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True Detective S01E05: "The Secret Fate of All Life"


Is there any other show out there right now that sticks to your brain for hours after you finish watching it like True Detective does? That's a rhetorical question, duh, because those of us who've gotten invested in the series have already set up elaborate set evidence boards with strings spanning our living rooms as we spend more time trying to crack the murder of Dora Lang alongside our buddies Martin Hart and Rustin Cohle when we should be eating, showering, and going to the bathroom. But after "The Secret Fate of All Life," we're going to have to tear everything down, because everything we thought we knew may have been burned to the ground. 

After "The Locked Room" put a face (or at least a gas mask) to the killer, one Mr. Reggie Ledoux, "The Secret Fate of All Life" blew everything up again so that any one of these faces in the rubble left behind could be the murderer. That includes Cohle and Hart, but while we're at it, let's also add present-day detectives Gilbough and Papania, Maggie Hart, Hart's kids Audrey and Maisie, and all the strippers from the previous episode to our list of suspects, because right now, we don't know anything. Normally, crashing into a wall like this would fall under red herring territory for a crime drama. I HATE red herrings in crime shows; it's one of the reasons I think the genre is usually awful and tired. But True Detective escapes the pit of time-wasting associated with most bad leads because this so-called red herring is a huge part of Hart and Cohle's story. 

For the first time in the series (I believe), we definitively saw present-day Hart and Cohle give a false account of what transpired to Gilbough and Papania. You should have already been suspicious of what they were saying as perspective and recollection of events has been one of True Detective's big tricks up its sleeves, and knowing that these two have the capacity to lie makes everything that came before it suspect. There's also the question of whether we can believe everything we're shown in 1995. As Hart and Cohle descended on the Ledoux compound, what we saw didn't match up with what Hart and Cohle were saying. The implication here is that what we saw was what actually happened, and I think we can take that as fact. But is that the case for everything else we've seen before? Probably, but the seed of doubt has been planted. 

The monster at the end of Cohle story–and now it's definitely a story–Reggie Ledoux, was guilty of a lot of things: the manufacture of LSD and meth, child kidnapping, one awesome noose neck tattoo, and from the looks of it, reeking of something awful. But we do not know if he killed Dora Lang. The episode would have us believe that he didn't. In 2002, Cohle is giving Guy Leonard Francis the business in an interrogation room, and Guy says he knows who Cohle is and that Dora's killer is still on the loose. "The Yellow King," he said, the same name mentioned by Dora's ex Charlie Lang and Dora's diary. It's all the evidence Cohle needs to realize this Guy knows something, and that Ledoux might not have been the killer. I say might, because we're trusting that a dude who killed two people on PCP knows what he's talking about. 

Once we were told Dora Lang's killer was still at large, Detectives Gilbough and Papania pressed hard on their suspicion that Cohle was involved in the killings and "The Secret Fate of All Life" elevated to another level. They have eye-witness accounts that Cohle was snooping around their murder scene, they postulate that Cohle made the phone call from the payphone that would convince Guy to commit suicide because Guy had dirt on Cohle (Cohle asked all about Guy's family, so maybe he used their lives as a threat), and they tell Hart that all the evidence gathered in their 1995 investigation was Cohle's work and all the people they pinned murders on were Cohle's doing. And as we see the possibility of this sink into Hart's face, echoing in our mind are two things that Hart has repeated over and over again. That he believed Cohle had a tendency to bend the narrative to the story he saw fit to tell, and that the detective's curse was that the solutions were right under his nose but he was paying attention to the wrong clues. Whoa.

Television audiences today look for clues in even the smallest details, thinking they can anticipate the big twist before it's revealed. But I always took True Detective to be more of a straight shot than a series of surprises and shocks. It's fun to point the finger at Cohle, but I don't think he did it. I think he revisited the Dora Lang crime scene in 2002 to see what he missed. I think he went to the school in 2002 and came upon those Devil's Traps because he wanted to look there before and he didn't get to in Episode 3. I think he showed up at the 2012 crime scene five times because he thinks the killer is still on the loose and it's killing him that he escaped him. I think Cohle believes that if he catches this guy, he can get out of this trap of existing in the same life over and over again, that he'll spin off into the fourth dimension or take off in a UFO or whatever else he thinks is out there. Or he'll at least have a head start on this case in his next existence when he has to do it all over again. 

