What if the yellow king really IS just a boat?

By Guy

Ok guys, I admit it, I have ‘theory’ fatigue.  I’ve spent so much time trawling around the intertubes this week reading every half baked theory out there (and dutifully posting a link to this blog in the comments section) that my brain just can’t keep track anymore.  But the most productive thing I did, in terms of the originating animus of this blog, was to rewatch episode 1.  Somewhere Mr. Pizzolato is quoted as saying that something like 80% of what you need to know is contained in episode 1.  Well, we NEVER hear about the Yellow King in episode 1.  He also says you see the killer (or meet the killer?) in episode 1.  Errol is not in episode 1.  Now, those sorts of statements by a director are intentionally cagey.  He has also said  something to the effect of “we haven’t seen a single supernatural element so far, why would you expect one in the finale?  That said, I won’t rule out any special effects.”  Yep, cagey.  Which is just as it should be of course.

But with Nic’s advice in mind, I rewatched Episode 1 with a close eye yesterday.  More than anything else one thing jumped out at me.  Dora Lange’s mother has severe and cripling headaches, one of which takes hold of her just as the detectives are asking about Dora’s ‘church’.  She claims it is from working with ‘all those chemicals’ at a dry cleaners.  Fast forward a bit to Marie Fotenot’s uncle’s house.  HE has a neurolgical condition which seems a lot like cerebral palsey, rendering him unable to communicate, and his wife tells us that the doctors said it was some vague ‘cerebral event’, a series of strokes, that caused it.

So, the only families we meet of both victims are stricken with brain injuries of some kind.  Did they both see some eldritch horror which has damaged them beyond repair, and which neither wants to speak about?  Two weeks ago I would have loved to have entertained that idea.

Now, I think maybe they offered up their children/relative to the cult, and that the drug cocktail which seems to have been involved with the ritual at some level screwed them both up good.  The theme of family is becoming more and more prominent, with Rust commenting on the Sprawl he suspects the cult has throughout LA, running through families, even up through the reaches of power.  The world is ripe with examples of parents and families giving their children up for sacrifice.  Is there an element of that here?

The title of this post comes from a review that for the life of me I can’t remember where I saw it.  But the reviewer wondered if the Yellow King was going to end up being a boat, ala Rosebud.  We did see that long lingering shot of a boat behind the Lawnmower man last week, and it would explain why there are so many kids missing right by the river.  Boy, wouldn’t that be…uh…something?  I don’t really buy that, as I don’t see a boat as “Him who eats time…him robes is invisible voices.”  All of that said, Girl and I have been discussing one theory which I think is very very likely at this point.  I won’t spoil it, as she’ll be putting it together soon.

But I am leaning toward the more prosaic answers at this point, and am ready, really really ready, to see the last episode.

How about you?

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12 thoughts on “What if the yellow king really IS just a boat?

  1. A boat, huh? Reminiscent of The Golden Fang in Pynchon’s Inherent Vice (called The Yellow Fang in AtD), which was variously the name of a boat and a secret organisation,

  2. Ive found the episode recap an next week preview clips on hbo during the week or the Hbo.go app (that I watch all the time)to really give a ton of info about what Nic P is trying to show us in each episode and in the E7 recap he does say that we finally get to see our killer or something along those lines.Nic P has said all along he is not trying to trick us but he sure has done just that thus far.

    • Also: “1. He also says you see the killer (or meet the killer?) in episode 1. Errol is not in episode 1.”
      We do not see Errol directly but we are introduced to the Green Eared Spaghetti Monster in episode 1. So in this, we meet the killer, just not with specificity. Sneakiness.

  3. quote: “So, the only families we meet of both victims are stricken with brain injuries of some kind. “

    Great find. Never noticed it. What’s up with that? Shouldn’t those who sacrifice a family member get some kind of tangible reward? Not so, here.
    So, yes, I too rewatched the first episode, and then the rest, lol.

    These things stood out for me:
    1. The cats nailed to the door
    Quite possibly too quickly dismissed by Rust

    2. “There is a War going on!” (Tuttle on task force)
    There are two factions (cats, vandalized tents). No, I don’t believe
    in a girl faction

    3. What’s up with the fucking landscape?
    Those towering industrial buildings and paraphernalia sprawling everywhere?
    The state of decay of the houses?
    Of the people?
    We hear about them, but do we see live animals?
    Rust constantly droning on about: This place is dead, dying, a memory, nothing grows, dumb people, no right direction, something, that’s invisible?

