Wednesday, February 19, 2014



So as I last posted, I've become a fan of the show. The Princess was recently in town visiting her folks, and she had not heard of the show. She and I watched the first three episodes, so that makes a full twice I've watched the episodes of season one.  It's so well done, and so multi-layered that I've missed stuff.

I'll be without any real quality television entertainment after the last episode of TD airs in early March. Sort of like after Homeland or 24. I got through one season of Nurse Jackie, but the novelty soon wore on and I didn't find it enjoyable.

Back to TD. I didn't catch, for instance, in episode 2 when the detectives visit Dora's mother at her trailer. While there, the camera pans a couple of times past a picture on the mantle, featuring men wearing what appear to be black KKK hoods on horseback with a man hanging from a tree. The picture wasn't that great and I didn't try to pause it because I'm not so good at freeze framing, but I didn't see that the first time I watched episode 2. I can't claim independent discovery of this, I read in another review of that episode about the picture, and didn't remember seeing it, so I looked for it the second time around.

So one commenter on the link below notes that the highly disturbing beer can figures, five of them, that Rust makes during his interview/interrogation resemble not only the 4 Klansmen and the hanged man but also the Barbie diorama that Hart's daughter makes.

Here's an excellent link to a TRUE DETECTIVE DISCUSSION that has lots of other good links. Or you can just google and find some other interesting theories about what might happen in the last three episodes. I was going to say "to tie it up" in the last three shows, but as my friend Max pointed out, it doesn't matter how it ends because you know it will be like Folger's Coffee, good to the last drop.

In addition to the history of Carcosa and the King of Yellow, the comments to the post above have some great theories about what might be the plotline for the final episodes. Remember, this TD train with this story and cast stops in 3 weeks.

The acting. The writing. The film work. The casting. It's all so spot on. I think that's what attracts me. As a former cop, I see things I saw in old partners, none like Rust but many like Marty. Many like Marty. The hard drinking, philandering but "good hearted" type. There is no cop type, of course, but I swear more than one partner or co-worker at the department had many personality traits in common with Marty.

I've known so many detectives, good ones and bad ones, and part of me is listening like the two interviewing detectives, as I would when listening to a detective run down a case to me in my office or on the phone.

First, as far as gun spotting, after the Ledoux "shootout", I think I was right calling Marty's gun as a K frame Model 66. I clearly saw a round butt on his handgun when holstered at the Ledoux lab, and again it appeared to me to be a Smith with adjustable sights thus it's not a J frame.

Likewise, I keep thinking that maybe Rust is carrying a Sig of some sort. I definitely saw a hammer when he was taking aim at the fleeing methman (in watching a clip review on one of the sites), which no Glock has. It would likely either be in 9mm or .40 caliber.

It's clear that Rust is nobody's fool. Early on in the interrogation, when he demands a six pack, he mentions that just like a cheeseburger and a coke, the "you want this to be admissible, don't you" line tells me that Rust is far ahead of them.

That can cut both ways. The writer of the show said in a media interview that the drinking would mean the interview would be inadmissible. However, at least in Texas, intoxication does not always preclude admissibility of a confession or statement by the accused, what matters is the comprehension, ability to understand what is going on, and the understanding of the waiver of their rights. The conduct of such a person is also admissible, despite later claims that it was drug/alcohol induced nonsense.

Clearly, Rust is in possession of his mental faculties. One might reasonably argue, I think, that a heavy, daily drinker like Rust might not be normal until he has some kind of BAC (blood alcohol level) going on.

The only way in which admissibility of a taped statement would occur would be if Rust were the bad guy. So either way, early on, he's let them know he knows what they're up to and they are not seeking his assistance in solving the cases.

Marty figures this out as well.

Some interesting theories and questions I've read elsewhere that I think could occur:

-We know from episode 6 preview that Rev. Tuttle is interviewed by Rust. We know the 2012 cops think Rust killed Tuttle. Is Tuttle the Yellow King or his servant?

-Hart's eldest daughter is showing classic signs of child sexual abuse acting out. The Barbie diorama. The explicit journal diagrams shown at school. And the fifteen year old caught in the act Goth threesome. I don't believe Hart to be a molester, but what about his Father In Law, about whom we know little.

-I don't think either Rust or Marty are the serial killer, or even performing a copycat continuation of the killings. No, I think it is others, as spoken about with the talk about the location where the Yellow King is in Carcosa, who might have been getting killed by Rust.

-Certainly, a man of Rust's experience and intelligence would not keep anything incriminating in a storage shed. But it will be interesting to see what is in there.

