Well, here we are. The suspect has been hiding in plain sight, be we all know who he is now more or less. The only thing to do would be to catch him red-handed.
When the show opens, Scar Man is hanging around what is probably Carcosa. His name is eventually revealed to be Errol Childress. His father William was an illegitimate son or cousin of the Tuttle family patriarch. He lives out in the bayou with a woman of middle age and child-like intelligence later revealed to be at least a half-sister. Their house looks like a mansion long gone to pot, full of mildew and decaying dolls. Errol is talking to someone in a separate house when we first see him, and he adopts a British accent for no reason after spotting Cary Grant on the television. He even hits his dog. The guy’s clearly off his rocker, and that’s before we learn the guy in the toolshed is his dead father.
And Marty was right about the Detective’s Curse. One of the few survivor’s descriptions of Errol mentioned green ears. Marty remembers that and digs out some of Rust’s photos from ’95. The green was, it would seem, a coat of paint done after a house painting job. Rust had a photo of the house the whole time, and the home audience saw him take it back in episode two or three. With a little help from the old lady who used to live there, Marty and Rust get the address for the Childress estate and a promise from one of the two detectives looking into the current case to come if Marty calls for help. Rust likewise has all his case files set to go to the media if the guys don’t come back.
Considering writer/creator Nic Pizzolatto originally planned for the guys not to come back, that might mean something.
The rest goes down a bit bloody. As Marty tries to get inside the house to use the phone since he’s got no cell coverage in the middle of nowhere, Rust follows Errol into a place he calls Carcosa. It looks like a collapsed brick structure of some kind full of tree roots. After Marty gets through to somebody, he takes off after Rust. And Rust has a hallucination at the exact worse time and gets a knife to the gut from a surprisingly strong Errol. Marty puts a few bullets into Errol then takes a stabbing himself, only for Rust to finish Errol off with a headshot before collapsing. The cops show up, and apparently find the guys to take them to the hospital. The estate has enough buried evidence (like that pile of children’s clothes in Carcosa) to solve a ton of missing persons cases, and Rust eventually wakes up from his coma.
And Rust is in an oddly optimistic place (for him) as he recounts the only story there is is the one of light against dark, and the stars in the sky may suggest the dark has more territory, but Rust felt the love of his deceased father and daughter, and knows at one time the sky was all dark, so the light is winning. That’s a nice sentiment. And it may have been ripped off from Alan Moore’s Top Ten.
And that’s that for what many would consider the good season of True Detective. Am I quitting now? No. Let’s continue next week with season two. Maybe we can figure out what went wrong. It could just be a case of high expectations that couldn’t possibly be matched by anyone. Or maybe it just sucked. We’ll find out starting next week.