Goodbye, Sweet 'True Detective' Character

RIP, main character from 'True Detective.'

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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This post is all spoilers, okay? Ex out of this and go crush some rats in a basement instead if you haven't seen last night's episode of True Detective.

Aww, Paulie. What more can we even say? Things were going so well okay for you—you found those contracts, and they had signatures all over them; you were bringing a baby into the world and into a totally stable family situation; and you proved that you could make not brushing your hair work for you. But then you forgot to check behind that nondescript door from which you escaped out of the depths of Vinci and caught a couple bullets (pretty sure they're real bullets this time) from James Frain. Dude! You should've known! He always plays bad guys.

Though, I guess I can forgive you for letting your guard down and assuming you were safe after taking out four hired guns like you were playing Call of Duty on beginner.

Sad as I am to say this, Paul was always the most expendable "main" character on this season of True Detective, and I'm not just saying that because Taylor Kitsch struggled with the character at times. Ray and Ani are the true cruxes of the show—the closest we've come to McConaughey and Harrelson in season two—and Colin Farrell and Rachel McAdams are killing it too much to be killed off. It's total bullshit that they hooked up, and the fact that their emo macking cut through Paul's shootout and eventual murder was even lamer, as if Nic Pizzolatto was consciously trying to sneak in some undetected sexy time. But fucking, which is everything, aside, those two are the show's dramatic centers. As for Frank, Nic Pizzolatto is probably the only one interested in seeing his story play out, but either way he's clearly destined for bigger things as we approach next week's finale—maybe a Scarface, blaze of glory kinda deal?

But beyond being expendable, Paul was also season two's most tragic character. Everything in his life, which was more or less terrible, was poured down upon him. His fucked up dancer of a mother—the one who almost made Paul a "scrape job"—beat out whatever personality he had, pushed him so far into the closet and then stole all the money he hid there. A celebrity accused him of trying to solicit sex on the PCH. He was a killing machine who clearly never wanted any part in killing, but resorted to being a warrior because that's the only thing the world wanted from him. He never asked for anything that came his way, yet all he wanted to do was wade through the shit and be a normal, good man. 

Paul's Iraq War gay lover—yet another person who screwed Paul over—told him before the shootout, "Just be honest about who you are and no one would be able to run you." But that really isn't true. Paul was always fucked, regardless of how out he was. The saddest thing about all this may be that he died a totally repressed man. He took two bullets in the back, and the life went out of him without anyone knowing who he truly was. 

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