Huh. I wasn’t expecting that.
I mean…I think we got as close as True Detective could come, given everything that has happened up to this point, to a happy ending. I mean, it’s somewhat bleak, but it’s a tragedy only insofar as Wayne Hays can’t remember things. His life turned out much better than the show had been implying.
Did his marriage fall apart in 1990? No. In fact, he and Amelia talked and came out of it stronger. Heck, the opening scene was a different timeline where Wayne was head of campus security at what I am assuming was some unnamed college as he goes to see Amelia read poetry to a class of her own.
Did he lose his daughter as the show implied? No. Far from it. He just didn’t remember what happened.
Did he find Julie Purcell?
Um, maybe. The show never quite confirms, but it implies heavily that he does, and she might have also turned out OK in the end. There are a lot of blanks filled in, and while what happened was awful to poor Tom Purcell, it turned out some people knew a lot more about what happened, and much of it had more to do with making sure their kids turned out OK. The motives behind much of what happened weren’t sinister so much as misguided and fearful. Heck, the one surviving person from the cover-up wanted to be punished in 2015.
We even saw how Roland got so attached to all those dogs he has. In a moment of darkness, it was a dog that came to comfort him.
And heck, we even had a scene with Michael Rooker as Edward Hoyt.
So, in the end, the season was about the importance of family, something Marty Hart gave lip service to back in season one but never got the same way Wayne Hays did. The case was hurting his family in 1980 and 1990, so he quit it. So did Amelia. They were both happier with each other as a result.
So, yeah, there was some potential sadness in the last shot, one of Wayne in Vietnam wandering through the jungle alone, but his family was tighter than he thought, he probably solved the case even if he doesn’t remember it (and Henry pocketed the address Wayne had, so there’s some hope there), and he and Roland reconnected and became friends again. It looks like, all things being equal, everything turned out more or less OK.
If only Wayne could remember that.
So, season three is perhaps not as good as season one, but it sure was better than season two. Really, this was a worth it season of television. 9 out of 10 VFW bar reconciliations.
But now it’s time for something new for Tuesdays. I know at least one if not two of my past Tuesday shows will be out eventually, but for now, let’s just give The Umbrella Academy a shot.
How do those kids see through those masks?