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And the best thing is, it's only eight episodes long, so they don't have time to fuck it up and have Rust become a lumberjack or something.

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Not as great as the last few weeks, but got damn does this show have the final scene/cliffhanger down to a science.  Marty frantically loading his gun before following Rust was intense.

 

Maggie lying to the detectives was also a great moment.  She had to know about Marty's violent tendencies when she decided to fuck Rust instead of random bar dude, right?  She was pretty much begging Marty to go get his ass kicked.

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Yeah, it wasn't a bad episode by any means, but I was definitely expecting a lot more after the last two episodes. Still extremely pumped for next week though.

 

Cohle telling the mom to kill herself was amazing...

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Marty loading his gun seemed to me like "this is gonna be heavy, I might have to use it" rather than "Cohle might have to get put down", though that seemed to be what they inferred. They both stepped away from the interrogation, they both have nothing left to do, Marty will be his wingman on this one again. That's what I think, anyway. Who knows what they throw at us next ep. I have to say, Michelle Monaghan is amazing in this, her pokerface in front of the detectives was epic.

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Some of these shit critics are too busy complaining about the one dimensional female characters to even notice the sneaky great Michelle Monaghan performance.  It's not like it's just this episode.  She has been fantastic all season.

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To say this show has one-dimensional female characters is like saying it has one-dimensional male characters. They might be in the periphery, but they are the focus. Without them nothing happens. And all of them have their own arcs even if they are less focused on than the leads. 

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To say this show has one-dimensional female characters is like saying it has one-dimensional male characters. They might be in the periphery, but they are the focus. Without them nothing happens. And all of them have their own arcs even if they are less focused on than the leads. 

I respectfully disagree, every single woman on this show has only been there to be fucked by one of the two leads or fucked over by the world as a whole.  It just seems like they wrote them as afterthoughts.  With that said, if you are just getting women to be on screen long enough to do a nude scene, they did some really good casting.  Marty Hart would be the number one candidate for TV playa of the year, if he wasn't such a simp.

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Yeah, I'm kinda in the middle on the women issue. On one hand, it was nice to see Maggie actually take some agency in her life, but, on the other, I wouldn't describe what transpired last night as anything resembling an "arc." Arc implies a logical progression, and I don't think that was there for her. Her transformation from sullen, put-upon wife to vengeful harpy was completely out of the blue and didn't really follow from what we had learned about the character in the preceding episodes. I could totally buy Maggie stepping out on Marty with the random at the bar. I do not for one second buy Maggie maliciously entrapping Rust solely with the intent to tell Marty and go scorched Earth, not only on their marriage, but Marty and Rust's partnership, too. It simply wasn't a character-driven action at all, it was a plot-driven action - it happened because the story required Marty and Rust to part ways and she was the most convenient means to that end.

Monaghan did a nice job with it, and this was the first time all season where you could understand what might have drawn her to the part aside from a paycheck, but the writing didn't work for me.

The fight was awesome, though. Cary Fukunaga continues to impress in surprising ways. I could feel the impact of Rust's back hitting the concrete on the spear and then Marty flying into the back of the truck.

All in all though, I think this episode was another clear example of how much the show struggles when it focuses on the investigation but comes alive when the focus is on action and conflict between Marty and Rust.

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All in all though, I think this episode was another clear example of how much the show struggles when it focuses on the investigation but comes alive when the focus is on action and conflict between Marty and Rust.

I disagree, I thought the scenes of Rust talking to the shotgun wielding crazy dude on the boat, with the drunk pastor, and Tuttle were really well done.  The shotgun guy reluctantly pouring out his heart before telling rust to leave because he didn't want to be arrested effectively showed how the case has destroyed families.  The Drunk pastor showed how basically everyone in authority has ignored what is going on with all of the missing children.  Tuttle's thousand yard stare after he realized why Rust was there was such a subtle shift in tone that you realize that this dude is pure evil.  The case which is almost constantly on the back burner has to use those small effective scenes in order to make sense and I think they've done it well.

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I don't give a shit about how women are being treated on the show.

 

I just want to watch good fucking TV. This argument is the ultimate in "let's complain about a compelling, well-written piece of art because we are cynical fucks who just can't like something because it's good" thinking.

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My favorite moment of this episode was Marty going to confront Rust, stopping, and putting his gun in the drawer, as in to make sure he didn't go to far and kill him.  Then he got ready to fight, and they beat the hell out of each other. 

 

Are women (and, actually, the men other than the two leads) written one-dimensionally?  Lord yes.  Are the women mostly just there to be fucked or victimized?  Again, yes.  Would it be nice if that wasn't the case?  Sure.  Is it preventing the show from being incredibly compelling?  Fuck no.

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After rewatching the last episode again, I've come to the conclusion that Maggie isn't really a victim. She realized that Marty is going to fuck other women, and she couldn't do a damn thing about it. The "taking the kids to my parents' house" move didn't work the first time, and he would woo himself back into the picture anyway. She admitted she loved the slimeball version of him over the cornball I Love You and now have to be extra careful hiding my affairs version of Marty.

