‘True Detective’ Season 3 New Trailer, Episodes Guide, and Plot Details

HBO’s just released a new official trailer for True Detective season three as well as details on the upcoming season’s first four episodes. True Detective will return to HBO’s Sunday night lineup on January 13 with Mahershala Ali, Stephen Dorff, and Carmen Ejogo in starring roles.

The award-winning series was created by Nic Pizzolatto. Pizzolatto was the sole writer of six out of eight of the third season’s episodes. (Pizzolatto co-wrote episode four with David Milch and co-wrote episode six with Graham Gordy.) Pizzolatto also made his directorial debut by helming two of season three’s episodes.

The season three executive producers are Pizzolatto, Scott Stephens, Daniel Sackheim, Jeremy Saulnier, Steve Golin, Richard Brown, and Bard Dorros.

The Season 3 Plot:

1980: Will and Julie Purcell, the children of feuding parents Tom and Lucy Purcell, go missing a week after Halloween in West Finger, Ark.

2015: Retired detective Wayne Hays, who originally investigated the crime, is asked to look back on the twists of the unsolved case with a true-crime documentary producer.

Playing out in three separate time periods, the third season tells the story of a macabre crime in the heart of the Ozarks, and a mystery that deepens over decades. Mahershala Ali (Oscar winner for Moonlight) stars as state police detective Wayne Hays, with Stephen Dorff (Somewhere) starring as Roland West, the detective who investigated the case with Hays, and Carmen Ejogo (Selma) starring as schoolteacher and writer Amelia Reardon.

In 2015, retired detective Wayne Hays, his memory failing, looks back at the disappearance of 12-year-old Will and ten-year-old Julie Purcell, recalling the days and weeks immediately following the 1980 crime, as well as developments in 1990, when he and his former partner, Roland West, were subpoenaed after a major break in the case.

True Detective Season 3 Episodes
Stephen Dorff and Mahershala Ali star in ‘True Detective’ season 3 (Photo: Warrick Page / HBO)

True Detective Season 3 January 2019 Episodes:

  • Episode #17 (season 3, episode 1): “The Great War and Modern Memory”
    Debut date: SUNDAY, JAN. 13 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT)
    The disappearance of a young Arkansas boy (Phoenix Elkin) and his sister (Lena McCarthy) in 1980 triggers vivid memories and enduring questions for retired detective Wayne Hays (Mahershala Ali), who worked the case 35 years before with partner Roland West (Stephen Dorff). What started as a routine case becomes a long journey to dissect and make sense of the crime.
    Written by Nic Pizzolatto; directed by Jeremy Saulnier.
  • Episode #18 (season 3, episode 2): “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye”
    Debut date: SUNDAY, JAN. 13 (10:00-11:00 p.m.)
    Hays (Mahershala Ali) looks back at the aftermath of the 1980 Purcell case in West Finger, Ark., including possible evidence left behind at the Devil’s Den, an outdoor hangout for local kids. As attention focuses on two conspicuous suspects – Brett Woodard (Michael Greyeyes), a solitary vet and trash collector, and Ted LaGrange (Shawn-Caulin Young), an ex-con with a penchant for children – the parents of the missing kids, Tom (Scoot McNairy) and Lucy Purcell (Mamie Gummer), receive a cryptic note from an anonymous source.
    Written by Nic Pizzolatto; directed by Jeremy Saulnier.
  • Episode #19 (season 3, episode 3): “The Big Never”
    Debut date: SUNDAY, JAN. 20 (10:00-11:00 p.m.)
    Hays (Mahershala Ali) recalls his early romance with Amelia (Carmen Ejogo), as well as cracks in their relationship that surfaced after they married and had children. Ten years after the Purcell crimes, new evidence emerges, giving him a second chance to vindicate himself and the investigation.
    Written by Nic Pizzolatto; directed by Daniel Sackheim.
  • Episode #20 (season 3, episode 4): “The Hour and the Day”
    Debut date: SUNDAY, JAN. 27 (10:00-11:00 p.m.)
    Hays (Mahershala Ali) and West (Stephen Dorff) see a possible connection between the local church and the Purcell crimes. As the detectives search for one suspect and round up another for interrogation, Woodard (Michael Greyeyes) is targeted by a vigilante group.
    Written by David Milch & Nic Pizzolatto; directed by Nic Pizzolatto.