Breaking down the remaining contestants’ strengths and weaknesses

Jared Hussey
Feb 23 · 6 min read

It’s that time of year again. This season of True Detective flew by, and there are a lot of contestants worthy of winning the final prize.

However, this isn’t a participation trophy we’re talking about. It’s the flippin’ honor of being known as the True Detective. Out of the nine contestants, there can only be one.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

Wayne Hays

Strengths

  • Tracker
  • No quit
  • Looks good in a suit
  • Says cool shit like: “The fellas pitched in and got you life in prison, with a good possibility of choking in the gas chamber, you fuckin’ shitheel little twerp”
  • Different hairstyles help us differentiate what timeline he’s in
  • Integrity

Weaknesses

  • Dementia in 2015
  • Black (this is not a weakness, but the fact that most people are racist puts him at a constant disadvantage, which is the weakness)
  • Doesn’t trust police but is police

Will he be the True Detective?

No. The crowd favorite doesn’t always win these sorts of things.

Roland West

Strengths

  • White privilege
  • Knows when to shut his mouth
  • Looks like a young Dennis Quaid while somehow also looking like an old Dennis Quaid
  • Highest actual police rank of any major character
  • Dog person

Weaknesses

  • Looks like a bum standing next to Mahershala Ali
  • Gets shot in the leg and walks with a limp for like the rest of his life
  • Too by-the-book until he kills that guy, and then he tries being by-the-book again
  • Thought about saying the n-word

Will he be the True Detective?

Unlikely. Also, he might be lying about some things, so there is a chance he will actually be the false detective.

Amelia Reardon

Strengths

  • Teacher
  • Good writer
  • Not afraid to go out there and do some good ol’ fashioned sleuthin’
  • Kind of a better investigator than the actual investigators
  • Good parent

Weaknesses

  • Her kids make her weak
  • Sort of just used the case as a means to write a book, which is a little fucked up
  • Dead in 2015

Will she be the True Detective?

She could have been. She had a lot of potential. But a dead person cannot be the True Detective. For this reason, the answer is a resounding NO.

Tom Purcell

Strengths

  • His missing kids are the reason there’s a case in the first place
  • Has a gun
  • Enough athletic ability to hop a fence

Weaknesses

  • Probably should have kept a better eye on his children
  • Was cuckolded
  • Best friend is a cop, which means he can’t be trusted, and how can you be the True Detective if you can’t be trusted?
  • Didn’t actually kill himself but was such a sad person that people were like “yeah that makes sense” when framed for suicide

Will he be the True Detective?

Definitely not. The one time he tried to do some true detecting, he ended up dead.

Elisa Montgomery

Strengths

  • Making her documentary in 2015 when true crime content was at its peak
  • Could be the next Serial
  • Has gathered substantial evidence
  • Devoted to finding the truth

Weaknesses

  • Thinks that a 70-year-old man with dementia will give her reliable answers
  • Woman (again, this itself is not a weakness, but the fact that it puts her at a disadvantage in the industry is the weakness)

Will she be the True Detective?

Probably not, but don’t rule her out. She’s not a main character by any measure, but she and her crew are getting close to solving this thing. Now the only question is: If she wins, will she share the honor with the rest of the documentary crew?

Harris James

Strengths

  • Kind of charming in a weird, quirky way
  • Strong enough to easily subdue and murder a drunk Tom Purcell
  • Not afraid to shoot his shot by telling Hays how sexy he is
  • Honestly, probably a pretty good babysitter for Julie to still be alive 10 years after she went missing

Weaknesses

  • Dead
  • In the same way he is charming, he is also very creepy
  • Was just a henchman and did not think for himself

Will he be the True Detective?

Nope. Again, a dead person has never been the True Detective, and don’t count on it happening this season.

Henry Hays

Strengths

  • Cop just like his daddy
  • A good son
  • Has what appears to be a nice family
  • He’s Cyborg in the DC Universe and you have to wonder if some of those powers translate to this show

Weaknesses

  • Loses track of his dad with dementia quite a bit
  • Is in the DC Extended Universe and not in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Will he be the True Detective?

There’s a chance. Most people think his father, Wayne, will be the winner at the end. However, no one is predicting the prodigal son to take home the prize. He’s an underdog in every sense of the word, but he has about as good a chance as anyone.

Edward Hoyt

Strengths

  • Mysterious as hell
  • Confident
  • Rich and owns Arkansas I think?
  • Has a lot of underlings
  • Has cool cars

Weaknesses

  • Allegedly responsible for the death of a young boy and kidnapping of a young girl
  • Might like to have sex with children
  • “Hoyt” is kind of a dumb last name

Will he be the True Detective?

Maybe. Honestly, we don’t know that much about him. So, for now, it’s a maybe.

The Viewer

Strengths

  • Has a subscription to HBO, an HBO GO account, or the password to one of their friend’s HBO GO accounts
  • In my case, incredibly handsome
  • Ability to pause, rewind, and re-watch scenes
  • Access to True Detective fan theories online

Weaknesses

  • Statistically, overweight and cannot jump a fence
  • Unable to affect the course of events in the show
  • Even if the viewer solves the case, one day they will die and all they have worked for will have been for nothing

Will the viewer be the True Detective?

It depends. If the viewer is someone focused enough, yes. If the viewer is my mom, who keeps referring to Mahershala Ali as “the guy from The 4400,” then no.


Who do you think will be the True Detective? The season finale airs this Sunday, 2/24, on HBO. You should watch it. Don’t watch the Oscars.


Jared is an award-winning (that’s not true) writer who has published featured articles (also not true) in Playboy, Maxim, and Entertainment Weekly (no, no, and no). In his free time, he donates his time to help (don’t know where this is going, but it’s probably not true) inner-city youth learn how to read (yeah, not true). If you enjoyed this piece or would like to troll Jared on social media, his Twitter is here.

The Bigger Picture

Oddly specific. Universally applicable. Submit your writing to biggerpicturemedium@gmail.com.

Jared Hussey

Written by

I peaked in high school. https://jaredhusseyexperience.wordpress.com

The Bigger Picture

Oddly specific. Universally applicable. Submit your writing to biggerpicturemedium@gmail.com.

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