True Detective series 3 episode 6 review

True Detective series 3 episode 6

Still catching up? Read Steve’s review of episode 5 here.

Okay. Now we’re getting somewhere. The plot, threads, characters, suspects and clues all firmly in place, True Detective series 3 is really rolling now. After this week’s episode, the sixth of eight, we’re well and truly mired in the murky swamp of conspiracy, with the pieces of the macabre jigsaw finally starting to come together…

Endings have proved a little tricky for True Detective in the past. The climax of the much-lauded – and frankly superb – maiden outing was a little disappointing, given the impressive build-up it created. And the convoluted and messy ending to the convoluted and messy sophomore effort warrants no great scrutiny at all. But there’s been a real maturity and assurance about this third series which makes us confident that we’re in for a helluva ride with these next two episodes.

This week’s slice of True Detective, entitled ‘Hunters in the Dark’, sees us start and end with the murdered kids’ father, Tom Purcell. It’s 1990, the Woodard case has fallen apart and senior law enforcement are keen to find another fall guy. Luckily for them (or contrived by them, we’ll have to see…), a phone call comes in from one Julie Purcell – from her ‘pink castle’ – that shines a rather unpleasant light on Scoot McNairy’s character.

Could he have killed his boy? Or colluded with Brett Woodard? Anyone who witnessed Tom’s primal scream during his interrogation here will know right away that the man is innocent. Hays and West lent on him, but they both know he’s not really involved.

Tom is hiding something, though: he’s gay. The detectives discover that he had been seen ‘at the queer clubs’ and soon find ‘gay conversion therapy’ pamphlets from his local church at his house. Could this internal dilemma explain Tom’s erratic behaviour and failing marriage? It would certainly make sense.

Our two intrepid police types keep digging and find that the police officer that ‘found’ the seemingly planted rucksack at Brett Woodard’s house quit the force back in ’81, immediately taking up a plum Head of Security role over at the shady chicken place, Hoyt Foods. The duo verbally spar with the arrogant and unpleasant Harris James before a diner meet-up with Lucy Purcell’s drug-addicted stepbrother Dan O’Brien. He infers that Tom is innocent and that something much, much bigger is going on.

We’re treated to our first confirmation of a disturbing, wide-reaching and nefarious conspiracy at play here in what is a wonderfully tense and unsettling final scene. Tom overhears some rather careless police types discussing Roland and Wayne’s catch-up with O’Brien and decides to pay him a visit. A few punches and gun points later and Tom’s got the information out of him…

Drunk and raging, we watch him storm the fancy mansion of the boss of the Hoyt Foods company. The security guard allows Tom in and watches him creep about via CCTV. Soon we’re following Tom as he finds a series of creepy underground vaults, corridors and reinforced doors. One of the doors leads into a large pink room… The security guard approaches from behind. It’s Harris James. As a confused and frightened Tom Purcell blurts out ‘Julie?!’ we cut to black.

Child trafficking, elite perversions, cover-ups, police collusion and murder. It’s all coming together quite nicely now…

Our guess? We’re going to go out on a limb and say this: the girl was kidnapped and kept in the pink room for the Hoyt Foods boss’ amusement and/or ‘use’ by a local paedophile ring. Will was killed because he got in the way. The police are helping cover it up on instruction from the Governor/DA. Roland is in on it – at least by the 2015 timeline, anyhow. And another theory we have? Roland and Tom were romantically linked in some respect. We’ll have to see how close we are to the truth in a fortnight’s time.

Whatever is in store and however much of a resolution we may be in line for, it might not be enough for the perma-grimacing figure of Detective Wayne Hays. He’s a hard man to please. He even criticises God here…

“He rested on the seventh day. I always thought He should have put the extra day in. Instead of half-assing it.”

Tough crowd.

What did you make of True Detective series 3 episode 6? With just two instalments left, let us know your thoughts in the comments below…

Read Steve’s review of episode 7 here.

Steve Charnock

Steve Charnock is a freelance writer who writes news stories, features, articles, reviews and lists. But *always* forgets to write his mum a birthday card.

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