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"It's been weeks since I've left my mark. Would that they had eyes to see."
Most mysteries resolve their stories by going with one of three options. They can go the Law & Order route where everything is a stream of evidence that builds to a conclusion. A leads to B which leads to C, and the conclusion is a logical progression to an answer that fits like the last piece of a jigsaw puzzle. The second option is the M. Night Shyamalan, wherein the story twists at the last second and tries to go in a completely different direction that changes everything. Sometimes a twist can work, and sometimes it's nonsensical. The final possibility is having no conclusion. Sometimes life doesn't give us "closure." I've always hated that word being applied to relationships and life events, since you can "close" on houses but not so much on people. Therefore, the argument goes, sometimes the most realistic choice in storytelling is ambiguity, things left unsaid, and deeds left undone.

I thought last night's season one finale of True Detective struck a nice balance. Demand for the episode crashed HBO Go's server. So, in the end, what was the 17-year saga of Marty Hart (Woody Harrelson) and Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) truly about? Who is the Yellow King? What is Carcosa? Does it matter?

Continue below the fold for more.

"The aspects of a police procedural don’t interest me at all and I’m certainly not interested in serial killers or serial killer stories. I’m interested in the humanity of characters and the way circumstances force them to grow or not grow and reveal themselves and their contradictions." Nic Pizzolatto, True Detective creator, writer
A majority of the episode is the conclusion and confrontation Marty and Rust encounter at the end of their investigation. But the episode, and the series overall, is not really about the murder, the killer, or some big reveal at the end of everything.

The entire mythology around the murders is an important part of the story. But when you break it down, the series is really an examination of two characters that have a yin-yang relationship to each other, and how the circumstances of the investigation affects both them and everyone around them over 17 years.

"Inbreeding is how we get championship horses." —Carl Gunter, former Louisiana Representative explaining his opposition to allowing abortion in cases of incest
"Now Betty, I have very important work to do. My ascension removes me from the disc in the loop – I'm near final stage. Some mornings, I can see the infernal plane."
—Errol Childress

"You haven't made flowers on me for maybe three weeks. It makes me sad is all."
—Betty Childress

  • Home Sweet Home: The opening to the episode, where we see the home life of the "spaghetti monster with green ears," shows us a Childress homestead with a nice mix of Nine Inch Nails video, something out of TLC's Hoarders, a good bit of incest, and quite possibly one of the most disturbing sex scenes in the history of HBO (and that's saying something for a network with all those Real Sex episodes). When Childress (Glenn Fleshler) began switching between accents after seeing James Mason in North By Northwest, at first I wondered if the show was setting him up as having dissociative identity disorder (aka multiple personalities). But I don't think that was it. He doesn't have a split personality. Childress is just your average psycho serial killer, with delusions of God-hood and daddy issues, that likes getting it on with his mentally challenged half-sister.
  • Just Following Orders: Last week, I mentioned that Marty's reaction to the videotape of Marie Fontenot's abuse made me think the tape is the show's equivalent to the role "The King in Yellow" plays in Robert W. Chambers short story collection. Geraci has the same reaction as Marty to the videotape (i.e. screaming in terror). Geraci also pleads his innocence, and that he didn't know anything about Fontenot's abuse. He was just following the orders of Sheriff Childress. The information that Sheriff Childress had falsified records and made the missing persons case go away was important, since when Marty and Rust realized why the "Spaghetti monster" had green ears, the association with the name Childress was essential in allowing for the final connection to Errol Childress to be made. The scene with Sheriff Geraci plays a lot like a similar scene in the final episode of Breaking Bad. But I enjoyed it a lot anyway, since I love the argument between McConaughey and the actor that plays Geraci (Michael Harney, who also plays Healy on Orange is the New Black).

