The Many Theories of True Detective...

true-detective-posterMarty is the Yellow King...

Those are the cryptic words I texted to my friend and business partner, Skippy Handleman, in the wee hours of Sunday morning. They came to me in a fever dream, the nightmarish image of Woody Harrelson dressed as Bray Wyatt, holding a lantern while flanked by his family of psychotic rejects. He blows out the lantern, his wild man chuckle waking me from a fitful slumber; promoting my cryptic message. 

As crazy as that sounds, it's no more nuts than any of the other conspiracy theories floating around the internet concerning True Detective, the hit HBO drama starring Mathew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson that has taken over the paranoid collective of the World Wide Web. 

And good Lord, were we dying for something to sink our teeth into...

So here are a few of the nuttier theories floating around out there concerning this simply amazing show...



The Crazy Conspiracy Theories of True Detective

True Detective


The "Marty Did It" theory


This one came to the same solution that I did (though I must say they are basing it on more than I am). Their premise is cut and dry, Marty- the ultra wound up, uber angry anchor to Rusty's free floating spirit- is blowing off a little steam still left over after he put the stones to one of his many feminine obsessions not named Maggie. The proof for this madness (brought to us by the_thrillho, an obviously sleep deprived Reddit user for the photo evidence):


Exhibit A: 


Marty's wife asks where he had been for the past few days, conveniantly enough the same amoutn of time it would have taken to murder and set up the Dora body. 

Exhibit B:


Rusty asks Marty if he has ever been hunting, to which Marty responds that he had, in fact, been hunting, a year or so ago; bagging himself a ever ellucive ten point buck. 


Exhibit C:

Marty gives the young whore a crisp hundred, which Rusty later asks if it was a down payment. Perhaps it was just an act of mercy from this poor twisted soul. Or perhaps it was a first step in gaining her trust, leading her down a long road ending with her as the fleshy canvas for Marty's psychotic flights of fancy. 


Exhibit D:

When Rusty justifies his various indiscretions on his loyal wife, Maggie, he justifies it as a way to cleanse himself of all the darkness and evil of his day to day. This points to his ability to a) rationalize his immoral actions, and b) a desire to indulge in his lesser angels. Seeing how the violence in him also splashes out into this other life, is it so far a thought to see him torturing just some whore, as he sees them?


Throw in Marty's ever thinning crown of golden locks, and you have an undeniable piece of evidence. Tell me you don't see the links...


Where It Falls Apart:

Of all the weird theories surrounding the identity of the Yellow King, this is the most solid one. It's supported by solid, all be it very coincidental, evidence, and not based on wrestling influenced nightmares wading their way through sticky pools of bong resin and bourbon. That said, it's biggest weakness is it's subject... Marty. 

dora-TDSure, he is a brooding, violent, sociopath who should never have been put in charge of public safety (neither should Rusty, if we are being honest; the two of them totally batshit)... But he is also dense as a brick. There isn't one imaginative bone in that square's body, let alone the level of intense creativity it would take to dream up the ornate visions he acts out on the dead mediums. 



The "Rich Satanic Cult/Marty's In-Laws Did It" theory


This gem was mined from the various Reddit threads and message birds I delved into researching this. It's not nearly as developed as the Marty theory, more a bi-product of contrarians not wanting to buy into the Marty theory more than a deep investment in its tenets. 

The basis for the theory comes from a throw away line in one of the episodes where a character alleges that there are rumors of rich people having Satanic rituals in the woods. It is then tied into Marty's in-laws, obviously well to do people. Conveniently, later in the same episode as that line was uttered, Marty's father in law pops in, acting rather strangely. Some of the more out there threads start running into a weird thought stream where Maggie is also involved, though not consciously as she is acting as a brainwashed agent. 


Where it Falls Apart:


We have seen these characters maybe twice. Not really a deep enough on screen relationship to convincingly wrap up a murder mystery.


