In Review

True Detective 2 frustrates viewers with 'cheap trick'

Maybe Tomorrow is likely to be the 'make or break' episode for True Detective 2 viewers

Spoiler warning: this article contains key spoilers for Series 2

Maybe Tomorrow, the third episode of True Detective's second season, has aired to mixed responses from fans and critics after it brought one of its main characters back from the dead. Some viewers have asked whether the series is toying with its audience after the plot twist, and others have questioned if it is worth persisting with the show.

The turn of events, which saw one of the show's leads, police detective Ray Velcoro (Colin Farrell), survive an almost certain death, came as something of a relief to Gwilym Mumford of The Guardian.

"So how did we feel about True Detective’s big fake-out?" asked Mumford. "Ray Velcoro is blasted with a shotgun from point-blank range and lives to tell the tale... In pure narrative terms, that might feel like something of a cheap stunt, but it’s hard not to be relieved that Ray is still with us."

Mumford adds that the plot contrivance is forgivable in "an episode as convincing as Maybe Tomorrow" and says that this is the instalment in which "things finally begin to click satisfyingly into place".

In the Daily Telegraph, Patrick Smith is less convinced by the episode. He writes that the prolonged opening sequence "came straight from the Twin Peaks School of Weird". Despite being blasted with a shotgun, Velcoro survives because the gun was loaded with rock salt, he adds. Smith calls this a "cheap trick" on behalf of series creator Nic Pizzolato. 

Still, Smith agrees, it's good news that he is still with us, as Farrell is "the most compelling thing about this series".

In terms of acting, True Detective has been top-notch, says Smith. But fine performances do not necessarily a fine series make, he adds, saying "improvement and nuance is needed".

Emma Dibdin of Digital Spy is "conflicted". On the one hand, she says the colossal cliffhanger from last week led to an anti-climax which felt like "a cop out". On the other, it was the first episode where Dibdin started to enjoy Velcoro's troubled character and even feel sorry for him.

Dibdin is also conflicted about the story, saying: "The mystery this season feels more coherent and better plotted so far, and yet it's telling that I'm actually finding it more of an effort to follow than last season's."

Roth Cornet on IGN suspects that Maybe Tomorrow will be the "make or break" episode for many viewers. You’ll either connect with and enjoy the David Lynch-like opening and be happy that Farrell’s Velcoro is left breathing, she says, or you'll feel manipulated by the cheap trick.

This is the moment where we really decide if we're in or if we're out, says Cornet. The whole season has been uneven, based on the continued development of Velcoro's character and the turns that the murder investigation has taken, she says, but adds: "I'm in for now."

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