True Detective Roundup (S3E5) *SPOILERS*
Whew – take a collective deep breath. True Detective is back. After a disappointing second season that saw very little critical acclaim, the future of the show was cast in doubt. But, HBO elected to roll the dice and shoot season three. They cast Mahershala Ali as the lead, and from a story standpoint, it certainly seems like Nic Pizzolatto tried to take it back to its season one roots. So far, so good. Let’s hit the review.
Let this serve as your final reminder that there are definitely spoilers within this post. Episodes one and two both dropped last Sunday, and I’ve given y’all an entire week to catch up. But, if you don’t want the show spoiled, DO NOT SCROLL ANY FURTHER.
OKAY – THOSE OF YOU LEFT, YOU SURE YOU WANT TO READ ON?
TRUE DETECTIVE S3E5
Man, that opening scene was brutal. Seeing Tom’s reaction to the photo of who they think is Julie was heartbreaking. It’s set in 1990, and we get a couple of interesting tidbits from it. First, they get the file on Lucy and conclude that “the OD fits.” She went out to Vegas, and OD’ed. But we also learn that they still haven’t found Cousin Dan in 1990. Cousin Dan did time, went to Vegas in ’87, and then “dropped off the map.” We know how that ended from episode four.
Then, we get a BOMB. Back in 1980, “one guy said a plainclothes took a statement, but there’s no record of that interview.” This coincides with what that farmer suggested from a few episodes ago – someone came around asking questions in a suit, showing a badge, but there’s absolutely no record of the farmer being interviewed. This definitely suggests one of two things – either there was some manner of cover-up from legitimate police forces, or there’s some creepy fucker out there driving around in a brown sedan pretending to be a cop.
Then, we get the fallout from Woodard’s house – dude bangs on the door until it opens, and then buh-bye! A literal bomb erases that dude from the face of the Earth. Woodard opens fire and just starts picking people off execution style. It’s clear this wasn’t a man to fuck with. He takes out a couple of cops, but spares Roland’s life when he has the clear opportunity to end it. The showdown ends when Hays confronts Woodard from behind. He wants to help, but Woodard is clearly ready to die. He leaves Hays with no choice, saying he’s going to give him until the count of three before he turns to fire. Hays doesn’t take any chances, and shoots on two. Woodard essentially commits suicide by forcing Hays to shooting him. Another heavy scene.
Fast forward to 1990, and we get the press conference. They’re there because Woodard’s kids are fighting to overturn his conviction (boom – he was the guy wrongfully convicted in 1980). Tom, after seeing the photo earlier, is pleading for Julie to reach out if she sees the message. Kindt, total shit bag, doubles down on his stance that they DID have the right guy in 1980.
Then, Wayne and Roland go to visit grown-up Freddy Burns, and that was weird as shit. Stirring up old memories that still clearly haunt Freddy. They’re just looking to re-evaluate the information they had from 1980, but Freddy is still resentful of how they interrogated him a decade earlier.
The boys question some dude who apparently was apart of some traveling gypsy group of kids with Julie. He goes on describe Julie as someone who is either completely insane or addicted to hard drugs. Regardless, it’s a lead – and now we’re off to find some hookers and gypsies.
Cut to 2015, and Elisa drops another bomb – one of the officers that worked the crime scene at Woodard’s house went missing in 1990, once the case was re-opened. Apparently, Wayne interviewed him, but he doesn’t remember it. Elisa say, “a lot of people around this thing are dead,” and holy shit. That’s chilling, but we’re starting to see that pattern.
We get a seemingly inconsequential scene where Wayne and Amelia head to Roland’s house for dinner. It’s awkward when they start talking about marriage. Then, even more awkward when Amelia brings up the case. I think this is just meant to show how Amelia’s quest to dig into this case is driving a wedge between her and Wayne.
It’s 2015 again (keep up) and Wayne is finally trying to read through Amelia’s book. He’s hung up on the “children should laugh” line, and connects it to the ransom note from all those years before. He sees that car parked across the street again, but we still don’t know if it’s actually there or if it’s one of Wayne’s hallucinations. Maybe whoever’s been picking people off that were associated with the case has picked up on Wayne meeting with Elisa. More loose ends to tie up.
Another crazy hallucinatory scene where Wayne is flipping back and forth between 2015 and 1990 – creepy as shit.
Okay, we’re back in 1990 and Wayne heads to the police station to take another look at the unknown fingerprints from the toys they found. *GASP* they’re gone. We see a flashback to the scene at Woodard’s place – the cop that Elisa mentions earlier discovers Will’s backpack. There you go. That’s what does it.
But, Wayne goes to Roland and mentions the pristine condition the backpack was in and correlates that it must’ve been planted. They argue about what to do with the information. Wayne says it’s “too big for this political bullshit,” but Roland says if they bring it up, Kindt will shut the investigation down. Seems awfully fishy.
Fast forward to 2015, and we see Roland feeding his dogs. I’m happy to see he’s alive and “well,” and can’t help but feel like he’s become a sweet old man taking care of his dogs in his retired years. Wayne and Henry roll up, and Roland confirms they came to the right spot.
