True Detective is back on the screen with Season 3 and has captured viewers’ imaginations once again. Regardless of where you stand on its much criticised second season, Season 3 is back with that Deep South gothic charm we all loved with Rust and Marty.
It’s one of those shows where every single thing you see and hear is deliberate; one that winds itself up in twisting, multifaceted narratives and keeps you guessing until the very end. And with three episodes down and five to go, the internet is already awash with some utterly outlandish guesses.
Some of these theories fit together quite nicely and start to build up a convincing picture... then others come in from the west and knock the house of cards down. Though these can’t all be true, it’s certainly fascinating trying to figure out which one (if any) might have hit the nail on the head.
Also, while there’s ten entries, it’s fitting for True Detective that there’s more to it than that. Several theories have multiple strands, so all in all there’s over fifteen to enjoy here.
10. Julie Was Molested By Her Uncle And Planned To Run Away
The first four entries here fit together to form a mega theory, but each could be true on their own, so they warrant different entries.
It starts with the reason Julie and Will disappeared in the first place, and hinges on them electing to run off rather than being taken. Away from any other parts of this theory, the fact Will lied about what he was doing after school and the childlike spelling on the note suggest the kids were involved.
As for why they run off, this theory has its sights firmly on uncle Dan. There’s a peephole in his old room that let him watch Julie undress, and while Playboy magazines certainly suggest he’s into adult women, that would not necessarily mean he wasn’t a creep for little girls too.
The Purcells didn’t have a good marriage; that much is clear. Some fans have suggested the parents did not believe Julie when she told them, but it’s hard to imagine Tom not telling the detectives this fact.
Much more likely is that the uncle either threatened her or she was too ashamed to tell anybody but her brother. Once Will finds out, he hatches a plan to help her escape.