“True Detective” just answered the question that’s been on everyone’s minds. No, the HBO series still hasn’t told us who the Yellow King is, but we did learn what happened between Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) and Marty Hart (Woody Harrelson) in their notorious 2002 falling out.
But before we dive in that saucy secret, let us break down exactly what happened in episode 6, “Haunted Houses.” The first scene of the Nic Pizzolatto series shows Hart coming face-to-face with the two men who got caught messing around with his underage daughter in a car. He gave the two an ultimatum: Come out from their unlocked cell to get the beating of a lifetime or head to prison for statutory rape. Needless to say, the opening scene ended in a bloody mess.
Now here comes the interesting part: In tonight’s episode of “True Detective,” fans finally get to meet current-day Maggie. But something seemed a bit off with the reserved ex-wife of Hart. While Detectives Marynard Gilbough and Thomas Papania questioned Maggie about her relationship with Cohle, the actress’ aloof expression made us a bit skeptical.
“I knew Rust to be a good man. So, I can’t imagine what I can offer,” Maggie said, replying to the detective’s alerting notice that Cohle had gotten into some dark stuff since his falling out with Hart. “Rust knew exactly who he was and there was no talking him out of it.”
So, what exactly has Cohle been up to since 2002? After getting wind that the Yellow King was still lurking throughout Louisiana killing women and children, the detective decided to dig up some old case files—like learning the whereabouts of Preacher Theriot. The former preacher informed Cohle that he'd left the ministry after finding a slew of distressing photos. “It was pictures of children—naked—looked like they were sleeping. I took it over to the office. [Tuttle] seemed angry I brought it to him,” said Theriot, devoid of his usual vibrant disposition. “All my life I wanted to be near god,” the former preacher said. “And the only nearness is silence.”
But Cohle’s visit to Theriot was anything but silent. Cohle’s boss threatened the cop that if he were to open another case or pester another victim from the past, then he’d have to suspend him. Deciding not to heed the warning, Cohle paid a visit to Reverend Billy Tuttle.
He asked the reverend about the Queen of Angels and why it shut down. “Couldn’t sustain its cost,” Tuttle explained to Cohle about the program, shut down nearly 10 years earlier. Billy, the boy found in Ledoux’s shed, was actually a student of the school. And speaking of the horrific incident, Cohle also made a pit stop to talk to Sally on his journey to the past. “The man with the scars was the worst,” said the traumatized little girl he'd found barely alive seven years before. “The giant. He made me watch what he did to Billy. His face has scars.”
After doing all that secret investigative work, Cohle was suspended from the force. But he didn’t quit out of spite; the reason he put down his badge was Maggie.
She had found out her husband was cheating on her once again. But we doubt she ever expected the father of her children to find his way into Beth's bed. Don’t remember Beth? She was the underage girl Hart had given money to at the ranch. Beth decided to make a new life for herself and leave the past behind her—well, most of it. The two ended up making their way back to Beth’s home, which resulted in the racy photos Maggie saw on Hart’s phone.
Fuming with rage, Maggie managed to compose herself—until she slipped on a little red dress, which set her off again. She headed to a bar looking to get revenge, and nothing was better vengeance than what she did after she finished her extra-dirty martini.
While looking at evidence off the books, Cohle hears a knock on the door. Frantically, Maggie opens up about Hart having another affair. With a chemistry that’s been smothering us since the very first episode, Cohle and Maggie finally give in to their desires only to end up with a feeling of regret and betrayal.
Ironically, no one feels more betrayed than Hart when Maggie bluntly tells him that she had an affair with his partner. Furious, Hart has it out with his Cohle in the parking lot. Insisting that he was just there to collect his things, due to quitting, Hart throws the first punch. The two end up battered, and Cohle’s back, left taillight gets smashed.
And the broken taillight is the last image we see when “True Detective” ends. While driving back from interrogation, Hart hears a faint beeping that only seems to grow louder and louder. He notices a familiar red pickup trailing behind him. That’s the first time since 2002 Cohle and Hart come face to face. Cohle walks up to his former partner and asks Hart to grab a beer. After agreeing, Hart loads his gun unaware of what to expect.
And honestly, neither do we.
What did you think of tonight’s episode, “Haunted Houses”? Do you think viewers are one step closer to finding out who the Yellow King it? Let us know your predictions in the comments section below.