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Thu Feb 13, 2014, 04:48 PM

True Detective (here be SPOILERS)

Last edited Mon Feb 17, 2014, 04:06 AM - Edit history (1)

I have to say this somewhere and I don't want to register on some site to talk about this show - but I've been trying to figure out where this will go - and this is what I've come up with. It's pure speculation, but if you haven't seen the first 4 episodes, there be spoilers here.

Oookay, so, after rewatching the episodes - I think Cohle is maybe in Louisiana as a "freelance" undercover cop - but maybe that's a stretch.

In any case, when he talks about the "paraphilic love" whatever - I think he's coming to realize that the murder from 1995 is staged to look like satanic ritual murder because the local pols and religious leaders use the fear of this to control the population and to keep them in line.

Hart doesn't realize how much he goes along with that pov - keeping people in line - tho he says it - because he's also so blind to his own justifications for what he does.

So, I think Hart murders LeDoux, or whatever the giant guy's name is, when they track him to his hide out, without due process - I think they could've brought the guy in, but, instead, Hart kills him.

Cohle is loyal to Hart, just as Hart is loyal to him about the lie about the dad with leukemia, because they both did things outside the lines of the law.

But I think they find out that LeDoux was just the criminal the politicians, etc. used because it allowed them to create a panic and the guy was a criminal anyway, so what did it matter to anyone if he was killed.

The murder in the present day - that may be Hart, but I'm inclined to think it's just another criminal put into service for a political/religious goal.

This is kinda sketchy, but it's been on my mind and I have to say it somewhere.

Listen to Cohle's interviews with the present day detectives, thinking that he has been working undercover - ever since he and Hart split, even - he's trying to find out what they know as much as they are.

His mind is a "locked box" because he can't tell about what really happened - out of loyalty, and because the powers that be are too powerful to really do anything about the situation that exists. But he hopes the current detectives will ask him questions so that he can talk about what he can't say.

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Reply True Detective (here be SPOILERS) (Original post)
RainDog Feb 2014 OP
RainDog Feb 2014 #1
RainDog Feb 2014 #2
Goblinmonger Feb 2014 #21
RainDog Feb 2014 #22
Goblinmonger Mar 2014 #26
RainDog Mar 2014 #27
Sienna86 Feb 2014 #3
mimi85 Feb 2014 #5
RainDog Feb 2014 #4
mimi85 Feb 2014 #6
RainDog Feb 2014 #7
Silver Gaia Feb 2014 #8
RainDog Feb 2014 #9
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LonePirate Feb 2014 #11
RainDog Feb 2014 #12
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liberalmuse Feb 2014 #15
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liberalmuse Feb 2014 #17
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mimi85 Feb 2014 #19
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mimi85 Mar 2014 #28
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hlthe2b Mar 2014 #31
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hlthe2b Mar 2014 #43
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RainDog Mar 2014 #45

Response to RainDog (Original post)

Mon Feb 17, 2014, 04:10 AM

1. refining my guesses

okay, since ep 5, we see where part of the story is going - an attempt to either frame, outright, or accidentally, Cohle for all the Yellow King murders.

Coehle mentioned the task force, and when the two solved the case, the guy holding the newspaper is one of the task force members...his last name starts with a B, anyway, I think part of the police force is complicit, but I don't think the two detectives interviewing Coehle and Hart are part of the set up.

The reason Coehle was at the other murder was because he's never felt like the case was solved after the 2002 event.

...and the way that played out - I think the idea that pols and religious leaders and a corrupt cop or two do create the satanic murders fear - and they use crooks who buy into all the trappings of evil because it makes what they're doing seem more important than just being a coldblooded killer and sociopath.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 17, 2014, 05:53 PM

2. Coehle's storage shed

Last edited Sat Mar 15, 2014, 08:35 PM - Edit history (1)

I think the two modern day detectives will find Coehle has "souvenirs" from the school in his storage shed that he took from the school in that last shot from ep5. This would make it look like he's the one who has made them, rather than the one tracking the Yellow King.

The reason, btw, I think the story would go there, in terms of talking about local police, pols and religious leaders creating these satanic rites as a scare tactic is that all of Coehle's monologues about meaning and life go into religious manipulation.

And last night, Coehle brought up the task force guys in the car - so that's being put out there for the viewer.

But, ultimately, maybe the case is never "solved" to get to the idea of these repetitions and variations on a theme - i.e. the satan and jesus worshippers are just the same idea, flipped, that become part of the "psychosphere" of a place that Erath (is this a real place? reminds me of a twist on the word earth.)

ETA: This post was a separate entry and I'm just combining it with earlier posts on this same subject:

This is a fun read with comments from the writer about the show.


"Cohle describes the possibility of other dimensions existing, and he says that’s what eternity is," Pizzolatto continued. "He says that if somehow you existed outside of time, you’d be able to see the whole of our dimension as one superstructure with matter superimposed at every position it had ever occupied. He says that the nature of the universe is your consciousness, and it just keeps cycling along the same point in that superstructure: when you die, you’re reborn into yourself again, and you just keep living the same life over and over. He also explains that from a higher mathematical vantage point, our dimension would seem less dimensional. It would look flattened, almost."

Pizzolatto took a bite of his branzino. "Now, think about all the things Cohle is talking about," he said as he finished chewing. "Is he a man railing against an uncaring god? Or is he a character in a TV show railing against his audience? Aren't we the creatures of that higher dimension? The creatures who can see the totality of his world? After all, we get to see all eight episodes of his life. On a flat screen. And we can watch him live that same life over and over again, the exact same way."

The thought was dizzying. Sure, True Detective is a page-turning crime yarn. But at least according to its creator, it's also a meta-page-turning crime yarn—a story about storytelling. Pizzolatto had transformed m-theory into a metaphor for television—and television, perhaps, into a metaphor for existence itself.

Underneath it all—the spooky imagery and quantum physics—that's the simple but serious claim Pizzolatto seems to be making: that everything is a story. "This doesn’t work if it’s not a tale well told," he explained near the end of our interview. "But if you want to keep going, that’s, like, the fourth layer of understanding. You don’t have to. Nobody needs to think about that. But I’m not just using the genre while saying “Haha, we’re better than genre.” Not at all. I love the genre. But a genre doesn’t ever have to be limited by what’s been done before."

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Response to RainDog (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 11:09 AM

21. I just caught up yesterday so will respond to specific episodes below


I think you and I need to have a beer together. I'm a high school English teacher with a Master's in Communication so this show is littered with things I love.

Specifically wondering if you caught the William S. Burroughs reference in Coehle's description of time. As soon as I heard it, I heard Burroughs' line in my head, " Death needs Time for what it kills to grow in" and was so damn happy they went that direction.

You can hear it yourself if unfamiliar. Edited to add: Video has been pulled. I have the Dead City Radio CD uploaded if you want to hear it, let me know.

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #21)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 05:07 PM

22. Bottle or on tap?

(Pretending I'm the tender of this DU bar)

Thrilled to see others add their perspectives. What a GREAT thought re: Burroughs. I thought that was a great line - and I didn't connect it to Burroughs. I'm so glad you did.

here's the full album for anyone who wants to hear.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #22)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 02:05 PM

26. I'm a sucker for a good tap lager


I was going to start reading Seeing by Saramago today but opted to get the free version of The King in Yellow and get that read this week before the finale.

