Did True Detective Borrow Details From This Episode of Unsolved Mysteries?

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
Feb. 26 2014 4:40 PM

Did True Detective Borrow Details From This Episode of Unsolved Mysteries?

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Is this a young Rust Cohle?

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Earlier today, the Daily Beast published an interview with True Detective director Cary Fukunaga. Discussing Matthew McConaughey’s brilliant performance on the HBO series, Fukunaga asked his interviewer, Marlow Stern, “Have you seen McConaughey in Unsolved Mysteries? Even back then, it’s a great performance! And he’s mowing the lawn.”

Mowing the lawn, you say? That sounds familiar. Fortunately, Vulture was able to dig up the pretty wonderful clip from the long-running show. But it raises more questions than it answers.

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Note that this case from Unsolved Mysteries involves not only murder, but the sexual violation of children. Is it a coincidence that this segment features a woman named Dorothy Lang, while True Detective centers on the death of a Dora Lange? And what about that red truck, which looks an awful lot like the one that Rust Cohle drives? Spooky. (Interestingly, McConaughey himself talked about this early performance in another interview about True Detective.)

Or perhaps these connections between the two shows are not intentional allusions by Fukunaga and company, but just more proof that time is a flat circle, and that everything we’ve ever done or will do, we’re gonna do over and over and over again.

David Haglund is a senior editor at Slate. He runs Brow Beat, Slate's culture blog.