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S03.E01: The Great War and Modern Memory / S03.E02: Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye

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The disappearance of a young Arkansas boy and his sister in 1980 triggers vivid memories and enduring questions for retired detective Wayne Hays, who worked the case 35 years ago with his then-partner Roland West. What started as a routine case becomes a long journey to dissect the crime and make sense of it.

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Hays looks back at the aftermath of the 1980 Purcell case in West Finger, AR, including possible evidence left behind at the Devil's Den, an outdoor hangout for local kids. As attention focuses on two conspicuous suspects--Brett Woodard, a solitary vet and trash collector, and Ted LaGrange, an ex-con with a penchant for children--the parents of the missing kids, Tom and Lucy Purcell, receive a cryptic note from an anonymous source.

Season three debuts with two episodes on Sunday, January 13, 2019.

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Dammit Pizzolatto, you got me.

Definitely a step up from 2. I don't know if it's as good as one, but it looks promising. Ali is awesome, but I expected that. Dorff is sneaky good.

I enjoyed the subtle approach to race they took ("How is it around here?").

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29 minutes ago, AimingforYoko said:

Dammit Pizzolatto, you got me.

Definitely a step up from 2. I don't know if it's as good as one, but it looks promising. Ali is awesome, but I expected that. Dorff is sneaky good.

I enjoyed the subtle approach to race they took ("How is it around here?").

Did anybody noticed the satanic reference when Stephen asked about the Black Sabbath shirt the kid was wearing? I had to laugh because Stephen was in that cheesy 80s horror flick called The Gate when he was only a kid. That movie featured a scene where the nerdy rocker kid was listening to a record that had satanic references. Funny.

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So glad they dialed back the more lurid horror/conspiracy elements of S2 (and S1, if I'm honest).

Also, legit thought old Mahershala was Ben Vereen for 30-45 seconds.

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56 minutes ago, Ottis said:

They have gone back to the season one formula.

It's so much like S1 that it almost feels like it is S1 redux. The calling-card doodads left at the crime scene, Mahershala Ali as Rust Cohle: 2.0,  the whole Southern locale, the driving scenes with the partners. While the story seems different (and very West Memphis Three-ish) it seems like NP went back to the well a little too much. I enjoyed it (though dozed off for the last 30 minutes of the second episode) but feel like this is a whole lotta deja vu at this point. 

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Mahershala Ali is an amazing actor, and he just compels you to follow him when he's on screen.  Can he be in all the things!?  I'm already in this season!  Loving the side characters, and appreciating the great acting from Dorff and Ejogo.  

I love the darkness that is infused even in the good guys.  There is something a little dangerous about Hays, and I like Amelia, but there is something a little weird about her too. 

Additionally, I can't wait to see the mystery unfold.  Who killed Will?  How is Julie alive?  What the what happened in the 90s between Julie and her dad?! 

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The acting is top notch so far. The ending of the second episode broke my heart.

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It feels like the producers thought, "Okay, everyone hated S2 so how do we fix this? I know! Back to kids in peril!"

But I can't really complain because (1) I want to know what happened to Julie and (2) Mahershala Ali is amazing. He is doing such a great job making 1980 Wayne, 1990 Wayne, and 2015 Wayne all slightly different from each other.

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2 hours ago, Giant Misfit said:

It's so much like S1 that it almost feels like it is S1 redux. . . . it seems like NP went back to the well a little too much. . . .

Yeah. Almost too much the same. But with all the reboots and reimaginings these days, why not? How many times did Rembrandt and Van Gogh paint their self portraits? How many times has Paul McCartney sung "Yesterday"?

When Wayne and Amelia were first flirting in the classroom I just wanted to be invited to their wedding.

So I guess Chicago didn't have the corner on the market for beating confessions out of suspects during that time period.

The white cop's respect for his black partner seems a little surreal — more like a portrait of fictional mixed race partners from that time rather than real life — but not always — maybe just slightly atypical.

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No surprise, Mahershala Ali alone is making this must see for me.  He truly is one of the best actors out there and I'm glad that he is starting to get his due now.  Even if the season flies off the rails, I hope he continues to shine here.

Of course, the rest of the cast are no slouches either.  Can't remember the last time I've seen Stephen Dorff in anything, but I enjoy him here and, hey, maybe this can help boost him a bit.  Always love Carmen Ejogo and Scott McNairy.  And more recognizable faces in the form of Brett Cullen, Ray Fisher (poor Cyborg!  It wasn't your fault Justice League ended up disappointing), Tim Griffin, and Michael Greyeyes.  Also, it took me till the second episode to place Jon Tenney, which is kind of funny since I'm currently binging The Closer for the first time as well.

