True Detective Ends

Spoiler Alert: If you're DVR'ing True Detective and haven't seen the final episode, heads up I'm going to reveal it here...

I caught up on HBO's True Detective and watched the final episode of the season. Wow, what a great show. If you haven't seen it, it is about two detectives on the hunt for a serial killer. I made it sound basic there but it is anything but that. It has a lot of layers and complexity and is well written by Nic Pizzolatto. Before writing True Detective, Pizzolatto was a college writing professor who had built himself a small collection of short stories. The actors, Woody Harrelson as Martin Hart and Matthew McConaughey as Rust Cohle, were believable in bringing these characters to life. For most of the show, I forgot about their past work as actors and saw them as only these two detectives. These characters were a departure from the roles they have taken in the past and refreshing to watch them in this light (or should I say darkness?).

Both characters, Hart and Cohle, were complex. The basic premise of the show is that they worked together as detectives on a case for many years and became friendly. Not the best of friends as their personalities didn't lend to this, more close in that they were a large part of each other's lives. Hart's issues of not being happy with his life and his obsession with women, other than his wife, took a toll on him mentally. Cohle didn't have any family so his issues with being alone and thinking "too" philosophically about life, didn't blend well with Hart.

Cohle and Hart's wife fell in love, sort of. I think she was attracted to Cohle's diversity to Hart, whom she resented for his affairs. They didn't carry an on-going affair, she just used him once to end her marriage to Hart. It was a cold-hearted move as Cohle was intoxicated and in his home when she arrived. She seduced him and then told him her plan to tell her husband, Hart (Harrelson), about them. This infuriated Cohle (McConaughey) who then threw her out of the apartment. What happened next was the rift in the relationship between Hart and Cohle that led to a physical fight between two, eventually leading to Cohle quitting his position as detective and the case never being finished.

Ten years later...Cohle had led a rough life of drinking and working as a bartender. Hart eventually divorced and he too quit his job and became a private investigator. Cohle moved back to Louisiana and for two years lived in a storage unit / detective office he created as he was back on the case. The characters were well thought out and each word in the script was carefully chosen. Fabulous. The two detectives teamed up once again and went on the hunt for the man who was killing women and children in demonic, ritual services. The killer was linked to the Tuttle family, who ran the state -- leading to a possible cover up.

The ending was a bit shocking. When they found the killer, I didn't expect him to stab Cohle the way he did and put an ax into Hart's chest. I thought for sure these two were left to die, I'm surprised they didn't. Had a stabbing such as those happened in real life, there is no way they would have a survived, so a bit of "Hollywood" there. That's ok because it is just pretend after all and it would have been a horrible ending if they had died. I did enjoy how Pizzolatto tied in a near death experience for Cohle, with McConaughey giving a heart felt performance about an overwhelming feeling of his daughter and his father's presence (both of whom had past) of one-love, with him just having to "let-go" to be with them. He said he did let go, yet there he was, alive.

Photo: Jim Bridges, HBO
I can't wait for season two, if there is one. Did you watch True Detective this season? If so what did you think?

Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, 
Nic Pizzolatto, Fabiola Conrado

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