'True Detective' Recap: 'Seeing Things'

Let me start by admitting my obsession with HBO title sequences. They are truly one of a kind, and True Detective is no different. Much like the title sequence for True Blood, it is a bit eerie and random. Though, I think that is what makes it so captivating. The introductory song plays a large part in what makes a great title sequence, and their song selection was genius: “Far From Any Road” by The Handsome Family. Aside from that, HBO always incorporates outrageous graphics, which half the time I am not even sure of. But, for whatever reason it still gets every nerve ending in my body excited for the episode’s unveiling, and so, the 1995 murder mystery continues to unfold, as told by Rust and Marty themselves in a weird time warp of events.

Episode 2 begins with Rust Cohle continuing his interview with two detectives in present day (2012). They are still trying to retrace the steps of the 1995 investigation in order to figure out if they actually caught the right serial killer, because a 2012 murder case has opened up with the same behavior pattern. Rust looks old and ragged; he requires his six pack of beer in front of him with a cigarette in his hand. The interviewing process picks up where they left off, recalling the odd and unknown combustion of sticks that was found in a shed. Then the cameras shift you back in time, where Matthew McConaughey looks more like the man we recognize – young, fresh, and handsome. Whereas his partner, Martin Hart, almost looks better in 2012 than he did in 1995.

The days go on in the 1995 murder case of the woman with antlers, without any huge lead. But, we do get a lead as to what a prick Marty is. We meet his mistress, Lisa Tragnetti (Alexandra Daddario), who he visits after a late night at the bar. He has an even bigger weakness than women: jealousy. When he asks his mistress of her whereabouts the previous night, she is not afraid to tell him she needs to a find a man for herself -- one that isn’t married. Throughout the episode we see a rising tension between Marty and his gorgeous wife, Maggie Hart, played by Michelle Monaghan. Marty’s daughters miss him being around, and his wife is tired of him being gone. In the present day he tells the detectives that marriages only work if the man can find his escape elsewhere. He says, “it’s for the good of the family.” Mind you, he is not wearing his ring in 2012. I can’t imagine why, and I hate him already. He is a fool to be with anyone other than his knockout of a wife.

Meanwhile, we find out that Rust spent four years undercover as a drug trafficker before even meeting Marty, and he reaps the misery of his flashbacks from working in the HIDTA, meaning High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. Additionally, we learn he spent time in a psychiatric hospital back in 1993 after he killed three guys in the Cartel. His life essentially fell apart. The combination of his daughter being killed by a vehicle and the amount of drugs he was taking while undercover lead to the divorce of him and his wife. Rust’s tension with Marty peaks even more after Rust calls him out on his affair. But, Marty is still willing to admit the keen eye that Rust has, and it’s true. Within only the second episode we get a glimpse of his capabilities as a detective. He practically beat the life out of this guy just to get an address out of him, and luckily he did. The address leads them to a “bunny ranch,” where they question all the women who knew the murder victim, Dora or Dory. The visit lands them with the girl’s diary. She writes about a "yellow King", and during Rust’s diary investigation he finds a flyer for a church. But, at the end of the episode they feel the heat. Their boss is being pressured to an answer as to who murdered her, thus he pounds the pressure on Rust and Marty. They guys need an answer.

The episode creepily wraps up with Rust and Marty at the church they found advertised on Dora’s flyer. However, it is run-down, burnt to the ground, and virtually in the middle of nowhere. Behind some ivy brush, they see a mural of a figure wearing antlers as a crown, almost identical to the way they found Dora praying – dead.

Overall, we learned that Marty is a pig, Rust has PTSD and suffers from “seeing things,” and they are on a slow and disturbing path to solving the identity of the serial killer. My predictions: I can see Marty’s marriage going down the drain already, and Rust’s hardcore drug/violent past may work out to his advantage.

Image Courtesy of Image.net

True Detective title sequence

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