And we also have to consider the cover up of the Reggie Ledoux situation and how that affects Hart's participation in Gilbough and Papania's investigation of Cohle. Hart and Cohle are bonded by what happened, with Hart more dependent on Cohle because it was Hart who shot Reggie and Cohle who masterminded the coverup. If Hart makes a misstep, he risks exposing his own dark past. Maybe that's exactly what Cohle needed. He needed leverage to keep Hart in his pocket because covering up the murder of Reggie Ledoux also meant covering up the fact that Cohle murdered all these girls! Ahhhh! So many tasty theories, so many intricate possibilities, so much mind fuckery. I LOVE it. 

We'll find out exactly how much Hart knows and what he's willing to say when True Detective returns and Hart tells us what happened between when Cohle "got on the Lang killer to whenever they had their altercation (whatever that was about)." What was the altercation about? How deep into this is Cohle? Is the killer still on the loose? Will my head stay together in one piece? I hope not. 



CASE NOTES

– I know I didn't talk much about Hart and Cohle capturing Reggie and finding those kids, but OH MY GOD that entire scene was incredible. Pillow-to-the-face tense and realistically scary. True Detective knows how to makes its terrors come alive and feel real.

– Killing Reggie instantly and watching his partner blow up on a grenade trip wire was a moment that made me wonder where the show would go from there. Turns out, even more interesting places.

– That's Lizzie from The Walking Dead playing grown up Maisie Hart! Hopefully she isn't naming all the corpses her daddy finds. 

– If your daughter is drawing pictures of penises and boobies at a young age, she may end up Captain of the Varsity Slut Team by the time she's in high school.

– Cohle would also mention that the task force was eager to take over their case. Could they have known about the killer all along, and did they back off when Cohle and Hart pinned the murders on Ledoux? No one likes the panic that comes with a serial killer on the loose, so it's possible there were more killings and the task force is keeping them quiet.

– When is Weird Al Yankovic going to do a Huey Lewis/True Detective parody song called "Hart and Cohle"? 

– "The story never changed in 17 years because it only went down one way." 

– "This is a world where nothing is solved."


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 8/9/2015

Season 2 : Episode 8

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I think you meant Audrey Hart...okay, here in my marathon...Cohle is a totally reasonable suspect. Now, I am not a prosecutor, but its not quite there to get a search warrant for an ex hero police detective even if he is a weirdo. I am stuck on exactly where he has been for ten years. And that the look on Hart's face when one of the detectives mentioned the falling out, I have a sense that is as total bs as the shoot out. Which then in turn gets me worried about Hart. Eek.
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Great episode this series gets better and better , I see that harts mistakes with his famiy in the past now he paying for it . The older daughter certainly rebelling and his wife can see the mistake of taking him back. I do have a theory that its somebody in the force the fact they are staying step ahead . Making the dealers the suspects kiled two birds with stone dealers get caught for murders and the dea make a good case.
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I thought TD could not up the ante after the epic 6 minute single shot chase in Ep 4.
I was WRONG.
this episode left me numb and a dry mouth. Cannot wait to see the next episode.
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I don't know if you know this but there are only 3 episodes left and then there won't be any more episodes or seasons. OH MAN :(
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ok. now I think the yellow king is reverend tuttle, the governor. thats just a guess.
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Hart and Cohle are still working the case. It's obvious.

There wasn't any altercation between them - just a reason made up so they could part ways to draw out the killer.

Yep - this was a 12-years long DEEP undercover. And the fact those two aren't cops anymore doesn't change that fact.

I know I'm right - I'm surprise most people didn't figure it out yet.
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well thats an interesting theory. one of the better one I've heard and give gives the name ''true detective" a different kind of meaning. on its own the title is so bland it has to mean something sublime.
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Well it is 0330 here in the UK and I am not sleeping. Since Sam20 suggested this show I have burned through the first 5 episodes, (seriously man, I am never going to get to Breaking Bad if you keep putting things in my cue). I was hesitant to jump on this show for a few reasons 1. I currently have no TV and am trying to reduce my intake. 2. I have never really liked either of Harrleson (other than Zombieland) and have never really enjoyed a McConaughey movie, pretty much ever. 3. I honestly thought it was going to be just another buddy cop show. I have to say I was pleasantly wrong on all counts. 1. I would happily replace this for horrid facsimile that is the current season of Justified 2. Both actors are doing a phenomenal job, particularly McConaughey, to the point where I might have to check out Dallas Buyer Club in the cinema. 3. This isn't a buddy cop show.

