S02.E08: Omega Station 2015.08.09

Surely, this has been mentioned before but it seems like with the way Season 2 ended, the writer has once again punted the true detecting work to journalists. If that is the way he is going to construct mysteries then perhaps a reporter, or more than one, should feature prominently throughout each series.

I want to say that "a reporter" at the Times was mentioned earlier than the last scenes of the show. If that guy was the same person then he should have been more important, and, like so many have mentioned, so many other characters did not need to be there.

 

While I still contend that a tried and true "gumshoe" detective who had nothing to lose would have been better than the Three Detectives plus Frank (who did a lot more detecting than most might give him credit for doing), if the game is going to be finished by reporters then one should be used as a proxy to better frame the story. And, the simplest way of doing that would be to just feature that person as a go-to source or as using the detectives as sources.

 

I would not bring this up if the first two series didn't end up with the detectives "solving" the mysteries and then the shows depicting the only way forward to solving the problem is not just the justice system but getting it in the press so that the bigger problem can't be ignored.

 

That said, I am still unclear who all goes down as a result of a big expose. I'd think the politicians and maybe the entire city gov't of Vinci--and maybe all those scenes in that final montage showed developments that become reassessed, like maybe Tony as mayor gets arrested.

 

But, if the writer is going to punt justice happening because reporters become involved instead of showing the work of the detectives leading to people being rounded up and arrested then giving the reporter more prominence may have been one way to simplify the story and and thread a better, clearer narrative arc. Perhaps that would allow the writer to play to his strengths.


 

That's why at the  end of it all, whatever the billing was, RM character was really the lead here, she

Interesting and I didn't think twice about significance of that festival. After all the Egyptian myth allusions didn't pan out, I didn't give too much thought to any themes or symbolism.

 

 

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Too bad may of the viewers  don't know this and that was who Ani was suppose to symbolize in all of this.

 

It depends, apparently to watch this season, you were supposed to have a complete guide of characters, storylines, watch it several times, etc.

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From what I watched on the show and read here, I think TD, as a series, isn't nearly as much on the symbolism as people want it to be. Both series have been very straightforward from my pov. Such and such character wasn't meant to symbolize this or that for me, and I really don't think it's meant to be. This series is b movie noir. That's a fine idea for a crime anthology.

 

S1: We got our guy. S2: Bad guys win. It seems like a lot of the frustration is more from just expecting a different show than what was aired.

 

As an aside, I tend to think this is a problem with tv in general, where actually watching the show is a secondary consideration to reading media about the show and reacting to that. The subsequent preconceptions color the pov going in. I've been unspoiled for shows beyond like, 'this show is coming up and this is basically what it's about,' and my viewing experience, just from being here and at the other place is vastly different. I had no idea what this second series was about and expect for one production still of CF in my EW magazine, I didn't know any of the cast. I won't be rewatching, but I didn't rewatch S1, nor any other show I normally watch. I'm going to tune into S3. 

 

The only legit criticism for me that I've come across was that the LA location was kind of a turn off because so many shows are based on LA. And that's fair. It would be cool if S3 was in New England, or even a Rust Belt mid western city. 

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I mean this is MM and WH still backing the show that they were the stars of in the first season...

 

I wonder about that. MM and WH had executive producer credits this season, but I'm not sure that has anything to do with their "backing" the show so much as their receiving a continuing payday for starring in the first season. Executive producers, in my understanding, own a piece of a show. And that's essentially all the credit means, in 90% of cases. So my assumption is that MM and WH made a condition of their appearance in season one that they would retain "executive producer" credit on all subsequent seasons--i.e., that they would continue to see a payday from all subsequent seasons, even though they have zero involvement. Perhaps someone here can either confirm that or correct me.

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Just finished season 2 after a weekend long marathon spanning Friday to Monday. I think this show is best when viewed in a tight block.

 

My theory about the Chessani children being Leonard and Laura was incorrect. They looked more like the adult versions of the children pictured in the police photo than the set photographer and secretary did. Anyhow, I was still confused by a couple of things...

 

Did Burris and Holloway have a stake in the railway corridor? They weren't depicted to be men of means and I don't remember their names being on any of the contracts. If Caspere never profited from the blue diamonds, then how did he have the money for his own purchase? Was that all from Frank's $5M? Or were there other items stolen from the '92 jewelry heist that were sold and distributed amongst Burris, Holloway and Caspere?

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From what I watched on the show and read here, I think TD, as a series, isn't nearly as much on the symbolism as people want it to be. Both series have been very straightforward from my pov. Such and such character wasn't meant to symbolize this or that for me, and I really don't think it's meant to be. This series is b movie noir. That's a fine idea for a crime anthology.

