Tag Archives: True Detective

How ‘True Detective’ turned its fans into Internet detectives

truedetectivecrop.jpg (1250×625)

In Nic Pizzolatto’s novel Galveston, Roy Cady, a grizzled hired killer on the run, muses, “Something passed close to me then, a feeling or piece of knowledge, but I couldn’t quite get it. A sense of something I’d once known or felt, a memory that wouldn’t come into the light. I kept reaching, but I couldn’t grasp the thing.”

That’s what HBO’s True Detective has done to the Internet fandom that’s sprung up around it since debuting in January. Pizzolatto, who serves as the show’s creator and executive producer, wrote that same philosophical, existential dialogue for Matthew McConaughey’s stoic detective Rust Cohle, and his more amiable partner, Martin Hart, played by Woody Harrelson. There are now Tumblrs devoted to their conversations, and Cohle’s winding monologues have gotten the Ryan Gosling treatment.

But it goes beyond just Tumblr memes. True Detective, expertly directed by Cary Fukunaga, is the first show since perhaps Lost to have the Internet invested not just in the weekly storylines, but in the theories, missed details, red herrings, and meta clues hidden within. Pre-Internet, this same mania was wrought from Twin Peaks fandom.

It’s a show about two detectives’ obsession with a serial killer in rural Louisiana, and, in turn, it has stoked the Internet’s obsessionwith dissecting and interpreting every single detail of their story. It’s made us meta-detectives.

This obsessive fan-generated publicity, from people on Twitter andFacebook who often talk about the show in a sort of code, is impressive viral currency for HBO. Even scenes from the show have developed their own meta-fandom. Take the six-minute tracking shot from episode four, which fans dissected from every angle. (The scene was by tracked by Fukunaga and Adam Arkapaw, who was director of photography for another thriller worthy of obsession,Top of the Lake.)

The True Detective subreddit has become the Internet’s de facto water cooler, around which fans gather to analyze recursive theories and blink-and-you’ll-miss-it details. The show’s iconography has also seeped into the pop-culture marketplace. The “Big Hug Mug” featured in Cohle’s interrogation scenes recently sold for $85 on eBay.

And then there are the literary aspects of the show. Robert W. Chambers’ 1895 short story collection, The King in Yellow, wasconnected to True Detective’s many Easter eggs and references to a “Yellow King.” In episode three, Reggie Ledoux, Cohle and Hart’s suspect in the murder of prostitute Dora Lange, is shown in an image that’s now become a meme, wearing a gas mask and carrying a machete. In the book, there are several references to the “Pallid Mask.”

Due to meta-detectives’ desire for clues to the bigger text, The King in Yellow hit Amazon’s top 10 bestsellers list, a century after publication. And there’s been at least once instance of Hart and Cohle being shipped. Pizzolatto’s also done a nice job of keeping fans informed of the literary references.

There are other elements at work: The use of color in True Detective, and Pizzolatto’s other works, certainly gives it the aura of a visual novel. Rust Cohle’s name itself is two colors; in episode three, he mentions he experiences synesthesia. Blogs have picked apart Ledoux’s tattoos and what they mean. T Bone Burnett, the show’s musical director, has done an excellent job creating the mood: This Spotify playlist contains almost every song in the show so far.

This collection of True Detective fan art further proves the obsession with detail and interpretation. Last week, Mondo debuted a line of poster art inspired by the show, but Tumblr is home to several detailed works. Illustrator Clay Rodery thinks the show’s storytelling is what has engaged fans:

“Longform narratives are today’s media of choice.  And with a whodunnit you can rewatch it indefinitely, both while the season is still unfolding to pick up clues and piece the larger narrative together like the detectives, or when it’s finished to see everything you missed. Then, of course, there is the revelation of The King in Yellow inspiration. It’s funny: This gets dropped more-or-less mid-season, and everyone goes crazy, because suddenly there’s a wealth of supplementary material people can try to append.”

Nigel Evan Dennis helms a graphic art tribute to the show, which explores different theories via literal character sketches. (Spoilers.)

