True Detective: The Big Never
January 21, 2019 3:44 PM - Season 3, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Hays recalls his early romance with Amelia, as well as cracks in their relationship that surfaced after they married; ten years after the Purcell crimes, new evidence emerges, giving Hays a second chance to vindicate himself and the investigation.
posted by fleacircus (18 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The two estranged partners coming back together for the inquisition years later is distractingly close to Season 1. I'm also assuming that the burnout kids are probably the brother's D&D partners, which will land them in a heap of shit soon.
posted by codacorolla at 4:35 PM on January 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

If the key clue turns out to be a child’s crayon drawing again (a la the green-eared spaghetti monster), I’ll be disappointed.
posted by good in a vacuum at 10:31 PM on January 21, 2019

I don't really care if it is exactly like season 1. Season 1 was soooo good I'm happy to repeat it.
posted by LizBoBiz at 11:45 PM on January 21, 2019 [4 favorites]

They're getting the band back together! That was a lot of slow moodiness for not very much action, but that's fine with me because I'm watching it for unhappy detectives detecting. The only part that didn't work for me was the chat with his late wife, mostly because it was not as profound as it wanted to be and it reminded me of the worst bit in S2. Speaking of his wife, I like that their relationship feels real, with the switch between falling in love to a relationship with a lot of history (good and bad).
posted by betweenthebars at 7:14 AM on January 22, 2019

Yeah, it's not ideal, but if this show is just a retread of S1 then I think that's perfectly fine. I'm a huge fan of the genre, so it doesn't take a whole lot to get me on board, but I guess with the 'brand' I was also hoping for a little more.
posted by codacorolla at 10:11 AM on January 22, 2019 [2 favorites]

It doesn't feel like S1 that much to me because West and Hays have almost no chemistry at all, whereas S1 got a lot of mileage out of Harrelson's reactions to McConaughey's crypto-babble. Harrelson is pretty good at that kind of "wtf are you even saying" reaction shot, and it help lance the pretension.

In S3 it's like Cohle and Hart have been smooshed together into Hays. He's cynical and cryptic, he's a loner and a family man. There's not much left for West to be, so he's kind of a perfect pal. There's no tension or interest for me there. Amelia has kind of been bumped up into the Hart role, I guess. She's the other true detective I spose.

Random tiny nitpicks:
- Doubling cube sure whatever, but a couple of those dice were anachronistic!!!!
- They were just parked at a weird angle to the Walgreens store like that? They were there why? This is less a nitpick and more a genuine question.
- I kinda doubt there's any situation in which fingerprints from some random shelf at a Walgreens in nowheresville are going to get taken and processed and all that. Clearly everything about Walgreens bothers and annoys me, just like RL.
posted by fleacircus at 4:50 PM on January 22, 2019 [4 favorites]

I like the walgreens parking lot scene. It really solidified that their relationship is built on the foundation of this case. Which leads to tension later on when Hays wants to forget and Amelia wants to dive in.
posted by FirstMateKate at 6:45 AM on January 23, 2019 [1 favorite]

In S3 it's like Cohle and Hart have been smooshed together into Hays. He's cynical and cryptic, he's a loner and a family man.

Except he isn't an edgelord intellectual like Cohle, nor as truly narcissistic as Hart. I think he's an interesting character because he telegraphs that he really doesn't see much value in intellectualizing, as demonstrated in his interpretation of the poem he discusses with Amelia, but he's as emotionally foreclosed as you'd expect from a subject of traditional masculinity. He seems to operate more on instinct or intuition, which he chooses not to examine too closely. He seems uncomfortable with himself, which manifests as self-isolating, but without either the self-destructiveness or bitterness that seem to have characterized both Rust & Cohle. [Though I suppose there's space for that aspect of his character to still come out. I suspect his estrangement from Becca has something to do with either a history of attempting to "protect" (control) her, or an inability to maintain emotional connections, which may belie self-destructive tendencies.]

