True Detective (TV series)

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True Detective is an American television anthology drama series on HBO about the lives of two detectives, Rust Cohle and Martin Hart, that become entangled during a 17-year hunt for a serial killer in Louisiana. The show was created and written by Nic Pizzolatto, with the first season directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga.

Season 1[edit]

The Long Bright Dark [1.1][edit]

Marty Hart: You know, I've seen all the different types. We all fit a certain category-- the bully, the charmer, the, uh, surrogate dad, the man possessed by ungovernable rage, the brain-- and any of those types could be a good detective, and any of those types could be an incompetent shitheel.
Maynard Gilbough: Which type were you?
Marty Hart: Oh, just a regular type dude... with a big ass dick.

Marty Hart: There can be a burden in authority, in vigilance, like a father's burden. It was too much for some men. A smart guy who's steady is hard to find. I was all right, better than some, but, you know, I knew how to talk to people, and I was steady. Rust-- now his Texas files were classified or redacted, and he wasn't big on talking except when you wanted him to shut up, but he was smart.

Rust Cohle: This kind of thing does not happen in a vacuum. I guarantee this wasn't his first.

Rust Cohle: People out here, it's like they don't even know the outside world exists. Might as well be living on the fucking Moon.
Marty Hart: There's all kinds of ghettos in the world.
Rust Cohle: It's all one ghetto man, giant gutter in outer space.

Rust Cohle: I'd consider myself a realist, alright? But in philosophical terms I'm what's called a pessimist.
Marty Hart: Okay, what's that mean?
Rust Cohle: It means I'm bad at parties.
Marty Hart: Let me tell you, you ain't great outside of parties either.

Rust Cohle: I think human consciousness is a tragic misstep in evolution. We became too self-aware. Nature created an aspect of nature separate from itself. We are creatures that should not exist by natural law. We are things that labor under the illusion of having a self, this accretion of sensory experience and feelings, programmed with total assurance that we are each somebody, when in fact everybody's nobody. I think the honorable thing for our species to do is to deny our programming. Stop reproducing. Walk hand in hand into extinction. One last midnight, brothers and sisters opting out of a raw deal.
Marty Hart: I got an idea, let's make the car a place of silent reflection from now on. Okay?

Rust Cohle: This place is like somebody's memory of a town, and the memory is fading. It's like there was never anything here but jungle.
Marty Hart: Stop saying shit like that. It's unprofessional.

Ken Quesada: Now, this perpetrator will be apprehended, and he will know swift Louisiana justice.

Billy Lee Tuttle: I don't mean to tell men of your positions, but there is a war happening behind things.

Seeing Things [1.2][edit]

Rust Cohle: I think about my daughter now, and what she was spared. Sometimes I feel grateful. The doctor said she didn't feel a thing, went straight into a coma. Then, somewhere in that blackness, she slipped off into another deeper kind. Isn't that a beautiful way to go out, painlessly as a happy child? Trouble with dying later is you've already grown up. The damage is done. It's too late.

Rust Cohle: You know me. I don't see the connection between two dead cats and a murdered woman. [pause] But I'm from Texas.

Rust Cohle: Came close another time... Lorry. Maggie introduced us. It broke off. It was for the best, you know, I gave her cause. I can be hard to live with. I don't mean to, but I can be... critical. [sigh] Sometimes I think I'm just not good for people, that it's not good for them to be around me. I wear 'em down. They... they get unhappy.
Maynard Gilbough: Hmm... yeah I think the job does that to a lot of guys. Changes ya. Some guys just notice that's all.
Rust Cohle: I can't say the job made me this way. More like me being this way made me right for the job. I used to think about it more, but you reach a certain age you know who you are. Now I live in a little room, out in the country behind a bar, work four nights a week, and in between I drink. And there ain't nobody there to stop me. I know who I am. And after all these years, there's a victory in that.

Marty Hart: [about Beth] That girl's not 18. Sheriff know you got under age workin' here?
Jan: What do you know about where that girl's been? Where she come from? You wanna know Beth's situation 'fore she ran out on her uncle?
Marty Hart: There are other places she could go.
Jan: such holy bullshit from you. It's a woman's body, ain't it? A woman's choice.
Marty Hart: Well, she don't look like a woman to me. At that age she is not equipped to make those kinda choices. But I guess you don't give a shit what kind of damage she's doin' to herself as long as you're makin' your money.
Jan: Girls walk this Earth all the time screwin' for free. Why is it you add business to the mix and boys like you can't stand the thought? I'll tell you. It's cause suddenly you don't own it the way you thought you did.
Marty Hart: [Gives money to Beth] Do something else.
[they leave]
Rust Cohle: That a down payment?
Marty Hart: Is shitting on any moment of decency part of your job description?