Well McAdams was saying the opposite in an interview. When they were talking about her name and the sister's name she agreed with the interviewer with regard to referencing the "Greek Tragedy" when it comes to her character so... I don't know. Just because season one didn't have much symbolism and I can't argue that because I didn't really watch season one, doesn't mean that season two didn't. 

Actually, maybe  trying to infuse all this symbolism is what went wrong with the writing and for many viewers. Maybe that was the problem for many fans of season one's writing, this season was not so straightforward.

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Actually, maybe  trying to infuse all this symbolism is what went wrong with the writing and for many viewers. Maybe that was the problem for many fans of season one's writing, this season was not so straightforward.

 

More like they tried to cram in a bunch of more storylines and characters into the same amount of episodes as last season, some of which didn't really go anywhere and it just ended as the season wrapped up.  It's especially apparent in the first few episodes, where they were bouncing back and forth between 4 characters as well as mentioning/introducing secondary and tertiary characters into the mix.  They did try to rectify it in the second half, but by that time, the season was already wrapping up and they were being pushed into the finale.

Edited by Free.

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So the overused 'you didn't get it' talking point doesn't work here especially if fans expect everyone else to have a complete guide of characters and storylines at the ready or to be expected to watch an episode several times before they 'get it'.

 

As for me, I didn't "get" vast swaths of it, whole mountains and deserts and oceans of it, yet basically enjoyed it anyway. Especially in the last two episodes, I found myself rooting like crazy for Frank/Jordan, Ray and Ani to somehow live happily ever after. I was in a high state of suspense, and when Ray pulled off the freeway to see his son one last time, I was (internally) going "Noooooooooo!!!!!" And when the Mexican gangsters wanted Frank's suit, I was (internally) going "Nooooooooo!!!!!!"" I wouldn't have been (internally) going "Nooooooooooo!!!!!" if the show hadn't somehow got me invested. So somehow the show did that.

Edited by Milburn Stone.

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As for me, I didn't "get" vast swaths of it, whole mountains and deserts and oceans of it, yet basically enjoyed it anyway. Especially in the last two episodes, I found myself rooting like crazy for Frank/Jordan, Ray and Ani to somehow live happily ever after. I was in a high state of suspense, and when Ray pulled off the freeway to see his son one last time, I was (internally) going "Noooooooooo!!!!!" And when the Mexican gangsters wanted Frank's suit, I was (internally) going "Nooooooooo!!!!!!"" I wouldn't have been (internally) going "Nooooooooooo!!!!!" if the show hadn't somehow got me invested. So somehow the show did that.

 

That's nice, I'm sorry I couldn't find myself invested in miserable characters, most of whom fell into easily avoidable traps and could've survived had they not been completely stupid about things (ex. going through with a raid without proper backup which led to countless deaths of cops and civilians, botched up orgy infiltration which led to them becoming wanted criminals, Paul walking into an obvious trap that only furthered the corruption coverup and made things even worse for everyone else, Frank mouthing off to a gang when he could've kept quiet and had a chance to leave the desert with the diamonds which is a complete waste for whoever finds him, Ray seeing his kid when he pretty much already lost custody of him and he had already botched up with the hard drive trade off with an unstable killer and corrupt cops after him, etc.).  It's hard to feel sorry for them especially when pure stupidity and easily avoidable.

Edited by Free.

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I was in a high state of suspense, and when Ray pulled off the freeway to see his son one last time, I was (internally) going "Noooooooooo!!!!!" And when the Mexican gangsters wanted Frank's suit, I was (internally) going "Nooooooooo!!!!!!"" I wouldn't have been (internally) going "Nooooooooooo!!!!!" if the show hadn't somehow got me invested. So somehow the show did that.

I was surely invested, to point of wanting to see Velcoro and Ani's son when he gets older and seek retribution for the father he never got to meet. 

Anyway, maybe Ani and Ray's son comes back to help or join forces with his brother Chad whom he had to grow up without. That baby was precious by the way, just slobbering all over the place, completely oblivious, as happy as he could be, just precious.

 

Well until next season, which I will check out because of this season, because I  was only excited for this season because of the actors. So they can thank RM, CF and VV for my season 3 viewership.

Edited by represent.

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That's nice, I'm sorry I couldn't find myself invested in miserable characters, most of whom fell into easily avoidable traps and could've survived had they not been completely stupid about things (ex. going through with a raid without proper backup which led to countless deaths of cops and civilians, botched up orgy infiltration which led to them becoming wanted criminals, Paul walking into an obvious trap that only furthered the corruption coverup and made things even worse for everyone else, Frank mouthing off to a gang when he could've kept quiet and had a chance to leave the desert with the diamonds which is a complete waste for whoever finds him, Ray seeing his kid when he pretty much already lost custody of him and he had already botched up with the hard drive trade off with an unstable killer and corrupt cops after him, etc.).  It's hard to feel sorry for them especially when pure stupidity and easily avoidable.

