If you’ve seen seasons one and three of the anthology series True Detective, then you’ve likely noticed similarities. The crimes are bleak (although aren’t all crimes?) and infused with occult-like emblems and characters. The detectives are rough around the edges and haunted by their pasts. They have difficulty maintaining relationships and are prone to substance abuse and other vices.
After watching season three, episode five of True Detective, titled “If You Have Ghosts,” some eagle-eyed fans were quick to notice a major clue about these similarities. It seems that both stories exist in the same universe.
How do we know this? Well, in the 2015 scene between the elderly version of Wayne Hays (Mahershala Ali) and journalist Elisa Montgomery (Sarah Gadon), she alludes to a “larger conspiracy” within the Purcell case. During this exchange, her laptop is turned toward Hays and open to an article with the headline, “Former State Police Officers Stop Alleged Serial Killer.” Guess who’s pictured?