-What did Rust do from 2002 to 2010? What was the issue that split him from Hart? To their favor, they honor their regard for one another and perpetuate the lie of the shootout for at least 17 years.

-One interesting theory puts Rust still working undercover for the Feds (no expiration date, baby) but assigned to Louisiana Homicide to look at the larger number of similar disappearances and killings of children, without the knowledge of his superiors or co-workers.

-It's interesting the 2012 cops interview Hart's wife.

-It strains credibility, in the modern world, that a UC narc in Texas could just transfer in 1995 to Louisiana. You couldn't, unless you were a fed and just pretending to be a State police. As a Texas cop, and I have not heard whether Rust was a Texas cop or a Fed. We know he was working for the feds, but not in what capacity.

As a Texas cop, you'd have to go to the academy again, as Louisiana laws are far different from the other 49 states and there was no reciprocity back then to just laterally transfer from one state agency to another.

But it's easy to put that aside with all else the show has going for it. I'll come back and add some more ruminations later. It would be nice if there were more TV that offered an escape like this.

Friday, February 14, 2014


Last week, my co-worker and buddy Max were discussing shows. I think he watches more TV than I do. He recommended that I watch the series Justified and the HBO show True Detective.


I have not had the time to watch Justified, but have read a little about it and it sounds as if it could be interesting.

But week before last, I binge watched True Detective, the first half of season one and was blown away by the entire presentation: the format, the acting and all those technical film things like how they film it and such are just plain refreshing and interesting. Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson just do a fantastic job of captivating me. And that's hard for a show or movie to do these days.

I don't watch much TV with any regularity, other than news shows. Sometimes I'll do some TV watching when the day winds down, but we are so busy with work and kids and school activities that generally my TV watching is limited. I certainly haven't followed any series since 24 went off the air some years ago except for a recent introduction to Homeland. 

Homeland was another show that was well written and very well acted and it will be interesting to see how a season 4 will go. I'll note that I didn't watch Homeland throughout the years. I "discovered" it during season three last fall, and binge watched seasons one  and two over several weeks to catch up about mid-season. And there I sat at 8 p.m. on Sunday nights, just like I did with 24, waiting for it to come on.

So now that I'm all into True Detective, I'll be at the TV this Sunday when Episode 5 airs. 

It's my most favorite depictation of some of the weirdness of police work and of people in general since Hill Street Blues some thirty years ago. 

I give TD big points regarding their period correctness. Likewise, it is impossible for me not to consider the legal procedures and crime scene protocols and other such things, even on a subconscious level. Solid stuff there as well, for what I imagine crime scene protocol in rural Louisiana in 1995 would be, even by the State Police. 

The brutality, alcoholism and the dark sides of various cops depicted on the show exists in reality too, but really that sort of stuff had stopped being so rampant most places in the 1970's by most reports I've read, due to the increased filing of civil rights actions by victims of bad cops. Maybe it was different in rural Louisiana back in 1995, running 20 years behind the times elsewhere.

In 1995, although I don't know about actual Louisiana State Police policies then, in some departments in Texas it still would have been possible for Harrelson's Hart to carry what appeared to me to be a Smith and Wesson Model 66 with a 2.5" barrel, although he would have been under a lot of pressure to move to a high capacity semi-automatic, either of the Sig Sauer or Glock brand. I did encounter officers in that era who still carried revolvers, but it was pretty much mandated just a couple of more years later and revolvers are all but dead as duty weapons in most modern police departments, and have been in most places since the very early 90's. 

So that's an interesting firearm choice for his character.

The preview for Episode 5 at the end of Episode 4 showed McConaughey's Cohle with what appeared to be a Glock 17 1st 
generation, well visible as he bends down to view a "devil's web" made of intricately arranged sticks. This would have been period correct for law enforcement in 1995. I'm not sure when Gen 2 came out for the Model 17, although I'm sure Wikipedia says, but many guys I knew were still carrying the early Glocks without finger grooves through the 90's. 

I could have sworn, and my friend Max agrees with me, that Cohle was packing a revolver also in the 1st or 2nd episode in the quick flashes I saw of their holstered weapons. I then began thinking in Episode 3 that it was some kind of semi-automatic pistol.

And of course we have Cohle's tool box arsenal and booze box. I saw a folding stock AKSM and a Desert Eagle in there, an ammo box, a couple of hand grenades, some mags, and probably something else interesting.

