HBO’s sure-to-be-EMMY-dominating series True Detective only has two episodes left and fans are obsessing over all the unanswered questions remaining about Rust, Marty and this Yellow King feller(s). Many (like me apparently) have turned into watered down versions of Rust Cohle as we maniacally scour the internet looking for any sort of clue as to what to expect over the last two hours. One True Detective true detective over at Reddit took it upon himself to plumb the depths of instagram for photos from cast and crew members working on the show, and the results were some mind-blowing glimpses at what is sure to be a gruesomely mind-blowing finale!
Just in case the title wasn’t indication enough, I should officially give the SPOILER ALERT warning.
Before we jump into the behind-the-scenes photos, let me set the stage…
Last week I wrote a post in which I shared what I thought to be Rust Cohle’s true motivation for his obsession over the Yellow King murders — a theory that I still feel pretty good about. Well, aside for thinking Rust and Marty were working together this whole time. I think I kinda missed that one by a mile at least.
Obviously the biggest question remaining is “Who is the Yellow King?” Or perhaps “Who are the Yellow King?” Episode 6 pretty much confirmed that the disappearances and murders are part of an elaborate ongoing thing potentially spear-headed by the Reverend Billy Lee Tuttle, may he rest in pieces, or perhaps Billy Lee’s cousin, Governor Eddie Tuttle. What’s funny is that the entire thing was revealed to us in detail very early on in the series by Dora’s ex Charlie Lange (The detective’s curse, right?), who described what Reggie Ledoux told him about the murders like this:
“He said there’s this place down south where all these rich men go to devil worship. He said that they sacrifice kids and whatnot — women and children all got murdered there. And somethin’ about some place called Carcosa and the Yellow King. He said there’s all these, like, old stones out in the woods — people go to, like, worship. He said there’s so much good killin’ down there. Reggie got this brand on his back, like in a spiral. He says that’s their sign.”
The idea of there being more than one killer is backed up repeatedly throughout the series. A subtle hint from Rust Cohle is when he revealed why he wanted to be a homicide detective in the first place, which happened while he was in the North Shore Psychiatric Hospital in Lubbock, Texas. “Oh, it was something I saw at North Shore,” Rust says. “A quote from Corinthians. ‘The body is not one member but many. Now are they many, but of one body.’”
A not-so-subtle hint is Rust’s grouping of five Alamo beer can men, all with a five-pointed yellow star for heads:
The grouping of five is noticeably repeated on two separate occasions. Marty Hart’s daughters have arranged their dolls with five men dolls around a naked female doll, which looks to be a rape scene, but now is also looking to be a sacrifice of some kind:
And then there was the uber-creepy photo of young Dora Lang in front of five costumed hooded horsemen:
That photo had the internet abuzz with KKK rumors, not to mention an obsession over the fact that “Rust Cohle” is an anagram for “horse cult,” but Reddit commenter BearChomp pointed out that it was more likely an obscure Mardi Gras ritual (at least on the surface):
Lots of speculation about this photo depicting the cult, but it’s actually more likely a photo of a traditional backwoods Mardi Gras celebration. Out in rural Louisiana, places like Mamou, the Mardi Gras customs include men dressing in costumes that resemble colorful Klan outfits (maybe coincidence, maybe not, I honestly don’t know). They ride horses door to door and collect ingredients for a community gumbo. It’s obscure, but Nic P is from south Louisiana so he’s likely familiar with this practice. (Link for reference)
That brings us to a behind-the-scenes photo which was taken on set featuring the girl playing young Dora Lange in front of the horsemen in between posing for the photo seen above:
I think the seemingly consistent number of men (five) is important because it’s my belief there are five men arranged in a star/pentagram formation during the sacrifices. (It’s a reach, but these five figures in a circle could represent a crown of sorts — thus the Yellow King.)
In addition to the five men and the female sacrifice, I also believe there are a number of watchers, including the “rich men” referenced by Charlie Lange. I also think among those watching are little girls — perhaps daughters of the men in attendance — or granddaughters, as in Marty’s father-in-law That seems to me to be the only explanation as to why Marty daughter’s (or at least his eldest) appear to have been witness to sex and a sacrifice and drew the spiral painting pinned to Marty’s kitchen wall in this scene:
And it’s my theory that the twig tripod things are made by the children in attendance at the sacrifices. Once again, I’m going with the notion of the detective’s curse (and not knowing what little thing is later going to make you go, “ah!”). Remember the black preacher from episode one? He recognized the twig constructions and said his Aunt called them bird traps or devil’s nets and that they were used to keep the devil away. But, he also added, “I always thought it was just somethin for the children to do — keep ‘em busy, tell ‘em stories while they tyin’ sticks together.” Ah!
