording didn't upload. Chad had enough to deal without his late father's vague melodramatic idle thoughts being out in the open. Hopefully, in an unrealizable dream ending , Ray's name will be cleared.

I guess they paternity tested his dead body's DNA.

I'm not sure where Frank/Mr. Pizzolato was going with the "Lady Cop" discussion. It fit Frank's character, but using it to mean she has dignity (ummm... okay) doesn't really make it seem better than just saying "cop" or "lady". Those two really had nothing to discuss.

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That's kind of what I thought, but aren't there any other clubs to run drugs out of?  Tony Chessani was just elected/appointed Mayor.  I don't think illegal drug distribution is going to be a problem.

 

You don't let people fuck you around, that makes you look weak, that make you a target. It's the principle of the thing.

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I can buy Ray and Ani bonding going through the situation they went through.  Doesn't mean they would have lasted as a couple and given their personalities and baggage, I doubt they would have.  Though having a kid together in their situation would probably have kept them together longer.

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"I agree with all criticism here. All of it. I can't muster the energy to add anything else."

Except this: If the central conceit of this show is that we get the world we deserve then the deaths at the end of the 'heroes' are palatable because they made horrendously bad choices along the way. But then why permit the worst 'villains' to succeed with *their* monstrous choices? I came to the show to be entertained, not seeking a series of teachable moments from Pizzolatto. Either kill both sets of bad choosers or let them both live to support the conceit. Try irony rather than dropping anvils.

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NP can throw all the shade he wants. The smartest person to come out of this whole mess is Cary Fukunaga (with his fine ass) for jumping off this steaming pile of cliches and overwriting. I'm willing to give Cary genius status if he is smart enough not to watch it or at least not admit to it.

 

Ray went back to his son's school because of course he would. The question to me is why was he back to driving his own car? Didn't they have a throwaway line last week that he switched his black dodge Charger for another car after the State's Attorney's murder? Why go back to driving it now when he is just a mile from the finish line?

 

Surprised to see that Stan wasn't on Frank's grime, bloody footed death march through the desert.

 

Okay, I did LOL at two moments - Frank's wife saying Frank was a shit actor and she would know. Second, Frank being called a gawky motherfucka by what I assume were a group of youths who used to bully him back when he was younger. It just came out of nowhere and damn could that dude put some flavor on the world 'motherfucka.' I mean he could give Samuel L. Jackson a run for his money.

 

Vince didn't do too bad a job the last few episodes. I don't think he needs to worry about drafting any acceptance speeches during award season, but it is almost as if he finally got comfortable in the role.  I thought his phone conversation with Osip was well done and I love that he got to keep his promise.

 

I was expecting a bit more from the scene where Frank rips off Osip and Catalyst but maybe the show shot their wad on the shootout from several episodes ago.

 

That whole Mexican twist was a bridge too far for me.

 

So Erica/Laura was having sex with her own father? Nice.

 

Why have the not so stable killer of Caspere sitting within hearing distance to you and Holloway Ray? I wished instead of Holloway, that had of been Burris instead. Burris deserved to be stabbed and than shot by his own colleagues.

 

James Frain you magnificent bastard! So not only did he get away with it, he also got Ray's loot. Just damn.

 

I don't know, after 2 seasons the theme of this show seems to be more like the big bad higher ups just always seem get away with it.

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Not that anyone cares at this point but I've been meaning to mention that Ani's name is no doubt an homage to writer A.I. Bezzerides, who wrote a number of screenplays for films noir, most notably Kiss Me Deadly. It too is a convoluted mystery set in L.A. and ends with an atomic explosion. Even that is not as big a bomb as True D.

 

Whenever the Pizz confuses you or makes you research Yellow Kings and railroad corridors, remember that his obsession is with greedy, powerful men whose sexual indiscretions of the past come back to bite them in a big way a generation later.

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Exactly, the deaths were pretty much telegraphed, it's just that they had to unnecessarily drag it out even further.