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #26)

Response to RainDog (Original post)

Mon Feb 17, 2014, 09:07 PM

3. Excellent tv

Highly recommend.

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Response to Sienna86 (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 19, 2014, 02:43 PM

5. Must see TV...

Inside The Actors Studio
Feb 20, 2014 08:00 PM ET/PT

TV Network - Bravo

Matthew McConaughey is having a pretty great moment.  Last year, he appeared in "Mud" and "Dallas Buyers Club," before that he had a huge hit with "Magic Mike," and he is in in the well-regarded HBO series "True Detective" this year.  What makes him tick?  How has McConaughey transformed from the guy we saw talking about high school girls in "Dazed and Confused" into the man he is today?  James Lipton is going to slowly, methodically, taking us through McConaughey's career and thought process.

This show is unbelievably good. What an actor! In fact, they're both excellent. I think the whole cast is great.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Wed Feb 19, 2014, 02:04 AM

4. episode six guessing game

...even if I'm the only one playing. lol.

okay, now that Pizzolato talked about the story as a referential and meta-story within a story (using the Carcosa story as the basis, which, others have noted, was a riff on Ambrose Bierce long ago. via wiki:

"An Inhabitant of Carcosa" (also printed as part of “Can Such Things Be?” in the San Francisco Newsletter of December 25, 1886)[1] is a short story by 19th-century journalist, short-story writer and occasional horror-story author, Ambrose Bierce.
The story concerns a man from the ancient city of Carcosa who awakens from a sickness-induced sleep to find himself lost in an unfamiliar wilderness.

Carcosa was subsequently borrowed by Robert W. Chambers as the setting of his fictional play, The King in Yellow, and features heavily in many of the stories in the book of the same name. These concepts were further expanded upon by H. P. Lovecraft in his Cthulhu Mythos stories.

The influence of Bierce's short story is still felt today as modern authors continue to contribute to the Cthulhu Mythos. The story is told in first-person narrative, and includes a rather interesting footnote at the end.

Synopsis of Bierce's story

A man from the city of Carcosa, contemplating the words of the philosopher "Hali" concerning the nature of death, wanders through an unfamiliar wilderness. He knows not how he came there, but recalls that he was sick in bed. He worries that he has wandered out of doors in a state of insensibility. He calms himself as he surveys his surroundings. He is aware that it is cold, though he does not exactly feel cold. He comes across a lynx, an owl, and a strange man dressed in skins and carrying a torch. For the first time, the man becomes aware that it must be night, though he can see as clear as day. Exploring further, he discovers a copse that was evidently a graveyard of several centuries past. Looking at the stones that once marked graves, he sees his name, the date of his birth, and the date of his death. He then realizes that he is dead, and is amidst the ruins of the "ancient and famous city of Carcosa." A footnote at the end of the story states, "Such are the facts imparted to the medium Bayrolles by the spirit Hoseib Alar Robardin."

I don't think this story is meant to be a supernatural horror story - I think the writer made it clear the horror is existential - even if the pov of Coehle, no matter what he says as his perception, includes the other part of existential thought, which is this: the meaning of life is the meaning you give it and that's expressed in the way you live... i.e. we're all gonna die, so live life in the best way possible till then because it takes courage, some times, to do so.

But I think Bierce's version of the story gets to the meta narrative of Coehle talking about his existence as a character in a story - and the audience listening in. When LeDoux said "He sees you" - was he talking about the audience viewing what was about to happen, or, both that idea and the idea that the Yellow King had surveillance at the ranch and knows what actually happened?

...which could be used against Hart or Coehle if any further investigations were to take place, esp. after they had hero welcomes after the fact. If someone had been taping the event, that, too, could be a situation in which their interaction takes place over and over and over, same kids, etc. as Coehle noted.

Then there's The King in Yellow, from Robert Chambers. That book, like this season of TD, takes place over different time periods (and with different characters. The thing that unites them is the play within these stories, which is another play about The Yellow King. No one is supposed to be able to read the thing without going mad - over decades, in different countries and cities. I wonder if this will be the overarching set for TD beyond this season?

Hart's daughter, who repeated his actions, with variations, herself, and his repetition of his f-i-l's pov as Hart gets older and cranky about the generation coming up - and his reaction extends to violence against his daughter for being as sexually reckless as he was - which someone wrote about before - his reaction to his daughter is another example of his double standards. She's in the next ep, too, and, my guess is that she runs away after he goes after another boyfriend. Maybe she winds up as another victim - or maybe she just disappears and he never knows otherwise.

Hart's wife, Maggie, is back, too. I wonder if Hart got jealous again when Maggie just never quite wants to be with him, even if she tried. Maybe she flirts with Coehle and Hart thinks his partner is really trying to "mow the lawn" and that causes their breakup. If that's what happened, that could lead to speculation that Marty is trying to set up Rust to take the fall. But that seems too convoluted, maybe. More likely, they will resolve their past differences because of their loyalty to one another, in that meta tropie buddy cop kinda way with a splash of nihilism and bitters.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #4)

Wed Feb 19, 2014, 02:54 PM

6. Excellent analysis

although I don't have a clue what's going to happen which is one reason I'm so enamored of the show. I read that next season, there will be two different detectives. I can't believe anyone thinks anyone will be able to follow this series. Definitely awards for HBO, that much I think I can predict.

The Blacklist was my number one until this came along. Besides the always brilliant James Spader, it can't hold a candle to True Detective. The rest of the cast is pretty bad, imo. I read that it was really written for Keifer Sutherland and Spader was brought on board only a few days before filming began. Haven't found what happened to Sutherland but I can't imagine the role being anyone but Spader's.

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Response to mimi85 (Reply #6)

Wed Feb 19, 2014, 04:43 PM

7. I don't know either

tho it's fun to try to guess, for me.

I saw blacklist via hulu. It's okay, but, yeah, it's the same old formula without enough interesting changes to make me think I have to watch it. too gory for gory's sake - which TV seems to think is a valid substitute for work that actually shocks because of its narrative power. This show has relatively little actual on screen gore, compared to so much of what's going on now - but it's the creepiest thing I've run across in a LONG time.

I do agree, tho, that Spader is an excellent actor (tho I think Spike Lee shoulda won Cannes for She's Gotta Have It, rather than Soderetc with Sex, Lies and Videotape. But they're also both great, interesting directors.)

Oh yeah, another thing I was thinking about with this story. The Yellow King theme aligns with some of the Cajun culture around it, too. Cajun mardi gras is really rural, not jazzed up like New Orleans, and someone talked about the horn crown as typical of these sorts of cajun costumes (made from what's easily available because people aren't wealthy, as in cities, etc.) and, of course, mardi gras has "king" culture as part of that .. King's cake, all that call back.

and, of course, the idea of everyone wearing a mask.

something interesting in history is the whole idea of these celebrations when the world is turned upside down - like old Saturnalia, and the positions of people were reversed - those who were kings served their subjects for that celebration - and people wore masks... and this has been carried on in different ways in diff. cultures with things like the celebrations in Venice, and, within pre-modern n. European culture, those sorts of holidays were the ways workers ever had any time off... and, some speculate, they were ways for females to have sex with other males if their husbands seemed to be infertile (not that they had worked it all out in their heads) because having kids was so important as labor and to care for adults in their old age... just rambling... but to say that the use of masks has been an important part of cultural life for different ways, but it's also associated with deceit, and not knowing who someone may really be.

