Meanwhile, Wayne seems to think he has solved the entire mystery, by discovering a phone number that was called eight times, two days before Lucy overdosed. It belongs to an address owned by the Hoyt corporation. Harrison James’s personal line. James flew to Vegas the day before Lucy died and came back the day after. Wayne suspects he planted the evidence, stole the fingerprints from the toys from the evidence locker. But rather than go through proper channels, Wayne thinks they should just go ask James what he was doing and figure out how it leads to Hoyt. Roland’s not into the plan. Wayne tries to push his buttons by saying they owe it to Tom.
Geriatric Wayne and Roland have managed to track down Hoyt’s longtime housekeeper. She tells them the Hoyt family had no luck in life, except in business. She virtually raised their daughter, Isabelle, whose husband and daughter died in a wreck three years before the Purcell kids disappeared. After the accident, when Isabelle was too fragile to be left by herself, she was taken around by Mr. June. And, you guessed it, Mr. June is a black man with one good eye. The housekeeper left her job when they started restricting where she was able to go within the house. Ms. Isabelle, she says, was getting worse.
In 1990, Wayne and Roland tail James and pull him over. In a traffic stop that defies all protocol, Wayne gets into the passenger seat, accusing James of refusing to comply, and pulls out James’s gun, which he at this point has not been reaching for. Roland pulls him out of the car, and the three of them wrestle on the ground for a bit. Like a throwback to the pedophile interrogation, the two drag Harrison James to a barn and tie him to a pole. James denies it all, as our heroes pace back and forth presenting him with their theory. A pummeled James seems ready to make a deal as long as he knows he’s walking out of this rendezvous alive. After a few more whimpers, Wayne releases him. His hands free, James attacks Wayne and Roland shoot to kill. No answers, no witness, a whole lotta trouble.
In 2015, Roland and Wayne deduce that Harrison James must have patrolled the area in 1977 where Isabelle’s family was killed in the car accident. Maybe that’s where his relationship with the Hoyts began? When they look out the window, the car that’s surveilling Wayne is there, and this time Roland sees it too. Wayne heads out with a baseball bat, while Roland sneaks behind the car and snaps a picture of the license plate. (These old dude schemes are kind of fun to watch.)
Suddenly, Wayne turns around and finds himself alone in the road. There’s a fire in the distance and he heads for it. He sees his younger self burn his clothes after the murder of Harrison James. Amelia (real Amelia, not a hallucination) is also watching Wayne’s creepy evening ritual. She asks what he’s doing. “I can’t talk about this,” he tells her, in a way that seems to scare them both. They agree to speak in the morning.
Their morning powwow is interrupted by a phone call—from Mr. Hoyt. “I think we may have some things to discuss,” says the man on the other side of the line. “I’d like to discuss the events of last night, as I understand them.” He offers to come inside, name checking Wayne’s entire family. When Wayne suggests meeting up later, Hoyt says he’s been patient already and should perhaps take what he knows to the prosecutor’s office.
Realizing he has been backed into a corner, Wayne promises to tell Amelia everything, as soon as he has taken care of whatever awaits outside. “Trust me,” he says.
A car door opens. Wayne gets in. They drive away.
Will “trust me” be Wayne’s last words to Amelia? Are we just looking for the show to piece the chronology together in its last episode or are we about to be hit with a last-minute shocker?
Guess we’ll have to wait until the final episode of True Detective airs next Sunday, February 24, at 9 p.m. on HBO.