Definitely think that Pizzolatto took a look at the criticism from season two and has decided to go back to season one's format, which runs the risk of being too familiar.  Hopefully he'll find a good balance here.  It's too bad that Jeremy Sauliner only directed these two episodes, because I do feel like the show benefits from having the same director.  Of course, in my perfect world, Pizzolatto would make up with Cary Fukunaga and create television magic again...

Still, I'm curious to see how this case plays out, so that alone is a win.  Factor in Mahershala Ali being his normal awesome self and, well, no complaints here!

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I tuned in for Mahershala Ali and he is amazing, but I’m liking the rest. I’m cautiously optimistic.

There are some really gorgeous shots here. I love the shot at the base of the lookout tower looking up.

The sequence where Hayes is finding the dolls built some exquisite dread. Really well done.

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I really liked the start of this series.  It was compelling from start to finish.  Looking forward to seeing the rest of this.

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17 hours ago, Giant Misfit said:

It's so much like S1 that it almost feels like it is S1 redux. The calling-card doodads left at the crime scene, Mahershala Ali as Rust Cohle: 2.0,  the whole Southern locale, the driving scenes with the partners. While the story seems different (and very West Memphis Three-ish) it seems like NP went back to the well a little too much. I enjoyed it (though dozed off for the last 30 minutes of the second episode) but feel like this is a whole lotta deja vu at this point. 

I don't think I've ever enjoyed any television more than TD S1, so I'll admit that I'm totally okay with this.  Plus, Wayne is different enough from Rust Cohle to make it work, I think.  

14 hours ago, thuganomics85 said:

Of course, in my perfect world, Pizzolatto would make up with Cary Fukunaga and create television magic again...

From your lips to the Yellow King's ears.  I so wish that would happen.  That season was magic.  Please make up, guys!

I really enjoyed what we saw last night and am cautiously optimistic about the rest of the season. :)  

ETA: Echoing others - Definitely getting hints that Pizzolato was at least somewhat inspired by the West Memphis Three case here, as well.  As a true crime follower, I appreciate the nod to the case and that Pizzolato seems to have made the story line different enough that's "inspired by" the case and not a weird fictional re-hash. 

Edited by MyPeopleAreNordic
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When I as very young, I used to work at a craft store in the 80's and those corn husk dolls are spot on. The dolls came as basic models and then you purchased the craft books to make them into whatever seasonal item was appropriate. Gave me the shivers to go back to that time in my head.

So far the series reminds me of two cases. The first and most obvious is the West Memphis Three. HBO has a crappy record with respect to who they point to as guilty with their all knowing fingers when making documentaries. They were dead wrong with the first segment and the next two went slowly off the rails.

The second sounds similar to a case where a step dad kidnapped his step daughter and went to Oklahoma with her.

The acting and atmosphere are terrific this season.

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I am most impressed with the character's makeup.  He looks absolutely authentic at each age.  I don't know much about Ali, so I assume the 1990 character is his real face, but the 2015 character looks real, too.

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Actually, I know I said earlier that they copied the season one formula, but this is worse. In season one, lives were on the line. In this season, we jump to the future, where we know the crimes have already happened, and all that can change is closing a cold case. Not nearly as interesting. So far it’s mostly a standalone character study about some oddballs. 

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7 hours ago, WaltersHair said:

When I as very young, I used to work at a craft store in the 80's and those corn husk dolls are spot on. The dolls came as basic models and then you purchased the craft books to make them into whatever seasonal item was appropriate. Gave me the shivers to go back to that time in my head.

“Nan Dolls.”  I’m from the Ozarks, those were very hot when I was a kid.  Mainstay of middle class decorating!

 

So I’m guessing the uncle drilled the closet peephole to the girl’s room?  

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1 hour ago, annlaw78 said:

So I’m guessing the uncle drilled the closet peephole to the girl’s room?  

It seemed so obvious that the uncle either drilled the peephole or at least was using it, so why didn't Wayne and Roland pursue that? Did they make the Vietnam vet/trash collector a fall guy to protect the uncle??? Stay tuned, I guess.

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The first ep was okay, but the second was so boring I dozed off about 3 times. It's nice to see Sarah Gadon in something else, though.

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I’m going to be watching for more of the neighbor woman who waved at the kids before reaching up to take her Halloween decorations down. (We see her later comforting the mother after the boy’s body was found.) The friend who mentioned the doll on Halloween night (a little suspect himself) mentioned someone dressed as a ghost, but he could be conflating the little ghost that hung above the neighbor woman’s porch.

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1 hour ago, BingeyKohan said:

I’m going to be watching for more of the neighbor woman who waved at the kids before reaching up to take her Halloween decorations down. (We see her later comforting the mother after the boy’s body was found.)

