TV Review: True Detective Season 3 Finale

*This review contains spoilers.*

True Detective is a dark gritty crime drama that always leaves us on the edge of our seats. After a whirlwind of 7 episodes, it has finally reached the end of what has proven to be yet another successful season.

In 1980, Will and Julie Purcell went off to ride their bikes in their small Arkansas town, and never came back. Will’s body was discovered in a cave the next day, but Julie’s was yet to be found. The case frustrated detectives Wayne Hays (Mahershala Ali) and Roland West (Stephen Dorff) for decades, told through 3 different moments in time. The season finale offered answers to those big important questions, although it is still not totally clear which answers are the truths.

When the viewers finally learn what happened to Julie all those years, it was not what most were expecting. What has been implied throughout the series is that her brother’s murder and Julie’s disappearance was linked to a paedophile’s ring, like the last 2 series. However the detectives learned, after 35 years of investigation, that everything hinged on the obsession of a mentally ill woman from a powerful local family. After losing her own husband and daughter in a car accident, Isabel Hoyt spotted the children and befriended them, meeting them in the woods to plays games. Isabel then attempted to bring Julie home with her, and when Will tried to fight her off, he fell back onto a rock and died. Isabel’s caretaker, Junius Watts, put Will’s body in the cave and took Julie to the ‘pink room’ on Hoyt’s estate. Isabel kept her there for years, drugging her, and paying off Julie’s mother Lucy to keep quiet. Junius reveals to the detectives that he helped Julie escape, and that she found her way to a convent. The nuns there faked her death in order to allow her to have a normal life, away from her tragic past. The episode concludes with Hays finding out that Julie had a child, finding her address and pulling up to where he suspects Julie now lives. However, his memory slips once more and he has no idea why he is there, unaware that he has found the women whose case has haunted him his whole life.

On one hand it is so infuriating that he doesn’t get to talk to the grown up Julie, who clearly has no idea about her past. But as a sympathetic audience, we are also kind of happy that he forgot, so that she could just get on with her life in peace. In the end, everyone is happy, families have come together and the story and case, has concluded in their eyes.

Similar with any HBO drama, viewers are still left with questions. Questions that we know will not be answered. What happened to the guy with the one eye, Junius Watts, who tried to save Julie? Why was there a hole in Julie’s wall? Did her dad used to watch her? What did Wayne do to make his daughter leave? Will Wayne ever find Julie’s address again and remember that he met her?

It is evident that HBO has yet again delivered another compelling season of a true crime drama, and it should definitely have another series. The past three seasons have all been different, exciting and have a stellar cast. The storylines are always captivating and intense, leaving us wanting more. Although it hasn’t been renewed for a fourth season, HBO are looking to release the next series in 2021, so as not to rush it. Will it expand upon the story of the child kidnapping ring, or will they conjure up something completely different? It’s most likely that many are excited to see what HBO come up with next as well.

Sadie Fox

Image: Screen Rant