 

I say with complete sincerity that it might have helped to be stupid to enjoy this show. Like me, for instance. If I hadn't been so thoroughly confused, I probably would have found objectionable all the same things you did! But (luckily, I guess) I didn't understand enough to understand how little I understood. I just sort of watched and started caring about the struggles of the characters to become whole. I guess that's really the only level on which I engaged, but it worked. I also say with complete sincerity that I admire you and others like you who were able to follow enough of the plot to realize it didn't work.

Edited by Milburn Stone.

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I say with complete sincerity that it might have helped to be stupid to enjoy this show. Like me, for instance. If I hadn't been so thoroughly confused, I probably would have found objectionable all the same things you did! But (luckily, I guess) I didn't understand enough to understand how little I understood. I just sort of watched and started caring about the struggles of the characters to become whole. I guess that's really the only level on which I engaged, but it worked. I also say with complete sincerity that I admire you and others like you who were able to follow enough of the plot to realize it didn't work.

 

For me, it wasn't that it was confusing, it was more that it was needlessly complicated/convoluted and much of it didn't amount to much so it could've been cut out completely, in fact it probably would've been better to streamline those scenes/characters/storylines.

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I say with complete sincerity that it might have helped to be stupid to enjoy this show. Like me, for instance. If I hadn't been so thoroughly confused, I probably would have found objectionable all the same things you did! But (luckily, I guess) I didn't understand enough to understand how little I understood. I just sort of watched and started caring about the struggles of the characters to become whole. I guess that's really the only level on which I engaged, but it worked. I also say with complete sincerity that I admire you and others like you who were able to follow enough of the plot to realize it didn't work.

LOL, I see all the flaws in the writing that have been pointed out, but like you, I'm a viewer that hitches their wagon to the characters and their personal struggles. Even if those struggles are caused by their own stupidity, if I click with a character, I stay on board.  Because quite frankly, self destruction and stupidity are very real human traits so why wouldn't they be present in the characters on screen. The fact is I have patience and empathy for the self-destruction and stupidity found in the characters I like vs. the actual human beings that I come in contact with in my daily life. 

So going into a shootout without back up, ah, don't care. I know they just wanted a set up for shootout so they could proceed with said fall-outs for the characters. By they way, Ani did tell Dixon that the bosses said to them to "take em," as in go forward even though we can't send you back up, because Dixon did question whether they should wait for back up. So the writers did cover that. But yeah, there's a lot of "What and Why the fuck would you......?" going on this season and I didn't care.  But I'm not a avid detective show viewer. I mentioned before that I love Law and Order SVU especially, but I loved that franchise because of the main characters. I like the main Law and Order too but not at much as I like SVU because of the characters.  I can watch a marathon of SVU out of all those franchises this is the one I love because of Benson, at one time Stabler, and Ice-T's character and all the other main characters that they've added over the years.  in addition to the cases. But it's the characters and their backstories that draw me in and keep me watching. If I don't connect with them then I'm not going to watch and I need to see the personal struggles to connect with them. In other words, I can stand my intelligence being insulted for the right characters.

I loved Ani's backstory, loved the dad and sister and it was the writers job to infuse her story in a way that added to her characters motivation, but did not take away from the central story that all the characters were connected to. But if she did not have a compelling back story I would not have enjoyed the season all that much and I think her backstory informed me very well of why she became who she was.

Edited by represent.

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Let me ask this, given the way the season ended, if the show was all about Ani trying to solve this mystery and everything else revolved around her story and you were to bust some other prominent characters down to supporting roles, even Ray, Paul and Frank, would it have been better?

 

So, if you chuck all the backstories for the other 3 main characters and put them in service of basically laying out the groundwork for Ani solving the case, would it have worked better?

 

I know they started off with Ani and that frustrating raid and she seemed to be floundering and definitely not happy in her career--none of the main characters were happy with their careers in episode one. [scratch that: Paul was content but then he pulled that actress over and all went to seed for his career. And, it could be said that by the end of episode 1 that maybe all 4 were floundering somehow; dealing with some obstacles of their own devise or those of others.]

 

But, if she was THE lead throughout, would that alone have streamlined it enough to be less confusing, more cohesive and even the ending as-is (!) being somewhat good.

Edited by Hobo.PassingThru.

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Let me ask this, given the way the season ended, if the show was all about Ani trying to solve this mystery and everything else revolved around her story and you were to bust some other prominent characters down to supporting roles, even Ray, Paul and Frank, would it have been better?

So, if you chuck all the backstories for the other 3 main characters and put them in service of basically laying out the groundwork for Ani solving the case, would it have worked better?

I know they started off with Ani and that frustrating raid and she seemed to be floundering and definitely not happy in her career--none of the main characters were happy with their careers in episode one. [scratch that: Paul was content but then he pulled that actress over and all went to seed for his career]

But, if she was THE lead throughout, would that alone have streamlined it enough to be less confusing, more cohesive and even the ending as-is (!) being somewhat good.