So I'm not the only one thinking there is more to her.

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11 hours ago, annlaw78 said:

So I’m guessing the uncle drilled the closet peephole to the girl’s room?  

Was the peephole in the dead brother's closet? I wasn't paying close attention. if it was, why not the brother, as an initial ref flag of many things wrong in that family.

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47 minutes ago, Ottis said:

Was the peephole in the dead brother's closet? I wasn't paying close attention. if it was, why not the brother, as an initial ref flag of many things wrong in that family.

I thought it was in the boy's room but didn't look like it was looking into the girl's room, as she had a typical small girl's furniture etc and the room it looked into looked more like it would be where the Mom slept.

I pray to God they didn't make Mamie Gummer destroy her hair and that's a wig.  She seems to have her Mother's talent for dialects. 

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20 hours ago, WaltersHair said:

When I as very young, I used to work at a craft store in the 80's and those corn husk dolls are spot on. The dolls came as basic models and then you purchased the craft books to make them into whatever seasonal item was appropriate. Gave me the shivers to go back to that time in my head.

So far the series reminds me of two cases. The first and most obvious is the West Memphis Three. HBO has a crappy record with respect to who they point to as guilty with their all knowing fingers when making documentaries. They were dead wrong with the first segment and the next two went slowly off the rails.

The second sounds similar to a case where a step dad kidnapped his step daughter and went to Oklahoma with her.

The acting and atmosphere are terrific this season.

I hope they diverge more and more from the WM3 case. In my opinion, the public presentation of the case has been far too simplistic. 

I’ve always been stunned that the Paradise Lost braintrust maintained any credibility whatsoever when the demonized one step-father, and then just popped in a second stepfather as the main suspect.  Takes an awful lot of gumption, and most of the free the WM3 crowd didn’t flinch. 

I enjoyed the first two episodes. The acting, the pace, the setting. I’m slightly concerned that the actual plot won’t live up to the same standard. When I saw the creepy little dolls my first reaction was “oh damn. Not fresh.”

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12 hours ago, annlaw78 said:

So I’m guessing the uncle drilled the closet peephole to the girl’s room?  

My guess is we'll find out the friend who spoke up about the Halloween-night dolls (and who waved at Julie riding her bike) will have spent nights over, purportedly as a friend of the brother's but maybe really to spy on Julie. Just a guess, though no doubt the sketchy cousin (and possible real father of Julie?) will continue to be investigated - we need to know, for example, whether he really watched CHiPS that night!

My theory about Amelia is that her daughter Rebecca was conceived during one of her weekends where she goes off and pretends to be someone else (I'm betting that habit continued even after they were married) and the pattern of a daughter fathered by someone else will haunt Hayes' and the way he handles either Julie's real father or her 'surrogate' father. (At some point I suppose I should take these to the speculation thread?)

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I know I'm in the minority, but I really disliked season one. I hated the dialogue. I hated the Yellow King element. I just found the whole thing tedious. I disliked season two just as much. The dialogue was terrible, the sense of place terrible, the convoluted plot increasingly terrible. I ended up watching both because in season one I kept trying to see what everybody was raving about, and in season two I wanted to see how bad it would get.

So I'm surprised at how much  better the dialogue was in these two episodes. Hopefully, that will continue.

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Damn that scene outside the community center where Hayes is looking at Amelia is hot as hell.  Ali conveyed so much longing in his eyes.  He is an incredible actor.  It was a small scene but definitely my favorite.

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1 hour ago, Bannon said:

I know I'm in the minority, but I really disliked season one. I hated the dialogue. I hated the Yellow King element. I just found the whole thing tedious. I disliked season two just as much. The dialogue was terrible, the sense of place terrible, the convoluted plot increasingly terrible. I ended up watching both because in season one I kept trying to see what everybody was raving about, and in season two I wanted to see how bad it would get.

I get that. There are a lot of ways they could go that would be better. I liked season one in comparison to season two ... at least there was some urgency and you cared whether the cops solved it. In season two, we had a bunch of loser cops running around in circles. I didn't care about any of them. Season three returned to the "kids in danger," but unfortunately added a time jump element where we already know what is done is done. So I'm not sure what I care about yet. maybe older, dementia detective solving a cold case?

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I enjoyed the first season but was at a loss when friends/co-workers would characterize it as 'amazing'.  It was good but it wasn't amazing.  The second season was much worse than the first.  But this season has much promise:  Mahershala Ali and Stephen Dorff, a gruesome murder, a missing kid, a veritable cast of grotesques, and three timelines!  I love a dark, convoluted mystery, so I'm in.  I do think it was a mistake airing two episodes in one night, dark convoluted mysteries should be ingested one hour-long episode a week.

