True Detective Review: A Man's Game

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Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, I'll sleep with your partner.

There's no denying it now: Rust finally went ahead and mowed Marty's lawn, the result of which had both men cursing out Maggie. 

Rust and Marty in 2002

Marty was shocked to learn about Maggie's betrayal, and despite having just been caught cheating for a second time, had the gall to call his wife a whore. Let ye without sin cast the first stone and all that.

Marty dished out one of life's hard truths to his daughter's friend, but was arrogant enough to think it wouldn't apply to him. 

A man's game charges a man's price. Take that away from this if nothing else.

Martin Hart

Rust denied knowing about the new affair when Maggie asked him, but I'm pretty certain he was aware. I think that was the source of the tension between him and Marty early on in True Detective Season 1 Episode 6.

During their argument - which followed Rust asking Marty to type up the baby killer's confession - Rust sarcastically asked Marty why he didn't have the time to do it. Rust wanted to hear what lame excuse his partner would give. He looked at Marty with disgust and called him stupid because he knew he was cheating on a life with an amazing woman.

Rust had feelings for Maggie and she for him, but when Rust realized Maggie had slept with him just to get back at Marty, he went into a rage. She used Rust not to feel better about herself or to just fill a void. After almost going home with the man at the bar, she realized Rust would cut Marty so much deeper.

Maggie had a good grip on how both men worked.

Rust knew exactly who he was and there was no talking him out of it. You know Marty's single big problem was that he never really knew himself. So he never really knew what to want.

Maggie Hart

Initially. Maggie wanted to fix Rust. Marty may have been a lost cause, but she saw a chance with his partner.

At some point, though, she realized both were beyond help, so when the opportunity came to hurt Marty, she used Rust, even though it would end up causing him harm as well.

While things on the home front were cold-blooded as ever, Rust still had the pedal to the floor trying to expose some bigger conspiracy behind the ritual murders. After talking to the reverend from the tent revival, he set his sights on Reverend Tuttle whose name has been mentioned a few times ever since Marty and Rust met him back at the station. 

Rust was off the job, but not the case, not ever. That fading billboard with the missing girl's face on it always reminds him how nothing ever gets solved, yet he still pushes on. Life may be a flat circle, but he seems driven to remove as many bad people from it as possible, even if they will be added back again the next time around.

One of my favorite scenes was when he told the mother who killed her babies to kill herself.  Now I don't think this means he was the one who called the other prisoner from that remote pay phone, but I think he sort of borrowed that page from the playbook of the men he is chasing.

He saw that mother as unworthy to go on living, so he merely suggested she end herself.

His visit to the girl he and Marty rescued from Reggie Ledoux's compound also yielded something interesting. Once again, we heard mention of the man with the scars. Reverend Theriot's daughter mentioned a man with scars, as we all remember. Rust and Cohle had been looking for a man with burns before they made they got onto Reggie Ledoux's scent. 

Marty wasn't buying the detectives trying to paint Rust as the killer and or the man behind Tuttle's overdoes. He has had some time to look back on that part of his life.

While I'm sure the thought of Rust and Maggie together still turns his stomach, it looked like he had come to grips with all the mistakes he made which brought about that encounter.

As the episode ended, Rust and Marty came face to face again. Hopefully this means the walking lie detector and the human tampon will go back to working with each other. 

Things should certainly get interesting if they do. First because they both are no longer lawmen, but also as the tail light on Rust's truck illustrated, still broken after all these years since their parking lot fight, there are still plenty of things between them to work out.

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Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (45 Votes)
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I'm hoping Woody and Matthew are back for the next season if there is one, however, if Matthew wins Best Actor Oscar tonight he may not have the time to devote to a little old cable television show.........


And I don't believe for a second that Rust is the serial killer. Funny thing is though, by episode 2, it was clear that they were trying ti pin something on him. Didn't think it would be that !


