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"Haunted Houses" retreads too many clichés from the detective genre, even when its actors do a stellar job of killing time.
It's a credit to the acting abilities of Woody Harrelson, Michelle Monaghan, and Matthew McConaughey that they make this oldest of stories feel so vital.
True Detective shows that Louisiana is filled with conspiracies, large and small.
An illuminating hour that takes us further into the darkness that lurks within everyone...
We find out why Marty Hart and Rust Cohle had such a bitter falling out in 2002, and finally meet the power player somehow involved in the cult killings, in this fairly by-the-book (but still gripping) episode of True Detective.
It's become clear that the truth of the resolution will transcend our theories and hearken back to choices that have been postponed for years.
While anything might happen, I don't think writer Nic Pizzolatto and director Cary Joji Fukunaga are playing tricks on us. I think they're just telling an old-fashioned murder story really, really well.
From its po-faced treatment of Rust and Marty's hard-man personae to its lackluster track record with women characters, the series leaned hard on its weak spots, and the episode couldn't take the weight.
"Haunted Houses" is an ugly piece of TV, but it's captivating and spellbinding in its ugliness. (And, in the elegance of the filmmaking and the delicateness of Nic Pizzolatto's plotting, genuinely alluring.)
On paper, plonking Maggie in the interview room might seem like a good idea, allowing Pizzolatto to maintain the show's time-skipping structure despite Rust and Marty having cut short their respective interviews, but in reality it adds little.
"Haunted Houses..." demonstrates some of the pitfalls of the structure Pizzolatto's using. It's essentially an hour of filling in the blanks.