We could also say we, the audience, are the Yellow King that puts the characters through their paces, or tragedies, over and over again as we watch and rewatch.

In the last ep, when MMc talks about m-theory - that, also goes into that idea that what we perceive as reality is what's available to our senses, and what lies beyond in other dimensions is hidden from us - one of the mysteries of life - to think of existence as ultimately unknowable, beyond the faculties we possess, or the things we create to measure outside of our human capacity (like microscopes, telescopes, math theories, physics theories, or long standing speculations about life beyond this one.)

Apparently "M" in m-theory has no defined "m" - it's an attempt to reconcile about 5 different versions of one idea of the universe as flat string... strings. LOL. spacetime.

4 known, 7 unknowable, to make 11 dimensions of spacetime.

Just to say, if the writer put any easter eggs in this show related to that - though I don't necessarily think he would. The theory comes from "membrane" theory but people say it's not the same and the "m" is undefined - tho some call it "monster" theory.

as in... at the end of the dream, there's a monster.

In terms of the character realizing we, the audience, are viewing his universe from ours... I like that the show went there.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Wed Feb 19, 2014, 06:16 PM

8. This show is soooo much deeper than I expected! I'm loving it!

Now, I have to go back and rewatch it! LOL

Here's a couple of really good articles from io9 about the show. Be sure to read the comments section, too! There's lots of great fan speculation in the comments.



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Response to Silver Gaia (Reply #8)

Thu Feb 20, 2014, 12:20 AM

9. Those are great

One complaint about the show - that it's so white male oppressive in the narrative - I also think that's part of the point.

Someone talked about it as meta fiction to say, "this is Maggie, but this is also Maggie the put upon and marginalized wife" who, as Marty noted he thinks is supposed to make a home that is geared around his needs.

At first I thought... oh, he's really a jerk - but, in terms of where people exist in a story, WHO exists in the story, WHAT story is told, what is ignored - that whole scene takes on a whole new level of meaning, and the complaints about the narrative being sexist and racist in its failure to develop the other characters - is also a point to be made.

Coehle is trying to talk Marty down and put him on the case when "the hot young girlfriend" blows up Marty's life with the remark about "With all the d you swagger, you couldn't tell crazy...kitty?" (those are meta quotation marks since I'm not actually reproducing the text but pretending I am... lol. or something...)

ANYWAY, Marty was the one who was acting crazy with jealousy and then acting like an ass when she was angry with him for what he did. But the traditional narrative is the hot girlfriend is crazy - it dismisses her.

So, yeah, I wanna re-watch all the eps again too!

(oh, and I didn't realize until the other day when talking about this on another thread... DU HAS THE YELLOW KING in custody as a smilie.

eta: - At some point, I think we'll see Marty at a Promise Keepers meeting, since he mention the group. That whole idea of male as the dominant person for a "relationship" is a big part of that whole right wing religious world. I wonder if they have "purity balls" with their daughters... if there's something that is unintentionally creepy in a Lovecraftian horror kind of way... it's purity balls with dad.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Fri Feb 21, 2014, 10:16 PM

10. Links to online speculation

True Detective Week Five Freak Out (Paste Magazine) I'm glad they mentioned that amazing cinematic moment last ep.

“The Aching Passage of Time”

Brandon Carbaugh:

“I think probably my favorite shot of the entire show was that Malick-like sequence of the girls playing in the front yard. There was such a tangible sense of dread in that shot, with Marty’s narration about not paying enough attention to those close to him. I thought for sure one of the girls was going to be abducted, or climb the tree for the crown and fall to her death.

But then, that is what’s happening, in a larger sense. The car pulls in carrying the girls, now 8 years older, and you immediately understand that the tonal sleight-of-hand in that scene was totally intentional; you’re MEANT to feel as though something awful is about to happen to these girls, because IT IS — just in the constricted, time-is-an-illusion sense central to the show’s theme, rather than the immediate moment. It strikes a very dust-in-the-wind chord. You’re made to feel, like Marty, the aching passage of time gone by in the blink of an eye.

What strikes me, too, is that True Detective isn’t breaking new ground here. In fact it’s treading pretty damn-well-worn soil, with the false mystery-wrap-up and whiplash time-jump situated just a little after the midpoint of the entire story. I can’t even count how many other mysteries do the same exact thing. LA Confidential springs readily to mind. Structurally, they’re almost identical. Episode 5 practically had blazing neon letters above it, going, “NOW WE ENTER ACT FOUR, WHEREIN OUR HEROES SPIRAL RAPIDLY AND THE PACE OF THE STORY QUICKENS”.

But where other mysteries use that structure as a tungsten steel spine around which to orient a bunch of ratchet-tight tension, True Detective is simply comfortable enough with that structure to let it simmer in the background, providing a compelling framework for what is otherwise a pretty low-key character study.

Who is the Yellow King? (Vulture) http://www.vulture.com/2014/02/true-detective-who-is-the-yellow-king.html

(The Hart's father-in-law is part of a cult/conspiracy has a lot of support online - to explain Audrey's behavior as a kid with the dolls and drawings she got in trouble for doing... and her 2002 actions.)

ep. six preview:

Is that girl, at the end saying "The man, with all the scars. You made me watch" to Coehle? Or "he made me watch."

re: Maggie, Hart's wife, from the actor:

“We continue to see as the series progresses more of Maggie’s strength unveiled, episode after episode,” Monaghan said. “You really kind of discover ultimately how cunning and devastating she is and both of the men truly make the mistake of underestimating her.”

via IndieWire

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Sun Feb 23, 2014, 01:29 PM

11. I binged the first five episodes of this mesmerizing series last night.

The acting, directing, writing and everything else about this show is phenomenal. McConaughey is amazing as Rust and Harrelson is excellent as Marty.

I have no idea where this story is headed; however I am along for the ride until the very end. This is addictive television at its best.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Mon Feb 24, 2014, 03:14 AM

12. Dark Was the Night

This just seemed appropriate for some reason.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Mon Feb 24, 2014, 03:19 AM

13. Maggie! (6 spoilers)

Last edited Tue Feb 25, 2014, 09:35 PM - Edit history (3)

okay, so they set it up to let you wonder if she was trying to "distract" Coehle from his investigation - and drive a wedge b/t H and C.

yeah, it was a down payment.

yeah, poleece, religious, political cahoots.

that poor little girl.

Marty had to follow that broken tail light all the way to the bar.

eta: last week, when people were talking about black stars on those threads, above, I had a thought after seeing Coehle lift that devil catcher or whatever at the school house - maybe they create black stars against a wall if a light projects through them. Then I thought...nah, that's too weird. Then I saw C. putting a flashlight through the antlers tonight...

okay, so my guess is the yellow king is a male white conservative religious person who gets elected... that this is sort of like a frat, but with creepy religious stuff... and they do things with the people they abuse as part of this distorted take on religion - or religion that is used purely for evil purposes.

that's why the murders occur.

this would be an echo of that old Franklin case that involved politicians. A grand jury eventually found the claims were baseless but the rumors continue.

oh yeah, and another thing. Coehle contemplating the cross early on because he wants to meditate on what it's like: "I contemplate the moment in the garden, the idea of allowing your own crucifixion." Since he's being set up to take the blame in the story by the sheriff, etc... his contemplation might be another one of those variations on a theme, or stories spirals that vibrate on the same level of consciousness, such as Hart pre-paying the girl he sleeps with in this ep, who resembles and is closer in age to his daughter than to himself...with all the creepiness that implies, but, imo, would be so much better to leave where it is, in terms of storytelling.