The “Creepy Lawnmower Man” theory


This theory claims that the lawn mowing creepy we se in passing is in fact the murdering Yellow King. We see Errol the lawnmower guy often enough, so there isn't that “we didn't see this coming” issue that the Satan Worshiping murderous in-laws theory leaves in your mouth. He also bears a vague enough resemblance to the nightmarish monster the little girl said chased her. Add in the symbolic tie between the simpleton’s occupation as lawn mower man and Rusty and Marty’s first fight (when Rusty was found mowing Marty’s lawn, clear foreshadowing to Marty’s eventual cuckolding).


Where It Falls Apart:


This one is actually a fairly strong one, in as much as it makes sense. The dude’s a creep, he looks like the picture the girl drew, and would be the least disappointing of the disappointing endings that we will more than likely be treated to. If we’re laying odds on these theories, this one would be the easy 3-1 favorite. 

The "Brainwashed Kids are the Killers" theory


Buried in those same Reddit threads was an offshoot of the Satanic Cult theory, though this one involves the children of the community- including Marty's- penis_tdtaking part in these ritualistic murders. The proof for this is thinner than the In Laws strain, it's biggest proof found in the odd Barbie orgy and the penis drawings. 

The basis for the theory is the belief that the two detectives were brought in for questioning because there are current Yellow King styled killings, which the theory contends are being done by these brainwashed children replicating the horrors the Satanic Cult impressed upon them twelve years earlier. 


Where it Falls Apart:

There really isn't much here other than the ramblings of lunatic Redditers. If we are going to say that the in-law theory is thin, than we have to acknowledge that one could roll a joint with this one. 

The "Rusty is a Medium" theory


In Episode One, Rusty sees an apparition of Marie Fontenot, the little girl that had gone missing yet no one thought to look for her. Later in the episode, he goes to her house, where he finds a piece of evidence, leading him to conclude that this disappearance is linked to the Dora murder. In the next episode, bird-swirlRusty sees the swirling bird pattern, played off to the audience as just another one of Rusty's hallucinations. Yet at the church ruins, they find the painting of the murder scene that opened the series. Coincidence? Dumb luck? Or messages from beyond? 


Where it Falls Apart:


It really doesn't, as even if this is the case, the show won't give us the satisfaction of a big, revealing pay off of Rusty sitting around once all is wrapped in a nice bow, smoking his cigarette, drinking his beer, and chatting to the ghosts in his head. This one is more for the viewer to interpret for themselves. 

But, if you are looking for some sort of fact to peg some reason to this, most of the defenders of this theory I saw- once backed into a corner to defend this bit of madness- would pull out the crucifix Rusty has fixed prominently in his home; the professed atheist unable to deny the presence of the supernatural influencing his life. Remember, Rusty doesn't lack faith but rather has seen enough ugly to no longer believe in anything beyond the horrific nature of his fellow man. 


The "Rusty is fucking with the cops" theory


Of all the theories floating around out there, this one is the thinnest and most inexplicable of them all. It contends that Rusty has been the killer all along, his professional need to leave Texas covering a string of grizzly murders we will learn about in the final two episodes. The murder in 2002 was his only error, finding himself having to study his own handiwork and frame some poor sap for having done it. Needless to say, Maggie blows the whole cover up; her desire to cuckold her husband outweighing Rusty's need to finish playing out his twisted game (hence why he throws her out in anger, his best laid plans ruined by a woman scorned. Speaking of, there is an odd offshoot of the brainwashed Maggie theory where her seducing of Rusty was not her acting out of cold vengeance but rather subliminal orders issued by the cult her parents are leading in the hopes of breaking up the investigation that was starting to get to close). 


Where it Falls Apart:


Other than the sheer insanity of the theory of it, thinnest again kills this theory. It's only evidence for being something other than a flight of sick fancy is Rusty's uttering of "company men" as two officers leave the room. They also theorize that his 2012 apperance with long hair, facial scruff, and a lingering drunk upon him are not his deep Redneck roots pouring out of him, but in fact is an effort to have him distanced from the scoundrals and "company men" of the police department. 


Of course, we would be remiss if we don't mention the most likely of the theories being bandied about out there concerning this show. It was dreamed up by radio genius Ron Bennington, legendary comedian and radio raconteur, on Sirius/XM's Ron & Fez Show.


This is going to be nothing. This is a show about two guys, with about twenty seconds of other people. We are going to be disappointed by this, just like Lost.



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