January 28, 2023

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True Detective “The Secret Fate Of All Life”

Season One, Episode Five.

Both Rust and Marty, speaking from 2012, talk about the shoot-out as the thing that made them what they are.  We finally see it in this episode, but the thing is, it’s over 20 minutes into the episode, and there’s still more to come from three more episodes.

After the excitement of catching White Nationalist type Ginger last week, Rust meets with Ginger’s contact, the one man who has access to Reggie Ledoux, the prime suspect in the Dora Lange murder.  The man in question is rather hostile to Rust and leaves.  Marty follows him, and the partners arrive at a bayou-looking spot where Reggie holes up in the backwoods cooking meth.

And the story the pair are telling does not match up with the images onscreen.  The guys cut across the land, evade booby traps involving hand grenades, and find the shack, sneak in, and catch Ledoux.  No fuss, no muss.  The story they tell involves a rapid shoot-out that the two got lucky on by taking down Ledoux and the contact.

Why make things up?  Well, after cuffing Ledoux, Marty went back inside to search the shack.  Ledoux was babbling stuff about a Yellow King, Carcosa, and how time is a flat circle.  You know, the last one that got famously worked into Rust’s pessimistic outlook on life.  Then Marty comes back, angry, and shoots Ledoux in the head.  The contact comes out, makes a run for it, and hits one of the booby traps.  No witnesses.  Rust helps Marty cover up Ledoux’s murder (Rust later calls the death justice and had no problem with it).

Why did Marty go berserk?  Marty is a lot of awful things, and he even cites the Detective’s Curse again about how he let his family slip away from him (first time he says as much though 2012 Marty does not wear a wedding ring), but he’s still a father, and Ledoux had two small children locked up in the back as future victims.  One was already dead, and the other wasn’t doing much better.

Again, that’s only the first 20 minutes of the episode.  What happened next?

Well, aside from Marty and Maggie getting back together at least temporarily, Rust even settles down a bit with a girlfriend for a few years and becomes something of a normal guy.  Heck, the two guys might be almost friends at this point, something else we know won’t last thanks to the interrogation stuff in 2012.  Time passes.  Marty seems to lose hair and gain weight.  And then one day, Rust is doing his super-interrogation skills to use on a double-murderer who claims to know something about the real Yellow King still being out there killing people.

That guy turns up dead of a suicide later after getting a phone call allegedly from his attorney.  It probably wasn’t since attorneys tend not call from pay phones in the middle of nowhere.  Rust even goes alone back to that religious school to look for clues and finds classrooms full of the twig sculptures.  And if I double-checked, I bet I’d see the guy on the lawnmower outside again.

What’s up with the 2012 interrogation?  Yeah, Rust figures out he’s not being called to consult.  He’s not an expert.  He’s a suspect.  Marty figures that out as well, and though he clearly doesn’t like Rust, he also doesn’t think Rust killed anybody.  Rust walked out.  Marty still has some story to tell about how the two fell out.

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