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True Detective Season 3: What We Know So Far

Updated on August 4, 2017
Helena Rigby profile image

A politology student with a passion for storytellers. Otherwise an idiot. But I'm tryin', Ringo, I'm tryin' real hard to be the shepherd...

Season 1

After its release in 2014, the first season of the infamous show True Detective became an instant hit with the viewers as well as the critics and went on to win numerous awards and nominations. With an incredible writing by Nic Pizzolatto, starring Matthew McConaughey as Detective Rust Cohle and Woody Harrelson as Detective Marty Hart, breathtaking cinematography and subjects of existentialism, it was everything but your usual cop show which its title might suggest being (which makes you think they could have come up with a more intruiging one due to the oh so many detective shows that are overflowing TV nowadays).

Rust Cohle's Philosophy

Season 2

The second season, despite the promising cast starring Colin Farrell, Rachel McAdams, Vince Vaughn and Taylor Kitsch, disappointed most and received harsh criticism. One of the problems of this season is demostrated already in the previous sentence - there seemed to be too many center characters to properly tell each of their stories in only 8 episodes. Another problem was the very complicated case which made most of us confused as to what was going on on the screen in the first episodes (and, in my case, stop trying to understand it later on). Add that to the fact that it's the follow up to what many call the best short series of all time and you can not escape comparing the two and making season 2 look really bad for a number of reasons (such as not having a legendary character like Rust delivering cool lines).

However, there were definitely moments of sheer brilliance in this season as well. The once again stunning cinematography and perfect music of the second season can certainly compete with season 1. The acting was also top notch and many name this as Vince Vaughn's best performace. And when it comes to some hidden gem scenes - take, for example, the foreshadowing scene of (spoiler alert) Ray's death accompanied by Jake La Botz's incredible impersonation of Conway Twitty's The Rose.

The Rose perfomed by Jake La Botz

Another great scene is Frank's (spoiler alert) death walk scene. He was arguably the coolest of characters in season 2 and had many of us really rooting for him until the very end (a indeed sad ending).

Frank's final walk

Finally, the third season!

All the way back in 2016, HBO head of programming Casey Bloys confirmed plans for a potential third season, stating:

"It is not dead. I talked to Nic about it and both Nic and HBO are open to another season. I don't think Nic has a take and he's working on some other projects. We're open to somebody else writing it and Nic supervising it. It's a valuable franchise, it's not dead, we just don't have a take for a third season yet."

Matthew McConaughey himself said in an interview that he misses the character of Cohle and would be interested in reprising his role (watch the video here). While most of the show's fans went crazy over the idea that everyone's favourite nihilist might return to their little screens, others worried it could feel like "milking" the already perfectly executed show that started and ended on a perfect note.

Bottom line, it all seemed pretty vague until March this year, when it was revealed that Pizzolatto has written the first two episodes of a potential third season and that the writer, producer and creator of Deadwood David Milch joined the creative team. Bloys commented:

The extent of Pizzolatto and Milch’s collaboration is still early days and not yet formalized. Obviously, Milch’s experience as a writer will be a key component, but for the record he’s not expected to serve as the True Detective showrunner (at this stage, there is no specified season 3 showrunner). Also keep in mind a third season has also not yet been greenlit, so new episodes are far from certain.”


Then, in July 2017, it was revealed that the newly Oscar winning actor Mahershala Ali could be starring in the new season of the anthology series, following his role in Moonlight which led to him winning the Academy Award for the Best Supporting Actor earlier this year. Considering the success of the first season with only 2 main characters on duty; the too-many-characters problem of season 2; and the fact that Ali is the only known actor that could star in season 3 - it is probable that Pizzolatto will have either a duo or even only one detective going solo on a case.

Now, considering that the main role is already (kind of) cast and that HBO is reportedly looking for a director for the new season, it feels safe to assume that the writing is at least close to being finished and all that it's left to confirm is when and where it will start shooting! On this topic, Bloys said:

"I don’t have anything on paper yet but I know there are some ideas going back and forth. I don’t want to rush it. I don’t want to do anything just to get it on the air."

"I know they've talked about perhaps [Season 2] was rushed into production, but I can tell you we're taking our time with the scripts. We're taking our time and I think it's paid off."

It feels like we're being given some mixed signals here... So, anytime you're ready for more info, HBO, anytime you're ready!


© 2017 Helena Mađaroš

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