To say this show is atmospheric would be an understatement. I can damn near smell the smoke on Cohle's clothes and feel the rage pulsating just underneath the surface of Hart. But it is more than that, this is a cerebral show. In that respect this might be the most cerebral show since AMC cancelled the fantastic Rubicon and replaced it with the mediocre The Killing and the currently bland TWD. But this is such a palpable show that you can't really look away because A. you don't think you can, B. You are afraid that you are going to miss something, because this is essentially a mystery maybe a conspiracy and this show teases you that you could solve this that it is dropping clues hear and there and it may very well be and that means you simply can not miss a scene. Few shows compel you to feel that way in the present time. We have the pause button now for crying out loud. The characters are well thought out and could potentially be hiding something that will lead to the conclusion.

Great show all around.

More+
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TD is the best show on television right now and it isn't even close!
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I like True Detective more, but I don't know how many people would agree with me. It's a 9.5 on IMDB.. :)

Breaking Bad 9.6.
Hannibal 8.5
The Americans 8.2
The Shield 8.8
The Wire 9.4
Oz 9.0
Justified 8.7
Southland 8.5
Game of Thrones 9.5

True Detective and Breaking Bad are both rated higher than the highest rated movies

The Shawshank Redemption 9.2
The Silence of the Lambs
8.6
The Green Mile 8.5
Gladiator 8.5
The Godfather 9.2
Pulp Fiction 8.9
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly 8.9
Django Unchained 8.5

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It's a sign of a thought provoking and intense show that comments are still showing up on Thursday when the review went up on Monday. Most shows you get comments the next day and they trickle and dry up by Wednesday. Very deep this True Detective. Love it.
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i watched this episode 5 times. mostly because theres nothing else good on right now, but every time i see something i may not have noticed previously.


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I need to go back and rewatch the previous eps. Thus far I've only watched each one once, but coming to these boards, I've read a lot of insight and speculation that has enhanced the viewing experience. Hopefully HBO runs a marathon prior to the last ep. being aired.
Hope even more so that they finish strong (can't imagine they won't) and next season is of this level of quality.
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somebody was saying woody and matthew won't star next season.. i don't know if theres any truth to that, but since its being called an anthology, i wonder if they will use the king in yellow motif throughout the anthology.
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Man, this show is so dark. I gotta stop watching before I go to bed. Have to watch Big Bang Theory straight after to bring some joy!
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i havent watched any of walking dead recently because i been troubled, but TD i can watch and its almost therapeutic, especially when ledoux got dealt with. i can be kind of nihilistic but i dont like ppl doing things to women and children. when hart blasted reggie i was like ok, this is gonna be my show from now on. this episode let me know that hannibal now has some real competition and that hbo is still a force to be reckoned with..
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This show carry its name, it's really true, there is no action like most of the detective shows, the story is very tied and great and the writer knew how to connect things together and make the story interesting.... I can't wait to see what happens to Chole and made him like this from good detective to like this... Great shiw
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They lied last episode, when Cohle said he was going to visit his father before going super-undercover. The real question now is where he disappeared to for eight years, and how much of what's going on now is an act.

Fuck I love this show. Great coverage.
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I'm not sure if there's been a comment, but with the recurring yellow theme.. anyone notice when Cohle turns out on to the main road (with Ginger tied up in the back) and cuts off a driver .. if you look over his left shoulder in the background .. there's a giant yellow crown.
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indeed!

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Great episode to a great show.

I loved how Cohle's clothes and nature of his talk made me think he was possibly a convict being interviewed, and then he just stands up and shows that he is there of his own accord and can leave when he wants.
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I have the feeling Cohle is going to find the killer but will die before revealing it to the public.
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Willie Nelson is also listed as cast. I think he plays the killer.
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Here's hoping this doesn't turn into another hunt for Red John.
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I have only one problem with this episode. Cohle started to sound too far-out and pretentious. A Membrane theory? We know he's smart but not bookworm smart. C'mon writers, stop napping. He's cop. It's becoming unrealistic. He needs to learn when to shut up or edit his quasi-intellectual speeches.
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If you're referring to the time is a flat circle and the 4th dimension, he was repeating what Ledeaux said to him before Marty shot him. It seems like it is one of the tenets of the cult.
He was testing the detectives the whole time to see if anything strikes a chord with them, he wants to know if they are good guys or just "company men". That's also why he constructs that scene with the beer can figurines, similar to the scene Hart's daughter created with the dolls. I think he has discovered there is some symbolism to the five men standing around the victim in a circle. He is trying to prompt a reaction from the detectives and find out if they are part of the cover-up. He also asks them how they kept the newest victim under wraps for so long if they had "friends in high places" because the Yellow King "knows big people" and rich, powerful men who are into devil worship according to Dora Lange's husband and the guy who robbed the pharmacy.
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Makes me think back to "The Locked Room", when the detectives left with the case file intentionally on the table. They left it for him to look.. so I'm going to bet he never looked. They're vetting him, while he vets them. Remember, Cohle is the room man. It doesn't matter if he's the one asking the questions or being asked.
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Because someone is a LEO, they can't be book smart? Huh? Why does someone's chosen profession define what they know outside their career?

