'True Detective' recap: 'Hunters in the Dark'

True Detective

The latest episode of True Detective leaves us with a cliffhanger that maybe, just maybe, reveals who might have been behind the kidnapping originally unveiled in the premiere episode.

And it’s a doozy, too.

This week’s True Detective episode, entitled “Hunters in the Dark,” picks up where the last one left off in that Tom is now the new prime suspect in this case.

Wayne and Roland aren’t too happy about this, either, as they’re both pretty convinced he’s not the real culprit. Their bosses, however, are demanding that they press him, meaning they both walk into the interview room with a less-than-friendly demeanor.

True Detective
credit: YouTube

Poor Tom. Like, at this point we all know he’s not the one who did it, but this is just another blow to his poor, miserable life.

The two detectives continue digging into their former friend’s life as they revisit past employers, eventually learning that Tom might have been a closeted homosexual. That leads to some arguments between Roland and Wayne as they debate how all of this might relate to the peephole they found in Julie’s room, which eventually ends in an angry Wayne getting out of the car and walking home.

Pretty sad to know that the friendship between these two isn’t going to last, either. Is anything safe in the world of True Detective? Can we get just one glimpse of happiness? No? Okay, just checking.

After a brief visit back to 1980 to remind us that Woodard is the one being charged with the crimes and that, even then, Wayne wasn’t convinced that’s actually true, the next lead in 1990 brings the detectives to Harris James (Scott Shepherd).

True Detective
credit: YouTube

James was a cop back when everything in 1980 went down to take a job at Hoyt Foods — the same company that Lucy used to work for before her untimely death.

Given that James was the one who guarded Woodard’s house following the shoot-out, Wayne and Roland initially went to him to ask if he happened to see Tom walking around the crime scene at any point.

While James confirmed that he had seen Tom standing from a distance, it’s James’ behavior and off-putting demeanor that really stick out to the detectives.

2015 Wayne, who’s in the midst of another interview with the TV reporter (who we learn that his son is sleeping with, in case that proves to be relevant later on down the road), reveals that James is now dead.

The end of this True Detective episode might indicate why that is.

True Detective
credit: YouTube

Back to 1990 (this episode sure does jump around a lot), Roland and Wayne’s next tip comes from a call on the hotline — a call from none other than Lucy’s cousin, (Michael Graziadei). We’ve heard a lot about Dan up until this point, but this is the first time True Detective has actually given a glimpse of him.

He’s pretty much exactly how you’d expect, too. A slimy, crooked kind of a guy who meets the detectives at the diner and tells him he has a piece of information they are very much going to want to hear.

The catch? They have to pay him $7,000 first. 

According to Dan, time is of the essence here, as there are other people out there trying to find Lucy, too. Before running off with a promise to be back at the diner at the same time tomorrow for the exchange, he does reveal, however, that Tom is not the one behind all this.

True Detective
credit: YouTube

The other big revelation that soon comes relates back to the peephole. After paying another visit to the Purcell house, Wayne realizes that the hole wasn’t actually used for creeping — it was for passing notes between the children, which then explains were all those messages in Julie’s room came from.

Anyways, Dan’s reveal is enough to free Tom from custody and hopefully could mean his life is about to take an up-swing — except poor, dumb Tom feels the need to stick around the police station for a little longer.

He’s there long enough to eavesdrop on a conversation that Dan was meeting with Wayne and Roland. Given that he’s not exactly feeling all warm and fuzzy towards the detectives after their last interaction, Tom figures he’ll pay Dan a visit, too, to find out what he knows.

Tom, bless his sad, stupid heart, finds Dan at a motel and instantly pulls a gun on him, figuring he doesn’t have any time for Dan’s nonsense.

True Detective
credit: YouTube

Dan, somewhat predictably, doesn’t actually have as much information as he let on but does know who helped Lucy get out of town when things went sideways — you guessed it, Harris James.

That leads to Tom breaking into James’ mansion in his continued fight for the truth, only to find a rather pink room that circles back to this whole ‘princess’ idea that’s been connected to Julie. Tom stares off in the distance and, while we can’t see what we’re looking at, we do hear him say one chilling phrase:

“What the hell? Julie?”

He’s quickly cut off by Harris James, sneaking up behind him, before we cut to black.

Only two more True Detective season three episodes to go and there’s no telling what will happen next! Tune into HBO tonight to catch the newest True Detective episode and check out some of our other True Detective recaps by clicking here! 

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Brandon Schreur

The fella over there with the hella good hair. Movies and TV are my jam, and the fact that I get to write about them on a regular basis is the bees knees.