To a certain extent, he's got to be the brooding loner obsessed with getting to the bottom of the case that this genre demands as a protagonist, but he's not the overthinking type, nor the hedonistic self-immolator.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 7:41 AM on January 23, 2019 [5 favorites]

fleacircus: They were just parked at a weird angle to the Walgreens store like that? They were there why? This is less a nitpick and more a genuine question.

This show seems to set up a lot of shots for just the look of them. It's like Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, except both of those shows frame scenes for a reason. So, applying my BB/BCS-type logic to that scene, Hays and Amelia were "parked" in a position in their relationship that was not any one "defined space" -- Amelia tried to bring Hays back to them and their relationship, while Hays was fixated on the case to the point of ignoring the fact that his wife is there with him, alone.

I'm also assuming that the burnout kids are probably the brother's D&D partners

I feel like something will come back to them, but that feels like a forced fit to me. The upscale brown sedan feels like something they're pushing now, something that Hays overlooked (or pushed aside?) until now -- the tire tracks, and maybe the focus on Mr. Hoyt (out on a safari*)? The car was noted as something that didn't belong in that neighborhood, so it's not a worker from Hoyt. But how would he have come in contact with the Purcell kids?

Is it something like TD2, where there is some larger cover-up? Did West convince Hays to let some clues slide, or hide them, at the suggestion of higher ups, which got West promoted to Lieutenant? Hays, being black (and maybe asking the "wrong" questions) gets stuck with some menial desk work?

Question on the episode: what was Brett Woodard carrying? He carried it with both arms, not like a bag with weapons (which I assume you'd carry by a handle), but more like ... a body?
posted by filthy light thief at 9:22 AM on January 23, 2019 [3 favorites]

I'm here for the cryptic weirdness and puzzle boxes and clues that may or may not turn out to matter. I'm sure I'll be disappointed by the eventual resolution, but it's really nice to be able to just chew on a mystery narrative for a few weeks and not have the means to spoil it for myself hovering a few clicks away.
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:23 PM on January 23, 2019 [3 favorites]

The way Woodard was carrying the bag was odd, and I wonder if it was done intentionally to make the audience wonder if it might be a body, specifically a child's body.

But the context of his previous scene points to a bag full of weapons. Or maybe he's decided to leave town after he was threatened, and the bag is either full of money he's made from selling the stuff he finds, or personal mementos that he doesn't want to leave behind (e.g. stuff related to his kids, or his war service)?
posted by good in a vacuum at 4:55 PM on January 23, 2019 [1 favorite]

Also, a couple of days ago a Reddit user posted this pretty convincing fan theory of what might be going on this season. Which you may not want to read if you prefer to puzzle away at it yourself.
posted by good in a vacuum at 5:00 PM on January 23, 2019 [2 favorites]



naw, j/k. I love fan theories! I have missed them so! this redditor is probably on to something.
posted by prize bull octorok at 5:13 PM on January 23, 2019

Fleacircus, they were doing a stakeout to see if Julie was a customer and might come back. Although I can’t explain the parking. I feel like any customer who saw that would be sketched out and not go in.

Since the high school kids are clearly drawn on the West Memphis 3 and Satanic Panic, they’ve got to end up as D and D partners.
posted by loriginedumonde at 7:53 PM on January 23, 2019 [3 favorites]

Does Old West still exist in Old Hays's era?
posted by asperity at 11:23 AM on January 25, 2019

I'm pretty sure Old West has not been shown, and I'm fairly sure that no other characters have indicated whether he's alive or dead . Although I could have missed it.
posted by good in a vacuum at 3:18 PM on January 26, 2019

That is a pretty good fan theory.
posted by fleacircus at 11:35 PM on January 27, 2019

Exactly, I kept thinking if they were watching the Walgreens to see who is coming and going, they look pretty goddamned suspicious parking all over the lot like that.
posted by fiercecupcake at 3:07 PM on January 29, 2019

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