Did “True Detective” reveal who the Yellow King is during tonight’s episode, “After You’ve Gone”? Not officially, but the HBO series did finally throw fans a bone by identifying who the “man with scars” is during episode 7.
Warning: Spoilers Ahead!
We’ve had our suspicions of who this mysterious, scarred creature was. At first, we theorized that the man with scars could be preacher Theriot due to his suspicious sideburns. But, it wasn’t until we saw Errol once again that our jaws completely dropped.
Don’t remember that name? Well, it’s probably because this character wasn’t featured too heavily in the “True Detective” series. But boy did he become the star of episode 7 after Errol decided to shave his unruly beard. Yes, the lawnmower man Cohle previously questioned at Tuttle’s shut down school just so happened to be the “spaghetti monster” sporting scarring on his cheeks—and the reverend’s kin! We know, we know—that’s a lot of information to handle, so let us break down what happened before HBO revealed its best-kept secret tonight.
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“True Detective” began episode 7 with Cohle and Hart’s reunion. At first, Hart was reluctant to hear Cohle out considering his former partner was exhibiting unstable behavior. “You look brittle,” Hart said bluntly regarding Cohle’s warn down physique. Since 2002, Cohle has been trying to solve the 17-year-old case and it definitely shows. But now, he needs Hart’s help.
“Why would I ever help you?” Hart asked, after using a sweet metaphor regarding Cohle drowning and a barbell.
“Because you have a debt," Cohle responded. "This is on you, too.”
With blood on the moon shinning down on the former partners, they head over to Cohle’s cargo shed. Rust then reveals to Hart all the evidence he’s been collecting since he’s been back in town. From stolen photos of blindfolded girls to hand drawn pictures of suspects, Cohle had nothing to aid his case but random leads. Hart explained that nothing about Cohle’s clues seemed conjectural.
That’s when Cohle told Hart about his visit with one of Tuttle’s former students from Shepard’s Flock. The student, who can be seen in the notorious class photo, explained that during his naptime he used to dream up weird character’s sporting animal masks. “I decided it all had to be a dream. We would go to sleep but I couldn’t move,” he confessed. “I’d see under my eyelids. There were men taking pictures. Sometimes other things. I don’t know who they were. They had animal face that’s why I decided it had to be a dream.”
Johnny then said that another girl had the same dream, too. They both saw the man with scars around his mouth. “He was all burned up,” Tuttle’s student explained.
After his story, Hart was shocked Cohle thought the hypothetical killer was a schoolteacher or a part of the state police force. That’s when Cohle had to really convince his former partner—with the video we saw in episode 7’s promo.
When Cohle broke into Tuttle’s home in Baton Rogue, he came across the strange pictures he previously shared and a video. What we saw was a little girl (Marie Fontenot) sporting a white dress, blindfold and antlers crying as four men held her limbs down. A man with an animal mask walked toward her. And due to Hart’s scream, we could only assume what happened next.
“You shouldn’t have this,” Hart said after throwing back his flask.
“No one should,” Cohle replied.
That’s when Hart agrees to help Cohle track down the Louisiana killer. Pretending to write a true crime novel, Hart asks his former department if he’s able to draw some inspiration from cases. That begins the duo’s journey to finding out who the Yellow King is. They track down a relative of Ladeoux who confirmed he’s seen the man with the scars. “It’s weird you say that,” he said. “I remember that face. Underneath his nose and cheeks were scarred.”
Hart and Cohle then hit up an employee who served under Tuttle for 19 years. The former worker explained she knew the Tuttle family well, admitting the reverend had many children. “A man’s house was his own,” she said. “He has lots of children. All types.”
Cohle then asked her if any of Tuttle’s children had scarring on their faces. “Mr. Sam’s grandchild,” she toyed with the memory. “His dad did it to him.” But the older woman completely lost it when Cohle showed her images of the twig latticework. “You know Carcosa?” she said. “Death is not the end. Rejoice.”
Cohle and Hart then decide to talk to law enforcement officials who had gotten their hands dirty in the preious cases of missing girls. Specifically wanting to get in touch with the sheriff of Iberia, Steve Garaci. Hart goes out to play some golf with the sheriff asking questions about a previous case. Convinced he was lying, Hart and Cohle plan to bombard him on a boat—by gunpoint.
But those two weren’t the only ones running around looking for answers. Detective Gilbough and Papania hit the road looking to find a seemingly missing church. That’s when they come across Errol who just so happened to be mowing the cemetery lawn. “I’ve got a parish contract to take care of public schools and the cemetery,” he said. The detectives ask him for directions in hopes of finding their destination, which he then replies with very specific answers. “I know the whole coast. My family—,” he was then cut off with the officers driving away. “My family's been here a long, long time.” Creepy.
Is the Tuttle family and police division behind the murders of women and children in Louisiana? Let us know what you think of tonight’s episode “After You’ve Gone” in the comments section below.