"I strike you as more of a talker or a doer, Steve? L'chaim fatass."
—Rust Cohle

"That's my fucking car! Goddamn it! You motherfuckers! Fuck you!"
—Steve Geraci

  • What Makes Marty and Rust Tick: Marty and Rust are able to use a $250 tax write-off for home improvements to find the address of William Childress, Errol's father. Rust and Marty set up an "insurance policy," where if anything happens to them manila envelopes with the evidence will be mailed to various law enforcement agencies and the media. On the way to Childress' home, Marty and Rust argue about the issues surrounding the dissolution of their partnership in 2002. Marty is insulted by the idea that Rust held back in their fight. And Rust responds that he was irritated that Marty had, through his adulterous actions, put him in a position to be used by Maggie. That Marty threw away everything. But Rust says they all made choices that's responsible for their situations. What's interesting about the scene is that both men exhibit familiar parts of their personas. Marty filters the situation through macho bravado. He sees it as a test of his manhood, and how everything with Rust and Maggie affected it. Rust, on the other hand, treats the situation as either insignificant in the grand scheme of things, or something of an outgrowth with the "illusion" of human life.
"I never told you how to live your life, Marty."
—Rust Cohle

"No. No. No. You just sat in judgment."
—Marty Hart

"Look, as sentient meat, however illusory our identities are, we craft those identities by making value judgments. Everybody judges all the time. Now, you got a problem with that, you're living wrong."
—Rust Cohle

"What's scented meat?"
—Marty Hart

  • In the Land of Carcosa: When Rust and Marty make it to the Childress home, the situation parallels what happened when they confronted Reggie Ledoux. They have no backup, are separated while dealing with two individuals, Marty finds someone caged, and eventually the suspect gets their head blown off. The stalking of Childress by Rust was tense, since this is a show where Rust, Marty, or both characters could have been killed at any moment. And when the confrontation does occur, I thought both men were going to die, especially after Rust is stabbed in the gut and Marty takes a hammer to the chest. I spent a good part of the time trying to figure out what " Carcosa" was? Is it some sort of sewer system that they had redecorated Blair Witch style over the years? Or had the Childress/Tuttle families actually built that structure as a "temple" (with a skylight) to the Yellow King? (The "Carcosa" scenes were shot at Fort Macomb, about 45 minutes outside of New Orleans.)  Rust blows Errol's head off, which is a more righteous mirror of Marty blowing Reggie Ledoux's head off. This time Rust kills to defend Marty's life, where's Marty's killing of Ledoux was a short-sighted act of rage that had created a "debt" and prolonged this mystery.
From Denise Martin's interview with True Detective director Cary Fukunaga at Vulture:
There’s a lot of debate already about whether or not the finale settles the identity of the Yellow King — and whether it’s meant to be a person at all.

Fukunaga: I don’t necessarily think the final episode answered that, and I don’t think it was creator Nic Pizzolatto’s intention to answer that, even if people wanted it. It was more of an added layer to the reasons behind the killings. Rather than the Yellow King and the books about Carcosa and the mythology around that being the centerpiece for the finale, it was just another layer.

Another of Rust’s hallucinations, this one a cosmic blue vortex, arrives at the worst possible moment. How was it described to you and what were you going for?

Fukunaga: I don’t know if I could tell you what Nic originally had envisioned without getting in trouble. We landed on the spiral formation of the clouds as a wrapping-up of the symbology, or at least a book-ending of the symbology. I liked the idea that we could actually see Carcosa and black stars. If you look really closely, you can see black orbs floating in it. It was important to me that if we’re gonna talk about these things, let’s see them one more time before we finish.

"Come inside, little priest. To your right, little priest. Take the bride's path. This is Carcosa. You know what they did to me? Hmmm? What I will do to all the sons and daughters of man. You blessed Reggie ... Dewald ... Acolytes. Witnesses to my journey. Lovers. I am not ashamed. Come die with me, little priest."
—Errol Childress
  • Nature and Civilization: One theme people have read into the show has been ideas of man's relationship to nature. Rust, Marty, and even Childress and the cult posit a worldview that asserts either a dominance over nature, or man's insignificance to nature. Carcosa is created out of a structure that's being "swallowed up" by branches and leaves. The town Rust and Marty visit in the pilot episode is a fading "memory" that's dying. And most of the shots of Marty and Rust traveling from place to place in Louisiana show oil refineries and expressways, which are in some ways exhibits of man's reach.