[Rust sniffs]
Marty Hart: What?
Rust Cohle: You wash up, you got some pussy on ya.
Marty Hart: Key to a healthy marriage.
Rust Cohle: Oh, that's Maggie, huh?
Marty Hart: Hey! What's with your fucking nose?
Rust Cohle: Nothing man, sorry, forget it.
Marty Hart: I get a connotation being implied here... about my wife?
Rust Cohle: Are you saying that's your wife? That high tide you're walking in with?
Marty Hart: [Angrily slams Rust into a locker] You got some idea how my wife's pussy is supposed to smell?
Rust Cohle: No, I just meant you're wearing the same clothes as you did yesterday. [slowly grabs Martin's wrists] Coupled with the fact that I ain't stupid. Wasn't making no comment as to the particularity of the scent.
Marty Hart: You don't say fuck-all about my wife... don't say her name!
Rust Cohle: You got some self loathing to do this morning, that's fine, but it ain't worth losing your hands over.
Marty Hart: How would that work exactly?
Rust Cohle: I'd just apply a couple of pounds of pressure. [tightens the grip on Martin's wrists] Snap your wrists. You're senior detective, think I'm lying?

The Locked Room [1.3][edit]

Rust Cohle: What do you think the average IQ of this group is, huh?
Marty Hart: Can you see Texas up there on your high horse? What do you know about these people?
Rust Cohle: Just observation and deduction. I see a propensity for obesity. Poverty. A yen for fairy tales. Folks puttin' what few bucks they do have into a little wicker basket being passed around. I think it's safe to say nobody here's gonna be splitting the atom, Marty.
Marty Hart: You see that. Your fucking attitude. Not everybody wants to sit alone in an empty room beating off to murder manuals. Some folks enjoy community. A common good.
Rust Cohle: Yeah, well if the common good's gotta make up fairy tales then it's not good for anybody.

Rust Cohle: Transference of fear and self-loathing to an authoritarian vessel. It's catharsis. He absorbs their dread with his narrative. Because of this, he's effective at proportion to the amount of certainty he can project. Certain linguistic anthropologists think that religion is a language virus that rewrites pathways in the brain. Dulls critical thinking.
Marty Hart: Well, I don't use ten dollar words as much as you, but for a guy who sees no point in existence, you sure fret about it an awful lot. And you still sound panicked.
Rust Cohle: At least I'm not racing to a red light.

Marty Hart: I mean, can you imagine if people didn't believe, what things they'd get up to?
Rust Cohle: Exact same thing they do now. Just out in the open.
Marty Hart: Bullshit. It'd be a fucking freak show of murder and debauchery and you know it.
Rust Cohle: If the only thing keeping a person decent is the expectation of divine reward, then brother that person is a piece of shit; and I'd like to get as many of them out in the open as possible.
Marty Hart: Well, I guess your judgment is infallible, piece-of-shit-wise. You think that notebook is a stone tablet?
Rust Cohle: What's it say about life, hmm? You gotta get together, tell yourself stories that violate every law of the universe just to get through the goddamn day. Nah. What's that say about your reality, Marty?

Rust Cohle: This... This is what I'm talking about. This is what I mean when I'm talkin' about time, and death, and futility. All right there are broader ideas at work, mainly what is owed between us as a society for our mutual illusions. Fourteen straight hours of staring at DB's, these are the things ya think of. You ever done that? You look in their eyes, even in a picture, doesn't matter if they're dead or alive, you can still read 'em. You know what you see? They welcomed it... not at first, but... right there in the last instant. It's an unmistakable relief. See, cause they were afraid, and now they saw for the very first time how easy it was to just... let go. Yeah They saw, in that last nanosecond, they saw... what they were. You, yourself, this whole big drama, it was never more than a jerry-rig of presumption and dumb will, and you could just let go. To finally know that you didn't have to hold on so tight. To realize that all your life--you know, all your love, all your hate, all your memories, all your pain--it was all the same thing. It was all the same dream, a dream that you had inside a locked room, a dream about being a person. And like a lot of dreams, there's a monster at the end of it.

Marty Hart: Do you wonder ever if you're a bad man?
Rust Cohle: No. I don't wonder, Marty. World needs bad men. We keep the other bad men from the door.

Who Goes There [1.4][edit]

Marty Hart: Every time I think you've hit a ceiling, you, you keep raising the bar. You're like the Michael Jordan of being a son of a bitch.

Marty Hart: Fuuuck! Hell of a bedside manner you've got, Rust.
Rust Cohle: Ahh, you know, being stupid is different than going in sick, and this is a bar, not a fuckin' bedside.

Rust Cohle: [to Marty] All the dick swagger you roll, you can't spot crazy pussy?

Rust Cohle: [to Marty] So, enough with the self-improvement-penance-hand-wringing shit. Let's go to work.

The Secret Fate of All Life [1.5][edit]

Marty Hart: Do you know the good years when you're in them, or do you just wait for them until you get ass cancer?

Marty Hart: What always happens between men and women? Reality.

Rust Cohle: In eternity, where there is no time, nothing can grow. Nothing can become. Nothing changes. So Death created time to grow the things that it would kill and you are reborn but into the same life that you've always been born into. I mean, how many times have we had this conversation, detectives? Well, who knows? When you can't remember your lives, you can't change your lives, and that is the terrible and the secret fate of all life. You're trapped by that nightmare you keep waking up into.

