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TV Review: True Detective: Episode 8: Form & Void (SPOILERS)

03.10.2014by:
Check back every week following Sunday night's airing of TRUE DETECTIVE for an episode rundown/ review. Here's this week's, but beware, SPOILERS ahead.

Episode Synopsis: Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) and Hart (Woody Harrelson) finally catch up with the man responsible for Dora Lange's murder.

REVIEW: Right from the beginning, TRUE DETECTIVE was a show that was all but impossible to predict. As hard as we all tried to guess what was coming next, showrunner Nic Pizzolatto's scripts kept veering into unexpected directions, and the season finale proved to be no different. In the week leading up to this episode, many of us were expecting some kind of apocalyptic end, with at least one of the heroes – or possibly both – winding up in a coffin before the season drew to an end. The biggest surprise here is how unexpectedly uplifting the conclusion proved to be, with both Cohle and Hart having survived their run-in with “The Yellow King” and presumably having found some comfort in the fact that even if they haven't caught all the bad guys, they caught the one that really counted.

While some may be disappointed in the fact that some threads of the case are still open (possibly to be tackled in season two), on the whole the ending goes back to what Pizzolatto's been saying in interviews all along, that TRUE DETECTIVE was never so much about the crime they were investigating, but rather the terrible toll it took on the detectives as men.

Regardless of whether or not Errol was the worst of the Childers/LeDoux gang (with him keeping the mummified remains of his father in true Norman Bates-PSYCHO fashion), by the time the credits rolled it was clear that both Cohle and Hart had found some kind of peace, with the nihilistic Cohle even telling Hart that he felt the love of his deceased daughter as he sunk into the blackness of death, only to be pulled back into the light at the last second. While Cohle's probably not on his way to any kind of serious happy ending, one gets the feeling that despite his guilt over not having caught onto Errol earlier, he's finally paid what he owed to the victims of Errol and the LeDoux clan after having allowed the case to be closed long before it was ever truly solved. Throughout the show, McConaughey's acting has been superlative, with this arguably being the best role of his career (maybe even better than his Academy Award winning turn in DALLAS BUYERS CLUB), and if this is indeed the last we ever see of Cohle, his journey feels as complete as it would in any movie.

Of the two, Woody Harrelson got the quieter part as the more straight-laced Hart, but considering the show as a whole, it was just as complicated a part as the one played by McConaughey. While Cohle was always a badass with a code, Hart was often tough to like, with his philandering and abusive streak. He often came off as a bully with a badge, but as an older man, Harrelson beautifully conveyed the sense of him being a guy that was trying to put right the things he did wrong in his life. When Maggie and his daughters visit him in the emergency room and he breaks down crying, one gets the sense that he's weeping not so much for the horrific crimes he was forced to witness through his pursuit of Errol, but also for the mistakes he made as a young man, which in the end cost him his family. While I doubt there's any hope of reconciliation with Maggie or his kids, in the end they seem to finally realize that despite all of his flaws, he's a good man and worthy of their respect.

Overall, TRUE DETECTIVE has really been one of the most impressive shows I've ever had the pleasure to watch, and Pizzolatto's going to have a huge job ahead of him in crafting season two. Hopefully, when two finally does get off the ground, it'll benefit from actors (or actresses) on par with McConaughey and Harrelson, but also from as talented a director as Cary Fukunaga, who's pushed the boundaries of what a director can do with a TV show, with it having set-pieces (especially the tracking shot in episode four) that I think have set the bar higher for anyone working in the medium. The same goes for the incredible use of music, with pitch-perfect soundtrack selections, and an unhinged, creepy score by the great T Bone Burnett.

And so this wraps up my reviews of TRUE DETECTIVE for the season. While season two hasn't officially been green-lit by HBO, one can assume it'll eventually happen given the unanimous acclaim and solid ratings. To me, this season puts TRUE DETECTIVE in the top-tier of TV, alongside shows like BREAKING BAD and THE WIRE. Its been brilliant. Now, let's get cracking on season two!

Verdict: 10/10

Extra Tidbit: I wouldn't be surprised if Gilbough and Papania came back, even though - in the end- they didn't really do much.
Source: JoBlo.com

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6:57AM on 03/11/2014

The trouble with season two

is that it can't repeat that travel through decades, and it can't repeat that discovery of the true natures of the 2 detectives. It will be tough to repeat that depth of character. they could do a completely new story with different detectives, but that would be sad.
is that it can't repeat that travel through decades, and it can't repeat that discovery of the true natures of the 2 detectives. It will be tough to repeat that depth of character. they could do a completely new story with different detectives, but that would be sad.
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6:51AM on 03/11/2014

20 years ago...