  • How Things Change: Both men are saved when Detective Papania (Tory Kittles) comes through, and shows up at the Childress home with backup. The scenes at the hospital show how much these men have changed in the 17 years covered by the show. Marty finds peace with his ex-wife and family, but only after he allows his macho facade to fall. It's only after he breaks down in tears, and shows that everything is not ok, that he can find some peace. I thought it was significant that Marty takes Maggie's left hand, and we see the wedding ring of her new relationship. And for Rust, the experience of this case, and being near-death after his confrontation with Childress, gives him a "belief" in life, hope, and love. He lets go of his nihilism.
“There was a moment, I know, when I was under in the dark, that something … whatever I’d been reduced to, not even consciousness, just a vague awareness in the dark. I could feel my definitions fading. And beneath that darkness there was another kind—it was deeper—warm, like a substance. I could feel man, I knew, I knew my daughter waited for me, there. So clear. I could feel her. I could feel … I could feel the peace of my Pop, too. It was like I was part of everything that I have ever loved, and we were all, the three of us, just fading out. And all I had to do was let go, man. And I did. I said, ‘Darkness, yeah.’ and I disappeared. But I could still feel her love there. Even more than before. Nothing. Nothing but that love. And then I woke up.” (sobbing)
—Rust Cohle
  • Things Left Undone and Unsaid: Aspects of this mystery are not resolved. We never find out who else beyond Childress, Ledoux, and Dewall were involved, and how far the conspiracy extended. We also know from the news reports playing in Rust's hospital room that the Tuttles are at least influential enough to have the FBI and the attorney general publicly cover up their connections and involvement with the Childress family. Also, we never find out if anything bad was going on with Audrey. Although, in the Vulture interview I linked to above, True Detective director Cary Fukunaga says he never read abuse or a link to the conspiracy in Audrey's behavior. Instead, Fukunaga says the intent was to show the result of Marty's inattentiveness was a daughter who sought male attention from others. One suggestion I've read is that, even though each season will have a different story and different characters, what if each season connects in some way? Could next year's story have the new detectives having their case intersect with the Tuttles in some way?
"Tuttles, fucking men in the video, we didn't get 'em all."
—Rust Cohle

"Yeah, and we ain't gonna get 'em all. That ain't what kind of world this is, but we got ours."
—Marty Hart

  • The Battle of Light and Darkness: I love that this show, which had such dark and nihilistic moments, ends on an optimistic note. This may be a dark and vicious universe, but for one day Marty, Rust, and the "light" won. It also shows how far Rust has traveled in the 17 years from the murder of Dora Lange.
“I tell you Marty I been up in that room looking out those windows every night here just thinking, it’s just one story. The oldest.”
—Rust Cohle

“What’s that?”
—Marty Hart

“Light versus dark.”
—Rust Cohle

“Well, I know we ain’t in Alaska, but it appears to me that the dark has a lot more territory.”
—Marty Hart

“Yeah, you’re right about that.”
—Rust Cohle

(Rust insists that Marty help him leave the hospital, and Marty agrees. As they head to the car, Rust makes one final point to his former partner.)

“You’re looking at it wrong, the sky thing.”
—Rust Cohle

“How’s that?”
—Marty Hart

“Well, once there was only dark. You ask me, the light’s winning.”
—Rust Cohle

Overall, I thought this series was an amazing achievement, with brilliant writing from Pizzolatto, great visuals and direction from Cary Fukunaga, and amazing performances from McConaughey, Harrelson, and Michelle Monaghan. In the end, the murder of Dora Lange and all of the speculation as to what The King in Yellow is and what it means didn't really matter in the grand scheme of things. It was only part of the crucible by which these two detectives comment on life, have those views tested, and grow and change through the experience. Is life an endless repetition where we'll taste all the aluminum and ash over again in a meaningless flat circle? Or is it an existence where things are connected in light and darkness, where we can only have some form of peace when we acknowledge our ignorance? The show doesn't provide a definitive answer to those questions. But the journey of the show's characters in trying to make sense of hunches and flashes of insight about a case mirrors our stumbling around in life trying to make sense of the best and worst moments. There might be monsters waiting for us at the end of the dream, but the stars may be proof that we have a chance against the dark.
From Alan Sepinwall at Hitfix: Why end it that way? How big was the conspiracy? And what about season 2?
The structure of the series means you could have done anything with the ending, up to and including killing the two leads, because you get a clean slate with the next season. Why did you choose this particular way to end the story?

