TV Recap: TRUE DETECTIVE “Haunted Houses” (106) [HBO]

Who cares about all that sinister cult stuff? Let’s get down and dirty with what really matters, infidelity. true-detectiveSo, right before this episode I wrote a whole article that could be summed up pretty simply as ‘There is some weird next level shit happening all up in here, yo.’ Hilariously, this episode six played the most like a straight forward proceedural thus far. That is not to say the shadow over the detectives wasn’t there; just that the focus was more personal. We are finally treated to what drove the rift between Cohl and Hart. Compared to the rest of the season this episode seemed tame, but the quality of the show keeps it engaging and the tension tight regardless.

So, a quick breakdown of the episode.We open on Hart beating the bejeezus out of the two boys his daughter was caught with, once again showing his uncontrollable passions and intense sense of ownership of the woman in his life. Then 2012 Hart being interviewed takes us back to the last case he and Cohl worked together in 2002. Cohl gets a confession out of a woman who murders her children through his usual understanding demeanor. Then promptly advises she kill herself once she has signed a confession. This shows us once again Cohl’s ability to play people’s emotions and convince them he cares. And how quickly he drops thr pretense once he gets what is needed. It is a very chilling thing to see and often cathartic.

Eager to get back to investigating the missing persons, a distracted and frustrated Cohl lays out that he thinks his partner is deadweight after Hart bristles at being left to type up the confession. Hart doesn’t know that Cohl is looking into the possibility that the killings are still happening. Cohl is unaware that Hart already feels impotent and ineffective after finding out about his daughter. This makes for a great argument where both men are pretty raw. It also opens the crack that will split them apart. Cohl tracks down a more missing persons cases confirming their invlovement with a series of schools connected to the Rev. Tuttle. Hart starts an affair with the girl he met years before at the backwater bunny ranch, which is going to be my all girl ska band name. This is a nice little touch. During the original investigation Hart had given her some money to get out of there. Cohl had accused him of going after jail bait in an almost prophetic statement.

Cohl talks to the girl who they rescued from Ledoux years earlier. She’s in a mental ward and is almost catatonic, but when she sees Cohl she comes to. Before going into hysterics she confirms there was another man who was at Ledoux’s, one with scarring on his face. We still haven’t encountered this man, who Dora Lang had been seen with at the church revival. Now we can be sure he’s involved in this whole mess. We even get to see the old revival preacher in this episode now a day drunk. He has a particularly chilling moment with Cohl talking about how he was trying to get closer to God and all he ever got was silence. The years aren’t nice in this town.

After we get the obligatory Lieutenant yelling at Cohl for going outside his jurisdiction moment where Hart leaves Cohl to dangle in the wind. Another straw on the camel, etc. Cohl can be a grade A ass, but he’s never left his partner hanging. Cohl proceeds to go talk to Rev. Tuttle and we get the creepy evil automatic opening doors of doom, so we know something is up with this guy. There has never been a good guy with doors that swing slowly on their own. Their conversation is freaking genius. Each one carefully testing the other, it’s a conversation that only happens in subtext. The whole room is bright and naked. It’s awesome.

The Reverend narks and Cohl gets pulled from active duty for his trouble. Hart’s wife has discovered the affair and instead of confronting him, she goes over to Cohl’s place upset and she proceeds to have vindictive sex, which is going to be the aforementioned band’s first album. Once Cohl realizes she did this only to get revenge on her husband, he sends her out of his house, visibly wounded. This is especially hurtful for Cohl as Hart’s wife is the only person we have seen him speak to openly. The betrayal is the most emotion we have gotten from Cohl and made worse since now both his friends have hurt him. She tells Hart, and the next day when Cohl comes to get his files Hart practically leaps on him, busting a tail light on Cohl’s truck. The fight is a usual expression of the two characters, Cohl is controlled and evasive. Hart rages and simply acts. Neither will tell the Lieutenant what the fight was about but Cohl is done with the whole thing and promptly quits the force. In 2012 Hart has left the interview in anger. He is being honked at on the road. It’s Cohl and he wants to talk over a beer. Harts agrees, but we see him load his small revolver. Either something else is going on or the investigators have gotten to him and he doesn’t trust Cohl. As Cohl’s truck pulls out in front of Hart to lead him, we see the tail light is still busted. After all this time Cohl’s gathered something, but hasn’t acted. Which just might mean these two need each other.

Yeah, that wasn’t very short. Stay tuned.

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