Completely disagree with you. The ramblings perfectly fit his character.
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its not unrealistic. not everything he talks about is rocket science. he,s just a pragmatic, nihilistic, freudian atheist. not the sort you frequently find around the bible belt, but his talk on psychology and religion is some of the most provocative stuff ive seen on tv. hart is the hammer, but cohle is the scalpel.
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yeah but he crossed a line of ridiculousness in this episode for few seconds IMHO. His last speech was nonsensical and tiresome and repetitive. What membrane theory has to do with anything? It is a sign that writer (True Det has only one writer) got carried away a bit. Freudian? When did he say something freudian? I agree he's very existential for bible belt and for american TV. Also Ive heard it's gotta be like anthology thing so we won't see Cohle and Hart in 2 season.
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But remember, there is a notable change in 1995 Cohle and 2012 Cohle. Things happen in 17 years. We're still missing a lot of details in this time gap. He's the type of person that straddles the narrow gap between intellectual reason and madness. The haunting prospect of Ledoux and the Yellow King are enough to tip a man like that over the course of time (which is a flat circle).
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hammer and scalpel..... somebody watched some POI.

It's Hammertime :D
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I definitely don't think it's Cohle. Even a show as good as this one needs its twists and turns and red herrings and that'll be another one.
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oh man but what if the killers are all cops? that would be ironic as hell. what if thats why the show is called true detective and theres all this talk of company men?
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yup its certainly not cohle. that would be too obvious. it might be a cult with powerful and influential members.


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Ok, in the first episode the station had a visit from Rev Tunnel, and he is a cousin of the Governor, Eddie Tunnel. I think it's one of them. Maybe the Rev is doing the killing and the Governor is covering up for him. Cohle didn't do it, he thinks the killer is out there and their is no way he could let that go so he is still privately investigating. Cohle already suggested that the task force were there to keep them from finding anything, as a cover up. So I think this is going all the way to the top and someone on high has turned the case on Cohle. He's weird so people will believe that he did it.
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Cohle and Hart already lied in last week's episode, I don't know how you missed that Tim: when Cohle said he took a day off (or something like that), Hart said the same thing ("family emergency"?) and we saw Cohle getting high and robbing drug dealers in 1995.
I also don't think there are many suspects when it comes to the serial killer: looks like it's someone from the original '95 task force. Someone who possibly altered the camera feed in 2002, so law enforcement. And Cohle spend a decade gathering evidence, following clues and hunting him/them. That's also why he showed up at the crime scene. I'm curious how this is gonna play out!
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NO they didnt, they said that was the explanation they gave for the undercover bike gang mission. They had to kept that cover from the precint.
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I agree. It's been the second time they lied about it. But when you compare the 2 lies, I find the second one much worse.
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After reading the comments, I'm putting my vote on Hart being aligned with the Satanist group. He's been Cohle's shadow the whole time. Stuff with Maisie with the barbie dolls, his temper etc. They're throwing suspicion on Cohle but I'm more likely to think Hart. Did he not shoot Ledoux to keep him from talking?
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This episode was one of the finest hours of tv I have ever watched.If the last 3 episodes close out this story line successfully this would rank with the finest shows ever made in only 8 episodes.Also this was a particularly interesting comments section with folks offering some intuitive and intriguing ideas.
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This is truly some of the best work of these two actor's careers. When I heard these two would be anchoring this show, I wondered how their chemistry would be and how their distinct personalities would play off of each other, and it's been utterly brilliant thus far. I dare say I expect to see award nominations and wins for either or both of them in the future.
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I had serious doubts about the show when I first saw the trailers, but moreso because of the concept ("oh another cop show!!"), I never doubted their chemistry. They've played in movies together before so I knew that would work out.

