But the next season may be the most complex yet, which is saying something for a show that has worked in multiple timelines and featured a weirdo talking about the shape of time as well as Colin Farrell's mustache. As we previously learned, Mahershala Ali (Marvel's Luke Cage and Oscar winner for Moonlight) will star, but now we know he'll play Arkansas detective Wayne Hays, who is investigating a murder in the Ozarks. (Yes, this will be the second recent crime drama set in the Ozarks after Netflix's Ozark.)
Here's where it gets complicated: as the murder investigation deepens, Season 3 will play out over three time periods spread out over decades. Season 1 featured two timelines separated by 17 years and some facial hair, but three timelines? That's going to be interesting. And possibly confusing.
Series creator Nic Pizzolatto will write all but one episode, the fourth, which will be co-written by David Milch (Deadwood, Luck). Pizzolatto will also make his directorial debut and helm some episodes, along with Jeremy Saulnier, who directed the ultra-violent cult film Green Room, and his style seems like a perfect fit for the franchise.
The future of True Detective was never in doubt after the anthology's first season captivated critics and viewers with Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson taking the lead roles in a spooky Louisiana-set crime caper artfully directed by Cary Fukunaga. It won five Emmy awards, including a prize for Fukunaga's direction.
But Season 2 came along, and the shoo-in thought for multiple seasons evaporated in the convoluted mess that was the disappointing second season. HBO never committed to a third season, but things heated up when Milch came on board and Pizzolatto apparently got his mojo back, according to HBO.
We can only hope that Season 3 will feel a lot more like Season 1 than Season 2. This upcoming season is going to have a very short leash.