That's me still wandering around the house trying to waken from the nightmare that was Episode 8 from HBO's drama series True Detective. And it's "ack" not because of the Southern Gothic nightmare wrapped up in brilliant acting and direction. It's because the ending prettily jettisoned most of the season's reasons for being, tied it up with a bow, and patted it's hideous little head while sending it off into Peabody Award land.
I had a better ending. I wrote this a few days ago but didn't post it because I knew it would be wrong. I think it would have been a better ending, though. La la.
We don’t know anything about Rust’s wife. We know that he had a child who died. He says she was killed in an accident with a car, but nobody has checked it out. What injuries did she have?
|Rust and his Beer Man|
In episode 2, Rust says that the person who’s guilty of the killing of Dora Lang is artistic, goes with prostitutes, and is religious or has ideas about meaning. And, he says, meaning means scope, and scope means history.
From the beginning, Rust seems intent on building up the scope of the whole thing. What if Rust’s wife was related to the Tuttles, and he was taken, unwitting, to Carcosa, when he and his wife were young parents? Then his child, to his horror, was taken and killed. Young and stupid and not knowing what to do, he then took the child back to the yard and made up the story of the car accident.
So the entire thing is Rust’s revenge on the Tuttles. He has to bring them down, but he needs Marty to pull it off. He hand-picked Marty from the beginning. The Tuttles are evil, and lawnmower man is the killer. But when Rust goes off and works for High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, he is running away.
Rust didn’t kill anyone, but he allowed his own child to be killed. His wife then folded back into the dark maze of Tuttles and is now someone hiding in plain sight. But who is she?
In all his interrogations, Rust is trying to get his ultimate revenge on the Tuttle family. Even he doesn’t know the pieces, but Marty can help him and he knows it.
In fact, Rust may well have come back to the bayou country to be a cop because that’s the only way he can get to the Tuttles. As he says, also in episode 2, “Of course I’m a dangerous man. I’m police, and I can do things to people with impunity.” And that, he knows, is the only way he can get to the Tuttles—by being off the grid when he needs to be and to be dangerous, with impunity.
And he’s always letting Marty know that he has him and that Marty must help. Once, in the police locker room, he says he smells sex on Marty, and he lets Marty know that he (Rust) knows Marty has been sleeping around. Later, when Marty shoots Reggie Ledoux, Rust knows he has Marty for the duration.
And somehow, the ten years between the killing of Ledoux and Rust’s return were planned by Rust from the beginning. He knew that he would have to let things ebb and flow and look random if he was to get close to the Tuttles. Marty said, “Rust had about the best eye for weakness I ever seen.” The greatest weakness he ever saw was Marty’s.
Remember the first thing Marty says: You don’t get to pick your parents or your partner? I think Rust somehow picked his partner. Maybe with the help of some Tuttle on the inside or something.
Marty was looking everywhere else when the truth was right in front of his face. Rust was involved as a brilliant man seeking revenge. He was a good man who made one horrible and fatal error—he got involved with a family he didn’t know. And the rest of his life was a deeply designed plan to exact revenge on a family whose trajectory seemed to be rising. Only he was in a position to bring it down. And he needed an unwitting disciple to help him.
Gaw, what an ending THAT would have been! Ah well. Back to real life.