The Penultimate Letdown

True Detectives

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Hey Guys

Ok… I feel like I’m filling the King Bee role lately by shitting on most of what is occurring on this show. That isn’t actually a read of King Bee, or his negativity. In truth, I find such honest declaration about how most things are not good that most people think are, refreshing, but I usually find myself able to discover at least a few redeeming things from most “good” TV and most “good” movies. I have, as you know, struggled tremendously throughout this season to do that, though. Sure, the acting is great. Sure, some of the dialogue is top notch. Sure, it’s better than Big Bang Theory and Modern Family and all that other deficient, yet popular programs.

The problem, though, is that so much of this season has just not been what it could have been, should of been or has proved to be before. I feel like this is True Detective with its balls cut off… a neutered detective, if you will. The last few episodes have confirmed our theories, but they haven’t allowed for us to connect to things by showing us Isabel or Mr. June. I know season one denied us the Yellow King for a long time, but that built the tension of seeing and experiencing Carcosa alongside Rust and Marty. It had a narrative point. Unless the pink rooms and basement are a similar house of horrors, I can’t see this waiting mattering to the point that it justifies the denial.

Also, look at the murder this week of Harris James. Much like the massacre where Hays is forced to kill Woodard. Here, Roland is forced to kill James. I have a problem with that. It would have resonated much more with the idea of ghosts and regret that has been built through this season, if Harris had succumbed due to the beating Hays and West gave him. If they hadn’t been “forced” into killing him, but chose to do so. Then, we would have some meat to deal with… some good fucking human experience to explore. What we have is a wisp of guilt, which is lame.

Still, I suppose there are good parts. Like I said, it isn’t Big Bang Theory… thank God. I would follow you all pretty much anywhere on TV unless it involves a laugh track…

So, I thought I’d give a few interesting tidbits for you all to consider, now that my complaining is done. To change things up this week, I’ve put them in bullet format..

* The man with one eye is called Mr. June… interesting that Julie called herself Mary July… coincidence? * Wayne drops his daughter off at the beginning. Are we being set up that he lost her as yet another way to connect he and Tom Purcell? * I don’t recall you all talking about the clear influence for this season… Bill Clinton and Don Tyson of Tyson foods. There is a great 1994 New York Times article that explores the link between Don Tyson (who owns the Arkansas based Tyson foods) and the former governor of Arkansas Clinton. The article talks a lot about the sincere creep factor that Don Tyson created a mock oval office in his headquarters to match Clinton’s once the heavily Tyson backed Clinton was elected to the highest office in 1992. The mock room is a mark, a symbol, if you will about where the power of that office actually lives… perhaps, not with Clinton, but with those who had the money to back him and get him to the Presidency. The article also talks about how the money connection is especially true in Arkansas where you have extremely poor (think the Purcells) and the extremely wealthy (think the Hoyts). Thus, the elite control everything from who is elected to who is allowed to maintain a public life.

Clearly, Pizzalotto was inspired by this connection. It is obvious Hoyt is a caricature of Tyson, so my question is why hasn’t he done more exploring of that? It’s so much more interesting and has so many more possibilities that what we’ve been given this season. Like so much with S3, though, it’s just another missed opportunity.

In the end, I am hoping the finale can bring me back around, but, at the moment, I don’t love it. I will say I did love that one scene where Hays found himself in the room empty and without end. For me, that when Pizzalotto changed the most famous quote from the show. Time, for Hays, isn’t a flat circle, as it was for Rust. It is, instead, a maze. A maze filled with monsters of his own making… his guilt. His memory. His regret. And it is a labyrinth I fear our narrator will not find his way out of come the finale, nor is it a labyrinth that Pizzalotto has given us a clean or acceptable exit from ourselves, as viewers.

Keep up the great analysis. I’m sure you all, or at least King Bee, will tell me just how wrong I am. But I’m good with that :).

-Ash Schlafly

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