In addition to the twig tripods, I think the children symbolically fly kites as well because they keep turning up in the drawings and paintings. Here is a True Detective behind-the-scenes photo from instagram of a barn with a painting/drawing of people in antlers flying a kite with a tail made out of the black stars referenced in Dora Lange’s diary and seen on the windows at the high school:
OK, enough personal conjecturing and theorizing, let’s get to the juicy photos! This first one features a rather gruesome scene that looks to be the location of numerous sacrifices over the years:
There are lots of bones and antlers and even a sacrificial bed of some sort! (It seems to make the “circle of men” theory moot, however.)
Here are a couple more startling images from what may be the interior of the barn with the drawings seen above. The walls are covered with writings that included repeated uses of the ubiquitous Carcosa, Yellow King and the name Bael, which is apparently an alias for Beelzebub. There is also a rather sinister looking Slinky present?!? “What walks down stairs, alone or in pairs…”
(Obviously, I think the second one is just a cast or crew member playing around with a prop corpse. “A corpse is a corpse, of course of course…” I don’t know why I’m getting old TV jingles popping into my brain.)
Perhaps the most important True Detective behind-the-scenes photos to turn up is this next one at a cemetery in which it appears that we will be seeing the “Lawnmower Man” (I believe his name is Errol) from the closed high school again!
Director Cory Fukunaga foreshadowed the return of Lawnmower Man in a Forbes interview earlier this month when he revealed that his white 1963 Ford F-100 featured in Episode 3 would be making a return in episodes 7 and eight. You can click here to see that the white truck was also present at the high school and appears to be owned by Lawnmower Man.
The photo and Fukunaga’s comment had me revisiting Episode 3, and I’ll be damned if Lawnmower man doesn’t have a big ol’ burn scar on the right side (our left) of his face!
Remember that little girl who said a green-eared spaghetti monster chased her through some woods? Those green ears sure look a lot like earphones that would be worn by someone who mows lawns all the time! And I suppose the spaghetti face could just be the beard and moustache?
There were two separate photos that have turned up from the True Detective set that feature a woman’s body wrapped in bubble wrap. Here’s one, the other is included in one of the albums at the bottom of this post:
I’m going to guess that these are photos of Dora Lange’s body (the prop) before or after it was placed on the set to film. But then again, who knows?!?
This next photo features some rather patriotic and studly crew members in what I am guessing is the inside of Rust Cohle’s storage unit! (Pure speculation on my part.)
Perhaps my favorite True Detective behind-the-scenes photo isn’t any sort of spoiler at all. It was shared by the model (named Amber) who played the stripper featured in the opening credits (she’s wearing the red white and blue one-piece with the plunging neckline) and also in episode 4 when she leads Marty to Reggie Ledoux’s pal Tyrone Weem. And speaking of Tyrone Weem (played by Todd Giebenhain), he’s in the photo too:
Amber captioned the picture, “Last nights set finally came to an end at 5:40 this morning. This is my P.I.M.P. Daddy, Todd Giebenhain. I’m so excited about this TV series.”
Here’s another great couple of non-Earth-shattering behind-the-scenes photos from actors/extras, including one of the men involved in the stash house raid and another of one of the Segway riders at the Tuttle HQ:
“#OnSet #HBO #TrueDetective They gave me the Yappa! Lol”
“#MovieSet life……#HBO #TrueDetective”
“the start of my acting career #truedetective #onset #segway #matthewmcconaughey”
And how about this one from actress Erin Moriarty, who plays Audrey Hart — or as her frustrated on-screen dad Marty calls her, the “captain of the varsity s|ut team:”
And here are a couple of albums to scroll through with some of the photos included above, but a few different ones as well. (I will say that I ran across the last two photos in album two of the dilapidated structure and rotting couch, and I don’t believe those to be True Detective related, although the person who took them was part of the show in some capacity.) Highlights include another zoomed-in image of one of the five horsemen as well as a few shots of a super-creepy doll-infested abode:
True Detective airs Sunday nights at 9/8c on HBO with episodes available around the clock at HBOGo.com! #GetAddicted
* By the way, I’m thinking of quitting my job and renting out a storage unit to keep up with all my evidence investigating this series. Time is a flat circle y’all!!
UPDATE – Well, we’ve solved the mystery of the Yellow King and the tall man with the scarred face:
— Starcasm (@starcasm) March 3, 2014