... the thought that Woody on Cheers would become a serious, quality, actor...
The show in the end wasn't really much about solving the crime, and yeah, it was never as deep of a puzzle as suggested. It isn't Twin Peaks. The show is mainly a character study.
... the thought that Woody on Cheers would become a serious, quality, actor...
The show in the end wasn't really much about solving the crime, and yeah, it was never as deep of a puzzle as suggested. It isn't Twin Peaks. The show is mainly a character study.
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4:47AM on 03/11/2014

WOW!

I am still super excited!! What a great show! Grand finale!! Is a second season already confirmed?
I am still super excited!! What a great show! Grand finale!! Is a second season already confirmed?
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12:56AM on 03/11/2014
I can only pray and hope this spurs more truly great American television...no need for 20+ episode seasons, keep it simple, to the point, with great writing, acting, directing, unanswered questions, real stakes for the characters...man, Season 2 has HUGE shoes to fill.
I can only pray and hope this spurs more truly great American television...no need for 20+ episode seasons, keep it simple, to the point, with great writing, acting, directing, unanswered questions, real stakes for the characters...man, Season 2 has HUGE shoes to fill.
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12:12AM on 03/11/2014
Errol made for a fantastic villain.

But I was a bit disappointed that they didn't explain what happened with the cult, this was by far the creepiest part of the show. I wasn't expecting them to bring down the entire cult but at least get Errol to talk a bit more about it before he dies.
Errol made for a fantastic villain.

But I was a bit disappointed that they didn't explain what happened with the cult, this was by far the creepiest part of the show. I wasn't expecting them to bring down the entire cult but at least get Errol to talk a bit more about it before he dies.
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11:08PM on 03/10/2014
TV series can be a great watch when it has an actual ending.
TV series can be a great watch when it has an actual ending.
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10:14PM on 03/10/2014

Why does there have to be a second season?

Can't we just enjoy a well acted and well told story of two men facing their inner demons in an entertaining fashion? Besides Mcconaughey has gone on record to say they won't be returning for a second season and that it was always meant as a one-time deal. I hope this is true because the resolution couldn't have been better to end this story with.
Can't we just enjoy a well acted and well told story of two men facing their inner demons in an entertaining fashion? Besides Mcconaughey has gone on record to say they won't be returning for a second season and that it was always meant as a one-time deal. I hope this is true because the resolution couldn't have been better to end this story with.
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6:46AM on 03/11/2014
You are mostly very right sir. However they have already stated, even before the first episode aired, that this was meant as a anthology show. So if it does come back for a second season we'll get a whole new story and whole new characters. Now you can't tell me you wouldn't be interested in that?
You are mostly very right sir. However they have already stated, even before the first episode aired, that this was meant as a anthology show. So if it does come back for a second season we'll get a whole new story and whole new characters. Now you can't tell me you wouldn't be interested in that?
1:10PM on 03/10/2014

About as perfect as Television can get....

First , and foremost, what a pleasure to watch a purely ADULT series, limited, or otherwise. No capes, no super powers, no alternate universe nonsense ( although I like all of them ) but just a well written, acted, and shot story about two cops trying to solve a horrendous case and the toll it takes on them. Its the little details that make the difference in good / great storytelling. Take for example the scene in the hospital with Woody Harrelson as the shock wears off and he lets out the
First , and foremost, what a pleasure to watch a purely ADULT series, limited, or otherwise. No capes, no super powers, no alternate universe nonsense ( although I like all of them ) but just a well written, acted, and shot story about two cops trying to solve a horrendous case and the toll it takes on them. Its the little details that make the difference in good / great storytelling. Take for example the scene in the hospital with Woody Harrelson as the shock wears off and he lets out the emotion he's been sitting on. Watch the reaction of his wife to it. she make the ' motions' of comfort, but doesn't touch him. That scene alone tells you volumes. This series was ADULT in the sense that there are no easy answers, yes, they got the one they wanted, but they know its not over. and Cohle, the one who wanted to die, now is saddled with the idea that since he didn't, that means he's still got penance to do. At the end of it, with Marty and Cohle walking off into the night, that was a perfect , fitting ending. Both characters are changed from where they started, and for both of them, things will never be the same . Congrats to all involved with Season 1 of True Detective, and for those that will be coming on board for Season 2? You got a hard act to follow.
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6:57PM on 03/10/2014
Almost impossible to follow lol
Almost impossible to follow lol
10:36AM on 03/10/2014

