Besides the initial mystery of what happened to the siblings, it is also unclear why the case has been reopened in 1990. Finding out the answers to these questions is what will keep you watching as the pieces of a complex, era-skipping jigsaw puzzle are slowly – at times, incredibly so – put into place. Also compelling: Ali’s multi-layered performance as a man haunted by a troubling crime. (Airing on Fox Showcase Mondays at 1pm) 4 stars
The great thing about True Detective is that it starts from scratch each season, meaning that after the misstep that was Season 2, which US network HBO admits was rushed, the reset button can be pressed and a new, unrelated story told.
In this case, that story is the disappearance of two children, last seen riding their bikes around a depressing small town in Arkansas in 1980, and the subsequent investigation into their whereabouts by partners Wayne Hays (Moonlight’s Mahershala Ali) and Roland West (Stephen Dorff). While the season’s plot might be wholly original, the format harks back to the show’s highly acclaimed first season with the narrative taking place in three different time periods – 1980; 10 years later when Hays is asked to give a deposition in relation to the original investigation; and 2015 when he is being interviewed by a journalist about the case.