"True Detective" is amazing! And it's almost over! And it's impossible to talk about without using exclamation points!
Seriously, though, this season of "True Detective" has been mesmerizing, masterful television on every level. And with the finale airing Sunday, we're now less than a week away from finding out who the killer/Yellow King/monster at the end of this dream is.
So how are we spending these maddening hours waiting for Sunday night to get here already? By going through all 35 seconds of the season finale preview with a fine-toothed comb and digging around for clues, Rust Cohle-style. Time is a flat circle, guys… especially when you're watching this preview on a loop.
0:02: The Creole Nature Trail, aka the stretch of Louisiana highway where Reggie Ledoux's meth lab/child prison was located. Could Rust and Marty be headed back to the scene of the crime (Reggie's, as well as Marty's)?
A distinguished, theater-y voice narrates: "It's been weeks since I left my mark. Would that they had eyes to see…" Hmmm, doesn't sound like a Louisiana native.
0:06: Oof, a torture scene. An unidentified assailant with serious back scars towers over an unidentified victim tied down to a bare bed frame in some godforsaken cabin in the woods. The victim looks lean and gaunt. 2012 Rust, maybe?
0:10: Hart shares a diner booth with Det. Papania (wait, he goes places without Gilbough? Say it ain't so!), and Papania needles him: "You know something. You're obstructing." Hart fires back, "We don't know." (Nice to know they're still as clueless as we are.)
0:12: Hart and Cohle delve into the belly of the beast, as a ghostly voice (the same voice from the opening, we think) warns, "This is Carcosa. Take off your mask." Marty looks a little in awe of what he's seeing.
0:17: More weird iconography, similar to the "devil catchers" the detectives have been finding all season long. We think they're in the right place…
0:20: A heavenly light! A sign that the true killer is finally revealed for all to see? Or is Rust making good on his promise last week to off himself once this case is closed? (The light is positioned right on Rust's head...)
0:24: A haggard old woman tells Hart, "He's gonna come for you. He's worse than anybody." Who is "he," dammit? Spit it out! This is the finale!
0:25: We hear the sound of a rifle cocking, as a crosshairs falls on Sheriff Steve Geraci, lying helplessly by his ill-gotten Maserati.
Rust signals the shooter…
Hey, it's Robert, that cop-hating bar owner we met last week! But are they just trying to scare Geraci into talking?
0:27: Marty and Rust run through the woods, guns drawn. But are they running towards something, or away from something?
0:28: Papania (again, without Gilbough) shows up with a fleet of cop cars. Looks like we're building to a climactic finish here.
0:30: Whoa, Marty straight up puts a gun to the head of the haggard old woman while she sobs. She must know something. Or have said something to really set Marty off. (She didn't mow his lawn, did she?)
So what did we learn? Things might not end so great for Rust… although we kind of knew that already. And we have a weird feeling there's something up with Gilbough, since we only see Papania without him. Is Rust right that this conspiracy involves the Louisiana police as well?
Plus, we didn't see any signs of a few conspicuously dangling plot threads: Marty's rebellious daughter, Audrey; the creepy Lawnmower Man (with his facial scars) who resurfaced last week; or Maggie, or any of Hart's mistresses. Will any of these threads play a part in how the season ultimately wraps up?
Is it Sunday yet?
The season finale of "True Detective" airs Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO.