For our review of the last episode of True Detective, click here.
Synopsis: Wayne and Roland revisit discrepancies in the Purcell case that were hidden or forgotten over the years. Among those being reevaluated is Tom Purcell, as well as Lucy Purcell’s cousin, Dan O’Brien. The glitter of Amelia’s book release is tarnished by a voice from the past. (HBO)
Writers: Graham Gordy and Nic Pizzolatto
Director: Daniel Sackheim
Running Time: 58mins
Airs: Sundays at 9pm on HBO Canada (Canada)/HBO (United States)
It sure took a while to get there but once it did…
The last episode ended with a revelation of a possible conspiracy at play at the heart of the Purcell case. This episode started with off with Hays and West in the 90s going in the opposite direction and investigating Tom as a suspect. Evidence came to light suggesting that Tom may not even be Julie or Will’s biological father. Having since developed a relationship with Tom, West was a little hesitant of going hard on him but Hays took the opposite approach.
The peephole found in Will’s room, looking into Julie’s, suggested that Tom may have had a different interest in Julie, however, he was adamant otherwise. The authorities were determined to maintain the narrative that Woodard was guilty of the murder of both children and now Tom was believed to be an accomplice. From there, the sole focus of the investigation was Tom and it would go on a tangent from there. Meanwhile, we also saw what may have led to Hays leaving Major Crimes in the 80s as the authorities then were attempting to pin the murder of Will and Julie on Woodard despite evidence that indicated otherwise which simply frustrated Hays who did not agree at all.
Back to the 90s, Hays and West checked back in on one of the officers who worked the Woodard scene (and who may have planted evidence) named Harris James (Scott Shepherd). We also know that he would go missing during the investigation but then worked security for the same as company as Lucy Purcell. Meanwhile, Hays and Amelia were coming to terms with the fact that suburban life may not be for them. She would start an investigation of her own, writing another book on the new investigation. She talked with a runaway girl who had spent time with Julie. She mentioned that Julie spoke extensively about being a queen of a pink room (thus corroborating what was said earlier). During a live reading of her first book, a black man with a dead eye (similar to what Hays and West were looking for before) interrupted by asking Amelia about the new investigation.
Hays and West would get a call from the scumbag cousin Dan O’Brien (Michael Graziadei) (who we know died soon after) who tried to extort money from them for information that may connect Lucy’s overdose to the case, hinting that there may be others looking for Julie. We also get our first moment of friction between Hays and West, leading to Hays returning to the since-abandoned Purcell home. He discovered that the aforementioned peephole was really used to send messages back and forth between Will and Julie. Meanwhile in 2015, West got an idea of how far gone Hays had become.
The big reveal of the episode surprisingly didn’t come from Hays or West but from Tom who was doing his own investigation and was quite effective. He found O’Brien who denied being responsible for Will and Julie and then beat out the information from him about who funded Lucy skipping down. As he is about to shoot O’Brien, the camera cut away so we don’t know for sure if Tom killed him. Now drinking and driving, he would stumble on to the mansion owned by the company where Lucy and James worked, Hoyt Foods, finding a restricted area and the pink room as James snuck up behind him.
Overall, Hunters in the Dark was a good episode of True Detective that meanders a little more than most before hitting us at the end. While it was still somewhat powerful, it wasn’t quite a surprise considering what we know so far. Hays and Amelia’s relationship continues to become more and more nonexistent and Henry’s subplot didn’t matter all that much either as he may or may not be cheating on his wife with Elisa. However at the end of the day, the acting is what saves it and everyone was still on point here. The 2015 scene between Hays and West was heartbreaking and Tom was compelling to watch throughout. Hopefully, this means that he will have more of a role over the last 2 episodes as it would only make sense that he does. This better all be worth it.