Of course, there were all kinds of guns at the end of Episode 4. I can't wait until someone who knows how to do screen grabs and such can get some pictures of what guns are appearing and starts a page at the INDEPENDENT MOVIE FIREARMS DATABASE for it. The IMFDB is a great place to see what guns are in what movies and shows. You wouldn't think it'd be possible in some instances to get a good screen grab from a real fast display scene but they've got some great shots there.

I'm not the type to nitpick an error in a show set at a certain time. Not a big deal and those mistakes happen all the time, but when movie armorers get it right, well that's something to be mentioned. 

There were some shows where I thought they were using certain guns but I was wrong for years about what guns were used and many others where I just didn't know what kind of guns were used. It settled some disagreements among different friends. For example, in a few of those more popular early Steven Seagal movies from the early 90's, I thought he was using a Browning Hi-Power. But the screen grabs clearly shows 1911s all the way.

It'd be nice to see some more of the older TV shows covered on their site. If I had the tech know-how or the time to learn and do it, I'd like to add a few shows. Barnaby Jones is one. I don't have any Barnaby Jones archives, but someone does, and I'd be curious to know what kind of revolver he toted. As I recall, it was a blued K frame size with a 4" (tapered?) barrel, maybe a Colt or a Smith.

Finally, back to True Detective, it looked like Cohle had some kind of Sig handgun during the final six minutes of episode 4, as I thought I saw a hammer and the slide/frame was tapered in a way that a Glock isn't. I suppose it could have been some kind of other DA semi-auto with a hammer. At one point when they were still in the project apartment, I thought it was either a Smith and Wesson 30xx of some sort or a Sig Model 39. Did anyone get a good look at an identifying feature of his hold-up handgun?

I would agree with some of the magazine articles I've read calling it the best thing on TV right now. It's a great show.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


For many reasons, I like many others was a big fan of 24. I didn't discover it until about 5 years into it's run, when a co-worker who I discuss movies and music with suggested that, given my law and order tendencies, that's 24 was my kind of show.

Back then, there was a Blockbuster down the street, and I could rent multiple episodes of prior seasons and binge watch 24. It took a couple of months to get through the previous seasons and get up to speed on the current season. I really enjoyed the show and many of the characters reminded me of folks that I had dealt with from various local, state and federal agencies over the years. And the show was very well written and casted.

Of course, being a big fan of Eastwood's Dirty Harry and Steve McQueen's Bullitt and Al Pacino's Serpico and other movies and books by Joseph Wambaugh about LA policing made me an instant fan of Bauer's brand of justice, damn the reality that in real life he'd be in custody with no bond for Civil Rights offenses and worse, mired in a multitude of Federal Civil Rights lawsuits and ultimately either sent to prison or the looney bin or more likely, some secret CIA prison.

I had always enjoyed Sutherland's work prior to 24 but was not a tremendous follower of it. He did some early movies that were just outstanding but 24 tops those performances. He's able to make you believe, as do most of the other great characters that appeared on 24, that he is who he portrays. 

I don't know much about Sutherland's personal life. I know he likes to drink and has a reputation as a sometimes bar brawler. So we have that in common, with the latter at least from my younger days. But what I really admire is that HE HIMSELF paid for the salaries of all the non-actor employees (and maybe the actors too, I'm not sure) of 24 when he had to do some sentence for a DWI a few years ago. That was a big piece of change. I thought that him paying the crew for his issues was extremely stand up and is something you don't see everyday in Hollywood.

I know there are some Jack Bauer types out there protecting national security and Americans, but I just hope we have enough of them. Former soldier and CIA contractor Raymond Davis is the closest thing I've seen to Bauer, yet Mr. Davis has not been celebrated as a national hero as he should be for his captivity in Pakistan.

It would be very cool if Mr. Davis could be given a role in the upcoming 24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY that is set to air this May, or even work the true story line of the adventures in Lahore of Mr. Davis somehow into this episode. It is obvious that a team of assassins from Pakistan's intelligence organizations were dispatched to eliminate Mr. Davis, yet Mr. Davis was able to get some Glock 19 justice on his would be killers. 

There would surely be some way to work that scenario into this newest 24 which is set in and being filmed in London.

Mr. Davis might be a great actor or a horrendous one. Likely, like most of us, he'd do fair but maybe not outstanding. 

The man is a hero to this country, and has yet to be treated as such. I don't know Mr. Davis and likely never will. But since he is the closest thing to a Jack Bauer type agent that I've ever heard of, and since foreign agents tried to kill him for protecting his country, it'd be cool to see him get some kind of recognition for his heroism and captivity.