 

One person's "telegraphing" is another person's "exquisitely playing out the slow inevitable."

 

And "exquisitely playing out the slow inevitable" is a serviceable definition of good film noir. In film noir, you know the central figure, the one with whom you identify even though he's deeply flawed, is doomed. You know it almost as soon as the story begins. In Postman Always Rings Twice, you know that somehow either John Garfield or Lana Turner or both will end up in the electric chair or dead some other way. Same with Double Indemnity, and Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck. The drama is in watching fate close slowly in around them, like the four walls in a shrinking room, leaving no possibility of escape. The more your heart goes out to the character, the more you know his doom is inescapable, because of the grinding wheels of character flaw + fate. That's film noir--and tragedy.

Edited by Milburn Stone.

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That's what I thought.  Although I don't know why the Mexicans were after him.  

The leader of the Mexican said the Armenians supplied them the drugs.  I was assuming those 2 cliched "overweight mob looking dudes in a restaurant" were the Armenians.  Meaning they saw the opportunity to better their position by letting Frank fight the Osip / Russian mobs, and cleaned up whoever left.

I did not bother to go back and check though :D

 

Also, on one of the last frames, where the bald GA (ie Masuka from Dexter) christened the new railway corridor.  The billboard on the background said "sponsored by" (or something to that affect) CataLAST. Was this how company name "Catalyst" was spelled throughout the season ?  Was this a goof or a witty Easter egg ?  

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Gotta disagree with the reviewer on a couple things. I actually liked Kelly Reilly as Jordan and found her a refreshing and not-stereotypical character. But I felt that Taylor Kitsch was terribly miscast - even more than that. I felt that Taylor Kitsch's character was almost completely unnecessary to the plot, and the story could have been told better and cleaner with just the 2 leads. He didn't turn out to be that important to the plot, and anything interesting about his backstory and motivation could have been given to either Bez or Velcoro. But in addition I didn't like his acting choices and agree that 

I don't think he has the tools yet to make big shouty scenes his own.

 

So...yeah. The whole Kitsch thing was a mistake IMHO. Not as big a miscast as Vaughn, maybe, but worse for the show in some ways.

 

Why did this episode have to be so long? Why did that scene between Frank and Jordan have to take up a third of the episode?

 

On a meta-level, I saw the first episode immediately after watching the season finale of Orphan Black in which James Frain's character beat someone's head in with a baseball bat. Because of that and "Intruders" (an even worse show than this one despite the stellar cast, I stopped watching after a few eps because who has time for that crap) I just assumed he was going to be the bad guy. So when he shot Kitsch I was like, "see?" So I was amused to see him be the last man standing.

 

Having Vaughn killed by two characters so minor it took me a minute to remember who they are was not my favorite narrative choice ever.  They just hadn't been built up enough. Instead of a puzzle piece falling into place it was more of a "huh?" moment.

 

Lots of people are assuming the baby in Venezuela is Ray's. Maybe it is, but for some reason I assumed it was Frank's and Jordan had gotten pregnant after all.

 

ETA: I have to add that I kind of sympathize with some of the bad dudes here. They finally got the high speed rail corridor built! I am so frustrated with the slow pace and ignorant opposition to rail in this country, if it takes some blackmail, extortion and murder to get the stuff built, at this point I'm probably prepared to look the other way. You can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs, etc. 

Edited by that one guy.

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Two things :

1) Vince Vaughn gets another funny line. when the Ukranian woman at Chisani's house told him that she was on an allowance he replied, "I hope you saved some of your Miss Ukraine money."

2) I know some people are saying VV died because of a suit (even one with diamonds) but I still don't think they were going to let him live. I mean they went through all of the trouble of digging his grave out there...

PS - wouldn't they have searched his suit anyway when they kidnapped him.

I do agree with others in thinking that him being killed by these guys is kind of random. I mean he may have been worth more alive to them than dead. (Torture for more money.)