No I don't think so, except Paul was not needed at all. But Ray, Frank and Ani were IMO. Frank and the wife with the baby drama should have been completely scrapped. Didn't mind him having the wife so that he could get out a word or two on his history and just have a loved one, but too much time on the baby stuff. I couldn't care less about those two having a baby. They were a nice couple just not an "it" couple, no investment in a baby for me at all.

 

But  I would need for any main character to have personal connections with other major characters for me to stay invested. So just having Ani walking around solving a case with no real ties or bonds developing... no, not for me. I really think one of the other angles needed to be  chopped I just can't figure out what. You had the prostitution ring that you didn't really need to explore Ani's rape IMO, you had the Laura/Leo with Caspere, Frank with Caspere, but then with Mayor, yet you had the mayor's son who was really pulling the strings with the Catalyst guy and Osip, I still don't get how other than the prostitution business that the Mayor's son was able to pull so much weight. What did he have so much so that the Catalyst guy went with him instead of his father Austin? Then you had the AG Geldof who the hell got to him and why would he tie in with the bad guys? He's the freaking AG for the state for crying out loud.But I guess everyone right up to the tippy top had to be corrupt otherwise why on earth would your leads need to flee the country by the end of it all.  If the AG was on the up and up, then Ani and Ray could have someone they could take all that evidence to.

Yeah, Ani, Frank and Ray were not the problem. Although I think Ray's back story should have been yes his dad but his ex-wife should have been Ani since she was married. Her dad said she had a failed marriage if you want your female  and male leads to hook up in some meaningful way at the end of only eight episodes those twos' backstories should have been tied somehow, like Frank and Ray's were. 

Edited by represent.

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So, if you chuck all the backstories

 

It depends on which ones, but this season definitely needed some streamlining, focus on less storylines overall instead of trying to juggle several character storylines at once and then having them mostly isolated/limited in interactions only made it worse.

 

But, if she was THE lead throughout, would that alone have streamlined it enough to be less confusing, more cohesive and even the ending as-is (!) being somewhat good.

 

It would've been an improvement in making it more cohesive and focused, which would've helped prevent it from going all over the place, especially in the first few episodes.

 

I know they started off with Ani and that frustrating raid and she seemed to be floundering and definitely not happy in her career--none of the main characters were happy with their careers in episode one. [scratch that: Paul was content but then he pulled that actress over and all went to seed for his career. And, it could be said that by the end of episode 1 that maybe all 4 were floundering somehow; dealing with some obstacles of their own devise or those of others.]

 

Exactly, they were all pretty miserable, Paul only had a few seconds of bike screen time before he was throw into trouble.

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Paul was totally unnecessary. The other three, with Ray connected to Ani and to Frank, could have worked fine with better writing. I ended up feeling really awful for Frank and if he were just a tragic striver who was only good at being a thug (while hapless and a dupe in all his business affairs) but so wanted not to be a thug, he would have made a compelling character. Ditch the baby drama and the philosophizing and Vaughn would have worked just fine. Also NP needed Frank to provide misdirection for his mystery--although it confused people so much he didn't really need any misdirection. Because it looked for two-thirds of the show that Birdman killed Caspere and Stan and was thus Frank's enemy, we didn't imagine that the originary crime was committed by the dirty cops, that they were far more sinister than the Mayor, the Russians or Catalast rather than just being in their pay to cover things up. The irony is that I doubt Vinci PD even had Frank on their radar.

Edited by Cardie.

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I was rewatching episode one and I missed when Ray tells his lawyer that the ex-wife took off right after Chad was born. He tells her that he was raising Chad by himself, then the wife comes back into their lives and starts talking about wanting a divorce. Now clearly that was her way of dealing with the trauma of being raped and she won't get judged by me for that, and she did come back but....That sucks, to be a father taking care of the kid yourself, then the wife comes back healthier and you're now the shitty father and husband.

I totally missed that too.

I was surely invested, to point of wanting to see Velcoro and Ani's son when he gets older and seek retribution for the father he never got to meet. 

Anyway, maybe Ani and Ray's son comes back to help or join forces with his brother Chad whom he had to grow up without.

A similar thought occurred to me today while walking behind a heavy set college football freshman with flaming red hair. I felt kind of sad that Chad lost his father, and then thought it would be nice if he could meet his much younger baby half-brother and bond with him in a sort of father-son way. Maybe pass on the grandpa's badge.

Anyway, I think it says something about the show that I'm still feeling an attachment to the characters.

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The irony is that I doubt Vinci PD even had Frank on their radar.

