The best thing which True Detective did this season was returning to its roots. While the caliber of acting in the second season was strong, the departure from weaving in multiple timelines while sticking with a slightly macabre tone left that season flat. Nic Pizzaloto heard the criticism and shifted the show back towards what works. Part of what made legions of fans fall in love with the series was how messed up the leads were. Harrelson and McConaughey play a couple of tortured souls who lives were forever altered by the events of one fateful afternoon. While they both have a strong drive to help those in need, their lines of morality are blurry. Mix in a horrific crime to solve, top-notch action sequences, and the result was terrific television. If the first two episodes of the new season are any indication, then history could be repeating itself.
Season three centers around a case which has haunted detective Wayne Hays (Mahershala Ali) over the last 25 years. The case centers around the abduction of two Arkansas children while the narrative focuses on the ripple effect those events on the community and his personal life. Hays is asked to relive those moments once again during a television interview in 2015, but his memory has begun to fail him, and the events have begun to blur together.
Ali is stellar and is well worth anyone investing time in the new season. The Oscar winner gives and incredibly layered and haunting performance. Could he be the second Oscar winner in line for some award’s season love in 2019 for their work on True Detective? Part of what makes this series click is its chemistry. Ali’s partner is played by Stephen Dorff and is dynamic as well. Dorff’s character brings out a dark side in Hays which makes their moments on screen riveting. These detectives are not the best human beings but are driven to help those in distress. The pacing of the first two episodes was brisk, and the cinematography wonderfully caught the bleakness of their surroundings.
True Detective season three starts tonight 9 pm on HBO. These first two episodes are sure to quell the angst of some fans and hook in new ones.