Brilliant

That was a brilliant way to end. The climatic showdown was much more than I expected and Rust chasing the killer through the woods was intense, the tension was unreal during that segment.
This was undoubtedly the best show this year and I dont think anything else on TV this year can top True Detective for me.
That was a brilliant way to end. The climatic showdown was much more than I expected and Rust chasing the killer through the woods was intense, the tension was unreal during that segment.
This was undoubtedly the best show this year and I dont think anything else on TV this year can top True Detective for me.
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8:49AM on 03/10/2014
"Right from the beginning, TRUE DETECTIVE was a show that was all but impossible to predict." See, right from the beginning I take issue with this article...it wasn't impossible to predict. Everything happened in a VERY predictable way, they hinted at weirder, more unpredictable things, but those things never occurred. In the end after all of the weird references and somehow this family cult being known about and tons of people knowing what Carcosa was and what the Yellow King was this family,
"Right from the beginning, TRUE DETECTIVE was a show that was all but impossible to predict." See, right from the beginning I take issue with this article...it wasn't impossible to predict. Everything happened in a VERY predictable way, they hinted at weirder, more unpredictable things, but those things never occurred. In the end after all of the weird references and somehow this family cult being known about and tons of people knowing what Carcosa was and what the Yellow King was this family, this cult and this killer were nearly impossible to bring down. They laid brick after brick of foundation that could have built this show into something spectacular, but in the end if you really step back and remove your fan boy glasses and look at it for what it is....its the same stereotypical, network crime drama that we've been watching for years...except its on HBO so everyone's supposed to love it and call it a masterpiece.
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10:13AM on 03/10/2014
SPOILERS AHEAD: If that is what you truly think of this show I think you might be missing the point a little. The show was not so much about the purposed supernatural undertones of the killings but more about the infinite circle of degradation Marty and Rust lived through while chasing the killer. You would be lying if you thought this show was predictable, although they did they not capture the entire group of killers they found peace within themselves for the first time in over 20 years. Take
SPOILERS AHEAD: If that is what you truly think of this show I think you might be missing the point a little. The show was not so much about the purposed supernatural undertones of the killings but more about the infinite circle of degradation Marty and Rust lived through while chasing the killer. You would be lying if you thought this show was predictable, although they did they not capture the entire group of killers they found peace within themselves for the first time in over 20 years. Take some time to think about it, read a little about what the story The King in Yellow is about and you will probably chance your tune a little!
10:30AM on 03/10/2014
I think the show was very well put together and very well acted. But the show also wasted a ton of screen time on things that ended up not mattering. Its nice that Marty and Rust have found peace...but that's not really how they framed the main subject of this show. I think the first 4-5 episodes were great and then it fell off the tracks in the last 3. I really felt insulted at the end result of the show, especially the "green ears" thing that fell into their lap at the last minute, which
I think the show was very well put together and very well acted. But the show also wasted a ton of screen time on things that ended up not mattering. Its nice that Marty and Rust have found peace...but that's not really how they framed the main subject of this show. I think the first 4-5 episodes were great and then it fell off the tracks in the last 3. I really felt insulted at the end result of the show, especially the "green ears" thing that fell into their lap at the last minute, which those green ears should have been the FIRST THING they looked into because its a pretty weird thing to say someone has green ears. Everything about the show was well done I guess I could say...but in the end this was a story that could have EASILY been told in 4 episodes and one that gave us a ton of information that many thought would lead to something, and it didn't..the show pointed and hinted at a long things that ended up being absolutely irrelevant.
10:34AM on 03/10/2014
Also...here are two articles that do a great job at actually asking questions about the show and not dismissing all the problems with it and crowning it the greatest show ever...

[link]

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Also...here are two articles that do a great job at actually asking questions about the show and not dismissing all the problems with it and crowning it the greatest show ever...

[link]

[link]
10:39AM on 03/10/2014
Ya I guess your right, I think all the things thrown at the audience were simple devices to help keep us guessing. At the very least I was entertained and still think that Rust is one of the most interesting characters I have seen on television period..
Ya I guess your right, I think all the things thrown at the audience were simple devices to help keep us guessing. At the very least I was entertained and still think that Rust is one of the most interesting characters I have seen on television period..
5:21PM on 03/10/2014
Oh my gerd guys it wasn't a green earred, spaghetti face monster after all!
Oh my gerd guys it wasn't a green earred, spaghetti face monster after all!
7:05AM on 03/10/2014

Se7en without the down ending

"We had him. Fucking photographer on the fucking stairs"

"I saw him, Marty. He was mowing that schoolyard on Pelican Island in '95."
"We had him. Fucking photographer on the fucking stairs"

