(Comment at Crooked Timber, “Wonders of the Invisible World,” by Henry Farrell)
Nicely done, though I think the critique of the ending is in its own way as too-neat as the ending itself, or simply recapitulates or re-extends the, of course, finally imponderable matters of whether light or dark, or form or void, is “winning,” and of whether the “detective’s curse” is something we can live without, among other problems. To insist that the light is certainly not winning returns you to Rust-Cohle-ist unhappy consciousness, of the always implicitly self-contradictory statement of belief in the irredeemable mistakenness of life itself. In this respect a resort to value presumptions, which may not be wholly unrelated or in themselves wrong, and which may even have been uppermost in the mind of the auteur – I’m referring to the recognizably leftist-feminist critique – seems overly convenient and prejudicial.
Additional: I think Farrell gets a lot right in his critique, posted this morning. Zack Beauchamp’s even more clearly ideologically conditioned judgment turns upon itself, as I suggested in a series of tweets responding to Ethan Gach (@ethangach).
The narrative results fulfilled natural expectations that a resolution of Rust Cohle’s character conflicts would all but certainly involve a discovery of meaning amidst all the meaninglessness, and would not involve any obviously outlandish plot twists. It should also have been obvious to many with experience in the mystery and killer-thriller genre that the seemingly inoffensive landscaper at the “Tuttle School,” met briefly in an early episode, could well turn out to be much more than he seemed to our hero at the time.