WARNING: spoilers below. Still catching up? Read Steve’s review of episode 6 here.
Fans of premium quality crime drama waited for this third series of True Detective with bated breath. It was a vital run for the much-debated and discussed HBO show, after all. 2014’s debut season was so good, it barely took a single episode to form a hardcore cult audience. But the second run disappointed and disenfranchised many fans. This follow-up was effectively make or break for Nic Pizzolatto’s mystery detective series…
If you’ve been watching and following our reviews, you’ll no doubt know that it’s been a resounding success. Mostly because it’s returned to so many of the themes, tropes and ideas of series 1. To some viewers it’s been a welcome return, to others it’s merely a safe, sensible decision, while some folk have called it a little lazy. At least now, after this penultimate episode, we know why the two series are so similar… The third series exists in the same universe as the first.
In an earlier episode, we’d already heard ‘True Criminals’ documentary filmmaker Elisa Montgomery (Sarah Gadon) mention the ‘crooked spiral’, a symbol used by the Tuttle Church-fronted paedophile network uncovered by Detectives Cohle and Hart in series 1. But many dismissed it as merely something of an Easter egg. But here we’re treated to a full-on linking of the cases…
‘In 2012, two former Louisiana state police stopped a serial killer associated with some kind of paedophile ring,” Montgomery tells Hays here. “Despite evidence of accomplices, the case never went wider. I think what happened to the Purcell children was connected to a similar group. I think one or both of their parents sold them off. Probably with the cousin’s help. That’s why they’re all gone. Vanished, killed, kept silent.’
‘These groups, they take runaways. Kids in orphanages. Outright kidnapping. And wider investigations are consistently curtailed. In both the Louisiana and Nebraska cases, high-level politicians and businessmen were implicated. People with the power to make these things go away.’
It all makes sense now… Well, at least some of it does, anyway.
Episode 7 saw the return – and then demise – of the smarmy Hoyt fixer and former cop Harris James. We last saw him looming over Tom Purcell as he discovered a pink room in the Hoyt mansion. He went on to kill Julie’s father and stage his suicide – something Wayne and Roland see through pretty quickly. Wayne then works out that the man killed Lucy too and convinces Roland to break bad with him and take Harris out ‘to the barn’ – their off-the-books interrogation room. The beating turns to murder and the two detectives end up digging a shallow grave. Can they keep that hushed up in 2015…?
We ended the episode with a cliffhanger in the 1990 timeline. It appears as though killing Harris James didn’t go unnoticed. In fact, it seems as though the chicken magnate and potentially the man behind the whole conspiracy, Mr Edward Hoyt knew exactly what happened. Almost immediately. As this week’s episode (‘The Final Country’) draws to a close, we get a showdown cliffhanger of sorts as Wayne goes to meet Hoyt and discuss ‘the events of last night’).
Our guess is that Hoyt admits to the crimes but uses Hays and West’s murder of Harris James against Hays, effectively blackmailing him into silence. His later dementia making him forget the deal and reopen the case for a second time…
Eagle-eared TV and film fans may have recognised the voice of Edward Hoyt as The Walking Dead and Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer’s Michael Rooker. We’ve yet to glimpse the man, but it’s an inspired piece of casting. We look forward to seeing how his shady chicken man can help put the case to bed…
Next week’s instalment is the eighth and final piece of the puzzle. There are plenty of questions that need answering across the hour too. Including (but not limited to):
● Who killed Will Purcell?
● What happened to Julie?
● What’s with the pink room?
● How does Edward Hoyt fit in?
● Who is Isabella exactly?
● Who is the one-eyed man?
● Where is Amelia?
● Are the Hoyt Foundation and the Tuttle Church connected?
● How far does the cover-up go?
● Will the dolls and crooked spirals be fully explained?
● Do Wayne and Roland get to the bottom of it all?
● If so, can solving the case bring either of them peace?
Here’s hoping we find out the answers to some if not most of those questions. But not all of them… Only tying everything up in a nice neat little bow wouldn’t be very True Detective now, would it?
What did you make of True Detective series 3 episode 7? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…