Marty Hart: See, infidelity is one kind of sin, but my true failure was inattention.

Haunted Houses [1.6][edit]

Beth: [on the phone to Marty] I really wanted to see you. I've been thinking about something all week. I think...I want you to fuck me in my ass. [pause] I've never done that before, but I think I want you to do it to me.

Rust Cohle: The newspapers are gonna be tough on you. And prison is very, very hard on people who hurt kids. If you get the opportunity, you should kill yourself.

Maggie Hart: There's no such thing as forgiveness. People just have short memories.

Rust Cohle: [to Marty] Without me, there is no you.

Rust Cohle: I quit.
Leroy Salter: You serious?
Rust Cohle: I'll send you a letter. Yeah. Fuck this. Fuck this world. Nice hook, Marty.

Marty Hart: A man's game charges a man's price. Take that away from this, if nothing else.

After You've Gone [1.7][edit]

Rust Cohle: Life's barely long enough to get good at one thing. So be careful what you get good at.

Marty Hart: You know, you know what, I don't think I've been very clear with you Rust. If you were drowning, I'd throw you a fuckin' barbell. Why would I ever help you?
Rust Cohle: Because you owe a debt.

Marty Hart: Hey. You better get those jumper cables ready, the motherfucker is lying.

Rust Cohle: [to Maggie] Get on out of here, you're classin' the place up.

Thomas Papania: You know there's a little church around here? Pretty old? Black minister?
Errol Childress: You must mean Son of Life, sir. That place shut down. '05, I think, just after all them hurricanes.
Thomas Papania: Mmm. You live around here?
Errol Childress: No, sir. I live in St. Martin. Got a parish contract. Take care of some cemeteries, public schools.
Thomas Papania: All right. Thanks. Hey, you know how to get to 49 from here?
Errol Childress: Sure. About a half-mile, you'll see a left. PR 1435. Take that. About 7 miles of fields, you'll hit 49 before Crowley.
Thomas Papania: Know your way around, huh?
Errol Childress: Oh, yeah, boss. I know the whole coast. My family-
Thomas Papania: [cutting him off] Thanks.
[Papania drives off. Errol steps off the lawnmower, wipes sweat from his forehead and surveys the field he's been mowing]
Errol Childress: My family's been here a long, long time.

Form and Void [1.8][edit]

Errol's Sister: You have a good walk?
Errol Childress: [affecting a refined English accent] Yes, my dear. Top-notch walk this morning. Top-notch constitutional. It's been weeks since I left my mark...would that they had eyes to see.

Errol Childress: Now, Betty, I have very important work to do. My ascension removes me from the disc and the loop. I'm near final stage. Some mornings, I can see the infernal plane.

Errol Childress: Couldn't you tell me about Grampa?
Errol's Sister: I was in the cane fields, and he caught me when I was alone. And the dirt was warm. I felt the dirt warm on my back.

Rust Cohle: Look, as sentient meat, however illusory our identities are, we craft those identities by making value judgments: everybody judges, all the time. Now, you got a problem with that... You're livin' wrong.

Rust Cohle: What are you doing here?
Marty Hart: Nothing. Nurse said I could come in.
Rust Cohle: Are you watching me sleep?
Marty Hart: You know what, I just got here. I was gonna leave, but then you woke up. Jesus, what's your fucking problem.
Rust Cohle: Nothing much of a problem.
Marty Hart: Not a care in the world.

Rust Cohle: We didn't get 'em all.
Marty Hart: Yeah, and we ain't gonna get 'em all. That ain't what kind of world it is. But we got ours.
Rust Cohle: I'm not supposed to be here.
Marty Hart: Yeah... well, I'll come back by tomorrow, buddy.
Rust Cohle: Why?
Marty Hart: Don't ever change, man.

Rust Cohle: Once there was only dark. If you ask me, the light's winning.

Season 2[edit]

The Western Book of the Dead [2.1][edit]

Ray Velcoro: [to a boy who bullies his son] If you ever bully or hurt anybody again, I'll come back and butt fuck your father with your mom's headless corpse on this goddamn lawn.

Ray Velcoro: I used to want to be an astronaut. But astronauts don't even go to the moon anymore.

Frank Semyon: Never do anything out of hunger. Even eating.

Night Finds You [2.2][edit]

Ray Velcoro: Sometimes, a good beating provokes personal growth.

Ray Velcoro: Somebody was looking for something. Explains the torture.
Ani Bezzarides: Maybe. [glancing at Kaspar's pornographic art] Guy thought about fucking a lot.

Ray Velcoro: [about e-cigarettes] I tried one of those once. Felt like it was smoking me. Maybe it was too close to sucking a robot's dick. I dunno.

Ani Bezzerides: The fundamental difference between the sexes is that one of them can kill the other with their bare hands. A man of any size lays his hands on me, he's gonna bleed out in under a minute.
Ray Velcoro: Well, just so you know, I support feminism, mostly by having body image issues.


Season 1[edit]

Season 2[edit]

External links[edit]

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