True Detective Season 3 Series Review (2019)

So I just finished watching Season 3 of True Detective…

This season follows an investigation of two missing children through the eyes of two detectives: Wayne “Purple” Hays and Roland West. Taking place over the course of three decades, this investigation touches the lives of both Hays and West, from Hays meeting his future wife, to the two detectives falling out, and to Wayne suffering from Alzheimer’s in his old age and asking Roland to help him close the case before he forgets everything.

Well guys, this was a return to form. A very interesting and dark look at how one thing can define your life, and the toll that dementia can take.

Good scripts, great characters and performances (Mahershala Ali and, of all people, Stephen Dorff, give stellar performances as Hays and West), good cinematography and editing, great soundtrack and score, interesting imagery, etc.

This season reminded me of that show Manhunt: Unabomber, as that show tried to tackle a similar theme. I just kept thinking to myself while watching this season of True Detective: “Oh. It’s that show (Manhunt: Unabomber), but good.” This season of True Detective takes that idea of one case, one singular thing in a mans life, defining him, and it really explores that idea. It doesn’t quite put all of its attention on the case as it does the characters and how they are reacting to it.

Further, Wayne’s dementia/Alzheimer’s plays pivotal role and makes for some of the best sequences in the series. When Hays is hallucinating his late wife spurring him on, and him forgetting all these pivotal things in his life, it makes you want to see Wayne get to the truth before he loses everything to this disease. It is really powerfully portrayed through imagery, as well as Ali’s powerful performance.

However, in terms of structure and style, Pizzolazzo really felt the need to play it safe and do what made Season 1 work so well. Not that that’s a bad thing per se, but it left me wanting him to take more risks with the structure and not rest on Season 1’s idea of telling a story over multiple time periods.

Overall though, this is a damn good season of TV. Way more invigorating and interesting than Season 2, I hope the train can keep rolling and Season 4 is even better than this one. Recommended, especially if you want your faith renewed in this show.

8.5 out of 10

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