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One person's "telegraphing" is another person's "exquisitely playing out the slow inevitable."

 

And "exquisitely playing out the slow inevitable" is a serviceable definition of good film noir. In film noir, you know the central figure, the one with whom you identify even though he's deeply flawed, is doomed. You know it almost as soon as the story begins. In Postman Always Rings Twice, you know that somehow either John Garfield or Lana Turner or both will end up in the electric chair or dead some other way. Same with Double Indemnity, and Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck. The drama is in watching fate close slowly in around them, like the four walls in a shrinking room, leaving no possibility of escape. The more your heart goes out to the character, the more you know his doom is inescapable, because of the grinding wheels of character flaw + fate. That's film noir--and tragedy.

 

Those examples also had better execution, delivery, natural dialogue, etc.  Which is why for me, the film noir excuses throughout the season doesn't work.

 

All your points have done is highlight the show's problem trying to execute those ideas because it pales greatly in comparison to those works you just mentioned.

 

Writers have done the tragedy aspect without drowning the chracters in perpetual angst, which is why I can't get into any of these characters ad their long winded speeches, my heart didn't go out to them, they were just miserable people who ended up being despressing so it didn't matter.

 

Had these characters not been completey miserable and drowned in angst from beginning to end, maybe it would've actually been tragic, instead of just waiting for charactes to die after long winded speeches.

Edited by Free.

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Well, now we know what happens when Gritty Realistic Woman Cop With Sex Issues meets Laughably Pulpy and Surreal Existential Mob King:

 

"You a lady cop?"

 

"What gave it away, the tits?"

 

[Cut to David Mamet silent-screaming/laughing, ambiguous tears streaming...]

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"I agree with all criticism here. All of it. I can't muster the energy to add anything else."

Except this: If the central conceit of this show is that we get the world we deserve then the deaths at the end of the 'heroes' are palatable because they made horrendously bad choices along the way. But then why permit the worst 'villains' to succeed with *their* monstrous choices? I came to the show to be entertained, not seeking a series of teachable moments from Pizzolatto. Either kill both sets of bad choosers or let them both live to support the conceit. Try irony rather than dropping anvils.

 

Excellent assessment. Although I would add that on a scale of evil, Frank and Ray (and Paul) barely register compared to the others.  The punishment didn't fit the crime for these guys and I think that is what was most unsatisfying to me as a viewer.  Generally speaking, I think many of us support people who work to redeem themselves.  To have that effort be splattered all over the place is deflating to the human spirit and not satisfying at all. 

 

The ridiculous ending to S1 was partially offset by the fact that Rust and Cohle survived. In S2, it's like Nic P flipped things around but still missed the mark.  He's writing for himself - not the viewer.  I don't think he has the tv thing down yet.  Or maybe he doesn't want to.  Not saying it's a bad thing, it's just not what I want for entertainment.

Edited by Jextella.

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Ani got a life sentence too, though. She has to raise a baby with no stable income or secure home on the run in a foreign country with Jordan at her side.

I know whereof you speak. NP doesn't seem to.

Editing because there seems to be a variety of understanding as to what is meant by this:To me, a single mother who put 3 kids through college, I just mean it's no picnic--or at least not very many picnics and no fancy restaurants.

Where the chips fell for the True Detectives.

http://previously.tv/true-detective/the-world-we-didnt-deserve/

I agree with NurseGiGi: Spot on.

And eloquently, mercifully concise.

And loved the turn of phrase to use of one of my favorite all-purpose metaphors:

just reinforced the emperor's nudity

Vince Vaughn in these last two episodes totally won me over. I think he did a great job.

Finally! Not all his fault, though.

When Ray walked up to his car after seeing his son, the ground under the car was wet. It was the only wet spot in the whole area. I thought that it would turn out to be gasoline or some other fluid from the car that leaked out when the bad guys tampered with it. But no. Conveniently, Ray could see the red light on the tracking device reflected in the water. Lucky that Ray parked on the only wet spot for blocks. Lucky that the tracking device was a huge and had a bright red light on it.

