Sunday, February 10, 2019

REVIEW: 'True Detective' - Wayne and Roland Argue as They Look at Old Suspects with New Suspicion in 'Hunters in the Dark'

HBO's True Detective - Episode 3.06 "Hunters in the Dark"

Wayne and Roland revisit discrepancies in the Purcell case that were hidden or forgotten over the years. Among those being reevaluated is Tom Purcell, as well as Lucy Purcell's cousin, Dan O'Brien. The glitter of Amelia's book release is tarnished by a voice from the past.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of HBO's True Detective.

"Hunters in the Dark" was written by Graham Gordy & Nic Pizzolatto and directed by Daniel Sackheim

The pressure of time is closing in on all aspects of the story. That should really be making things compound more and more quickly. However, the show is still taking its time just wandering around in this world following up on every potential lead and how it impacts the investigation even though it may not be true in the slightest. Wayne and Roland are no closer to solving who kidnapped Julie and what has happened to her in the years since. Amelia has launched her own investigation while also being harassed by the community and the family for releasing a book in the hopes of making money off of the tragedy. But she provides valuable insights as well. Too bad Wayne doesn't want to spend time at home actually listening to her and understanding the way she perceives this case. Amelia has theories even though she doesn't wish to share them when being harassed during her book reading. But it's only in the distant future when she has died that Wayne comes to accept that he was a withholding husband and father. Because of that, he sees his son falling down the same path and causing turmoil in his home life. Now, none of that is all that engaging. Henry is shutting down just as much as his father does in 1990. That just proves how much of one's behavior can simply be passed down from generation to generation. Family connections are important even though they are frequently exploited throughout this case. Wayne and Amelia came together because of the initial investigation. It's the one thing that seemingly defines their marriage as well. He is just more in love with the investigation than her. He is only reading her novel in 2015. He is searching it for clues in order to get a better understanding of what happened all those years ago. It has become clear that he was steamrolled in 1980 to close the case when Brett Woodard presented as the clear suspect. The prosecutors are able to shape the narrative that he killed the two children and then snapped because of the guilt and pressure surrounding the investigation. Of course, that's not true at all. He was harassed by the community because they believed he didn't belong there. They wanted to uphold their traditional values and keep their community pure and strong. After this investigation closes though, the community essentially becomes a ghost town. The Purcell home becomes the spot of vandalism. Some aspects have changed by 1990 but some have not. The investigators are still looking for clear answers. The prosecutors don't want the Woodard conviction to be overturned because that would lead to their own professional embarrassment. That fuels their tactics when they look at Tom with suspicion following the call from Julie. They see him as the new monster who possibly could have done something to his own children. That's never the impression that Wayne or Roland got throughout the years. But this hour also presents him as a violent man especially when drunk. He confronts Lucy's cousin Dan for the information he is trying to sell to the police. The future has already shaded in the audience's expectations of Dan ending up dead and Wayne and Roland covering up the disappearance of another person of interest. Wayne believes he is tricking the documentary crew. However, the walls continue to close in on him. It's damning when Tom breaks into a house belonging to the Hoyt family and discovers a room that belongs to Julie. That too should shade in the next actions taken by Wayne and Roland. But again, it's all very procedural and expected. There is the sense that some twists are coming. And yet, it still remains difficult to emotionally connect with a lot that's going on here.