With rumors of True Detective season 2 casting and plot swirling around the internet, and finally starting to take shape, I wanted to take a look back at Season 1. As we hear about the likes of Colin Farell, Elizabeth Moss, Vince Vaughn and Taylor Kitsch filling in key roles in Nic Pizzolatto’s follow up season, it makes me wonder if any of them, as good as they may be, can live up to the brilliance that Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey brought to the table. McConaughey was robbed of a an Emmy award at the awards yesterday, and that even further cemented my desire to explain why you all (yes, all of you), wish that you were Rust Cohle.
BEWARE, TRUE DETECTIVE SPOILERS BELOW!
He makes weird stuff sound bad ass
One of the most engaging and engrossing parts of the whole series, was simply listening to what Rust Cohle had to say. That’s why the show was able to spend extended periods simply watching an interview. You never know what philosophical, scary and strangely insightful thing Rust is going to say. But the thing is, you say it’s awesome , and ‘bad ass’ now, but if one of your buddies ever said anything like ‘time is a flat circle’ or ‘humanity should exterminate itself’ you’d call them a f’ing weirdo, or punch them in the face, as our friend Marty Hart did. Don’t even deny it. But when Rust says it, we latch onto every crazy little word, and wish that we could say some junk like that and get away with it.
He doesn’t have to try, to get women
I mean, come on. Women love the dude, no matter how cracked out, disheveled and unhealthy he looks, and it seems like the less he tries to be appealing to women, the more he they want him. I mean, right from the get go, Maggie seemed like the guy, even though he showed up at her door with some dead flowers, neck deep in whiskey. The prostitute wanted to give him her services for free, just to get some of old Rust. Maggie’s friend Laurie spent two years with him without hearing his voice. Most of us spend half our lives trying to impress women and can’t get a second glance. Women want what doesn’t want them, and girl, Rust Cohle don’t want you.
He makes smart people look stupid
We all love it when we’re arguing with someone and realize we have them caught out. Or when our know it all buddy tries to out smart you, and you just bide your time until you can reveal to them, that they’re the dummy. Well, that’s basically every interaction Rust has, with anyone. The two detectives interviewing him get embarrassed and outsmarted regularly throughout the proceedings, not realizing that Rust is simply there to get information from them and not the reverse. The crooked ex-sheriff talks wise, not realizing that Cohle has every angle covered. It must almost be boring being Rust sometimes.
He can convince anybody to tell him anything
I mean, the guy is a GOD in the interview room. Basically, at that station, if you can get a guilty criminal into the station, then you can tell the judge they can keep that upcoming vacation on the calendar because there’s a confession coming in hot. The man just brutalizes the minds of these criminals. It’s tough to watch almost. But it’s not just the criminals. The man got any and all information from all kinds of sources. The crooked cop, the former Reverend, the old lady. They all gave it up. Just think, if you could get your girlfriend to tell you what she really meant, or your boss if he was really going to give you that raise. Alas, us mere humans will continue to swim through the lies and deceit.
He tells people how he really feels
Oh yeah. I know you’ve had those moments when you sit down, furious and frustrated, and you think “I wish I’d told them we weren’t going to do it their way, because their way if flat out stupid” or even, the more likely “God damn it, I wish I’d told that m—– f—– b—- a– f— face piece of s— b—- how much of a c— f— he is!” Or that ex girlfriend that you saw again years later, that you were nice too, even though you’d told everyone you were going to tell her to go do bad things to herself and get lost. Well, those things you wish you’d said or done…. Rust does them. My favorite example is when future Maggie pays him a visit, and he essentially tells her to get her uppity ass out of his bar. Boom.
He has lived that mysterious “past life”
Man, when people ask you where you grew up, or how you’ve been the past few years, and you tell them “Oh, a small farm in Ohio. Yeah corn sales have been fantastic, and I just bought a great new lawn mower” doesn’t a little piece of you die inside? Yeah, I know. That’s why our envy grows ever greater when we here Rust describe his years undercover as ‘Crash’, selling drugs and killing dealers, and his tough loner years in Alaska letting his life slip away, working on boats. It’s the life we wish we could tell people we’ve had, but that we hope to hell we never actually live.
He has in incredible B.S. radar
We’ve all been fooled a fair few times in our lives. The majority of your relationships fail in life, and this is usually because you dated someone who fed you a bunch of bull, that you bought into. We’ve all been there. That salesman who just sold the crap out of that 3 way hose head with high sensitivity trigger action. Or that guy at the mall who told us that he could turn our $10 to $10,000, and all we had to do was buy these products from him and sell them, in what is clearly not a pyramid scheme. Rust don’t play that. Marty. The two detectives. Crooked sheriff. Every criminal ever. They all tried, and they all failed. Maggie was the only one to ever get one over on him, but he got some out of the deal, so it’s all good.
Rust Cohle is not scared
Next time you see a spider on your bed and let out a squeal that a baby pig would be ashamed off, think about how Rust Cohle went undercover with a gang he’d already screwed over in the past, into the worst hood in the city, without a shred of backup, knowing that he’d have his face torn off if he was caught. Then ask yourself if you’d have followed the big nasty murderer into that freaking twig filled hell cave. Then take another look at that spider, and wish that you had a pair of nuts a 100th the size of Rust Cohle’s.
Those headbutts, man.
I had to throw these in here. I mean, have you ever seen a set of head butts like that in your whole life? While being gutted alive no less. I wish I could head butt my pillow that hard without getting a grade 2 concussion. Ridiculous.
Everybody knows, deep down, that Rust Cohle is better than them
The last, and perhaps most important reason you wish you were Rust Cohle, is that is really, really clear when you watch people interact with Rust over the course of time, that they all realize pretty soon that he is flat out better than them. At everything. Well, everything that matters. People look down on Rust because he isn’t social, doesn’t do well in a crowd, and lacks some interior decorating skills. But whenever anything important comes up, people gradually just sit back and watch him work. They can’t even keep the look of realization off their face either. They just accept it. We all wish we got that reaction every once in a while. Or ever.
Now get yourself in front of your TV and re-watch True Detective. It’s that good.