"I saw him, Marty. He was mowing that schoolyard on Pelican Island in '95."
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8:59AM on 03/10/2014
One line and it being a serial killer story doesn't make it a copy of Se7en.
One line and it being a serial killer story doesn't make it a copy of Se7en.
12:12PM on 03/10/2014
I'm not implying that it's a copy.
Just reminded me of a great movie.. so back off!! lol

I'm actually glad that it ended up being a straight-forward story without a shocking reveal that would feel like a cheat.
I'm not implying that it's a copy.
Just reminded me of a great movie.. so back off!! lol

I'm actually glad that it ended up being a straight-forward story without a shocking reveal that would feel like a cheat.
12:12PM on 03/10/2014
"Don't ever change, man." *middle finger*

great stuff!
"Don't ever change, man." *middle finger*

great stuff!
3:03AM on 03/10/2014

Alexandra Daddario...'Nuff said!

Yes. I, too, agree w/ Bumbray & the fellow schmoes here in celebrating every single bit of awesomeness that is Season 1 of HBO's "True Detective"...But, in my humble opinion, there's one very awe-inspiring & magnificent occurrence that had since been left unmentioned.
Yes. I, too, agree w/ Bumbray & the fellow schmoes here in celebrating every single bit of awesomeness that is Season 1 of HBO's "True Detective"...But, in my humble opinion, there's one very awe-inspiring & magnificent occurrence that had since been left unmentioned.
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10:14AM on 03/10/2014
!
!
1:21AM on 03/10/2014

Fan-fucking-tastic ending to an amazing season.

I can't thank McConaughey, Harrelson and the crew enough for 8 hours of some of the best television ever made. This season has the TV awards in the bag already. The finale was exactly what I wanted...unexpected and smart. A terrific end to a terrific show.

The journey was not about the murders or conspiracies, it was about the journey of two men trying to do the right thing no matter the cost.
I can't thank McConaughey, Harrelson and the crew enough for 8 hours of some of the best television ever made. This season has the TV awards in the bag already. The finale was exactly what I wanted...unexpected and smart. A terrific end to a terrific show.

The journey was not about the murders or conspiracies, it was about the journey of two men trying to do the right thing no matter the cost.
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1:05AM on 03/10/2014

Goodbye Rust & Marty, until we meet again.

Season two can't come soon enough - new friends and a new adventure.
And bring on that first Rust & Marty novel. I'll be first in line.
Season two can't come soon enough - new friends and a new adventure.
And bring on that first Rust & Marty novel. I'll be first in line.
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12:44AM on 03/10/2014

SPOILER: ending just like Foster in Buffalo Bills House

This show is now my second favorite behind Breaking Bad. Everyone, including supporting cast, was insanely on point. I loved every minute of it. The music, the DIRECTING, the WRITING, the leads...I hope everyone realizes we just bared witness to a story told over a million different times, only this time, this time we had the pleasure of a strong script written with strong characters and performed at a level I can safely say, we will NOT see again. And that is not a knock on future stars and
This show is now my second favorite behind Breaking Bad. Everyone, including supporting cast, was insanely on point. I loved every minute of it. The music, the DIRECTING, the WRITING, the leads...I hope everyone realizes we just bared witness to a story told over a million different times, only this time, this time we had the pleasure of a strong script written with strong characters and performed at a level I can safely say, we will NOT see again. And that is not a knock on future stars and seasons of True Detective. I just don't believe there's any way you're going to find the perfect sync up of every aspect of film making hitting on all cylinders all the time. You have to give some of it up to "movie magic." And that's not something the actors, directors, writers, no one can control.
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1:26AM on 03/10/2014
Agree completely! How can you possibly improve in something this good?!
Agree completely! How can you possibly improve in something this good?!
12:31AM on 03/10/2014
A great end to a great season; intense, thoughtful, and moving. I really hope they bring a couple of great actors on par with Matt and Woody next season, b/c it is the great acting that truly makes this show great to watch. While I'm sad it's over, and least it means Game of Thrones is starting soon.
A great end to a great season; intense, thoughtful, and moving. I really hope they bring a couple of great actors on par with Matt and Woody next season, b/c it is the great acting that truly makes this show great to watch. While I'm sad it's over, and least it means Game of Thrones is starting soon.
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11:49PM on 03/09/2014

Great Job...

Just really wanna say great job to all involved...
There were all kinds of little moments through out all 8 episodes that were truly amazing and just plain fun to watch...
Across the board everyone involved can hold their heads high for a job well done...
Cant't wait to see what they do with season 2...
Just really wanna say great job to all involved...
There were all kinds of little moments through out all 8 episodes that were truly amazing and just plain fun to watch...
Across the board everyone involved can hold their heads high for a job well done...
Cant't wait to see what they do with season 2...
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