Art, Entertainment, Movies & TV

First Look: True Detective Season 3

The original season of True Detective was seminal for television. In it we learned that time is a flat circle, that Lone Star is the premier nooner beer, and that Alexandra Daddario is much more than just the girl from the Percy Jackson films.

The second season wasn’t received nearly as well. Fans of the show found too many differences in the mix of Rachel McAdams, Vince Vaughn, Colin Farrell, and Taylor Kitsch from the initial incarnation with Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey.

HBO, in their infinite wisdom, ignored the tepid reaction of the 2nd installment of the series and have opted to throw a third season out there for anyone who realizes that even a “weak” True Detective is better than most anything on the magic glowing box.

What’s Known About TD Season 3

Series creator Nic Pizzolatto will still be at the helm for the third season, so the tone is likely to remain as intense as it was through the first two seasons.

As was the case with any anthology series, the cast of season 3 will be entirely new. Academy award winner (also African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) and Alliance of Women Film Journalists winner) Mahershala Ali (Moonlight) will be taking the lead role this time around. He’ll be playing Wayne Hays, a detective with the Arkansas state police.

What little we know of the plot shows a return to form from the first season. As before, time seems to be quite fluid. Meaning the mystery to be solved will span decades, taking Wayne and the other characters from the past up to near present day.

Though HBO has been as tight-lipped as ever about the series, offering little more than casting information, much can be gleaned from the 60-second trailer. In it we learn that Stephen Dorff – still best known as Frost from the Blade film – will also be a state investigator in Arkansas. Early speculation points to him playing an antagonistic role in the series. Likely a man with racist leanings.

In addition to Dorff, Carmen Ejogo (Selma, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) is going to have a cornerstone role in the series. She plays a teacher who loses two children back in 1980, presumably the impetus to begin the investigation.

Race Against Time

Since the season will be taking place largely in the south, with an African-American lead, and portions set in the less-enlightened time of the 1980’s, it’s easy to presume that racial tensions will play a part in the development of the plot. This could enhance the drama, but those delicate about race issues may find themselves uncomfortable early and often.

Should You Watch

In a word: Yes. If appointment television still existed, this would be among the top picks for a show that shouldn’t be missed. Those who abandoned the franchise, decrying the second season as “disappointing” will likely find more familiarity in the interplay of storyline and characters than they did with McAdams, Farrell, and Vaughn. Likewise, a case of missing children lands far closer to the tale told in season 1, when the Yellow King (spoiler alert) was terrorizing the Louisiana countryside.


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