TV Club: True Detective: “Black Maps And Motel Rooms”

It’s the pieces you take your eye off of that get you in the end. The second season of True Detective should know that well, what with its recurring tableaus of two people (one of whom is usually Colin Farrell) squaring off over a table, an invisible chessboard between them. Those tables are to season two what the front of the car was to season one, and we finally see someone playing a real game at one in “Black Maps And Motel Rooms,” though it’s not chess: Frank Semyon, dealing out multiple hands of cards and playing each one himself. In the moment, he’s both dealer and player, swindler and mark. Outside the walls of the casino, nobody is so lucky. Nobody’s allowed to see all the cards or the pieces or whatever you want to fit into this already tortured metaphor—like Frank missing Osip …

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