Still though...this show has blown my expectations away.
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To say that Woody Harrelson has grown as an actor over the last 10 years is a major understatement! MM was always a good actor, he's grown a lot too. Real treat to have this cast for a small screen role.
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Ginger's the killer, he's got those crazy eyes
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What a great show. That is one fast hour of television, these guys are nailing it. Hope the last 3 finish as strong, as the series (last 2 eps in particular) has been. I don't think Cohle has anything to do with the murders but I also don't think he's completely innocent, we'll find out some of the other extremes he went to in order to solve this case.
I believe the killer is actually a member of law enforcement and some of the other members of law enforcement are part of the cult that is behind it. I think that Preacher from a few eps back will end up factoring in all this.
We'll see. Great job so far with the writing and the acting. Top notch drama.
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I love it.

I just wish we had gotten more creepy out of the Ledoux character. He was over and done too quickly.

I'm fairly certain that the killer is still on the loose.

Blowing up on your own tripwire takes a special kind of panic. He didn't seem panicked.

We didn't have a Varsity Slut Team when I was in high-school.
Kids today get everything.

I don't think we should read too much into the task-force wanting to take over the case. It's a task-force, that's what it's there for.
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I'm feeling more and more like Hart's daughter and her sexual "issues" may be connected to the central mystery. The whole recurring theme that higher ups are covering up things makes me believe that the killer may in fact be a cop or city official that Hart may know socially.
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I certainly hope so, or we've been dragged through weird teen-issues plots for nothing...
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Loving the theme in comments about the unreliable narrator theory. In cinema, done beautifully in The Usual Suspects, had anything actually gone the way Kayser Sose described it?
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I thought the same thing about the Usual Suspects, my all-time favorite movie. That whole narrative Verbal wove, what we saw, turned out to be a complete fabrication. Making you wonder how much of things like interaction with "Red Foot" really happened. True Detective appears to be on this same course and we're in for some bomb shells the next few weeks.
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Yup, one to revisit, TUS is one of the few big reveal movies where you think, hang on I need to watch it again!
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While I personally hope a show as firmly grounded as True Detective wouldn't rely on an unreliable narrator to sell the plot a la The Usual Suspects (which was brilliant in its own right), I do believe that for this episode, it's absolutely accurate. Despite a few sprinkles of dubious narrations in previous episodes, I'd say the unreliable narration here served the purpose of Cohle defending his partner. But we'll see!

My crack theory is this: I don't see any reason, after the existential crisis Cohle and Ledoux were engaged in, that future seasons of True Detective won't, in some way, have kids in captivity...again....and again...and again...Life is a flat circle, after all. :-)
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Representation of reality is reality maybe? But let's hope TD just maintains the standard being set here. Just a brilliant show.
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I didn't love the first episode, but I stayed with it and I'm so glad I did. This is some great shit.
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Same, I actually had to watch parts of the the first episode twice because I kept drifting off the first time... but I've been hooked since the second episode. Brilliant show.
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Well if you stuck with Dexter for 8 seasons you owed it to True Detective to give it more than the Pilot...LOL. I just hope TD knows how to finish unlike that Showtime show...I'm pretty confident this writing team has their shit together, they're doing great so far
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The ending of Dexter didn't piss me off as much as Lost did. It was pretty weak tho.
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If the ending of Dexter (Timmmmmmbbberrrrr) didn't piss you off I think it was because the entire last season was such a train wreck that you didn't expect anything from the finale. I didn't and thus wasn't disappointed....
I do have high expectations for TD and I'm not worried about them pulling it off. The thing TD is doing right is making each season its own case. Lost went off the rails after S3 when they realized they had to start tying up loose ends. Cuse and Lindelhof really weren't up to the challenge. Too bad JJ Abrams didn't stick around.
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The first ep of TD was dull, but necessary foundationally. Dexter ending was flat, but I couldnt make it through a single episode of Lost. I tried 4 times.
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No other show could kill of an anticipated villain this quickly and then not only successfully maintain interest, but use dialogue to amp up the tension higher than it was when awaiting Ledoux.

The voice-over that lied about how the raid went down, as it was happening, that juxtaposition, is what made this work.

It's such a subtle but masterful piece of writing, it's going to make me depressed for a couple of hours to know that I'd never be able to write on even a fraction of that level.
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They didn't exactly kill off an anticipated antagonist so quickly. While it's true, they did discover a bad guy and end his misdoings, we have to remember this show is only eight episodes long. So really, we only have three episodes left (hooray maths!) According to such a truncated season, it's perfectly timed to pull this kind of narrative gymnastic. Now it's time to revel in it for a week before pushing onward to the climax, denouement, and resolution. I'd prefer this kind of show run a little longer than it is, maybe 10 episodes, but considering the talent involved, I'm surprised they got 8 episodes at all.