Yeah and I think that is the tragedy for his character, he was so played. He was "diminished", poor guy, and even then he didn't realize how much, because he kept reporting to a guy who was also diminished and didn't realize he was being played by his own son until it was too late.  To top it off Frank had made that drunk /driving possibly murder charge go away for Toni Chessani  years ago. Both he and Austin underestimated that kid who they pretty much refer to as a screw up at the beginning of the season. They have Austin Chessani telling Frank what a disappointment his children particularly his son is cause he's a screw up. Then you know Osip and McCandless looked down on him, knew he was from the streets on the come up and they just played him and he seemed self-conscious about it too. They had Jordan telling him to be proud of who he is and not try to be something he's not in the first episode. Frank and Ray, really were sad, because like I said they wanted so badly to be honorable men.  But Ray was completely impulsive, he was straight up nuts, LOL, I loved it. "Sometimes a good beating promotes personal growth." that is the line of the series for me.  Ray was straight up nuts, LOL.  While  Frank, could never escape his past.  But they had regrets and a certain level of introspection that the other evil doers clearly did not possess.  It was sad.

Edited by represent.

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Ditch the baby drama and the philosophizing and Vaughn would have worked just fine.

 

Sadly, I was looking forward to Vince in a new role for him and I ended up cringing at most of his monologue scenes.

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wtf is "CATALAST"? When the bad guys can't create a real, compelling name like "SPECTRE", no wonder most of them get taken out by minor league cops. Jason Bourne would have wrapped this up by Episode 3. Agreed that there was little depth of relationship between the 3 Amigos. Unlike the S1 adultery betrayal, S2 had insufficient positive or negative energy.

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wtf is "CATALAST"? When the bad guys can't create a real, compelling name like "SPECTRE", no wonder most of them get taken out by minor league cops. Jason Bourne would have wrapped this up by Episode 3. Agreed that there was little depth of relationship between the 3 Amigos. Unlike the S1 adultery betrayal, S2 had insufficient positive or negative energy.

 

The investigation when it was focused on, was handled incompetently when you think about it: the raid/shootout, the orgy party infiltration, trying to expose the corruption, being on the run/fugitives, etc.  Then you have characters like Paul falling into an obvious trap isolated from everyone else, Frank mouthing off to a gang when he could've gotten off scot free with his diamonds, and Ray who ended up driving in the middle of a forest making it that much easier for them to cover up his death.

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My theory:  NP dropped some acid and the subsequent brain regurgitation turned into TD Season 2.

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It's interesting, or just another convenience to have Ray be the only one of the three NOT to move his family to safety? Why wouldn't he?  His son, father, they all should have been hidden just like Ani and Woodrough hid theirs. And Woodrough hid his and wasn't even a fugitive like the other two so... Yeah, so while I liked the show I saw all these little conveniences and inconsistencies in the writing.  Of course he couldn't hide his son because they had to have that goodbye salute from afar for that pulls at the heartstrings moment, he had to get caught out in the open so his death could match the foreshadowing dream he had.

But he definitely had to die once they had eyes on him. I mean what was next? They would have taken his father, or worse his son hostage to get him to give up where Ani was, because there was NO law, the people in charge were straight up murderers. They killed a pregnant woman back in 92 and they knew she was pregnant based on what Holloway said to Ray.

Edited by represent.

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Contrary to what some reviewers are saying, ALL of the spiritual allusions and mythological motifs DID PAN OUT. I wrote my thoughts on the finale here: http://www.lippsiste...-omega-station/

 

 

 

 

I'm with you all the way on this review.  I get all the symbolism, I actually look for it which is another reason why I probably liked the season so much even though the particulars of the case they were trying to solve were confusing at times. I was tuned into everything you covered with regard to the symbolism and underlining meaning of it all when it came to these characters and how they were developing or NOT developing. 

 

But for viewers who sat in English classes in college, rolled their eyes and thought WTF at the constant lectures on what the title of the text truly meant, this type of writing wouldn't do it for them. It would go completely over their heads, because for them a title is just a title. They deal in the literal, not the figurative and have little patience for any of it. This was funny by the way, they would literally mouth WTF, I use die laughing.

 

For them Ani is just an angry woman with what did some say, a "scowl" on her face and she's just unpleasant and they don't care why. Or women like Ani have become so cliche' and  they're tired of this type of female character. My question is the emotionally fucked up male characters like Ray, beat up everyone in sight..... haven't become cliche'? Really? 

MM and WH characters from season one, you mean to tell me they weren't cliche'? It seemed that way to me which is why I never really got into it the first place.

 

See this is what I found sexist, the constant focus as I read different comments on other sites about Ani's "scowl", and NOT her having Ray's baby. Which by the way is not just Ray's baby, it's her baby as well.  I find it sexist because I've only seen comments on Ani's facial "scowl". Please, everyone wore a scowl or just looked plain constipated. Shit, nobody smiled, until Ray at the end and the girl with "scowl" was the one who made him smile, fancy that. I read all about how there was no laughter and everyone was miserable, all  true,  but I only read about Ani's facial expressions. That to me is sexist as in if you don't see a woman's teeth smiling some viewers can't handle it. 

