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Thread: True Detective

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2000
    Location: sup

    True Detective

    So we aren't talking about 2014's answer to Twin Peaks?

    We should be.

  2. #2
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    That's a bold claim to make, Scots. Let's see how right you are.

    edit: It's already off to a good start. Of all the awesome HBO show intros I've seen, that one was easily the most stylish.
    Last edited by Renzatic; 20th Feb 2014 at 00:57.

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2000
    Location: sup
    For those who are up to date, let's talk some ideas. Serious fucking spoilers yo.

    Cohle and Hart are unreliable narrators, we know this for sure.
    They didn't "fall out in '02" - that's just what they want everyone to think.
    Cohle went "off the grid" to find the Yellow King.
    Hart stayed in the force and climbed the ladder.
    Cohle and Hart have been continuing the investigation since 2002.

    With that idea then... let's consider:
    Cohle's video interrogation is inadmissable due to him drinking. He wasn't there to help them. As Hart observed, he was there to "read them". Why?
    Hart didn't see "what under his nose" - his daughter's sex drawings, the dolls in gang rape pose; obvious signs of sexual abuse - but he apparently sees it now. What does he see?
    Cohle has a "redacted" history - why is this and who redacted it?
    This is where I think it gets fucked up and the Yellow King reference, the spiral, the cult, the rich men, and the circular & repetitive nature of the universe all come to bear.

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2000
    Location: sup

    Visually amazing

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  5. #5
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    What?!

    Must gets watches.
    Telepathy is not mind reading. It is the direct linking... ...of nervous systems... ...separated by space.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Sep 1999
    Location: No Maps for These Territories
    Some of us have raved about it here already.

    Deserves a thread of its own, though. :-)

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2000
    Location: sup
    Or...

    They do fall out. Why?
    What could make these two - partners for many years, seemingly fast friends following the triumph of the case, people who share a deep dark secret about a covered-up murder together - fall out?
    Maggie.
    Further substance to this is that we hear about the fall out in the next episode from her.
    A potential spoiler she drops in an interview is that "You really kind of discover ultimately how cunning and devastating she is and both of the men truly make the mistake of underestimating her."
    What does that mean for her? And how is that linked to their daughter and Marty's sad musings on the "detective's curse"?
    What was under his nose? What does Cohle find out that causes them to fall out?

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Sep 1999
    Location: No Maps for These Territories
    Interesting points, Scots. So many possibilities, so many questions.

    How this can all be wrapped up in a measly three additional episodes is beyond me... I really hope we'll have some loose ends left after the final episode. Preferably a nice, juicy mystery or a really fucked up and twisted, plain WRONG finale. A bit like Twin Peaks, really.

  9. #9
    LittleFlower
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Netherlands
    Thanks for mentioning this series. I hadn't heard of it. I just finished watching the first episode tonight. Pretty awesome. Gonna watch E2-E5 later this week. And yes, I was a big Twin Peaks fan, twenty-something years ago. I can already see some similarities in the first episode.

  10. #10
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    It's not exactly like Twin Peaks, but it does touch on the same themes. The biggest one being that just below a surface of calm and normalcy lies a foundation of insanity and strangeness. Though unlike Twin Peaks, which liked to wear its craziness on its sleeve, this show is much more low key about it, and makes it feel that much more sinister because of it.

    It's like this evil, or insanity, or whatever you want to call it, is something that effects everyone. They always feel it, are always at least slightly aware of its presence, but it's never overt. Most people go through their entire lives without looking at it directly. Though there are a few who do. They'll go looking for it, and they'll inevitably find it, and when they do, it'll draw them into itself, wrap them up into it, then eventually drag them down. This is what I think the spiral represents, the twisted path everyone eventually follows, or the whirlpool that drags everyone down into chaos. The Yellow King is whoever is currently under the direct influence of it, and it can be anyone at any time. I think Russ and Martin eventually found what they were looking for, and at least one of them has acted as The Yellow King by the time of the interviews.

    And it's influence extends far beyond a bunch of methheads and trailer trash. Tuttle, the guy you see just once during the first episode, and gets mentioned in passing during this most recent one, I bet he's played his part. Same as his brother. And if they're involved, a lot of other people in lofty positions can be involved as well. It's a game, a ritual, a cult, and they all worship The Yellow King.

    Because as Russ says, they found something dark and deep

  11. #11
    New Member
    Registered: Jan 2013
    Location: Baltimore, MD
    Anybody ever read The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers?
    http://www.sff.net/people/doylemacdonald/l_kiy.htm

    I've only read "The Repairer of Reputations" and "The Mask". I love the show so I'm not sure if I should keep reading or not?

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2000
    Location: sup
    I intend on reading the book once the show has finished. I don't believe the writer intends for people to be across 19th century literature in order to enjoy the show, but I'm sure it'll add something.

    So I think I've figured it out.

