by Travis Mateer
Can you trust the Sheriff? What about the Governor? Why was the task-force created? And what could an alleged man of God be hiding?
If you want answers, a show like True Detective makes it easy: just binge-watch the show and you’ll get your answers by the end of it. Or will you?
This “buddy cop” series launched its inaugural season in 2014 with two detectives who are anything but buddies. Woody Harrelson’s “Marty” Hart is the shit-heel company man who tries to tolerate his new partner, “Rust” Cohle, played by Matthew McConaughey. The opening case becomes the expected rabbit hole that swallows our deeply flawed protagonists as they come to terms with the extent of the depravity and corruption they’re up against.
Expect spoilers as I describe the narrative elements resonating with me like a fucking fog horn. For example, Rust questions his sanity as he starts to see the invisible tentacles of protection this killer seems to have because, he finally realizes, the tentacles are actually familial branches that go to the top of the religious/political power structure of Louisiana.
Rust also meets significant resistance within his own department as he tries selling the idea that the murder case is the work of a serial killer who has killed before. Because rural counties have limited resources to investigate this kind of stuff, dontchya know!
Detectives with ladder-climbing aspirations, or hopes for financial security, or even personal safety, won’t be inclined to see past individual cases to the culture of death and domination that permeates our hierarchal power structures, which go far beyond the crackhead-crimes of President Biden’s son, Hunter.
But evidence of larger networks, and how they operate, are out there in plain sight, like the tattoo of the Finger Lakes on Hunter Biden’s back.
Am I just being a CRAZY “conspiracy theorist” when I combine odd data points like this with other cultural artifacts, like Jim Carrey’s strange cameo on The Office?
Getting back to True Detective, the scope of what Rust and Marty are dealing with does, eventually, come into focus, and the questions are answered: no, you can’t trust the Sheriff, the Governor is involved, the task-force was created to control the direction of the investigation AWAY from the real perpetrator, and the man of God is hiding a video tape, which Rust finds through extra-judicial means and uses to convince Marty to join him in finishing their unfinished business.
The success of the first season (which has so far been unmatched by the two subsequent seasons) comes from grappling with the taboo subject of ORGANIZED evil reaching its tentacles into the upper echelons of government and religion through family ties. The serial killer, who is brought down in the end, is NOT shown in isolation from society, but part of an unseen power structure that operates within it.
This Sunday’s Week in Review will more than likely expand on the societal placement of the serial killer in our midst with whatever book, or books, I’ll be reading from. I have a few in mind.
Thanks for reading!