Edited by represent.

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But for viewers who sat in English classes in college, rolled their eyes and thought WTF at the constant lectures on what the title of the text truly meant, this type of writing wouldn't do it for them. It would go completely over their heads, because for them a title is just a title. They deal in the literal, not the figurative and have little patience for any of it. This was funny by the way, they would literally mouth WTF, I use die laughing.

 

Watching this season does feel like a long lecture in class, so I guess the experience is comparable, but I guess it's also the medium it's in.  It probably would've been a better novel or a film rather than an 8 episode tv show.

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Well Pizzolatto was a college English professor, so go figure, I guess?

Represent, I was happy in looking further back in this thread that you saw the symbolism in the Divina Pastora/Virgin Mary at the end. Have you read about this in many recaps? I try to have radio silence when I'm doing a finale recap of a show, so my hope is that I'm the only one to cover that (though reality would probably state otherwise).

Seriously, though, I think the symbolism in the first season of this show was part of what made it great. I think maybe you just have to make the mystery compelling enough to get laypeople, as you say, to become interested. Who in their right mind would have cared about The King in Yellow, had it not become viral when someone noticed that in the first season? Suddenly, everyone is buying that book on Amazon and people who don't even really read are reading! That is the magic that comes from smart TV. I for one have become a huge fan of documentaries since I've started recapping smart TV shows (because God forbid I'm not well-informed in culture and history if I'm reviewing Lost, Mad Men or True Detective!).

In any case, I expected the show to be rife with symbolism, so I dove right in, but I can see what you're saying about viewers who might not have a proclivity for that. What do you think this show needed to hook them in the way The King in Yellow did? Maybe all the religious symbolism I found throughout...if something like that had gone viral, it wasn't enough of a pull? Maybe the crow stuff wasn't compelling enough? The constant repetition of the eyes? I think maybe an average viewer would be intrigued by the kinky sex/occult dealings Caspere was part of, but they really didn't follow that story far enough to get people ordering books on Amazon again. I remember Pizzolatto said he was going in that route, and then switched to character development instead. That's a huge bonus for viewers like you and me, Represent, because I too am a huge fan of great character development (as I'm sure you can tell from my recap). But yeah--I think that's the biggest issue here.

As far as Ani's scowl, and people's reactions to it, I'm now really glad I wasn't looking at too many recaps the last two weeks because that would have really pissed me off. You know what I loved about this season? Once I realized that Rachel McAdams is in her mid-thirties, I just thought holy shit, a real-live gorgeous close-to-middle-age woman playing a badass character on TV. This is insanely great. And yes, that means she might have some marionette lines, and they might strip off all her makeup for the role. Oh well. That's what we really do look like, people...

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And as for people who say Ani was sidelined, I also completely disagree there. I think she had more to do than anyone else. She was sort of the Rust Cohle of this season—she cared about solving the crime more than having a personal life. And, I mean, did she really even have that much of a personal life? Having her fall for Ray and making her a mom isn't sexist on Pizzolatto's part—it was just a natural part of Ani's character development. It's a shame other people can't see it that way, but I think it only shows they weren't really watching all along. PS: Those are the same people who hyperfocus on her "scowl."

 

Edited by carn.lac.

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Well Pizzolatto was a college English professor, so go figure, I guess?

 

I think he's a novelist, but I'm not sure about the professor part.

 

I think it only shows they weren't really watching all along. PS: Those are the same people who hyperfocus on her "scowl."

 

Or basically the 'you didn't get it' excuse that all but a select few can understand.

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n any case, I expected the show to be rife with symbolism, so I dove right in, but I can see what you're saying about viewers who might not have a proclivity for that. What do you think this show needed to hook them in the way The King in Yellow did?

I'm sorry, but I do believe there is an element of sexism. It's not the only reason, because I do believe there were too many characters for some to keep up with the case. But I do believe that having RM who to me was not what the macho/alpha men who view this show wanted to see, along with the women who also don't like this kind of female character is one of the reasons some weren't as hooked. So basically some needed the focus to be on CF and VV and cut the female character out IMO. When reviewers would suggest which characters to cut, they would suggest Woodrough but also Ani. They never said the show would be better if the two main characters were CF and RM, it's always VV and CF. They would have been fine with just having VV and CF, they just did not see the point of her character which is utter bullshit because she was the only character who pushed the story along because she was searching for the truth. And then maybe VV's character later on as he had to find out who the hell was stabbing him in the back. But she from the very beginning was searching for justice and truth and she pulled  Ray and Paul back in because of that character trait.  

