10 Best Episodes Of True Detective

10 best episodes of True Detective

10 Best Episodes Of True Detective

HBO’s True Detective has aired just three seasons in five years. Spearheaded by writer Nic Pizzolatto, the show never seems to keep a director around for long — maybe it’s because they can’t connect with the material, or maybe it’s because Pizzolatto is difficult to compromise with (both being reasons for a director to leave the show in the past). No matter if the episodes are being shot by Cary Joji Fukunaga, Justin Lin, or Jeremy Saulnier, one thing is for sure: there’s no other drama like True Detective.

Featuring different casts and different stories each season, the show always follows a mysterious case being investigated by a troubled police officer or two. Mahershala Ali, Matthew McConaughey, Rachel McAdams, Woody Harrelson, Abigail Spencer, Colin Farrell, Michelle Monaghan, and Vince Vaughn have all spent time on the show, and all have delivered some of the best performances of their careers. Whether the show is sulking through Louisiana, Southern California, or the heart of the Ozarks, it manages to remain consistently engrossing.

Who Goes There (Season One, Episode Four)

10 best episodes of True Detective

Easily the best episode of the series so far, “Who Goes There” sees Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson’s characters, Detectives Rust Cohle and Marty Hart, infiltrating a motorcycle gang called the Iron Crusaders. Cohle has worked undercover with them in the past, and they reluctantly welcome him back while trying to find out if they can trust him or not. It’s the prime example of how great this show can be — tense and exciting and all-out insane.

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The Secret Fate of All Life (Season One, Episode Five)

10 best episodes of True Detective

The episode immediately following “Who Goes There,” “The Secret Fate of All Life” sees Cohle and Hart thinking they’ve solved the case in the past while being confronted with new evidence in the present. This is an aspect of the show that makes the first and third seasons so spectacular — plots unfolding across multiple time periods. It builds off the tension of the previous episode while creating all new troubles for the detectives.

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Form and Void (Season One, Episode Eight)

10 best episodes of True Detective

The season one finale, “Form and Void,” sees even more new evidence help the detectives uncover all kinds of new evidence in their 17-year-long investigation. Their lives have been changed for the worse because of the events of this horrible investigation, and the finale is the culmination of everything the previous seven episodes built up to. It’s truly great.

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The Locked Room (Season One, Episode Three)

10 best episodes of True Detective

Cohle and Hart finally confirm the suspect they’re looking for in season one’s third episode. The show might be slow-burning at times, but the moments where the characters get a new wind in their respective cases jolt new life into the episodes. McConaughey and Harrelson are the best actors to grace True Detective, and “The Locked Room” is the best example of this.

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Haunted Houses (Season One, Episode Six)

10 best episodes of True Detective

This is the episode where Hart’s wife gives her perspective on the events of the past and present investigation. The first season manages to make Louisiana look like one of the most haunting places imaginable, and “Haunted Houses” is no exception. Everything that the season had been building up to and everywhere it goes after relies entirely on the events that unfold here.

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After You’ve Gone (Season One, Episode Seven)

10 best episodes of True Detective

The episode immediately following “Haunted Houses,” “After You’ve Gone” rides the wave of energy similarly to how the fourth and fifth episodes played off of each other. Looking at things that way, the energy of the seventh episode has really been building since “Who Goes There.” The detectives haven’t seen each other in years, the case heads in a new direction, and the end goal seems clearer than ever. It’s a solid episode from the show’s most solid season so far.

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The Great War and Modern Memory (Season Three, Episode One)

10 best episodes of True Detective

The first episode of the show’s third season, “The Great War and Modern Memory,” sets up a return-to-form of sorts for the show. The second season went to crazy new heights, completely transforming into a completely different show than the first season, and the third grounds things once more. Mahershala Ali and Stephen Dorff are great additions to the show’s canon, and their investigation fascinatingly spans three different time periods (a whole extra level compared to the show’s first season, which spanned two timelines).

Watch now on HBO.

Black Maps and Motel Rooms (Season Two, Episode Seven)

10 best episodes of True Detective

The chunk of three episodes toward the end of the second season are the best things this sophomoric effort have to offer: “Black Maps and Motel Rooms” is the pinnacle of it all, almost like the climax to the season’s climax. Betrayal and excitement and danger are plentiful here, with every cast member giving this absurd story their all.

Purchase now on Amazon for $24.99.

Church in Ruins (Season Two, Episode Six)

10 best episodes of True Detective

The predecessor to “Black Maps and Motel Rooms,” “Church in Ruins” is dark and grim and serious and melodramatic and, most importantly, concise. After a season of uncertainty, the show really pulls it together here in the sixth episode. It’s the first part of the back end of the season, and it totally sets the tone for the next batch of episodes.

Purchase now on Amazon for 24.99.

Omega Station (Season Two, Episode Eight)

10 best episodes of True Detective

The conclusion to the string of three top-notch episodes, “Omega Station” concludes in one of the most excitingly violent bursts of action to ever appear on True Detective. It’s the finale to a rocky second run, with loose ends and desperation both coming to a head. It’s tragic and dark and leaves an excellent lasting impression. No matter what critics might have said about this season, “Omega Station” proves that it was largely a success.

Purchase now on Amazon for 24.99.

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Weekend: Sep. 19, 2019, Sep. 22, 2019

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