True Detective Season 1, Episode 3 – The Locked Room

WARNING: Spoilers for True Detective Season 1, Episode 3

True detectiveEpisode 3 of the show slowed down a great deal and dealt with more character moments than the previous two episode. It had the first moment of disconnection for me with the show. The scene in question being Marty and his wife in the bedroom, talking about their marriage. It came after quite a lot of scenes about their personal life in the episode, and I was ready to get back to the case. I got a little frustrated and bored at that point.

Soon after, though, the pace picked up again. It seems to me like the fact that it’s a detective show is secondary to the exploration of the characters. Unlike other shows, where the case is the focus and the characters are secondary.

At the start of the episode, there was a great scene between Marty and Rust in the revival tent, where they’re talking about religion. It totally encompassed the problems with any argument on religion. Neither side is likely to see the other’s point of view.

The two types of people are dramatically different. Non-believers and religious people will never be able to agree, because one side believes in something with no evidence to it and the other will only believe in proof.

Marty and Rust clashed heads often during this episode, over pretty much every aspect of their lives. It seems like each encompasses the worst aspects of humanity for the other.

A particularly great scene was the one with Rust mowing Marty’s lawn. I saw on “What the Flick?” that they speculated that Rust would make a move on Marty’s girlfriend. Mowing his lawn was so much better. It’s exactly the right amount to step over that boundary. It reminds Marty of his obligations without Rust being guilty of anything much.

Marty, meanwhile, is caught up in jealous rage about his girlfriend finding someone else. He has no right to be jealous, of course, but that’s not the way the heart works. He wants to have his cake and eat it too. He asks Rust if a man can be in love with two women and Rust says that a man can’t love anyone. Another perfect line.

I’m frankly kind of jealous of the writers on this show. They’ve gotten both characters down perfectly. Both are full, whole people while being entirely distinct. Just like in Game of Thrones, both have their own motivations, but neither is evil.

The episode ended on a cliff-hanger, with a reveal of the bad-guy. Unfortunately, we now have to wait two weeks to find out what happens.


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