Just when viewers thought "True Detective" was all about cults and government cover-ups, it shifted back to there being one main antagonist.
"We didn't get them all. And we aren't going to get them all. But we got ours."
Those words uttered by Marty Hart to Rust Cohle towards the end of last night's season finale "Form and Void" sums up this episode perfectly. A resolution to the problem presented in the very first episode is what the audience received, even though the path to that conclusion might have pointed in other directions at times.
The great conspiracy that involved the Tuttle family and possibly Hart's wealthy father-in-law and daughter was never the point. Hart and Cohle set out to find Dora Lange's killer in the very beginning of the series and did just that in "Form and Void."
The team's last bit of detective work leads them to a lair fitting for Errol Childress, the lawnmower man seen in Episode 3 and 7. The place is filled with bones from past victims, dolls that might have belonged to those he killed and a woman capable of seeing anything the way he wanted her to see it.
The detectives pull up to the Childress residence and Cohle immediately blurts out, "this is the place." The sense of urgency in his voice set the stage for the disturbing final showdown between the detectives and their killer.
Childress leads Hart and Cohle through a labyrinth he created and named Carcosa. His voice changes and the director's choice to make his statements sound like voices in Cohle's head were perfect for conveying the kind of mind games this serial killer would play with his previous victims. The final fight and Cohle's vision of what appears to be a giant black void give the impression that the detectives will sacrifice themselves to get their man. Both men end up surviving with Cohle emptying a bullet into Childress' head to finally end this circle of death and killing.
The touching hospital scenes where Cohle describes his near-death experience to Marty and where Hart reunites with his family were definite tear-jerkers. Their discussion at the end regarding the stars that ends with Cohle saying "the light is winning" also paints the detectives as heroes who took down a bad guy instead of the anti-heroes seen in shows such as "The Sopranos" and "Breaking Bad."
The "True Detective" season finale was simple and to the point. It felt like a suspenseful end to an engaging 8-hour film. When I finished watching the episode I felt as if I had solved the case with them after working on it for eight weeks. This could be the most captivating first season of any television series.
Nic Pizzolatto will be penning the next season, but McConaughey, Harrelson and Fukunaga will be handing off their mantles. The next season's team has their work cut out for them, because the first season of "True Detective" will be tough to match.