 

One recap that I was watching, they were all making suggestions on which actors they would like to see for season three and NOT one of them could come up with a female actor they would like to see for season three including the woman on the panel.  I think someone said Julianne Moore at the end. But they literally had blank stares trying to come up with a female actress, please. But the male actor names rolled off their tongues like diarrhea.

 

Yeah NP ain't the one with the problem at least not this season, when it comes to his view on how women should be portrayed.

Edited by represent.

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What do you think this show needed to hook them in the way The King in Yellow did?

 

The ideas, the occult themes, etc. were very unique and not something you see as often as you do with Noir/corruption/James Ellroy-ish territory that you see this season.  This season alluded to that with the commune/Pitlor/Ani's dad, but it never really goes anywhere, the same with the bird man who seemed intriuging in the 1st 2 episodes it was in and then dropped off before the jewelry heist plot kicks in.

 

I can see what you're saying about viewers who might not have a proclivity for that.

 

If they had such a problem with symbolism then they wouldn't have liked Carcossa/Yellow King/etc. back in S1.  It doesn't seem to be the main problem for some people.

Edited by Free.

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This season alluded to that with the commune/Pitlor/Ani's dad, but it never really goes anywhere, the same with the bird man who seemed intriuging in the 1st 2 episodes it was in and then dropped off before the jewelry heist plot kicks in.

Yeah I agree with this, because I did think that the commune would play more into the story line especially since the Pittlor, Chessani and his father, Caspere were all there at one time. Then Pittlor says something to Ray about Chessani partriarch traditions or something to that effect, and I thought we would find out more about that. Then Chessani's first wife dying at Pittlor's facility? She hung herself in that place said the daughter. But it went no where. The man in the bird mask was not so much of a dropped angle for me as I thought that was the person who killed Caspere and that was about it. The only mystery was who was he, I thought all along it was Burris but then....

There was actually no reason to have these men have any history with Ani's father as he never really  knew them and it wasn't going anywhere except that he could confirm that all those men had some kind of history because they visited his commune together years ago. The only reason for Ani to visit the commune other than her backstory was the link to the missing girl Vera, because she did work at that institute that Ani's father was now working.  They could have had her show her father a picture of Caspere and maybe left out his identifying Chessani and Pitlor ever having been there if the commune angle wasn't going to go any place sinister with these characters. 

Edited by represent.

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The man in the bird mask was not so much of a dropped angle for me as I thought that was the person who killed Caspere and that was about it. The only mystery was who was he, I thought all along it was Burris but then....

 

Some people thought there would be occult stuff and that's where the mysterious appeal it had in the 1st 2 episodes it was in.  Same with the numerous connections with Pitlor Institute/Ani's dad's commune/etc.

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Yeah, Represent, I agree with you wholeheartedly. Also, that makes me really sad that they couldn't name any actresses. And that there are women out there who don't like a female character like Ani. Why? Why wouldn't they like her?

Also, have you ever seen Searching for Debra Winger?

 

Anyway, as to the occult symbolism and Eliot's involvement in the story...I agree that all that seemed to fizzle after a while...and we were led to believe Eliot might be a sinister character--especially based on Ani's anger towards him. I think, though, that the fact that we were led to believe he might be sinister and that all those guys hanging out on the commune might have also been up to no good, all of that only added to the suspense in Ani's journey. Without these potentially evil father figures in her life (these men were all older than her, and around her when she was a child), the "authority" she was up against wouldn't have seemed nearly as frightening. Especially when you add the fact that her mom committed suicide, Eliot was sorta friends with these dudes, Austin's wife also committed suicide...both women were described as going crazy... and then Pitlor remembers her? It just means more terror. Almost Hitchcockian, right?

I tried to piece together at one point what they seemed to be getting at with the occult stuff. Nobody can say for sure what was going on with that group of men, but I doubt it was only about sex parties and I think the group had been around for a very long time (hence Eliot's mention of the senior Chessani, Theodore). I theorized that maybe they were Freemasons, because there was a lot of Freemason symbolism in the show (especially the parts about the eyes), and it would have been a very interesting counterpart to some of the obvious Virgin Mary and goddess allusions Pizzolatto kept making. Anyway, I wrote about that here--wonder if any of you agree: 
http://www.lippsisters.com/2015/08/02/private-eyes-the-masonic-symbolism-in-true-detectives-church-in-ruins/
 

Edited by carn.lac.

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I tried to piece together at one point what they seemed to be getting at with the occult stuff.

 

It was rumored to be related to the transportation system or something like that, I think people speculated on the Bohemian Grove vibes with the orgy parties.

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For the record, I'm a woman and I liked Ani's character. If the main characters had to be cut down to two, I'd go with Ray and Ani.

Edited by MyPeopleAreNordic.

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Honestly, although I think season 1 is better than season 2, it's not by a landslide. Both seasons had it's ups and downs, but I think the first season was more focused and had less fat. 

