Monday, June 22, 2015

"The Western Book of the Dead": True Detective, S2E1.

"Behold, what was once a man." --Bryan Maurice, or The Seeker, Walter Mitchell

Some of the Greek historical and tragedic references in this first episode of season 2 and how they play out in this episode:

Panticapaeum: Ancient Greek city in the Crimea. Built on Mount Mithradat. Mithridates took his life here in 60 BC.

Two sisters, Athena and Antigone. Heavy on the Greek irony: Athena is a virgin goddess, while the character of Antigone's sister is a sex performer online; Antigone died to stay true to her beliefs about burying her brother, while the character is a plainclothes police officer who's got it out for herself and everyone.

Frank Semyon sits across from Ray Velcoro, exchanging the gaze that Achilles and Priam exchanged at the fall of Troy. Privileged gaze: girls doing online porn; police surveillance.

The three detectives are staring into death, both their own and that of Ben Casper. Thanatos, the personification of death, represented by theta, poppy, butterfly (in Paul Woodrugh's girlfriend's apartment, on the wall by the bathroom door where Woodrugh takes Viagra), sword, inverted torch.

Nyx and Erebus are the parents of  Thanatos. 

Death drive: the drive towards death, self-destruction, and the return to the inorganic (Wikipedia); ego or death instincts are opposed to the sexual or life instincts (Freud, "Beyond the Pleasure Principle," On Metapsychology, Middlesex 1987, p. 316). Later, Freud adjusted his theory so that eros opposed the aggressive instincts (New Introductory Lectures 1991, pp. 140-141).

Ben Casper's eyes have been cut out and he's been castrated, per Oedipus.

Casper was discovered at sunrise, so there's a vague attempt to adhere to the unity of time.

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