Article 4A7TK True Detective’s stellar third season will restore your faith in the series

True Detective’s stellar third season will restore your faith in the series

by
Jennifer Ouellette
from Ars Technica on (#4A7TK)
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Enlarge / "Did you think you could just go on and never once have to look back?" An elderly Wayne Hays (Mahershala Ali) has to reckon with his dark past in season 3 of True Detective. (credit: YouTube/HBO)

HBO's True Detective was a pop-culture sensation when it debuted in 2014, but its sophomore outing sadly had none of the original's surreal magic. So we were pleased to discover season 3 had returned to form, mixing elements of noir and procedural drama to weave a haunting tale of fractured time and memory. It's the best installment yet in the anthology series.

(Mild spoilers below.)

Created by novelist Nic Pizzolatto, True Detective has always fostered a very literary, philosophical tone, falling very much into the "slow burn" category of prestige TV. When it works, it's brilliant. Season 1 was set in the Louisiana Bayou, as Detective Rustin "Rust" Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) and his partner Detective Martin "Marty" Hart (Woody Harrelson) tracked down a twisted serial killer with a fondness for leaving weird twig sculptures in the woods. The spooky setting and strong chemistry between the lead actors pretty much ensured its success with viewers and critics alike.

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