It was a smart move to keep the life of Errol Childress, the yellow monster at the end of the “True Detective” rainbow, until the last episode of the show. If the exploits of Errol had been sprinkled through the season then his antics might have become camp. After all we’ve seen this season it makes sense to find Errol impersonating James Mason in the middle of a “Hoarders” dream home. Errol is apart of a darkness so evil that we can’t even experience it from the grainy VHS tape. The reactions alone tell the story of the tape.
Errol lives with his roommate/possible female relative in the middle of Cajun country. Their version of quality time was her recounting graphic moments of violence from her childhood while her rubbed her private parts. This was a guy Hart and Cohle needed to stop. Of course when they arrive they find the place to have little cell service. Hart knocks on the door and Cohle cases the outside. Cohle spots Errol in the distance. He breaks off in a run after Errol.
What followed next was a hunting scene we’ve seen before from these types of stories. Think of Clarice stumbling through Buffalo Bill’s house at the end of “Silence of the Lambs”. Cohle followed Errol down a maze full of symbols from the show’s story. The drawings of antler headed demons on the back of Errol’s shed was especially awe inspiring. We know the sequence of these types of scenes, but that didn’t make this chase any less effective.
Errol coaxed Cohle after him, calling him “The Prince”, and I expected a final conversation between the two men. There was something fitting to have Cohle and his ultimate white whale have one last moment to compare psyches. It wasn’t to be sadly. That was the only missing part I felt to the finale. I wanted one last moment for Cohle to discuss the philosophy behind the monster.
Eventually Cohle entered into a temple like area, complete with an oculus, where Errol was waiting for him. He stabs him in the stomach and tries slamming a hammer into Cohle’s head. Hart arrives just in time to enter the fray, but he shoots wide. Errol lodges an axe in Hart’s chest, knocking him to the ground. Right when it all seems lights out for the duo Cohle shoots a bullet through Errol’s head.
The two men sit underneath the eye in the sky waiting to be rescued. Cohle not surviving this appeared highly possible. However we later see the men at the hospital for one final discussion. Cohle had his first true believer moment since his daughter died. When he was in his coma he felt like he saw her and everyone he’d ever loved. Now that he was back on earth he didn’t think he could forget that need to be with his daughter. The show ended with Hart and Cohle leaving the hospital together and without permission. The team was back again.