‘True Detective’ Season 1 Episode 6 Recap: “Haunted Houses”


Episode 6 was a bit of a bridge episode, one which wasn’t action-packed in quite the way we’ve come to expect, and which sort of fell prey to some of the weaker tropes of the genre the show operates in. A lot of boobs and belligerence, in other words. Marty starts off the action in full bro form by heading into the cell where the young men who were arrested with his daughter were kept. And, you know, beating them up. We’re in 2002, here, and it’s pretty obvious that Marty’s masculinity has been somehow wounded by this whole thing with his daughter.

Then Marty runs into the teenaged prostitute he liberated from the trailer at a T-Mobile shop. Eventually, they end up at a bar, where she philosophizes in a really-hot-jailbait way about how in fact Marty is a good man, and eventually he sleeps with her. She then calls him and tells him she wants anal sex, which comes off like a moment of more or less pure male fantasy.

Meanwhile, in 2012, the detectives are continuing to hammer on their theory that Cohle is somehow behind all these killings. They go so hard for their theories than Marty eventually walks out of the interview. Cohle is mostly just interviewing everyone he can find, from the father of the boy in the meth trailers. Turns out the boy went to a Tuttle school too. Rust also finds the itinerant revival preacher living in a sort of garage. The preacher tells him he lost his religion when he found naked pictures of children falling out of a book somewhere at the schools.

Cohle manages, along the way, to find the time to extract a confession from a Munchausen’s by proxy mother. Who, once she signs a confession, he promptly tells is likely to suffer in prison as a person who harmed a child. Then he tells her: “If you get the opportunity you should kill yourself.” Then, in a perhaps related move (not that it’s very clear) he goes to visit the little girl he and Marty rescued. She’s catatonic, and insists there was another man with scars on his face abusing the little boy that was with her.

Cohle also ends up going and harassing Tuttle at the ministry itself. This raises the ire of the authorities, who eventually take Cohle’s badge and gun away from him and suspend him from the force.

While all this is going on, the 2012 detectives interview Maggie. “What are you looking for, from me?” She asks. They want to know about Rust. She tells them that as far as she knows he was a “good man. The flashbacks tell us that what really happened is, after seeing some clothes in the washer and images on Marty’s phone, she figures out he’s cheating again. After striking out on attempting to sleep with a stranger, she goes to Rust’s house late one night. They have brief, but pretty hot sex. Then Rust, realizing he’s been more or less entrapped, kicks her right back out. Maggie tells Marty about the infidelity anyway, and then Marty beats Rust up in the parking lot the next day.

The episode closes on, in 2012, Rust’s truck pulling up behind Marty’s car. They exchange the ceremonial “long time no see” stuff. Rust suggests they get a drink, and off they go. Hopefully when they get to the bar the action will pick up again.