True Detective
Form & Void

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | 262 USERS: A
The Light Is Winning

If Cohle really believed in his determinist dystopia, if he was strong enough to see through to the end -- and he will be, in Carcosa -- he would see the light at the end: Free will is an illusion, but a necessary one. The absence of free will is literally a thought we cannot think. And if that's true for me, that's true for you and that's true for Errol Childress. If we are sentient meat, then all we ever are is innocent. Broken dolls breaking other dolls.

Is that the monster at the end of the story? Yes. But it's also the happy ending. Because if you can extend that grace to the people around you -- if you can grant others the peace you will never have for yourself -- then the world stops being a story about the wrongs that were done to you.

If a friend bites you, that's a Fuck You: Somebody did something bad. If you made your friend bite you, that's a Fuck Me: You did something that resulted in something bad. But if a rabid dog runs up and bites you, that's just something that happened. And Cohle's nasty little truth he keeps poking at is this: We are all rabid animals. We are all the end product of a broken machine.

Errol and Betty are nothing more than what God made. God and Sam Tuttle. Audrey Hart is what God made. Rust Cohle and Marty Hart are what God made. That's the secret fate of all life. And if we're all exactly what we are, then your only move is to start doing good. Everybody knows you can't love other people unless you love yourself; what nobody ever tells you is that you will never love yourself truly until you love everybody else, because they are just the pieces of yourself that you said no to. That you shifted to a junkyard on the edge of town, among the broken garbage; that you gave a reason to hunt you down.


Marty and Rust don't even see it in themselves, how beautiful they've become. They get so excited about their discoveries, one shored against another, they forget who's who. Marty has an intuitive leap, the first in his life, and Rust jumps right in alongside him, without even pointing it out: A random picture of a freshly painted house, by someone with a contract from the parish, illuminates itself as green ears, either side of the door:

Rust says, "We're gonna have to be looking at these records with fresh eyes, Marty. Like we're totally green." And Marty knows, with certainty Rust can recognize, exactly where to go next.

Does it make sense? Why would it, at this point in the game? You're talking about a mystery where the victims are names and naked bodies at best; you're talking about a villain who is nothing but a scapegoat for people we've barely met. You're talking about a story that believes itself to be an excoriation of misogyny, but forgot to contain almost any women at all.

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True Detective




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