Mahershala Ali soars, but a third True Detective can’t escape the show’s past

Mahershala Ali stars in True Detective.
Photo: Warrick Page

A prospective Oscar frontrunner stars in an HBO mystery directed by a festival-circuit hotshot, about a murder in a small town in the American South. But it’s about much more than that, this tale of the lone-wolf detective who drinks too much and investigates the same crime across multiple time periods. It’s sort of about time itself, and the stories we keep rolling over and over in our heads—and maybe something about a vast conspiratorial scheme with potentially supernatural connections, too.