“I think an artist’s personality is inherently obsessive,” he says. “A bunch of collectors. So naturally, I dive in headfirst to things pretty intensely when it comes to creativity and art. The show lends itself to a lot of interpretation. It’s just such an engaging show. It’s easy to immerse yourself in it. You almost forget that you have when you’re in it.”

And much like Twin Peaks, it creeps up behind us and cleaves open our collective unconscious. We find ourselves thinking about dialogue and scenery days after, struggling to piece elements together so it makes sense. On the Internet, the meta-detectives piece those together on Twitter, Tumblr, Spotify, Facebook, and Reddit. Appropriately, it seems to be driving some of us a little mad.

This is the advantage of a weekly show: It lets fans dive into the curiosity gap. We keep reaching, trying to grasp the thing.

Advertisements

All of the 2015 Golden Globe nominations

Look alive, people — the Golden Globes are tonight. Unlike other awards shows, the Globes honor television and movies, which means there are a bevy of nominations to keep up with.

What you need to know:

Birdman leads the way in film with seven nods, followed by Boyhood and The Imitation Game with five a piece. In television, Fargo was nominated in four acting categories, as well as best miniseries. And HBO’s True Detective snagged four nominations. The Walking Dead, and Golden Globe stalwarts Mad Men, Modern Family and The Big Bang Theory were shut out.

Here’s the full list of nominees:

Best Motion Picture- Drama

Boyhood

Foxcatcher

The Imitation Game

Selma

The Theory of Everything

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama

Steve Carell, Foxcatcher

Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game

Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler

David Oyelowo, Selma

Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama

Jennifer Aniston, Cake

Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything

Julianne Moore, Still Alice

Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl

Reese Witherspoon, Wild

Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical

Birdman

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Into the Woods

Pride

St. Vincent

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical

Ralph Fiennes, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Michael Keaton, Birdman

Bill Murray, St. Vincent

Joaquin Phoenix, Inherent Vice

Christoph Waltz, Big Eyes

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy:

Amy Adams, Big Eyes

Emily Blunt, Into the Woods

Helen Mirren, The Hundred-Foot Journey

Julianne Moore, Maps to the Stars

Quvenzhané Wallis, Annie

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

Jessica Chastain, A Most Violent Year

Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game

Emma Stone, Birdman

Meryl Streep, Into The Woods

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

Robert Duvall, The Judge

Ethan Hawke, Boyhood

Edward Norton, Birdman

Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher

J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Best Director

Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Ava DuVernay, Selma

David Fincher, Gone Girl

Alejandro González Inñárritu, Birdman

Richard Linklater, Boyhood

Best Screenplay

Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl

Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman

Richard Linklater, Boyhood

Graham Moore, The Imitation Game

Best Foreign Language Film

Force Majeure Turist (Sweden)

Gett: The Trial of Viviane (Israel)

Ida (Poland/Denmark)

Leviathan (Russia)

Tangerines Madanriinid (Estonia)

Best Animated Feature Film

Big Hero 6

The Book of Life

The Boxtrolls

How to Train Your Dragon 2

The Lego Movie

Best Original Song

“Big Eyes,” Big Eyes

“Glory,” Selma

“Mercy Is,” Noah

“Opportunity,” Annie

Yellow Flicker Beat,” The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1

Best Original Score

Johann Johannsson, The Theory of Everything

Alexandre Desplat, The Imitation Game

Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, Gone Girl

Antonio Sanchez, Birdman

Hans Zimmer, Interstellar

Television

Best Television Series – Drama

The Affair

Game of Thrones

Downton Abbey

The Good Wife

House of Cards

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama

Clive Owen, The Knick

Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan

Kevin Spacey, House of Cards

James Spader, The Blacklist

Dominic West,The Affair

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama

Claire Danes, Homeland

Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder

Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife

Ruth Wilson, The Affair

Robin Wright, House of Cards

Best Television Series – Comedy

Girls

Jane the Virgin

Orange Is the New Black

Silicon Valley

Transparent

Best Performance by an Actor in Comedy Series

Louis CK, Louie

Don Cheadle, House of Lies

Ricky Gervais, Derek

William H. Macy, Shameless

Jefferey Tambor, Transparent

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy

Lena Dunham, Girls

Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep

Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin

Taylor Schilling, Orange Is the New Black

Best Performance by an Actress in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television:

Maggie Gyllenhaal, An Honorable Woman

Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Freak Show

Frances McDormand, Olive Kitteridge

Frances O’Connor: The Missing

Allison Tolman, Fargo

Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television

Martin Freeman, Fargo

Woody Harrelson, True Detective

Matthew McConaughey, True Detective

Mark Ruffalo, The Normal Heart

Billy Bob Thornton, Fargo

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

Uzo Aduba, Orange is the New Black

Kathy Bates, American Horror Story: Freak Show

Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey

Allison Janney, Mom

Michelle Monaghan, True Detective

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

Matt Bomer, Normal Heart

Alan Cumming, Good Wife

Colin Hanks, Fargo

Bill Murray, Olive Kitteridge

Jon Voight, Ray Donovan

Best Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television

Fargo

The Missing

The Normal Heart

Olive Kitteridge

True Detective

The awards will be presented January 11, 2015, in Beverly Hills.

Taylor Kitsch Confirms He’s on ‘True Detective’ Season 2

Taylor Kitsch Confirms He's on 'True Detective' Season 2

The actor says he’s “really excited” and has been prepping for the role, his first in almost a full year. HBO’s “True Detective” has locked down another of its detectives for Season 2.

As TheWrap previously reported, Taylor Kitsch had long been rumored for one of the lead roles, and now the actor himself has confirmed that he will indeed be part of the project.

“Yeah, I’m really excited. I’ve just been prepping,” the “Friday Night Lights” actor told AdWeek. “It’s been almost a full year since I’ve been on camera, so I’m itching, man. I’m overdue. You’ve just got to grind it out.”

Season 2 of “True Detective” will focus on three police officers and a career criminal navigating a web of conspiracy in the aftermath of a murder.

Other confirmed cast members thus far include Colin Farrell, who will play Ray Velcoro, a compromised detective whose allegiances are torn between his masters in a corrupt police department and the mobster who owns him; and Vince Vaughn, who will play Frank Semyon, a career criminal in danger of losing his empire when his move into legitimate enterprise is upended by the murder of a business partner.

In addition, Rachel McAdams is in talks for the female lead role. Justin Lin will direct the first two episodes of Season 2.

The eight episode hour-long drama is set to begin production later this fall in California.

“True Detective” is created and written by Nic Pizzolatto.

Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn lead ‘True Detective’ Season 2 cast

Vince Vaughn is going to be part of

Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn will lead the cast of “True Detective’s” second season, HBO confirmed Tuesday.

Farrell had already told the Irish newspaper The Sunday World he would be part of the series, but Vaughn’s name had only been rumor until HBO’s confirmation.

Colin Farrell confirms he’s joining ‘True Detective’

The network (which, like CNN, is owned by Time Warner) has remained tight-lipped about the rest of the casting — or, for that matter, things like plot details.

“Three police officers and a career criminal must navigate a web of conspiracy in the aftermath of a murder,” is how HBO’s press release described the story.

Farrell will play Ray Velcoro, “a compromised detective whose allegiances are torn between his masters in a corrupt police department and the mobster who owns him,” and Vaughn will star as Frank Semyon, “a career criminal in danger of losing his empire when his move into legitimate enterprise is upended by the murder of a business partner.”

Nic Pizzolatto, who created the show and wrote its hit first season, has penned the new season as well. He told the radio show “To the Best of Our Knowledge” that the new season is set in California, but not Los Angeles.

“We’re going to try to capture a certain psychosphere ambiance of the place, much like we did in Season 1,” he told the show.

Rumors have been rife that the topic will be a “Chinatown”-esquestory about resources, transportation and crime. Pizzolatto said it was about “hard women, bad men and the secret occult history of the United States transportation system.”

Justin Lin will direct the first two episodes.

