Interesting. I don’t know why I expected more out of the season 1 finale of True Detective, but I wasn’t disappointed either. In the end, it was more about the relationship between Rust and Marty than any of the unsolved cases. It was very character-driven and showed that two men can put aside all of their differences and arguments for a common cause.
Tracking Down a Serial Killer
After interrogating Sheriff Steve Geraci about the disappearance of Marie Fontenot, who claims he was just following orders when the case was mysteriously dropped, the pair go back at it, delving into old case files. They can’t understand why the “spaghetti man” had green ears. However, Marty notices a house they investigated during the Lange case had a fresh coat of paint. After interviewing the owner in 1994-95, they finally track down their killer — an illegitimate grandchild of Sam Tuttle by the name of Errol William Childress, aka the man with the scars.
Things Just Got Real (and Weird)
At Childress’ home, he’s just crazy. He has a cabin with a dead body tied to a bed, and the woman who lives in the home with him is just plain nuts. And the actual home itself is that of a hoarder.
Before Rust and Marty head out to the Childress property, Marty meets up with Detective Papania. He asks Papania if he wants to be the guy who picks up the phone when Marty calls with the lead. Once Rust and Marty arrive at the Childress property, Rust immediately knows they are in the right place. However, they have no cell service. Marty heads into the main house, while Rust walks through the woods. Marty encounters the crazy lady, and Rust runs into Childress, who, of course, runs.
As Rust tracks Childress through a tunnel and maze of sculptures, Childress is beckoning him, but it almost seems as if Rust is hearing things and you’re not sure it’s actually real. When Rust starts hallucinating, that’s when Childress jumps out and stabs him. Marty arrives just in time and shoots Childress, who in turn throws an ax at him. In the end, Rust shoots and kills Childress. Both men wait to be saved.
Healing Old (And New) Wounds
At the hospital, Marty learns that they were right all along, that Childress was connected not only to the Lange case, but also to the Lake Charles case. When Marty’s family comes to see him, you can see reality has set in and he is relieved it’s all over.
Meanwhile, Rust was in a coma for a few days. When he wakes up, it’s back to the friendly bickering between the two. But things get serious when Rust keeps bringing up how he’s “not supposed to be here.” While on a walk outside the hospital, Rust reveals that when he was in the coma, he was faced with a different kind of darkness and he could feel his daughter and father with him, and just when he “let go,” he woke up and they were gone. Marty tells Rust to keep looking at the stars to get through everything. As the two head back into the hospital, Rust asks him to just take him home.
As I mentioned above, it wasn’t what I was expecting, but I wasn’t disappointed. There was no twist; it was actually very straightforward. Rust turned out to not be crazy in the way that everyone thought. He was just a man who had a lot of stuff thrown at him in his life and he was just trying to sort it all out and deal with it. His way of dealing with it was just different from everyone else. He was also a man with a lot of questions about life. Marty was an open book. He never really questioned things and went along in his life. He kept himself busy with his mistresses and, in the end, lost his family.
The two characters really complimented each other. Despite their differences, they showed they could come together once they started to believe in each other.
I really liked that Rust was right all along and he just used his instincts. I guess, in the end, he was the True Detective.
(Image courtesy of HBO)