That really bugged me. It was like something you'd expect to see in Starsky and Hutch, I swear.

Maybe someone suggested to Nic P to watch Starsky and Hutch to see good buddy cop chemistry?

Ray's last scene of looking up at the sky dead seemed a little too reminiscent of Walter White's.

I don't know why the Mexicans were after him.

It was because he blew up his club, which they were using to ship drugs out of...
Also, early in the season when Frank realized his whole 5 mil was gone, didn't he go to the Mexicans (and others) and say: You know that deal we had in which you paid me for this club? Well, it's still mine and now you owe me a percentage.

In every episode there were moments where I would think: This is where, in a novel, the omniscient author would tell us what a character was thinking.

Edited by shapeshifter.

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Lots of people are assuming the baby in Venezuela is Ray's. Maybe it is, but for some reason I assumed it was Frank's and Jordan had gotten pregnant after all.

It's Ray's, Ani tells the reporter that they have to clear his name "for his sons". No assumption needed.

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i don't know why there is so much confusion as to who that baby belonged to. Ani said she owed the truth to his sons as in more than one son. In order for Ray to have two sons when we've only known him to have one the who series, then that second son had to have come from Ani since that's the last woman he slept with, and clearly that's one of the reasons they had them sleep together in the first place I gather. 

 

Second, for me it makes no sense for Jordan to hand over the swaddle and her baby to Ani when they are about to take off still on the run. Ani and that guy are the ones who more equipped to kick ass so why not have Jordan carry her own child leaving the other two free handed to kick ass if needed?  Why? Because the baby was Ani's and the last shot of the baby in its mother's arms, plus her referring to Ray's son(s) to the reporter was they way to get all this across. For those who might have thought that Jordan finally got pregnant.

 

Jordan's gonna hand her baby over to Ani and carry the bags? I don't think so.

 

 

Finally, Ani looked like the mama to me and I'm not talking about the baby's features either. She just looked and behaved like the mama.

Edited by represent.

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In every episode there were moments where I would think: This is where, in a novel, the omniscient author would tell us what a character was thinking.

 

This is exactly why it doesn't work in an 8 episode tv show.  A novel has the luxury of having details described on a character's inner thoughts.

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My husband said, "Wait, whose kid is that?" I said, "check the eyebrows."

It's Ray's kid.

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All your excuses have done is highlight the show's problem trying to execute those ideas because it pales greatly in comparison to those works you ust mentioned.

 

I object to your terming my honest responses to the show "excuses," but whatever.

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What's the bar owner (Felicia?) going to do now that her two best customers are dead?

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I object to your terming my honest responses to the show "excuses," but whatever.

 

It's not meant as any offensive insult, but I changed it since it seemed to offend you so much, but whatever.

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Had these characters not been completey miserable and drowned in angst from beginning to end, maybe it would've actually been tragic, instead of just waiting for charactes to die after long winded speeches.

 

 

 

 

For me it's less that the characters were miserable than they just weren't very interesting. Last season's Rust and Cole were miserable a lot of, if not most of,the time and usually by their own doing. They made choices, like affairs, or got in too deep as they crossed one line and then another, and they often were the architects of their own misery. As in classic film noir/tragedy, as others have pointed out. But we saw how they got there and why, even if it was their own fault, and they were interesting because of it. A lot of that for last season justly has been attributed to the performances but I don't think all of it can be.

 

CF and RM did the best they could with the material and often elevated it, and they also were flawed miserable characters, but we didn't really get to see and experience the why and how. Ani had a crap childhood with the guru father, lost her mother, she and her sister suffered and now are living with all the problems that caused...but we see it all at a distance or remove. Same with Ray, though there are some flashes of the man he used to be, smiling in photos and holding his son, which maybe gives him more of a potential spark. So we get to see their angst and misery but it leaves them a bit one-note, and it's just not very interesting. And there wasn't enough of characters willing to call out others on their BS, which at least adds much-needed lightness and perspective. 

