Here’s Everything We Know About ‘True Detective’ Heading Into the Season Finale

With only one episode left in the third season of True Detective, we’re drowning in puzzle pieces. So, if you need a refresher before next week’s finale, here’s everything we know (thus far) about the popular HBO series.

Will and Julie Purcell go missing after telling their father that they are off to play with their neighbor Mike. We find out that they are, in fact, not playing with their neighbor at all but with someone (likely multiple people, as they keep being referred to in the plural by witnesses) in the woods. They’re playing with dolls made of straw, which possibly signify human trafficking or pedophile rings.

Prior to her disappearance, Julie draws pink rooms. She and her brother also pass notes to each other through a hole in their bedroom walls, reassuring each other everything is going to be OK.

Their mother, Lucy, works in a bar but used to work at Hoyt Foods for a man who three years prior to Lucy losing her children lost his grandchild and son in-law-in a car accident. Lucy thinks children should laugh, something they likely did not do in this household where their mother despises their father with the fire of a thousand suns.

Their father, Tom, is likely a closeted gay man who numbs his feelings by drinking. According to those around him, he may not be the father of Will and Julie on the account of Lucy being known for her promiscuity and the two of them not sharing a bedroom. For Tom to think the kids are his, they must have consummated their marriage at some point, but it’s not a happy house. He’s not dead, but Tom was missing from 6:30 p.m. onward, the night his kids went missing…

Cousin Dan, where do we start? He comes to live with the Purcells, is the one person we know has been in contact with the man with one eye and goes mysteriously missing when he starts offering Wayne and Roland clues as to who financed Lucy’s life post-Tom and how she may have died. (Not by overdose, poses Cousin Dan.)  

But who could afford to subsidize Lucy’s life in Vegas? Hoyt, her former employer, of course. Hoyt, for whom the one-eyed man works, after Hoyt’s daughter lost her family and needed some hand holding. (The black and white woman driving around in a nice sedan.) Maybe Lucy wanted to give her kids a better life and allowed Hoyt’s devastated daughter, Isabelle, to pretend the kids were hers, in exchange for money.

But when it all goes wrong and Will ends up dead (how, why, when exactly?), the policeman who happened to be on patrol at the time of the car crash that killed Hoyt’s family members (perhaps suspiciously), discovers (if not plants) the evidence at Woodard’s house to close the case. He then conveniently gets hired as Hoyt’s private security. Harrison James also flew to Las Vegas the day before Lucy died, and returned the day after. And he killed Tom. But we’re not going to get any answers from him because, thanks to Wayne and Roland, he’s dead too.

Here’s what we don’t know—do Wayne and Roland have deep dark secrets beyond killing Harris? What is Amelia’s part in all this, other than being a curious, supportive and often frustrated wife? What kind of closure can we get in 2015 when almost everyone is dead? Why introduce the fourth timeline? And where is Julie, who we know is still alive in 1990, and what kind of answers could she still be holding on to?

Be sure to tune into the season three finale of True Detective on Sunday, February 24, at 9 p.m. on HBO.

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