ORLY, ‘True Detective?’ A Newbie Dives Into ‘The Secret Fate of All Life’

“Something vaguely philosophical.”

Editor’s note: Orly Greenberg is tvDownload’s new summer intern. Since the rest of the week we treat her like Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada (Vinnie’s favorite movie), we allow her one day to recap an episode of a show she’s never seen before. This week, Orly has taken it upon herself to understand True Detective by only watching everyone’s favorite flat-circle episode, “The Secret Fate of All Life.”

My boyfriend has a True Detective poster in his room, emblazoned with Matthew McConaughey’s squinty–eyed gaze and the message, “Like a lot of dreams, there’s a monster at the end of it.” I don’t know whether it was McConaughey’s grimace, or the eery quote, but I hate that poster—I’ve gotten creepy vibes from the HBO hit ever since. I’ve never seen any the first season, so I thought, “why not choose a random episode, and see if that furthers your understanding of the show before season two comes on?” Terrible idea, maybe. Sure is fun though.

But let me be clear: this isn’t an in depth, analytical review (for some of those, check out my Orange is the New Black reviews, because a little self promotion never hurt anyone). This is me trying to make sense of a show that frankly, after viewing, is pretty damn hard to make sense of. So, without further Ledoux, here are my thoughts, feelings, and fears while watching True Detective.

  • This introduction is absolutely gorgeous. So, so gorgeous.
  • Reminds me of the True Blood introduction a little bit, in terms of music and artistry. Which is confusing enough, considering that I already call this show True Blood half the time anyway. Come on. TWO HBO shows that start with “true?” You guys are setting me up for failure.
  • We’re at a bar, and all of these guys are scruffy. Oh no. I’m having Game of Thrones flashbacks
  • I’ve got to take a break and be perfectly honest: I have what some interpret as a senseless vendetta against Matthew McConaughey. But he knows what he did. And what he did was the movie Fool’s Gold. Which was terrible. And I will never, ever forgive him for that. Not even an Oscar will save you from that movie, McConaughey. Not in my eyes.
  • I’m trying very hard to focus on the show, but the man sitting by himself across from McConaughey looks uncannily like the murderer in “Too Many Cooks.” Note to self: research later.
  • “I don’t like your face. It makes me want to do things to it.” All together now: what kind of things, bearded man?
  • Awwwwyeeeaaaaah. It’s Woody Harrelson. This just got so much better.
  • Oh boy. Matthew, you look ill (ed. note: just don’t say he looks dead). And you kidnapped the ginger bearded man! I think you need to take a warm shower, steam out some toxins, maybe a quick juice cleanse. We’re worried about you.
Maybe a nap?
  • Update: this is a flashback! We just saw a glimpse of Matthew McConaughey, aged, describing whatever it is he was doing in the previous scene. He has a handlebar mustache which looks…good? Also, don’t think I’m irrationally bias. I am completely acknowledging that, even already, McConaughey’s acting is strong. I just, I don’t know. I don’t like his face. It makes me want to do things to it.
  • Now we see a future Woody Harrelson. He, unlike McConaughey, has aged quite nicely. He has a suit on, though, to be honest, I prefer the Pink Floyd t-shirt we see him wearing initially.
  • At this point in the episode, they’ve said “cook” several times. Either this is a well placed reference to “Too Many Cooks,” (see above) or they are referring to a meth lab, which I deduced based off my extensive knowledge of Breaking Bad.
  • That was some very suspenseful business. But they’ve got their suspect! And he’s in a towel, although really based off his appearance I don’t think he’s bathed in weeks, but that’s none of my business. And he has an artistic swastika tattoo on his chest. How quaint!
  • Oh, Woody. I trusted you. We all trusted you. These guys are giving testimonials, but they’re not telling the truth. I think it all comes down to Matthew McConaughey. He’s got the skull shape of a criminal, what can I say.
  • Well, on second thought. It might be Woody’s fault. I say this because he opened a panel and was immediately bathed in blue light, looked a little bit surprised, and then shot swastika guy (unfortunate identifier) in the head. What did Woody see? Maybe it’s a portal to that fairy land in True Blood. I would watch that crossover.
  • I think…I think that guy just blew up.
Conclusion: yes, yes he did.
  • This show is shot so, so beautifully.
  • Woody, I think, is trying to make amends for infidelity. I’m no expert on love, but I would presume that a roller rink is not the place to reconcile after you’ve cheated on your wife/girlfriend/significant other.
  • I actually gave that more thought and completely take it back. You could just kiss and make up while roller skating. Good move, Woody. Good move.
  • These flashbacks are amusing, mostly because Woody seems to have lost all of his hair to McConaughey, who seems to have acquired massive amounts in the face region. It’s like some strange donation process where nobody wins. What time will do to a man, I swear.
  • This show just took a turn into the most uncomfortable family drama ever. Woody’s daughter was caught in a threesome with some very old gentlemen, he slaps her, and everyone ignores the younger daughter. Oh, and McConaughey looks super bored while watching a movie with his super boring girlfriend, who I actually think he hates.
  • McConaughey is not only very, very insightful (he’s talking about time and actually blowing my mind right now), but he’s crafty too! He’s making these little people out of beer cans that are surprisingly adorable. My initial thought was to market those for children, but then I thought, no, no, those are sharp.
  • Okay, something I really like about this show is that even though I don’t know what’s going on, I can still appreciate how freaking good it is. I am starting to regret watching this out of context. Which I should have anticipated. Damn ye, tvDownloads.
  • The Yellow King. Is that anything like the Many Faced God?
  • Side note, but Matthew McConaughey just bent down and he is so, so sweaty. Are they filming on location? If so, that is dedication. Good job, everyone.
  • I…I don’t even know what to say. That was so good. I can’t even make fun of this. I can’t even hate Matthew McConaughey anymore. Excuse me, while I go watch the pilot.
ORLY, ‘True Detective?’ A Newbie Dives Into ‘The Secret Fate of All Life’