 

As far her screwing Rust, I am glad they went in a different direction than Breaking Bad did with the "I.F.T." ep. Their home life was already messed up so the worst thing she could do is demolish his work life. It seemed like only Rust was going to get the hammer laid down on him for opening up old missing persons cases, but taking away the guy who probably (as hinted in the show) did all the heavy work made Marty vulnerable too. That seems more plot driven than Maggie, the daughters, and the side pieces, but it makes sense in the end. Maggie in the interview found a way to make herself not look like a whorish jezebel so she accomplished her goal.

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I don't give a shit about how women are being treated on the show.

I just want to watch good fucking TV. This argument is the ultimate in "let's complain about a compelling, well-written piece of art because we are cynical fucks who just can't like something because it's good" thinking.

I don't think anybody is saying it's not good. It is a very compelling show, in and of itself.

However, when people start talking about the show in the context of it's peers in the modern prestige drama landscape or the entirety of TV history, which is what they're doing when they call it "the best show on TV" or "one of the best shows ever" (in this case, there has been less of the latter, though I have seen it), then I think it's perfectly fair to point out problematic areas where it doesn't quite measure up to the standard of greatness, where perhaps it is not quite so well-written. It's a reasonable conversation to have.

If you're not interested in that conversation and prefer to enjoy it on your own terms, that's totally cool, man. But, you know...Grown folks talking...and all that.

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It's only one season, so no matter how great it is (and I think it's nothing short of fantastic), it's way too early to put it in "greatest show ever" territory. That said, if the final two episodes continue its greatness, I do believe this will be one of the great single seasons that I can recall in recent memory. At least, one of the most enjoyable ones for me.

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Thinking it over I admit I went too far in saying the women in the show have arcs. There is transition in character over the space of time, which is due to the treatment of the leads, but those aren't arcs. And due to the fact that it's due to the treatment of the leads you can make a further call of sexism, I suppose. But really I just think the thing is brutally pessimistic, and that one of the main points of the show is that all of the characters have horrible flaws, so it fits.

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It's only one season, so no matter how great it is (and I think it's nothing short of fantastic), it's way too early to put it in "greatest show ever" territory. That said, if the final two episodes continue its greatness, I do believe this will be one of the great single seasons that I can recall in recent memory. At least, one of the most enjoyable ones for me.

Greatest show ever is such a hard conversation to have realistically.  I really don't understand how we can realistically compare The Wire, Breaking Bad, True Detective, The Simpsons(their peak betwee season 3-10 is as good as anything ever on TV for my money), and about 10-15 other shows.  I think The Wire is the best show ever, but it is a five season, sprawling epic, that has about 100 different characters, that matter.  True Detective is 8 episodes with 2 characters that matter, how do we even begin to discuss whether or not one is better than the other?  I know that I really like watching it, and I hope they wrap it up in a satisfying way.  The more I think about it I think about it, I think the best things about these shows are that they are incomprable to what came before them. 

 

The Wire was essentially a police procedural, that showed that the police can be just as flawed as the criminals they are pursuing.  If you asked 100 people who was the most moral person on the show, 75% would probably pick one of the criminals.  True Detective is showing how we treat people who go against the grain, even when that person is absolutely in the right(I hope).  Rust is basically the only person in the entire state that wants to get to the bottom of the problem with missing children, and everyone treats him like a pariah.  Rust is what everyone should want a cop to be, he has a singular focus to make sure crimes are solved.  Marty is the cops ideal cop, a guy who doesn't rock the boat or ask the wrong questions, so everyone decides that he has his shit together.  They don't look at his anger issues, they don't look at his infidelities, and they don't care that there may still be someone who is kidnapping, raping, and killing children.  They just know that they are comfortable with Marty and uncomfortable with Rust.  It is really well done, and fascinating to watch.  I don't know if it is as good or better than anything we've seen before, but I'm all in.

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Thinking it over I admit I went too far in saying the women in the show have arcs. There is transition in character over the space of time, which is due to the treatment of the leads, but those aren't arcs. And due to the fact that it's due to the treatment of the leads you can make a further call of sexism, I suppose. But really I just think the thing is brutally pessimistic, and that one of the main points of the show is that all of the characters have horrible flaws, so it fits.

I think you were on to something here, though.

To say this show has one-dimensional female characters is like saying it has one-dimensional male characters.

The more I watch this show, the less convinced I am that Rust and Marty aren't one-dimensional characters themselves.

I mean, McConaughey is captial-a Amazing playing the part of Rust, but is there anything more to the part of Rust, as written, other than being a supremely antisocial, vaguely sociopathic nihilist? Is there any depth to that character once you've waded through all the psychobabble? I was actually really disappointed that the show glossed over his relationship with...whatever that woman's name was, I've forgotten, she was such a nothing character...because it would have given us the chance to see Rust from a different perspective. How did that relationship work? Was he different with her? Did he, on occasion, crack a SMILE? Or was he the same but she was able to relate to him in a way that Marty and Maggie and everyone else in the world can't? Why did it end? So many questions to which the answers would have given us greater insight into him. I guess that's one of the downsides to only doing 8 episodes.

