True Detective

Are y’all watching this? We watch it with the Red-Headed Kid on Mondays or Tuesdays, but I swear, I am about to tell him he needs to get over here on Sunday nights or lose the right to watch along. This waiting is killing me. Luckily, we got to watch it last night and, damn. I sometimes have a hard time believing this is even a real TV show. It’s just so smart and beautiful. I can’t remember the last time I sat around theorizing about what was going on in a show and I felt confident that the show creators had given as much thought to the clues in the show as we were. I’m convinced that every show I loved for having an overarching mythology was ruined by the fact that the writers, even though they promised to have carefully thought shit through, actually never had. They weren’t writing a grand conspiracy theory but a great game of improv. Tell me, honestly, that X-Files or Lost couldn’t have been mightily improved if they were given, say, four seasons right off the bat and allowed no more. Knowing the length of your story when your story is a conspiracy is important.

Anyway, let’s speculate:

We’re all of the opinion that Cohle is deep undercover in the present and that Hart is probably in on it. Something, we think, comes out about Hart’s daughters (maybe the visibly troubled one, maybe not) and Hart, though prone to violence against people who hurt children, can’t get at the guy who did it (perhaps his father-in-law molested them?) or he can get at that guy, but can’t get at all his friends, so Cohle, having nothing to lose and wanting to finally end this whole Yellow King (in other words, what’s going on with Hart’s family ties into the Yellow King) goes after them.

We’re all sure that Cohle would not be being interviewed if he didn’t want to be.

Our outlier possibility is that Hart is the Yellow King and Cohle figures that out.

I would love if we got some honest-to-god supernatural shit. But it fucks with my brain the way we don’t. So, I like it.

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6 thoughts on “True Detective

  1. I thought you, Aunt B, would likely know of the 1890s horror references in the True Detective material, the “King in Yellow” stuff, as discussed here: o9.com/the-one-literary-reference-you-must-know-to-appreciate-1523076497

  2. Considering that it has two of my all-time that-guy-squicks-me-out-the-most actors in it, I’m surprisingly attached to it. I mean, really, if you want actors playing the “good guys” who you suspect are actually the bad guys, those are two of the ones you want. (The only way to make it any ickier for me would be to add David Caruso to the cast.) I want Cohle to be the Yellow King because he makes my skin crawl, but I agree that he’s probably stalking the Yellow King instead. But I’m watching, which is a tribute to the people who made it.

  3. Barry, I knew they were making vaguely Lovecraftian references almost immediately, but it’s only in recent days that I’ve read all about the deep vein they’re tapping into. I’m torn between hoping we really get some weird ass shit–like straight up fantasy/horror–and that we just see a world in which those things echo.

  4. I wondered when they first mentioned the Yellow King and Carcosa if we weren’t going to see this go down the Carnivale route of symbols within symbols. I was kind of hoping so, because I’m more interested in a Carnivale detective show than the Law and Order with Boobies I was afraid that HBO would make this into. I definitely feel like the last two episodes were a real turning of the page where we leave The Familiar Land and go into The Looking Glass.

    As far as Cohle wanting to be interviewed and knowing all along he was being interrogated, I fully agree. I think that’s also why he demanded the Lone Stars. Because if he’s drinking, the entire thing is inadmissible in court and useless as evidence against him.

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