A return to true form. True Detective Season 3 redeems Nic Pizzolatto’s reputation as an incredible writer of detective drama which started with the incredible first season of True Detective. While not as amazing as the first, Season 3 manages to be incredibly engrossing and original in its own regard.
Let’s start with the narrative.
Season 3 works similarly to Season 1, where a detective Hays (Mahershala Ali) is being interviewed about a missing persons and homicide case in the past. But whereas there were just two timelines in the original season, Season 3 manages to outdo its predecessor by swiftly and effortlessly transitioning between three timelines to reveal more about this enthralling case.
Each episode works brilliantly to add more mystery and build suspense to the story; all the while transporting us through different periods of time.
Amazingly, even though I knew what was happening in one of the later timelines, I still was invested with what was happening in the past and didn’t care if I knew what would happen in the future. Credit must be given where credit is due, and Pizzolatto knows how to write (even though I’m still unsure on what happened with Season 2).
While the two leads of detective Roland (Stephen Dorff) and Hays aren’t at all like Season 1’s Rustin Cole, who stole the series with his incredible ideologies and monologues, the pair of detectives are just as fascinating to watch.
I really loved their personalities and individual character arcs throughout the series. Particularly with Roland who by the end of it became my favourite character. Which was quite the turn as at the beginning he didn’t seem like much of an entertaining focal point and I was enjoying learning more about Hays.
I should also add that both characters, and indeed everyone showcased in the series, acted superbly to the point where any one of them deserve an Oscar for their performance.
From the supporting cast and the side characters who sometimes only had one scene, I was thoroughly enjoying watching these actors act to the best of their ability. Especially since none of them, apart from Mahershala Ali, are A-list celebrities like a Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Monaghan, Rachel McAdams, Vince Vaughn or Colin Farrell. A bold choice and one that I’m really glad they decided to take to show these actors some great exposure to reward their undeniable talent.
In terms of production, True Detective Season 3 is flawless. From the costumes, to set design, to the camerawork – everything is great to watch. I can’t say much else apart from HBO yet again being a shining light for creating spectacular television.
The only thing that stops Season 3 from being a 10/10 is that one, it’s still not as good as Season 1 and two, the story could have been so much more. Even though I’m still happy with how it unraveled, I can’t help but wished it ended differently particularly because of what was leading up to it. It’s hard to go into exactly why without spoilers but suffice to say, the finale wasn’t what I was expecting given what was being inferred with the previous episodes.
Ultimately, Season 3 was fantastic and an incredible feat of storytelling. I’ve been quite vocal in praising it on Facebook and as such have no qualms with recommending people watch the series. Especially if you also felt that Season 2 was a letdown and were hoping for something similar to Season 1. Because if that was the case, have faith and watch Season 3.