 

[Edited to add paragraph breaks]

Edited by mercurius.

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Oh, and Tony Chessani's sister was on the stage to the left clapping when her brother was sworn in, so she survived.

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Pretty much her only customers.  Guess she makes most of her money off the illegal immigrants.

 

So Ray never saw The General?  (Perhaps the only Irish movie that CF wasn't in.)  You gas up before leading your trackers on a wild goose chase.  They were in a gas gulping SUV with 5 people, he was solo in a smaller car.  But then he wouldn't have had his High Sierra-ish death.

 

What a waste of James Frain - the guy can actually act.

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There was no reason to give a shit about any of the characters...They were a mixture of recklessness, baggage and damage...

Who isn't?

 

 

You keep interesting company. Most people I know are much more than that. And the lack of more with these characters meant no emotional connection by viewers.

 

The drama is in watching fate close slowly in around them, like the four walls in a shrinking room, leaving no possibility of escape. The more your heart goes out to the character, the more you know his doom is inescapable, because of the grinding wheels of character flaw + fate. That's film noir--and tragedy.

 

 

Aside from the fact that there was little reason to care about our characters, or the crime(s) being commited, there was no reason to think that any of them were inescapably doomed. The two cops in season one lived.

 

And what were their tragic flaws? Frank's was ... he talked too much in a stilted, overdramatic way? Ray's was ... that he was an idiot (because not only did visiting his kid lead to his demise, but also it placed the kid further on the radar of any bad guys)? Ani was ... she liked sex too much?

 

Your rationale doesn't hold up.

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My husband said, "Wait, whose kid is that?" I said, "check the eyebrows."

It's Ray's kid.

Heh. Yeah. It actually looked like him.

But to be fair to confused viewers, the scene opened with Jordan holding the baby, and viewers were now indoctrinated to believe that kids don't look like their parents in this show (at least not Ray's). Plus, at Ani's age (not too young, not too old) the one-night-stand baby is not likely. But, yeah, like represent said, when Ani swaddled the kid in the front carrier, it was clearly hers.

I'm guessing Nic P was trying to communicate/admit to viewers that it was a bait and switch with regards to the plodding pregnancy plot.

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And what were their tragic flaws? Frank's was ... he talked too much in a stilted, overdramatic way? Ray's was ... that he was an idiot (because not only did visiting his kid lead to his demise, but also it placed the kid further on the radar of any bad guys)? Ani was ... she liked sex too much?

 

Your rationale doesn't hold up.

Frank was a gangster trying to leave his life behind, who was unable/unwilling to stay on the straight and narrow once Caspare stole his money.

Ray was a drunk cop, forever corrupted by the fact the he murdered the person who he thought was his wife's attacker.

Ani was damaged by her childhood, seemingly unable to be close to anyone in a meaningful way.

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Also, on one of the last frames, where the bald GA (ie Masuka from Dexter) christened the new railway corridor.  The billboard on the background said "sponsored by" (or something to that affect) CataLAST. Was this how company name "Catalyst" was spelled throughout the season ?  Was this a goof or a witty Easter egg ?

It's been spelled "Catalast" in the closed-captioning all season, so I guess it was intentional. 

 

So does anyone know where that train station where the Ray-Holloway-Leonard-Burriss scene took place is located? It certainly wasn't Union Staion in LA-- it looked more like an airport. And what was Ray's reference to Anaheim all about?

 

I noticed veteran actor Ronny Cox's name in the credits but I don't recall ever seeing him -- does anyone know which role he played? 

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As in classic film noir/tragedy, as others have pointed out. But we saw how they got there and why, even if it was their own fault, and they were interesting because of it.