Nic Pizzolatto: This is a story that began with its ending in mind, that Cohle would be articulating, without sentimentality or illusion, an actual kind of optimism. That line, you ask me, the light's winning, that was one of the key pieces of dialogue that existed at the very beginning of the series' conception. For me as a storyteller, I want to follow the characters and the story through what they organically demand. And it would have been the easiest thing in the world to kill one or both of these guys. I even had an idea where something more mysterious happened to them, where they vanished into the unknown and Gilbough and Papania had to clean up the mess and nobody knows what happens to them. Or it could have gone full blown supernatural. But I think both of those things would have been easy, and they would have denied the sort of realist questions the show had been asking all along. To retreat to the supernatural, or to take the easy dramatic route of killing a character in order to achieve an emotional response from the audience, I thought would have been a disservice to the story. What was more interesting to me is that both these men are left in a place of deliverance, a place where even Cohle might be able to acknowledge the possibility of grace in the world. Because one way both men were alike in their failures was that neither man could admit the possibility of grace. I don't mean that in a religious sense. Where we leave Cohle, this man hasn't made a 180 change or anything like that. He's moved maybe 5 degrees on the meter, but the optimistic metaphor he makes at the end, it's not sentimental; it's purely based on physics. Considering what these characters had been through, it seemed hard to me to work out a way where they both live and they both exit the show to live better lives beyond the boundaries of these eight episodes. Now they are going to go on and live forever beyond the margins of the show, and our sense, at least, is they haven't changed in any black to white way, but there is a sense that they have been delivered from the heart of darkness. They did not avert their eyes, whatever their failings as men. And that when they exit, they are in a different place.

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Comment Preferences

    •  great write up (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Doctor RJ, Emmet

      i've read almost all of the recaps online and this one stands up to them.

      couple of points that i have picked up from other sources.

      The Yellow King = the video tape; the thing that is referenced throughout the story that drives people insane, but that the reader/viewer never sees

      the Theme of Story telling - the religious mythology vs Rusts nihilsm show competing "stories" of how people attempt to make sense of the world, i.e. religion vs science. the show itself offers a third, art.

  •  Did not see it (5+ / 0-)

    Thank you for the extremely thoughtful adn extended description.

    There is a literary reference, which viewers may already know but others may not.

    The King in Yellow is a collection of short stories, well over a century old, by Robert Chambers. The King in Yellow itself is a play that does not, so far as I know, actually exist, much like the Necronomicon of Abdul Alhazred. Carcosa on the shores of Lake Hali is the city in which iirc the King was said to reign.

    Restore the Fourth! Save America!

    by phillies on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:10:52 PM PDT

  •  One more outstanding TV series I'll never watch (5+ / 0-)

    There must be THOUSANDS of them.

    I'll stick to movies. But I appreciate the tip, and you obviously have very good taste in film art, Rim Job. Seriously.

    "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

    by DaddyO on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:11:57 PM PDT

  •  I gave up caring a long time ago. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Emmet

    The genre does not transfer well to eight hours spread across eight weeks. By design, a good American mystery calls for deep involvement and swift consumption enabled by a quick pace. There are exceptions, no doubt, but a second-rate Twin Peaks isn't one of them.

    "There is no room for injustice anywhere in the American mansion." Lyndon Johnson

    by pkgoode on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:18:51 PM PDT

  •  nice summary (15+ / 0-)

    it was a brilliantly made TV series.  everyone involved should be very proud of their work. Great TV.

    This is what other TV writers, directors, actors etc should aspire to.

    Next Up Game of Thrones, another brilliant series.

    HBO really puts the other networks to shame.  ( Showtime has a few good series too I must admit.)