But we do, now, have a situation where Marty has a motive to frame Rust in the present day, when Maggie asked Coehle to "mow her lawn."

But I don't think that's how this will play out.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Mon Feb 24, 2014, 02:51 PM

14. ep 7 guesses/maybe spoilers

Last edited Tue Feb 25, 2014, 07:49 PM - Edit history (3)

Maybe others have mentioned it, but I haven't seen it yet. However, the architecture of the Tuttle school - in that big skylight box... those are like antlers turned toward each other, rather than away. Just remarking.

Okay, so, next episode - Hart and Coehle meet up in the present day to talk about the case. Rust presents Hart with evidence from his year of investigating the case.

I sure hope to hell this isn't the way the show plays out - but if Marty is part of the cover up of the Yellow King cult's murders...maybe he'll be crowned as the King in the last ep... he and Coehle would be seen as the embodiments of evil and good - and the outcome would be Coehle actually figuring out the case but having the blame placed on him - he would be the scapegoat, like the killers before him with the other murders, only he didn't actually kill for that reason - but he has killed.

The ultimate "good cop/bad cop."

Rust never quite explains his daughter's death - but I assume he ran over her when he was coming home from work, and so he already sees himself as a killer of a young girl - a very particular one close to his heart. His guilt is the force that drives him on this case - his is the flip side to Marty's reactions toward women and his own daughter. I think Rust's wife couldn't get over the accidental death - I'm not assuming he was drunk or something - but of course he could have been.

But his situation with his daughter makes me wonder if Audrey, Hart's daughter, will also be a victim.

If you compare the two sex scenes and Maggie in relation to the two men - Coehle doesn't just go along with the "bros before hos" locker room mentality with his partner - the first time he knows Hart stepped out, or the second time. C. is hurt that Maggie used him - for him, that moment was about a long-controlled desire - that he thought she shared - and she did, but only to a point, and the point was that she could use C. to make it impossible for Hart to want to remain in his marriage.

It's in the context of this division between C. and H. that C. tells Hart he doesn't exist without Rust. Of course he's talking about their relationship as partners, but he's also talking about that idea that "good and evil" exist in contrast to one another in our moral universe, but not in the abstracted nihilism Rust finds comfort in.

Maggie talks about Hart's problem - never knowing what he wanted. maybe he wanted to be that evil power.
eta the quote: “Marty didn’t know who he was so he never knew what he wanted.”
Maybe he didn't know he was the (a) yellow king.

Coehle doesn't think the rituals, etc. are "real." When he calls the Dora crime scene "meta psychotic" - this would mean someone acting as if they are psychotic, and creating a scenario (the death scene) that portrays the same. If the staging of the discovery of bodies does serve the purpose to maintain power over the place and its people - such staging would make sense.

But there may be some internal logic for the group that does this. Dora was found with her hands bound like she was praying in front of that tree, and the 2012 victim was in a crucified pose hanging off a bridge. I would just assume these positions are ways for the power cult to scare with poses that mimic religious postures that are familiar to the local populace.

And the story, ultimately, would be that the culture of white male religious supremacy is the great evil.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #14)

Tue Feb 25, 2014, 12:56 AM

15. Great analysis!

I'm obsessed with this show, but have stopped trying to guess because I'm so off base. I really think you have something here, and am also afraid that Cohle isn't going to make it in the end. The first scene first episode when the cane field is set on fire appears to be Marty and Cohle.

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Response to liberalmuse (Reply #15)

Tue Feb 25, 2014, 03:58 AM

16. thanks for the kind words

I've "read" a few things - but wouldn't be surprised, either, if I'm totally wrong. Of course, they only have a couple of episodes to go, so they're going to have to have the story in place enough by this time - something can't just come out of nowhere without people saying... wha?

Of course, they also did that "in your face" cut to the little devil on the dresser - that was kind of weird to me. So on the nose, it seemed. More people were critical of this ep than any other, thus far. Maybe they should've had a little "Mr Expositionist!" nihilism... or maybe people are upset because they don't want Hart to be this cruel.

Oh, and other people have also talked about Rust's "Lone Star" ... Tin Star? ...men as five people, just like Audrey's doll scene. Maybe the stars from the poem are the badges of the detectives Rust is hinting at with his arts and crafts... and beer.

You think that's who was carrying whom? THAT'S interesting... the circle back to the fire as the opening/closing of the story. I bet you're right. I've assumed the fire was there b/c of Dora.

They didn't really show much for the upcoming episode, so I assume they have reveals they want to keep close at hand. A goth-looking kid talks about his experience and verifies there is a group wearing animal masks... that's why he assumed it was a dream. And it looks like maybe Clarke Peters' aunt - he was the pastor early on who told them about devil catchers or traps - will give them information about santeria. And Hart gets really angry when he sees something on a video or tv.

Cohle, Cohle, Hart... sorry, couldn't resist.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #16)

Tue Feb 25, 2014, 06:08 PM

17. I think your analysis...

is better than anything I've read on the sub-reddit. I've already tossed my silly theory because it seems the consensus is that this was the killer staging Dora and then lighting the fields so she'd be found, so you are right. The creator has said there are no huge surprises. Everything is right under our noses, but some of us aren't seeing it.

My theories tend to be far out, but that is what I love about this show. There are hundreds of theories out there, but I've enjoyed reading many of them. Each episode seems to knock most of them down. Speaking of which, I remember one of the tin men was knocked down, and thought that was Rev. Tuttle, but I like your theory. I hadn't even thought of the tin Lonestar men being law enforcement, and oddly enough, haven't even come across that theory yet, which is weird because it is so obvious. I also like the idea someone has floated that Rust knows that his tape is going to be watched by those responsible, so he's sending them a message.

I think this will tie into Mardi Gras. Dora was found on Mardi, or a Tuesday, and more specifically, the Tuesday before the festivities kick off. Masks and men riding around the countryside on horseback is an old Mardi Gras tradition, so the picture at Dora Lange's mother's house isn't so weird if you know the history and costumes used during Mardi Gras. I also think it's weird that one of the protagonists (or is it the antagonist) is named, "Marty". The name, "Rust Cohle" is interesting, too. Rust is weathering or even degradation through the natural chemical process, and Coal is formed from plants and trees sinking to the bottom of swamps.

Great video! I don't like modern country music, but love blue grass and the stuff straight out of Appalachia, where my folk are from (West Virginia).

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Response to liberalmuse (Reply #17)

Tue Feb 25, 2014, 07:16 PM

18. I LOVE what you have to say

I don't go to reddit b/c I think it would be like getting lost in a maze... I have to limit my time wasters (not that they aren't entertaining ones!) but I've read a few recaps.

A woman at GQ has written some interesting ones.

eta: I think both your idea of the end as a circle and the Dora fire can and are very likely are true.

ALSO - I hadn't thought about the video being viewed and Rust sending a message. So the tin men (with no hearts)... okay, it's aluminum, but...he's saying he knows what they're doing. He's making himself a target.

The first time I thought Marty was "crazy" was when he was talking to the two modern-day detectives and he looked off to his right and down... his expression... but I thought, nah, that's too... right under our noses for him to be in on the thing.