I hesitate to give this show as esteemed accolades as you have, but I don't doubt it's on it way to deserving them. We'll all see in three weeks.

Personally, I'm anxious to see how they move on to additional seasons, seeing as how these actors won't be reprising their roles, I highly doubt this case will survive the season break. But again, I'm anxious to see how they handle it.
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Season 2 will have a different story with a different cast.
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I realize that...what I mean is, I'm curious to see if they carry over anything narrative wise. With what Cohle and LeDoux mentioned, I think they could do something along those lines. Regardless, the writing talent is impressive. It probably won't matter.
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Pretty sure this case, along with Harrelson and McConaughey end with this season. My understanding is this show will feature A list talent on new cases, new stories each season. By doing one shot 8 ep. seasons HBO is able to get guys like this to do the show. Now with the obvious quality of writing, I have great expectations for this how carrying forward.
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That Reverend that appeared in the first episodes is in on it. He's a relative of the Mayor. The inmate mentioned people in high places involved.

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Exactly my theory. He's the boss or a higher ranking member of a circle of kidnappers/rapists/satanists and the muscle, the scum gets rid of the "used"kids. One of them is the deer killing guy - and he is probably also related to the Mayor, that's why when the reverend died in 2010(thanks @KingaTarnowsk, I missed it) the killer is unleashed and kills more often.
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Could be, but Reverend died in 2010 (det. Papania said this to Hart in ep.5), so the last victim wasn't his. Maybe there/s more. Maybe Colhe is still hunting them?
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I just put that theory in the comments. I rewatched the Revs scene and he is the Governors cousin, so even higher up. I had the Rev down for it, with the Gov doing the cover up. Since the Rev is dead he could have a prodigy continuing his work.
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They lied before to the detectives. About Cohle's undercover gig with the bikers, they said he was on leave visiting his father.

At the end of episode 3, before the Ladoux gas mask scene, they drive from the school with the sirens and all... to where? I thought they were heading to the compound but I think it was never quite explained
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This show is spooky incredible. Brilliant.
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"I think Cohle believes that if he catches this guy, he can get out of this trap of existing in the same life over and over again, that he'll spin off into the fourth dimension or take off in a UFO or whatever else he thinks is out there."

Essentially the most important point in this review. Also, I agree with the theories that he's been trying to lock down what happened ever since. I think he has evidence and clues and his usual questionable paraphanalia in his locker/garage that he had in the trunk in his apartment.
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I am still just amazed every time I turn on the television to see the 'big screen' actors back on the small screen and making the latter the actual big deal. But to see these two and other big names in this show and see the production value and amazing writing to boot? yeah, this show is definitely one that sticks in your brain.

I like the lies revealed in this episode, and the genius way they keep you guessing if those lies are lies, and what is actually real. Brilliant. There has not been a single unworthy episode in this show, and I doubt there will be.
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Man this show is good. I really can't remember the last time I was so captivated by dialogue, acting and plot. Doesn't this show have some of the best written dialogue you've ever witnessed?
This episode was the best one yet and that scene at Reggie's Farm o' Hell (TM) accompanied with the present day false statements from both detectives was edge-of-the-seat breathtaking! Seeing (and hearing) Hart and Cohle finally became a team in that moment - so good. Watching the events at the farm and then the reveal that A) the killer is still out there and B) Cohle is a suspect with all of that evidence pointing towards him was absolutely shocking, terrifying and so rewarding for me as a viewer.

This show is so good at making me forget that I'm watching fictional events portrayed by two famous actors. When I watch True Detective I am watching Hart and Cohle - not Harrelson and Mcconaughey - and it feels so real. Nothing feels implausible or forced and I love the fact that the mystery is now this big conspiracy and not just the standard hunt for a lunatic. Fantastic stuff!

The best drama I've seen since Breaking Bad and the best TV murder-mystery thriller I've seen in a looong time.
Btw, I don't think Cohle did it. I think that learning that the killer is still out there send him off the deep end and he became obsessed with the case and the whole conspiracy. I think his storage unit is filled with his own evidence that his been compiling since 2002.

"When is Weird Al Yankovic going to do a Huey Lewis/True Detective parody song called "Hart and Cohle"?"
I don't know but I'd love to hear it!

