My True Detective Season Recap

[N.B. I have never seen True Detective.]


Camera pans over a bayou or maybe a wooden shack. There’s a dead body inside the shack. Still warm.

WOODY HARRELSON: It’s incredible that they got us two mega stars to be in this TV show.

MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: All right all right all right all right.

HARRELSON: We also look alike.


[VOICEOVER: But which one of them will be — the TRUE detective?]

Roll credits.


Camera pans over a wooden shack or a diner. There’s a dead body still inside the shack, less warm. The diner has good grits.

HARRELSON: I am better at this job because I do not drink.

MCCONNAUGHEY: My name is the reaction of iron when put in the presence of oxygen and water.

HARRELSON: I do not know my name.

RUST: [Squints intently at the sun]

HARRELSON: What is it, Rust? You got a clue for that murder?

RUST: I’m gonna call you the Yellow King.

[VOICEOVER: But IS HE the Yellow King?]

Roll credits with whistling.


YELLOW KING: Time is a flat circle.

RUST: Time is a flat circle.

YELLOW KING: Time is a flat circle.

RUST: Time is a flat circle.

Roll credits.


Open on the eggshell blue interior of The Mystery Machine.

HARRELSON: What mysteries shall we solve today, Scooby?

SCOOBY DOO: Rrrrrrrrrruff!

RUST: Wait. What?

HARRELSON: Well, like, zoinks, Rust, I thought you knew.

RUST: Time is a flat circle. I grew a mustache, like before.

Roll credits.


The true detectives are at a bar. The scene looks like The Wire, when Bunk and McNulty would get blotto together, and Wendell Pierce is there in the shot because HBO also films Treme at the same time. This must mean that True Detective takes place in New Orleans — aha, I have become my own true detective.

RUST: (Talking to a woman) #ThisCouldBeUsButYouPlayin

HARRELSON: (Talking to a woman) #TrueDetectiveSeason2


RUST: That’s what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age.

WENDELL PIERCE: “Better to be lucky than to be good.” — Bunk, The Wire, Season 4

Roll ending credits to The Wire. I loved that show.


The scene opens on the interior of a green ’73 Crown Victoria parked in a Stop & Shop parking lot.

MARTY: The writer figured out my name.

RUST: It doesn’t matter, she also learned that we won’t be on the show anymore come season two.

MARTY: Sheeeettttt. What else does she know?

RUST: You tell me, you’re the detective.

MARTY: Come on, Rust, you know I’m not a true detective.

RUST: Yes, I know. I’m the one with the Oscar.

Roll credits.


Light classical guitar plays over the scene. Rust sits across from Marty as he devours a chicken-fried steak.

RUST: I don’t see how you could eat that.

MARTY: What, it’s delicious. Do you want some?

RUST: I’m a vegetarian now.

MARTY: Man is the cruelest animal.

RUST: Hey — got any updates on that murder?

MARTY: Not now, this is the steak part of the show.

Roll credits with steak-eating noises.


HBO Go is down. Time passes. HBO Go is back.

RUST: We made it.

MARTY: The murder is solved.

RUST: People aren’t happy.

MARTY: Rust, they’re never happy.

RUST: Who is the Yellow King?

MARTY: Oh shit we forgot to solve that one bit.

RUST: Good luck on your next job, Woody Harrelson.

MARTY: You too, Matth —

RUST: I don’t need it. I won an Oscar. Peace out, brother.

Roll credits.

Previously: The Freelancers’ Cookbook

Dayna Evans is a writer. Find her on Twitter here.