7 Nods To Season 1 You Might Have Missed In True Detective's New Episode

7 Nods To Season 1 You Might Have Missed In True Detective's New Episode
Image credit: HBO

Should we expect Rust to show up in Night Country at some point?

True Detective has become a legendary show thanks to its premiere season and the protagonist, Matthew McConaughey's Rust Cohle. Ever since TD hit the screens in 2014, it became an infinite source of pop culture references.

True Detective's second and third seasons also had their fair share of Easter eggs related to the occult murder case that Rust and Marty were investigating.

And, of course, the new chapter, True Detective: Night Country, which landed on HBO and Max last week, didn't miss the opportunity to include several nods to the fan-favorite story, effectively tying the two universes together.

1. The Quote

You may have skipped the quote at the beginning of the episode. Yet, it ties directly into the mythology of Season 1.

The show says that the words ‘...For we do not know what beasts the night dreams when its hours grow too long for even God to be awake’ were said by Hildred Castaigne. But such a person never existed. It is actually a character from Robert W. Chambers' 1895 collection of horror stories, The King in Yellow.

This is a direct but contrived allusion to the Yellow King, the mythical antagonist of Season 1. Season 4 showrunner Issa López created the quote herself, Castaigne never says it in the book.

2. Blue King

The 'deity' of the brutal Tuttle Cult from Season 1 is referenced again in the scene where Kali Reis' Evangeline Navarro answers the call of disturbance at the fish factory. You can see the Blue King sign on the wall behind the female victim, which is of course another nod to the Yellow King.

3. The Spiral

Of course, the new season of True Detective, like all of its predecessors, couldn't be complete without the signature spiral symbol. We see it for the first time when Jodie Foster's Liz Danvers lays out the photos from the old and new cases together. And we will see it again in new episodes.

4. Antlers

Another powerful True Detective symbol is antlers, which we see placed over the victim's head in the show's pilot. Antlers represent ritualized death in the show, and Night Country emphasizes this with a horrific scene of a herd of moose leaping to their deaths from a cliff as the sun sets for the last time before the long polar night.

5. Lone Star

We all remember that Rust Cohle's drink of choice is Lone Star beer. Kind of hard to forget, right? In the new episode, both Navarro and Finn Bennett's Peter Prior are offered Lone Star in two separate scenes.

6. Alaska and Travis

The name of the dancing dead man who shows where the scientists' bodies are is Travis. That is also the name of Rust Cohle's supposedly deceased father. More to the point, we know that father and son moved to Alaska after the mother left, and Rust returned there for several years after the traumatizing Season 1 case.

Could this mean that we will see Detective Cohle in Night Country? Probably not, but it would be wild, right?

7. The Names

Aside from Travis, there are a few names that have a connection to Rust and his worldview. One of the dead scientists is named Ralph Emerson, which is reminiscent of the philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson. And the younger brother of Kayla Malee (Anna Lambe) is named Darwin, a reference to Charles Darwin. Both thinkers had a huge influence on the philosophy of Season 1.

True Detective Season 4, Episode 2 airs Sunday, January 21 at 9:00 p.m. ET on HBO, with subsequent streaming availability on Max.

Did you get all those references?