True Detective Review: Hello Darkness, My Old Friend

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Rust may have held something back when he and Marty fought in the parking lot the day Rust quit, but there were no punches pulled when it came to the season finale of True Detective.

As the end of the season approached, with just a couple episodes left, I had trouble imagining how Marty and Rust would wrap everything up.

I've since realized that was large in part because I simply didn't want the season to end.

Rust at the Bar

What we got in True Detective Season 1 Episode 8 was a fitting conclusion to one of the best seasons of television I have seen in years. It was a finale packed with all the elements of the show which have made it so compelling to watch.

After Rust flexed his confession copping skills on the boat, Marty pitched in by solving one of the biggest enigmas of the case. I had assumed, like many, that the green ears were a pair of green earmuffs worn by Errol while cutting grass, but the house paint twist was great. The tiny detail, a single photo, sent the pair off to do some serious forensic accounting.

While they were getting closer to finding Errol, we got multiple glimpses at just how twisted an individual we were dealing with. His mental state was as scarred as his face, highlighted by the various character voices we heard come out of his mouth.  A chill ran up my spine as those school children ran out onto the playground, unaware of the monster that stood above them leering down.

As Rust and Marty followed him deeper into that old stone fort, they came face to face with multiple haunting images, like the dangling shoes of children, piles of their discarded clothes and several mummified corpses.

The man with the scars had been described as a giant, but it wasn't until he stabbed and picked Rust up off the ground that we got a real perspective on how big Errol actually was. He was without a doubt the man they were looking for.

His father's house, which he shared with his half sister, looked like American Hoarders met American Horror Story for an extreme home make-under. I had a hard time picturing other members of some cult hanging out there, particularly ones like suspected member Senator Tuttle.

The fort, though, was another story. With all its trophies and the labyrinth of tunnels ending in the altar room with the disk shaped hole in the ceiling, that structure had a more ritualistic feel.

Errol was definitely part of something bigger. His dad most likely was as well, but at some point Errol decided to get some payback for what he had done to his face. His face looked a whole lot better than his head did, however, after Rust squeezed one off to save Marty. 

At the hospital we listened along with Rust to a news report that mentioned how the state and the FBI discredited the rumors that Errol was linked to Senator Tuttle and his family. Marty and Rust got their guy but not all the guys. 

Rust could have slipped away. The way he described feeling his daughter and dad's love in the darkness was practically palpable. The man who had pooh-poohed any notion of an afterlife earlier in the season was talking about his daughter waiting for him on another ethereal plane.

He was ready to accept the darkness, but then woke up. Something pulled him back to this world. As painful as it was to have felt then lost that love, he seemed okay with it. Like he still had work to do.

Then at the end, when Marty remarked how the darkness seemed to be winning the battle against the light of the stars, Rust showed an uncharacteristic level of optimism as he noted how in the beginning, there was nothing but darkness.

Once there was only dark. If you ask me, the light is winning.

Rust

I know the show's stars haven't signed on for True Detective Season 2, but the fact that both characters lived through the ordeal, has me hoping they somehow might. Matthew has his Oscar. Woody's crusade to legalize marijuana is claiming more and more victories.

Why not come back for another run?!?

Whether it's Marty and Rust or another pair of detectives, I felt like the door was left open for someone to continue the search in Season 2 for the other Carcosa members from that video tape. McHarrelson or not, I will certainly be back for another round, how about you?

Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (89 Votes)
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True Detective Season 1 Episode 8 Quotes

Rust: As sentient meat, however illusory our identities are, we craft those identities by making value judgements. Everybody judges all the time. Now, you got a problem with that, you're living wrong.
Marty: What's scented meat?

It's hard to find something in a man who rejects people as much as you do.

Marty