True Detective (HBO) Official Thread


_____ is the most important thing in my life…
What the hell am I talking about!?! The antlers are the real mystery! okimdonereadingarticles

_____ is the most important thing in my life…
👀 👀 👀

Whatever. The 🌀 looked like some kind of life form frozen in the ice. Looked like little vertebrae or feet.

Glad I can quit thinking about this.

The Adventure Starts Here!
I actually said out loud when Clark started in on his story, "EXPOSITION!" I mean, c'mon. Instead of a full eight episodes, we let a character just sit and TELL us the answers we've been waiting for? And then the indigenous women at the end stand there and again TELL us more answers we've been waiting for? Pfft.

I mean, if those things had been better woven into the actual story in an active way, instead of being merely spoken in a backstory kind of way, it might have been more acceptable and more engrossing. Meaning, the answers themselves weren't terrible. It was the poor execution that truly annoyed me. Felt like a bad murder mystery where the villain or killer gets an entire monologue to explain what he did, why he did it, and how he did it, before he's arrested or killed. Pfft, I say again.

Looks like spoilers in this thread so not gonna read them until I watch the finale later today.
I’m here only on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays. That’s why I’m here now.

Yeah my thoughts too. Just lame and it's a relief for it to be over and my Monday nights freed up with something else. It shouldn't be that way. I'll say this - the cinematography was stunning, and I quite liked the whole grief plot with Jody Foster and her kid (I did get emotional when it was revealed Navarro had kept the toy bear that Danvers had chucked out).

But that's it. There was nothing else good there. The whole explanation of the local women taking revenge on Annie's murderers that may or may not be a true story was bordering on cringeworthy.

And yeah I guess they don't do any forensic crime scene detection in Alaska. Prior is a lucky boy. And his wife forgave him on the spot ' "go get 'em tiger, but come back safe". Oh and Danvers daughter the same - "I hope your safe, I love you so much all is forgiven, you're the best mom ever".

Truly appalling.

_____ is the most important thing in my life…

They do a good job of being reasonable in their critique. Only loud noises are in the intro.

I keep coming back to this. The show wanted to have it both ways. Supernatural and real life, without really offering a satisfying version of either.

I even think about how the ice caves set piece, which looked great, was over before you knew it. All the build up, all the easily ready cave tropes, give us a moment. Nope, we basically just run back upstairs.

The worst part, by far...

WARNING: "True Detective finale" spoilers below that they made ghosts real, but I don't even think they meant to.

They were trying to be ambiguous, obviously, but they messed it up. In the finale, while Navarro is trying to turn the generator on, we see the ghost behind her. But she doesn't see it. Nobody does. Only we, the audience, the third-person omniscient, see it. It's not even representative of her fear because she doesn't react in any way. In filming logic, that can only mean one thing: it's actually there. It can't be her hallucination if she doesn't see it or react to it.

So, they made ghosts real, almost certainly by accident. Because they wanted another pointless, cliched spooky moment and didn't think about the implications of doing it in that way.

The finale for this really reinforced the concerns that I've had all throughout this season. Firstly, six episodes was not enough time to tell the story. This finale felt extremely rushed through and I think it would have benefited from a full 8 episode season. Much of what was revealed in the last episode should have been slowly uncovered by the investigators throughout. I also read an interview with Issa Lopez, the creator of this, that she requested 6 episodes and that HBO was willing to give her 8, which she declined. This, in my opinion, was a mistake.

Secondly, the story that they were trying to tell all along remained unclear. If the main purpose of this season was to highlight the injustice to the American Indian/Alaska native population, the details of how and why that was done was not revealed until the very last episode, which was not a good way to do this. Also, that theme of the indigenous tribal population being mistreated and treated differently by the system was much more effectively done in an ABC show called "Alaska Daily" that Hillary Swank starred in last year. Muddling that theme with a murder mystery element, and a supernatural element, and the corporate exploitation, was just too much for this story to support. Also, no detail was provided on the promise of the project that the scientists murdered Annie K to protect. It was left very vague, and I think for the story to work, we needed more detail on what they were trying to do and the promise of what that could have brought to fruition so it could be balanced against the injustice of the murder to cover the wrongdoing needed to produce it.

Thirdly, the creators frequently injected a supernatural element to this story that by the end, seemed completely superflous. Yoda's observation notwithstanding, because I don't think that was intended to be revealed, all of the events of the film can be rationally explained without the supernatural element being a factor. None of it requires belief in the supernatural, ghosts, or anything like that, so why was that injected into the story in the first place? They either needed to make that a focus of the story and then definitively explain how and why that manifested, or they needed to leave it out of the story. They did neither. They provided a supernatural explanation as a possible avenue, while also providing a non-supernatural explanation, and then left it to the audience to determine what the truth of that was.