I see his story as "d/evolving" into a Yellow King - but being in on the whole thing from the beginning, in terms of going along with the powers-that-be.

Maybe it's four men surrounding the sacrifice in those images.

Maybe the school system does a Mardi Gras celebration and the kids play games and this is part of grooming them for the ceremony - or picking ones that are vulnerable from the pack. And they were drugged when the ceremonies occurred, as children.

eta, yet again: oh, in in that case, the groundskeeper could very well be implicated, as others have thought. The drawing from one of the kids looks sort of like him. But it also reminds me of "Green Man" sculpture.

via wiki- The Green Man motif has many variations. Found in many cultures from many ages around the world, the Green Man is often related to natural vegetative deities. It is primarily interpreted as a symbol of rebirth, representing the cycle of growth each spring. Some[1][2] speculate that the mythology of the Green Man developed independently in the traditions of separate ancient cultures and evolved into the wide variety of examples found throughout history.

Maybe what the girl described as spaghetti was limbs - or the story is invoking a lot of different religious iconography to create a "meta" religion.

What are your favorite weird theories?

I thought Maggie could be switched - i.e. her mask is the docile wife but she's the femme fatale (in hardboiled fiction) and she seduced Cohle, etc. - but there's no grounding for that beyond this last episode when she looks at all the information he was gathering.

What I am also so.... enthralled with in this series is the way the cinematography is so well stated in support of the plot and all the subtexts. It can by lyrical and heartbreaking, as mentioned above in that quote, prosaic and nervy at the same time (I did wonder if Maggie had put something in that spaghetti), wired, in that long the tracking shot, and evocative of both supernatural and existential dread in the dripping moss in the cyprus, with their deep roots in murky water.

Thanks for sharing. It's fun to think about this stuff.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #18)

Wed Feb 26, 2014, 08:39 PM

19. Just have to say

that I so enjoy your writing, your taste in music and, well, everything. Are you a writer? I can't wait to see how the show turns out, but maybe even more, your take on it. Talk to you on Monday! Damn, that sounded like flirting, my apologies. (They need a blushing smilie on DU).

I totally enjoy the way your mind works.

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Response to mimi85 (Reply #19)

Wed Feb 26, 2014, 11:15 PM

20. that's so sweet of you

Last edited Sun Mar 2, 2014, 07:34 PM - Edit history (2)

that last sentence - LOL - fellow freak! - and thanks for the friendship. I've enjoyed your participation on DU, too.

I've done some things as a writer but I'm also very... introverted irl. lol. that's true, although no one would think that here, probably. I can fake it as an extrovert, and I do, often. But I did write about music and film in the past, professionally. I'm no big shakes and that's a-okay with me. What I post here is just...talking and I hate to say I do any writing because then I'll feel like I have to proofread and capitalize and actually make sense and all that. lol.

I'm not a big country music fan, overall, but I do like Lucinda Williams. Her father was a poet and that influence, just absorbing the environment, she said, had a big impact on her work. I like all kinds of music, from all eras. I'm fortunate to have friends with a lot of different tastes in music, too. And I live in a city where music is a big deal, so I get a lot of exposure just by being here.

I think my prediction here is very predictable. Maybe we'll find out something in this next episode that changes the entire outlook on all the previous events. That would be great. See you Monday!

Here's another song that makes me think of this series.

eta the lyrics:

Fool King's Crown gets passed around,
Everybody wants to have it.
Fool King's Crown got watered down,
Everybody wants to have it.

See how it mirrors, the inside familiar.

Fool King's Crown has got a story,
Everybody wants to hear it.
Fool King's Crown cost a Kingdom's gold.
Talking about that Fool King's Crown.

See how it mirrors, the inside familiar.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 01:46 AM

23. Links to online discussion

The four graph limit doesn't do these pieces justice - go read them!

It's an exploration of storytelling:


A World in Which Nothing Is Solved

Guessing games can make for a decent way to burn time between episodes, but they seem to have obscured what kind of show True Detective actually is. From its schlocky title, to the expositional conceit of complementary (and contradictory) police interviews, to the various ways in which viewers are treated as detectives alongside its heroes, the show is highly self-conscious and frequently metafictional. Unlike its superficially similar contemporaries, The Killing and Top of the Lake, it’s less about the pursuit of a solution than an exploration of storytelling itself. As a work of television, it might be best understood as parody.

That word tends to evoke, say, Hot Shots Part Deux or anything featuring Leslie Nielsen. But True Detective calls to mind the “more human and capacious modes of parody” that the critic Michael Wood has described in writing about Thomas Mann. Books like The Magic Mountain and Dr. Faustus, Wood argues, “invisibly hollowed out rather than brilliantly exploded” notions of what a novel might do or be; as a parodist, Mann’s work was never a lampoon, but a subtle travesty of the form. Another useful point of comparison is Vladimir Nabokov, who viewed parody as a game, a riddle, something in which one might participate and play. Think of the anagrams that dot Lolita, or the sly, literary Easter eggs scattered throughout Pale Fire.

If we think of True Detective as a parody in these terms—that it nods toward certain conventions only to manipulate and muddle their strictures and codes—it might coax us out of our pursuit of trajectory and meaning, and ultimately help us appreciate the show more on its own terms. “I think we’re doing a good job of telling the story that this genre demands,” series creator Nic Pizolatto told the Daily Beast. “I think we’re also poking certain holes in it and looking at where these instincts begin, both in the type of men that Hart and Cohle represent—and in ourselves as an audience.”

If we accept that one of the show’s goals is to align the audience’s experience of the events onscreen with the murder investigation, retrospection feels like it might be one of the intended responses. Detective work, after all, is less about projection than revisionism; the solution to any mystery is only the sum of its historical parts. Yet in forcing us to look back, True Detective seems to be attempting to conflate the experience of past, present and future—to flatten the circle of televisual time—both for its characters and viewers....


Carcosa or Bust: The Satisfyingly Weird Mysteries of ‘True Detective’

...Where is the show going with its recently clarified Lovecraftian ties? Does it even really matter, when the ride is this great? The most satisfying part of a mystery is rarely its resolution. Sustained anticipation is much of the thrill. Like earlier TV mysteries Twin Peaks, The X-Files, and Lost, True Detective is a show with its own internal mythology, which taunts both the protagonists and viewers with signs just beyond our comprehension. When some bits of information are guaranteed to be important later, every single bit of information feels like a potential clue. Attempting to read a show scene by scene and pluck out exactly what will prove crucial from a galaxy of visual and verbal details can feel absolutely maddening.

The idea of a piece of media that literally ruins your life has persisted; David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest centers on a film called “the Entertainment” that makes viewers unable to do anything but keep watching it until they die, and Neal Stephenson’s cyberpunk classic Snow Crash concerns a viral opium-like drug that dooms its downloaders. As a concept, it feels extremely relevant to the age of binge-watching, when networks and showrunners are banking on our collective desire to lose hours of our life absorbed in something more exciting than real life. Because True Detective is a weekly show, that leaves six days between episodes to rewatch the available episodes and read other people’s opinions on Twitter and in blog posts, while keeping 10 other tabs open to research the otherworldly cursed city of Carcosa. True Detective instantly provoked obsessive fixation in viewers, parallel with Marty and Rust’s inability (or unwillingness) to control their own obsessions. True Detective teases that we might all be getting addicted to a show that is going to somehow push us over the edge.

