The final image of the “The Locked Room” seemed pretty definitive. During a final recollection from Detective Cohle about how there are real monsters out there in the world the camera cut to this man.
Pretty hard to explain this as benign behavior. Maybe you can walk in the countryside in only tight underwear, but the gas mask and machete could draw attention. Is this the first time we see the murderer Cohle and Hart are hunting for? He fits the profile. Could he be the guy they framed for the murders or the man still out there in 2013?
What we do know is Detective Hart lives a life that doesn’t align with his conversations with his partner. He runs into his mistress while on a double date with his wife. He’s so out of control that he engages her in conversation at the bar. He goes as far to order them shots as if they are out together. Harrelson’s great at being under the influence. The later scene at the other woman’s apartment was a perfect example of that talent. Hart was on the edge of violence and tears.
The visit to the revival tent church was another opportunity for the show to banter about religion. This show indicts religion so often it should have been produced by Bill Maher. While Cohle describes religion as preying on the weak minded, he later uses the power of religious belief as leverage in an interrogation. McConaughey did award winning work with a knife and empty beer can. That’s how great he’s been so far on the show.
The most intense moment of the episode was Hart returning home to find a shirtless Cohle sitting in his house with his wife and kids. Cohle was helping out by mowing Hart’s lawn for him, but Hart takes it as a sexual advance toward his wife. That makes sense in Hart’s mind because he lives in a world where cheating is common. That seems to be the last thing on Cohle’s mind. All he wants to do is focus on the case. Cohle retreats back into the evidence room, and finds connections to earlier homicides. One body even sports the swirling symbol that was seen on Dora Lange.
Next week’s episode is delayed because of the Super Bowl, so no new “True Detective” until the follow Sunday. That means we won’t know more about the monster until then except he loves long walks in the sun.