Suck It, Atlantic Reviewers!

By Guy

I kid the Atlantic reviewing team, really!  Well, kinda.  In their multi-reviewer conversation of ep. 6 (True Detective’s First Disappointing Episode), one of the reviewers pans a particular shot as being to obvious and heavy handed in symbolism.

In a way, Chris, you’ve been too kind on this episode. Because you missed the most laughable part of it: the devil figurine on Beth’s dresser, which the camera cuts to multiple times during that interminable screw scene. Get it? Marty’s sinning!

The image they are talking about is this one:


Sure, on first glance you could say that is rather obvious.  Devil, Angel!  Devil in focus!  How cute and obvious!  But, I think they miss something big.  It’s all about the Crystal figurine for me.  Girl pointed out it looks a bit like one of the weird ‘monster cherubs’ from the school:


It is very creepy.  Also, to me it is a great and potent symbolic synthesis of many of the themes of the show.  Here we have two very stereotypical morality figures:  The Devil and the Angel.  Not only are they stereotypical, they are damned cute…too precious by half.  Have we found the creative team of True Detective to be that cute so far?  No.  No we haven’t.  The Atlantic reviewers (and pretty much anyone else I’ve seen mention this shot) all ignore the crystal figurine entirely.  But to me, it is the key of the shot.  It is faceless, alien looking, and actually IN FRONT of the other two, and at the left hand side (typically the place of darkness or evil).  So, here is True Detective saying (I think):  Our concepts of Good and Evil are trite and juvenile…the real menace is much more alien and hiding in plain sight.  Plus, as girl pointed out, check out how it looks if you cut it off at the head and focus on the reflections:


If you look a the folded hands, you can see eyes on either side, and if you just work a tiiiiny bit, it looks a lot like an alien god.  {Cthulhu:  Great Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young, that’s ME!   Am I going to get royalty checks for this?}  Now, you could chalk that up to Pareidolia (seeing figures and faces that aren’t there) but I think it’s pretty compelling.  I’m very confident that the angel figuring is highly significant.

This ties into another suspicion of mine, that Beth (the T-mobile girl whom Marty and Ruste first met as a teenage prostitute) was sent to frame Marty.  Why would I think that?  Who would do such a thing?  The bar Marty steps into is called The Fox and the Hound.  This is an aristocratic game, played by the very wealthy and connected, all about hunting, cornering and killing it’s prey.  Right there you have a good tie in.  If you look to The Invisibles by Grant Morrison (which has without doubt cast a few shadows in this show) there is a subplot involving a group of very wealthy powerful men who kidnap women and hunt them for sport.   Oh, and they also sacrifice them to bring about the RETURN OF THE OLD GODS!  Does that sound familiar? {Cthulhu:  Sure it does, that sounds like my weekend.}  You may find that teneous, but I don’t.  I think the name of the bar is very significant.  Now, who and why?  Well, I’ve long suspected that Marty’s father-in-law is connected to the cult of the Yellow King.  I’ll lay that out later.  I also suspect that he has involved the Hart girls in the cult somehow (hence many of the Yellow King/Cult references around the Hart household).  Now, remember when Marty screwed up the first time?  Where did Maggie take the kids?  To the father-in-laws house. If the father-in-law wanted those kids back for his nefarious purpose, what would he have to do?  He’d have to get Marty out of the picture.   So, tempt him again, and let it play out.   This is just what happens.  I mean, did you listen to Beth’s speech to him, to lure him into bed?  Pure cult talk, in my view.

Thus, when we see the figurines, the real menace in the scene isn’t Marty succumbing to temptation (the Devil figurine), it isn’t the loss of his attempt at virtue (the in-shadow Angel figuring) it is the Crystalline alien strange-almost-angel figurine, hiding in plain sight, hiding so well, no one even wants to see it.

Except Girl and I of course.


8 thoughts on “Suck It, Atlantic Reviewers!

  1. Not sure if there is something here or if this all of the info I list below is just a series of unrelated coincidences (and possibly a result over fishing).

    Isaiah 6:5-7 reads: …5Then I said, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.” 6Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs. 7He touched my mouth with it and said, “Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven.”

    Errol has burns all around his mouth.

    Check out google images of seraphim and tell me they don’t resemble the crystal figurine.

    Maybe nothing. Maybe just more layers upon layers. Anyway, I found it somewhat interesting.

  2. Where else have we seen Christian iconography rendered in crystal? Rev. Tuttle’s office desk. Religion is glass, reflective and transparent. You can see through it if you wish. Or you can choose to see the angel.

  3. Great site – I’m only discovering this now because I’m in the UK and, well, we’re weeks behind….
    I’m surprised that no-one on here talks about a series 2.
    There will almost certainly be a series 2. (Money, money, money… alas).
    It would make sense to leave some of the unresolved questions to a longer narrative arc.
    But this raises the question of how plausible any exposure of the REAL cult (instead of the Family Cult of series 1) could be – given the fact that our two detectives placed dozens of copies of their information into the public domain. Subsequent series thereby run the risk of turning into Homeland and becoming a victim of their own implausible convolutions. When it’s a half-crazy genius working alone against a wall of silence it’s all too plausible and interesting to follow him. But when he’s just broadcast everything he’s worked on well, it’s utterly changed the (plausible) means of resolving the questions: Any future exposure of a cult beyond the ‘crazies in the bayou’ can no longer be conducted by an (anti) hero working in a lock up for years. Not in the age of the internet (notably absent from this series, by the way, for obvious reasons, except that very unsatisfactory online search for works’ contracts in episode 8 – 2 clicks and they’d found their man. Why didn’t they just Google ‘who is the green-eared spaghetti monster’?

    And by the way, ignorant Brit’s question: but don’t the FBI have jurisdiction in Louisiana? Won’t it be a friend of Carrie who’ll sweep in and take over?

    This was great television – don’t get me wrong. But it’s always high-stakes to take the mystico-spiritual path (Twin Peaks, Lost) rather than the moral-ethical one (Breaking Bad, Mad Man, House of Cards). It will be interesting to see if the writers are up to it.
    Who will the Yellow King prove to be?
    In the end, you’re going to end up in Bohemian Grove territory, aren’t you: even if you just respect the Louisiana framework. Because whenever political power is implicated, as in Series , it’s inevitably going to be bigger than what goes on in the swamps of the Mississippi delta… It’s going to end up taking you via the Book Depository in Texas, and Alex Jones all the way to the Bilderbergers. Maybe the British Royal Family and Lizard aliens from Draco will end up being involved or Dan Brown will get the Pope and the Templars to make a guest appearance. See? It could all spin out of control, very, very easily.

    • Hey Anthony, Guy here. Thanks for stopping by and commenting! So, first off, it’s probably wider known here stateside than across the pond that the writer of True Detective has told us that each season of TD will be completely independant from the last. So, this season is the end of the journey for these guys. That’s why girl and I haven’t spent too much time talking about season 2 (although we are both excited about it, and will ramp the blog back up to 11 once it takes flight).

      I love reading your comment knowing that you haven’t completed your ‘journey’ with TD yet. It’s interesting for me to go back and read my arc of thought regarding the show, and how very very different it ended up than I suspected it would.

      I hope once you are finished you’ll come back and give us your thoughts. The fact that this season is independent of any subsequent seasons means that your fears of this becoming a Bohemian Grove/Bilderberger scenario is safely out of the question. On a side note, I’ve recently been extended an invitation to visit Bohemian Grove. I’m both excited and terrified. Not terrified of anything nefarious, but terrified it will end up being so banal that I die of disappointment! 😉

      But wait, have you already watched the entire TD run?

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