You can spend endless amounts of time pondering True Detective’s more concrete questions, let alone the existential ones. Are the wooden triangles strewn around the sites of the ritualistic murders pagan symbols, bird traps, or neither? Given creator Nic Pizzolatto’s professed affection for weird fiction, were Reggie Ledoux’s gas mask and the reference to a “green-eared spaghetti monster” meant to invoke Cthulhu, the giant octopus monster that signals cosmic doom in the work of seminal horror writer H.P. Lovecraft? Is the mystery even going to get solved? True Detective’s flashback structure accentuates the gaps in our knowledge. Everything we know is gleaned from flashbacks and interrogations, but there’s no guarantee that future information won’t flip our perspective. Hell, there’s no guarantee that Rust and Marty’s flashbacks are accurate. After all, if we can see Rust’s subjective hallucination of birds assembling into a spiral in the sky, who’s to say we’re not seeing other events from his subjective perspective too? This kind of theorizing, not baseless but impossible to prove conclusively, will make you feel like True Detective’s detectives. Maybe the show’s obsessions with madness, reality, and truth really are contagious.

True Detective’s closest relative is Twin Peaks, which mined similarly nocturnal depths. Both shows espouse mythologies that feel extremely personal to the creators but also eerily universal, tapping into the same brain waves as paradoxical sleep. From this subterranean level, we get an unusually lucid view of pervasive Jungian archetypes: family dynamics, virgin/whore issues, the battle between body and mind. Rust and Marty represent two poles of maleness on one swampy plane, an anima and animus. But neither one is locked into type, and Rust is especially facile with shifting selves to serve his situation. He talks about his lack of belief in a self from the very first episode. Rust’s cosmic rambling could come off as pretentious were it not balanced by the biting straightforwardness of Woody Harrelson as Marty, who finds Rust’s nihilism tiresome and very much lets him know. Matthew McConaughey’s performance plays just the right chord, toggling between cynical acid-head and secret prophet. His light touch with Rust makes even the show’s heaviest philosophical medicine go down like Dr. Pepper in a Big Hug Mug.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 02:32 AM

24. The King in Yellow is available for free

via amazon/kindle. If you don't have a kindle, you can have a reader.

Also - one more thought, tho that's probably too optimistic and I'll have to get something else off my mind... if this is a story about storytelling - are we going to see the entire story as a story created and we're the viewer - as in, after horrible things happen to the two detectives - are they going to celebrate the end of the show.

yeah, I know, don't speculate about what will happen. but that guessing is part of the fun for some people.

Don't Let The Devil Ride, 2 times.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 07:04 PM

25. Beth is such a bad girl she broke the fourth wall

She looked right into the camera, like a sex worker, and told the viewer what she wanted, as she looked into a mirror so her gaze at herself became your gaze at her.

Maybe the story that's right under our noses is the mystery that we don't take anyone at their word when the story is considered a mystery. Even before the story starts, because we know we're viewing a show that includes a hunt for a serial killer, we hunt for the clues to that killer. What if Cohle really is the killer, but we don't suspect him because characters in the show do.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #25)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 08:14 PM

28. Can't wait!

I must admit I'm doing the Oscar thing, but can't wait to compare notes after tonight's episode. Although I may not make it tonight, but will watch it tomorrow for sure.

Hope you're having a great weekend! Jennifer

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Mon Mar 3, 2014, 02:13 AM

29. sigh

it's episode 7 and here I am in my house robe and warm ugly socks. the honeymoon is over. I don't even close the door to pee so we can talk about the kids. there is no evil ever after, no great mystery to know, nothing but the human within, or out there.

but that's okay, too. Cause time does pass and people do settle in and there's comfort there, too, unless it's someone mowing your lawn, and not so to speak. Laughed at the funny repeat of yet two more detectives in cars, Gilbough and Papania.

The tone is all over the place. I have no idea what note this will end on.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Mon Mar 3, 2014, 06:07 PM

30. I'm out of guesses

Last edited Sat Mar 8, 2014, 11:52 AM - Edit history (1)

Audrey was abused. She survived and was able to thrive with psychological counseling. She now makes money creating paintings that refer to the abuse (the picture of her on the mantel shows her painting of a creature with black stars, a yellow layer on top, and a white, opague "face" - facing away from her. Her grandfather was involved somehow, or not, but he's the only character that hasn't been referenced since his first appearance, and, at his place, his two granddaughters seemed in danger with the way they rocked that canoe. But maybe that was all part of the smoke and mirrors. Maggie's life is white washed - all that past is gone, at least on the surface.

The lawnmower man is the illegitimate, abused son of a powerful political/religious family in the state/region that, at one point, took photos of David Vitter dressed up in diapers to make sure he stayed in line, and got Edwin Edwards on racketeering charges.

They are so powerful, they made Bobby Jindal, a biology major, deny the reality of evolution in order to get votes. You can't have that old (and I mean oooold) time religion upset by the cold light of fact.

At one point they summoned a hurricane to dump misery onto New Orleans so the city could be turned into DisneyJazz! by pricing and keeping out the musicians and their families who have made the city what it is. In the future, expect the "It's a Small World, Congo Square," featuring animatronic slaves dancing and singing and gathering to keep their hearts from breaking apart - and to curse the white slavers that surround them.

As with the other hurricanes, the Yellow Meanie Zonkers used the opportunity to destroy records related to their crimes. After the show, we'll forget about them, again, until we read about them, unaware they are pulling the strings to make the rest of the population dance. During the next storm, Huey Long will rise from his tomb, his body supported by a kingfish washed in from the gulf, carried through the state, and Jack (the white man's) Burden V will quote his ancestor:

"And all times are one time, and all those dead in the past never lived before our definition gives them life, and out of the shadow their eyes implore us. That is what all of us historical researchers believe. And we love truth."

Voudon comes from the West Indies by way of the sugar plantation slavers from England and the Americas. So, yeah, this killing cult appropriates from various religions to create its own mythology of a Yellow King (and, really, Yellow is a stand in for "white", right? - so there's some there there.) Not to say this is the Cleveland of cults or anything.

I think Cohle must have read this thread when he mentioned Saturnalia and the rural Courir de Mardi Gras. (j/k)

Episode 7 pretty much [strike]made me laugh all the way through[/strike] felt like all the mystery was gone. That's what I mean about the change in tone. The spooky wasn't spooky anymore - it wasn't even manifest. That bright light burned away the mystery. Cohle's "cat burglary" made me laugh as he Cary Granted his way up those stairs.

Maybe I just needed a corrective to all my speculation.

I thought Marty was great at Maggie's house. Those moments when you and the person you loved are strangers now. But not. That's not a mystery, either. "People don't forgive. They just have short memories." Or pretend to. Or just do not choose to rehash all the meat and bones of marital misery.

“Memory is the sense of loss, and loss pulls us after it.” ~ Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Mon Mar 3, 2014, 07:10 PM

31. Honestly.. I'm going to have to find a way to rewatch the series after it ends...

to try to catch the tons of stuff I seem to be missing. Especially the dialogue.

I am watching it like most shows--pretty much passively, but will look forward to re-watching more actively....

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #31)

Mon Mar 3, 2014, 09:44 PM

32. LOL

I don't know if you can have a fan fever dream if you already know the outcome... but maybe!