This brings me to the fourth thing that I didn't like about the story. So much of it was left for the audience to figure out. I think this can work if its a side element to the story, as a way to engage the audience and get them invested and thinking about what they'd like to have happened, but not when the entire central story is left unclear and up to the audience to define. Were the scientists killed by freezing to death in the snow, or were they instead killed by Annie K coming back from the dead to seek revenge? Who left the tongue, and why was that so frequently mentioned in the story, if at the end, that was left unresolved? Also, did Navarro commit suicide at the end, or did she live and then return at a later time to hang out with Danvers? Why did they show videos that cut out that strongly reinforced supernatural killings and disappearances, only to later provide a reasonable explanation that involved non-supernatural killings? Why did many characters throughout the story see supernatural things, if there were no ghosts? If it is it true that the mob of women were responsible for the death of the scientists, then how is it possible that no forensic evidence, outside of partial fingerprints from one person, which could have been left at another time, were left by any of these women to be found by Danvers and Navarro during their investigation?

The whole story wrapped up in a very unsatisfying, and at times, unbelievable, fashion, which reinforces my main conclusion all along which is that this was a very poorly written story, which could have been much better had it been done by someone who had a stronger command of the story they were seeking to tell. It was a missed opportunity. The setting was very interesting, I liked Jodie Foster, I enjoyed the indigenous theme, but it was very convoluted and not delivered in a coherent way, and too much was left unanswered at the end.

What an unispited waste...another HBO series where they went with the most obvious route and padded the hell out of the episode.

I think every one of these HBO shows tries to figure out new ways to clearly tell the audience that white men are bad and deserve to die. Which fine if that's the agenda that's the agenda but don't have "diverse" casting so everything is blatantly obvious.

Two Americans played by an Englishman and an Irish lady. Find some Americans to play Americans, they can't do it.
You got the count wrong. Prior Jr is British. Ditto Danvers’ boss. Clark is Irish as is Rose Aguineau. There may be others.

Another aspect of this that I think was a reason that the season was not as successful as it could have been was because Issa Lopez, the creator, had an agenda, which was not grounded in the story, that she wanted to convey through this season. See below.

When you face that kind of hostility, what makes you want to respond?

I do it because of passion. When you ask the way you just asked [about details], I’m super happy to provide answers, because I’m excited! This is what I’ve devoted years of my life to. And I get excited to share it.

The love [we’ve received] outweighs the hostility, and I think the hostility comes from possessiveness. The [first] series was made from a very, very male perspective, and I think it was brilliantly made from that male perspective — but it was before Donald Trump was elected. For me, it was before David Bowie died, and then everybody went to hell forever. It was before MeToo. It was before the pandemic. It was before George Floyd. That series was kind of the last one that could go to a lot of places that are not okay anymore. And the people that love it want to keep it sacred.

What does this murder mystery story have to do with the death of George Floyd, Donald Trump, or the Me Too movement? Absolutely nothing. What does she mean that the first season went to "a lot of places that are not okay anymore"? Why is it a problem for "True Detective" that the first season centered around male detectives? Her comments reflect that her priority in telling this story was that it not be male driven and that things that she found problematic in the first season, which she did not explain, were not repeated in her season. How does the death of David Bowie impact the story she was trying to tell, and why is this relevant to the story? It does not and is not.

In my opinion, "True Detective" should be able to transcend events in society that have nothing to do with it. The story should be seen as universal and one that could be embraced by everyone, at any time. It should be ideally a story that we could watch 25 years from now and still see as worthwhile and not see it as response to events that were happening at the time. For some stories, that are fact based, that is perfectly appropriate, but for a murder mystery, it just isn't. I think the problem, in my mind, with this type of mindset, is that it limits the story that can be possible, and these concerns sometimes lead to story becoming secondary to these other concerns. She showed the scientists as evil and seeking to oppress the AI/AN community, which fit her theme, but she failed to describe any detail on the project they were seeking to protect, because that wasn't top of mind for her. She packed way too much into the story that didn't relate to the central story as well. For example, she wanted this story to be female-driven, so almost all the characters, and all the main characters, are women. However, because there is little to no focus on any of the male characters, the male characters are woefully underdeveloped, with little to no character development. In order to make the story female-driven, she also chose to make virtually all the males, with the exception of the young detective who works with Danvers, villainous characters who were not well rounded. She also chose to focus a lot of attention on female characters that were not integral to the main story, and that the viewers likely didn't care much about, such as Danver's step daughter, the young Pryor's wife, the Rose character, etc. The scientists turned out to be bad, Hank turns out to be bad. The women turn out to be the righteous characters, so much so that the detectives choose to excuse murder, which arguably didn't fit the Danvers character, who was all about getting to the truth and "asking the right questions" to solve the murders. Secondly, when she chose to concentrate on "not going to a lot of places that are not okay anymore" she took a focus off of the story and fully developing that so she could fit the story into the agenda or message-driven narrative that she was seeking to tell. This often, to me, results in stories that are less well told, since other aspects of the story are not central to the primary goals. I don't think these were the main problems with this season, but they were part of why it was not as successful as it could have been.

Final thought: I loved season 4.

Mad production skills. Ennis was built from scratch in Iceland. Loved the ice caves.

Very atmospheric show. Two leads were excellent.