All the Clues Leading Up to Last Night’s Revelation on ‘True Detective’

*Warning: Spoilers ahead*

Last night, the season three finale of True Detective aired on HBO, and it finally the answered the burning question that has been haunting us for seven episodes: Who’s responsible for Will’s death?

Did we know it was Isabelle who killed Will? Technically, no. Going into the last episode, the killer could have been anyone in Hoyt’s circle of near and dear ones. But after eight hours of following this mystery like we’re doing a doctorate in child abduction, the culprit of the whodunit itself seemed almost irrelevant. From the moment we heard Lucy (Mamie Gummer) say, “Children should laugh” in the fourth episode—the phrase on the letter received in the second episode—we knew something was up with mommy dearest.

It wasn’t hard to figure out that the perpetrator was someone close to home. Ever since Wayne discovered the peephole in Will’s closet wall, all signs pointed to the Purcells. And we were right, in the sense that Lucy did not kill or kidnap her kids. But she knew who did, and she let Woodard take the fall and her husband—however miserable their marriage—go through his life wondering if his daughter was alive or dead.

Does it really matter that Isabelle Hoyt did the actual deed? Without Lucy, there is no Isabelle. Lucy sold her kid. We posed a theory that Lucy might have been keeping her kids from harm, alas, this was not the case. She’s the darkest one of them all.

Well played, True Detective. Well played.

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