Here's the trailer for the last episode. I've enjoyed this one. It caught my imagination.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #33)

Mon Mar 3, 2014, 11:13 PM

34. I have now...

Yeah, I think that guy is pretty spot on. Carcosa is probably the name of the ancestral home in the Creole Nature Preserve, or not. Doesn't matter. And the Yellow King is the dynamic of white, male, religious culture there - although, of course, of the kind that makes itself seen by the way it manifests itself.

However, I think Pizzolato didn't expect people would connect to the story as much as they have, maybe. He also forgets that True Detective sounds like someone who is trying to solve a mystery - and mysteries do have their conventions, with a final reveal, etc. as part of the same. He mentions movies that have done this - Sixth Sense - that one was obvious from the moment the camera did a tracking shot from Willis' body, imo, but - the point is that a visual medium has tried to work out something that's really more of a "reading" experience - reading as a story, or as part of watching something within a genre. That's what mysteries do.

So, really, he's saying this is a buddy cop story...and he employs methods from other stories that have used time to reveal and obscure and then retell a story - so people also may have this idea in mind. The mystery up front was simply a clever way to deliver a backstory or two...because, in this episode, there were no "stakes" for anyone thinking Cohle was a chief suspect. Lots of threads left dangling on this get up.

Fight Club, Memento, Inception - Christopher Nolan's storytelling obsessions have had an impact on viewers over time, imo. Time's Arrow - people use various conventions to try to retell an old story in a different way - and there's nothing wrong with that.

As far as actual events next ep - A hunt for the killer.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Wed Mar 5, 2014, 02:44 PM

35. ReLenting

I took the blunt ashes of yesterday's revelry and smudged a cross on my mortal forehead - yet here I am, returning to my original sin, questioning reality...and things that make you go eeeek!

Via The Gothamist. These photos are screenshots via reddit, I think. But... it made me wonder if the pharmacy killer is in the class photo, and the woman with black stars tattooed on her neck, and the woman running the bunny ranch... and, who knows who else.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #35)

Thu Mar 6, 2014, 09:16 PM

38. I can't quit you, TD babe

I still want to guess where it will end up - and these pictures lead me to revise my ideas.

So...this is a buddy cop drama. Two men, in middle age, who find that life has taken its toll - sometimes because of their own choices and sometimes because of acts they could not control. The final episode will allow them to make one last chance to pay their debt to society - which one of them thinks shouldn't exist, but whatevs.

The eternal recurrence that Nietzsche saw as a horrible truth is this: White male buddy cops. (heh - the meta narrative of American manifest destiny, and so on, infinity, I know you are but what am I, etc.)

I could imagine the black stars woman and the pharmacy killer guy as students at that school - the pharmacy killer guy would know about the cult because of his experience at the school - it didn't need to be some big criminal conspiracy for him to know - he knew Rust was one of the investigators who got LeDoux.

So, maybe the pharmacy guy is the last kid on the facing left back row of Light of the Way - and the guy next to him is Ginger (lol), and the woman with the stars is the brunette holding the grade sign for the picture.

But the point, really, is the cycle of abuse, crime, and violence that was recreated each time someone from that school, or the others, was a victim. The victim becomes the victimizer.

Errol, it seems, is the child of a girl who was raped by Tuttle long ago, punished with torture, and he, too recreates the cycle of abuse, procuring virgins, and whatever else he did and does.

But how will the show end? Don't know. My version goes like this -

Maggie brings one of Audrey's paintings to Marty's office as a peace offering (and to check on what he and Rust are doing.) Rust sees the cult symbols in the painting and Marty and Maggie recall Audrey's drawings and the doll play like the cult video.

That's when Marty realizes the abuse was shown to him but, instead of dealing with his daughter's situation, he tossed the notebook aside, Audrey grew up, and he called her a member of the varsity slut squad - again, perpetuating the cycle of abuse. The eternal return of society policing or abusing female sexuality - and sometimes at the same time.

But the show ended with Rust and Marty in the boat with Gervais. How do they get from there to the above? Maybe they don't. Maybe that's how the show ends. Nah, doubt it. I guess I want that situation to be explained to the viewer... and to Marty.

Three more days to go till we find out how the story ends. Can't wait. but I have to. But if we really had some sort of eternal recurrence going on, I could've already seen this. Or already be waiting to see it. Or...

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Wed Mar 5, 2014, 03:09 PM

36. Paraphilic Love Map of True Detective online

via Vulture (we're along for the vigilante ride...)

A sect of prehistoric Plains tribes traveling through North America sometimes wore wood-fashioned, antlered masks that lacked eye and mouth holes. Experts believe the disguise may have accessorized some kind of cultish deer worship. Not to say those natives were offering up innocents to voodoo deities, but the men who mutilated Dora Kelly Lange and Rianne Olivier — and most likely took Marie Fontenot, Stacy Gerhart, catatonic Kelly, Terry Guidry’s son, and maybe even Robert Doumain’s boy in 1985 (among others) — definitely relish what Rust deems a “rural sense of Mardi Gras.”

With one final hour in waiting, it’s not premature to say that Nic Pizzolatto and Cary Fukunaga have succeeded in that diligence. True Detective has taken us on an arc that lesser shows might resolve in a single episode, or, as we’ve witnessed more commonly, forcibly protract to the point of viewer disconsolation. It has instead used a finite narrative to introduce an incredible interconnected population of characters, none of whom are mere red herrings, while allowing us to stumble toward convictions alongside the show’s leads. Not to mention all that philosophy for thought, whether inconsequential or essential. The one sure thing is that, as Rust and Marty come up upon the Tuttles’ patch of land outside Erath, shit’s about to get real.

And another about Courir de Mardi Gras from Vulture.]

Grantland's Molly Lambert wonders:

Will there be one final twist? Or is the finale going to play the situation as it lays now, with Rust and Marty overpowering crooked Sheriff Steve Geraci on the boat and then saving the day somehow, possibly rescuing Gilbough and Papania from the scarred man and exposing the Tuttle school’s secret pagan cult and their history of abuse to the public? I’m not ready to turn in my overly high expectations just yet, and I wouldn’t be shocked if this show had a couple more tricks up its sleeve. The stakes are high, and anyone can die, since there’s no imperative to preserve Rust or Marty for a second season. Will Rust sacrifice himself to save the day, fulfilling the prophecy of Reggie Ledoux’s chest tattoo? Will they shut down the cult, or will it be a ’70s movie–type downer ending where the Tuttle family gets away with it forever, time being a flat circle and all? Or maybe an otherworldly tentacle monster will swoop down in the last three minutes of the show and spray an unearthly gas through the screen at every True Detective viewer, infecting them with tiny yellow octopus bugs that burrow into your brain, make you unable to do anything but talk about True Detective until you alienate all of your friends, and then cut off the oxygen to your brain so you die? Even if that’s the case, spoiler alert: Death is not the end.

(And provides a Dylan-penned "Murder Ballad" from Nick Cave, P J Harvey, with video from a 70s zombie flick)

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Thu Mar 6, 2014, 01:25 AM

37. Geeshie Wiley - Last Kind Words

A little early country blues for the soundtrack in my head...

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Sun Mar 9, 2014, 03:27 AM

39. I can barely wait to see the finale tonight (Sunday night)!

And I love that they are ending it after the 8th episode - this way we don't have to wait years to know all the secrets

Next season will have a whole new story line and all new actors.

