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True Detective

True Detective

  • Premiered: 
    January 12, 2014
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: HBO
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Drama
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
    Created by Nic Pizzolatto 
  • Subject Matter: Crime
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  • Click a button to buy a DVD at Amazon
  • Season 1
    • Amazon
  • Season 1 [Blu-ray]
    • Amazon
  • Season 2
    • Amazon
  • Season 2 [Blu-ray]
    • Amazon
Legal Full Episodes
Not Available Online
(That We Know Of)

Plot Synopsis

Each season of TRUE DETECTIVE focuses on a different crime story, with different cast members, locations, and narratives so that a single season stands on its own. In Season 1, Rust Cohle and Martin Hart, former partners in Louisiana's Criminal Investigation Division (CID), revisit a homicide they worked in 1995 when a similar case in 2012 leads two new detectives, Papania and Gilbough, to investigate the original '95 murder. Alternating between 1995, 2002 and 2012, this one-hour drama tells the stories of both investigations, as well as revealing the reasons why Cohle left CID in 2002. The story opens with Hart and Cohle giving separate statements to Papania and Gilbough about the murder of a prostitute, Dora Lange, 17 years earlier. As they look back, details of the crime, replete with occult overtones, are accompanied by insights into the detectives' volatile partnership and personal lives. On the surface, Hart and Cole couldn't be more different, but they share an obsession with justice and a facility for violence that will inflict irreparable damage on both men. During their investigation, Cohl dismisses a sex offender who offers a confession -- even though their boss, Major Quesada, has them under considerable pressure to solve the murder -- and he pores over old case files, finding a connection with a woman assumed to have drowned years earlier. As Hart and Cole continue their investigation, Hart's wife, Maggie, struggles to keep her family together as the men in her life spiral into cycles of obsession and violence. TRUE DETECTIVE returned for its eight-episode second season on Sunday, June 21, 2015 at 9pm ET/PT on HBO. A bizarre murder brings together three law-enforcement officers and a career criminal, each of whom must navigate a web of conspiracy and betrayal in the scorched landscapes of California. Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams and Taylor Kitsch star in Season 2. Farrell plays Ray Velcoro, a compromised detective whose allegiances are torn between his masters in a corrupt police department and the mobster who owns him. Vaughn portrays Frank Semyon, a career criminal in danger of losing his empire when his move into legitimate enterprise is upended by the murder of a business partner. McAdams plays a Ventura County Sheriff's detective named Ani Bezzerides, while Kitsch portrays California Highway Patrol motorcycle cop Paul Woodrugh. The first two episodes are directed by Justin Lin.
TRUE DETECTIVE returns for its eight-episode third season with two episodes debuting back-to-back on Sunday, January 13, 2019 from 9-11pm ET/PT on HBO, followed by single episodes subsequent Sundays at 10pm. Playing out in three separate time periods, the new season tells the story of a macabre crime in the heart of the Ozarks, and a mystery that deepens over decades. Mahershala Ali stars as Arkansas state police detective Wayne Hays, who originally investigated the crime, with Stephen Dorff starring as Roland West, the detective who investigated the case with Hays, and Carmen Ejogo starring as schoolteacher and writer Amelia Reardon. Additional cast members include Josh Hopkins, who will play Jim Dobkins, a private attorney in Fayetteville, Arkansas involved in deposing state police detectives in an ongoing investigation. Scoot McNairy is Tom, a father who suffers a terrible loss which ties his fate to that of two state police detectives over ten years. Mamie Gummer stars as Lucy Purcell, a young mother of two at the center of a tragic crime.

In 1980, Will and Julie Purcell, the children of feuding parents Tom and Lucy Purcell, go missing a week after Halloween in West Finger, Ark. In 2015, retired detective Wayne Hays, his memory failing, looks back at the disappearance of 12-year-old Will and ten-year-old Julie Purcell, recalling the days and weeks immediately following the 1980 crime, as well as developments in 1990, when he and his former partner, Roland West, were subpoenaed after a major break in the case.

Episodes include:

"The Great War and Modern Memory" (Sunday, January 13 @ 9pm; Written by Nic Pizzolatto; directed by Jeremy Saulnier): The disappearance of a young Arkansas boy (Phoenix Elkin) and his sister (Lena McCarthy) in 1980 triggers vivid memories and enduring questions for retired detective Wayne Hays (Mahershala Ali), who worked the case 35 years before with partner Roland West (Stephen Dorff). What started as a routine case becomes a long journey to dissect and make sense of the crime.

"Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye" (Sunday, January 13 @ 10pm; Written by Nic Pizzolatto; directed by Jeremy Saulnier): Hays (Mahershala Ali) looks back at the aftermath of the 1980 Purcell case in West Finger, Ark., including possible evidence left behind at the Devil's Den, an outdoor hangout for local kids. As attention focuses on two conspicuous suspects -- Brett Woodard (Michael Greyeyes), a solitary vet and trash collector, and Ted LaGrange (Shawn-Caulin Young), an ex-con with a penchant for children -- the parents of the missing kids, Tom (Scoot McNairy) and Lucy Purcell (Mamie Gummer), receive a cryptic note from an anonymous source.

"The Big Never" (Sunday, January 20 @ 10pm; Written by Nic Pizzolatto; directed by Daniel Sackheim): Hays (Mahershala Ali) recalls his early romance with Amelia (Carmen Ejogo), as well as cracks in their relationship that surfaced after they married and had children. Ten years after the Purcell crimes, new evidence emerges, giving him a second chance to vindicate himself and the investigation.

"The Hour and the Day" (Sunday, January 27 @ 10pm; Written by David Milch & Nic Pizzolatto; directed by Nic Pizzolatto): Hays (Mahershala Ali) and West (Stephen Dorff) see a possible connection between the local church and the Purcell crimes. As the detectives search for one suspect and round up another for interrogation, Woodard (Michael Greyeyes) is targeted by a vigilante group.



  • (Season 1) - Louisiana USA
  • (Season 2) - California USA
  • (Season 3) - Arkansas USA