I always knew Woody Harrelson was a phenomenal actor but I had no idea Matthew Mcconaughey was capable of such greatness. Yes, he definitely has the more interesting character to play here but still, just wow! Both actors are absolutely nailing it! Also Kudos to Nic Pizzolatto for creating brilliant characters and writing the best dialogue!
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I'm wondering if Hart's daughter get's involved with the church somehow. Cohle sees her during is "off the books" investigation and that causes the disagreement between Hart and Cohle.

I'm probably wrong, but that is what makes this show amazing. I can't get a good read on anything.
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C'mon Hart's is just a little kid back in 1992.
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He's talking about 2002 when she's a teenager.
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The odds of someone of the duo being the killer , Hart has more chances than Cohle because of his "reactions" we've seen in the episodes and Cohle still investigating the case. But i don't think is one of them. Maybe is Maggie or one of her daughters !! :D ok I stop .
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As Cory commented, this show bounces round your head for days after you watched it.
One of the things I have been musing over is how much notice of the interviews with Detectives Gilbough & Papania, that Rusty Cohle and Marty Hart had been given.

I have been pretty much swallowing the Rust Cohle as a derelict drunken has been, profile but who is to say he isn'y just as under cover in that role as he was when he visited the bikies arms all decorated with ink & capsicum juice 'track marks'?

For all we know Rust may have another life, idyllic family with a spunky Hospital Administrator in another state, and just have gotten dressed for the part of burnout.
Shit, the same could be true of ex-Detective Hart.

Maybe those guys don't wanna show their true selves lest the rock spiders decide they are a genuine threat and come after them.

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Did anyone else notice that the tattoo on Ledoux's chest was of Cohle's face?
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Hmmm ,I don't thnink so...

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Well, there is a little problem with his tattoos:

The eagle on his ribs that is supposed to be from the era of the nazis (Reichsadler) is in fact depicted in a way that is used today in German insignia and called the "Bundesadler". So in keeping with the other nazi tattoos they should have gone with the Reichsadler.

Just saying.....
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I'm German and had to lol at this tattooed eagle. You're right it's the wrong one. (If they had taken the fat hen from pre-'90 West Germany I would have suspected an insider joke from the make-up department but so it's just a funny mistake)
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Agree but do you think Ledoux and his tattoo artist would know the difference? Good chance of no, that was all pre-Google days
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Them - no. But the shows guy in the makeup department who decides on the tattoos should have checked. It's not like it is that hard to figure out....
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"I think he went to the school in 2002 and came upon those Devil's Traps because he wanted to look there before and he didn't get to in Episode 3. I think he showed up at the 2012 crime scene five times because he thinks the killer is still on the loose and it's killing him that he escaped him. I think Cohle believes that if he catches this guy, he can get out of this trap of existing in the same life over and over again" Tim.

I totally agree with Tim, why the hell go in the school when he is the killer ? to search his own crimes and murders? one time he is psycho serial killer and later on he plays on detective ?

The theory of him being the killer probably can stand out ( for the reasons Tim explain in the penultimate paragraph) but when he is visits the school that they went for investigation in ep.3 then you say WTF!

I believe the murderer is unknown and we didn't see him/her yet.
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First opening shot in this episode confirms that show's main character is atmosphere. The surroundings make the show alive and intriguing as well as actors. So I dismiss Surrete's complain about RED HERRING coz it is irrelevant in context of this show. Plot went completely into different direction in this episode. It almost abandoned investigation for the sake of atmosphere and two cops' relations with reality and imagination. Botched capture of two suspects forced partners to close the case. Show follows reality of things not fixating on procedural tropes. Only one question - what did they do with Cohle's ginger CI?
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They probably let him go cause he can tie them to the shooting in the last episode.

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They probably took him to jail, he would have been left in the truck so he'd have no idea what went on at the farm
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I meant the shooting in Who Goes There.
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It is dramatically interesting that even the episode where the contemporary detectives get to lay their cards on the table vis a vis Rust Cohle, that the evidence produced contained a large hole which most in the audience would have jumped down.
That is that Rust isn't the killer, he is still investigating the crime long after everyone else was prepared to close the case.
He is rather more constrained by Hart's stupidity than Hart himself imo.
Hart has moved on in his usual teflon coated homily spouting, no shit is gonna stick on me style.
If the truth about the shoot-out were to surface I don't reckon much is gonna happen to Hart - he shot a child raper & child murderer - no Louisiana DA is ever going to have stomach for that prosecution, but Cohle kidnapped & tortured witnesses, committed perjury, stole a key of coke from the evidence lock -up etc etc.

