"Paul Levinson's It's Real Life is a page-turning exploration into that multiverse known as rock and roll. But it is much more than a marvelous adventure narrated by a master storyteller...it is also an exquisite meditation on the very nature of alternate history." -- Jack Dann, The Fiction Writer's Guide to Alternate History

Monday, February 19, 2024

True Detective 4.3-4.6: Death of the Cure

I'm going to start this review of the concluding episodes -- 4 to 6 -- of the fourth season of True Detective on HBO Max by telling you what I really didn't like about the ending.

And therefore warning you about spoilers ahead ...

Tsalal was trying to get a cure out of the ice.  More specifically, the DNA of some extinct microorganism which could lead to a cure of a host of deadly and debilitating human diseases.  In my book, both as an appreciator of science fiction and someone who would like to see more people healthy -- especially given the pandemic that's been around since late 2019 -- I think Tsalal's goal was a worthy one indeed.

In order to get at these long gone microbes and their DNA, some of the permafrost had to melt.  And pollutants helped that melt along.  Unfortunately, the same pollutants cause plenty of death and debilitation of their own.  So the people who lived in that part of Alaska killed the scientists at Tsalal.  It started with one person, Annie K, attacking the scientists.  Rather than just stopping her, the scientists killed her.  And Annie's people in turned killed the scientists.

The story is a little more complicated than that, I know, but that's the jist of it.  And because of what I said about the cure, as both a great element of a science fiction story, and something we could really use in reality, I wish this fourth season of true detective could have come up with more, with some way of ending the season with some hope that perhaps the cure could be salvaged.

Other than that, I thought the season was outstanding.  What Pete did to his father was well deserved.  The ambiguous ending of maybe Navarro walked off into the snowy wild or that was just Danvers' cover story to protect Navarro was well played.  And the cold and the darkness that dominated the story until very end was so well presented I'm still shivering at least a bit.

I'm up for another provocative, disturbing season of True Detective whenever it arrives.

See also True Detective 4.1-4.3: Alaska, with a Touch of Science Fiction

And see also True Detective 3.1-2: Humanistic Disturbances of the Soul ...True Detective 3.3: Unquestioned Witnesses ... True Detective 3.4: All Hat, No Answers ... True Detective 3.5: Tour de Force Scene in the Present ...True Detective 3.6: Great Conversations ... True Detective 3.7: Merge! ... True Detective 3.8: The Best Ending

And see also Season Two: True Detective: All New ... True Detective 2.2: Pulling a Game of Thrones ... True Detective 2.3: Buckshot and Twitty ...True Detective 2.4: Shoot-out ... True Detective 2.7: Death and the Anti-Hero ... True Detective Season 2 Finale: Good Smoke but No Cigar

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