True Detective Season 1 Review

True Detective is a suspenseful, crime-drama series that aired on HBO. The setting, Louisiana Bayou, is perfect for this pulp fiction film. In 1995, Martin Hart (Woody Harrelson) and Rustin Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) are called out to investigate a murder. When they first get an up close view of the crime scene they were shocked that the victim was wearing a crown made of genuine deer antelers, posed in a ritualistic way with homemade, twig bird traps, what they thought they were at the time, hanging in a large, lone tree. Actually, the same tree that the victim was posed in front of, as if she was in a state of prayer. Rust quietly takes note of a strange, ritualistic symbol that was located between her shoulder blades.

Upon further investigation it was determined that the victim was Dora Kelly Lange, a former prostitute. The sheriff and others tried to connect this murder with other unsolved murders and missing child, Marie Fontenot, but Rustin was not so easily convinced. Hart and Cohle were shocked to discover that a formal investigation was not ordered by the sheriff in an attempt to find the young girl. 

A surprise visit was in order to Marie’s uncle, Danny Fontenot (Christopher Berry). While Hart was questioning Danny about the little girl’s disappearance, Rustin was snooping around in the backyard. That is where he discovered another bird trap, but was told by Danny’s caregiver that it was not a bird trap, but a spirit trap used to ward off evil sprits. 

Cohle and Hart followed every lead possible. They visited prisons, churches, abandoned schools, girl’s   runaway camp, and secluded meth labs for any information that would lead them to the killer or killers. They found Dora’s diary, which gave them little insight to her life. She wrote about staying at a place called Carcosa and the mysterious “king in yellow”. 

The detective duo are hailed to be heroes after they solved the murder and found the true killers, Reggie and DeWall Ledoux, but they did not apprehend them and take them to the police station for questioning. Nope, that would be what the NYPD detectives would do. Instead, Hart becomes enraged after he searched the area and finds two small children that appeared to have been kidnapped, abused, and starved for quiet some time. He walks up to Reggie and plants a bullet into his skull, killing him instantly. They knew that they would have to surrender their badges if the sheriff found out how Reggie really died, so they created a crime scene that looked like they have been fired upon by the killers.

During the investigation Hart also struggled with his own demons including; an affair, uncontrollable boozing, failing marriage, and less tolerance dealing with Cohle’s suspicious behavior. Cohle is spiraling out of control with illegal drug use, insomnia, and continuously questioning whether they truly solved the murders. 

In a quiet attempt to make Hart jealous, his wife, Maggie (Michelle Monaghan) goes offer to Rustin’s apartment and seduces him into having sex with her. She returns home and reveals her sexual interlude to Hart. Rustin and Hart split and go their own ways. Hart is promoted and continues working as a detective until he retired and Cohle fades out into society.

In 2012, two detectives begin to question Rustin’s innocence and begin to question him and hart about what really happened in 1995. They both testify, going over the entire investigation, but not revealing the truth about Maggie’s indiscretion with Rust or what truly happened to Reggie. Rust secretly hunts Cohle down and encourages him to join him on a new search to find the true killer of Lange. He is shocked to see that Rust never stopped investigating the case and reluctantly agrees to help him. If you want to see the harrowing conclusion of HBO’s True Detective.

The show does an excellent job carrying on the narrative from one episode to another, but it is perhaps Rustin Cohle’s dialgue and cynacal attitude that sets the show apart from other crime dramas. It is Cohle that continues to push for a true resolution to the case right up until the end. 


Overall, True Detectivewas a very interesting thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat throughout all eight episodes. Despite the claim of plagiarism alligations involving creater Nic Pizzolappo, it is difficult to take away from Mathew McConaughey’s performance, as he is cetainly the one that carried the show. 

I absolutly loved this series and I got excited every time I watched the intro and heard The Handsome Family’s “Far From Any Road” playing in the background. I was just as satisfied with the end as the beginning and I give this series a 9.5. 

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