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True Detective 'Church in Ruins' [TV-EPISODE REVIEW]

As 'True Detective' continues its second season, things really get going with Velcoro finally moving on from his son, we get more info about Ani's backstory and Frank gets his best scene so far. However does the season continue getting better and better or is this a step backwards? 

Apart from the first two episodes, this is probably the one I was excited to see the most after the brilliant 'Other Lives' last week were it really starting to feel like the show is finally revealing hints about where it is going and it is pretty safe to say that it definitely did. But just like everything else, the episode has problems. Taylor Kitsch's character Paul did not move his story along at all here as he instead ends up just being in the episode because he is supposedly a main character so he needs to be there. Everyone else however do get some scenes relating to their own personal story and all of that was great to see (however Ani's is still just getting teased and I feel like it is something they will save either until the very end or in the next episode judging by how this one ended). Ray Velcoro's scene with his son was fantastic as he is not quite sure how to interact with him as a social worker was inspecting his every move and continuously writes down notes (not really the audience you want when you are watching 'Friends' with your kid). You can clearly see that he is really close to finally disowning him which is what he ends up doing right afterwards. At first I was wondering what led him to this conclusion but we immediately find out that he wants his ex-wife to just drop the paternity test and never tell the kid that he is not his father in exchange for leaving them alone. Really great moment and I am pretty sure he then proceeds to do more coke than anyone has ever done before. People are flat out calling this a bad season but it really cannot be when it has brilliant scenes like this. Colin Farrell's performance is utter perfection as he breaks down and comes to his senses that he needs to give up his son.

As I mentioned earlier, Vince Vaughn as Frank gets his crowning moment in this episode were he tries to comfort a kid who just lost his father. He delivers a beautiful speech and knocks every line out of the park. It does not go on for very long but ever since I saw it, it has been in my mind which has been quite a rare thing this season.

Rachel McAdams also got a real cracker of a scene as she infiltrates a mansion posing as a hooker - the kicker is she was given drugs the moment earlier and starts to get dizzy as she walks around. It is shot so well and you really feel like she is about to pass out. The only problem with this whole section of the episode is that it intercuts with Ray and Paul outside trying to get in and the music choice they got does not fit at all with what they were doing. Whenever Ani was on screen it fit perfectly (obviously because that was the core focus of the scene) but they kept the exact same music for the scenes outside which just took you out of the moment. I will say though, I am more intrigued than ever at finding out more about Ani's backstory which I can only assume includes getting raped as a young girl based on the visions she had. She is definitely the second best character of the season and the best female character in the series overall and Rachel McAdams performance sold every emotion the character was going through.

This is probably the best episode thus far because more and more things that feel important are happening and it does not spend too much time just being broody for no apparent reason. Direction wise it was yet another highlight of the season (they just keep getting better and better do they not?), this time done by Miguel Sapochnik who also did the episodes 'The Gift' and 'Hardhome' from season 5 of 'Game of Thrones' which were both also two highlights of that season ('Hardhome' being the highest rated 'Game of Thrones' episode ever on IMDb). Overall though, I am looking forward to seeing where they are going as this was quite a brilliant episode. 

9/10

- Lucas

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