‘True Detective’ Finale Review: Close to Perfection

Sunday’s finale of ‘True Detective’ was the perfect conclusion to a series that has come close to perfection. To stick around any longer would have broken the spell.
On Sunday night, the first season of HBO’s deep, dark crime drama True Detective came to a close. It wasn’t your average season finale. Usually with a show you love—Mad MenGame of Thrones, whatever—you know your favorite characters will be returning in a year or two. Their narrative will continue. ButTrue Detective is different. From the start, creator Nic Pizzolatto designed it as an anthology series. One story per season. Beginning, middle, and end.This means that, as of Sunday night, the tale of Rust Cohle, Marty Hart, and the 17-year search for the man who murdered Dora Lange is officially over. The Yellow King is a thing of the past. Carcosa is no more. And Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson won’t be coming back. The second season of True Detective will tell a different story—with different characters, different actors, and a different setting.

And I, for one, couldn’t be happier.

I thought Sunday’s finale (“Form and Void”) was the perfect conclusion to a series that has come as close to perfection over the course of its eight all-too-brief episodes as any I can remember. To stick around any longer—as much as I adore Rust and Marty and the whole Carcosa mystery—would have broken the spell. And to tie things up in any other way would have betrayed what the first season of True Detective was all about.

Before I explain why, let’s review what happened in “Form and Void.”

Or rather, let’s review what didn’t happen. (Warning: stop reading now if you haven’t seen the finale yet. The rest of this review will consist of nothing but spoilers.) We didn’t meet a tentacled Yellow King from another dimension. We didn’t step through some sort of mystical portal and enter the Lovecraftian land of Carcosa. We didn’t reenact the Vietnam War or discover that Marty’s father-in-law had raped Marty’s daughter. We didn’t find out that Marty was really the killer, or that Rust was really the killer, or that the guy at the banh mi place was really the killer. We didn’t fulfill the Internet’s wildest expectations.

Instead, we got exactly the finale that Pizzolatto had promised us all along: no alarms, no surprises—for the first three-quarters of the episode, at least. “I cannot think of anything more insulting as an audience than to go through eight weeks, eight hours with these people, and then to be told it was a lie—that what you were seeing wasn’t really what was happening,” he told me earlier this year. “The show’s not trying to outsmart you.”

And so Marty, on a hunch, searched through the canvassing photos that he and Rust had snapped in 1995 while investigating the Lange murder near Erath. He stumbled on a shot of a freshly painted green house. “Why green ears?” he asked his partner, referring to the police sketch of the so-called “spaghetti monster” who had chased a young girl through the woods decades back. “Maybe [the killer] painted that house,” Marty suggested. Before long, Rust and Marty had dug up the contractor’s name— Childress and Son. That led them to the Childress homestead, a decaying white clapboard building in the middle of the Louisiana swamp, which in turn led them to Errol Childress: the lawnmower man, the illicit grandson of Sam Tuttle, the man with the scars, the spaghetti monster, the killer.

Childress sure was creepy: married to his half-sister, who was apparently raped by his grandfather; surrounded by decrepit dolls; in the habit of referring to sex as “making flowers”; prone to adopting a James Mason accent for no discernible reason. Childress even kept his dead father Billy bound up and rotting in a nearby shack, Psycho-style. But after leading Rust into some sort of a brick building clearly designed by the same twig-loving decorator who had created all those devilcatchers, the spaghetti monster finally met his match. Rust was stabbed. Marty was hatcheted. Childress was shot in the head.

In short, our detectives got their man.

And that’s it. That’s all that “happened,” plot-wise, in “Form and Void.” But a lot more was going on—especially in the last 15 minutes of the episode.

As enjoyable as this sort of literary trainspotting can be, I also consider it window dressing.

I’m sure that the web will spend most of this week obsessing over the more supernatural elements of Sunday’s finale. What did the drawings on the side of Childress’s shack—an ascending figure with antlers surrounded by black stars and flowers—really mean? Why did Childress tell Rust to “take off [his] mask”? And what the heck did Rust see in the domed “Carcosa” throne room before Childress leapt from the shadows and stabbed him? Was it some sort of astronomical hallucination? Or was he “mainlining the secret truth of the universe” again?

