True Detective Still Has a Problem with Endings


Not too long ago, we took a look at different setting ideas for True Detective season three. This was sparked by a comment from Timothy V. Murphy, saying that season three may shoot in Europe. A change of location would be an easy (relatively) way to revitalize True Detective. There are other ways to fix up True Detective, but none of them are as simple.

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So let’s talk about one that’s difficult. Let’s talk about endings.

True Detective’s first outing was a strong season of television that went toe-to-toe with FX’s Fargo. Up until the end, that is. The end of the first season had some serious problems that included an ultimately uninteresting villain and a sappy ending that betrayed much of what True Detective was about. Season two, unfortunately, continued that trend to some extent.

Although we enjoyed the True Detective finale, it veered off course in several spots. Again, we come back to the issue of the villain/mystery, in this case the Crow Man. A plot point that had been forgotten for much of the season reared its head again, just long enough for it to get neatly wrapped up. The very end, which featured Jordan and Ani on the run and ready to spill the beans on Vinci’s criminal underbelly, felt forced.

It doesn’t feel genuine, it feels like easy crowd pleasing.

Perhaps you’re supposed to feel a strong sense of female power and bonding, as the female characters are the only ones to survive. But it feels too planned out, too careful. Almost as if it was written in direct reaction to the misogynist controversy from season one. It doesn’t feel genuine, it feels like easy crowd pleasing.

We’ve been saying for a long time that Nic Pizzolatto needs more writers working on True Detective. His own vision tends to be too singular which creates a mess for all of his juggling storylines. With two seasons down so far, it’s safe to say that it’s not just a fluke. Pizzolatto has a legitimate issue with finishing his stories.

We’re at the point now where we’re actually expecting True Detective season three to not have a fully satisfying conclusion, and that’s a shame. With two seasons under his belt, hopefully Pizzolatto has learned some lessons. It’s just another game of wait and see.

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