I love this show. Finally they're gonna meet ! However, Marty's wife.. WTF. I did think that Rust and her had chemistry, but he never acted on it. Which I loved. But what she did, use him like that. Sure Marty did it again, but doing it with his partner ! Loved the fight scene.
Though I am shocked, the lead actors are gonna change ? WHY ???? We're gonna have a new plot on top of that ! I'm not sure I like this. Oh well, I cannot wait to see how they resolve the case.


Well in the TV world, MANY shows have left MANY loose that I think about it........I don't expect this one to be any different.........not to mention we don't know yet that there will be a second season..........


Be glad to get 10 episodes not 6 like so many British shows I watch.
This show is meant to be a serial type like American Horror concept.
New story and characters each year. I think that is a fantastic idea.
This is how they can pull the caliber of actors they have in this first series.
It becomes a project actors can do because it does not tie them up for seasons on a TV show. TV needs shows like this.
2 more hours is plenty of time to resolve the story.

C f ohara
@ Zee+Chen

Yeah I hear you and I love me some AHS. I'm just sad there's only 2 more left because unlike AHS the main stars won't be back. But maybe it's better like you said. One season per duo, giving us all they got, then on to two more.


I was under the assumption that Marty was still a cop. You mention that they're both no longer lawmen. Where did you pick that up?

@ Kevin

In an early episode he says he is working as a private investigator or private security.


I think Rust could have killed Tuttle but he is not the serial killer. Didn't the trailer for the series say that the two new detectives were investigating a killing very similar to the ones in 1995? It makes no sense that they would suspect Rust. My husband who watches very little tv loves this show. Its a great show and it will be difficult to find two actors to replace M and H.


Just saw something on this site saying they need two new stars for next season. Odd. "Granted, HBO is yet to officially order new episodes of this unique drama... but it's a safer bet than Bryan Cranston winning Best Actor at the 2014 Emmys. And with the unusual set up of this anthology series, two new stars will be cast to lead the upcoming season. What will be the premise? Where will it be set? Heck, will it even feature two detectives again? No one knows."

@ Suzanne

Is the premise of this show going to be new detectives each season?? As I said in another post there's no way to tie up all the loose ends of this case with only 2 episodes left.............

@ Terrie

Of course there is.


Dang, only 2 episodes left...................UGH.............just when it's really starting to get good.............I hope it's back for a 2nd season and surely it will be with True Blood, Boardwalk Empire and Newsroom all ending this year............. Chris, do you think Rust is doing the killings?? I have to say I was surprised that Maggie stooped to the level of sleeping with Rust just to hurt Marty just because he'd slept around on her(not that he was in the right mind you)......and then lied to the present day detectives about knowing what happened between Rust and Marty..........

C f ohara
@ Terrie

I don't think it's Rust. My initial theory of a grand conspiracy seems to be more and more on target. So pumped to see Hart & Cohle working together again to unfold it. As the case looks to move forward, I'm sure we will still be seeing many flashbacks. We still do not have the full picture of what happened to Rust's daughter. There is the mystery behind Tuttle's overdose. And many other loose ends still to tie up. The video Rust makes Marty watch in the scenes from the next episode have me worried. Could it be his daughter? Beth from the bunny ranch? Or maybe just some gruesome scene. I can't imagine they can wrap this all up in just two more episodes.

@ Chris O'Hara

I agree there's no way to tie up all the loose ends in this in 2 episodes.........I absolutely hate that HBO shows only do 10 episodes............

@ Terrie

@Chris........well we don't even know yet that there will be a second season yet.......and if there is would they top this one??????.............

@ Terrie

It's actually only 8 episodes and it's an anthology series so it will be a different cast, director, and story each season.

@ Terrie

Of course there is. 120 minutes is plenty of time to resolve all the outstanding threads. PS - we got all the information on Rust's daughter that we need (or are going to get). The specifics of her death aren't as important (although we got enough information to piece it together) as the effect it's had on Rust's perception of reality.

True Detective Season 1 Episode 6 Quotes

A man's game charges a man's price. Take that away from this if nothing else.

Martin Hart

In a former life I used to exhaust myself navigating crude men who thought they were clever. So ask your questions or I'm leaving.

Maggie Hart