It was bound to happen, but with enough time passed, we can definitively say: True Detective Season 2 disappointed.
Even with impressive performances by Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams, and Taylor Kitsch, 2015's murky noir series couldn't uncover the captivating quandaries of that first provocative outing. Viewership tapered off, Reddit theorizing fizzled out, and the days after the finale were silent. Even HBO president Michael Lombardo called out Season 2, blaming the company, not creator Nic Pizzolatto, for the misfire. "When we tell somebody to hit an air date as opposed to allowing the writing to find its own natural resting place, when it’s ready, when it’s baked – we’ve failed," he said shortly after the season's end.
The future of True Detective stood as the series' biggest mystery. Would it actually return? Well, according to HBO, the answer is: most definitely.
“It’s not dead,” HBO head of programming Casey Bloys revealed at a Television Critics Association panel on Saturday. “We are hoping for a third season. It’s a very valuable franchise for us."
Bloys says that, because Pizzolatto is working steadily on other projects, a third season will likely be written by a newcomer, with Pizzolatto supervising. There's currently no movement on this imagined-yet-inevitable chapter. “I’m not sure we have the right take for a third season yet," Bloys clarified.
Earlier this summer, Matthew McConaughey teased the possibility of returning to the show. “I miss Rust Cohle, man,” McConaughey told DirecTV’s Rich Eisen Show. “I miss watching him on Sunday nights.” Cue your "time is a flat circle" joke.
True Detective Season 1 saw Rust and his partner Martin Hart (Woody Harrelson) reflecting on the existential war of light and dark that lives inside all men's hearts. Neither looked all that ready to solve another case. So where could it go from there? Would we flash back to Rust's younger days? Could a new batch of detectives seek guidance from a sage-like mentor? Maybe the philosophical son-of-a-bitch have enough hop in his step to solve... One. More. Case.
For now, Season 3 is shrouded in mystery, just the way Pizzolatto likes it. Start those imaginative engines -- HBO clearly wants ideas, and stat. I'll start.