'True Detective' Star Michelle Monaghan on Maggie's Predatory Turn and the Show's 'Shocking,' 'Disturbing' Resolution

If you weren't already totally obsessed with HBO's "True Detective" (Sundays, 9 p.m.), maybe tonight's episode finally captured your attention?

The Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson-led anthology drama has spawned hundreds of whodunit theories and even more casting suggestions for Season 2, but it hasn't given its female lead, Michelle Monaghan, much to do as Martin Hart's (Harrelson) wife Maggie… until now.

Spoiler alert: Continue reading at your own risk if you haven't yet seen "True Detective" Season 1, Episode 6, titled "Haunted Houses."

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After Maggie caught Marty in yet another cheating, lying scenario, she realized the only way to truly make him sorry — and to get him out of her life and their daughters' lives for good — was to do the unthinkable: She slept with his partner Rust (McConaughey).

Keep reading for her take on Maggie as the "predator," some hints of what's to come in the season's final two episodes, and a very interesting choice of words when describing the end of Maggie and Marty's relationship that might get conspiracy theorists (yes, myself included) all riled up. Maggie wanted to "protect herself and her daughters" from Marty. That makes him sound pretty threatening, doesn't it?

What an episode. And whoa Maggie!
It is a great episode. You see Maggie, who has been sort of rounding fourth the whole series, she's definitely had her ups and downs with Marty, and we start to see her get some of her power back. As a result of Marty's infidelity — once again — she makes a very, very bold decision. In order to really free herself from her relationship with Marty and to protect herself and her daughters from him, she decides to have an affair with Rust, knowing that Marty would never, ever be able to forgive her for it.

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How long was she plotting this? When Maggie saw Marty's reaction to Rust being there to return their lawnmower a few episodes back, do you think the wheels started turning then?
I think she knew that Marty was always threatened by Rust, and for no other reason except that Marty is incredibly immature. There was no reason for him to be jealous of Rust or jealous of the relationship she had with Rust — it was very much a friendly relationship. But she goes out to that bar, looking to get picked up or to pick a guy up and then tell Marty, but I think she realizes that wouldn't be enough. I think Marty would look at it and say, "Alright, well an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Let's move forward now." And I don't think she really believes his behavior is going to change, and I think it dawns on her then that her only out is Rust.

But it's such a powerful scene. It's not like she goes over there innocently and he's sweet and sensitive with her like he always has been…
Thank you, yeah, it is. She goes over, almost sort of like a predator. She knows what she's after. When she walks in, I think she sees that he's been drinking, that he's in the middle of his investigation, he's vulnerable, and it dawns on her that it's going to be easier than she thought. And as soon as the act is finished, she has to come clean with him at that point. She can't play the game any longer; the game is done for her. And it's devastating for her that she's used him as a scapegoat… I think that's the thing that hurts the most — that she's used him and devastated him.

Yeah, not that it was the final nail in the coffin on her dying marriage, but that she hurt her friend Rust. That says it all. We also finally got to see her in the 2012 timeline, not telling the whole truth to the new detectives, kind of trying to protect both men really. What is her mindset now?
When she's going through their interrogation, it's once a cop's wife, always a cop's wife. She doesn't trust Marty, but she absolutely does not trust these guys. She doesn't know what they're after, but she's not about to give up anything. She does have the integrity not to throw them under the bus, especially after everything they've all been through. I don't think that she will help them in any way. I don't think she'll be the catalyst to help them unravel anything. It's painful, I think, because she's having to relive something that she probably hasn't thought about in a long time — she has a lot of space in between — so it's confronting for her, in a way, and she definitely has her defenses up.

Will we be seeing more of 2012 Maggie?
You will be seeing more of Maggie in the upcoming episodes as well — present day, 2012 Maggie.

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Interesting... We don't have that much more time with you guys, with only two more episodes left now. I'm curious: Will the blanks between 2002 and 2012 be filled in?
Yes, they will. They absolutely will.

So cagey! OK, beyond reviews, have you been following the buzz and theories about the show online? Because there are a lot.
Not at all! I have not looked at a thing! People keep asking me if I've been reading theories, and "Oh, have you seen this?," and now I'm actually quite curious.

I'll tell you mine: It's not that I necessarily believe Marty is the Yellow King, but the poster brings up some questions, with the only part of the image repeating on the bottom is Marty's crown of hair… which, if the poster weren't in black and white, would be bright yellow. A yellow crown for a yellow king.
Wow. Wow, wow, wow… I think that's the sign of a great show, when people are not only tuning in each week, but they are online talking about it, coming up with their theories. It means that they're thinking about it. Wow… [laughs] now I'm totally excited for you to see the next few episodes.

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Even cagier! Have you ever been like this about a show?
"X Files"! I loved it — I was a huge "X Files" fan! I was the gal talking to all my friends about every episode. I wasn't really on the Internet about that one — that was kind of pre-my time on the Internet — but being really into a show, that was one of my first.

People on Twitter had a blast dream casting funny cop duos for Season 2. I asked Matthew and Woody the same thing before the series premiered, but would you be willing to return for subsequent seasons of "True Detective," a la "American Horror Story's" anthology model, in another capacity, not as Maggie Hart?
Sure, absolutely. I would do anything with Nic Pizzolatto. He's such a talented writer, and it was such a pleasure to work with him. But I know that's not the intention in terms of "True Detective" — they really do want to have new actors and a new director every season so it feels like a whole new show — but in terms of doing anything with Nic Pizzolatto outside of "True Detective," I would welcome the opportunity.

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What three words would you use to describe these last episodes?
Oh gosh… I would say shocking, disturbing, and resolve.

So there is resolution?
Yeah. Oh yes, very much so.

We will know who the killer is?
Y-y-y-y-yes. Yes. [Laughs.]

When you read the reveal, were you surprised?
Yes. [Laughs.] I can't be that girl, you know what I mean? [Laughs.] The whole thing would get ugly if I said more! We actually all knew… all eight episodes were written when we went in to shoot it, so before any of us signed on, we were actually able to read the entire series, which was the reason why all of us signed on to do it, because it was just so good, beginning, middle, and end. You'll see.

"True Detecitve" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.