TV Recap: True Detective, ‘After You’ve Gone’

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The Scene of the Crime (Episode Summary): Rust (Matthew McConaughey) and Marty (Woody Harrelson) have a beer at a local dive and Rust asks for Marty’s help to solve the mystery of the serial killings. Marty reluctantly agrees to hear Rust out, still wary that his old partner might be the killer. However, after Rust shows Marty the tape of the ritualistic rape and torture of a young girl perpetrated by the men who are actually responsible, Marty, fighting back tears, agrees to help Rust. The two set up shop in Marty’s detective agency office where Marty uses his people skills and his knack for following the paper trail to locate a number of people who can point them in the right direction. The direction gets them extremely close to the Yellow King…

The Lead Investigator (Favorite Performance): It’s splitting hairs at this point, but we’re giving this one to Harrelson. Tonight, he showed us a different side of Marty Hart — he’s a man who cares. Before it was about closing cases, getting loaded and banging chicks. Now, he realizes there’s a higher purpose for him, he must bring these men to justice. He realizes his own failures as a father and protector and must do something to bring the men who tortured and rape all these children to justice. He also showed off Hart’s more charismatic side. We kinda forget people actually really like Marty as we’ve just seen his surly and lecherous side throughout the series, so it was great to see him use his Southern charm as a way to manipulate his former colleagues and find the truth.

They Could’ve Spared Us These Gory Details: The scene where Marty opens the microwave to see the charred remains of an infant that a meth addict tried to “dry out” was pretty terrible.

The Devil in the Details (The Little Thing You Loved): Lots of great little moments tonight, but the ending where Det. Maynard Gilbough (Michael Potts) and Det. Thomas Papania (Tory Kittles) ask for directions…it leads us down a very, very interesting road.

The Debriefing (Thoughts on the Episode): It pained me to skip this episode to watch The Oscars but, hey it was nice to see the “McConaissance” roll on. “After You’ve Gone” is an absolutely amazing set-up for the season finale. We finally got some major clues as to the bigger picture questions that we’ve been asking all season — what’s with the antlers? the wooden structures? the spaghetti monster? We get these clues because for the first time it seems, Cohle and Hart are on the same page, confidently working together. Yet, there was an air of distrust that we the audience had for both these men throughout the episode. Could we have been fooled and either one of them be in on the conspiracy. It’d be far-fetched for Cohle to be involved in it, but he is insane to a certain degree, maybe he’s a new killer? Then there’s Hart — a good ol’ boy who found religion, could he be protecting the state police or even worse, The Tuttles? Oh, this was such a great episode, I am chomping at the bit to see this finale. This series has not disappointed since it’s amazing start, one can only imagine how great the finale will be.

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Bill Bodkin is the owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, however, he is the proud father of a beautiful daughter, Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site's podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites

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