The Long Bright Dark
True Detective Season 1 Episode 1
Season 1, Episode 1
General Information
Series True Detective(2014)
Air date 12 Jan. 2014
Written by Nic Pizzolatto
Directed by Cary Fukunaga
Episode guide
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True Detective(2014) episodes

Former Louisiana State CID partners, Rustin Cohle and Martin Hart, give statements to a pair of investigators about the murder of a prostitute that took place 17 years earlier.

Plot Summary

In 1995, Detectives Martin Hart and Rustin Cohle find a dead woman tied to a tree in a praying position. Next to the woman, they find structural stick lattices. That same evening, Martin asks Rust to have dinner at his home. Despite it being on the anniversary of this daughter's death, Rust agrees to be there. Afterward, he goes to a bar and finds prostitutes who know the victim personally. He talks to them briefly before buying drugs from them. The next day, the victim is identified as a prostitute named Dora Kelly Lange. The detectives take the investigations to the neighborhoods. One church minister notices that the twig lattices are similar to Cajun spirit catchers. Another man asks about a young girl named Marie Fontenot who disappeared 5 years ago, but was not reported. They are told of a report where a girl is chased by a green spaghetti monster.

Seeing that officials assumed that Marie ran off to her birth father, the detectives follow up on the case by visiting Marie's uncle Danny. There, they are told the Marie's parents have not made contact with them. In the backyard, the detectives find the same twig lattices at the scene of Dora's murder. At Martin's home, Rust shows up drunk. After Rust confesses that he had drinking problems in the past, Martin arranges an excuse to have Rust leave early. However, Rust decides to stay for the full meal, much to Martin's annoyance. At a prison, Rust and Martin meet with Dora's ex-husband, Charlie. Charlie tells them that Dora recently called him about becoming a nun and how she had met a "king." Seeing that he knows nothing more, the detectives leave him with the knowledge that his ex-wife is dead.

In 2012, Martin and Rust are interviewed separately by detectives Maynard and Thomas about the 1995 case. They suspect Rust because he has been off the grid until 2010. Since 2002, Rust and Martin have had a falling out. After appeasing Rust, Maynard and Thomas show Rust a pick of a recent victim killed similarly to the one in 1995. They ask him how this could happen when the killer was caught by Rust and his partner in 1995. Rust tells them to ask the right questions.

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