True Detective has been more about the detectives than the crime they have been solving this season and no episode was more focused on these mens’ lives than Haunted Houses. We learned of a confrontation between our two heroes last week and we get to see that play out here, but I couldn’t imagine the stakes at which this was set into motion. Maggie gets her most screen time yet this week and Michelle Monaghan takes full advantage of the opportunity. We missed the good times between Maggie and Marty when we jumped from 95′ to 02′, and when Marty relapses into some bad habits Maggie is out for revenge. Poor Rust doesn’t even see it coming, so smart in so many ways, but women seem to be one of his few blind spots. You can’t get mad at Maggie for playing the cards she is dealt and Marty deserved every ounce of pain he felt when he heard the news about the two.
Marty’s relapse was expected, but the perky and world’s best husband act he was pulling on the home front was borderline disgusting. Marty is weak, but I couldn’t be happier that his stupidity bites him in the ass for not deleting the sexts he got from Beth. Marty sleeping with Beth is one of the grossest things to happen on the show by the way. You would think that Beth revealing she was the young prostitute he tried to help on the ranch would have him recoil, but it doesn’t deter him in the slightest. Marty beating the crap out of the consented, but statutory, lovers of his older daughter is not a high point either, but at least he seemed to feel a bit guilty about it after the fact. This week showed Marty at his worst and it is amazing that ten years later in the present day storyline he is willing to get a drink with Rust again, even if he has to make sure his gun is loaded.
Rust is still working the Yellow King case on his own, but he is ruffling enough feathers to get noticed by his chief supervisor. Rust is our only looking into the ongoing investigation because he is the only one working it, but the conspiracy around the case seems to be getting only bigger and bigger. The show quickly and effectively shows the pieces Rust is putting together and it seems to be pretty clear that he went off the grid to investigate the case without potentially corrupt individuals watching his every move. The drunken sex with Maggie is believable because of some strong chemistry between Monaghan and McConaughey throughout the series, but watching the two hook up was not easy to watch. Rust gets the best lines of the night, as usual, but his brutality and prickliness reaches an apex as he exits the police field. Telling a woman who murdered her children to kill herself and picking away at Marty with every last breath the two share, you totally buy into Marty being ready to try and beat the shit out of Rust in that parking lot.
True Detective has only a little catching up to do before its big finale, but based on Rust’s prioritizing on fixing his broken taillight over the last ten years I imagine he has a lot to tell Marty at the bar. How long will that drink last into the next episode and where will our heroes end up before setting up the final confrontation with the Yellow King? Can’t wait to find out.