What ‘True Detective’ Creator Learned From Co-Writing That Despised ‘Killing’ Finale

What 'True Detective' Creator Learned From Co-Writing That Despised 'Killing' Finale

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Nic Pizzolatto co-wrote an episode that let a lot of people down — but that doesn't mean the “True Detective” season finale will

“True Detective” creator Nic Pizzolatto co-wrote the much-despised Season 1 finale of “The Killing” — but that doesn't mean Sunday's “True Detective” season finale will disappoint, too.

As Pizzolatto recently told TheWrap, he was carrying out the vision of “The Killing” creator Veena Sud when he worked on the episode that infamously failed to reveal who killed Rosie Larsen.

Also read: ‘True Detective': The Yellow King References You've Missed (Video)

Did he learn anything from “The Killing” about how to resolve a murder mystery? “No, not really,” he said.

One reason: He had already plotted out “True Detective” by the time he joined the AMC show.

“When you work on a show as a staffer, your job is to serve the showrunner's vision,” he explained at the Television Critics Association winter press tour. “So, you know, there wasn't much ownership for me of it. But I think my ideas about a mystery and how to handle these sorts of things just came out of my own sort of ethos and concerns as a writer, more than anything.”

He said “True Detective” would come to a definite conclusion.

Also read: 5 Ways ‘True Detective’ Can Still Blow It

“I mean, one of the reasons I wanted to do an anthology format is I like stories with endings,” said Pizzolatto (pictured with “True Detective” star Matthew McConaughey.) “I like a good third act. And continuing serial dramas, they tend to have really good beginnings and really long middles and then sort of have to hustle to develop an ending. And I like the idea of telling a self-contained story.”

HBO's “True Detective,” like FX's “American Horror Story,” will feature a new story each season.

One sign Pizzolatto sticks the landing with Sunday's episode? His actors — including McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, and Michelle Monaghan — were able to read all eight of his episodes before signing on. They probably wouldn't have if the final episode blew it.

  • Gary

    There is a connection with Marty. His fatherinlaw must have a tattoo on his back that Marty.s daughter saw when he molested her. She has picture on wall.

  • Kori

    Sounds like lazy writing.

    • ▶Sonnyi

      Sounds like irony.

  • Sean Murdock

    I admit it was a little unsettling to learn that Nic Pizzolatto was involved in “The Killing” at all, but it turns out that he only wrote one of the infamous first season's episodes, and it was one of the better ones (“What You Have Left,” Episode 6). It's become a bit of an urban legend that the Season 1 finale is what destroyed the fans’ good will for “The Killing”; for this viewer, at least, it was the preposterous weekly red herrings — introduced in the final moments of one episode, and dispensed with in the opening moments of the next. By the time the finale aired, I was more than primed to be disappointed.

    Fortunately, “True Detective” hasn't played those kind of games. When we saw the disturbing figure in the gas mask and jock strap at the end of Episode 3, it did indeed turn out to be Reggie LeDoux in Episode 4, and not some random, unrelated person (as it would have been in “The Killing”). I have no reasons, after seven episodes, to be worried that Pizzolatto and company won't stick the landing on Sunday night. As others have said on the interwebs, I'm not even so concerned about who killed Dora Lange — I'm more interested in how this case affects Marty and Rust as it concludes. Will there be healing? Catharsis? Rage? Despair?

    Whatever it is, I'm there. Bring on Season Two!

  • Mackavelli96 .

    True Detective season 1 is briljant and a fucking masterpiece! Thank you for this!