Now, after four years of True Detective’s brand power slowly fading, Pizzolatto has returned with a third installment, and it’s clear that the creator and writer has learned some useful lessons. For one, he’s simplified the show, paring back the ensemble and focusing mostly on one haunted gumshoe, the detective Wayne Hays (Mahershala Ali), as he investigates the disappearance of two children in the Arkansas Ozarks. On top of that, Pizzolatto has embraced many of the story elements that made the first season such a success, including three shifting timelines and a more Southern Gothic feel.
Yet the original magic is not quite back, and perhaps it never will be. True Detective broke onto the American TV landscape when it still seemed possible for the entire country to screech to a halt and obsess over a show together. It was the macabre details of that first