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'True Detective Recap For Season 1, Episode 6: 'Haunted Houses'

02/24/2014 12:45 pm ET | Updated Feb 24, 2014
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This episode opens with a deeply disturbing scene of Marty confronting the boys who had sex with his 15-year-old daughter. He tells them they can go in on statutory rape charges OR they can let him beat the hell out of them. With scary black leather gloves on. They don't really get much of a choice in the matter, since Marty pretty much just starts beating them. Bizarrely, it seems like something Marty may not even have really wanted to do, since he vomits right after doing it. He is driven by some crazy masculine sense of duty, by some unrelenting desire to go to every possible length to "protect" his daughter. Unfortunately, instead of talking to her, like a normal person, he has to get physical.

Flash forward again: Marty admits that Rust was working a case that he didn't know about, that he's investigating old missing person's cases.

Then the new detectives interrogate Maggie. She notes that she used to "exhaust herself navigating crude men who thought they were clever. Not any more." Maggie won't give them any information on Rust, though. She says he was a good man, and that she doesn't think she can help them. She notes, "Rust knew exactly who he was, and there was no talking him out of it." She also says that "Marty's single big problem is that he never really knew himself, so he never really knew what to want."

We're back in the past again. Marty can't handle that he has a grocery bag full of tampons, so he goes to get a drink, presumably pretty early in the day. I guess being confronted with so much femininity at one time is just too much for him. He meets a pretty girl, and we all know that Marty is incapable of saying "No" to pretty girls. So they obviously have sex.

Rust goes to talk to the pastor we met earlier in the season. He interrogates him about the Tuttle ministry, which formerly provided religious schooling as an alternative to public schooling. Rust asks specifically about a school on Pelican Island (I'm assuming he's referring to the school he investigated in the last episode, the one with all the creepy wood sculptures). The reverend admits that there were accusations of child molestation with one of the schools in the program, which he also admits was kept internal (i.e. not reported to the police). He says he left because when he was doing custodial duties (part of the training), he came across a folder hidden inside a book that contained photos of sleeping naked children. When he brought the folder to the deacon, the deacon dismissed him, even accused him of taking the photos.

They get back to another disturbing case: a woman who unplugged her baby from a breathing machine. Her previous two babies died too, supposedly of SIDS. The most interesting part of this is that, while Rust is interrogating her about the deaths, he tells her that prison is rough on people who hurt kids, and says that "if [she gets] the opportunity, [she] should kill [herself]."

Marty is getting pretty annoyed that Rust is keeping all this new case information to himself and reopening new cases. Obviously, Rust doesn't care.

Rust goes to talk to the girl they found at Reggie Ledoux's place. She is in a children's hospital, unable to rehabilitate after her trauma. He asks her if she remembers if there were more than two men who hurt her. She says, "The man with the scars was the worst." She says he was a "giant," that he made her watch what he did to the little boy. Unfortunately, he can't get any more information because the girl has a panic attack.

Rust gets questioned by his boss, Leroy, about reopening all these old cases. Rust insists that there is a connection among all the missing children cases along the coast, that they just haven't been added together yet. He is convinced that the Dora Lang killers didn't work alone. After implying that it was a coverup that involves Billy Ray Tuttle,Leroy goes off the handle and tells Rust to stop reopening cases.

FLASH FORWARD: Apparently Tuttle died of an overdose. Soon before he died, both of his homes were broken into and the break ins weren't reported. When the new detectives basically directly say that they are pretty sure Rust was the killer, Marty gets up and walks out, telling them to not call him again, that he won't help them.

Rust keeps on interrogating people. He goes to talk to Billy Lee Tuttle to try to find personnel and faculty who worked on the Well Spring Program. He asks if there are files or records, but the reverend tells him the schools were privately run and that a lot of records might have been lost to flooding (excuses, excuses), though he says he'll try to do whatever he can to locate any files they do have. Rust mentions a deacon, Austin Ferrar, who apparently embezzled funds from the church, and then had an "accident." Tuttle doesn't really give us any new information on that. The reverend says that the Well Spring program shuts down because it couldn't sustain its cost. Any way, Tuttle is obviously hiding something.

Leroy finds out about Rust's interviewing Tuttle, and suspends Rust.

Maggie figures out that Marty is still cheating on her, so she decides to hit him where it hurts. She shows up at Rust's house, crying. She asks him if he knew about Marty's affairs. Rust says no. Wait, now they're having sex? Rust sort of tries to resist, I guess? But not very much. Then he gets mad at her for letting him have sex with her because duh! It's her fault. What a slut! He tells her to "get the f*ck out."

I mean, when we found out in the previous episodes that Marty and Rust had had a physical confrontation, I kind of figured this was going to happen. But, come on. Give me a break. It didn't really make sense at all to happen this way. I know Rust has problems with Marty, but it seems like a break in his character for him to so easily sleep with Marty's wife. He, unlike Marty, is not driven by sex.

Right after this, Maggie confronts Marty, tells him she knows he's having sex with someone again, even though he tries to deny it. She tells him that she had sex with Rust. He calls her a "whore" (Marty likes to do that). He puts his hands around her neck, but he doesn't do anything. She calls him a coward.

Marty attacks Rust outside the office. Then Rust quits his job.

FLASH FORWARD to present. Rust honks at Marty to get off the road (they have both just left from being questioned by the new detectives). They decide to go get a beer together. Marty checks if his gun is loaded.

This episode was not as strong as the previous one. I really found the Maggie/Rust sex implausible. Poor Marty is seeming like a caricature of masculinity. Is there really nothing else there? He's just a Southern "good ol' boy" with no depth? We leave THE ONLY depth in this show to Rust? I mean, I don't know that I have the exact same problems with the lack of strong female characters that some critics have had thus far. I think this story is about the male perspective, and since these particular men don't really seem to give two shits about women, it makes sense to me that the female characters are portrayed with absolutely no depth. But at this point the two male leads aren't really holding up for me, either. Thus far, I have really liked the portions of this show where actual detective work is being done. I have also found the parts about the Marty and Rust's male relationship interesting. However, the show itself hasn't been really good at dealing with the two detectives' personal lives. The parts that deal with affairs, etc. have felt pointless and drawn out. I get it, I get it. Marty is a SUPER macho man and Rust is a dedicated detective, but he's totally weird. I'm not sure what the need is for the constant reiteration of both of those things. If you've got something new to show me, do it. But there's really no need to beat a dead horse.

What do you think about this week's episode, and the show in general? Let me know in the comments!

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