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Response to Tx4obama (Reply #39)

Sun Mar 9, 2014, 06:15 AM

40. I See a Darkness

This was written by Bonny Prince Billy (Will Oldham), also on backup, who played the preacher kid in John Sayles' Matewan

yeah...can't wait!

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Response to RainDog (Reply #40)

Sun Mar 9, 2014, 08:26 PM

41. The mystery was a counterpoint

done with the cinematography - the slo-mo barn dance - with Rust's voiceovers - and the music that portrays his inner life.

Rust's big adventure with Ginger - the camera on that before the tracking shot - wow. First Rust inhales some..heroin? and the camera is as whoozy as he is, then Rust snorts a line of cocaine and the camera is alert and clearly focused.

The passage of time with the crown tossed into the trees.

Rust's visual field distortion from his undercover days.

Anyway, stepping back from the story to see the story told - this series is masterful, and the result of collaborative arts in dialog and camera and music that have been hypnotic, if you let the story take you there.

I read some speculation - I hope people who say Rust will be drugged are right (sorry, Rust, it's for art's sake). This is where the series has achieved that otherworldly feeling.

Here's someone's speculation that I love, no matter if it's right or wrong.

Zach Brass
the yellow king will be a madness inducing psychedelic drug, a formula passed down through the generations of wealthy Louisiana occultists, that causes people to willfully allow the cult to sacrifice them. The psychoactive trip the victim experiences is always the same (much like the play "King in Yellow" induces the exact same particular madness in readers) in that it makes you believe that death is not only the end, but that you will be taking the next step in evolution or moving outside the realm of the flat circle upon being sacrificed. Reggie and his brother were simply the greatest cooks the drug had ever known, and the old Tuttle worker-lady triggered basically an acid flashback of her days with the family. Hence losing her grip on reality upon seeing Rus's imagery and then speaking of Carcosa after seemingly being totally normal. THIS WOULD BE MY IDEAL ENDING. Not supernatural per se but right on the fence.

From this link: http://grantland.com/hollywood-prospectus/true-detective-season-finale-precap-one-last-chance-to-cling-to-your-insane-theories/

"This show does not avert its gaze," Burnett says. "It takes a good, hard look at who we are right now, in a very profound way...I live in Los Angeles, and I recently took a drive through the middle of the country, and I was stunned by what I saw. In places that had once had purpose, all that's left is a pawnshop, next to a gun shop, next door to a motel, next door to a gas station, with a Walmart right outside of town. There are people working three jobs just to get by and having to take methamphetamines to do it. That's the middle of the country, and that's a plague that's spreading outwards. We're not seeing it, and these are things that you see in the show. It's making a very strong statement, but I'm not going to say what it is. It's a story that's going to unfold soon enough."

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Mon Mar 10, 2014, 04:03 AM

42. hmmmm

Last edited Mon Mar 10, 2014, 06:16 PM - Edit history (1)

maybe endings are hard.

I have a lot I'd like to say, but it's all Monday morning quarterbacking. The first two acts were spectacularly strong, based upon the contrasts between the stories being told and the stories lived. The final act, the last two episodes (Pizzolato said he viewed this as a three act work, with the first three episodes as a first act, episodes 5 and 6 as the second act - and the last two as the final act) lacked and suffered from the lack of the structure of the first 6 - because the two were no longer being interviewed - but the reason doesn't matter - what matters is how the windy narrative became a straight line.

The last two episodes lost the tone of the first 6 - because of what story was told and how.

They felt flat, rather than eerie - and the expectation was that the reveal of the killer's lair would be a "psychotic" display - which would come from the story and the camera - and Rust's experience.

Rust's epiphany...whatever. I saw the "Inside the Episode" for this last ep. Pizzolato said this epiphany was "grounded in physics" and I sort of smiled.

If I were an obnoxious producer, I would've said the last two episodes needed to have more of an emotional/situational impact than the drug/money heist with Ginger. Marty and Rust made up too easily - Rust should've done something that made Marty doubt Rust's sanity, and made the audience wonder as well - this is the "through line" of Rust's story that was dropped when he walked out of the interview with the detectives. The pace didn't feel right, for me - but, you know, all of these things are just personal reactions, not absolutes.

Things were not explained that are biggies - why put the bodies on display for a few, but not all of the victims? Did I miss this somewhere? Errol wasn't asking to be found out - he occasionally left bodies... for no clearly understood reason.

The stuff with Marty's daughter was disturbing - in that it was just some sort of red herring.

The thing I liked best about the last episode was when Marty started crying.

But the bedside reunion... whatever. Maggie really wasn't important for the story other than to create a situation where the two detectives would irrevocably split.

It was a fine bromance.

But it coulda been more.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #42)

Mon Mar 10, 2014, 10:48 AM

43. I don't know... I sort of agree with the DB writer (who wrote the earlier article I posted upstream)


For those who haven't watched the last episode, beware the article above discusses it in detail.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #43)

Mon Mar 10, 2014, 06:12 PM

44. I agree with Alyssa Rosenberg

the final moments were just cringe-worthy, to me. It's the oldest story, about lightness and dark.

Rust's sudden decision to join in with all the sorts of thinking he previously held in disdain? That was weak - just not believable to me and also very much a sop to convention. It would be perfectly in character for him to have had a moment when he felt his daughter's love when he was close to dying - but then to acknowledge the reality-based workings of our brain that make this possible - then to say... I'll take it anyway (that feeling). But that's not what he did.

He joined in the thinking of the killer and Marty, etc. and that was a betrayal of the character himself, to me.

actually, I haven't really read many reactions to the finale. But someone at The Atlantic seems to agree, as well, that the finale was "unearned" within the set up of the story and was much less impressive than what went before it.

The writer's statements along the way tried to deflect certain criticisms by saying... this is a metafictional story about generic detective work - but there was nothing to point to the issues of these meta narratives - which is the point of going "meta" in the first place.

anyway, I stick with my statement that the first two acts were brilliant, while the final act lacked the storyline/camera work that would sustain that otherworldly (while firmly grounded in reality) experience that made the first two acts work so well.

The final act needs to be the place where you just go into the resolution and the tension, etc. needs to increase, the eery, if it was initially part of the story, needs to increase - the action "rises" to increase tension in the viewer until the final release of the end (or near it) with the capture of the killer.

Most writers spend a lot of time on the first bits of work because they go over and over it as they build a story - and this often results in a final act that is less polished than what came before it - I think that's maybe what happened here - but who knows.


...we got a predictable crime story that even the show’s most ardent defenders are going to be hard-put to argue is a clever examination of the genre, or of political power in Louisiana. The real killer of Dora Lange (Amanda Rose Batz), the first victim Rust and Marty investigated, turns out to be Errol Childress (Glenn Fleshler), the son of former sheriff Ted Childress. That relationship might have been enough to protect Errol, but he had other connections. Ted Childress was the unacknowledged son of Sam Tuttle, a powerful Louisiana patriarch. As a result, the Childresses were related to Billy Lee Tuttle (Jay O. Sanders), Sam Tuttle’s son and a powerful minister who tried to interfere with Rust and Marty’s initial investigation into the serial killings in 1995. And Ted’s cousin was Eddie Tuttle, who served first as Louisiana governor and then as senator.
That’s a rich web of power and family to explore, but “True Detective” leaves most of its revelations for the last hour of the show, leaving little time to meditate on specific relationships or Louisiana politics.

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