True Detective

But as enjoyable as this sort of literary trainspotting can be, I also consider it window dressing. The true meaning of True Detective doesn’t have all that much to do with Robert Chambers or the stories he wrote way back in 1895. Instead, the true meaning of True Detective is about the power of storytelling itself.

I’ve advanced this theory before. But the final moments of “Form and Void”—the conversation between Rust and Marty outside the hospital where they’ve been recuperating after their bloody encounter with Childress—made the show’s intentions clearer than ever.

In the earliest episodes of True Detective, Pizzolatto established a clear dichotomy. On the one hand, there’s investigation—storytelling as a search for the truth. On the other hand, there’s religion—storytelling as an escape from the truth.

It’s no accident, for instance, that the religious task force led by the Rev. Billy Lee Tuttle swoops in during Episode 2 and tries to stymie Rust and Marty’s investigation (as I wrote last week). It’s no accident that when the case subsides, Marty joins Promise Keepers. It’s no accident that before she died, Dora Lange told her friends that she had been “going to church.” And finally it’s no accident, as we learned in Episode 7, that Tuttle’s Christian charter schools were feeders—and Tuttle’s ministry a cover story—for the pagan Yellow King-Carcosa cult that seems to be some sort of sadistic Tuttle family tradition.

Pizzolatto could have made the Tuttles a clan of psychopathic murderers. He didn’t. He made them a clan of psychopathic murderers who subscribe to a very specific theology: a theology that alludes, crucially, to The King in Yellow—an external narrative that is supposed to create insanity, or as Pizzolatto “prefer[s]” to put it, “deranged enlightenment,” which sounds a lot like a skeptic’s view of religion as a whole. In other words, both Christianity and “Carcosa” are stories. Stories people tell themselves to escape reality. Stories that “violate every law of the universe” (as Rust once put it).

Of course Christianity and the Carcosa cult aren’t the same thing. But take your “fairy tales” too far, Pizzolatto seems to be arguing, and you can wind up in some pretty sick places.

 

There is, however, an antidote.

Throughout True Detective, Pizzolatto has linked blindness—an unseeing state—to the victims of the Carcosa cult. Dora Lange was wearing a blindfold when she was discovered in a prayer position at the base of that tree. (““In order to effectively pray you’re going to have to ignore some very basic facts about the world,” Pizzolatto once told me. “In order to mean it.”) Marie Fontenot was wearing a blindfold on the gruesome videotape that Rust found in Billy Lee Tuttle’s safe. And even Errol Childress chimed in during Sunday’s finale. “It’s been weeks since I left my mark,” he said in his jaunty British accent. “Would that they had eyes to see.”

But when Rust and Marty once again partner up in Episode 7—when they once again became true detectives, or storytellers in search of the truth—Rust delivers a line that pits what they do against what storytellers like Errol Childress do.

“I won’t avert my eyes,” Rust says. “Not again.”

On True Detective, investigation—”looking for narrative [and] build[ing] a story, day after day,” in Marty’s words—is how you “see the light.” In the season’s final scene, Marty and Rust leave the hospital. They still bicker like brothers, but their bond is strong. In a rare moment of vulnerability, Rust tells Marty he “shouldn’t be here.” He says that when he was unconscious, he could sense “[his] definitions fading” in “the darkness”; he felt “nothing but” his dead daughter’s “love.” He wanted to let go, but then he woke up. He begins to weep.

Marty puts a hand on his partner’s shoulder and tries to comfort him. “Hey,” he says. “Didn’t you tell me one time … you used to make up stories about the stars?”

“Yeah, I was in Alaska,” Rust says. “I never watched a TV ’til I was 17. Wasn’t much to do there. So I’d look up at the stars and make up stories.”

Rust pauses for a moment. “I tell you, Marty,” he finally says. “I been in that room, looking out those windows, just thinking. It’s just one story. The oldest.”

“What’s that?” Marty asks.

“Light versus dark,” Rust says.