Same deal with Marty. The show skipped over the period of time he tried to change by giving up drinking and finding religion. I'd be extremely interested to see some part of him that isn't all infidelity and varying states of rage. Mellow Marty who isn't constantly tweaking for "crazy pussy" or on the verge of punching someone is a face I'd like to see Harrelson try on.

It's actually kind of odd. One of the fundamental elements of all fiction is change. Not that all fiction has to result in a change, but generally speaking, in the best fiction, there is some effort made towards change, even if it fails and the character(s) return to their old ways in the end. (Current TV example: Don Draper.) Yet TRUE DETECTIVE essentially omitted the portion of it's story when the characters tried to change. That's just such a weird choice. Like I said, I'd like to think it was tied to the number of episodes, but that also doesn't mean it isn't a fundamental flaw in the show.

All that said, I'm the guy who's favorite episode of the first season of HOUSE OF CARDS was the one everybody else hates - the one where Frank goes back to his college and spends all night getting drunk and talking with his old buddies - so I'm aware not everyone is interested in the same things I am.

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It's actually kind of odd. One of the fundamental elements of all fiction is change. Not that all fiction has to result in a change, but generally speaking, in the best fiction, there is some effort made towards change,

 

This is the argument that Brian Cox made in Adaptation.  I think it goes back to what Ledoux said about the flat circle (and Rust expanded on).  Rust will always return to the nihilistic mind-space that drives people away.  Marty will always be tempted by young women that will torpedo his marriage.  These characters' flaws will always drag them down.  (or maybe I don't know what I'm talking about)

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It's actually kind of odd. One of the fundamental elements of all fiction is change. Not that all fiction has to result in a change, but generally speaking, in the best fiction, there is some effort made towards change,

This is the argument that Brian Cox made in Adaptation.  I think it goes back to what Ledoux said about the flat circle (and Rust expanded on).  Rust will always return to the nihilistic mind-space that drives people away.  Marty will always be tempted by young women that will torpedo his marriage.  These characters' flaws will always drag them down.  (or maybe I don't know what I'm talking about)

No, I think that's on target with what the show is going for. And that's a perfectly fine conclusion for the show to reach. It just seems weird that they all but skipped the part where both guys try to be different from that and wrote it off with some off-hand comments here and there.

Like, at one point, Marty bemoans the how the end of Rust's relationship has changed him back to being an insufferable ass. He says, "Getting laid was good for you!" Apparently whatever effect that relationship had on Rust, it was significant enough that took note and counted it a positive. Which is remarkable because Marty is never really happy with anybody. Sure would've been nice to get a solid look at what that period was like for Rust, as opposed to the few quotidian snapshots we got of it last week that didn't really express anything.

Even if one doesn't really care about the interior lives of these characters, surely we can all agree that there would be entertainment value to be mined from these guys playing against type in an episode or two. Woody trying to play Marty trying to chill the fuck out would surely be good for a laugh or two. As would thre reactions of Rust's friends and co-workers as he shocks them by acting like a functioning member of the human race. Layers, fellas.

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It's actually kind of odd. One of the fundamental elements of all fiction is change. Not that all fiction has to result in a change, but generally speaking, in the best fiction, there is some effort made towards change,

 

This is the argument that Brian Cox made in Adaptation.  I think it goes back to what Ledoux said about the flat circle (and Rust expanded on).  Rust will always return to the nihilistic mind-space that drives people away.  Marty will always be tempted by young women that will torpedo his marriage.  These characters' flaws will always drag them down.  (or maybe I don't know what I'm talking about)

 

 

The Sopranos had the same message: you can't change your nature unless you truly want to, and most people don't, so nothing ever changes.

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"If Cormac McCarthy wrote a version of CSI" is still the best description of this show I've heard.

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It didn't do a whole lot for me. Kind of a perfunctory episode where they filled in the gaps in the investigation and Rust's missing years, and not necessarily in the most interesting ways. I perked up a bit when they did the flashback to Rust breaking into Tuttle's mansion, because I thought they were about to go into another Rust Cohle: Man of Action sequence, which is always when the show is at its best, but sadly, it was over too soon.

I mean, Rust is basically a superhero at this point. He's Jack Bauer. He's supremely competent at everything. Working deep cover as a narc? BEST. Homicide investigation? BEST. Kicking ass? BEST. Infiltrating the fortified compound of heavily-armed psychos? BEST. High stakes cat burglary? BEST.

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Being able to make an emotional connection with potential friends and romance? WORST.

 

I enjoyed the episode. It wasn't mind-blowing or anything but it did manage to make me super hyped for the finale. In the words of the immortal Bart Scott... CAN'T WAIT.

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If I didn't know better, I'd swear Pizzolatto was trolling all the people who actually think this is going to pay off with some Cthulhu shit in that last scene.

"My family has been around a long time..."

ZOMG ELDER GODS

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