Many of the complaints about True Detective early on this season centered on how bleak and oppressive the series was, and how it lacked any of the levity that Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson occasionally brought to the first season. Last night’s episode of True Detective, “Church in Ruins,” however, was another in a series of episodes that demonstrated that True Detective can be very funny, if you watch it the right way. The humor may not always be intentional, but as a show to watch with others — either in real life or online — you have to admit that it’s been a lot of fun.
Take, for instance, the opening scene between Ray and Frank over the breakfast table, with the two holding a gun on each other. That sequence — in which Frank convinced Ray that he didn’t intentionally mislead him about the identity of his ex-wife’s rapist — included a lot of great gems that straddled the line between faux-profound and laughable.
“I sold my soul for nothing,” Ray said to Frank. “If you were selling, I wasn’t buying.”
“If that’s the sort of thing that keeps you out of heaven, I don’t want to go.”
“I didn’t set you up, and I ain’t your suicide ticket.”
“On the ropes ain’t the same as bleeding out.”
The best line of that sequence may have been the last, because it was also so very true:
“You might be one of the last friends I got,” Frank said to Ray.
“Wouldn’t that be f*cked up?”
But the comedic high point of the episode had to come with Ray’s visit with his son (under supervision). Chad basically ignored Ray, the model airplane that he brought, and insisted, instead, on watching Friends.
All due respect to Blake and Chessani, and with no offense to the actor who plays him, but I think we can all admit that Chad is the worst person on True Detective. Ray just wanted to spend some quality time with his son, but all Chad wanted to do was watch Joey eat a sandwich.
“Whatever they say, whatever things you hear, I am your father. You are my son. And I will always love you.”