TV - True Detective Season 1, Episode 8

True Detective

Steve Taylor-Bryant finally finishes the journey through darkness and despair that has been True Detective...

I have suffered all season. I have felt the pain and darkness suffered by our Detectives Marty Hart and Rust Cohle and to be honest have been so gripped by the show that I am glad it's ending now as I don’t think I could put myself through another week of this emotional rollercoaster.

For nearly two decades, Louisiana has been tormented by acts of evil hidden by the name of God, the Yellow King, the scarred man and now a conclusion to a case once thought done. Hart and Cohle grew apart through the various pressures that started in 1995 with Dora Lang and last week were thrown back together. Hart has been investigating Steve Geraci and has discovered that there is a chain of command above him that kept the Marie Fonteneau case quiet. This leads to the home of 'The Man With Scars' Errol Childress, a mad man living in squalor and dreaming of ascension, a cause he's willing to kill for. Childress leads Cohle into the mysterious Carcosa, a system of tunnels built into twigs and dirt, with Hart dragging behind trying to call Detective's Papania and Gilbough for back up.

In a clearing Cohle and Childress face off, with Childress getting the jump on Cohle and stabbing him deep in his stomach. When Hart catches up and tries to help he too is stabbed by Childress, before Cohle somehow finds the strength to grab a gun and shoot Childress in the head. They let off a flare as they hear the sirens, the noise of hope, approaching their location. Papania and Gilbough visit Hart in hospital to update him on the case, but he really isn’t interested. He has seen the darkness the world has to offer. With the television in the background explaining the Tuttle family will also get away with their part in the conspiracy, Cohle turns to Hart and ends the season with "If you ask me, the light’s winning".

Nic Pizzolato has single handedly changed the landscape of American television and set the bar so high, not just for himself but all those writing clever drama for networks today. He has brought an ancient tale to the screen with realistic evil intent and given an impeccable cast the tools to excel. Using only one director in Cary Fukunaga is a stroke of genius and the season had an epic Hollywood cinematography that made the locations and static items through the season characters of their own. Michelle Monaghan as Maggie, Michael Potts as Detective Gilbough, Tory Kittles as Detective Papania and Michael Harney as Steve Geraci all added to some sumptuous story telling but Glenn Fleshler as Errol Childress stole the show of the undercard actors. Evil personified.

'Undercard of actors' may seem a bit unfair on such a talented ensemble and, had Cohle and Hart been played by anyone else, I probably would have used a different term or lumped the main actors into the ensemble, but what Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaghey brought to the show is just as important as Nic Pizzolatto's script. Harrelson, quite famous in his own right for playing the weird and quirky characters, as Marty Hart the straight man was spine tingling greatness for every moment he adorned the screen, suffering those issues with family, alcohol, rage and infidelity that blight many a normal man. McConaghey was simply sublime and it's hard to remember this was the forgotten man of Hollywood, lost forever to Romantic Comedies not that long ago. He played the intuitive and philosophical Rust Cohle with aplomb and is sure to rack up television awards soon to add to the recent Oscar.

If this show comes back for a second season, with or without this cast, so long as Nic Pizzolatto does not change his way of working I am all over it.

Image - IMDb.