True Detective Season Three Needs a Compelling Villain


On paper, the first two seasons of True Detective featured compelling victims that gave the respective detectives a difficult time. In practice, only about half of that is true. While The Yellow King and the Crow Man (or Osip, depending on your point of view) did indeed give the detectives of seasons one and two a run for their money, they both ended up fizzling out in the end. True Detective season three has to change that.

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It only goes so far to say that True Detective is a series about the characters and not necessarily the mystery that they’re trying to solve. That is the show that Nic Pizzolatto has set out to make, but it’s not the show that he has been able to craft so far. In season two, the Crow Man practically vanished after shooting Ray, only to reappear much later as seemingly been forgotten.

The eventual resolution of that, of a man who grew up to revile Caspere, is compelling. Or it would have been, if it weren’t packed into the finale that already had a lot of other moving partsTrue Detective has not yet been the best version of itself, and that’s because it has been trying to have it all. It’s difficult to be an eight episode series that’s about both character development and a central mystery. To recapture some of that elusive critical acclaim, True Detective season three needs to be able to follow through in ways that it has never been able to before.

And True Detective just can’t seem to pull it off.

It has so far been trying to have it all, but the focus needs to be tighter.

Perhaps it would be in the show’s best interest to finally embrace the villain in True Detective season three. Dial back the characters and focus on the mystery. True Detective has had some great characters that have transcend into pop culture nirvana, but nobody talks about the villains because they’re not worth the time at the end of the day.

True Detective season three needs to shake things up. It has so far been trying to have it all, but the focus needs to be tighter.

Maybe a guy in a wolf mask next time.

Next: True Detective and Twin Peaks get a more literal crossover.

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