    I mean, I personally haven’t seen anything written on this topic.
    Is the landscape just a complimentary ornament to the story or
    Is the Yellow King really the coal/sulfur (yellow) industry that is poisoning Land, Water, People?
    Is the cohleharted evil cult also and at the Heart for appeasement purposes?
    Can only Cohle and Hart together, as some kind of homeopathic magic, make a dent in the madness?
    Will Cohle perish to ashes in the process?

    p.s.: I too can theory ;-))

    • Hey… Girl Here. Guy is off for the day so you are stuck with me. He will probably chime in at some point later though…
      I love your comment! We hope that you will theory with us (Love theory as a verb!) We had hoped for readers to jump into the fun and madness with us.
      As for what Tuttle said… what can easily be taken as a church vs. evil comment could also be taken as vigilante vs. cult which falls nicely into our “girl faction” theory. I mean, come on… we pretty much know that this isn’t going to end like Buffy the vampire did, with an army of girls turned slayers… the name of the show is after all, a nod to the “true detective” genre of pulp fiction… where mostly the women were either damsels in distress or seductresses. But, the story and clues were such that it took us there… we took the clues and bent the narrative. The show tells us to do that in the first episode. Marty tells Rust to stop doing it (and who really liked Marty in the first episode? Rust is far cooler and likable than Marty was during our introduction). And Rust was essentially correct in his assessment of the crime scene. When I really think about it… it’s a choice the viewer can make. To sit passively with the clues (ala Marty) and let things just unfold… or you can be a Rust and work every part of your brain to figure it out.
      Regarding the landscape, Guy and I have had conversations about the it… but I’m not entirely sure that we brought those conversations onto the blog. I really love what you are saying. I do think that there was a definite tie in with the “this is carcosa” line. Did you see that post where brought that up? https://crazytruedetectivetheories.wordpress.com/2014/01/29/how-about-superunatural/
      The title of that blog, SuperUNnatural was basically a nod to the horrors that we inflict upon this earth but I didn’t so much go into that very much. I think also, that Carcosa is a state of mind. I’m not even going to go into that thought though because we will be here for eons if I do. I agree that the landscape is complimentary to the themes of the show. Decay. Physically, mentally, morally, spiritually… in every way.
      We do see live animals on the show… Birds. Which could be a message in itself… but something I’ve noticed is how many living creatures are turned into trophies in the show. Bob cats, Fish, Ducks, and the girls used in the cult and by the killer (if the two are separate). Interesting, I never put this together before… there are the mutilated cats at the church and then there is the taxidermied bobcat in the sheriff’s office. That thing is a true terror on its own. But is that an indication of your war? Bob cat trophy vs. satanic cats or is that an indication that law informant is ON team cat? LOVE your meditation on Rust and the coal industry… think about how defistated the gulf coast was by big oil not long ago… I definitely think there is something there. That area has been battered by both nature and big oil. And people got stuck in that cesspool. Great place to stage a Detective show with an out of control serial killer AND a virgin sacrificing cult on the loose!
      Thanks for coming by… this was fun. I need coffee though now for sure… you made my brain hurt!

      • Well, just one day before the finale we can go easy on the theorizing, I think, that’s why I enjoyed the excellent cat video so much. And I enjoyed your blog and I enjoyed the madness of the past 7 weeks.

        Yes, the landscape is superUNnatural und has been right under our noses from the beginning.
        Ah yes, there were birds in the sky. Were they migrating, by any chance?
        Lots of trophies of dead – artificial – animals on display, not a lot of live ones, fitting in with the superUNnaturalness. Reminiscent of evil Saruman who destroys the woods for his evil machinery.

        The war?
        There must be a hushed-up knowledge/lore whispered about in the community. If Audrey can pass on information, no matter where she got it from, so can many others.
        Think about the neighbor in ep 1, who mentioned the Fontenot girl to our detectives first. He was certainly weird and wanted them to know about it. The cats on the door … could be a boys prank, but an unusually meaningful one, they mark the church as satanic at its core (and then later we see the stick-figure cross above the altar).
        Then the poor retard, who got his balls chopped off in prison, maybe people thought he was part of the cult. The tents were probably vandalized from the darker side …

        Let’s hope for a satisfying ending to the story,
        Cheers

      • Oh Man! How did I miss that!? GAH!

        I just wanted to say… Do you guys remember that one time that the Lost show runners told us that the people on the island were NOT dead… and then at the end, they were?

        Yes… Lost gave me trust issues.

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