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Mahershala Ali is just living his best life, isn't he? One amazing role after another.

The similarities to S1 have annoyed me a little but I'm in and holding out hope that S3 will pull away and find its own ground.

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1 hour ago, Ottis said:

I get that. There are a lot of ways they could go that would be better. I liked season one in comparison to season two ... at least there was some urgency and you cared whether the cops solved it. In season two, we had a bunch of loser cops running around in circles. I didn't care about any of them. Season three returned to the "kids in danger," but unfortunately added a time jump element where we already know what is done is done. So I'm not sure what I care about yet. maybe older, dementia detective solving a cold case?

Well, it's two episodes in, so it could go to the mountaintop, or the gulch, at this point. I was just happy there wasn't any dialogue that caused me to risk injury via severe eyerolling.

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One thing that feels "new" about this season is that I don't find myself wondering who the killer is.  Usually, I'm all over that -- not to toot my own horn (TOOT), but I guessed who the killers were within 5 seconds of seeing them on-screen, both in Season 1 and in Season 2.

Spoiler

The lawn-mower man was a real victory for me.

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1 hour ago, Joimiaroxeu said:

Mahershala Ali is just living his best life, isn't he? One amazing role after another.

The similarities to S1 have annoyed me a little but I'm in and holding out hope that S3 will pull away and find its own ground.

The best part is that Mahershala Ali pretty much shamed Pizzolatto into making the lead investigator character black and his partner white by sending him photos of black senior police officers in the 1970s, since it was originally the other way around. He then successfully talked Pizzolatto into casting him as that lead character. Respect.

Ali is a powerhouse, though. I pretty much tuned in just to see him do his thing, and he is handling the three different versions of the character so deftly.

Edited by Eyes High
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6 minutes ago, DakotaLavender said:

I could have sworn Chris Cooper was one of the detectives but he is not listed in the credits. 

Well, there's a Chris Cooper who is "second boom operator," but I'm guessing you mean this one.

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Sorry to be a pain, but my VCR "cut out" before the part where the cops beat the guy in the barn & he was in the trunk.  Who was he & was he the killer?  Thanks in advance.

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25 minutes ago, Medicine Crow said:

Sorry to be a pain, but my VCR "cut out" before the part where the cops beat the guy in the barn & he was in the trunk.  Who was he & was he the killer?  Thanks in advance.

He was the Vietnam veteran "trash collector." They seem to believe he's the killer, and it seems he was convicted, but my money's on him being innocent. I think we're supposed to assume it's really the uncle, but I'm not sure.

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10 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

He was the Vietnam veteran "trash collector." They seem to believe he's the killer, and it seems he was convicted, but my money's on him being innocent. I think we're supposed to assume it's really the uncle, but I'm not sure.

No he's a convicted pedophile that lived in a different town, the Vice Dept Detective gave them the lead.  They found out he works at a daycare center and went to talk to the owner, told her he wouldn't be coming back. 

The trash collector wasn't in the 2nd episode. 

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Is anyone else having trouble understanding a lot of what Mahershala says? I've never had this problem with him before--in House of Cards, or Moonlight, or in any other role. I assume he's taking on a more colloquial southern African-American speech pattern for this role, which is appropriate, but personally I wish he'd "split the difference" in the direction of better diction. Of course he's blowing me away with his performance as he always does, but I hate having to choose between the distraction of closed-captioning and the distraction of always having to ask "What did he just say?"

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I've just gotten used to using closed captioning on a lot of these shows. Esp the ones where the plots are intricate or one line of dialogue is pertinent. I know it's not my hearing because I can hear broadcast tv shows just fine, but on some shows for some reason the dialogue is recorded at lower levels or something. 

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49 minutes ago, Milburn Stone said:

Is anyone else having trouble understanding a lot of what Mahershala says? I've never had this problem with him before--in House of Cards, or Moonlight, or in any other role. I assume he's taking on a more colloquial southern African-American speech pattern for this role, which is appropriate, but personally I wish he'd "split the difference" in the direction of better diction. Of course he's blowing me away with his performance as he always does, but I hate having to choose between the distraction of closed-captioning and the distraction of always having to ask "What did he just say?"

Me too!!!

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1 hour ago, teddysmom said:

I've just gotten used to using closed captioning on a lot of these shows. Esp the ones where the plots are intricate or one line of dialogue is pertinent. I know it's not my hearing because I can hear broadcast tv shows just fine, but on some shows for some reason the dialogue is recorded at lower levels or something. 

I almost always have this problem with HBO original dramas (and not other shows).  I watch TV with the captions on for almost anything just because, but I actually read them as well for HBO originals as I often have trouble catching everything that's being said. I think it may be a weird audio thing with HBO original shows. 

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