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True Detective - The Big Never - Advance Preview

Previously on True Detective: A mysterious ransom note mixes things up in 1980, Julie Purcell is alive at least as late as 1990, and 2015-era Detective Hays struggles with memory loss that also takes a toll on his family.

1980:
     The strongest storyline for me in the 1980 timeline revolves around the garbage collector. It’s hard to completely dismiss anyone who is suspicious of him. He is, of course, the only town loner who was known to have been around when the Purcells went missing. Despite this fact, it should be pretty obvious to audience members that he had no involvement in the children’s disappearance or murder. This episode does a wonderful job of fleshing out the local community’s cruel response to his mere continued existence.

     There will also, of course, be a "handful" of developments in the 1980 investigation as Wayne and Roland backtrack and look over things they may have missed the very first time around. The first season of True Detective featured a lot of religious iconography and this season appears to be little different in this respect.

1990:
     This episode explains a lot about the personal developments for Wayne ten years after the start of the case. The Purcell children’s disappearance is inextricably connected with his personal life. On top of being the case that will consume his career, it also introduced him to his wife and is the direct source of many of their marital issues.

     This episode delves into a great level of detail about Wayne's relationship with Amelia, as well as her involvement with the case over the years. As Amelia becomes more involved in the investigation, 1990-era Wayne introduces the audience to a lot of the insecurities that 2015-era Wayne deals with in regards to his family. While True Detective never gives the audience enough information to figure the whole story out (What would be the fun in that?), this episode spells out a lot of the personal problems that Wayne will suffer for the next twenty-five years. One particularly great scene features Wayne searching for his daughter, Rebecca, in a store. In the context of the Purcell case, the experience is understandably hard on Wayne.

     You will also learn what Tom and Lucy Purcell have been up to in the ten years since their daughter first disappeared. While the murder of one child and the continued disappearance of another has completely changed their lives, the effects have not been equivalent.

2015: 
     As Wayne and his family adjust to the tough realities of living with a debilitating illness like dementia, it becomes very obvious that Wayne is still bothered by the unfinished business of the Purcell case. Despite the important events of 1990, something about the Purcell case remains unresolved for Wayne even in his elder years. I found these parts of the episode to be the most interesting. Since Wayne knows more about the case in 2015 than any other time period, it’s interesting to see how he responds under the pressure of questioning.

     While answering more questions for Elisa's documentary, Wayne begins to question the interviewer's motives. This is the best part of the episode because it causes the audience to question whether Wayne's suspicions are simply brought on by his dementia or if his investigative brain is still honestly ticking away.

Rating: 9.7/10 - This episode was even better than the premiere for me. While the ending was somewhat predictable, the developments throughout the episode are a unique combination of character and plot. The nonlinear narrative structure continues to be used to the best effect possible. As our set of characters' paths continue to intersect across multiple timelines, this series continues to work its magic in the best ways.

Tune in to True Detective on Sundays @ 9 pm on HBO. Be sure to come back here to SpoilerTV to let everyone else know what you thought of the episode.

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