Before we get too deep into Wayne and Roland’s reunion in 2015, we rewind to 1990. They have Tom in an interrogation room to play a phone call that he HAS to hear. It’s an unidentified woman that sounds an awfully lot like it’s Julie fuckin’ Purcell. *GASP* – this woman says, “tell him to leave me alone. I know what he did.” Oh boy – this doesn’t look good for Tom.
Back to 2015 – Wayne and Roland, together again. Roland, as it turns out, told the TV people to go to hell. “How you going to talk to them when we’ve done what we’ve done?” OoOoOoOoO SeCrEtS. You gotta go back and watch this whole conversation again – there’s so much talk of things we don’t know yet. It’s like hearing two old friends share war stories you weren’t around for. But, the point of the whole thing is that these two have some shit to work through, but Wayne wants to get the band back together to solve this case.
Wayne begs Roland, who wants no part of this action, to “stir some shit up with me.”
We’ll see where this goes.
We get the actual security footage from the Walgreen’s that Julie was spotted in. Freddy mentions that Will said “they” went into the woods when his sister was missing. The backpack at the crime scene. And, maybe Julie calling into the police station. BIG, BIG week for clues!
Remaining list from last week:
- Amelia’s book
- Devil’s Den
- The “ransom” note
- Notes in the journal
- The brown sedan
- Photo album
- The toys in the woods
- Fingerprints on the bike
- Julie’s fingerprints in Walgreen’s
- Walgreen’s security footage
- “They” went into the woods
- The backpack
- Julie (maybe) calling into the police station
Harris James – Gotta add him after this episode – he happened to be the one to pronounce the discovery of Will’s backpack at Woodard’s house, AND he went missing in 1990. Something about this guy says “in on it.”
Remaining list from last week:
- Cousin Dan
- Ted LaGrange
- The black man and the white woman
- The priest
- Lucy Purcell
- Freddie Burns
Woodard is gone. We saw how it ended for him, and it was confirmed that he was wrongfully convicted of it all to begin with, with Will’s backpack being planted on the scene.
I’m taking Amelia off the list, too. I’m starting to think her weirdness is just her using this whole thing to get a book deal. Gross in its own right, but it’s growing more and more far-fetched to think that she’s actually involved in whatever is going on. Plus, let’s be real – Wayne ain’t exactly makin’ things easy on her.
I would’ve taken Tom off the list if not for Julie calling into the police station. I don’t think her saying, “the man on TV pretending to be my father” bodes well for him. He’s acting awfully innocent, but who knows? Maybe there is still something there for us to discover.
We haven’t seen Ted LaGrange since the first episode – maybe that’s what Roland and Wayne did that they had to cover up and live with? Maybe they just killed the dude? I don’t know, but it certainly seems like he’s not on anyone’s radar anymore.
I still like the creepy, supernatural tones of season one, but I have to say, from a pure story and performance standpoint, this season is every bit as good as the first. After this episode, there’s clearly nothing off the table. How fuckin’ wild?!?! I really hope we get Old Man Wayne and Old Man Roland roaring through the woods, busting this thing wide open.
But, there’s something there with Julie – she clearly has this distrust of authority, and that creeps me out. Makes me think the authority was involved in this thing. The Hoyts still have a role to play in this, too – I’m not sure of what just yet, but the names keep popping up, with Wayne saying Hoyt came to see him the day after what happened.
We’re five episodes in, and there’s so many moving parts that I still have no inkling as to what the fuck actually happened. Love it.
QUESTIONS MOVING FORWARD
From E1 and E2:
- Who did it?
- What happened ‘between Julie and her father’ that they allude to?
- How the fuck is Julie alive?
- What happened to Amelia?
- What happened with Hays’ daughter?
- Who’s driving the brown sedan?
- Why does Wayne keep a gun with him in 2015?
- What is he “withholding?” Or, specifically, what did he leave in the woods?
- What else, exactly, does the interviewer from 2015 know?
- Who killed Cousin Dan?
- What is Amelia hiding about her past and why is she hiding it?
- Did Lucy know anything about this happening?
- Did Freddy see something when he ran away into the woods?
- What happened to Harris James?
- Something happened between Wayne and Roland that Wayne doesn’t remember. What was their falling out over?
- What was Julie referencing when she called the police station and said, “I know what he did?” Could this be the “falling out” mentioned in E1?
- The fuck was in that bag that Woodard went and got? Practically, a damn armory…
- Does the interviewer from 2015 possess new information/evidence about the case? In short, yes – we just don’t the full extent of her knowledge.
- Who got blown up at Woodard’s house? A lot of damn people….and he also forced Hays to shoot him dead. Wild ass shit.
- Is Roland still alive in 2015? He is! And, for some reason, he’s living alone, deep in the woods, with a kennel full of dogs.
- Who do they incarcerate for it in 1980? Woodard.
Feel free to posit your theories in the comments below!
Stoney Keeley is the Editor in Chief of The SoBros Network. He is a strong supporter of Team GSD and #BeBetter. “Big Natural” covers the Tennessee Titans, Alabama Crimson Tide football, the WWE, and a whole wealth of nonsense. Follow on Twitter @StoneyKeeley