The Season 1 finale of True Detective was, to many, a lone sour note that capped a riveting, creepy mystery. Sunday night's Season 2 finale was a sour note that capped seven largely aimless episodes. But we did learn a few things from this season of True Detective, even if—once again—the question, "Who is the Truest Detective?" went unanswered.
1. Always wear a Kevlar vest at all times, in case some dude in a bird mask decides to shotgun you point-blank. Even if it isn't real shotgun ammo, it'll save you some literal heartache.
2. Apparently journalists in 2015 file each story in a giant multi-part exposé one at a time, and they don't use the cloud or e-mail or anything, so if you just take their laptop, you can kill the whole thing.
3. Don't do land deals involving…Russians? We think? Honestly, all of that stuff was really boring and convoluted, but everyone kept acting like it was important, so we figured we should include something about it. So just... stay away from real estate if you're a shady businessman.
4. Be vigilant if you're attending a sex party. You never know when someone's going to have a flashback and stab you to death.
5. If you're gay, don't stay in the closet, because that's how you get shot by a man who apparently has magic powers, because he somehow knows exactly where you are going to emerge from a theoretically very complex tunnel system.
6. Involved in a random gang shootout? It probably wasn't random at all, but rather an elaborate setup by, uh, someone!
7. If you're a woman who's experienced sexual trauma, that is all that will define you as a person, forever.
8. Actually, just surviving a jewelry heist/hit on your parents as a child means you will grow up to be a prostitute.
9. When you're on the run from just about everyone, don't stop to see your kid, unless you're an idiot.
10. A suit is just a suit. No need to get yourself stabbed because someone asks you for yours (even if several million dollars in cash is in your pockets).
11. A redwood forest is a very picturesque place for a firefight, but does not have great data coverage, so don't try uploading large audio files from there.
12. Even though Belize is also (allegedly) very attractive for criminals re: extradition and is not headed by an egomaniacal despot who has run his oil-rich country's economy so into the ground that milk and meat are scarce, Venezuela is the best place to head if you're looking to escape from various forces—legal and not—who wish you ill.
13. All you have to do to get a section of the Pacific Coast Highway named after you is get killed, even though you were kind of just a peon working on a case. If you're the attorney general also working on the case? Eh.
14. Surely the reason your bar is largely empty isn't because the singer who's always around is a total downer.
15. Turning on closed captioning makes it much easier to understand what these whispery marblemouths are saying and what's happening. (But it can't make you care.)