 

This show seemed less classic noir and more Sin City, where it's usually christmas for assholes except for a the self-sacrifice of a few downtrodden heroes.  Whose character development traces a direct line from 'angst' to 'bullets' to 'cigarettes' and stops there.  May also explain why Frank has enough blood in him to piss a solid line for a half a mile, and why Ray's strategy of 'wait for well-trained soldier guy to get close and turn his back' actually worked, twice.  This is Cliché World, not ours.

 

This, by the by, is not an attempt at apology - I kinda like Sin City but this is 8 hours I'd like back please.

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For me it's less that the characters were miserable than they just weren't very interesting. Last season's Rust and Cole were miserable a lot of, if not most of,the time and usually by their own doing. They made choices, like affairs, or got in too deep as they crossed one line and then another, and they often were the architects of their own misery. As in classic film noir/tragedy, as others have pointed out. But we saw how they got there and why, even if it was their own fault, and they were interesting because of it. A lot of that for last season justly has been attributed to the performances but I don't think all of it can be.

 

Rust and Marty complimented each other in a way, so it wasn't constant angst even though both characters were plagued with their own personal problems.  You had moments like Marty telling Rust to shut up any time he expressed his philosophy.  There was a certain dynamic here.

 

In S2, the characters are all too much a like, they're all just miserable people with no one to counter balance that.  They were depressing from beginning to end and any 'lighter' moments were too far and few in between.

Edited by Free.

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I just realized that the allusions to Oedipus Rex NP had talked about had to do with Laura coincidentally/by the laws of fate becoming a prostitute at sex parties organized by her biological father, though neither realized this at the time. Hinting perhaps at incestuous relations between them.

 

This makes sense of the symbolic castrations of Caspere, the voyeur and sexual exploiter. Leonard was not so much avenging his parents' death when he lost it, but his sister's honor.

I wish it was that logical. No, Lennie lost control when he first heard about Caspere's fathering Laura at the train station. Also, the eye thing was post mortem. The acid had to be dropped into the orbit with a glass dropper. There were no restraint bruises on the head. As is, there is the same reason for Lennie to get off on burning away eyes than there is in driving a dead body to its real estate parcels: None. But this thought does highlight the importance of Laura's speech about how Caspere, a man into watching, didn't recognize her! 

 

But on second thought? Maybe the very implausibility of this claim, coupled with the apparent fact that Laura didn't actually learn anything that Tasha the Plot Goddess hadn't already told her, is hinting that Caspere did recognize Laura? Hiring her as assistant is then a kind of substitute for incestuous marriage?

 

PS Hate to be so literal, but let's face it, it's still true: Film noir is also about Warner Bros. being cheap on lighting, and imitators who love the shadowy look.

Edited by sjohnson.

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The dirty cops/Black Mountain guys were staking out the school hoping that Ray would be dumb enough to come by.  They were probably watching his house, his ex-wife's house, and his dad's house too.  While he was off saluting his kid they put the tracker on his car and I assume cut a hose or gas line, causing the large puddle that alerted him to the presence of the tracker.  I assume they were trying to sabotage the car so it would break down quickly and they wouldn't have to follow him all day, so I don't know how he got up to the forest since he was in the middle of the valley.

That's not what I took away from it. I thought they put the tracker on the car much earlier and were going to follow him all the way to Ani. It was kind of blessing that he stopped at the school because he parked over a puddle that alerted him to the tracker. If he hadn't, he would have lead the Black Ops guys back to Ani and the hidden bunker under the sad-sad bar.

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That's not what I took away from it. I thought they put the tracker on the car much earlier and were going to follow him all the way to Ani. It was kind of blessing that he stopped at the school because he parked over a puddle that alerted him to the tracker. If he hadn't, he would have lead the Black Ops guys back to Ani and the hidden bunker under the sad-sad bar.

I totally missed that, but I think you're right, and it totally changes my (and a lot of other people's) take on Ray detouring to see his kid one last time.

After a bit more thought, I think it's more powerful if they put the tracker on at the school--not that I'm sure that happened.

Edited by shapeshifter.

