5 Unanswered Questions from the 'True Detective' Finale

MichaelKolander by MichaelKolander on Mar. 10, 2014

5 Unanswered Questions from the 'True Detective' Finale

In case you're an idiot, Spoiler Alert!!!

There’s no doubt that True Detective’s first season was one of the most entertaining television series in recent memory. But last night’s finale left a lot to be desired. To be clear, it wasn’t an extreme disappointment like some other shows (Battle Star Galactic, American Horror Story: Season 1Lost, etc.). And to be fair, it had some exciting, extremely intense moments. But on the whole, it was still a pretty unsatisfying ending to an otherwise spectacular season.

I’m not the type of person who expects everything to wrap up in a nice little package. After all, some plot points are better off left to the imagination (Where is Walter White’s money?). But True Detective left us with some major questions unanswered. I’m not sitting around wondering what happened to Ginger (frankly, I don’t want to know). But when a major conspiracy central to the plot is explained away with one line on the TV news, you can’t expect viewers to walk away feeling content.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at five unanswered questions from the True Detective finale.

What the Hell Happened to Marty’s Daughter?

Granted, this is the weakest question on my list, but it’s worth asking.

At a young age, Audrey was drawing pictures of graphic sex acts and using her dolls to portray scenes of group sex. By the time she reached high-school, she became, as Marty put it, “captain of the varsity slut team.” Why?

Of course, having an absentee, alcoholic father who is also a serial adulterer is a perfectly valid explanation. But when you add a plotline about a sexually troubled girl into a show about ritualistic sexual abuse, viewers are going to draw some conclusions.

It's safe for viewers to conclude that Audrey will grow and go to ASU."

Normally, there’s nothing wrong with a red herring that keeps viewers guessing, but this wasn’t really a misdirection so much as a plot line that went nowhere. I guess it helped establish that Marty’s family life was crumbling, but there are ways to do that without Audrey wearing a crown similar to the one worn by murder victim Marie Fontenot. Of course, maybe writer Nic Pizzolatto doesnt buy the whole "Chekhov's gun" thing, which is fine. But it seems like he went out of his way to imply that Audrey was involved in the larger plot, and I’m not sure why.

Why Was Dora Lange’s Body Left To Be Found?

As we now know, Errol Childress was responsible for the deaths of numerous women and children. He managed to keep his decades-long killing spree under the radar by using his family connections to deflect attention from law enforcement, and by maintaining a low profile as a lowly groundskeeper. So why did he decide to leave Dora Lange’s body where it could easily be found, and why did he take the extra step of lighting the field on fire in order to attract attention?

Hold still!

I know serial killers do weird shit, so it’s not a stretch to believe that someone would do this on purpose. But outside Lange and the dead girl who reignites the investigation in 2012, Childress never draws attention to his crimes. So why does he do so with Lange?

For the sake of argument, let’s say Errol simply wanted to be caught, or draw attention to his family’s cult. That leads us to yet another question.

Why Does The Tuttle Cult Tolerate Errol Childress?

The Tuttle-Family Sex Cult is made up of extremely powerful political and religious figures who use their influence to hide unspeakable crimes. So why do they stick their necks out for Errol Childress, a bastard relative living a life of incestuous squalor?

Errol Childress in happier, more incestuous times!

Blood is thicker than water, I suppose. And it’s possible that Errol couldn’t go down without the entire family breaking his fall. But when Reverend Billy Lee Tuttle lost his snuff film, Rust implied the Tuttle family staged his suicide to keep things quiet. If they’re willing to off a powerful religious figure, then why would they hesitate to eliminate a backwoods maniac like Errol who has lead the police right to the family’s door?

How Does Senator Tuttle Mange to Keep His Family’s Crime A Secret?

Before Rust heads out to find Errol, he leaves a stack of packages to be mailed to various law enforcement agencies and media outlets. Inside these packages are details of his investigation, and a copy of the snuff film stolen from Billy Lee Tuttle. Yet at the hospital, we find out from a news broadcast that the FBI is denying Senator Tuttle is related to Errol. How is this possible?

Didn't anyone read my blog, RustyTrombone.biz?

I can understand why the federal government might not want to publicize the fact that a sitting US Senator is part of a murder-sex cult, but the information is already out there. Why wouldn’t the press report on it when multiple outlets already know the truth? More importantly, the two men who broke the case are still alive. Why aren't reporters clamoring to speak with Rust or Marty about their accusations against the Tuttle family? And why aren’t Rust and Marty screaming what they know about the Tuttle family to anyone who will listen? Which brings us to my last question.

Why Did Rust and Marty Just Give Up?

In the hospital, Rust complains to Marty about the fact that aside from Errol, the Tuttle family will go unpunished. Marty replies, “We ain’t gonna get them all. That ain’t the kind of world it is. But we got ours.”

What?

Honestly, one passing line about Senator Tuttle on the TV news isn't going to cut it. If both Rust and Marty had died, or even just Rust, I could have swallowed an FBI cover up. But both men lived, and they have a paper trail, not to mention a snuff film stolen from Tuttle's brother's house. Of course, it's Rust's word against the Tuttle family, but considering he just used his evidence to catch a serial killer, I think he's built up some credibility. Why is he willing to walk away with so much left unfinished? It makes no sense.

My biggest problem is that True Detective built up a huge conspiracy involving powerful figures who have prison inmates killed on a whim, but then reduced it all down to a mentally-ill groundskeeper with some melee weapons. The show was one hell of a ride, but such a great season deserved a more thoughtful ending. 

That said, how can I be that upset with a show that gave us this scene...

She should really start a muder-sex cult.

All bitching aside, great job, guys!