HBO's 'True Detective' Season Finale: Form and Void

Mon Mar 10, 2014 20:36:40PM | Categories: HBO

Beautiful X-ray nebula that spans 150 light years, photo dubbed 'The Hand of God'.By: NASA/CXC/CfA/P. Slane et al.
The first season of the HBO series 'True Detective' only lasted 8 episodes, but that's all it took to tell the story. Any more, or less, and it wouldn't have been right. The season finale just aired, and I have to say that the show is a masterpiece. And I think that people here will agree with me, on a sliding scale of how much you resonate with the moral of the story: light vs dark.

Don't worry for those of you that haven't yet seen the episode. I'm not going to spoil anything past the point of talking about the main theme and point of the show. Also, for those of you who haven't watched any of 'True Detective', or aren't aware of it's premise, here's a quick synopsis:

Season one stars Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Monaghan, Michael Potts, and Tory Kittles, and uses multiple timelines to trace two Louisiana State Police homicide detectives' hunt for a serial killer in Louisiana across seventeen years. (courtesy of wikipedia)

The series of 'True Detective' follows the anthology format, meaning each season features a completely different cast, different characters, and a whole new story every season. (kind of like with American Horror Story, if you are familiar with that show over on FX)

The last episode of this first season was entitled "Form and Void"; another way of saying light vs dark. The two main characters, the two detectives played by Harrelson and McConaughey, represent the 'light'. While the serial killer they seek throughout the show represents complete darkness. Good vs evil; yin into yang. This is the theme and purpose of 'True Detective', to wrestle with and expound upon this age old conflict. The episode wraps things up on the whole good vs evil commentary with humility, grace and without the need for optimism, pessimism (or religion) at all. I have personally never seen a show tackle the conversation better.

Matthew McConaughey plays perhaps the most conflicted character in recent memory too. He sort of reminds me of a cross between Sherlock Holmes and Friedrich Neitzche. It's spooky to watch McConaughey in this role; he owns the character. Extremely believable, kind of like when Heath Ledger transformed himself into The Joker in Christopher Nolan's 'The Dark Knight' batman film.

Both McConaughney and Harrelson set a very high bar for whatever starring cast is to come for season 2. It's hard to imagine another ensemble doing this well, regardless of the material. But, hey, HBO routinely surprises me.. Can't wait for the next story line. Writer and creator of the show Nic Pizzolatto, please WOW me again. I really, really enjoyed this show. Well done, sir.


For an excellent breakdown of the last episode, check out this link. I must warn you though, it's full of spoilers.

True Detective: “Form And Void”
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