Entertainment Geekly is a weekly column that examines pop culture through a geek lens and simultaneously examines contemporary geek culture through a pop lens. So many lenses! This week there are two columns inspired by True Detective, partially because True Detective was a thought-provoking TV show which deserves a significant amount of thoughtful analysis, but mainly because I missed a column last week. Yesterday: A consideration of where the show’s ending fits into the pantheon. Today: A meditation on the show’s meaning, or lack thereof. Spoilers follow.
At the end of True Detective‘s second episode, philosophizing detective and anti-human crusader Rust Cohle has one of his occasional acid-flashback visions. Maybe it’s a hallucination; maybe it’s a misfiring brain neuron; maybe we all create the world for ourselves every time we open our eyes. He sees a flock of birds ascend into the sky. They form a spiral — an echo of the spiral tattoo on the back of murder victim Dora Lange, a symbol of the downward spiral of the accident that is human consciousness, evidence that the wind was blowing kinda weird just then. Maybe the spiral means something. Maybe it just looks cool.
True Detective was a show that looked cool. It was also a show about the battle between good and evil. Spoiler alert: Good won. On one hand, reducing True Detective to this binary equation is unfair. On the other hand, the show reduced itself, concluding its season finale with a long conversation between the two leads about the oldest story in the world, light triumphing over the darkness, stars twinkling in the darkness, good night stars, good night air, good night noises everywhere. READ FULL STORY