'True Detective' season 3 episode 4 drops a generous amount of clues pointing to Julie and Will's abductor

Episode 4 moves quickly but is still running in circles. However, there are certain breadcrumbs it's leaving behind and if you look closely, it may lead us to Julie and Will's abductor.  


                            'True Detective' season 3 episode 4 drops a generous amount of clues pointing to Julie and Will's abductor

*This article contains spoilers for Season 3 episode 4*

We are four episodes into this season of 'True Detective' and the latest one is probably pivotal for the rest of the story. I say probably because everytime you think you know something and are sure that you have it figured out, the show laughs in your face. It's almost as though the below average second season never happened and we are all thankful for it. The fourth episode of 'True Detective' sets the pace for the season. It's moving quickly and it's surrounding the town but is still running in circles. However, there are certain breadcrumbs it's leaving behind and if you look closely, it may lead us to Julie and Will's abductor.  

 



 

Lucy Purcell

This episode took a much closer and harder look at mama Purcell and although it isn't surprising that her moral conflict is eating at her, there's another side to her that we saw in episode 4. We already knew she was violent when pushed too much as we saw in the first episode. When her husband Tom accuses her of "running around" and talks about their terrible marriage, she snaps at him and tries to hurt him physically. However, Hays and West calm her down. Now in this episode, she and Amelia have an unfortunate tete-a-tete where she feels cornered and manipulated and comes with her hands out at Amelia as if to choke her. 

 



 

 

There's a difference in these two instances, even though they look almost the same and it is only the second one that makes her appear guilty. She bares her soul to Amelia and hints about how she had been cheating on Tom and how much she hated her married life. She doesn't mention the kids, but, she does say that the house felt like it "choked" her. 

While I don't really think she is the killer, but she could have been the person who is potentially connected to the kidnapping - she could have hypothetically wanted to get rid of her kids and handed them over to the lady from the portrait at Hoyt Foods. After Will's body is found, her guilty conscience crushes her and she doesn't know how to make amends. "I have the spirit of a whore," she tells Amelia and adds, " What kind of woman hates the only things that ever showed her love? I've done sick terrible things... Oh good God. Oh God.... God forgive me. "

Additionally, there's also the ransom note from episode 2 that connects back to her. The note made out of colorful paper cutouts said, "Do not worry. Julie is in a good place and safe the children shud laugh do not look let go" and in the latest conversation mama Purcell goes, "Children should laugh, right?" Now, this is possibly a red herring but it's worth the mention. 

Patty Faber

 



 

 

When the detectives hunt down who made the dolls which had been puzzling us for days, she tells him, that there was this black man with a dead-eye who bought ten of them from her at the church fair. It leads them to a man named Sam Whitehead who lives in a trailer park. Now as the two approach he creates a scene and claims they are trying to hurt him. They don't get much out of Sam - he's got an unconfirmed alibi and a reason to buy the dolls (he cited to Patty that it was for his nephews and nieces). However, Whitehead's character is something of a manipulator. Just my two cents, but I definitely think you could buy him out for a little money. Additionally, he also reveals that he worked at Hoyt Foods when he could and that connection itself is a huge red flag. Obviously, someone who did it would have found connections they could exploit and Whitehead could just be one of them along with Lucy. He needs money desperately and the one person in town that has plenty is the mysterious chicken magnate. 

The priest

 



 

 

There's too much of a creepy vibe going on with the local priest who is hell-bent on getting a confession from Hays. When the investigators are questioning the Roman Catholic priest, they find out that it was him who took the picture of Will with his arms folded and eyes closed in prayer.  He claimed that it signified "rebirth and innocence in Christ", hinting it to be a religious cult-like murder. Also, does anyone else feel like the priest is pretty unfazed by the whole thing? Everyone else that the investigators have questioned seems to have a smidge of nervousness but this guy is overly confident. He's not a suspect as of now and has an alibi, but this one definitely knows something. 

Elise and Henry 

While it may seem like the two are on the same team, there's a possibility that Henry is on whatever Elise is working on. The two could be hooking up. In episode 4 when Hays visits her in the hotel, she tells him she's alone but the bed is ruffled and the camera zooms in on two empty wine glasses. Also, remember how she calls him Henry? This could be a deal between the two with Henry wanting to find out what happened with the case that engulfed his entire family and if Hays was to blame. 


Flashback from season 1

Spot Marty and Rusty from season 1? (True Detective, HBO)
Spot Marty and Rusty from season 1? (True Detective, HBO)

This is definitely a rewatch worthy moment. Elise's laptop has an article open that features our true detectives from season one - Rusty and Marty. Not that they are possibly returning but this easter egg definitely points to a cult-like murder! 

Watch 'True Detective' episode 5 'If You Have Ghosts' on February 3 on HBO at  9 p.m.