    It's the guy on the mower who killed the girls, because girls were chased by a green eared (earmuffs) spaghetti monster (straggly hair), the right side of his face is mostly hidden when talking with Cohle but if you look as he turns he has clear scarring on his chin ("the scarred man"). See here: http://i.imgur.com/jRdRuEf.png

    Case closed. It's kind of obvious, just like many people not knee-deep in the show could see that it was very obvious Rust and Maggie were going to hook up.
    But that's not the point.

    It's the "idea" that there's something more that's the bigger question and leads to the theme.

    What about the cult? The Yellow King? Time is a flat circle?
    This can go as deep as you want it to go. But I think it's telling that "the flat circle" is first used by Cohle to say "this is a world where nothing is solved" and that the events are going to happen again and again.

    There's a bit of meta-commentary there about the 4th wall and TV but I'm more interested in what it could mean about the world Cohle is living in - the world of a murderous cult that has ties to organised religion and institutional corruption.
    Is a world where nothing is solved this world? Does law and order serve a function in society that actually resolves anything? Or are there simply patterns of behaviour that self-replicate? Can corruption be stopped? Can murder be stopped? Can infidelity be stopped?
    We pursue achieving these things in society, but does it actually get us anywhere?

    Cycles of human behaviour feed one another and create more. An emotional and psychological perpetual motion machine. Humanity.
    Whether or not there is child abuse in Marty's daughters past, or if it may just be that her philandering father was cause enough for her to act out as she is, the fact remains that one thing (abuse/infidelity) has led to another (sex with two boys) which leads to another (a vicious beating) which leads to what...? What becomes of those boys, his daughter, Marty?

    Is there anyone with any individuality in this world of self repeating cycles? Cohle says this too - the idea that there is no "self", that we're labouring under an illusion of individuality.

    The real point of True Detective and the theme that's being laid bare, the truth that has driven Cohle insane, is that human nature is inherently self destructive and that it cannot be stopped - trying to stop it just creates new pathways and potentially even worse outcomes. People turn to religion, or drink, these can lead to terrible end results - if a person turns to religion for salvation or for an answer, but finds themselves at the hands of a pedophile priest... there is no escape.

    I think this is terrifying truth like the King in Yellow describes. Reality is ugly. We pretend it's not. We dress it up and try to cram it into social structures and try to make it our own, but in the end the nature of the universe is that what is meant to happen will happen again and again. The wars being fought (satanism & religion, law vs crime, marriage or infidelity) are all meaningless. There is no deeper meaning.

    Or I could be as fucking crazy as Cohle. The point is that the cult, the corruption, it's all just window dressing for humanity. It's all true and it's all meaningless.

    And that's the other thing it's doing too. A fucking fiendishly clever meta-commentary within the delivery of the show itself. There are people becoming obsessives about this show (like me). Poring over yearbook photos shown onscreen for fractions of a second. Taking screenshots of characters barely onscreen and tying them back to those yearbook photos.
    This is another side of human behaviour that I think ties into the theme above and the reference to the Yellow King... being driven mad by the search for truth or meaning.

    The puzzle box construction of True Detective is so deliberately riddled with red herrings as to be in its own King in Yellow. People are continually trying to tease out connections and work through theories, but the fact is that the most obvious things have happened in True Detective according to well laid out motivations communicated throughout the show. It's us, in our flawed human nature, that's trying to find meaning in it all.

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Sep 1999
    Location: No Maps for These Territories
    That is some pretty epic Sherlock Holmes-esque stuff regarding the killer, Scots. Sounds solid to me, and not at all obvious unless you go over the show with a magnifying glass. I certainly hadn't picked up on those details, and neither had anyone else I have discussed the show with.

    True detective indeed.

  14. #14
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Excellent post Scots.

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: May 2009
    Wow! What a ride that was. Easily one of the best shows there is. I'm going to miss the characters from this story (especially Rust) but I'm really really looking forward to the next story they tell.

    End of season spoilers: Nice job finding out it was the guy on the lawnmower Scots. Ugh. They may have put down the Spaghetti Man, but the Yellow King and the other cultists are still out there. Fuck that makes me uneasy.

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Location: Canuckistan GWN
    Reading this thread is like watching a British TV or Robot Chicken show on a North American cable station.

  17. #17
    LittleFlower
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Netherlands
    spoiler:
    I thought the ending was a little disappointing. I had expected something more clever. While it was just "the ugly guy did it".

    Sure, there were more people involved, and it was hinted that those guys will walk free, and the story is over. We get to know nothing at all about the Tuttle-connection. Nothing about the yellow king. There were so many scenes where Hart was in a yellow environment. (E.g. the scene where he demolishes those kids in jail. Everything is completely yellow in that scene. Some of the scenes with Hart at home were also very yellow. I had expected that would have some meaning).

    "I can see your soul around the edges of your eyes. It's corrosive, like acid. You got a demon, boy". I had expected this to be a foreshadow of something. But it wasn't. There were many moments in the series that I enjoyed, because it felt as if all the little clues could add up together. But in the end, they weren't clues. They were just accessories. Put in to "class up the place".

