True Detective’s series premiere aired on HBO Sunday night, bringing film actors Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey to the small screen for a crime series that’s benefitting from considerable buzz.

‘True Detective’ Recap

The case that serves as an introduction to Martin Hart (Harrelson) and Rust Cohle (McConaughey) involves a young woman who is found dead upon a tree, her body contorted to convey supplication. Deer antlers have been appended to her head and a spiral symbol has been drawn upon her back. It’s only been three months since Hart and Cohle were partnered up, and they’ve yet to grow fully accustomed to each other’s methods. Cohle dispassionately surveys the scene and deduces that the dead woman was likely a prostitute. Hart, who’s duly troubled by what he sees, doesn’t initially buy Cohle’s assumption.

Hart & Cohle Look Back At 1995 Murder

Hart and Cohle rehash the 1995 case in 2012, giving depositions to new detectives who are looking back into the murder of Dora Lange, who did happen to be a prostitute. The scenes from the past are shown through the perspectives of Hart and Cohle, colored with their own personal take on what went down nearly two decades ago.

In his interview sessions, Hart is pressed to divulge details of what it was like to work with Cohle and what kind of a guy he was and is. Although Hart can’t deny that his former partner is smart, he alludes to the fact that there was more than a little bit off with the man. He reveals that he lives alone in a sparsely decorated apartment, and adds that one bit of decoration he has is a cross that hangs above a mattress that rests on the floor – but that he’s not religious.

As it turns out, Cohle struggles with insomnia. After hesitantly taking up Hart’s offer to have dinner at his house after a day spent working the case, Cohle chats up prostitutes at a local bar to see if any of them know the woman whose death he’s investigating. When his questioning fails to turn up any leads, he asks one of them for some drugs to help him sleep.

Dora Lange’s Murder Investigated

It’s later learned that Dora Lange had both LSD and crystal meth in her system. The coroner suggests that she had been drugged, bound and tortured prior to her murder. Despite the new findings, Hart and Cohle are no closer to naming a suspect. When the media gets wind of the gruesome murder and accompanying tableau, the detectives feel an increased urgency to solve the case.

Headlines call the murder the work of a cult, which might not be too far off. A priest interviewed by Hart and Cohle informs them that an object they picked up from the scene of Dora’s murder is a “devil’s nest.” He also tells the pair about a case not too long ago where two dead cats were found hanging. From there, the detectives head to a house they got a lead on. Instinctively, Cohle makes his way around back. There, he finds another “devil’s nest.”

In 2012, Cohle, worse for wear from years of apparent alcoholism, learns that a new crime scene looks uncannily similar to Dora Lange’s.

True Detective airs Sundays on HBO at 9/8c.

– Chelsea Regan

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