Like the majority who liked the first season I was expecting something more similar to it. However season 2 is a very different beast entirely. And you know what I was completely engrossed by it up until the finale that is. I don't know what happened there but for once I can overlook such a mistake.
First and foremost there was an ambiance and atmosphere to this season that made you feel tension throughout. Each episode build that up more and more leading to quite a few intense scenes that certainly will keep you on the edge of the seat. For a while you won't really know of what is going on but slowly the mysteries get unraveled. In this season the main mystery has another function. It's more a plot device to put three characters together and follow what they are about and how the events have an impact on them. These characters played by Rachel McAdams, Colin Farrel and Taylor Kitsch are easily the best of what season 2 has to offer. Their background stories were far more compelling than the murder mystery. Despite their many flaws though they have a sense of honour, duty and justice that makes you want to root for them. When they interact you can feel that they respect each other without them actually saying this. You want them to get on top of things even if life and other people make it very difficult for them. If this show had concentrated on these characters a little more than they did then it would have been perfect.
Unfortunately this season does makes a few mistakes. One of them being Vince Vaughn as Frank Semyon who is a gangster trying to become legitimate. I have seen that tale many times and while I do like them I really did not care for it as much. Maybe it is me but I have seen Vince Vaughn play more menacing in some of his comedies than he was in this one. Here it was required of him to be that dangerous gangster and for some reason that did not come out so well. Vaughn wasn't bad but it was quite average and a little pointless. I still fail to see why his role was so prominent. His story also distracts too much from the main plot even when he is connected to it in some way. Another mistake is that certain characters don't get as much exposure as they should. And therefore can't function properly as red herrings because you hardly remember and know them. Which has a very underwhelming effect in the finale.
The finale is the biggest mistake. It almost ruins everything that was so good about the show. If there was ever a need for a conclusion that demanded ambiguity or open ending it was this one. And I normally hate those kinds of endings so that should tell you something. I don't mind dark and tragic endings. In fact considering the tone of this show both in season 1 and 2 that was something hard to escape from. However I do think that whether it was good or dark that it should make an impact. And this finale fails to do that. Up until the final I was glued to the screen. I was fascinated by the characters and their back stories and thoroughly enjoyed it how they came together, started working on the case and how they progressed. I could not wait to see the next episode. Then the finale happens and I am mesmerized by how uninteresting it is compared to everything that played out before it. To me this finale was far from satisfying and is one I choose to ignore as much as possible. However this disappointing finale can't sway me about my feelings and thoughts about season 2 overall.
Season 2 is definitely worth your time as it offers quite a lot of intrigue. Only here it comes from the characters instead of the murder mystery which is what I guess most people were hoping for. So overall I am very happy with this season and I am looking forward to the third season if there will be one.