Top 5 Issues with the Season 2 Finale of 'True Detective'

Depressing, dire and unsatisfying are just a few of the words that come to mind when it comes to describing the season two finale of “True Detective”. Despite the bar being set super low, it still sunk below that. With that said, here were the 5 biggest issues with the season 2 finale…

#5 Ray and Frank both die and for stupid reasons

Going into the finale you could kind of predict that Ray and Frank were going to die. The major reason being it was a safe bet that series writer Nic Pizzolatto was going to go for a more tragic ending after last season’s uplifting one. What no one could’ve seen coming was that both would engage in a fire fight, walk away with all of the money they could possibly need and then ruin their getaways for sentiment.

In Ray’s case it was saying goodbye to his thankless son (more on that later and yes, he was Ray’s biological son after all) that got him killed and for Frank it was going back home to pick up a few things. How could either of these guys have survived as long as they did, if they were capable of making such poor decisions?  

#4 A year later: Ani still has a terrible hairdo and fails to think about reaching out to the Witness Protection Program

Life definitely went on for Ani, who ended up having Ray’s baby (who will hopefully grow up to be less of a jerk than his older brother). What didn’t change so much for the detective was her hairstyle. It’s unclear how long she thinks she will be able to evade her enemies without at least a slight attempt at a makeover. In other news, it is baffling that at no point did Ani or Ray think to reach out to the WPP. Theoretically there had to be at least one upstanding law enforcement officer (like themselves) who could’ve helped them out.

#3 No one (except Frank) was interested in avenging Paul

First of all, Ani and Ray didn’t seem all that shaken up about his death to begin with, which was just cold. Then when Frank suggests to them that they would want to avenge Paul’s murder, Ray apathetically responds that he “didn’t know him that well.” Um, what? Paul saved their lives how many times and they still didn’t care enough about him or feel they knew him well enough to get justice for him? Not okay. Frank, a relative stranger, was more motivated to do right by him than they were.

#2 Ray risks and loses everything for the worst kid in television history

From the very first episode of the season, Chad has been a pain. For the entire season the kid acted completely ambivalent towards his dad, never showing him an ounce of warmth. It was downright painful to watch as Ray wallowed for just a bit of this bratty kid’s affection. To add insult to injury, what brings about Ray’s death in the finale is a desire to glimpse his ungrateful kid, one last time. His reward?

Chad won’t even bother to walk the short distance to greet his father at the schoolyard fence. Instead he gives Ray a solemn wave from his picnic table where it appears he is getting ready to gamble with the badge his father had passed down to him. Strangely, Ray appears to mistake this for sentiment and believes Chad has brought it along for an apparent show and tell. 

As if viewers have not had enough of this sad relationship, Ray then spends his last minutes trying to send a voicemail to the kid, lamenting how much “better” Chad is than him. When did we ever see proof that Chad was better than him or a good person, period? Answer: we didn’t. In the end, Ray’s message never gets sent due to the bad cell coverage in the forest. We’re apparently supposed to feel really sad about this, when in all honesty if the message had reached Chad, he probably would’ve listened to it stone faced and pressed delete. Talk about a futile last wish.

#1 The bad guys won

Unlike last season where good triumphed over evil, Pizzolatto went for the dark ending in which almost all of the central characters died. A non-happy ending is one thing. Having none of the bad guys brought to justice is another. Especially grating is the fate of Burris (played by James Frain) who escaped the finale totally unscathed, despite shooting Woodrugh in the back. If anyone deserved to reap their reckoning, it was him.

1 comment

  1. britt! omg that clarifies something for me! i didn't know why Chad had that badge on the table as I didn't think he was too proud of his dad but i thought it was show and tell but gambling makes more sense! yes i was mad that he didnt even get up to say hi! and that was cruel showing that the message didn't get through! it was Frank dying that made me so mad wanted him to have a happy ending at least! There is a sliver of hope the bad guys will get their due as Ani told her story to a journalist but then she does refuse to testify! I hate bad triumphing over evil! yes wth didn't they go into witness protection ? ray would be happy to know Ani has someone who will always remind her of him

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