The second episode of HBO's new series True Detective further explores the history of its two main characters Rust Cohle and Martin Hart.
The various background information revealed by the two men to one another and to the two detectives in the current day takes the viewer further down a path of darkness and dead ends. The only resolving Hart and Cohle seemed concerned with in 1995 is reserved for the case they were working on.
Hart sheds his good ole cop boy image by retreating to a mistress towards the beginning of the episode that results in a scene where HBO can punch its unnecessary nudity card. He justifies this extramarital affair to the detectives by stating that he does this for the good of his family since it allows him to have some sort of release before going home. Cohle reads through his partner's words in 1995 and sparks a physical altercation between he and Hart fueled by guilt the morning after.
It's refreshing to see that Hart's character holds views on life that are just as twisted as his partner's, but in different ways. Cohle reveals more about his past discussing his time as a narcotics cop where he worked undercover. He engaged in excessive drug use that lead to hallucinations and various other issues that plague/assist him during the time of the Dora Lange case.
Cohle seems to work well alone as he receives a hot tip from a prostitute he's buying drugs from which leads the detectives to a bunny ranch in the middle of the woods where their murder victim used to work. While there, Hart gets caught up in his emotions when he sees an underage girl working as a prostitute. He gets in a heated argument with the madam while Cohle finds one of the best clues yet to solving the Lange case. They discover Dora's diary and a flyer for a church she attended in her purse that she left at the ranch which leads them to the eerie final scene. Hart blasts Cohle for not being concerned about the underage girl working at the ranch, but he seems unfazed. The case seems to be his only motivation to move forward.
True Detective takes a lot of familiar themes and delivers them in an original way. Even Hart's home life with his wife and kids appears to be your typical cop marriage where the person on the job cares too much about their work and neglects loved ones, however, the wild card in this case is Cohle who will interact with Hart's family more in later episodes. Cohle actually liked having dinner there after all. Hart wasn't crazy about that and this scene seems like a precursor for the rift that will happened between the two men later on down the line.
Cohle's hallucinations from past drug use seem to a crucial part of something coming in future episodes related to the case. The layers peeled off of each character as this story progresses is the driving force of this series and "Seeing Things" gave viewers just enough to be satisfied and not sick of either one of them.
The Lange case also heats up towards the end of the episode. Cohle and Hart fight to keep it as their chief threatens to hand it over to the FBI. After receiving a two week extension, they head towards the latest lead which is a church that Lange attended before her death located in the middle of nowhere.
Lange's diary revealed experiences with the "Yellow King," a figure the two hope to learn more about at this church. The horror genre rears its head once again after they find this place of worship which appears to have been burned down with the ceiling a back wall completely destroyed. After a few minutes of searching Cohle brushes away some leaves to find a character drawn on the church wall wearing the same antlers found on Lange's head at the crime scene. This place also looks like it could be the location for the 2012 murder.
The clues, the killer and the characters continue to engage the viewer in "Seeing Things." The pacing of this murder case seems right and Harrelson and McConaughey really step into these roles wholeheartedly which makes the story that much more interesting.