5 Thoughts on True Detective's Season Finale


The third season of True Detective has concluded. Here are five thoughts on one of the more controversial endings of recent television:

The note with Julie’s current address was key

It may have been overlooked in the closing minutes of the season, but when Wayne Hays’ son, Henry, glances at the address of where the answer to the mystery lies, it was was the biggest moment of the final episode. My read on this was that the reason he kept it was to give it to Elisa Montgomery who always seemed closer to a conclusion than West or Hays. As Amelia’s ghost said, the happy ending that exists was the story worth telling and I think Elisa will be the one to tell and finally bring the truth to the masses.

There were too many unanswered questions

Now, I am all for certain things being left unknown, but there was too much left unanswered in the third season of True Detective. Speaking of Elisa, who exactly was she? She seemed to have more answers when interviewing Hays than anyone else that was subject to the decades of clues. How did she know all this? It certainly felt like she had more importance than just a character used to tell the story.

It was teased throughout the season and even in the eighth and final episode, that something happened between Hays and his daughter, Rebecca. We saw them in a car in mysterious flashback, and every time he would ask Henry about her, his son seemed uncomfortable discussing it. When we finally see her in the present day, Hays asks if he lost her. She emotionally turns to saying she missed him right now. Something didn’t add up here. Other answers that were inconveniently left unknown include what happened to West’s life, how did Amelia die, did Amelia know what happened, and how much of Julie’s life did she know in 2015 when Hays meets her face-to-face?

Having Junius Watts reveal all was unnecessary

An older, guilty, defeated Junius Watts laid everything out from the unsolved Purcell case. But the scene was flawed and not needed. Most of what he said was highly indicated and having someone say what happened as opposed to it being shown always comes across as a mistake. It was obvious Isabel tried to replace her daughter with Julie and we saw the pink room that was used by Isabel and Watts. Not to mention the picture the camera focused on early in the season of her deceased daughter looking so much like Julie sort of gave it away.

Nic Pizzolatto, one of the smartest television writers, seemingly could have figured out a better way to tell Hays, West, and the viewers Will’s death was an accident, Julie was drugged, she escaped, and Isabel’s daughter’s name was Mary the name Julie began to go by.

True Detective is back

While it looks and sounds like the ending was not satisfying to most, it actually was one of the betters seasons of television of the past two years. It was very Nic Pizzolatto to mess with the audience so much and to leave us all wondering if any of this makes any sense. There are numerous conspiracies going on right now, and who knows if we are all missing something massive. The overall series brought us back to the brilliance of the first season.  It was spooky, suspenseful, sad, brilliant, and widely compelling. In the end, the viewer got what they needed in this season. It was great acting with the ideal feel that connected a storyline that will have us talking for years to come.

There should be a Season 4

After Hays and West met up again as old men, I thought mirroring season 1 where the present day detectives try and solve the case was a lack of new ideas. And that it should be the final season. But as the season progressed, it became different and Pizzolatto proved he was one of the more bizarre storytellers going. As long as they take nothing from the sophomore season, a fourth season projects to be better than most of the future non-Pizzolatto projects. I would like to see him step into a case that does not involve multiple timelines, but at least one more season is deserved and expected.