The Western Book of the Dead
True Detective Season 2



Critic Ratings: 26
Critics Consensus

Strong performances by the season two True Detective cast make for a compelling hour of television, even when the story takes a little too long to get going.

Episode Info

Season 2 begins with the murder of a corrupt California politician with possible ties to a career criminal, and the ensuing investigation that brings together three law-enforcement officers from different jurisdictions.


Vince Vaughn
as Frank Semyon
Colin Farrell
as Ray Velcoro
Rachel McAdams
as Ani Bezzerides
James Frain
as Kevin Burris
Matt Battaglia
as Floyd Heschmeyer
David Morse
as Eliot Bezzerides
Taylor Kitsch
as Paul Woodrugh
W. Earl Brown
as Teague Dixon
Riley Smith
as Steve Mercer
Molly Hagan
as Attorney
Christopher Baker
as Blake Churchman
Agnes Olech
as Veronica Chessani
Ashley Grace
as Lacey Lindel
Cooper Roth
as Aspen Conroy
Carla Vila
as Danielle Delvayo
Show More Cast

The Western Book of the Dead Photos

Critic Reviews for The Western Book of the Dead

I feel like we're we're way out of our pseudo-intellectual depths with this one. Or wait, maybe this is just the wading pool for babies and I can't tell because I'm too distracted by that chick floating in a bowl of milk.

Jun 22, 2015 | Full Review…
Top Critic

So far, Season 2 is as deliciously moody as its predecessor, but also seems faster-paced and more deliberate.

Jun 22, 2015 | Full Review…

I can pay no higher compliment to Farrell than to say his performance is so captivating that it pushes aside all conversation of likability.

Jun 22, 2015 | Full Review…

"The Western Book of the Dead" is far from a perfect episode of television, but it also shouldn't scare off any viewers who didn't expect lightning to strike twice.

Jun 22, 2015 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

By the time we know what the main mystery of the season is going to be, we are fully invested in the characters.

Jan 13, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

The cast may be new, but that lineup of hard-drinking, soul-searching cops is plenty welcoming.

Oct 19, 2018 | Full Review…

"The Western Book of the Dead" isn't an incredibly strong episode, but it is a rather solid introduction to the dark and grimy world of Season 2 - and it firmly establishes itself as independent from its predecessor in the process.

Jun 15, 2018 | Full Review…

I don't want every recap to boil down to "Season one was better", but at the same time I think that the anthology format invites the compare-and-contrast approach. So, fair warning, I'm probably going to be doing a lot more of it in future recaps.

Nov 18, 2015 | Full Review…

It is possible, as some have suggested, that TD2 lacks the throat-tightening anxiety that made TD1 the finest show on television last year. But while it may have ceded tone, it has gained scope.

Oct 26, 2015 | Full Review…

Like the season that came before it, True Detective is more about establishing a mood and getting swept up in an atmosphere than it is in making any sense of its central mystery.

Jul 8, 2015 | Full Review…