True Detective (2014– )
55 user 36 critic

The Western Book of the Dead 

A bizarre murder brings together three police officers and a career criminal in the corrupt city of Vinci, California.


Justin Lin


Nic Pizzolatto (created by), Nic Pizzolatto




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Colin Farrell ... Detective Ray Velcoro
Rachel McAdams ... Detective Ani Bezzerides
Taylor Kitsch ... Officer Paul Woodrugh
Kelly Reilly ... Jordan Semyon
Vince Vaughn ... Frank Semyon
Ritchie Coster ... Mayor Austin Chessani
David Morse ... Eliot Bezzerides
Christopher James Baker ... Blake Churchman
Chris Kerson ... Nails
Ronnie Gene Blevins ... Stan
Andy Mackenzie ... Ivar
Timothy V. Murphy ... Osip Agronov
Leven Rambin ... Athena Bezzerides
W. Earl Brown ... Detective Teague Dixon
Afemo Omilami ... Police Chief Holloway


Det. Ray Velcoro works for the city of Vinci, California and has been on a downward spiral for years. He's divorced, drinks too much and has a violent temper. He's also in the pocket of local gangster Frank Semyon who years before provided the identity of the man who raped Velcoro's wife. He does odd jobs for Semyon, such as beating up a reporter who recently wrote a series on organized crime. Velcoro latest case is to locate City Manager Ben Caspere who hasn't been seen for several days. Sheriff's Det. Ani Bezzerides is good at her job but is estranged from her sister Athena - who does live cam porn - and her father who is now a new age guru of sorts. California Highway Patrolman Paul Woodrugh learns that he's been put on administrative leave after a young woman falsely claims he solicited sex to let her go free. These three police officers come together late one night when a man is found sitting on a park bench, dead. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


While in Frank's office, Jordan ends the conversation with the statement, "Everyone gets touched." This is a reference to season one, which states "Touch darkness and darkness touches back." See more »


When Ray is asked what Vinci is, he says, "A city, supposebly". See more »


Ray Velcoro: I welcome judgement.
See more »


All the Gold in California
Performed by Nick Cave & Warren Ellis
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User Reviews

Season 2 Episode 1 fails to deliver
22 June 2015 | by scaredsbloodSee all my reviews

What is there to actually like about this first episode?

+ Farrell showing that he still has something left in the tank. The episode suffers from horrible editing (the cutting so far is horrid) and lack of pace. The only thing that makes Episode 1 not completely suck is Farrell and his role as an officer who...well let's say there were somethings that blurred the lines of Right and Wrong for him.

That's essentially it for the positives.

  • All the other actors, it's a disaster that suffers from a pretty common flaw with "sequels", that being; too many characters and not enough time. After the episode ended I found myself saying: Really? That's it?!

To go a little more in-depth, Vaughn (who has been one of my favorite actors since "Swingers") puts up some choppy dialog and even choppier acting. Everything about his character seems "forced" and unnatural. McAdams and Kitsch are just as bad but have less scenes in Episode 1 so it's not quite as glaring. McAdams reminds me of Mireille Enos's role of "Linden" from one of my favorite underrated shows "The Killing" but she (so far) pulls off a very generic version of it and all I kept thinking was how they should have gotten Enos to do this part and one of the best parts of Enos's role in that show was her ability to essentially make the audience NOT like her (one of the common complaints that show suffered from). McAdams despite her so-called "Talent" just never really sells it in the limited scenes we saw from her and by the end of the episode I felt with even more conviction that they made a mistake casting her. Kitsch...I don't even know what to say about this guy. He has the least amount of scenes in the first episode and even worse execution than McAdams. Just watching him and his limited range trying to pull of the mental turmoil his character is suppose to be going through was just like watching a child being tossed into a lake and told to "Swim". The pacing of the "story" was probably the worse it could've been and that has a lot to do with how many characters they decided to go with in this season. I give it a 5 out of 10 because even with the actors horrid dialog and performances and the horrible editing, the director still had some pretty nice visual shots and there is room for the story to develop and eventually find it's groove which is what I am hoping will happen, that factor is the only reason why I make it a 5/10 rather than something lower.

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English | Spanish

Release Date:

21 June 2015 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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