'True Detective' Recap: 'Haunted Houses'

Last week, we were left wondering whether or not Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) was and is the mastermind behind the serial killings.

We are now in the year 2002, with the 1995 case being done and gone as far as we know. This week, the episode opens with Marty Hart (Woody Harrelson) outside of the prison cell of two boys, both of them being the ones that had his daughter out past curfew a few nights prior, where she was found naked in a car. After he gives them a brutal beat down, a new temptation enters Marty’s life when he walks into a T-Mobile store and runs into a girl he met on the bunny ranch in 1995, Beth. She follows him across the street to a bar and Marty falls once more into the arms of another mistress. But, it doesn’t take long for Maggie to catch the hints: Marty washing his own clothes and showering as soon as he gets home. The signs are all too familiar, and they prompt her to check his phone where she finds the awful truth.

After years of putting up with his adultery, Maggie takes herself out to a bar. She’s beautiful, so naturally she gets picked up within a matter of seconds. But, she can’t bring herself to go home with a random person. A few drinks later, she finds herself at the front door of none other than Rust Cohle. Their encounter begins with her weeping and laying it on him that Marty is at it again, and she can’t do it any longer. It was always in the back of my mind, ever since Maggie and Rust had iced tea in her kitchen, that maybe they would share something. Yes, Cohle is closed off, but you could always see he had respect for Maggie, and that’s why he would always give Marty such grief over his sins. At the same time, I wasn’t sure if Cohle would do it. He is responsible, for the most part, and he is smart – really smart.

Prior to his alone time with Maggie, we see Rust Cohle head a few of his own investigations. First we see him questioning a father that lost his son to a fatal accident involving alligators, at least that is what the report states. Later, we see him pry the truth out of yet another guilty and unrefined individual. I swear he must have some sort of restraint over people to make someone write a forty paged confessional. After working his magic and upon leaving, Marty has the nerve to tell him to stay and help write up the report. But, Cohle has no intention of writing the report and is firm on his stance. He leaves after putting Marty in his place and essentially telling him that the arrangement has worked out for them so far – Rust gets the confession and Marty does the paper work and that is that.

Too, in this episode we are finally introduced to Maggie Hart in the present day, where she is called in to do her own interview. When asked about Cohle she says, “Rust knew exactly who he was,” and she further explains that she always knew him to be a good man. She identifies Cohle as having integrity and being responsible. So, she finds it confusing as it why they would want to speak with her or what kind of knowledge they are looking at getting from her.

But, after watching what goes down between Maggie and Cohle we know why they strike interest in her. Once in his apartment, she makes her move and Cohle does not refuse! It makes sense since the two of them are equally furious with the low life that Marty has become. But, their passionate scene quickly turns to hatred. Maggie feels a bit guilty for putting him in such a situation, and Cohle is prompt to kick her out. He actually screams at her.

Personally, I thought they would keep it to themselves and never tell a soul. But Maggie performs the most amazing revenge on Marty. When her husband comes home from being with Beth, she is sitting there with a glass of wine and eyes of fury. She has no problem confronting him about what she found in his phone and is speedy to deliver the news of her moment with Rust. She is fearless and despite his anger, stands her ground – I loved it.

Through all of this, Cohle has been suspended from duty, and the day after making love with Maggie he arrives outside the office to retrieve some files. But, of course it turns to a long overdue brawl between the partners. They fight for what feels like an entire two minutes, until it is finally broken up. Marty warns it’s not over.

‘Haunted Houses’ ends too soon, as always, and leaves us in the present day. You can’t help but want more; an hour is just not enough. We are down to only two episodes left of the season, and I just can’t even believe how quick it is to being over. Our glimpse of the next two episodes looks as though it stays in the present day (2012), and I am not sure if we will be taken back in time anymore. I think we have learned just about everything there is to know from their past partnership. What we have to look forward to: a reunion between Cohle and Hart after all these years and a continuation of the case that was never really closed. We should also see the evidence that Cohle has been stashing and studying ever since he gave up his job.

Photo: image.net

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