True Detective S1E4 Recap: An Emmy Worthy & Winning Episode

With the new Season of True Detective hitting HBO at the end of January, we’re taking a look back at the series thus far. Today we continue with Season 1, Episode 4, “Who Goes There.”

The first season of True Detective follows Rustin “Rust” Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) and Martin “Marty” Hart (Woody Harrelson). Two detectives for the Louisiana State Police Criminal Investigations Division. In 1995 they begin working on the case revolving around the murder of Dora Lange. She was found naked, posed to kneel at the base of a tree, with a crown of antlers on her head. In 2012 the former detectives are now being interviewed by current detectives Papania (Tory Kittles) and Gilbough (Michael Potts) looking back at the case after another body was found matching similar details to Dora Lange. The question that lingers now, “How could it be him, if we already caught him in ‘95. How indeed detectives?”

Image via HBO


There’s very little that happens in the 2012 portion of the show. The biggest point is the question of why did Rust mysteriously take a leave of absence shortly after they got a lead on Ledoux. While they never explain to Papania and Gilbough, we get the full story through the flashbacks.

Image via HBO


After discovering that an old cold case surrounding the death of Rianne Olivier has similar connections to the death of Dora Lange, they get a lead on Reggie Ledoux. Ledoux is an ex-con that was cell mates with Dora’s ex husband Charlie (Brad Carter). He’s skipped out on parole and they have an APB out on him. After talking with Charlie, and Rust accusing him of being responsible for Dora’s death, they get the name Tyrone Weems. Marty finds him at a rave, and after questioning him at gunpoint Tyrone tells him that Ledoux is cooking meth for a bike gang called the Iron Crusaders.

Marty goes home to find that Lisa (Alexandria Didario) has told his wife Maggie (Michelle Monaghan) about their affair. Maggie took the kids to her parents and wants him out. He tries going to the hospital where she works as a nurse to convince her to take him back, but it doesn’t work. He goes and stays with Rust and they focus on the case. Rust explains that the Iron Crusaders are a really horrible group, and he has ties to them from his narcotics days. They decide to go undercover off the books and head to Texas to find more info.

Rust meets with an old contact named Ginger (Joseph Sikora). He tells Ginger that he’s been working with Cartel in Mexico and they want to swap cocaine, which he stole from the evidence locker, for meth that their cook has been providing. Ginger says he can help him if Rust will help rob a rival gang. He agrees, and they begin prepping at another location for the robbery. The robbery itself takes place in one long continuous take. After heading into a house where the rival gang stores their money, things quickly go wrong and multiple gang members on both sides are killed. Rust grabs Ginger, and makes his way through the neighborhood as the rival gang comes after them with guns blazing. They meet up with Marty and escape as more cops come in.

“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.”

Image via HBO


The biggest highlight to this episode has to be the robbery. The majority of the scene takes place in one long shot, and it’s not only impressive, but it also keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time. There’s a lot of things about this show that help make this first season spectacular, and this is without a doubt one of the biggest highlights. It’s one of the best moments of the show as a whole and this episode specifically is what won director Cary Joji Fukunaga and Cinematographer Adam Arkapaw Emmy’s for the show.

The first season of True Detective is currently available on HBO Now, HBO Go, and HBO on Demand. Check back with us tomorrow when we dive into the fifth episode of True Detective Season 1, “The Secret Fate of All Life.”

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