Even if the governor & his bro aren't part of the rock-spider network pushing for a Cohle conviction & cover up, Cohle is still neck deep and being made to kneel.

What I expect to see next is a dichotomy of attitude, culture, and belief in the current detective team of Detectives Gilbough & Papania similar to the Cohle/Hart duo.
I expect Detective Papania, the Tory Kittles character, to remain hard & fast wanting to go for Cohle, whilst Gilbough played by Michael Potts begins to doubt Cohle's guilt and empathise with him.

Remember what Hart said -something along the lines of "Shit you guys weren't getting to know Rust, he just spent an afternoon getting a read on you!"

Whichever detective does appear to empathise with Cohle expect the viewer to be riddled with doubt about whether Cohle's supporter is genuine or merely a front for the rock-spiders.

I trust the show won't go all 'Red John' on us - there simply are not enough episodes to double back too many times.
I don't expect a Rust Cohle redemption but neither do I expect him to be made the perp - a truly guilty perp or an innocent, fitted up, one.

This show has revealed the dark side of life realistically & objectively - all of the work invested in creating a credible and complex character such as Rust Cohle would be undone in an instant if Rust is depicted to be a crazy sociopathic killer.
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I must say I had doubts that I would find a show even a bit as good as Breaking bad but now... True detective is getting better and better. Great atmosphere, great acting, intriguing plot and fantastic music. Love it. Can't wait for another episode.
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This episode really advanced the Hart-Cohle relationship. It was interesting that the guy trying to convince the world that he was calm and in control was the one to lose it and kill a handcuffed suspect. It was also interesting that the one who'd been acting like a crazed drug addict for most of the last two episodes was the one to take charge and "fix" things afterward. Considering the often adversarial nature of their relationship during the first three episodes, it's amazing how closely they've bonded in the last two. The echo of Hart's gunshot was still ringing in the air when Cohle started working on a cover story. No hesitation, no need to see what Hart had found in the trailer, just blind, unquestioning loyalty. This from the guy professing such a negative view of human nature. They say a friend is someone who will help you move, but a REAL friend is someone who will help you move a BODY. Whatever came between them later, Cohle was certainly a friend here.

As for the central mystery, I think the killing of Ledoux muddied the water, forcing them to close the case before all of the evidence was in, to justify what Hart had done. Had Ledoux lived to testify, they could well have found the real killer during their original investigation. I think there were enough loose ends that Cohle wasn't entirely satisfied with where they left it, so when new evidence arose, he threw himself back into it. This may have been what came between him and Hart, who had a big stake in keeping the original case closed. It may also be why Cohle eventually quit the police, so he could pursue an off book investigation without having to account for his time. The religious angle, the Yellow King, and how Hart's daughter fits into the whole thing isn't clear at this point, but I'm sure they will all factor into the big reveal at the end. I can't wait.


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I'm still kind of in shock from how good this episode was, and how somehow every episode gets better than the one before. But a piece of advice, for those of you like me, who have about 7 or 8 shows on Sunday nights. Watch True Detective last. Because if you try to turn on even solid or very good shows like Shameless or Walking Dead AFTER you've watched True Detective, it's just going to make that show look so much worse. This is a masterclass in how to write, act, direct, hold the camera while filming, and even watch a television show.
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I watched the last season of episodes of Dexter right after the last episodes of Breaking Bad....holy hell night and day...
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LOL. I did the same, I couldn't wait to watch BB and I was fine letting Dexter sit for days or weeks, I was never disappointed by not being disappointed. 8th season of Dexter was embarrassingly bad and when you watch great shows like BB or TD the quality of writing really gets magnified in comparison
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"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill"
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The Kindle version of The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers is free on Amazon right now. Apparently a lot of the weird Yellow King stuff comes from a play in this book. io9 has a really good article about it http://io9.com/the-one-literary-reference-you-must-know-to-appreciate-1523076497 if you're interested in the creepy stuff you will love the article.
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Oh cool, you can also get The King in Yellow here in different formats (or read online)
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/8492
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My biggest concern about True Detective is that this whole thing will turn out to be a dream or it is revealed that Hart or Cohle is the killer. That is an old tired cliché. I hope this excellent series avoids that trap.
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I highly doubt that. Definitely not a dream or more accurately a nightmare. I don't think either detective has anything to do with it either but the powers that be are getting nervous at how close Hart and Cohle are getting.
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i think they are trying to makes us suspicious about Hart ,i dont think Cohle is the killer and their '' altercation'' seems very suspicious to me.
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