AVClub: After all the allusions to The King In Yellow and the Carcosa mythos, many viewers were disappointed that the first season of True Detective didn’t pay off in a supernatural event or explanation. It’s fitting, then, that season two is proving to be a ghost story—a ghost story with no supernatural elements.
Everyone and everything in True Detective is haunted: by personal demons and childhood trauma, by expectations unfulfilled and desires sublimated, by a past waiting to emerge at the worst possible moment. Paul Woodrugh is haunted by the man he tries to be and by the man he won’t let himself be. Ray Velcoro is haunted by the fear that his son is the offspring of his wife’s rape and by the fear that this hesitant, soft, bullied child is his own biological son. Frank Semyon is haunted by his failure to go legit and by the lethargy a legit life inspires in him.