Marty finds himself on the brink of losing his marriage as Rust gets closer to Maggie and puts himself deeper and deeper into the case in True Detective episode 3, “The Locked Room.”

Detectives Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) and Hart (Woody Harrelson) begin the episode looking into the burned church they found at the end of last week’s episode. Backup is combing the scene, taking pictures of the graffiti on the walls. It doesn’t take them long to find the Tent Church that used to congregate there. Rust finds the whole service a spectacle of manipulation by the preacher, but he pokes around and finds one man with a record for masturbating in public. He’s not their guy, and the men move on to the next thing.

Marty Has Troubles At Home

One afternoon, Martin comes home to find Rust sitting in his kitchen, talking to his wife. He came to return the lawnmower and mowed their lawn as a thank you. Marty immediately feels threatened and takes Rust outside for a stern talking-to. He gives Rust a warning, saying that he prefers to ‘mow his own lawn’ – he doesn’t trust Rust around his wife.

In the interviews with the detectives, Marty talks about the nature of detectives and their home lives and the need for balance and rules. He uses the need to keep his professional life separate from his home life as an excuse to distance himself from his family.

Martin himself is having a hard time keeping his work separate from his home life. Maggie (Michelle Monaghan) is getting tired of being patient and kept on the sidelines in their marriage, and she’s frustrated at his long hours. Martin tries to placate her, and he succeeds when he opens up one night. Of course, a few nights later, things get out of hand again when Martin, Maggie go out with Rust to set him up with a woman. The double date is awkward, but fine, and the group goes to a local bar. Unfortunately, Lisa (Alexandra Daddario), Marty’s mistress, is also there on a date and Marty gets uncontrollably jealous. After going home, and getting even more drunk, Marty drives over to Lisa’s apartment and forces his way in. He’s almost about to beat up Lisa’s date, but he stops himself and leaves. The next day, in the car with Rust, Marty asks if Rust thinks it’s possible to be in love with two women at the same time.

Rust Finds A Suspect: Reggie Ledoux

It looks like the case will be handed over to the special taskforce, so Rust decides to put his insomnia to good use and starts going through old cases. Rust is convinced that whoever they are looking for, he’s not a one-time killer – he will have killed before. Rust pours over cases of women who have been found dead, regardless of whether it was deemed a homicide or not, and he finds one case that jumps out at him. A woman was found drowned in a river, and her injuries were attributed to the strong currents and the flood, but Rust sees stab wounds to the abdomen similar to those found on their original victim. Furthermore, the woman was pumped full of meth and LSD and has the circular symbol traced on her back, just like their murder victim. Marty agrees that the evidence is there to assume that they are dealing with a serial killer, so they head to this other victim’s known relative: her grandfather. He’s not of much help, but he does give them a lead: his granddaughter’s boyfriend, Reggie Ledoux, a man recently out of jail who jumped his parole and is now wandering free. They trace him down and go off to find him.

In the interviews, both Marty and Rust turn melancholy, hinting that whatever happened when they found Reggie Ledoux was horrible. Marty talks briefly about a firefight in his interview, and Rust speaks about monsters and death.

The episode ends on a shot of a man, Reggie, in his underwear, wearing nothing else but a gas mask, walking around an abandoned clearing with a cleaver in his hand.

True Detective airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO and will return with new episodes Sunday, Feb. 9, after the Super Bowl.

Olivia Truffaut-Wong

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