True Detective Director Cary Fukanaga Weighs In On Clues And Unanswered Questions


Anyone who’s been on the internet over the last two months has seen the infectious attention that True Detective has received over the course of its first season. If you thought that that talk would subside now that the show is over, you are incredibly mistaken. Sure, there is plenty worth talking about in regards to the anthology series’ next season, but we’re all still reeling from the final episode of Rust Cohle and Marty Hart’s search for the Yellow King.

The biggest form of contention among fans seems to be the show’s lack of concrete answers and a failure to connect all of the dots. Granted, one can argue that True Detective was never truly about the mystery and more about the characters investigating it, and that’s certainly true. But as a fan myself, it is a bit disappointing when the bread crumbs seemingly lead to nothing more than a wild goose chase.

Whether or not the finale was overtly satisfying is a topic for another discussion, and a discussion fans will certainly be having for a long time to come. It should be noted though that some of the clues that didn’t lead anywhere weren’t placed in the show intentionally, as director Cary Fukanaga tells Vulture:

“Most of that was definitely deliberate—the lawnmower driving in circles at the end of episode seven, the use of spirals and stars. Some of it wasn’t intentional, like when the truck was driving by and there’s a yellow crown in the background. I’ve been sent a lot of this stuff because my agent is a huge fanboy.”

Fukanaga also recognizes how these theories could arise, and blames a bit of the wild theorizing on the fact that the show was released weekly, rather than all at once.

“The general chatter around those things is great, but it’s probably the kind of chatter that wouldn’t have happened had all those episodes been released at once. The anticipation-speculation that comes with a weekly schedule is a double-edged sword. Because people have more time to talk about things, some crazy ideas get a lot of attention.”

Personally, I had a lot of fun reading  (and participating in) the crazy theories, and am glad that True Detective was a weekly series. As much as I love to binge-watch shows like House of Cards, there’s something to be said about the communal viewing experience, even if all of our ideas don’t end up coming to fruition on the actual show. Would I have liked to see more of they show’s incredibly interesting underlying mystery fleshed out and explained? Of course. But I respect that the character-driven aspect of the series was always the intention, and have no complaints about how Fukanaga accomplished that particular goal.

What do you think about what Fukanaga had to say? Are you disappointed with the finale, or were you always more interested in the characters than the mysteries? Let us know in the comments!