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This season was so boring. I never fall asleep during shows because I want to know what happened but this show put me to sleep and I didn't even care enough to rewind what I missed. 

 

Frank and Jordon's hour long convo of "leave", "no", "leave", "no" was such a waste of time. If they had any chemistry or if I cared about them together maybe it would've played differently. As it was a long, boring scene that didn't accomplish anything. 

 

Ani and Ray's conversation also could've been shorter, since we saw more of them talking and staring at each other then having sex. That also produced a baby.

 

Then all them died. I guess they were trying to go against the trope where the women always die. Then they let the bad guys win. I know it happens, so what was the point of this season? That a bunch of depressing cops are no match against corruption?  

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Oh wow, excellent point.

 

Hey, have we been calling that bar the "Sad Sad Bar" the whole time? That's awesome!

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Let's take these suggestions of tragic flaws one at a time...

 

Frank was a gangster trying to leave his life behind, who was unable/unwilling to stay on the straight and narrow once Caspare stole his money.

 

 

This wasn't a tragic flaw. It was a plot point. Without his money, Frank couldn't pay his debts. He didn't return to crime because of a flaw. He returned because he had to. A better tragic flaw would have been something along the lines of "Frank is unusually smart for a street criminal, and as such is unable to forgive a perceived personal slight in life despite his genuine attempts to live legit," and his drive to "keep moving" as he said at the end would have tied to that if his goal was then to avenge a slight, but the show didn't go that way.

 

Ray was a drunk cop, forever corrupted by the fact the he murdered the person who he thought was his wife's attacker.

 

 

This season had started, and Ray was already involved, before Ray killed the meth head in error. That wasn't a tragic flaw. And many cops drink. Nothing to see here.
.

Ani was damaged by her childhood, seemingly unable to be close to anyone in a meaningful way.

 

This comes closest to a tragic flaw concept, but is way too general to be one. Many people have trouble getting close to others. What were Ani's reasons? There was something mysterious about her past, apparently she was raped, and yet she also said she was proud the the soon-to-be rapist found her pretty and she seemed more than a little interested in the present in sex and porn. Nothing there adds up to a tragic flaw.

 

The fact these three (plus gay cop) met their fates seemed much more like random play developments than any kind of intentional film noir styling.

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Great recap, Ms.Bunting.

 

I agree with Crim, above, who commented that this was one of the worst shows s/he had ever finished.  I had the same feeling and have been trying to figure out how and why it went so horribly wrong for me.

 

I think the problem was always the writing and art direction.  I never felt I knew enough about Caspare to care whether he had been killed or not.  I never felt that the community was well enough defined so I cared much about Vinci either.  The entire time I was watching I was aware of the art direction, and in my opinion when that is done well it adds to the drama, not detracts from it because of its "oh so arty" self-consciousness.  Give me a break.  I don't think that the bird mask or singer in the Sad Sad Bar were supposed to make me laugh, but they did.  And poor Vince Vaughan was horribly served by some of the clunkiest dialog and direction I have ever seen.  Ye gods.

 

I probably kept watching because it was hard to avert my eyes from the impending wreck, but it was not edifying, enjoyable, or educational.  I hope that HBO gives the show another chance, but makes sure that the next case is presented with enough linearity that it can reasonably be followed and enjoyed.

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I hope you saved some of your Miss Ukraine money."

 

This!!  I was laughing at that, too. 

 

My coworker and I were also discussing how Ani got pregnant.  I do realize birth control doesn't always work, but wouldn't a woman who enjoys the sexy times as much as we're led to believe Ani does, (not slut shaming, just stating the show portrayed her as sexually active) be on the pill or IUD?  

 

Also, where were Ani & Jordan going at the end? Why were they leaving Venezuela? 

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Last night I watched The Battle of the Five Armies.  I'd seen it before but I watched it closely again to identify all the bloat in that film (all three Hobbit movies, really).

 

Well, I'd disagree on "An Unexpected Journey" but everything else....yeah pretty much.

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