We’re getting deep into this, now.
We might not yet know what lies ahead of us for True Detective, but odds seem good that it’s going to be pretty dark and grim.
The third episode of HBO’s third episode of the third season of True Detective, which is titled “The Big Never,” begins with our first glimpse of middle-aged Roland who, like Wayne, is being interviewed about the 1990 case.
After a few ironic comments about how his former partner’s memory might be better than he, Roland — who is now a high-ranking lieutenant — reveals that, truth be told, he and Wayne have lost touch over the years. Roland has tried to get Wayne transferred to his department several times, sure, but all those requests were denied and eventually they just kind of gave up.
Back in 1980, the two detectives take another stab at talking with Ronnie — the little kid who Julie and Will were supposed to be hanging out with the day of the kidnapping.
Ronnie, however, reveals that he really wasn’t that close with either of the Purcell kids. He’d maybe say hi to them at school, but never to the level where they’d all go hang out afterward.
While that makes Tom feel like a pretty lazy parent for not knowing where his kids have really been going all this time, it points Roland and Wayne to a new “secret friend” theory — maybe they were hanging out with somebody else they didn’t want anyone else to know about, for some reason.
Suspicions further arise when Wayne and Roland search the kid’s rooms again and Roland finds a bunch of crumbled up notes that read “I’ll always keep you safe” and like-wise comments.
They also find a bag from Lucy’s former place of work, Hoyt Foods, and pay the owner a visit. He seems like a well-rounded, friendly individual and all, but Wayne still wants to look further into him.
Back in 1990, Wayne just wants to look into something. Anything.
This case, it appears, has been a low-key obsession of his for the past ten years that’s consumed nearly every moment of his waking life. Amelia shares his passion, perhaps, but definitely not to the level that he does as the two can’t even spend one evening out together without it coming up.
Transition that with a 1980’s Wayne and Amelia who desperately want to talk about anything else but the case — seen in a heart-warming scene in which Wayne asks Amelia out to dinner — and we’re starting to get a glimpse as to what True Detective is going for this season.
The next big break in the case doesn’t follow too shortly after Ronnie’s confession.
The police are doing another sweet of the park when Wayne decides to go off by himself again. This time, he finds a bag of toys and a rock covered in blood. It’s the spot where Will was killed, he quickly figures out.
Roland meets up with him and the two continue exploring the area, eventually leading them to a giant farmhouse with two less than friendly individuals.
Less than friendly individuals who already claim to have been interviewed about the case already, even though there’s no record of any law enforcement member ever having contact with these landowners.
That’s all that they can learn at this time, though, as the landowners won’t agree to his land being searched without a warrant.
Flash-forward to elderly Wayne and we see him questioned as to why this, along with several other eye-witness accounts and other facts, was so quickly overlooked.
Wayne, angry as he might be, doesn’t have an answer for her. While his memory — which has begun to cause hallucinations of a deceased Amelia — worsens every day, the guilt he feels (we’re still not clear as to why he feels the guilt, but I’m sure we’ll get there) doesn’t and has begun leading him to suicidal thoughts.
1980’s fate for certain characters isn’t looking much better as poor Woodard is coming home from collecting trash when he’s run off the road and nearly beaten to death by some local racist bigots.
No, the fact that this scene with Woodard, who is a Native American, premiered just one day after the Washington D.C. fiasco in which the racist students taunting Nathan Philips wasn’t lost on us, either.
Wayne and Roland bring the fingerprints over to Tom and Lucy’s, but they don’t recognize them. There is something at the house that Wayne does recognize, though. He’s flipping through an old book of photographs when he comes across a picture of Will taking communion for the first time. The kicker? His arms are folded in the exact same position that they were in the cave.
After a quick scene between 1990’s Roland and Tom reuniting for the first time (Tom has given up alcohol and become religious over the years, it appear), we end this episode of True Detective with middle-aged Wayne and Roland meeting up for the first time in years.
They’re banter, however, hasn’t aged a day as they quickly trade insults back-and-forth.
Then the question comes.
“You feel like being a detective again?” Roland asks. “That, you were good at.”
Looks like this case isn’t over yet.