Alert: This post contains spoilers for anyone who isn't totally caught up on True Detective.
This Sunday, HBO's True Detective series will wrap up it first season.
Those of us who have become addicted to the show will finally learn the identity of the serial killer detectives Marty Hart (Woody Harrelson) and Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) have been chasing for the better part two decades.
With one episode remaining it seems pretty obvious that our bad guy is the lawn-mower-riding spaghetti-faced creep we met at the end of the last episode.
All kinds of witnesses — including that one little girl victim Rust and Marty found at the meth cook's place — have been talking about a man with scars who acts like a real monster.
But maybe we're in for a big surprise.
I have at least partially convinced myself — and, over IMs, BI colleague Steve Kovach — that Marty Hart, played by Woody Harrelson, may be involved with the ugly organization behind all the child abductions and grisly murders.
Here is the evidence:
In an early episode, the camera catches Marty's daughters playing with toy figures in their bedroom. Most the figures are arranged in a circle. At their center, two figures are joined in a sexual position. It looks like a Yellow King crime scene. Maybe Marty's kids were just acting out what they read in the papers or saw on TV. Or maybe, like too many children in the show, they've been witness to some sort of bizarre sex ritual that Marty is involved in.
Marty's oldest daughter also gets in trouble at school for drawing bizarre sexual images.
Later, Marty's oldest daugther turns goth. She hates her father. How come? Was she his victim?
It seemed like Marty shot the meth cook before he could talk because he was so angry about child victims he found. But maybe he shot the meth cook before he could talk (and before he ever saw Marty) to keep him from talking.
Marty's multiple affairs indicates he has a hard time controlling sexual impulses. The way the first one ends also shows he sometimes mixes up sex and violence.
When Rust restarts the investigation in 2002, Marty pretty much does all he can to shut it down.
Marty makes sure his gun is loaded when he follows Rust to his storage unit. We're led to believe that's because he suspects Rust. But maybe it's because he suspects Rust suspects him.
There are some problems with this theory, of course.
The main one is that Marty seems like good guy with some serious flaws. He doesn't seem like a child-raping serial killer, or like he's someone who would work with people who are.
The truth is, I'm probably getting caught up in a bunch of false clues — "red herrings."
That's OK. Really good mysteries have really compelling red herrings.
It just goes to show you how great of a show HBO has going — the kind that creates buzz, and gets people to subscribe forever. No wonder the brand profited $1.8 billion in 2013.
Update: The more I think about…the more I think that actually the bad guy is Marty's father-in-law. Why else is he in the show? Anyway, here I go again…
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