tv review – HBO’s True Detective, episode 1.6

We finally learned what caused the rift between Marty and Rust, and what led to Rustin quitting the force. While the answers given really weren’t that surprising, it were the nuances and details that were very interesting to watch. ‘Haunted Houses’ functioned mainly to prep us for the last two episodes and it gave us a clearer idea of where we are headed. Now that Cohle and Marty have left the interrogation room and are about to have a drink together, I’m sure things will get even more heated next week.

The only aspect that rang false to me tonight was the inclusion of the Beth character. Detective Hart ran into Beth, the young girl Rustin and Marty met at the brothel out in the bayou, while shopping and then and there it was obvious that Marty would hook up with her and have another girl on the side. That it had to be her felt a bit gimmicky, but it also gave food for thought: Hart seemed quite determined to walk into that specific place where he met her, and when he told Beth he had forgotten about her it felt a bit off. One can’t imagine the implementation of the Beth character is done without reason, but instead it has a huge sign haning over it. This train of thought opens up a can of worms: Is Beth the latest victim we caught a glimpse of back in episode 1? Would she fit the pattern of the other killings? And, well, is Marty Hart the Yellow King?

True Detective would sure have you believe so: the more we learn about Marty, the crazier and more dangerous he seems. ‘Haunted Houses’ opened with a terrifying scene: an intense Marty putting on his gloves to subsequently beat up the two young men who were caught performing sexual acts with his eldest daughter. Hart is a violent man, a lustful man, and a man who justifies everything to himself and thinks whatever he does is righteous. On the other hand he flies of the handle quite easily, which would have you believe he’s more of despicable and sad character than he is a smart serial killer psychopath.

Conjecture aside we learned that Marty and Rustin had a falling out because Marty’s wife Maggie learned of her husband’s adultery and had sex with Cohle as part of a revenge scheme. The resulting Rust and Mart parking lot fight coupled with the fact that Cohle’s ongoing efforts to actually find out who’s responsible for the disappearances and killings of women and children in the region were called to a halt, led to Rustin quitting the job. It gave us some insight in how Cohle became the drifter he’s now, a lonely man fighting the world to bring monsters to justice.

‘Haunted Houses’ was a return to form, a solid episode which moved along at a brisk pace, providing answers and, obviously, more questions. 8/10

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