  •  I love your tv diaries (12+ / 0-)

    And I definitely agree with your analysis of this show. The only thing I will add was that, once the final scene ended, I turned to my husband and said, "Oh. This wasn't a show about serial killers at all. It was about a guy coming to terms with the death of his daughter." And, obviously, Marty's issues with being able to face his issues were addressed as well, in a much more subtle way. Those final five minutes were just stunning. Direction, cinematography, writing, acting, everything.

    I lived and breathed all the many layers and symbolism this show had. But I think the final scene was what the writer had been shooting for. Character growth and some type of resolution of deep emotional issues for his two main characters. I feel kind of bad for the creator. This was his first season of his first show! How the hell can he achieve this kind of magic again?

    Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

    by moviemeister76 on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:23:08 PM PDT

  •  Vanilla envelopes? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Got a Grip, Doctor RJ, Emmet, tommymet

    LOL.  I think you meant "manilla."

  •  More, and better - Democrats? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Emmet

    I've been power-watching House of Cards, myself.

    Spoiler alert - The Vice President is not a very nice man.

    Pretty much stellar entertainment otherwise. Never underestimate Kevin Spacey's acting chops.

    Theater separates the men from the boyz.

    Dear future generations: Please accept our apologies, We were roaring drunk on petroleum -Kurt Vonnegut

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:27:03 PM PDT

  •  Great review! (11+ / 0-)

    Just finished watching the finale and thought it was perfect.  Searched for reviews and scanned a few.  Yours was, by far, the most insightful and well-written.  Thank you.
    The series was incredible.  Superb writing and acting; those two were amazing together.
    Difficult to absorb the crimes and the killers so I didn't.  Stayed enthralled with Rust and Marty, their dynamics and passion for their work, brilliant that we were shown the impact of several years.  HBO does well indeed.

  •  Great diary (7+ / 0-)

    I think this was a great show!  We need more like it than the reality junk on network.  I don't think having all the mysteries resolved matters; in essence its a story about the relationship between Rust and Marty.

    For another view, here's an article my son wrote right before the finale:

    Its a great one though I'm bias.

    Bad politicians are sent to Washington by good people who don't vote.

    by Renie57 on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:32:04 PM PDT

  •  As to what the physical Carosa location was (7+ / 0-)

    in the context of the narrative, it was mentioned more than once that the coast was a hideout for pirates before it was turned into plantations and I was assuming that the structure was referencing back to that.  It had that creepy, dead pirate/haunted maze quality that I've visualized when reading stories about pirates/ghost tales.  When I saw it I wondered if it was really an abandoned fort, as it resembles other forts I've seen and sometimes toured along various coasts and on some islands.  It was truly creepy.

    What an excellent show this was, I haven't enjoyed a show this much in a long time.  Really top notch acting, and the story was everything I was hoping it would be.  No disappointments here, it was great.

    "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

    by Got a Grip on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:36:33 PM PDT

  •  wonderful diary on an outstanding show (16+ / 0-)

    I loved True Detective, I loved the finale, and the interviews you included here really deepen my appreciation for the writer, director and show in general.  Two scenes at least in different episodes of the series are equal to anything I've ever seen in the movies in terms of action and suspense - the 10 minute long tracking scene of the attempted drug heist in the housing project with Rust essentially fighting for his life to get out with Ginger (Ep. 4 I think?) and the path Rust follows in the finale, into the "Carcosa" nightmare place - I was so tense, I could barely breathe for the whole 7-10 minutes that scene played out.  But the final scene with Marty and Rust simply brought me to tears - and that was the power of the two actors combined with the wonderful dialogue.  Truly memorable.

    I love movies, but for those of you who dismiss this - and other shows like the brilliant Breaking Bad and the granddaddy of cinematic television the Sopranos as "tv that you'll never watch" - you are missing the evolution of an art form.  Matthew McConaughey has evolved as an actor to a point I never thought he would arrive at - same goes for Woody Harrelson.  Both are now headlining movie stars - MM just won the Oscar, of course, and Harrelson plays a key role in the Hunger Games films - and the fact that they both wanted to do this on TV to me shows the maturation of the acting world in this country.  Britain has long had its top actors willing to do quality TV - think Judi Dench, among many, many others - and I think we will see more of that on this side of the pond as well.