 

Personally, I didn't feel as if all women were happy to have children just because Ani and Paul's fiancee had kids. With Pauls' fiancee, I think she may have been happy, but also, she didn't believe in the use of abortion. She was also willing to marry Paul to have a family. I think she bought into the fantasy rather than actually believing Paul loved her like she loved him because she wanted the stability she believed that being married provided. She had a very valid reason for breaking up with him and I honestly don't believe she thought he had changed in the way she needed to him, emotionally speaking. So, she may have been happy about the pregnancy or might have forced herself to be happy, but I think she chose to keep the baby due to faith and family and stuck with feeling happy about it.

 

With Ani, it's more complex for her. TBH, we don't get a reading from her either way and it's not discussed or hinted at at all about how she feels about kids and being a mother. So, despite if she feels motherly or not, there is no way to argue either side definitely. I think Ani's demeanor has more to do with her kidnapping and the chastisement of her behavior before she was taken than it does how she actually feels about people and/or the situation. She's guarded and critical because she's afraid of being too trusting and taken advantage of or gullible again. She was never mad at the world or men because she felt entitled, she was mad at herself because she should have known better and wants to be better. And so, when her and Ray are on the run and everything she worked for is up and flames, she finally feels comfortable to let her guard down and tell him about an experience that has drastically shaped her life. Her father and sister were too close to the situation and her husband may have not been damaged "enough" for Ani to reveal that past trauma to him. With Ray, there is some attraction, but she's also drawn to is damaged parts as well as the good in him. So after they have sex, it's "so this is what it's like to give yourself to someone." Was it true love? Who knows? But, Ani was finally able to let someone close emotionally rather than just offering herself sexually. 

 

When Ray starts cutting it close, she's wants him there not just to keep him safe, but because she finally has someone to explore a relationship that doesn't have all these lines drawn. Then he says go on without him and, deep down, I think she knew he wasn't going to make it--to her and through the day. Ani suppressed that fear and tried to believe the lie because she needed him to make it, he had to. On the boat, she didn't sense his death, she finally admitted to herself that she was never going to see him again, which meant that Ray was going to be murdered. It was also about the tragedy of it all. They were deemed criminals and two were killed for doing their jobs and the right thing--she was on the run for trying to bring justice to the victims and expose criminals. 

 

Bringing this full circle, the motherhood argument, I don't think Ani seriously considered being a mother because she didn't have her own shit together and lived day to day. And when I say together, I don't mean "I don't want to bring a baby in this world because I'm a mess", it was more like she never thought of being a mother at all--in any serious capacity. Then she got with Ray and, again, I don't think she thought of being a mother then, but when she opened herself up to him, the healing process began and she was aiming for a healthy relationship. When the motherhood reality popped up, she decided it was a road she wanted to travel and it may also have been symbolic of wanting to possess something/someone innocent. But, does having a baby make it a happy ending? No. She's still on the run and can't see her family (out in public). And she's still raising a baby on the run. Her son is a bright spot, but I wouldn't say overall happy.

 

But, I'm glad to know that Ray's older son was really his. He wasn't the best dad at times, which is somewhat of an understatement, but he loved his son. I think everyone believed that Ray wasn't the father, minus his son, so for him to give his son his father's badge and that "no matter what, I am your father" showed that, despite his fucked up nature, he wanted to love even if he didn't know how. He'd rather his son believed that he abandoned him than have it confirmed the kid was conceived through rape and that's deep. He understood that his ex needed to know, but he wanted to protect the boy. Some kids of rape want to know the truth and others prefer that they were never told, but it can really mess up a person either way. I think, at first, the ex was okay with Ray staying involved in his kid's life, but he kept fucking up, so she wanted to remind him that he might not have any rights. Then, she wanted to completely strip them away. I understand her position, but at the same time, it pissed me off because Ray was the only father that kid ever knew. Even if he wasn't the father, their son would've been devastated if Ray stopped coming around--you know, the same thing that happens when kids form emotional ties to their parent's S/O, and then they split. The kids are devastated. So, the ex not only wanted to take away the only father their child ever knew, a person who still wanted to be involved, but tell her kid he was the result of rape. One thing or the other, but both is a bit too much.

 

Paul--I'm upset that he tried to get married because he knocked up his ex, but I'm glad that he did try to do right by her as in not live a double life. It's wrong to marry her, but wrong on top of wrong is too much to handle. In the end, it does seem that he didn't add much because of his death. I did expect him to get unexpectedly popped though and I knew James Frain was going to be involved somehow because of what another poster said in the first episode. lol

 

I felt for Frank and I didn't mind VV's acting, but the death dragged and was cliche, for the lack of a better term. Really, it was only the lack of limp and Jordan's, "you died back there statement." I saw that coming and wish that they'd handled the part differently. 

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