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There is no Next Episode of True Detective planned.
Former Louisiana State CID partners Martin Hart and Rustin Cohle give separate statements to a pair of investigators 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.
Under pressure to land a suspect in the Lange murder, Quesada warns Hart and Cohle that they might be replaced by three detectives from a new task force. The pair lobbies for extra time to follow up on a lead that takes them from a rural cathouse to an incinerated church. With his marriage to Maggie already strained by work, Hart finds respite away from home.
Hidden image at the burned-out church leads Cohle and Hart to Joel Theriot, a tent-revival minister whose parishioners finger a scarred "tall man" seen with Dora Lange. Brought in for interrogation, a sex offender matching the description is quickly dismissed by Cohle, despite offering a confession. Hart gets sidetracked after Maggie sets Cohle up with a friend at a C&W bar. Looking to establish a pattern of murder, Cohle pores over old case files, finding a connection with a woman assumed to have drowned years earlier.
Hart and Cohl follow a series of dangerous leads in an effort to locate prime suspect Reggie Ledoux.
Hart and Cohle share the spoils of a solved case; Papania and Gilbough confront the detectives with troubling new intelligence.
Maggie sheds light on Cohle's activities in 2002, when his relationship with Hart fractured and he quit the force.
Hart and Cohle forge a truce to probe a murky string of disappearances that tie to the symbology of the Dora Lange murder and the Tuttle family.
An overlooked detail provides Hart and Cohle with an important new lead in their 17-year-old case.