    I loved your comments here as well, Doctor RJ - beautifully put.

    •  Oh I so agree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Emmet, Paragryne

      I am about the snootiest television watcher around. My husband pretty much makes me watch a new show first to see if I will like it before he agrees to watch anything with me, because I turn my nose up at a lot. But, man, lately television is showcasing better drama than anything I've ever seen. Even better than movies. Heck, I actually think True Detective feels more like reading a book than watching television. So much thought was put into it. The acting is better than most movies. And the writing. It's just breathtaking.

      As for McConaughey and Harrelson, McConaughey has genuinely surprised me. Sure, I always thought he was pretty and had charisma. But I never thought he could act the way he did in this show. Not in a million years.

      I've at least had a few years to realize that Harrelson has genuine acting talent. Did you see the film Out of the Furnace? I never thought a film that featured Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe, and Forest Whitaker would be virtually overshadowed by the powerhouse performance of Woody Harrelson. I was stunned he wasn't nominated for anything for it.

      Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

      by moviemeister76 on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 11:22:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks. I admit I'm reccing w/o reading 'cause (4+ / 0-)

    I haven't watched the last 2 episodes yet, but I do look forward to reading your thoughts once I've done so.

    Dance lightly upon the Earth, Sing her songs with wild abandon, Smile upon all forms of Life ...and be well.

    by LinSea on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:38:35 PM PDT

  •  My favorite lines.. (13+ / 0-)

    The scene took place in the hospital after the death of scar face.

    Rust was in and out of consciousness and Marty came by for a visit. They had a good give and take, and when Marty left he said, "I'll see you tomorrow." Rust not missing a beat responds, "why?"

    Those two lines were what the series was about. The murders were just a vessel to bring them together, but the interaction between the two and those around them was priceless.  

    I am in television mourning.

    ...the GOP seems perfectly willing to hold their breath until the whole country turns Blue.

    by tommy2tone on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:39:44 PM PDT

  •  Oboy. TeeVee. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Emmet

    I'm the plowman in the valley - with my face full of mud

    by labradog on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:40:43 PM PDT

  •  Great review,Doctor RJ. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Doctor RJ, geordie, dewtx, moviemeister76

    I was obsessed with this show from the second week.  This IS the golden age of TV.

    Geraci's anguish when the sniper shoots up his beloved car reminds me of the truck driver in Thelma And Louise screaming "You bitches from hell!"  I also liked Rust's suggestion that they disappear Geraci and the car both.

    And Errol's extremely gnarly homestead was a little like the feeling of the house where Voldemort's (Tom Riddle's) mother lived, in I think the sixth Harry Potter.

  •  I had to avert my eyes when he grabbed her boob (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    geordie, Doctor RJ, Emmet, moviemeister76

    I would rather watch my parents have sex then those two.  Yow!!  But I think it added to the flavor.  A fricassee of filial fornication.

  •  I thought the whole thing was (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Doctor RJ, geordie, Emmet, MoDem

    incredibly beautiful in the portrayal of poverty, decay, blight, exploitation of the settings. People doing what they needed to do to exist. So rich. While the settings Marty and Rust existed in, subsisted on, were sterile boxes of universalized consumerism.

    I inferred that Rust owned the bar and lived out back and the vet was the bartender.

    Matthew McConoughey has always been high on my list.........hey, he's pretty, really pretty.

  •  I spent a good thirty minutes of that show (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Doctor RJ, Emmet, moviemeister76

    really, really frightened.  I did have a problem with Childress, who we'd already seen several times speaking like a poorly educated local suddenly becoming some sort of mix of Hannibal Lechter and a Bond villain, somehow seeing Rust even though Rust can't see him, directing him to turn right, calling him "Little Priest," etc.
    But I enjoyed the series tremendously.  OutSTANDING acting, great writing, great cinematography, and tremendous art direction and set design.  I mean, how long did it take just to create the interior of the Childress house?  Amazing.