And that’s the power of storytelling. Sure, you can tell stories about black stars. You can even choose to believe them. But you can also tell stories, like Rust and Marty, that shed light on things. The great achievement of Season 1 of True Detective is that Pizzolatto, McConaughey, Harrelson, and director Cary Fukunaga have created a show about a subject this serious—the ways that narrative itself can generate both good and evil—that is also, somehow, a grand, intoxicating entertainment: brilliantly acted, beautifully directed, and never, ever dull.

Eventually, Marty responds. “I know we ain’t in Alaska,” he says. “But it appears to me the dark has a lot more territory.”

At first, Rust agrees. As it says in Genesis 1:2, “the earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep.” But then he reconsiders.

“You’re looking at it wrong,” he mutters. “The sky thing.”

“How’s that?” Marty replies.

“Well, once there was only dark,” Rust says. “You ask me, the light’s winning.”

The Sacrifical Landscape of True Detective

True Detective is a compelling show. People love the acting and are thrilled by the mystery. No arguments there. But two recent interviews with people who worked on it highlight another reason the show works: the petrochemical landscape of Louisiana. 

Here’s the show’s creator Nic Pizzolatto talking with Buzzfeed:

 I think True Detective is portraying a world where the weak (physically or economically) are lost, ground under by perfidious wheels that lie somewhere behind the visible, wheels powered by greed, perversity, and irrational belief systems, and these lost souls dwell on an exhausted frontier, a fractured coastline beleaguered by industrial pollution and detritus, slowly sinking into the Gulf of Mexico. There’s a sense here that the apocalypse already happened.

The apocalypse already happened here.

​This is a sacrificial landscape: It must die so that Los Angeles and New York and Iowa City can live. Environmental historian Brian Black coined that term to describe the very first American oil fields in eastern Pennsylvania. Fossil fuel production and refinement does something to a place, usually something sinister.

Consider how creative director Patrick Clair pitched the show’s (jaw dropping) opening credit sequence.

“I have great respect for the way the place and time of the events in the story echo and amplify the emotional lives of the characters that inhabit it. This link—the relationship between broken landscapes and broken people—has been central to all our thinking,” he wrote.

“This isn’t the zombie plague. This isn’t vampires and warlocks. The phrase that has been echoing in my head since our first discussions on the project is that we are witnessing a ‘personal apocalypse.'”

Then he presented this slide:

Two thoughts occur to me staring at this slide.

One, the internal division that Clair imagines for the human characters—that they are struggling to be good but failing—is equally true for the post-industrial ecosystems in the area.

They, too, want to be good and at times—as the camera pans up to follow a car down a highway—they are good. The trees and waterways are gorgeous, woven together by the light, topped with puffy clouds.

But just as often, the presence of life is constricting and scary, as in the roadside brothel canopied by dark trees. The landscape won’t let anyone leave.

But it is not a barren, dusty post-apocalypse like The Road. The fear here is pollution, and mutation, fates without the clean lines of death. Recall Cohle seeing the portentous murmuration of birds:

My second thought is that most sacrificial landscapes don’t have the grandeur of the Louisiana refinery terrain.

The Superfund sites of Silicon Valley sit below home improvement stores and strip clubs and rock climbing walls, near stucco-walled restaurants, along classic highways dotted with palm trees in a dry heat that doesn’t make anyone sweat. But they are there.

A Whole Foods gleams in Brooklyn, atop a former warren of factories along a toxic canal. Valleys become lakes. Deserts become cities. Plains become waving fields of nitrogen-enriched corn plants taller than a man. A golf course becomes habitat. Turkeys run wild among the buildings of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

It can be easy to forget that, so far as the original plant and animal inhabitants are concerned, everywhere people live is a fallen place. And that no one escapes being shaped, however subtly, by where they spend their days. Cohle, Hart, you, me. What’s seeping in from the plumes beneath us?

Our job, as I see it, is not to restore nature (whatever that might mean) to the places where we live, but to respect the sacrifice. We cannot make ecosystems whole, but we can offer refuge.

And if the thesis of True Detective is correct, that’s good for people, too.