    I also don't know what to think of the last few scenes, in the hospital. They felt completely different than the rest of the 8 episodes. Yeah, I got the fact that Rust still hadn't dealt with the death of his daughter. But the last 5 minutes were all so cliche and uninteresting. True Bromance. I think Pizzolatto could have done a better job.

    Last remark. George Martin must have really changed something about watching TV. When Rust and Hart were sneaking through Carcosa, I was really wondering if they would die. During the last fight, I actually expected neither of them survive their wounds. That could not have happened a few years ago. A few years ago, while watching anything on TV, I just *knew* that the main characters in any mainstream film or series are invincible and unkillable. But today, when I watched the last episode, I wasn't sure what was gonna happen. I think we can credit GRRM for that. Too bad that in the end, normal rules applied, and the heros survive again.

    Overall, I tremendously enjoyed myself watching True Detective. Maybe there is hope for TV.
    Last edited by Gryzemuis; 10th Mar 2014 at 21:07.

  18. #18
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Quote Originally Posted by Gryzemuis View Post
    spoiler:
    I thought the ending was a little disappointing. I had expected something more clever. While it was just "the ugly guy did it".

    Sure, there were more people involved, and it was hinted that those guys will walk free, and the story is over. We get to know nothing at all about the Tuttle-connection. Nothing about the yellow king. There were so many scenes where Hart was in a yellow environment. (E.g. the scene where he demolishes those kids in jail. Everything is completely yellow in that scene. Some of the scenes with Hart at home were also very yellow. I had expected that would have some meaning).
    We've all got a bit of the Yellow King buried deep within each of us, always waiting to come to the surface. Some of us are able to suppress and control our darker urges, while others revel in it. Any yellow scene involving either Rust or Hart were the moments when they momentarily gave in to the Yellow King inside themselves.

  19. #19
    LittleFlower
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Netherlands
    spoiler:
    Yes, I've read your earlier post. I don't agree. The yellow jail scene was indeed a scene where Marty went nuts. But some of the other yellow scenes were non-violent. It wasn't as obvious as you try to make it look.

    What about Marty's father-in-law ?
    What about the sex-drawings of Marty's daughter ? The dolls of the other daughter ?

    After all that talk about how the two men hadn’t “averted their eyes” to evil, the show did just that.

    I watched the final episode 2-3 hours ago. The more I think of it, the more I think the ending just sucked. Sorry.

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Location: Canuckistan GWN
    Now it's like British prime time TV on God TV (and yes there really is a channel called this).

  21. #21
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Our baser instincts don't necessarily have to be violent. Hart's father-in-law was dogmatic and narrow minded. The sex drawings and dolls? There are a thousand different ways you could interpret that. Yellow can be anything callous and unthinking, immoral or wrong. The yellow in the jail scene could be as much about Hart using his position as leverage against someone else as much as it is about the violence he committed to get his point across. The Yellow King is all of these

    Though I will admit that the whole "fuck it, we caught the guy, everything else is beyond our control, so why bother" bit was disappointing. The fact they know there's more out there, but they choose to ignore it because they feel they've earned their one little victory against the dark does run against the moral of the whole story.

  22. #22
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    You guys got me curious so I watched the first episode tonight. It's got a sick humor. I like it.

  23. #23
    Moderator
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: Wales
    I can't get into at all and I've tried a few times. Every time I think I'm getting somewhere, someone slurps or sucks their teeth or similar and it just puts me right off.

  24. #24
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2006
    Location: On the tip of your tongue.
    Quote Originally Posted by Renzatic View Post

    Though I will admit that the whole "fuck it, we caught the guy, everything else is beyond our control, so why bother" bit was disappointing. The fact they know there's more out there, but they choose to ignore it because they feel they've earned their one little victory against the dark does run against the moral of the whole story.
    I really liked the ending, I don't think it went against the grain of the story. The last episode was about acceptance. Marty's family coming to visit him, Marty and Rust finally just accepting that they're friends, Rust accepting the death of his daughter. Part of that is accepting that the world is a dark and terrible place and no matter how hard you try, you can't fix it all. Yeah it was a fairly simple ending, but I think that's more indicative of the internet-age, desconstruct-everything-into-conspiracy-theories attitude of the audience that expects twist piled upon twist, than a flaw in the story.

  25. #25
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: Girl with the Patreon Tattoo
    Absolutely agree, especially with that last sentence. I think the people around me who are disappointed about the ending the most are the ones who poured a lot vainly into the fan theories. Just like today many people can't go to a concert without channeling their whole experience through the virtual viewfinder of an iPhone, the internet news and media articles, forums and blogs are a filter through which viewers are going to build consolidated expectations that will probably never be fulfilled entirely, blocking them from establishing their own bigger picture.

    True Detective is a simpler story that many made it out to be. There's of course a sort of symmetry within its structure itself, with the first four episodes being a dive into cosmic, existential horror and the subsequent four being a journey back to the surface, gasping for air, but at no point should we have expected the story itself to become an ever-complexifying web of occult intrigues. It never was going to be Twin Peaks and I'm grateful for that. Loved it.

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