    Reading DailyKos is like getting the newspaper two weeks early. But without the lottery results.

    by jazzmaniac on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 08:37:59 PM PDT

  •  Different stories; different endings (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Doctor RJ, Emmet

    I think Polazzo interwove several stories and we get the three endings mentioned to a few of them:

    The explain everything ending:  The detectives hard work and clever conclusions find clues leading us to find out that the killer was the gardener.   (The Butler did it ending!)

    The twist ending:   Rust and Marty, for all their banter, betrayal, and horrible fights, turn out to be good friends!  (Guy talk: When some other guy who is your friend does something good, you tell them fuck you.)  Kohl, a pretty unhappy dude, actually lives and sees a little light in the universe.

    The unresolved ending:  How involved were the Tuttles involved in the grand conspiracy?  We've got bought sheriff Jiraci driving around in his maserati and rationalizing how he's actually a good guy (such a familiar theme!); Senator Tuttle quashes any familial involvement in the murders.  So some things are not resolved. Still, as Marty points out, the two men did pretty good, all things considered, so fuck you Kohl.      

    Lots of parallelism:  non-supersititious rational Kohl who has almost metaphysical powers; good old boy get along Marty who has a real violent streak.  Quite the couple, those two.  The weird subservient gardener who turns out to be huge and powerful in his own way; getting sexually excited by hearing the tale of how his grandfather raped his sister; spouting erudition in a shakesperian voice.  

    Great series.  Great acting, great stories, great photography, lots of great lines, bits of hidden humor.  My favorite humor was the Jiraci Marty lines;  Jiraci, "[I got word from my boss and accepted it/maybe I don't remember]  So don't ask me.  Just let's enjoy the day."  Marty: "I agree with you 150%.  Thing is.  I'm not gonna ask you. He is."  then, after Jiraci bitches, Marty: "Don't look at me.  I never could control him."

    “Everyone is ignorant, only on different subjects.” ― Will Rogers (Of course this also applies to me.)

    by MugWumpBlues on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 09:27:45 PM PDT

  •  Great show. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Doctor RJ, Emmet

    Thanks for doing all the work. We wondered where the final episode was filmed.

    "Remember, Republican economic policies quadrupled the debt before I took office and doubled it after I left. We simply can't afford to double-down on trickle-down." Bill Clinton

    by irate on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 01:08:19 AM PDT

  •  my thoughts (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Emmet, Doctor RJ

    I had sort of given up after the first three episodes, but then after all the buzz I watched the last 5 over the last week.  I really don't think I could actually do 8 hours at once even if I wanted to.  I thought the first 3 episodes were sorta slow, but it really found its feet after that.  Also I think watching the creator analysis after the shows left a poor taste in my mouth.  It always seems to make everything into intellectual masturbation instead of a communal art form meant to convey something.

    As to the last line when he apparently said the light is winning, I rewound that bit three or four times and couldn't make out what exactly he was saying.  Am I the only one that had this problem?  Seems kinda weird that they'd mumble the line the whole show has been building to.  Though I did get the impression that it was something optimistic.

    •  see parody at Soup with Joel McHale (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shaso

      Don't ask for link, just google it.

      WE must hang together or we will all hang separately. B.Franklin

      by ruthhmiller on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 01:26:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Awesome show (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a gilas girl

      My girlfriend & I gave up on it after the 3rd episode for the same reason you cited (we also thought Rust' ramblings were a little weird.)  Something drove me back to it for ep. 4 and I felt myself slowly getting hooked.  I tried to get her to come back to it without success (too many psycho killer type shows for her was her reason.)  The finale was so intense.  The visuals were outstanding.  I had a hard time, though, throughout the series understanding what they were saying sometimes, too much mumbling in my opinion.  Too bad MM won't be doing it again.  Will there be 2 new detectives in Season 2 or will Woody reprise his role with someone else?      

  •  More! More! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Doctor RJ

    Best series I've seen in a long time.

  •  The best drama series this season. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Doctor RJ

    A superb performance by Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey. If they and this show doesn't dominate the Emmys then something is terribly off kilter.

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