True Detective Spoilers ahead.
As the reruns of True Detective season one circulate for anyone who didn’t catch it the first time and might be interested in season two, it is time to ask the important questions, over eight hours of television, was it worth it?
While the first six episodes spent a lot of time establishing characters and developing the Rust/Marty relationship, with a couple of action and sex scenes thrown in, the last two episodes moved quickly without a great deal of tension. Even kidnapping the Sheriff was a little dull, possibly because both Marty and Rust had very little to live for and yet the whole premise was correcting paying their debt. The murder of Ledoux who might have led them to the conspiracy and the yellow king.
So this yellow king, this monster, he certainly was creepy, but was he any more than a seriously messed up guy living a life of isolated and careful debauchery? When you get to the end and journey through the wicker world of an old fort it is creepy and a good idea not to look around. Decades worth of abuse and murder had been piled up in one place ruled over by a brutal and insane individual. The conspiracy plot and the significance of the yellow king seemed to slip away. Rust briefly mentions the men he didn’t get only to be corrected by Marty who tells him they got their man.
Clearly the role of children cannot be undervalued. The loss of Rust’s daughter is a defining moment for his character while Marty’s continued dependence on his family and his inability to maintain the necessary boundaries in order to keep his family led him to destruction. Child abuse and murder then plays a shadowy role in defining and justifying the action of Rust and Marty, but how important was the detective element?
Marty talks about searching databases. Rust spends hours looking through files and visiting rundown buildings. But if detective work led them to the decaying house, it was pretty boring in the last couple of episodes.
The series was exceptionally watchable and well structured. How about a name change? True Obsessions?